Unlocking Education Funds: Flipping Houses for Tuition

Returning to academia as an adult presents unique challenges, chief among them being the financial implications. For those seeking innovative ways to finance this venture, the realm of real estate, particularly flipping houses, emerges as a compelling strategy. By harnessing the potential of property investments, not only can adults secure funding for their education, but they can also craft a sustainable source of income for the future. Read on for some insights from Patrick’s Painting.

Craft a Comprehensive Plan

Venturing into house flipping without a robust plan is akin to sailing without a compass. A meticulously crafted plan, encompassing budget estimates, renovation scopes, and anticipated market trends, provides a guiding light. Incorporating contingencies for unexpected hurdles or market shifts further strengthens this plan. By setting milestones and regularly revisiting this roadmap, investors can adjust their strategies in real-time, ensuring optimal resource allocation. This dynamic planning approach mitigates risks and paves the way for success, both academically and financially.

Inspect Properties Thoroughly

Understanding a house’s foundational and superficial issues is pivotal. FastExpert notes that comprehensive property inspections reveal hidden challenges, be it structural weaknesses or outdated plumbing. With this insight, investors can gauge the scope of renovations, thus avoiding unforeseen expenditures down the line. Additionally, an accurate evaluation can strengthen negotiation positions, potentially leading to reduced acquisition costs. In essence, a rigorous inspection sets the stage for informed decision-making and optimized returns on investment.

Digitize Real Estate Documents

In today’s digital age, streamlined operations are a game-changer. By digitizing all real estate paperwork, investors ensure swift access to pivotal data. You can use optical character recognition (OCR) software to extract text from images easily and to deploy OCR to save documents as PDFs. This digital shift eliminates manual searches through extensive files, promoting efficiency and reducing potential oversights.

With cloud-based solutions, access to these documents becomes possible from any location, facilitating seamless collaboration and decision-making on the go. Additionally, leveraging digital platforms can lead to better organization, categorization, and even automated reminders for crucial deadlines or renewals. Furthermore, secure digital storage safeguards against document loss or damage, offering peace of mind and enhancing operational robustness.

Prioritize Undervalued Properties

The cornerstone of profitable house flipping lies in the acquisition phase. By pinpointing distressed or undervalued properties, investors carve out substantial profit avenues. Beyond auctions and estate sales, networking with local real estate agents can uncover lucrative deals. Familiarizing oneself with regional property trends and being receptive to off-market opportunities can further widen the net of potential investments.

It’s also advantageous to build relationships with property evaluators, ensuring that each acquisition is a calculated decision rooted in real-time market dynamics. These acquisition strategies, when coupled with sound market research, establish a buffer against unplanned renovation costs and market fluctuations, bolstering the venture’s overall profitability.

Elevate the Kitchen

Transforming a kitchen can dramatically elevate a home’s appeal. Beyond aesthetic enhancements, consider updating fixtures or introducing energy-efficient appliances. Integrating smart kitchen technology, such as touchless faucets or programmable cooktops, can further enhance functionality and appeal. Spatial reconfiguration, if feasible, can also optimize the flow and usability of the space.

These additions not only charm potential buyers with modern amenities but also promise long-term savings and sustainability. Furthermore, a well-designed kitchen resonates emotionally, painting a picture of family dinners and festive gatherings, making the property even more enticing.

Tailor Renovations to Attract Potential Buyers

Every house tells a story, and curating this narrative effectively can be the difference between a quick sale and prolonged market listing. Recognizing the predominant buyer demographic for a given neighborhood and tailoring renovations accordingly is paramount. Stucco.com points out that staying updated on current design trends and buyer preferences further refines the property’s appeal.

Additionally, understanding and incorporating eco-friendly or sustainable features can attract a broader audience in today’s environmentally conscious market. For instance, properties in serene locales might beckon retirees, warranting designs that emphasize comfort and accessibility.

Conversely, urban dwellings might be more appealing to millennials, where tech integrations and modern aesthetics take precedence. By weaving a compelling story through design, investors can capture the imagination of potential buyers, ensuring their property stands out in a competitive market.

Add a Touch of Paint

Painting is a highly effective and transformative aspect of home renovations, offering numerous benefits. Firstly, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to revamp a space, providing a significant visual impact at a relatively low cost compared to other renovation projects. Painting can dramatically alter the appearance and ambiance of a room, enabling homeowners to keep up with current design trends or personalize their space according to their tastes.

Additionally, the right choice of paint can enhance the lighting of a room, making spaces feel more open and inviting. From a practical standpoint, painting serves as a form of protection for surfaces, safeguarding walls from moisture, dust, and wear over time. It can also improve indoor air quality by covering old paint that may contain lead or other harmful substances.

