Category Archives: How-tos

Refresh Your Home For The Holidays Now!

By now you have probably already seen the holiday commercials on television and maybe even heard some of the seasonal songs on the radio on your way to work. It’s hard to avoid – the holidays are approaching fast! Now is the time to consider a quick paint refresh for your holiday gatherings or New Year’s parties. 

If you are planning a holiday dinner, a cocktail party, or maybe a family gift swap, then you will want to do some refreshing before all the guests start to arrive. Here are some of our best tips to make your home not only welcoming but looking its best this holiday season. 

Clean it Up 

Sure, your house is clean, but for more important gatherings you will want to do a deep clean that makes everything shine. There are often forgotten areas that should be neatened up. These include: wiping down any smudges or marks on the trim or molding, dusting lamps, dusting overhead ceiling fans, wiping marks off light switch plates, washing windows, washing curtains, and wiping down cabinets that may have drips or food stains. 

Cleaning it up also means getting rid of the clutter that has accumulated all year long. Recycle that pile of newspapers or magazines. File away old bills or paperwork. Put away toys or books in their appropriate spots. You may also want to do some work on the hardwood floors to bring the shine back out through vacuuming, mopping, and using wood shine on them. 

Paint Makeover 

If you have time before the chaos of the holidays arrives, painting is one of the best ways to transform a room from drab to fab! Even if you don’t want to change the color, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in the look of a room. If you do choose a new color, it may end up being a focal point or the hit of the party. 

The painting also gives homeowners a chance to repair any imperfections on the walls, add texture or new sheen to the walls, and make a great first impression. Check out our Facebook page and portfolio page for some great color ideas. Or visit the Benjamin Moore website for some new color trends. 

Update a Piece of Furniture 

If your kitchen or living room is looking a little worn, now might be a good time to invest in a new piece or refurbish the old. A new comfortable seating area can mean better access to all family members during holiday gatherings. A longer kitchen table can mean more friends or family will be welcome at dinner. If you can’t afford to replace major pieces, look to change out a few accent pieces just to make it look fresh or new. 

Add Some Finishing Touches

Now that you have cleaned, painted, and decluttered, you can start adding some fun finishing touches. Some homeowners like to add fresh garland or twinkle lights on the fireplace mantle. It can set a magical mood for the whole event. 

Candles in the scents of the season such as Balsam Fir, Cinnamon Stick, Apple Spice, or maybe Christmas Cookie are always a fun touch and make a home smell wonderful. 

Display some colorful throw pillows or cozy blankets to make the living room feel homey. Use accent colors for these that play up the colors on the walls.

Depending on your taste, you can add some fun holiday keepsakes around your kitchen or living room: the two places where guests tend to congregate. 

Refreshing your home before guests arrive for the holidays can make your home feel new, especially for guests who visit often. If painting the main areas of your home like the kitchen, entryway, or living room to make an amazing first impression is on your list of things to do before the party starts, consider calling us at 978-546-6843 or contact us on our website.  Happy Holidays! 

 

Empty Nest Makeover 

The quote, “The days are long, the years are short” by Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project is so incredibly spot-on true. When our children are young it feels like an eternity to potty train, get them to sleep through the night, and go through the endless nightly homework. But as they age, it seems the years go by faster and faster. Before long, the kids are off to have their own lives and parents are considered “empty nesters.” 

While this stage in the game may bring on fits of melancholy, it can also mean a time when you finally get to be a little selfish and create a home that truly fits your style, your needs, and become your dream home. 

Getting Started 

Making over a home after the kids have grown and flown can be exciting. The first thing you will want to decide, now that your child’s bedroom will no longer be a shrine to their youth, is what you want the function of each room in your house to be. You may want to switch things around and make a bedroom into a study, library, office, man cave, sewing room, or any other number of things. Some empty nesters rejoice in the freedom and use the free rooms for something all their own. It is all up to you! 

Color Scheme 

Now that you have an idea about what you want your new rooms to function as, chances are that you will need to do some redecorating. Before you start moving the furniture around and rearranging items, you should take this opportunity to give the walls and ceilings a refresh. Choosing a color scheme for each room can be fun and add to the main goal of the room. For example, if you want the kid’s old bedroom to function as a tv room or den to watch movies and snuggle up with your spouse, you might want to choose a deeper or darker tone to set a mood of coziness. 

