Monthly Archives: April 2010

Paint Color Dilemma? You can commit!

Got the itch to repaint a room but overwhelmed by the choices?  Here are a few simple pointers about how to get over the hump and COMMIT to the color!

1. It’s your home
Home is where the heart is as they say, its your sanctuary and you are  proud to call it your own.   Its great to have a friend or someone “guide” you in the process, but ultimately, paint color is your decision.  You are the one that has to live with it every day.  If you hire a professional, communicate in advance all of your likes and dislikes and wish list items so that you can be assured that your space will reflect “you” when it’s complete.

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Remodeling on the Rise, Not Home Sales

Here is some great information about why it may be a good time to love the home you are with!

Excerpts:

NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) – U.S. home improvement spending is expected to rise 5 percent in the United States in 2010, but the surge might not foretell an increase in sales of new homes.

But an American Express Co (AXP.N) survey found that only 5 percent of homeowners are preparing their homes for sale and that 53 percent see a seller’s market at least two years away.

The majority – 53 percent – of the projects involve indoor remodeling, with cosmetic work (36 percent), re-doing a room (25 percent), and installing new flooring (14 percent) topping the list.

“It’s clear from this month’s survey findings that Americans’ most prized possessions are their homes and they are committed to continuing to enhance its appearance and value in spite of the softer real estate market,” said Pamela Codispoti, American Express senior vice president and general manager, Cardmember Services.

She added that homeowners are doing so responsibly by funding the projects “within their financial means.”

Sources:  ecreditdaily.com, reuters.com

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No, you don’t have to remove that old wallpaper! Part 2

Your little girl has outgrown the pink pony wallpaper border in her room.  Or, maybe you have decided that the country mauve and blue roses in your bath has to go!  Great news!  Even better news?  You may not have to go through the agony of removing the old stuff by completing just a few simple steps.

If you decided that Venetian Plaster (my part 1 of this series)  http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/20/no-you-dont-have-to-remove-that-old-wallpaper-part-1/ isn’t for you, then I have another idea to cover your existing wallpaper .  I love time savers and the first time I removed a room of old paper, was also my last after I discovered this process.

There are two important requirements to ensure success:

1)  Check the quality of seams.  If there are areas that are loose, you will need to glue them down or as I prefer, cut them with a sharp utility knife to get a nice edge.  If there are bubbles, cut an x in the bubble and either glue it down or remove around the bubble.

2) If your unwanted paper has a heavy texture or pattern to it, it may show through your paint which means bad news, you may have to either remove the paper or plaster over.  If the pattern is slight, you should be perfectly okay by doing the next steps.

Prepping the wallpaper for painting:

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6 Quick and Easy Tips for a Budget Kitchen Makeover

Ahhh Spring!  Warmth, rebirth, freshen are all words that come to mind.  How about applying those ideals to the heart of your home? Here a few quick and simple ways to makeover your kitchen without breaking the bank.

1) Cabinet Hardware      Budget-$1.50-$5 per knob (and upwards for fancier styles)

A cabinet without hardware is sometimes like wearing your Sunday best with sneakers.  Or maybe you already have cabinet hardware but they are showing their age or the finish isn’t quite in style any longer. A little knob or pull goes a long way to give your cabinets a new “pow”.

See also:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/26/cabinet-hardware-how-to-install/

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/24/selecting_cabinet_hardware/

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How to say “You’re Fired” to the watering can with drip irrigation.

If you’re like me, you might think that only Jolly Green Giant has a green thumb when it comes to being able to maintain pretty plants and flowers on your patio or around your garden, especially in the Texas summer heat.  When I COULD remember  to complete this task, I would ask myself if quality time with my water hose was really worth it.  I finally decided to conquer what looked like nothing short of a complex puzzle…a drip irrigation system.   Have no fear!

sample of drip irrigation running from sprinkler head to pot

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No, you don’t have to remove that old wallpaper! (Part 1)

I can’t think of a task that would make me run faster from home improvement more than trying to remove old wallpaper.  Yes, there are ways to do it, but with at least two alternatives that can save your sanity and tons of time, I ask why?  I’m going to divide the two methods into two parts.   Part 1 will be “Venetian Plaster”.

Venetian Plaster directly over wallpaper-Before and After

Venetian Plaster can be purchased in a variety of pre-mixed colors from Lowe’s; the tools they also sell for the product are useful.  It is a wonderful product that gives you a warm custom look faux finish once it is done. The beauty of this product is that it is easier than you might think, it covers old wallpaper like a champ and the layers and depth of the finish is entirely within your control. Although slightly pricier than a gallon of paint (around $32) and coverage is half of what a typical gallon would cover, think of it as “time saved” for the investment. I used about 1 and 3/4 gallons for a dining room that is approximately 140  square feet.

Here are the basic steps before covering any wallpaper:

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Giving new life to a wooden fireplace mantle

Before and After Side by Side comparison

Because of my current love affair with Espresso brown (A Home Depot Behr color) , I decided to see what happened if I painted our all white fireplace mantle with the warm color.

Materials Needed:  Two 2″ paintbrushes, quart of semi-gloss paint in brown tone desired, quart of semi-gloss black paint, painters tape and small paint tray

Step 1) Tape off edges that meet wall and floor covering

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