Furthermore, a fresh coat of paint often increases the value and appeal of a home, making it more attractive to potential buyers if the homeowner decides to sell. In essence, painting is a versatile and impactful tool in home renovation, offering aesthetic, practical, and economic advantages.

Collaborate for Success

The journey of house flipping, while rewarding, can be intricate and demanding. Pooling resources and expertise with a trusted partner can significantly lighten this load. Such collaborations not only amplify financial capacities but also introduce diverse perspectives, enriching the overall strategy.

Establishing clear communication channels and setting mutual expectations from the outset can further cement the partnership’s foundation. Additionally, joint ventures may open doors to larger projects or opportunities otherwise unattainable individually. Furthermore, shared responsibilities ensure continuous progress, even when one partner is immersed in academic commitments. In essence, collaboration magnifies strengths and offsets individual limitations.

Balance Your Time by Earning an Online Degree

Pursuing education while delving into real estate necessitates a harmonious balance. Earning an online degree emerges as a viable solution to this challenge. These platforms facilitate asynchronous learning, granting the flexibility to renovate during daylight and study post-sunset. For example, you could consider exploring the aspects of a cybersecurity degree. This degree will educate you on safeguarding a company’s computer and network systems.

Furthermore, online courses often offer the added advantage of integrating diverse global perspectives, enriching discussions and broadening worldviews. Moreover, digital resources, forums, and peer interactions amplify the online learning experience, allowing students to engage deeply without compromising their real estate ventures. The adaptability of such courses ensures that students never feel confined by schedules, granting them the autonomy to prioritize tasks as needed.

Returning to school as an adult, though a commendable pursuit, is fraught with complexities, especially on the financial front. Balancing tuition fees, study materials, and living expenses can seem overwhelming. Yet, with the strategic approach of flipping houses, an avenue often overlooked, these financial hurdles can be transformed into stepping stones towards academic and financial growth. This unique convergence of education and real estate investment empowers adults to not only further their academic aspirations but also build tangible assets. By intertwining the worlds of real estate and education, adults can craft a promising trajectory for their future endeavors, ensuring a dual return on investment – knowledge and capital.

Curtis Fisher


Painting Prep Work

Why Prep Work is Important Before Painting

Imagine this: you’ve picked the ideal color palette, gathered the highest quality paints, and are ready to transform your living space. However, skipping or neglecting the crucial step of preparation could turn your dream project into a nightmare.

Prep work, short for preparation work, refers to the essential steps and tasks that need to be completed before starting a particular project, such as painting. In the context of painting and home improvement, prep work involves getting the surfaces ready for the application of paint.

Here’s why prep work is the backbone of a flawless paint job.

The Foundation Matters

Much like constructing a sturdy building, a flawless paint job begins with a solid foundation. Prep work involves thoroughly cleaning and repairing surfaces before painting. This step ensures that your chosen paint adheres properly, preventing peeling, cracking, or bubbling down the line. It’s like giving your walls a fresh start, creating the perfect canvas for your chosen colors to shine.

Say Goodbye to Imperfections

We all want our homes to look magazine-worthy, and proper prep work is the secret to achieving that polished finish. By taking the time to fill in cracks, patch holes, and sand rough surfaces, you’re smoothing out imperfections that could mar the final result. The meticulous approach to prep work is what sets apart a professional-looking paint job from a rushed DIY attempt.

Power Washing for a Clean Slate

For exterior surfaces, power washing is a game-changer. It blasts away dirt, mold, mildew, and other grime that may have accumulated over time. Power washing not only cleans the surface but also prepares it for painting by ensuring better adhesion and a smoother finish. It’s a powerful step to rejuvenate your home’s exterior before applying that fresh coat of paint.

Primer: The Unsung Hero

Ever wonder why professional painters always start with a primer? That’s because it’s the unsung hero of the paint world. Primer creates a smooth and uniform surface, enhances paint adhesion, and provides a consistent base for your chosen color. Skipping this step may result in uneven color absorption and an overall patchy appearance – definitely not the look you were going for!

Time and Money Saved in the Long Run

It might be tempting to skip prep work and dive straight into the fun part, but trust us – it’s a decision you’ll likely regret. Investing time in preparation can save you both time and money in the long run. Properly prepared surfaces are less prone to damage, meaning your paint job will stand the test of time. Avoiding the need for touch-ups or repaints down the line not only saves you money but also preserves the integrity of your home.

Professional Results, Every Time

Prep work is the secret weapon of professional painters. It’s the key to achieving that flawless finish you see in design magazines and home improvement shows. By following the meticulous steps of cleaning, repairing, power washing, and priming, you’re setting the stage for a paint job that looks like it was done by the experts.

