Friday, August 3, 2012


Well here we are again, another Friday!!  I don't know if this is going to be a regular Friday thing or not, this Sage Advice, but I thought why not do another one today.  So here goes:

1. USE A REALLY GOOD PRIMER:   This is one product you do not want to screw up or mess around with.  If you cannot have a great base then everything else you do will be for NOTHING!!  One of my favourite primers I use is Zinnser BIN SHELLAC based primer.  Now some of you may be wondering.... Shellac based primer??  Well, yes!!  This primer is especially great if you are in need of a primer over fresh unpainted wood.  For one thing it will NOT raise the grain of the fresh wood like a water based primer will.  That can be very annoying.  The other thing with Shellac based primer is that it helps to seal wood, especially pine.  Pine can have a lot of resin in it.  If it is not sealed properly that resin will show through as the spirals or the grain of the wood.  It will actually look yellow through your paint.
Another great feature about Shellac based Primer is that it will "stick" to just about anything.  It really is that good.  But as always, make sure that the surface you are priming has been properly prepared.  I know that is a royal pain, but what is more of a pain is when your paint fails!!  One last thing about Shellac based primer.....  in order to clean your brush you will need and I mean absolutely need is Denatured Alcohol.  This can be bought at any big box store in the paint section.  If you try to clean you brush with water all you will have is a GIANT MESS.  I am serious.  It will completely gunk up your brush.  Take a small container like a margarine container and add about an inch or so of the Denatured Alcohol.  Press you brush into it about a dozen times.  Pour the used alcohol into a separate container.  Repeat the process a few times until the brush is clean.  You will have to dispose of the used Denatured Alcohol in a responsible way.  I usually keep the used alcohol for awhile and use it multiple times for my first "washing".  But I eventually do get rid of it.  Just make sure you use clean Denatured after the first brush soaking there on out till the brush is clean.

2.HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS OF A RENO/BACK UP PLAN:  When dealing with clients, friends or family, it feels like 90% of what I do is manage expectations.  You almost feel like a Psychiatrist!  Seriously!  I have also been in a position of doing renos myself so I know how stressful they can be.  I CANNOT over stress this.....BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING!  BECAUSE ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WILL AND CAN HAPPEN!  Life happens people.  The best laid plans go awry. The tile you ordered gets shipped, but the warehouse shipped the wrong tile.  The cabinets you ordered are stuck on a truck in customs, the electrician you have is in the hospital for a week.  I am serious, this stuff happens all the time.  What you have to remember is.... BREATH!!  Almost everything, 99% of the time can be fixed, solved or taken care of.  Just have faith, just stay calm and it will work out.  At least that is how I try to approach everything.  I don't care who you are, whether you are a huge designer or a weekend warrior DIY'er, how you handle everything, well, that's how you show what you are made of.  So be prepared.  If you are doing a kitchen reno, be prepared for a long haul.  It is one of the most disruptive renos you can do.  Well it is if you actually cook!!
The only problem is when  you run into incompetence.  Unfortunately there isn't a lot one can do for that except try to work through the problem without completely losing your mind- Been there, done that and got the rotten t-shirt courtesy of a horrible contractor!!

And if all turns out then maybe you will be lucky enough to have something as lovely as this!

3.  KEEP CLEAN WITH CLEAN AND DIRTY WITH DIRTY!  Got your attention??  When it comes to colours -  if you choose a clean colour to paint your walls just make sure that the other colours you pick as accents are clean as well.  The same goes for dirty or muted colours.  For ease in picking these colours you can either get someone like me to help :)  or you can use a fan deck, not just paint chips in the store.  In my fan decks the colour groups are broken down into clean, neutral, muted etc.....  If you are going to pick colours stay in the same family.  If you are unsure when you choose your paint chips, ask the sales associate, they should be able to confirm your colour choices.  This is such an easy thing to screw up and then people wonder why something is slightly off in their room.

Hollingsworth Green HC-141 Benjamin Moore

Woodlawn Blue HC-147 Benjamin Moore

These two lovely colours are examples of two muted colours that look great together.

Mantis Green 1033-60 Benjamin Moore

Serenity 2055-60 Benjamin Moore

As you can see these two clean colours look really nice together.

4.  BUYING 700 THREAD CT SHEETS IN A DISCOUNT STORE IS CRAP!  Sorry I am being a bit harsh on this one.  When you buy Sheets in Home Goods, Home Sense, Target, or Walmart for example you are NOT getting what you think you are getting if you buy so called 700ct sheets.  Manufacturers cheat and say they are 700ct. when in fact they are a 2 ply thread and are actually 350ct!!  Cheaters!!  But does this matter in the long run?  Well only in so much as you think you are buying some luxury set of sheets when you are not.  What is more important is the quality of the fibre that the threads are made of.  Only you can say what you like when it comes to sheets.  I say to buy the best quality you can for the money you can afford.  Anything around 300ct with  a quality thread is perfectly fine.  My personal favourite sheets that I have ever bought have been Ralph Lauren sheets.  Are they 600ct? NO!  But they are made with a decent quality thread and THAT makes all the difference to me.  When buying sheets if you can buy Egyptian, Pima or Sea Island then it is probably a decent quality.  I just don't want you to be fooled when you have bought those 700ct. sheets from a big box store and aren't really getting what you think.  I really hate it when Manufacturers throw out numbers to impress but can't really back it up.  For more info on sheets go to here.

I had these sheets forever and only changed them when I was redecorating.  I donated them to Value Village.  They were over 10 years old and were still great and had more life left in them!  My current ones- Tate Stripe by Ralph Lauren are awesome as well.  I hope they last as well as my last ones did.

5.  A GREAT WAY TO CLEAN YOUR PAINT BRUSH:  The best way to clean a brush is to definitely clean it right away as soon as you are finished painting.  I then take them to the utility sink and I use liquid laundry detergent to clean it.  If I have the Paint Roller Pan I fill it with water (another container would work fine if you didn't us the roller tray), then add a good dollop of soar.  Yes, yes I know that is so precise!  I then swish my bush around in the soapy water.  Not only does this get the tray clean (if you used one) but helps to really get all the soapy water into the deeper parts of the brush.  NEVER jamb your brush up and down this will definitely ruin it.  Then rinse it under the tap until it is clean. While I am rinsing I open up the bristles to help flush out the paint.  Shake all the excess water and then HANG the brush to dry.  Not only will this help dry the brush quicker but it will help to preserve the bristles better. Never leave a brush with the bristles sitting on a surface when the bristles are wet.
When I am in between coats I wrap my brush in plastic to preserve it.  If I have to leave my roller for awhile I will wrap it in a 4 litre milk bag(for those of us here in Canada).  We always have loads of those lying around.  For those of you elsewhere use Saran Wrap or use a plastic grocery bag.  This way the roller will stay soft and be ready for you to go.  If you have to leave it till the next day, I usually pop it in the freezer.  Someone told me to do that once years ago.  I have always done it since.  Never, ever had an issue.  The only thing is you have to take it out in plenty of time to paint.  I have been caught with this one once or twice so be warned.  But it is a great trick that works.

Hope you all have a great weekend everyone.


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