Sunday, July 18, 2010

Room Painting

Someone sent me this email from the the Paint Quality Institute. I read through it, checked out their website and found that they had tons of great information on painting your house. The article below is strictly about painting a bathroom. I thought it contained some very useful information.

The article covers:

expense, color scheme, colors that make your room look larger, preparation, clean-up, warmth or coolness of colors, types of paint, durability and the "order" in which to paint.


Waking up and walking into a tired-looking bathroom is

a tough way to start the day. . .which may explain why the bathroom is the most

frequently remodeled room in the home, according to recent research by the Paint

Quality Institute.

But in these trying economic times, many families either can’t afford –

or refuse to spend – the thousands of dollars it can cost for a new shower,

vanity, and tile.

What can you do if your bathroom is in need of a makeover, but your

budget won’t allow it? “Think about repainting the room,” suggests Debbie

Zimmer, spokesperson for the Institute. “For less than $100, almost any

bathroom can be refreshed and given an exciting new look.”

The fun part of painting is selecting a color scheme. Most paint retailers

have an abundance of color cards from which to choose. Your job is to pare down

the palette to the ideal color for your bathroom.

Consider whether you want your bathroom to feel warm and cozy or look cool

and sleek. Reds, oranges, and yellows tend to warm up a room, while blues and

greens make it seem cooler.

“Your preference may depend upon where you live,” says Zimmer. “Up

North, where the winters are longer, you might welcome the warm feeling created

by a golden tone, for example; but if you live where the summers are long and

hot, you might prefer a ‘cooler’ color.”

Color can also be used to enhance the perceived size of your bathroom, says

Zimmer: “Many of us wish that our bathrooms were bigger, but aren’t willing to

incur the expense of enlarging the room. Interior painting offers an

inexpensive alternative: Painting the room in a light color will make it seem


While there really is no right or wrong choice when it comes to color, that

cannot be said of the quality of paint you use in your bathroom.

“If you’re on a tight budget, you might be tempted to buy a cheap paint, but

even the best paints are still very affordable,” says Zimmer, “and there really

is no comparison when it comes to performance.”

The Paint Quality Institute recommends that consumers purchase only top

quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint for indoor projects. This type of

paint is more durable and long lasting than ordinary paint. It also is ideal

for use in bathrooms and other damp, humid areas, since it typically contains

special additives to fight off mildew.

Zimmer recommends that consumers use a glossy top quality paint in the

bathroom. “Top quality paint made with 100% acrylic in a high gloss or

semi-gloss finish has especially high mildew resistance. Plus, paints with

higher levels of gloss resist staining and are easier to clean,” she says.

If you’re still hesitant to pay a little more per gallon for a top

quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint, consider: Many of these paints

function as both primer and paint, and they have improved “hiding” capability.

So, you’ll likely need to apply just a single coat of top quality paint, while

you might need two or more with a lesser-quality coating.

Only a small amount of prep work is required before painting a bathroom.

First, clean the walls, ceiling, and woodwork by scrubbing them with a sponge

and mild detergent solution. If mildew is present, it should be removed with a

bleach solution of one part bleach to three parts water. (Note: When using a

bleach solution, or working overhead to clean the ceiling, it’s wise to wear

rubber gloves and safety glasses.)

After cleaning all the surfaces, rinse them off with clean water and

allow them to dry before applying your paint.

If you’re doing a complete makeover of your bathroom by painting every

surface, you should follow some time-honored procedures.

Start by painting your ceiling to help prevent any paint spatter from

marring a just-painted wall. Next, paint the walls. Then, follow up by

painting the windows, door, and trim. Complete the job by painting the


While working, you may want to keep the room ventilated by opening a window

or two. But if you’re applying one of the new top quality latex paints, you

will probably notice little paint odor. That’s because today’s advanced latex

paints emit only a small amount of the “volatile organic compounds” that cause

the typical “paint smell” associated with oil-based paints.

Take comfort in the fact that low-VOC latex paints are good for the

environment. . .and for the health of you and your family. And enjoy your

freshly-painted bathroom!