How to Prep for Painting

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools

How to Prep for Painting

Before starting any prep work, ensure you have all the necessary materials and tools, including:

  • Cleaning supplies: Mild detergent, sponges, soft brushes
  • Repair materials: Filler, patching compound, putty knife
  • Sanding tools: Sandpaper, sanding blocks
  • Power washer (for exteriors)
  • Primer
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheets
  • Safety gear: Gloves, safety glasses

Step 2: Clear the Area

Remove furniture, decorations, and any obstacles from the painting area. This provides you with a clear and unobstructed workspace, making it easier to perform the necessary prep work.

Step 3: Cleaning

Cleaning Power Washing

Interior Surfaces:

  • Dust all surfaces using a microfiber cloth.
  • For walls and ceilings, use a mild detergent solution to clean away any grease or grime. Rinse with clean water.

Exterior Surfaces (Power Washing):

  • Adjust the power washer to the appropriate pressure for the surface.
  • Start at the top and work your way down, ensuring thorough cleaning of the entire exterior. Pay attention to areas with mold or mildew.

Step 4: Surface Repair

Surface Repair Work

  • Inspect the surfaces for imperfections: Cracks, holes, and dents.
  • Use filler for small cracks and holes.
  • For larger holes or damaged areas, apply a patching compound.
  • Allow sufficient drying time as per the product instructions.

Step 5: Sanding


  • Use sandpaper or a sanding block to smooth out repaired areas.
  • Sand any rough spots or uneven textures on the surfaces.
  • Wipe away dust with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 6: Masking and Taping

Masking and Taping

  • Cover areas that should not be painted using masking tape.
  • Use drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect floors and furniture.
  • Ensure that the masking is precise to achieve clean lines.

Step 7: Primer Application

  • Select a primer suitable for the surface type (e.g., latex primer for drywall, oil-based primer for wood).
  • Apply an even coat of primer to the surfaces using a brush or roller.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.

Step 8: Final Inspection

  • Inspect the surfaces for any missed imperfections or areas that need additional attention.
  • Touch up as needed with filler, sanding, or additional primer.

Step 9: Clean Up

  • Dispose of any used materials properly.
  • Remove masking tape and drop cloths carefully.
  • Clean your tools promptly for future use.

Step 10: Wait for Everything to Dry

Before applying the final coat of paint, ensure that all surfaces are completely dry. This step is crucial for achieving optimal paint adhesion and a smooth finish.

As we wrap up this prep guide for your painting project, envision the canvas you’ve readied for your chosen colors. The true beauty of any paint job lies not just in the colors but in the sturdy base crafted through prep. Whether DIY or with pros, the time and effort invested in prep ensure a visually stunning and enduring result.

If you find yourself yearning for a helping hand or expert guidance in this artistic journey, Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement is here for you. With 16 years of dedicated service, we bring a wealth of experience and a passion for transforming homes into true masterpieces. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance, advice, or the skilled touch of professionals who understand the intricate dance between preparation and perfection. Your dream home is just a brushstroke away, and we’re here to make it a reality. Happy painting—let’s make your space truly shine!

Transform Your Bedroom

Transform Your Bedroom: 10 Steps to Painting Like a Pro

Starting on the journey of painting a room isn’t just a task for those entering the realm of DIY, new homeowners seeking to add their personal touch, or seasoned home improvement enthusiasts refining their craft—it’s an art form. The process is not only painless and budget-friendly but also forgiving, allowing room for adjustments if needed. Yet, before you pick up that paint roller for your first stroke, a well-crafted plan is essential. Drawing from 16 years of expertise, Patrick’s Painting is your companion for transforming your bedroom with a splash of color. Continue reading to discover the key steps, ensuring your room-painting project evolves into a masterpiece of your own creation.

Step 1: Picture Your Perfect Space

Imagine your room’s final look – dream big! Think accent walls, eye-catching shades, and a ceiling that steals the show. Your vision sets the tone for a painting project that turns heads.

Step 2: Choose a Color and Paint Finish

Discovering the right colors and finish is an adventure, not a chore. Warm or cool? Muted or vibrant? Gloss finish or matte finish? Consider your furniture and art. Use cool tech tools to preview colors online, but nothing beats slapping real samples on your walls.
Paint Samples

Delve into the inspiring world of Sherwin-Williams’ color palette. Explore a range of options and consider the psychological impact of colors. For a serene ambiance, explore soothing tones like “Sea Salt.” Alternatively, for a touch of sophistication, venture into deeper hues like “Urban Bronze.” Let your personal style shine through as you select colors that resonate with your vision.