Or maybe you have decided that your children’s old bedroom or playroom would serve well as a guest room for all of your grandkids to come and stay. Then you could choose youthful colors like a vibrant blue, upbeat yellow, or subdued green for an updated kid’s room with bunk beds, cribs, or twin beds depending upon how many grandkids you hope to host at one time. 

The color scheme is one of our specialties, so if you know what you want a room to function as, talk to our color specialists who can help you choose a perfect color

Tying It All Together 

Now that the rooms are painted and you have placed furnishings to match the purpose of each room, you will want to start tying the rooms together. You will want to add lighting that helps with the function of each room. For example, if you have transformed your children’s rooms into a craft area where you need ample amounts of light, you may want a strong overhead light and smaller area lights. If you have created a man cave, then you may want lights that can be dimmed for that movie theater vibe. 

In addition to lighting, you will want to consider floor coverings, art for the walls, keepsakes, and the main layout of each area. We encourage you to have fun with this project. How often in your life have you really been able to have a room or two all of your own?

 

To Tape or Not to Tape – a Painter’s Question

Whether to use painter’s tape or complete the edges freehand through “cutting-in” is a question we are often asked as professional painters. While there are no hard and fast rules about using tape products, there are some pros and cons to this process of interior painting.

We often blog about the importance of preparing a room for painting by cleaning the walls and ceiling, removing furniture, and repairing cracks or nail holes. For homeowners who like to tackle painting projects on their own, applying tape to edges is often part of that prep. But is it really a necessary step? Today, we are going to look at the process of taping so you can decide for yourself if you want to do this for your next weekend project.

The Case for Painters Tape

Painter’s tape has become the product of choice for most do-it-yourselfers because of its predictability and low-stick qualities. It provides a straight line for precision and allows for a protective border in case spillover occurs. People who use painters tape boast that it ensures that you do a neat and tidy job, with clean lines and no messy edges.

Some homeowners who use painter’s tape believe that it can save time since you won’t need to be so careful around the edges. They also believe that painter’s tape makes for clean lines that have a very professional look. It can be used to protect your baseboards, built-in cabinets, and ceilings from the inevitable drips or uneven painting that can happen when painting by hand.

Painter’s tape comes in many different sizes, widths, and types for all sorts of walls, ceilings, and edges. In fact, go to any home improvement store and you will see a Valhalla of painter’s tape taking up almost an entire aisle.

The Case for “Cutting In”

Cutting in is the process of painting edges or straight lines with a quality angled brush without tape. It is all done freehand. This is the method that most professional painters use. The case can be made that using painter’s tape is extremely time consuming and can be a colossal waste of time. Painting freehand removes an additional step from the painting process both at the beginning of the project when the tape would be applied and again at the end of the project when the product would be carefully peeled off.

Professional painters are also quick to note that using painter’s tape is not guaranteed to make a project look professional. Even the highest quality tapes have been known to bleed through, allowing paint to get into areas where you really don’t want it and where touch-ups will be needed after the job is complete. Painter’s tape can also peel and rip during the removal process making an utter mess to your carefully painted wall.

Lastly, professional painters know that painter’s tape does not always work in certain painting situations. For example, it is really difficult to use this product on bumpy or uneven surfaces. This many times defeats the purpose of the straight line of the product. In addition, while the tape is straight, the person applying it must do so in a calculated fashion in order to line things up correctly. You really don’t want an angled line where there should be a straight one!

Generally, the argument about this type of product comes down to personal preference. Now you have a better idea of what the pros and cons are to using this product vs. cutting in freehand. If you need help with your paint projects, please call Jerry Enos Painting.

Properly Cleaning Your Painted Surfaces 

If you like your home to look clean and fresh, you probably vacuum, dust, and tidy on a daily basis. Sure, you probably leave the deep cleaning and organizing for those big spring or fall cleanouts, but there is still something that many homeowners forget to do – clean their painted surfaces!

