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DIY Painting Made Easy

Maintaining your home and garden can seem like an endless task. It seems there’s always something that needs taking care of.

Painting is one job that keeps on cropping up and it’s a smart move to learn how to take care of this yourself.

Not only can painting be very relaxing and therapeutic, you won’t need the expense of hiring professionals every time you want to refresh some walls.

DIY painting home

We’ll give you some handy tips today on DIY painting. There’s no need to run out and spend a fortune on a good paint sprayer. All you really need are some good brushes and a little time.

So…

First thing’s first, preparation is key when it comes to painting.

Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail

You need just a few basics for paint prep:

  • Damp cloth
  • Filler/spackle
  • Putty knife
  • Wood putty
  • Paintable caulk
  • Fine-grit sandpaper

Check for any cracked and peeling paint. Sand this area smooth.

Use filler to cover any imperfections and to fill any holes. After it’s dry, sand these patches lightly.

Paint does not mix well with dirty walls. Clean them thoroughly before you get started. Use a damp cloth and be sure to get rid of any dust on the tops of doors or along the baseboards.

Apply some paintable caulk to any gaps in between the trim and the doors. Wood putty is great for any divots. Again, let this dry then sand until nicely smooth.

Primers help to mask stains or darker areas. Using primer will also ensure that your paint job lasts longer. If you are painting any exposed woodwork, primer is essential.

Make sure you stir your paint vigorously. It’s not a good idea to paint straight from the can. If you are using a roller, decant some paint into the tray. When you are using a brush, think about using a small bowl. You can hold it and the can will not be plagued by the impurities and dust particles you pick up as you work.

Invest in some painter’s tape – usually green or blue – and lay down short strips that overlap slightly. This helps you to cut in without making a mess.

What Painting Tools Do You Need?

If you are looking to refresh your room with a coat of paint, you’ll need to assemble some simple tools.

  • Paint
  • Tool to open can
  • Stick for stirring
  • Angled paintbrush
  • Small bowl for decanting paint into
  • Roller and tray
  • Extension pole for high ceilings if using roller
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth to protect your floor as you paint

It really is as simple as that. You don’t need any fancy, expensive gadgets to get great results with a can of paint.

Think about getting yourself a decent multi-tool. This comes into its own for opening the can rather than damaging your screwdrivers. You can also open up any cracks in the walls that need repairing, spread your filler, scrape away any peeling paint or clean off your roller.

Investing in some good quality, 2.5-inch angled brushes is money very well spent. You might also want a 2-inch sash brush for dealing with windows.

Choosing The Right Paint

Paints are available in a range of finishes. Make sure you get paint that works well in the room and will be fit for purpose.

Types of Paint

  • Gloss: Extremely durable
  • Semi-Gloss: Great for painting trim
  • Flat: Hides imperfections nicely
  • Eggshell: Works well in kitchens and bathrooms

Water-based paint is generally a better choice than oil-based. There are less fumes, it dries out very rapidly and you can clean it up with water.

Color

Paint color

Muted colors are a nice alternative to primary or pure colors. These are achieved by tinting with brown or gray.

Take your time choosing and look at plenty of samples. You want to make certain that you’re happy with the color before committing yourself. Choosing your paint color is something to take care of toward the end of the decorating process so time is on your side. Use it wisely.

Some Handy Hints For Effective Painting

Painters and decorators amass a wide range of techniques to make life easier.

Here are a few ideas so that you can do the same and paint without giving yourself a headache.

  • Remember that using painter’s tape is optional. If you have a steady hand and an angled brush, you might be able to do without
  • Paint from dry to wet in order to lessen the appearance of brush marks
  • Use just the right amount of paint. If you’re heavy-handed, you’ll cause a mess. Use too little and you’ll get a poor, patchy finish. Practice until this feels natural
  • Always keep a wet edge
  • A great way to paint a room is to cut in first with a brush. With the tricky part done, you can switch to a roller and pick up the pace
  • Before painting, wet your brush then blot it thoroughly. This helps to stop the paint creeping up into the metal part of the brush
  • Use long and continuous strokes when you are painting for a smooth, even finish
  • If you are using a roller, try to cover sections about 3 feet wide. Keep a wet edge and move from dry to wet as with a brush
  • Allow the paint to dry out completely between coats
  • Always go for a second coat. Even if it looks OK after a single coat, a second will enhance the finish considerably. You may even need more coats if you are working with darker colors

Cleaning Up

Once you are finished painting, it’s time to restore order.