A glossy finish stands out as the most light-reflective among paint options, boasting easy washability. Ideal for enhancing wood trim, cabinets, and doors. Matte and flat finishes absorb light instead of reflecting it, making them well-suited for walls with imperfections. These finishes are particularly effective for bedrooms, uneven walls, or walls with texture.

BONUS: You can book a free virtual color consultation with Sherwin Williams.

Step 3: Prep Your Tools

Time to assemble your painting squad – the tools that turn you into a DIY maestro. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Drop cloths
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint tray
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife

Step 4: Know Your Paint Volume

Skip the guesswork. You can use paint calculator from Benjamin Moore to figure out how much paint you really need. The general rule of thumb is one gallon per 400 square feet. Adjust for color changes and textured walls – you’re in control.

Step 5: Set the Stage for Perfection

Paint Tape
Prepare your room like a pro. Clear the decks, protect your furniture with drop cloths, and use painter’s tape strategically. Secure masking paper or rosin paper to the floor and carpet alongside the baseboards to shield them from potential paint splatters and spills. Cover the floor and any furniture in the painting area with a drop cloth. Opt for fabric drop cloths as they provide better traction compared to plastic ones, reducing the risk of slipping.

Fix those wall dings – we’re aiming for flawless!

Pro Tip: Ensure ample lighting while painting, with natural daylight being the optimal choice.

Step 6: Clean or sand all the surfaces then patch

Washing Walls
Before you start painting or patching, give all the walls and trim a good cleaning or sanding. This helps to get rid of dirt and grease, making the paint stick better. Shine a bright light on the wall to spot any issues on the surface.

If there are any nail pops or bumps on the walls, smooth them out. Fill up holes and cracks with spackle or patching compound, and then sand everything down until it’s nice and smooth.

Don’t forget to put on a coat of primer over the patched-up areas before you start painting.
Take off the outlets and switch plates for a thorough wall prep.

Step 7: Mix the Paint

Green Interior Paint
Stir your paint like a wizard. Consistency is key for that perfect color. Got more than one can? Mix them up for a uniform hue.

Pro Tip: Thoroughly stir the paint for at least five minutes.

Step 8: Paint Like a Boss

Before you unleash the color, plan your approach. Begin by working from the top down, starting with the ceilings. If you’re planning to make a statement with a bold focal wall, consider painting the adjacent light-colored walls first. When transitioning from dark to light hues, factor in three coats: a primer, followed by two coats of the new color to ensure a flawless finish.
Spackling a Ceiling

Take it one step at a time, focusing on individual walls. Use a brush for detailed work along the molding and corners, while a roller covers the main expanse of the wall. Opt for long strokes in a W pattern with the roller to ensure thorough coverage and avoid unwanted roller marks. Once the wall is dry to the touch, it’s ready for the second coat.

If you’re tackling the trim, remove painter’s tape and wait for the walls to dry before reapplying it. Start by addressing the trim closest to the ceiling, then move on to door and window frames, finishing with the baseboards. This strategic approach guarantees a polished and professional outcome for your painting project.

Step 9: Let It Breathe

No one likes watching paint dry. Crack open those windows, switch on fans – keep the air flowing for a breezy, speedy dry.

Step 10: Tidy Up Like a Pro

Paint Rollers
You’re almost there! Peel off the painter’s tape and gather up the drop cloths, making sure any spills or splatters are completely dry before you relocate them. For brushes used with latex- and water-based paints, give them a good cleaning with soapy water. If you’ve been working with oil-based paints, you’ll need mineral spirits for proper cleaning. Use a painter’s brush to not only clean but also reshape the bristles. When it comes to reusing roller covers, the curved edge of a 5-in-1 tool is your go-to for removing excess paint under running water.
Your home is your canvas – make it a masterpiece! Happy painting!

If you ever find yourself needing professional guidance or assistance, don’t hesitate to tap into the expertise of Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement. Transforming your space has never been easier!

Accent Walls and Statement Colors

Tips for Adding Accent Walls and Statement Colors to Your Home

With 2023 halfway through the books, now is a great time to take a moment to reflect on the interior design trends that have set the stage for the year so far. One of the prevailing trends seen in homes throughout the country is the increase in accent walls and statement colors to help provide contrast to interior spaces. If this is a concept that you have been exploring for your own property, keep reading for 6 Pro-Tips for adding accent walls and statement colors to your home!

Make Sure It Is a Focal Area of the Space

As the name suggests, an accent wall is designed to attract attention, so you should aim to make it one of the first things that people notice when they enter a room. An accent wall that is not in the direct line of sight of the people inside the room will defeat the purpose.

