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Tag Archive | "color"

Seven secrets to longer life for exterior paint


Thinking of painting your house? Check out these tips from the Paint Quality Institute to help the paint job last longer.

Thinking of painting your house? Check out these tips from the Paint Quality Institute to help the paint job last longer.

Spring House, PA—When it comes to exterior paint, there’s no fountain of youth, but there are ways to add years of life to a new paint job, says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. Here are the secrets:

1. Carefully prepare the surface. Before starting to paint, it’s important to make sure surfaces are clean and sound, free of all dirt, mildew, and loose or peeling paint. Areas with no paint at all—either because they are new, or because the old paint has completely worn off—should be spot-primed.

2. Work in good weather conditions. For long-lasting results, apply exterior coatings on mild days; ideally, when the temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees F, with little or no wind. In these conditions, primer and paint cure” more slowly and form the most protective dry film.

3. Prime the surface. Primer creates a tackier surface to which paint can bond more tightly, thus reducing chances that it will peel or blister. As a bonus, the paint will have more uniform color and sheen. (Alternatively, apply two or more coats of one of the new paint and primer products.)

4. Use top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint. This type of paint is much more durable than ordinary house paint. It has more flexibility, better adhesion for more resistance to peeling and flaking, and superior color retention. When applied to a properly prepared surface, top quality 100 percent acrylic paints can last 10 years or more, compared to about four years for lower quality paint.

5. Be careful with color choice. According to Zimmer, earthtones tend to retain their color, while other hues, such as bright blue and bright red, will fade more quickly. Ask the counterperson how your preferred hues will fare over time, and choose your color scheme accordingly.

6. Apply thicker coats. The thicker the dry paint film, the more protection you’ll get. So, apply paint liberally, and never thin it with water. Paints are formulated to be used as-is in order to provide the longest-lasting protection.

7. Add one extra coat of paint. This will further thicken the dry paint film, which will enable your home to better withstand whatever nature throws your way. It’s a smart move that may very well add a couple of additional years to the life of your paint job.

For more expert advice on exterior painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com.

Posted in Diggin' Spring, Home and GardenComments (0)

CURB APPEAL from the ground up


Jason Cameron, licensed contractor and TV host, says that color plays an important role in boosting your home’s curb appeal.

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When it’s time to sell your home, you want to do everything you can to make it enticing to potential buyers. One of the most important things you can do is boost your home’s curb appeal.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors says that curb appeal sells 49 percent of all homes. To help you build curb appeal from the ground up, TruGreen and Jason Cameron, licensed contractor and TV host, have teamed up to give you some simple, doable tips to improve your lawn and landscape.

 

Water Right

 

Improper watering can be a big drain on curb appeal. Check the working condition of sprinkler heads and water lines to make sure they’re working properly. To ensure your manual or automated watering system covers the landscape efficiently, set a one-inch deep empty food can in the middle of your lawn so you can measure the depth of water collected each watering cycle. In addition:

• Don’t over water. Watering too much can result in shallow plant roots, weed growth, storm water runoff, and the possibility of disease and fungus development. Give your lawn a slow, steady watering about once a week. Adjust your watering schedule depending on rainfall, as well as your grass and soil type. Trees and shrubs need longer, less frequent watering than plants with shallower roots.

• The best time to water is early morning, between 4 and 7 a.m. This helps reduce evaporation, since the sun is low, winds are usually calmer and temperatures cooler. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that you can lose as much as 30 percent of water to evaporation by watering midday. Always be mindful of local water restrictions.

• Take advantage of rain. Let nature water your landscape as much as possible. Rain barrels are a great way to harvest rain for watering your plants later on – and it saves you money on your water bill, too.

 

Complement With Color

 

Create an instant pop of color to help your home’s curb appeal bloom this spring. Consider your home’s exterior when selecting flowering plant combinations for plant beds, window boxes or front porch planters. With a white house, any color combination will work well. With a yellow house, red or pink blooms tend to complement best.

Here are some other colorful tips to keep in mind:

• For a calming effect, use cooler colors like blue, green and purple. They blend into the landscape for a peaceful look.

• Bold colors add excitement to the landscape. Warm yellows, oranges and reds make the garden lively. Yellow reflects more light than other colors, so yellow flowers will get noticed first.

• To brighten up a dark or shady corner, use pale colors, like pastel pinks and yellows.

• Not all color needs to come from flowers. Foliage can be a great landscape enhancer, so look for colorful grasses and plants like silvery lamb’s ear, variegated hostas, and Japanese painted ferns.

 

Grass vs. Weeds

 

Weeds are plants growing where you do not want them to grow. They can be unsightly in both your lawn and landscape beds.

Grassy weeds can be subdivided into annual and perennial grasses. Annual grassy weeds, such as crabgrass and annual bluegrass, are generally easier to control than perennial grassy weeds like dallisgrass and bentgrass. Left uncontrolled from seed, crabgrass alone can choke out desired turfgrasses and develop ugly seed heads in the summer and fall that lay the groundwork for next season’s crop.

No matter what your weed problems are, a lawn care approach that works in one region of the country doesn’t necessarily work the same in another area.

According to Ben Hamza, Ph.D., TruGreen expert and director of technical operations, TruGreen will design a custom plan to provide your yard exactly what it needs to give your lawn the right start.

“We offer customized lawn care designed specifically to meet your lawn’s needs throughout the year based on climate, grass type, soil condition and usage. And we back it up with our Healthy Lawn Guarantee,” Hamza said.

 

To get more tips, and to watch Jason Cameron in seasonal webisodes on curb appeal on behalf of TruGreen, visit www.TruGreen.com.

 

3 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal for Under $100

 

Want to add curb appeal, but don’t have much money to spend? Here are some simple things you can do for under $100.

• Clean up the yard. Put away unused items, like lawn furniture. Clear leaves and branches out from under shrubs, other plants, and the house foundation. Make sure the lawn is free from debris and that grass clippings are not left on the driveway or sidewalk. Borrow or rent a power washer to clean off the driveway, steps, sidewalk and porch.

• Trim, prune and divide. Overgrown plants can block light from getting inside the house, and they make the house and yard look unkempt. Trim shrubs, making sure to remove dead branches. Get rid of dead or diseased plants in the landscape. If you have perennial plants that have gotten too big, divide them and plant them in other places around the landscape.

• Add new mulch. Mulch not only helps your plants, but it gives garden beds a neat and tidy finish. Wood mulch comes in different colors, but to showcase your plants the most, consider a dark brown mulch – it resembles fresh, healthy soil, so your eyes are drawn toward the plant and not the mulch itself.

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