  • Use a damp cloth to wipe away any paint drips
  • Remove all the painter’s tape as soon as your paint has dried
  • Clean your brush every hour as you are painting and then clean it thoroughly once you’ve finished up. Smooth it into shape nicely and let it dry naturally

Wrap-Up

We hope you can see from these simple tips that painting is not really so difficult and can be very rewarding.

Give it a go and see how you get on!

HOW DO HUMIDIFIERS WORK?

pic Dolapo Falola

(Photo credits to Flickr User Dolapo Falola)
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During colder months of the year, the air tends to get drier. This can cause a lot of issues for your comfort as well as for the longevity of your home.

Humidifiers are often said to help out with these issues, but have you ever wondered exactly how a humidifier actually helps during the winter? Here you can learn about what a humidifier does and how it accomplishes its purpose.


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WHAT IS RELATIVE HUMIDITY?

When we talk about how humid the air is in a home, we are referring to the relative humidity levels. These levels are relative to the temperature of the air which can hold different amounts of vaporized water depending on its temperature.

Air that is warmer can hold a lot more water than air that is colder. Higher relative humidity levels lead the air to feel warmer while low levels make it feel colder and drier. This is because water evaporates off of your skin at a higher rate when the humidity is low than it does when the humidity is high. This causes you to feel either warmer or colder based on the humidity. 70 degrees Fahrenheit will feel hotter when the relative humidity is high and colder when the relative humidity is low.

WHY DO HUMIDIFIERS HELP?

The entire purpose of a humidifier is to increase the relative humidity levels in your home.

Low humidity means that your skin will dry out and become uncomfortable. You may experience more coughing and sneezing than usual, your eyes may water excessively and any wood in your house might start to creak due to drying out. Increasing the humidity levels in your home will assist in solving all of these problems and help you feel warmer while also allowing you to keep the energy bill down.

 TYPES OF HUMIDIFIERS

How can you adjust the relative humidity in your home to make yourself more comfortable? Getting a whole house or individual room humidifier is a great solution!

These are the types of humidifiers and how they work:

  • Evaporative

As the most common type of humidifier, evaporative humidifiers have a water tank, a basin, a wick filter and a fan as part of their design. Water slowly fills the basin, soaks up into the wicking filter and is blown out into the air by the fan. When the fan blows air through the wet filter, the air picks up moisture and carries it out into the house. This method requires no heat at all.

  • Steam

Steam humidifiers operate by applying heat to a basin of water. The air will evaporate out as steam and spread around the room. One advantage to this type is that you will have no issues with bacterial growth or stagnant water. Unfortunately, it is not as safe as the others because it requires heat.

  • Impelling

An impeller humidifier takes water from a smaller basin and uses a spinning disc to throw the water out into a diffuser. The larger water particles will hit the diffuser and be broken up into smaller particles that will spread out across the room in the air. Moisture comes out of this humidifier as a cold mist.

  • Ultrasonic

Using ultrasonic technology, some humidifiers work by placing an ultrasonic vibrating diaphragm into the water basin and creating droplets of water in this way. These types have the advantage of being nearly silent and also of producing a cold mist rather than hot steam.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT HUMIDIFIER

Pic Jim Trottier

(Photo credits to Flickr User Dolapo Falola)

The smartest choice of humidifier for you to get is the one that best suits the needs of your particular home. If you have children, you may want to avoid steam humidifiers. If you want a low energy humidifier, choose something like the impeller or steam systems. Those looking for self-regulation should get an evaporative system.

These are just a few of the considerations you should make to find out what it best for you and for your family home in general.

HOW TO HUMIDIFY A ROOM

When your home has low levels of relative humidity, you are likely to experience the discomfort that comes from dry air. Putting moisture back into the air in your house combats these negative effects and helps you to be healthier and to feel more comfortable in your own home again.