For example, if you were designing an accent wall in the living room, you wouldn’t want it tucked behind a bookcase or entertainment center. If you are exploring bathroom shiplap ideas, it is better to place the textured wall behind the sink rather than behind the toilet, as it will be more visible and will give people more opportunity to appreciate the rich contrast that it provides.

Don’t Be Afraid of Bold Colors

Bold Home Colors

Many homeowners are afraid to push the envelope with their accent walls. They end up choosing colors that are only slightly different from the other walls–which is not much of a contrast at all. While this may be a safe option, you should not be afraid of choosing bolder colors. As long as there is some furniture and other decor that match the paint color, you can use any color you like for the accent wall.

Be Aware of Other Prominent Features

Stone Veneer

The effect of an accent wall will be diminished if there are too many other prominent features competing for the attention of those inside the room. A classic example of this is a fireplace, which often features striking colors, interesting shapes, and intricate patterns. If you are considering adding an accent wall to a room with a fireplace, it is important to consider how you can prevent the two features from clashing.
An accent wall made from interior stone veneer is a good option in this case, as it will complement the fireplace by creating a cozy, rustic feel. However, even interior stone veneer needs to be carefully deployed, so it is important to carefully consider other interior design elements, such as bookcases, architectural nooks, and furniture.

Choose a Symmetrical Space

When choosing a room to feature an accent wall, you should pick one with a symmetrical shape. Accent walls work best in rooms with straight, flat walls that are of a similar size. Odd nooks, inconvenient angles, and other unusual features can detract from the effect you are trying to capture with an accent wall.
The same is true of Windows. While it is perfectly possible to include a window as part of the accent wall, this is more difficult to pull off if the windows are different sizes or are in an unusual location.

Experiment With Patterns and Decor

It is possible to experiment with patterns and decor when adding an accent wall to your home. Many homeowners feel constrained to use a single color for their accent wall, but this is not necessary. Using stripes, chevrons, and other patterns is perfectly acceptable and can add a lot of character to your home.
Accent walls are not limited to just paint, either. You can use artwork, picture frames, floating shelves, and other types of decor to create an accent wall. This allows you to experiment with a wide range of styles and can make your home feel more personal and unique.

Neutral Colors Can Still Work

When choosing the color for your accent wall, you should not overlook neutral colors. While bold colors can really set the stage and call attention to the space, neutrals can also work well. Earthy tones such as brown and tan are particularly effective, as they can create a warm, inviting feel in your home.
Another option is to use a white shiplap. This can be a great choice if you are afraid of going too bold with your color selection, as the shiplap provides texture and interest without being too overpowering.

Get Started Today on the Accent Wall of Your Dreams

Accent walls are one of the best ways to help your interior design stand out. When executed correctly with the right statement colors and textures, they can leave an indelible mark on anyone who visits your home. For more insight on creating the accent wall of your dreams, explore the resources at Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement today for ideas and inspiration!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew Wesley is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on painting projects and materials. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Andrew’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

5 Ways to Cultivate a Welcoming Atmosphere in Your Home

Maybe your home is feeling cramped and untidy, and your yard looks like it’s seen better days. This is the perfect opportunity to invest your time and energy into basic home renovation projects! If you need a team to assist you with outdoor projects, Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement is here for you. Plus, here’s how to get rid of clutter by digitizing your documents, take on projects like power washing and deck staining, and determine which tasks you can DIY safely.

Declutter by Digitizing Paperwork

Before you start carrying out any big home improvement projects, you’ll need to declutter your space. As you start going through your belongings, you’ll probably find that paperwork and physical documents account for much of your clutter. To free up space, consider digitizing these documents. To help with your search for specific files, use a PDF merging tool to combine your documents into a single file. After combining your documents, you can reorder and organize them as you wish.

Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior

You want to enjoy spending time in your front and backyards, so why not focus on fixing up your home’s exterior? First, you can start by power washing your walls. Next, you can paint your home with a brand new hue that stands out from the curb. Finally, you can complete smaller projects like staining your deck. Improving your outdoor space might inspire you to create a dining nook in your yard where you can entertain your loved ones.

Try Gardening and DIY Landscaping

If you have enough yard space to start a garden, you might find that growing your own produce is a deeply satisfying project – and having fresh herbs on hand at all times can seriously enhance your home cooking! You might want to block off a weekend for building raised garden beds and planting vegetables. Furthermore, you can get started with other aesthetic landscaping projects. For example, Bob Vila recommends installing small fountains or setting up a firepit.

