home painters, exterior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Small Budget, Big Results

home painters, exterior paintingWarmer weather and longer days mean more time outdoors for most people. Whether you like to entertain family and friends or spend quiet time reading, your backyard can be transformed into a great outdoor living space. Upgrading the outdoor spaces around the home is a popular home renovation project, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get high-end results. Regardless of the size of your yard, you can create a relaxing oasis without breaking your bank.

Add A Water Feature

There’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of moving water. Adding a fountain to your backyard is an inexpensive way to get an instant atmosphere boost. A fountain can be the focal point in your yard, or it can be part of the overall design. Whichever route you choose, a fountain can have a big impact.

Upcycle Materials

If you look around your home, it’s very likely you’ll find unused material that can be repurposed to create something for your backyard oasis. Old tires can be painted and be used as planters or garden borders, scrap lumber can become a beautiful wooden planter or a small raised garden. Ask family and friends what surplus materials they have as well. You’re only limited by your imagination.

Rock Garden

If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, add a rock garden to your yard. It’s easy maintenance and can be an inexpensive design element. Scout around your yard for rocks to use. Home centers sell a variety of rocks and crushed stone that are fairly inexpensive. Pick out our favorite stone mix and create your very own Zen garden.

Shed A Little Light

Adding even a few well-placed lights can add a sparkle to your yard for very little money. Check second-hand stores for strings of lights and use either clear or color bulbs. Paper lanterns are another inexpensive lighting option that will deliver a big impact. Pierced aluminum cans, glass mason jars, or solar lights offer more lighting choices.

University Painters can be a great resource for your backyard transformation plans. Contact us today for a free appointment at 800-390-4848 or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

exterior painter,, home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Quick Changes To Your Outdoor Spaces

exterior painter,, home paintersDo you love outdoor projects but don’t have a whole afternoon to devote to it? Consider one or two simple projects that require very little time but can change an unused corner of your yard into something special.

Vertical Gardens

If you don’t have the space, or the time, to invest in a large garden, you can still create a simple place to grow herbs or flowers that’s quick and easy. Repurpose indoor organizers such as canvas clothing or shoe organizers into unique planters for outdoor use.  Hang them in an area that gets plenty of sun. Use inexpensive clay pots to create a multilevel planter. Turn some pots upside down to create tiers and top them with potted plants.

Banish Pesky Mosquitoes

If you have a favorite relaxation spot in your yard, but are plagued by mosquitoes, there are quick, eco-friendly ways to drive them out of your space. Citronella candles, either store bought or homemade ones, keep these pests away, provide lighting, and create a calming glow.

Not only will eating garlic keep insects at a distance, but so will a simple garlic spray that you can mix up at home. Your yard may smell like a garlic festival for the first 24 hours, but after that, you won’t smell it but mosquitoes will and they’ll steer clear.

Faux Pergola

You don’t have to be an expert carpenter to create a fun little pergola-style canopy. A drop cloth and four poles are all you need. Paint the poles a color that complements your home’s exterior. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you could add a few yards of tulle fabric to each corner to create a curtain effect.

Mini Fire Pit

With a few simple tools and an unused grill you can create a place to roast marshmallows in the evening, for little or no money. Remove the legs from an unused circular grill, dig a hole the same size and shape as the grill, line the hole with stones, and voila, your own fire pit.

These quick and easy projects can improve your yard’s appearance and your enjoyment. University Painters is a great resource for your backyard transformation plans. Contact us today at 800-390-4848 for a free appointment or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

exterior / interior painting, home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Pressure Washing Around Your House

exterior painting, interior painting, paintersIf you think pressure washing is just for your home’s exterior, think again. Pressure (or power) washing is a great way to clean and refresh many large areas quickly. A washer can be used on most any surface. Let’s start with your home’s exterior. As the years pass, your home’s exterior can take a beating. Rain, snow, dirt, birds – well, you get it. Pressure washing is good for cleaning aluminum or vinyl siding, clapboard, brick, or stone. Be careful with wood shingles as the pressure may gouge or damage them and can push water under the shingles causing mildew problems. You can add a mild detergent to the power washer for the first cleaning and then follow up with clean water to take off all soap residue.