Believe it or not, your walls are the largest amount of real estate in your home. Think of how many square feet your walls take up and yet they are overlooked when it comes to routine cleanings. Here are some reminders of how to clean your painted surfaces so they do not lose their sheen or paint color. 

Cleaning Different Paint Sheens 

The first thing you should consider when washing painted walls is the finish or sheen. For duller paint finishes (less shine) such as flat, satin, or eggshell you will want to show care since they are less durable when it comes to cleaning. Do not use harsh chemicals or degreasers when cleaning flat paint walls and be mindful when washing with a sponge to not scrub too hard. For semi-gloss or full gloss finishes, it is ok to use a mild degreaser. These finishes tend to be used in high traffic areas or where messy fingers can leave residue and grime behind. 

Dust Before Washing 

Even if your home seems fairly dust-free, it is there and you will want to dust off any debris or cobwebs before you start to wash the walls. We suggest a feather duster that has an extender arm as lots of times homeowners will spot collected debris in the corners near ceilings. Dust from top to bottom and don’t forget the trim work where dust and dirt can get stuck in the detail work. 

Washing the Walls 

Depending upon the color palette you use in your home, smudges and stains may be noticeable or not so noticeable. The place that we notice them most often are around light switches. Use two buckets for cleaning. Use one with a gentle soap product and warm water, the other with a warm water rinse. That way you won’t be putting dirty water back on your walls. We also suggest using a sea sponge as they are more gentle on paint, although they don’t hold together after repeated use. 

Start at the top of each wall and work your way down. Make sure to dry the walls after to prevent water stains or streak marks. You will also want to dry the floors around the perimeter of each room so there are no slips or falls. 

For cleaning tips and tricks check out our past blogs. When you need interior or exterior painting done, choose the pros at Jerry Enos Painting. Call Jerry Enos Painting today at  978-546-6843, or visit our website

 

Painting Tips for Kid-Proofing Your Walls

If you have children, or even grandchildren, then you know just how messy life can be. Toys strewn around, snacks left uneaten, and all sorts of art projects are an everyday occurrence. It is pretty much an accepted part of having little ones in your life. But are there ways to kid-proof your walls and painted surfaces so that fingerprints, smudges, and smears are easy to clean or refresh? Let’s take a look at some painting tips for kid-proofing the walls in your home.

Choose Colors Wisely

Let’s face it, kids leave their marks on walls, furniture, and around light switches constantly. To combat the messes, choose a color palette that can hide the marks of crayons, fingerprints, and art supplies well. High traffic areas get especially dirty quickly, so choose a shade or two darker that can conceal the mess. Picking a bright white may be asking for trouble.

Choose a Good Sheen

When a mess occurs, you will want to be able to clean off the markings, smudges, or streaks easily and quickly. Choose a high-quality, washable, low-VOC paint in a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. The higher the gloss, the easier it will be to wipe down and clean up.

Plan Ahead

The longer a stain, crayon streak, or paint mess stays on a surface, the harder it will be to completely erase it. Plan ahead and have wipes ready to make quick work of messes when they occur. Some homeowners find it easier to keep alcohol-free wipes in main living areas to use as clean-up-patrol. All you really need is warm water and soap to remove most marks.

Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

If the children in your home tend to draw on the walls or add their creative flair to the walls when they shouldn’t, maybe you should give them a space where this is allowed. There are some amazing paints on the market that allow children to write on them in chalk or erasable marker where the artistic side can be explored in a specific area of your home. Some homeowners create an art corner with a chalkboard wall to allow children to express their creative side, while still having an easy clean up after the fun is done.

Do you need more ideas for choosing the right color, sheen, or kid-proofing for your painted surfaces? Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to speak to our color consultants.

 

Caring for your Newly Painted Surfaces

Ahhhhhhh, we all know that amazing look and feeling of a freshly painted room. The walls, trim, and ceiling look new, clean, and flawless. Unfortunately, that clean, unblemished look only lasts for so long, especially if you share your home with children or “man’s-best-friend.” How, then, can you care for your newly painted surfaces so that “just painted” look remains as long as possible?