Design Spaces Dedicated to Wellness

You can turn your home into a wellness sanctuary! If you have your very own home gym, you don’t need a gym membership. Shape recommends stocking up on equipment like dumbbells, a jump rope for cardio workouts, a kettlebell, resistance bands, and foam rollers for workout recovery. It’s easy to assume that you need lots of space for a home gym, but if you get creative with the way you arrange and store your equipment, you can create a workout space in a small corner or nook. If you prefer gentle exercise, you could also design a relaxing yoga studio in a spare room.

Should You Hire Contractors?

Depending on the projects you have planned, you might be thinking about taking a DIY approach in order to save money. But certain renovation and improvement projects should only be completed by professionals. For instance, you should never remove walls on your own, as they may be load-bearing, and you should be careful about installing new lighting fixtures without the help of an electrician, since making even a small mistake when dealing with electrical wires could result in a serious injury or damage to your property. If you need any repairs to your roof, make sure to call roofers rather than climbing up to mend it yourself!

Right now, you might feel unsatisfied with your home – but there are always opportunities to change things up. By nixing clutter and digitizing your documents, painting your home’s exterior, and even creating spaces dedicated to your well-being, you can enhance your home’s atmosphere. With these tips, you’ll be ready to take on DIY renovations or hire contractors for home improvement projects!

Ready to transform your home’s exterior? Turn to Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement! Call us today at 703-253-9268 to schedule a free consultation.

Curtis Fisher


How to Properly Prepare Surfaces for Painting

How to Properly Prepare Surfaces for Painting

Painting can transform a room from drab and boring to exciting and fun for anyone who walks through. Unfortunately, the average person isn’t fully trained and aware of all of the work that goes into making this space a success.

Whether you’re adding a fresh coat of paint to welcome a new family member or you’re selling your home and want to create a blank canvas for the next homeowners, how you paint can make a huge difference in the perception of any room.

This is how to prepare surfaces for painting and create a gorgeous room properly!

Why Preparation Matters

Painting can seem straightforward and simple if you’ve never done it before. After all, how difficult could it be to simply slap some color on a wall? This mindset is what leads to people getting halfway through painting the first room in their home and realizing they’ve made countless poor mistakes.

Preparing any wall or surface will allow the paint to absorb fully, go on smoothly, and dry as evenly and quickly as possible. Taking these steps will ensure you don’t have to go in later and spend more time fixing problems with it.

1. Deep Clean the Surface and Sanding.

Deep cleaning your walls before you paint is key! If you paint while there’s dust and debris on your walls, that’s going to mix into your paint and leave it lumpy and uneven looking. Nobody wants to put dust and pet dander permanently into their walls. Simply wiping it down with a damp cloth is usually enough to take care of this issue, but many have turned to ‘magic eraser’ sponges to help remove dust and unwanted texture. Sanding a surface will allow for the paint to adhere much better by opening up the pores of a substrate. We recommend medium to fine sandpaper depending on what you are sanding and how rough or smooth the surface is.

2. Repair Cracks and Uneven Areas

Repairing Cracks with Plaster
Whether you have indentations and nail holes in your walls or there’s a hole where an outlet used to be before you removed it, you need to fill and repair these spaces. There are countless options for everything from cracks to gaps, but make sure you know the reason for these imperfections. Large cracks could be a sign there’s something wrong with the foundation, which you should check with a structural engineer. Most cracks are from the home settling and are easy to fix with mesh tape and a few coats of drywall compound.

3. Pick a Color You’ll Enjoy

Painting Supplies
In 2023 we’ve seen a huge boost in the popularity of more Earthy-appearing colors to make rooms feel connected to nature. From Swiss coffee paint color to muted sage green, there are countless options for anyone who wants their home to feel as soothing as possible. How do you pick what color will work best for your space?

An awesome tip many homeowners are following these days is editing a room to fit the colors they’re trying out. Most paint companies also list their colors online, which lets you take them into free editing software like GIMP to see what they’ll look like on your walls. You can also order peel-and-stick samples from Sherwin Williams for $3.50 a piece, which allow you to move the sample around with different light while not being stuck with a small container of paint you will never use again.

4. Remember Ventilation

The last thing you want to do is trap yourself or loved ones in a room with a lot of paint fumes. This can make you dizzy, can affect your breathing, and is generally a health hazard, even in high-quality paints.

Make sure to get as much ventilation into the room as possible, and consider running fans to push the fumes out of the room as you work.

Always opt for low to No VOC paint.

5. Get the Right Tools

From the many different types of drywall corner beads to picking the perfect brush for the job, you need to carefully consider your tools. Large roller brushes are a great place to start since they help you cover more space while you paint, but you should also make sure to get paint pans, hand brushes for detail work, paint remover, tape, and even a pour spout for your paint buckets.