Like wood shingles, any wood surface should be treated with care when using a pressure washer. Be sure to use a low-pressure nozzle or you could strip the finish or other coatings off the wood, or oversoak the wood. Proper use of the washer on wood will help you remove dirt, grime, mildew, or other stains.

Metal surfaces such as rain gutters, drains, and fencing are also good targets for a power wash. Even an outdoor grill can be power washed. Don’t hold the jet too close to the surface though to avoid scratches.

Concrete, stone, and brick can also be cleaned with a power washer. Make your garage floor look like new by adding a little detergent to your washer to get rid of grease and oil. Whether your driveway is brick, stone, or concrete, it can be washed too. Never use a pressure washer on asphalt surfaces unless you want to replace it.

Power washing is also off limits for roof shingles, especially asphalt shingles. It’s likely to cause more damage than good including loosening shingles, driving water under shingles, and blowing them off entirely.

Your in-ground swimming pool or a Jacuzzi can be pressure washed. If the washer is able to create steam or use hot water, you can eliminate germs and other contaminants from these vulnerable areas.

University Painters not only paints interiors and exteriors, they can pressure wash surfaces around your home for a cleaner, fresher look. Contact us today for a free appointment.

home painters, interior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

New Paint Technology And Trends

home painters, interior paintingEvery industry has to continue to innovate in order to remain relevant and the paint industry is no exception. Changes in environmental and healthcare industries have driven changes in many home décor products including carpeting and paint.

People are more and more aware of the impact of everything we put in, around, or on our bodies. Home should be a place where we’re safe from pollutants and other contaminants. The toxic effects of paint on our health have been documented and are pointed to as the source of many common ailments for both people and animals. One of the biggest concerns about paint are VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. VOCs can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, visual problems, and respiratory distress. Symptoms as serious as memory loss have been attributed to VOCs.

Having plants in your home can improve the air quality, but why not get to the real source of the problem and give your home’s interior a fresh coat of paint? Eco-friendly paint, that is. There are a number of good, eco-friendly options to choose from. They may be a bit more expensive, but in the long run, your health is worth the price.

Three well-known paint manufacturers, Sherwin-Williams, Behr, and Benjamin Moore, all have eco-friendly paint options readily available.

1. Sherwin-Williams Harmony paint line is VOC-free and works with other household products to improve air quality.

2. Behr’s Premium Plus paints are VOC-free with paint and primer all in one.

3. Benjamin Moore’s Natura products are VOC-free, as well as asthma and allergy-friendly.

As our society becomes more aware and more concerned with environmental issues established companies are developing new product lines and innovative newcomers are introducing new technologies into the marketplace.

1. The Real Milk Paint Co. products are different from water and oil-based paints. They’re made from real milk protein and instead of a liquid are often sold as powder.

2. Earth Pigments markets another great alternative to conventional paint. They’re sustainable because they are mineral and plant-based.

3. Bioshield products are eco-friendly, solvent and VOC-free paints and wood stains suitable for interior and exterior use.

At University Painters, we can help you select eco-friendly paint options that will not only beautify your home, but protect your family’s health and well-being. Contact us today at 800-390-4848 for a free consultation.

home painters, painting, interior,exterior
Written by Colleen Kalil

Get Your Deck Warm Weather Ready

home painters, painting, interior,exteriorFollow these steps to make sure your deck stays in good condition.

Clean between the boards to loosen and lift out any dirt, mud or other debris using a putty knife. Don’t use anything that would damage the wood. Sweep the deck thoroughly. Ensure that you’re using the correct cleaner for your deck. Some require that the deck be wet before the cleaner is applied.