For more tips on interior painting, visit

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Tips for Style on a Budget-Guest Blogger

The ideas below come from Greg Kinsella of London's Chelsea Harbor. He is guest posting on this blog today. What Greg offers us below are ideas that are creative, inexpensive to complete and can be done at home.

I especially like the use of doilies for the "Chabby Shic" style of decor and the idea for all those wine corks that I've been collecting for years. Now I know what I can do with them!! Also, take a look at the use of Indian saris on the bottom. I personally love this idea.

Thrifty Style: 5 Tips for Style on a Budget

Decorating on a budget can be lots of fun since it challenges you to adapt random materials that you can find for cheap into cool items that radiate personality. Here are a few ideas for turning often discarded items into treasures:

1) Sand Candles

Make the most of old candle stubs by melting them and making sand candles. Press a glass or vase into a damp bucket of sand to make the right shape. Embed some crystals or sea shells around the edges of the sand mold and pat it down so the sides are firm. Then pour the melted wax into mold and make wicks out of birthday candles. When it is cooled and firm, dig around the candle and remove it. Gently and evenly wipe some of sand off, but not too much. Use a hair dryer -- or blow torch -- to heat up the outside shell of the sand so the wax penetrates and glues the sand together.

2) Old Aquariums and Fishbowls

Just because a glass aquarium has a crack in it is no reason to put it out to pasture. Plant a terrarium using your favorite herbs and set it up near a window. Create your own frame for the front of the aquarium to disguise its original aluminum framework. For a great bookshelf light, fill a fishbowl with white Christmas lights and crystals.

3) Wine Cork Mats

Put those wine corks to good use to make your own a bath mat, kitchen rug or even a huge area rug if you have enough corks. Simply split the corks in half lengthways and design a layout using the different shades for your pattern. Use a hot glue gun to paste the corks onto a single piece of non-stick shelf liner that measures the size of the area you want to cover. That's it, you now have a new, cool mat that absorbs moisture and muffles sounds.

4) Lace Doilies

Turn old lace doilies into decorative accent pieces with a little imagination. Cover a plain white lamp shade with layers of overlapping doilies to create a romantic scalloped effect. Make a chain of doilies and hang them from the ends of the curtain rods to soften up a window's straight lines. Glue them onto the glass of ceiling light fixtures to give the room a soft, dappled light.

5) Saris

Indian saris are made of exquisite yet durable materials woven into single long pieces that can be used for many decorating concepts. Saris hung across the ceiling in a bedroom can create a harem motif. For a special touch, hang strings of white Christmas lights inside of the saris for a striking ambient light source.

Guest post by: London interior designer Greg Kinsella

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Effusion Lamp Wick Info

The New Platinum Wick

I'm taking some time off this summer to finish up a couple of projects. I do have some information to share with my readers. The info below is about the new wicks for the effusion lamps.

I just received this information for
This pertains to the new platinum wick for all you effusion lamp lovers!

Most problems that have been reported have been caused by one of 4 reasons. The first thing to make sure is that the catalytic screen is not touching the top of the wick, it should be at least 1/8th of an inch from the top.

Make sure you are only trying to heat up the screen that is going around the wick, you do not want or need a flame of any sort to come from the wick.

I use a jet flame or wind resistant lighter to light the wick. It should only take 10 to 15 seconds to heat the screen. After you see the screen start to glow that should be all you need.

My lamp will burn all day if I let it. If it is placed in front of a fan or under one it will eventually go out.

I have seen a few brands of fuel work for a while but then clog up the cloth part of the wick. The only reason we can see for this is that they put too much fragrance in the fuel because most effusion lamp wicks burn through a lot of fragrance just to get the aroma in the air.

If you are still having problems with the wick please contact us thru the website at and we will be glad to assist you anyway we can.

We have our own fuel coming out this fall as well as a new wick that has two parts. The top part is the catalytic screen assembly and the other is a replaceable cotton wick.

Thanks to Stonewick for this info!

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