You could prohibit everyone from entering the space… or you could just use our tips to help you keep the surfaces sparkling clean and knick-free! Here are just a few ideas to maintain those newly-painted surfaces.

  • Dust and wipe down the walls as a regular part of your biannual cleaning. Most of us think of this chore as something we only do during spring cleaning, but try to do it at least one other time during the year to get rid of typical dust, dirt, and other debris that can naturally take away the freshly painted look of the walls. Get rid of those spider webs in the corners by the ceiling while you are at it!
  • For smudges, spare marks, or rubbings (possibly from furniture), take a sponge and use a simple combination of warm water and soap. These marks are common, especially around the trim, light switches, and corners of the room.
  • For more difficult stains like splatters of food, crayons, or other stains, try a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge, or a gentle household cleaner. We do not recommend an erasing sponge as the sheen and color may be compromised.
  • For scuff marks or knicks, wash the area and use putty to refill the area. Once dry, sand it down and paint over the area with leftover paint.
  • For larger knicks, cracks or grooves, you may need to consider how long the paint has lasted and when you plan to repaint before tackling a repair job.

 

Need help keeping your newly painted room fresh? Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to speak to our color consultants.

Prep Like You Mean It

In the past, we have discussed the Importance of Prep Work for Painting and why you should never skip this important step for the sake of the surfaces you will be painting. Today, we are looking at the details of how to prep your walls, surfaces, and rooms for painting. This is the most skipped step in the painting process but also one of the most critical to making your paint job look professional. Here are a few tips to prep like you mean it!

Safeguard your Belongings

One of the main purposes of preparing an area that you are painting is to safeguard your belongings. Clear all small items and keepsakes from the room. Store them safely in boxes until after you are completely done. Remove as much of the furniture from the room as possible. The remaining pieces should then be moved to the center of the room and covered with a tarp. Cover the floor with a canvas tarp and tape at the edges so it will not move. We suggest not using plastic on the floor as it can lead to slips and falls.

Outlets and Lighting

Unscrew switch and outlet faceplates. Place a piece of painters tape over the outlets to ensure that drips to not enter the opening. Label each so you know where they go at the end of the project. If you have sconces or hanging lights, wrap or cover these so that they will not be damaged by drips or drops.

Repair

Inspect your walls and ceiling. Does it have holes, dents, stains, or other blemishes that need to be repaired? Fill holes and cracks with putty, find the cause of stains and cover with stain-resistant primer, and sand down uneven areas. Be sure to be complete this step before you start painting. Any imperfections will show up depending upon the level of sheen you use in the paint. In addition to holes, cracks, and stains, consider caulking the space between the trim and the walls. This will make for a nice clean look.

Clean

Wash down the surfaces of the room with mild soap and water. This will rid the corners and surfaces of dirt, grime, and spider webs that have built up over the years. Allow for everything to completely dry before you begin priming.

Gather Supplies

Once the room is cleaned and repaired, it is a good idea to gather all the supplies in one spot. This will ensure that you have everything you need. Nothing is worse than having to run out to the store when you are midway through a project.

If prepping for painting is not your forte, leave the hard stuff to Jerry Enos Painting. Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to get started on your update today.

Exterior Painting Mistakes to Avoid

Everyone makes mistakes now and then, but to really make a huge mess, paint must be involved! Every summer, we get calls from harried homeowners who valiantly attempted to DIY by painting the exterior of their home. Usually, those calls are to fix mistakes or redo sections that did not come out aesthetically pleasing as hoped. Sometimes, the mistakes take a little repair and rehab. If you think that DIY is the way to go for your home’s exterior paint job, then avoid these common exterior painting mistakes.