Apply the cleaner with a brush-style broom, garden hose sprayer, or a paint roller. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Don’t forget to clean the railings, beginning from the bottom up, and the stairs then rinse thoroughly. If you’re planning to reseal the deck, wait at least two full days.

Check the deck for any large gouges, loose boards, or other signs of wear. If nails have popped up, take them out and replace it with a slightly longer wood screw. If there are any boards with rot or significant signs of wear, replace it. Check railings as well to make sure they’re secure.

Remember to periodically move furniture or planters to clean underneath and prevent rot. Plants should never drain directly onto the deck. Keep a tray underneath each item to catch excess water. Protect the deck from furniture scratches with nylon pads similar to what you would use in the house. Don’t use any natural fibers that can mildew or rot.

If you have a grill on your deck, take a few precautions. Make sure there’s sufficient space around the grill so air can circulate and the heat won’t damage the deck. Protect the wood under the grill with a spatter mat, specifically manufactured for that purpose. Again, clean under the mat regularly to keep dirt and grease from building up. Clean up any spills as soon as they occur.

University Painters are experts in the treatment and maintenance of exterior surfaces. Contact us today for a free appointment at 800-390-4848 or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

home painters, paints, exterior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Gates and Fences

home painters, paints, exterior paintingGates and fences may be added to a home for security or purely decorative reasons. Though any number of materials can be used, two of the most common are wood and iron. Both are long-lasting, can add curb appeal and value to your home if they are maintained regularly.

WOOD

If your gate or fence is made of wood, it must receive regular attention to keep it from drying out, splitting or rotting. Many newer fences are made of cedar or redwood, which are more resistant to bugs, but even these woods need care to look their best.

Wood fences that will be below ground level should be made of pressure-treated wood. This wood is chemically treated to withstand mold, mildew, and insect damage. Pressure-treated wood doesn’t need a sealant, but can still be stained or painted for aesthetic reasons.

To keep a wood fence looking its best, keep a few things in mind. Don’t point sprinklers directly at a fence. The water will keep the wood moist and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Keep vines off fences because they will likewise add moisture to the wood fence. Keep grass trimmed around the fence.

IRON

Iron fences are a beautiful focal point for a home, and can last for decades, but they have one enemy: rust. To keep an iron fence in good condition, wash it every six months with mild soap and water, followed by a coat of metal wax. If you’re already seeing signs of rust, remove the rust with a fine wire brush and rinse it with nonionic water. Keep latches, hinges or other decorative pieces well-oiled and working. Just as with wood fences, keep weeds, grass, and vines away from an iron fence so the extra water won’t damage it.

CHAIN LINK

Chain link fences are commonly used, durable, and functional. Both coated and uncoated fencing is available. Coated fencing is easy to clean and maintain. Uncoated fencing, like iron, is susceptible to rust and should be checked regularly. The posts holding the fence are usually metal and can be treated the same way. Make sure the posts are at a 90-degree angle with the ground. If the posts aren’t secured in cement, they may begin to lean after a time.

University Painters can help you care for everything around your home’s exterior. Contact us today for a free appointment at 800-390-4848 or visit our website at universitypainters.com.

painters, interior painting, exterior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Fabulous Finishes Right Out of a Can

painters, interior painting, exterior paintingBeyond matte, semi-gloss, and high gloss paint, there’s a whole world of paint finish options. Create a finish to enhance the décor of any room in your home. There are countless finishes, washes, and glazes to choose from, but we’ll look at five: metallic, chalkboard, stone, crackle, and suede.

Metallic paint will give any surface the look of metal. The most commonly used colors are steel, bronze, and gold. This type of project should be completed in one day for the best result. It’s important to get the correct base paint. Use gray for steel, brown for bronze, and mustard yellow for gold. Metallic paint can be used on walls, cupboards, furniture, or home décor items. To get the finish you want, test it on a scrap piece of wood.

