Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wood Fence Maintenance

With spring approaching, it is a good time to start thinking about
home maintenance and repair. While there are many things on the to do list, one item that is often neglected is your wood fence which should have a yearly maintenance schedule. This maintenance is very important to prolonging the life and beauty of your wood fence. Ignore it and your fence will crack, peel and twist to the point where replacement of some if not all of it’s components becomes necessary. A few replacement boards may not be a huge expense, but when it becomes necessary to replace boards, rails and posts, this can become quite costly. In some cases, the entire fence may have to be torn down and re-built. But with proper care, these expenses can be avoided. The following is a quick yearly checklist that will help your fence last for many years:

  1. Moisture is your fence’s biggest enemy.
     A. Redirect any water from your sprinkler system away from your fence, even if it            
           means relocation of your sprinkler heads. Sprinklers should be directed away
           from your fence in the same way that they should be directed away from your
           house. This initial cost will save you a bundle by avoiding future costs.
      B. Remove all grass and weeds that come in contact with any part of your fence.
          These can hold moisture against your fence causing mold and mildew and
          eventually the wood will begin to deteriorate.
          A good weed-eater can be your best friend.
  1. Inspect for loose boards. Replace and re-nail as needed.
  2. Tighten all loose bolts and screws. Pay special attention to gate hardware. It gets the most use.
  3. Finally, clean all surfaces. Remove loose paint with a wire brush or pressure washer. Make sure all surfaces have dried and re-seal, re-stain, or re-paint. There are many good products available. Check with your local hardware store.

    If you do find it necessary to replace portions of your wood fence, consider first replacing the posts with galvanized metal. There are many types of post brackets available that make it easy to attach the wood fence and you won’t ever have to worry again about wood fence posts rotting and eventually breaking. Another advantage of metal fence posts is not having to worry about damage caused by a weed eater.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Applying the Paint

Now You Can Paint

Believe it or not the hard part is already done. The pre-paint preparation is usually very tedious. But before you start painting, check the room one more time. Are the drop cloths in place? Do the wall patches look good? Open the window slightly for ventilation but not too much for dust to blow in. Stir the paint thoroughly. One can at a time is OK now that you have already batched all of your paint. Run your roller cover over the tape on the door one more time. Place a pan liner in the tray and pour in some paint.
Apply the paint. There are different methods in the way a room is painted. Whether you are using different colors for the ceiling and walls or the same color for both, it is best to paint the ceiling first. That way you won’t have to worry about the paint that drips and splatters on the walls since the walls are going to be painted last. However, make sure that any large drips are wiped down before they dry to prevent bumps. Many painters like to cut in i.e. brush painting angles, corners, window returns, around door casings, and baseboards after rolling the walls and ceilings. I find it better to do all of the cut in before rolling except for the baseboard because the drop clothes are in the way. Using a brush, paint a line about 2” –3” wide at all of the cut in areas before you start rolling. If using different colors, complete the ceiling first and then proceed to the walls. Roll in the shape of a big W making sure to overlap all of your strokes. Roll slightly into your cut lines. Keep plenty of paint on your roller. Not so much that it drips but enough so that you don’t see roller marks. Check the quality of your paint job as you go. Don’t wait until you are finished to decide that you have made mistakes. Although you are having fun, you don’t want to do it twice. When you are finished with the ceilings and walls, pull the drop cloths back. Either tape down the edge of the carpet at the baseboard or use a shield. Now paint the baseboard. If using a shield, wipe it each time it is moved so wet paint isn’t touching the carpet.
After your paint project is complete, wait 24 hours before replacing wall hangings, plug and switch plates, heat registers and smoke detectors. The paint is still soft and you would hate to ruin a beautiful job.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Re-painting Project

One Step Paint and Primer -

The new all in one primers and paints are advertised to cover in one coat but do they really? While the new formulas are definitely far superior to the ones that we are accustomed to (You know – the paints that take anywhere from 2-4 coats to cover), they don’t always cover as advertised. But there are several ways to increase your chances of a successful paint job that will cover in one coat.

Be prepared before you get started:
Here are some ideas.
1. Purchase all of your supplies first. The convenience of ordering painting supplies online has never been easier. Paint (about 1 gallon for each 300 square feet of wall and ceiling space), 5 gallon plastic bucket, 6 foot fiberglass ladder (very light), brushes, roller frame and covers, pans and liners, blue painter’s tape and masking paper, shield/edger, drop cloths, putty knife, spackle, caulking and caulking gun, cleanser and a sponge along with any other supplies you may need can be found at your favorite discount paint supply store. 
2. Move everything to the center of the room. Less interference means a
    smoother application.
3. Cover all flooring and furniture with heavy duty drop cloths. They may seem
    expensive at first but they will last forever and you will be ready for the next

4. Clean all surfaces to be painted with a sponge and mild cleanser.  
5. Remove all plug and switch plates and tape off the plugs and switches.
    Remove heat registers and smoke detector.

6. Remove all wall hangings. If you intend to re-hang in the exact same place,
    leave the hooks, nails and hangers in place. This way you won’t have to guess
    where they were. It will also save you a lot of extra time not having to re-level.

7. Spackle all dents and holes as needed. Always keep your patch as small as
    possible to avoid the need  to sand or re-texture the patched areas. You can
    do this by first applying the spackle to cover the defect and then wiping the
    excess around the patch with your thumb or finger.

8. Caulk all cracks in corners of walls, ceilings and window returns, and at
    baseboards and door casings. Wipe down caulking with a wet sponge.
9. Next, if you purchased your paint in 1 gallon cans, you must batch it to insure
    that all of your paint will match no matter when you decide to use it. This is
    very important for any touch up that you might want to do at a later date. To do
    this just pour each gallon together into the 5 gallon bucket and stir well. Then
    pour the 5 gallons back into each 1 gallon can .
10. Place a couple lengths of blue tape (about 12” long, side by side on the door
      of the room you are painting). Now double the tape back over itself so that
      the sticky side is exposed and roll your new roller cover over the tape to
      remove any fuzz that may be loose. Again, a real time saver. Now you don’t     
      have to constantly keep picking out little hairs that get stuck in the paint. Just
      leave it on the door in case you need it again.

In our next post we will have a few tips on applying the paint.

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