Working with the right tools will save you a lot of trouble and heartache down the road. Nobody wants to dip a paintbrush into their new paint only to find out it’s low quality and put a lot of loose fibers on your walls.

6. Tape and Protect Your Space

If you want to avoid needing paint remover, it’s important to carefully plan and protect the space you’re painting. Tape is the most important thing you can do. This will let you safeguard areas like molding, light switch covers, and more, all while being able to peel it off and create a clean line.

If you want to be safer, consider removing faceplates altogether instead of taping around them.

Invest in plastic drop cloths to protect your floors and plastic for your furniture! If you can, consider moving out the more expensive and larger pieces of furniture so you don’t have to dance around or risk getting paint on them.

Painting Doesn’t Have to be a Chore

Paint Roller Brush

Whether you’re painting to create a fresh slate for future buyers, or you just move in and want to make a comfortable home for yourself, there’s no wrong reason to give a room a fresh paint makeover. Work with a great company, like Patrick’s Painting, if you want professional results without all of the struggles.

Andrew Wesley

Andrew Wesley is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on painting projects and materials. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Andrew’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

Durable Renovation Projects to Reduce Maintenance

Durable Renovation Projects to Reduce Maintenance

Taking care of your home is more than simply cleaning or repairing items that fail over time. There is regular maintenance on all types of aspects of your home to ensure its value stays as high as possible. That’s where low-maintenance renovation ideas can help. With these premier ideas to renovate the home while reducing the maintenance you have on your side, you can easily update your residence with confidence.

Maintenance doesn’t have to take hours or days out of your schedule. Check out these ideas below and see how you can update the look of the home while keeping maintenance at a minimum.

Refinish Concrete Floors

One way you can update the home you have while reducing your maintenance is by considering epoxy-painted concrete floors. These floors are a durable way to update your garage area or any concrete flooring you have. They look nice and reduce the amount of maintenance and repairs that are due over time. The application is simple and easy to do whenever you have a clean concrete surface to start with.

This type of floor is capable of standing up against chemicals, gasoline, and other liquids you might be dealing with in your garage. You’ll love that your floor looks great no matter what, with little upkeep from you.

Consider Stone Panels

New Siding
A way to update the outside of your home without having to keep up with paint is to consider installing manufactured stone panels. These panels are a great way to keep your home looking great without having to maintain them too much. They offer a variety of styles, colors, and pattern options to help you create the look and feel you want. These durable panels look like rock has been painstakingly installed while it is a simple panel that fixes to the home. These are very low-maintenance and provide a beautiful upgrade rather than simple paint changes or siding.

New Mailbox

New Mailbox
Your mailbox is a part of your home. You may not even realize that it needs maintenance until it does. That can be frustrating as mail will not be delivered if there is an issue with the box. Safeguard your items by considering the installation of a new construction mailbox to help you reduce how much maintenance is required. You can choose from a variety of designs that are durable enough to withstand any type of climate issues thrown their way. A new construction mailbox can be for a variety of homes, all in one safe, convenient location. Whether it’s for a new community or simply wanting to update the mailing options for your community, these are a great way to go.


Another great renovation product that can help with the maintenance of the home is to consider a new paint job. Working with painters can help you to get a new, fresh paint job in no time. This renovation product can help with maintaining your lumber down the road. With a new paint job, the old is scraped away, cracks are filled, and then it is primed and painted. By taking time to work with professional painters sooner than later, you can help reduce carpentry maintenance down the road.

Upgrade The Siding

The outside of your home is one part that can look worn down over time if not properly maintained. Dealing with paint chips or fading can be frustrating. Consider updating your home with steel board and batten siding. This type of siding is highly durable, low-maintenance, and a beautiful update to any home. It has a high impact rating to help reduce damage during storms. It also has a high fire rating to help reduce damage with possible fires as well. The siding also comes in a variety of styles, designs, and color choices to fit any décor you may want.

These simple items cost a little upfront to provide massive returns down the road. With these low-maintenance updates, you can enjoy your home without having to always do some type of repair or upkeep. That leaves time to do all the other projects you have on your to-do list. Consider these options the next time you want to upgrade your home.

Andrew Wesley

Andrew Wesley is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on painting projects and materials. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Andrew’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

Staging a Home

Tips and Advice for Staging a Home

Staging your home before you sell it is a must in the current market! Not only do staged homes sell faster than their competitors: but staged homes also sell for more money. Unfortunately, many people go into staging a home blind and aren’t sure where to start, which can leave the property feeling like it wasn’t staged at all.