While whiteboards have replaced the chalkboard in most classrooms, you can bring it back to life in your home. Chalkboard paint is great for creating unique spaces in your home. It can be used in the kitchen to create your own “special of the day” sign, to remind family members of important events, or to use as a calendar. It’s great for a child’s bedroom or playroom. It’s one wall you won’t mind them coloring on. Chalkboard paint is easy to apply, and easy to clean.

Paint infused with small particles of marble, quartz, or sand creates the look of stone inside your home. It’s perfect for use on walls, furniture, and on, well, stone. This type of textured paint is great for hiding little imperfections quickly and easily.

When this paint cracks, you don’t scrape it off the wall. Crackle paint is a two-step process. First, you paint the crackle medium over a base color. Then, apply an acrylic paint. As it dries, it will crack and show the color underneath. Get creative with color combinations.

Applying suede paint is another project that should be completed in one day. It’s a two-step process consisting of a base coat and a top coat. The end result creates a warm luxurious finish that is a complement to any room.

If you’re unsure of the best finish for your home’s interior, call University Painters and receive expert advice. Our years of experience and our highly-trained staff can help you get the right texture, color, and finish for your decorating needs. Call us today and set up an appointment.

interior painting, exterior painting, painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

When and Where to Use Matte, Semi-Gloss, or Gloss Paint

interior painting, exterior painting, paintersPaint is one of the easiest ways to freshen up and improve the appearance of your home both inside and out. Whether you’ve just moved into a new place, or you’re just in the mood for a new look, painting can transform your home quickly and inexpensively. Once you select the color, you should give some thought to the paint’s finish. Common choices for finish are matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. The finish you choose will impact how long it lasts, how quickly it gets dirty, and how easy it is to keep clean.

The gloss in the paint you choose determines how much it will shine, or reflect light. Paint with a matte, or flat finish, has no shine; it contains 0 to 10% gloss. Matte paint is the most difficult to keep clean so if you have kids or pets, it may be best to not use matte paint in high-traffic areas. However, since matte paint has no gloss to reflect light, it’s a good selection to use on walls where you want to hide irregularities or repairs. Matte paint is usually the lowest priced paint as well, so consider it if you have a large area to cover.

Satin finish and semi-gloss paint have more gloss than matte, 25 to 35 percent and 35 to 70 percent respectively. It has a shinier finish than matte and is easier to clean. While it’s typically used for interior doors, woodwork around doors and windows, consider using it in higher traffic areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. This paint will also last longer when exposed to water, soap, or grease. One downside of higher gloss paints is that they don’t hide imperfections in the wall or on wood.

High-gloss paint has 70 percent or higher reflectivity and can be used in the same places as low-gloss paint.  However, make sure you really want the area to have a very shiny finish. High-gloss paint is the most durable, and the easiest to clean. Like semi-gloss paint, it doesn’t hide the flaws in walls or other surfaces. Think about whether shine or a little camouflage is more important to you.

If you’re unsure which type of paint to use in your house, the experts at University Painters can work with you to select the best finish for your needs. Call us today for an appointment.

exterior painting, home painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Why You Should Remodel Your Home In The Summer

Summer is the best time to remodel your home. Not only is the weather nice enough for you to open the windows, but you have plenty of free time on your hands. It’s easy to ignore the little projects that you need to get done in the winter.

Remodeling can be costly and many homeowners would rather move than renovate their home. If you’re not happy with your home, you may want to decide if renovating is right for you. While most would rather move, most homeowners agree that summer is the best time to start a home remodeling project

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home painters, interior painting
Written by Colleen Kalil

Transform Your Basic Bathroom Into Your Private Spa Oasis

There’s nothing like going to the spa after a long day. Why not turn your bathroom into your own little private spa? All it takes is a few additions to create a spa-like atmosphere. Here are some ways you can upgrade your bathroom with just a few minor adjustments. 

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