<font size="3" color="#990000"><strong>The golden rule of painting: plan ahead</strong></font> <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">(ARA) – From Memorial Day to October is the busiest painting time of the year. Homeowners, apartment dwellers and condo renters get the itch to renovate and repaint while the weather is still pleasant. Especially popular are those rooms where people tend to spend the most time: the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.</span></p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt"><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Often times, however, that itch causes renovators and weekend warriors to hastily begin projects and thus make a colossal painting mistake: not planning out the project.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Consumers who plan their painting projects from start to finish will generally save time and money. With a plan in place, there are fewer opportunities for blunders and mishaps. Consider these basic preparation skills before your next painting project to help ensure everything comes together without a hitch.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><img src="../images/home-painting.jpg" border="0" alt="Home Painting" title="Home Painting" width="425" height="282" /></div>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Timeline</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Yes, painting is relatively quick and painless, but it is not instantaneous. If you start painting at 4 p.m., you’ll be up all night. Before beginning your project, make sure you determine how long each step will take. Allow for appropriate drying time for both primer and actual paint application. If you begin applying paint over wet primer — or a second coat over a wet first coat — you’ll have a big mess on your hands. Best practices call for at least an hour to two hours of drying time for most interior latex paints.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Start from a clean canvas</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Many people simply want to slap the paint up on the walls and they don’t take the time to think about surface preparation. If you paint a new color on top of walls that are already cracked and full of nail holes, the new paint is not going to adhere correctly.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Instead, plan on washing the walls thoroughly and spackling any holes in the drywall before you apply the first coat of primer. A clean surface allows for a more even application and better quality finish. And don’t forget to use primer. Primer allows the paint to better grip the wall surface and thus helps to avoid cracking and peeling.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>End with a clean canvas</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">If you start clean, you’ll end clean. That means you have to prepare for the final cleanup. Always be sure to secure drop cloths and painter’s tape to any area you don’t want covered with tiny little paint flecks. If you make sure to cover any exposed furniture, electronics, appliances and keep small children out of the room, you’ll spend far less time cleaning up after you’ve finished painting.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Up a creek without a brush</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Consumers sometimes forget that the tools they use to paint are just as important as choosing the right paint. A good rule of thumb is to have a multi-use painter’s tool, a sturdy roller frame with multiple roller covers and a few different sized brushes.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Some of the best products on the market are made by Purdy. Purdy tools have been mainstays among professional painters for years, but the company also offers the same quality products for consumers. The new Premium Prep Tool line provides multi-sized painter’s tools and putty knives, all ergonomically designed for comfort and efficiency.<span>  </span>For the earth conscious consumer, Purdy recently released the EcoPro line that offers professional grade durability, and roller covers made from recycled plastic soda bottles.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cheap price means cheap quality</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Although the color of your paint is the most visible aspect, the quality of the paint is much more important. If you choose the cheapest paint available, and then it starts to fall off the wall, it won’t matter what color it is. Some of the best quality paints are those manufactured specifically for durability. RedSeal Porcelain paint from Pratt & Lambert Paints, for example, is designed with actual porcelain beads that bond together to form a film that is basically impenetrable to stains. So, a glass of wine spilled on a kitchen wall, or muddy shoes kicked off in the bathroom won’t leave stains.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Make sure to research your paint selection. If you don’t plan on purchasing good quality paint, plan on a lackluster result and constant touchups.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="282"><param name="movie" value="../images/banners/10b.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="../images/banners/10b.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="282"></embed></object></div>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Color conscious</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">There are a multitude of tools available to help you choose the right color for your space — everything from handheld color chips to poster sized adhesive sheets to actual sample size containers of paint. More importantly, don’t forget to choose colors that will flow from room to room.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Color flow refers to how the colors in each room of your home mesh and blend with each other. Having a deep red dining room buttressed directly against a soft green kitchen with white trim may eventually feel like you’re
living in a Christmas tree. Make sure to stay in the same color family. If you really love browns and reds, then stay in the warm and neutral color family. Don’t paint one room blue (a cool color) and have the very next room a shade or orange (a warm color). It won’t look right.</p>  <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">Courtesy of ARA Content</span></p></span>