All it takes to add moisture to the air is some sort of humidity system. You don’t need to have a machine or a device do it for you and there are some natural ways to increase humidity levels in your house. That being said, some humidifying machines are much more efficient than other natural methods. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you have a lot of options:

ξ METHODS OF HUMIDIFYING

 

  1. Get a freestanding or tabletop humidifier

These humidifier types can be used for single rooms or larger spaces in your home. They usually have a water basin of some sort, either small or large depending on the machine, and they are connected to whatever apparatus makes the humidity. Almost all humidifiers will use electricity.

This is one of the best ways to get a sizeable amount of moisture back into the air in a shorter period of time. Humidifiers are consistent and effective when filled and maintained properly.

  1. Invest in whole-house humidity systems

Just like a freestanding unit, a whole-house humidifier is an electricity-powered machine that operates in one of four ways to spread humidity around your home. The difference is that whole- house humidifiers work in conjunction with your furnace or air conditioner to spread the humid air around your entireresidence by way of the ventilation system.

  1. Boiling water or cooking

Boiling water puts humidity back into the air by creating steam. Steam will spread around the house and create higher humidity levels. Your everyday cooking can also increase humidity although if you are already cooking daily and the levels are still low you may need to do more than just that.

  1. Let steam escape from the shower

Showering is a good way to create extra humidity quickly. You can either run the shower for a few minutes with the bathroom doors open or crack the door ajar just a bit while you are actually getting ready for the day. This will help to give a quick burst of humidity into your home while also keeping the bathroom from getting too moist.

  1. Wet down the curtains

It might sound strange, but if you open up your windows and spray your curtains with water you can attract more humidity into your house. Try not to soak them too much, but a damp curtain with wind blowing through it acts similarly to a humidifier that operates with a fan and a water-wicking filter. As the air blows through the curtain, it picks up water particles and spreads them around to increase humidity levels.

  1. Keep a fish tank or potted plant

Both fish tanks and potted plants automatically cause your humidity levels to increase in the rooms they are in. Fish tanks may product more humidity depending on their size but potted plants are also a great source for improving the ambience of your home.

  1. Place a water vessel near the heat source

If you heat your home with a wood stove, central furnace, space heater, (or anything else that is not hooked up directly to the ventilation system) then you may want to consider putting a container with water near to the heat source. This will automatically cause evaporation and will help to compensate for the dry air that radiates from the heater.

WHAT’S YOUR BEST OPTION?

Using humidifiers is one of the most effective approaches but they do require some energy usage. However, you can find very energy-efficient models whichcan bring great benefits to your home without actually taking away much energy!

PLACING A HUMIDIFIER IN YOUR BABY’S ROOM

It can be highly beneficial for your baby to sleep with a humidifier in their room.

Just as these devices help you to keep your skin well moisturized, the help your nasal passages and your airway stay properly humid, and to allow you to breath more easily and comfortably at night, your baby is likely to experience all of these benefits as well.

breath-of-fresh-air

Once you have decided to put a humidifier in your baby’s nursery room, the next question ¿ many parents ask is how close the humidifier should be to the baby?  Is it safe to have it close to the baby’s bed? Is it effective to have it across the room? There are a few things to consider when answering the question of where to place a humidifier in your baby’s room:

humidifierirl

Does your humidifier emit cool mist, warm mist, or hot steam?

Generally warm mist humidifiers will not affect your baby much, but cold mist may reduce the air temperature just slightly around the area the mist is released. Hot steam, on the other hand, can be dangerously warm if it touches your babies skin. For this reason, it’s best to place cool mist or steam humidifiers farther away from your baby’s bed.

This applies to freestanding humidifiers as well as tabletop humidifiers, seeing as both produce steam or mist that will be likely to reach the level of your sleeping child in their crib or bed.

babyiconSome children are much more relaxed while others are highly adventurous. If you have a child that loves to climb around, explore, and play with everything they can reach than you will need to ensure you have a tabletop humidifier that is far beyond their reach. It is not safe to have a humidifier where your child can play with it, as there are usually many moving parts, some heating elements (with steam humidifiers), and other pieces th;’at might harm your baby.

Freestanding humidifiers and lower tabletop humidifiers are appropriate if your baby is less likely to play with the machinery. Safety is a top priority, which is why you need to make sure you have an appropriate space somewhere in the child’s room to make things easier for yourself.

