Recycling

6 Easy Ways to Save on Painting Projects

Guest Post by Andrea Davis

Applying a fresh coat of paint is the easiest way to revitalize the look and feel of your home. But the price and labor of a painting update can be intimidating for some homeowners. Here are six ways you can you save time and money on your next painting project.

Tip #1: Check Local Recycling Centers

US News & World Report notes that recycling and hazardous waste centers take in old, unused cans of paint from local residents and businesses. Paint has a long shelf life, so it’s not uncommon to find usable paint at these centers. Best of all, paint from recycling centers is usually free.

Tip #2: Illuminate the Walls

Professional painters often bring their own spotlights and clamp lights to jobs. A clamp light or similar illumination tool will help spot mistakes before the job is done. Addressing mistakes as you go will save you time and money later.

Tip #3: Use a Primer

A primer as your base layer will help your paint adhere to untreated surfaces like raw wood or unfinished drywall. The use of primer is also good if you’re dealing with stained or rough surfaces that might require multiple coats of paint to gain an even finish.

Tip #4: Buy Better Paint

Professional painting services rarely opt for cheap paint, unless specifically directed to do so by the customer. Most cheap paints won’t shine as brightly or look as smooth as higher-quality alternatives. Using lower quality paints will also require multiple coats of paint to achieve a finished look, which can increase costs. Most high-quality paints, including those which feature a primer in the mixture, go on in one coat. They will cost more per can, but completing your job will require less paint.

Tip #5: Don’t Rush to Select a Color

Consider how your color will work with your space before making a purchase. Being sure about your color choice will save you time and money. Rushing into a color selection can result in a touch up or repainting altogether.

Tip #6: Know Your Finishes

Lastly, make sure you pick the right finish for the room. Here are the four major finishes:

  • Flat: Great for interior walls and ceilings.
  • Eggshell: Ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and dining room walls as it is easy to wash and touch up.
  • Satin: The easy-to-clean nature of satin finishes makes it perfect for high-traffic areas of the home.
  • Semi-Gloss/Gloss: Reserve this finish for trim, molding, cabinets, kitchens and bathrooms due to its great coverage and washable, durable nature.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll not only find yourself saving money at the hardware store or with your professional painters, but you’ll also save time by not having to repaint or frequently touch up your newly painted surfaces.

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. 

Fall Yard Care to do Now

Fall is here! The days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler, and the leaves are changing a little every day. And since the Red Sox are done for the season, you have a little more time to keep your yard looking its best year round with some easy fall yard care tips.

Beautify with New Tress, Shrubs, and Annuals

Keep your yard looking beautiful by removing wilted summer annuals and replacing them with cool-weather varieties (make sure to fertilize the soil first). You’ll also want to stop fertilizing perennials. This will allow them to rest during winter and be healthier come spring. 

Planning to add or relocate trees or shrubs? Fall is a great time to do it. Cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall will help to encourage root growth before it gets too cold. Choose native plants for best results. 

Adjust Your Watering

As temperatures dip, plants and grass need less water. Reduce manual watering and make sure to keep an eye on automatic systems, adjusting them as needed.

Fall is also an excellent time to start practicing water conservation techniques. Set up a rain bucket, if you don’t already have one. 

Take Care of Your Lawn

Lawns can take quite a beating in Western Massachusetts in the summer, especially if your community, like mine, had water restriction rules in place. So, managing your lawn is an important part of fall yard care.

As the weather cools, lawn growth will slow. Make sure to continue mowing your lawn (adjust the mower blade as needed) until it becomes dormant. A good rule of thumb is no lower than 2 1/2 inches in the fall and winter months. 

Whether you're planting a new lawn or working on your existing lawn, it’s time to overseed with cool season turf grasses such as bluegrasses, bentgrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses. Remove thatch from your lawn. This can be done by hand or the easier way of renting an aerator or dethatcher. Doing so will encourage healthy root systems, plus aerating allows water to penetrate deeper, helping to avoid runoff. 

Clean Up Debris

Of course, a big part of fall yard care is cleaning up debris, including dead plants or leaves.

First, there’s no need to remove a few straggling leaves from your lawn. Just mow right over them, and they’ll help to fertilize your lawn.

For yards with more trees, consider starting a compost pile. Compost can be used as mulch, and using it in your yard helps save on your water bills, reduces the need to fertilize (which is better for the environment), and saves you time (no bagging leaves). Simply add your yard waste to a compost pile instead of throwing it out.

 

Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.