 

  • Enlisting the Help of Novices – While it may seem like a fun activity to invite friends, family, and children to help paint the house, we do not suggest it! Sure, it would be great to have an extra set of hands or two but avoid asking for help from someone who has no investment in your home, and certainly someone who has never prepped and painted before.
  • Skipping the Cleaning and Prepping Step – Many homeowners find that, after they painted, the paint seems to be coming off quickly or not covering well. It is possible, if you did not clean and prep the wood, that the paint is having a hard time adhering to the dirty surface. Always clean the surface and scrape the wood to be sure all peeling, bubbles, and cracks are dealt with before you even pick up a paint brush. This includes caulking windows, sanding and filling holes, and repairing any wood that is damaged.
  • Using the Ladder Properly – For your safety, always place and use a ladder properly. This includes having pets and children away from the area in case they bump into the ladder, and always have an assistant at the bottom holding the ladder by the base. Another safety guideline is to not reach when painting, as that can easily lead to tipping and falling.
  • Forgetting to Check the Weather – Many homeowners jump at the chance to paint on a weekend, but be sure to check the weather for the next coming days as well. Avoid painting when rain or high humidity is in the forecast for the next 72 hours or longer. It may mean waiting, but it can save you the hassle of having to repaint an area.

 

Are you looking to avoid all the typical mistakes that can come with painting the exterior of your home? Call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to find out more about our attention to detail, cleaning, prepping, and professional painting when it comes to your most valuable asset – your home.

 

Common Questions about Painting

As painters for the last three decades, we often get asked some common questions about paint and the painting process. Here are a few of them for your research before you choose the professional you plan to work with. If you have more specific questions regarding your home please call Jerry Enos Painting at 978-546-6843, or visit our website to find out more.

 

  • What type of paint do you use and why? We primarily use Benjamin Moore Paints due to the high quality of their paints.

 

  • Do you offer environmentally friendly paints? Most paints now have low VOCs but we can certainly use non-VOC paint or paints with low odor. Talk to us and we can take care of your concerns.

 

  • How long should my exterior paint job last? There are many factors that determine how long the paint lasts including preparation of the surface, quality of the surface, quality of the wood, and environmental factors such as location and access to direct sunlight. We would be able to assess this better after viewing your home and the environment surrounding your home.

 

  • What are the different kinds of paint finishes, and how do I select them for each room? There are several choices for paint sheen, although different brands call them different things. In general there is high-gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, and flat. We can help you decide which may be better for high traffic areas or areas that see more moisture like kitchens and bathrooms.

 

  • How do I choose a color for either inside or outside my home? At Jerry Enos Painting we offer a color consultant that you can work with to determine what color palette would be best for your home.

 

  • Is there any way to increase the life of the paint on my interior walls? We suggest regular cleaning with soap and water, or even just a damp cloth that can quickly wipe away grease, grime, and unsightly smudges, especially around light switches.

 

Painting Ideas for your Workplace

When a visitor walks into a home, they immediately get a feel for the owner’s personality, style and what they value. Likewise, when a client walks into a business they glean that same information by the decor, color palette and accent features. Workspaces can tell clients quite a bit about the brand and company by looking at things like whether the furnishings are contemporary or traditional, whether the color scheme conveys a positive image of the business and, overall, whether the environment is warm and cozy or more like the fluorescent lit commercial spaces of the past several decades. In this modern day and age, industry leading companies are embracing the fact that color, furnishings and amenities can greatly improve your commercial space environment both for clients and employees.

 

A well branded space is an effective way to consistently communicate valuable information about a company to existing and potential customers. When you brand your space, it helps to educate visitors about your products and services in an engaging environment, without being obtrusive. Here are some suggestions to have your walls and workplace environment start telling the story about your company and your brand:

 

  • Choose Brand Colors – When painting your office choose colors that not only represent your service and product but also reflect your specific brand. If the hues of your brand are not conducive with painting an entire office, then choose an accent wall or accent items.
  • Create a Timeline Wall or Wall of Values – Use your branded color palette as a background for a wall that displays the history of your company with images, awards, or a timeline of the company’s history. This personal touch will allow clients to see your values. Some companies use words such as integrity, innovation and/or teamwork as decoration to showcase the brand image.
  • Create a Space that Reflects your Brand Values – If you want to portray your workplace as warm and inviting then arrange an entry area, waiting room and employee workspace that represents that. Choose comfy chairs, an open work area instead of cubicles, or possibly a community area that encourages teamwork or communication.
  • Create a Mural or Design – Striking images or designs in a commercial environment not only creates a stimulating environment, but it helps improve morale, company identity and branding. It has the power to enhance a person’s experience with your brand.