Sunday, August 2, 2009

Are all paints created equal?

Are all paint brands created equal?

At this point in our home rennovation/home redesign series we had to decide what to do about paint. We had already removed ALL of the wallpaper which covered every wall in the house, removed all the glue and backing and washed down the walls, and spackled in every hole, so we were ready to put some color on the wall, right? Wrong.

We found out that most walls required primer, which would cover any stains or blemishes in the wall that the paint may not cover. Some of our walls were green around the outside, yellow in the inside and cream in the center. We didn't think regular paint would cover this medley of colors. So, after asking friends and family, and professionals at Walmart, Ace Hardware and Home Depot we decided on Kilz Original: an interior oil-base formula, is America’s number one selling stainblocking primer/sealer that tackles the toughest stains.

After the Kilz was applied, and we used two coats in some places, it was time to detemine the type of paint we should buy: the finish (eggshell, semi glossy, glossy etc), and we were advised that eggshell is the best type of paint finish for walls because it helps to hide minor imperfections and is also easy to wipe down.

Next was determining the brand. In this area we had a LOT of input, so we decided to try out two different Brands: Glidden & Benjamin Moore.

The representatives at Glidden were nice enough to let me know about a special promotion they were running in early August where they were giving away a free quart of Glidden paint to anyone. The special ran for 4 days I believe, and I took full advantage of this oppurtunity. I ordered Creamy Buttermilk from Glidden and tried it out on the Dining Room, seen below (note: The blue is tape to keep paint off the molding):

Overall I was pleased with Glidden's paint quality. The advantages was that it was Free, always a plus, and that they had a wide variety of premixed colors to choose from online. The disadvantage was that it wasn't a thick paint, and tended to drip a bit and went on thinner, which is why we ended up needing 2 full coats.

We also tried Benjamin Moore paint which was suggested by family members. We had heard that this brand works as a primer and paint all in one, but we did not test this, as all our walls were already primed. We purchased two colors and painted our Kitchen wall red, and our living room walls a blue/gray color (see below):

My opinion of Benjamin Moore paint is that it is much thicker than Glidden, and covers very well. The walls did not need a second coat, but we did one just to be on the safe side. The paint didn't have any odors that I recall, and I was very pleased with how the paint looked on our walls (and again, the blue is painter's tape)

So, from my experience, I would highly reccommend both Kilz Original Primer and Benjamin Moore eggshell finish paints. Glidden worked well enough, but I found it much easier to work with Benjamin Moore Paints.

We are just glad that our house is starting to resemble a home instead of a disaster area :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wall Paper Stripping

Our entire home is covered in wall paper, and most of it is not the easy to peel paper kind but the type that is fabric with a thick layer of glue and backing on it, so it's really difficult to take down.

We had no experience with removing wallpaper before, but I think we're pro's now.
The products that we have found very helpful are:
2. Scrapers like this one
3. Paint scrapers/spackle or putty knife
First we scored the walls using a wallpaper scorer. Second we steamed the paper to make it looser and easier to pull off. (We tried DIF, but didn't find it to be helpful, but we've heard others who used it and had much success) The extra holes allowed the steam to get through to the glue/backing layer and loosen some of it up. Then we used the scrapers to get under the paper as much as we could, and pulled off as much as possible.
Once the top layer was off we went back and steamed off the baking and layer of glue.
We were lucky enough to get 2 walls that came off in 2 big sheets just by pulling on the loose edges:

This is just one of the many posts to come on home repair and home rennovations!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Unveiling of Our New Home

After searching for over 10 months....
After 6 previous home offers...
After one mold-infested home deal that we got out of...
After all of this we finally found a home!!!
We closed on this home today at 2:30pm EST :-D

It's not perfect, but it's a starter home to make our own.
We plan to take before and after photos so you can see the work
we've put into the home. It's a starter home, and thus very dated. are a few of the "before" photos:

The Specs: It's a twin home with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, with a partially finished basement in a quiet development with sidewalks and lit streets, which is walking distance to a park/playground, and two shopping centers