PLAN OUT IDEAL LOCATIONS BASED ON YOUR CHILD

(Photo credits to Flickr user Easement)

FOLLOW THE MOISTURE

You can see a cloud of mist or steam coming out from your humidifier. Where does this moisture cloud end up? If you can still feel the moisture enough to get droplets on your hands or a wet feeling on your hand anywhere near the baby’s crib or bed than you are have probably placed the humidifier too close.

It’s not a good idea to have your child getting wet during the night, as this might cause health problems for them. Don’t allow the actual moisture cloud from the humidifier to be touching your child, as this is unnecessary for them to experience the positive effects. Even if you have the device at the opposite end of the room, your baby will still be able to breathe in the wonderfully humidified air.

SAFE HUMIDIFIER LOCATIONS FOR BABY’S ROOMS

No one place in a baby’s room is ideal for all parents. The best advice you can get is to avoid having the moisture cloud falling too close to the child, to keep the device out of reach of babies, and to think about how your specific device needs to be set up.

Some families choose to get whole house humidifiers to make everything simpler and spread the benefits of humid air around every room rather than just the baby’s room.

DO HUMIDITY LEVELS AFFECT YOUR ALLERGIES?

Humidity can have a large impact on those who suffer from different kinds of allergies.

Most allergies cause your nasal passages to swell and produce excess mucus as your allergen is breathed in. They may also cause irritation in the throat, watery eyes, dry or itchy skin as well as many other unpleasant symptoms.

Your actual allergies will not be badly affected by the level of the humidity in the air. However, the way your body prepares for allergy attacks and how it responds to them as they come can be adversely influenced by the concentration of humidity. Your nasal passage, sinuses, throat, skin and eyes will react poorly to allergens when they are already dry and irritable. If you can keep these parts of your body well moisturized and hydrated, you stand a better chance of being far less miserable during periods of allergy reaction.

HOW CAN A HUMIDIFIER HELP YOUR ALLERGIES?

allergy-icon

Humidifiers, by their very nature, add moisture to the air to increase the relative humidity levels. This can be accomplished in several different ways, all of which have roughly the same end result. No matter what type of humidifier you get for your home, it can help you to be more comfortable and suffer less from your allergic reactions than you normally would have.

It’s important to note that if you don’t maintain your humidifier well or if you allow your home to get too moist in the wrong places you may increase the risk of bacterial growth or mold, both of which can add to your allergy problems and make them worse. Read the considerations at the end of this article for some tips on how to avoid these issues.

BENEFITS OF HUMIDIFIERS FOR ALLERGY SUFFERERS 

While you may only see a few true benefits of using a humidifier, they are excellent advantages that quite simply shouldn’t be ignored if you suffer from allergies!

Here are a few of the things you can expect if you choose to start using a humidifier in your own home during allergy seasons:

  1. Better breathing

Dry air makes it harder to breath well, especially as you sleep. You are more prone to coughing or sneezing if the air is dry since the lack of moisture can dry out your body. A humidifier will help to solve this issue and will make breathing easier and more comfortable for you, particularly during the night as you sleep.

  1. Less itching

Allergies can sometimes cause a feeling of itchiness all over your body and dry skin only makes this problem worse. By keeping your skin moisturized and healthy you will help to avoid discomfort caused by itchiness.

  1. Increased nasal and throat comfort

Sore, dry throats and a dry nose are common problems with low humidity levels. This will make you even more miserable if you also suffer from allergies. Humidifiers will increase the humidity and give you greater relief.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

  • Self-regulation

Some humidifiers are able to manage the humidity levels in your home more easily than others without adjustment. For instance, evaporative humidifiers will produce more humidity when the air is drier and less when it is more humid helping to maintain proper levels of humidity. Better regulation leads to fewer worries about mold or mildew as time goes on.

  • Humidifier type

Each different type of humidifier works in a slightly different way. Choose the type which will best work for your requirements and the needs of your household to make you all comfortable against allergies.

  • Anti-bacterial systems

Improper maintenance or poor humidifier choices can lead to bacterial growth in the water making things even worse if you breathe in that bacteria when you are breathing your humidified air. Many systems can combat this bacterial growth with ultra-violet lights or heat depending on the type.

So, humidity levels and allergies are linked but take the sensible precautions above and think about the many benefits from purchasing a humidifier.

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