Monday, January 3, 2011

Homeworks: Pop the Asti and pass me a paint brush for a new look in a new year

  The champagne toasts (over the weekend) mark the start of a new year and high hopes for those who are looking to get their homes in order. 

    “A lot of people are staying in their houses (rather than buying something new) and they are trying to make them look the best that they can,” said Thomas Hamilton, co-owner of Pro-Tect Painters of Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills. Hamilton and Carl Mitroff are partners in the new professional painting contractor franchise, which specializes in residential painting projects. 

    The best way to refresh a home without spending an exuberant amount of money is by painting. Whether applied to the exterior or interior, a fresh coat of paint will garner the biggest bang for your buck. 

Photos courtesy of ProTect Painters 
A fresh coat of paint and new light fixtures could be all your bathroom needs
 For larger projects that require painting around intricate moldings or cathedral ceilings, Hamilton recommends hiring a professional. As painting contractors, Hamilton and Mitroff can put homeowners in touch with painters who are licensed, certified and possess the skills to complete the work. It’s one thing to paint the walls of a garage, and another to paint the interior of a great room and foyer. “One of the painters we work with does high-end faux finishes that make the paint look like tile,” Hamilton said. Others are better suited for production jobs requiring the work to be quick and efficient. “There’s that and everything in between,” Hamilton said. However, whether you’re hiring a painter or doing the job yourself, Hamilton and Mitroff insist preparation is the key to success. 

   A clean, dry and dull (not glossy) surface is very important. To achieve this, all dirt, dust, loose paint, rust or mildew must be removed from the surface to be painted.

    Use putty around doors and windows to block drafts or to repair holes and other damaged areas, but be sure it’s completely dry before priming or painting.

    Hamilton and Mitroff also recommend roughing up the surface by sanding it or applying a coat of liquid deglosser. If you’re painting new wood, a badly deteriorated surface or one that has been stripped, it is recommended that you apply a primer prior to the paint. This will help the new coat of paint adhere to the wall.

    Gray is still the rage when it comes to popular color choices, although Hamilton has seen a mixture of gray with other shades such as chocolate brown and deep purple. The biggest consideration with color is the size of the room you’re painting. Just remember: Bright colors make a small room larger; dark colors make it smaller. 

Hamilton said homeowners also should consider their furnishings and floor coverings. If you have wood floors, for example, it is best to choose natural colors such as pale yellow or forest green.

    Who will be using the room?

    If you’re painting a playroom, you’ll need to choose a paint that’s easy to clean.

    If the home was built prior to 1977, when lead paint became illegal, you might want to check the surface to make sure what is there does not contain lead. Still, “your own personal style should be paramount,” said Mitroff, referring to the color of paint chosen. “You don’t want to pick something just because it’s cool and trendy.”

    Hamilton agreed.

    Do that and you’ll be painting the wall before another new year rolls around. 

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