These are the top tips for staging your home and why it matters!

1. Deep Clean

Before you bring any new furniture in or paint any walls: it’s vital that you take the time to deep clean the property. Buyers don’t want to think about the previous owners when they walk into a home; they want to think about their future in that property. Taking the time to get rid of grime, dust, and debris will give you the chance to work with a fresh canvas.

2. Get Rid of Personal Details

Personal details may be lovely to look at for you, but they’re not so lovely for buyers who are trying to picture their lives there. Remove any photos of your family, pets, or life, and get rid of any details that will remind the buyers that they don’t own this home yet.

If you’re staging with your own furniture, now is the time to declutter your property as much as possible. Decluttering will allow spaces to feel larger, cleaner, and more welcoming. Take anything out of closets and storage areas, and move that into your new living area so that these spaces feel larger.

3. Make The Walls Feel Fresh

The best way to make any room feel clean and fresh is to apply a fresh coat of paint! Picking neutral and welcoming colors will allow buyers to feel like they stepped into a brand new home and are the first to walk through it.

Now isn’t the time to sloppily paint and ruin borders or edges. If you’re not capable of a great paint job, consider hiring a professional team to take over for you. They’ll be able to give the home a fresh face in far less time, with far less mess.

4. Replace Tiny Simple Items

Replace Thermostat
Making small updates throughout your home will quickly add up to a fantastic overall property. Changes like adding a sash window, replacing light fixtures, and changing out faucets, can modernize a property and make the entire space feel fresh and new. Make sure that any metallic details you add match the others and that you give the home the chance to shine.

5. Guide Buyers’ Eyes

When buyers are walking through a property, they have a lot of information to take in. They might not notice the craftsman exterior window trim ideas you implemented or the new flooring you installed if you can’t guide them into seeing it. Because of this, it’s vital that you take the time to show them what you want them to see.

Through clever lighting and the placement of furniture, rugs, and accessories, you can create a visual story that will guide buyers through the home. They shouldn’t notice that it was laid out to guide them; it should feel natural. This will make it easier to show off how high the ceilings are or how beautiful the fresh carpet is.

6. Consider Renting Furniture

If your furniture is older, or you don’t have a set that matches well: consider renting your furniture. Staging companies are professionals who know how to make spaces shine and offer low monthly and weekly rates so that you can sell your home as quickly as possible for as much money as possible. Although you may not think it’s worth it: this is one of the best ideas a home seller can have.

7. Add Touches of Luxury

If you’re still completing updates, consider adding a touch of luxury! You can do this by adding radiant floor heating or a touchless kitchen faucet, and watch as buyers marvel as they walk through the space. Although these are small changes, they drag the home into the future and allow it to feel like something that would improve the buyers’ lives.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Beyond Gray.

Make The Walls Feel Fresh
Avoid going for gray! This color has a reputation for being for house flippers and quick fixes in 2022, so try to go for actual colors. Although you may personally really like gray, save that for your own home you may buy. Instead, use details like a white shiplap wall in a room that’s a pale warm green to add visual interest and make a space feel welcoming. Although gray is the most neutral color of all: its reputation is one you don’t want on your property.

Staging the Home You’re Selling is a Must

Updated Kitchen

Whether you’re new to selling homes or you’re just trying to get the most out of this current one: staging your home is vital to making the most you can for it. Consider following some of these tips before you sell!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Wood Staining

Everything to Know About Wood Staining

Sometimes, the most simple home improvement projects can have the greatest transformative effect on a property. Projects such as a garage door replacement, pergola addition, and landscaping can give a rundown property a major facelift in less than a day.

Add wood staining to the list.

Applying sealant and staining areas such as hardwood floors, decks, and wood furniture are straightforward ways to make a worn and weathered home look rich and luxurious.

However, just because wood staining is simple in concept does not mean that it can be taken lightly. It requires extensive planning and preparation, finding the right product, and executing the application correctly.

To help you through the process, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about wood staining.

Stain and Sealant Are Not the Same Things

Stain and Sealant Are Not the Same Things

When researching the best interior wood stain and sealer for your hardwood floors, it can be easy to get confused and lump the two products into one. And while stain and sealer are both products that can protect and enhance the appearance of your wood surfaces, they are not the same thing.

Stains are the better product for enhancing the aesthetics of wood. They include pigmentation, which helps make your wood a specific color. This pigmentation also protects the wood from UV rays. However, stains do not generally provide much protection against water damage.

Sealants ARE designed to resist moisture. They have a higher viscosity than stains and contain waterproof and water repellent properties. But they do not have pigmentation and offer little in the way of UV protection.

Therefore, it is important to use stains and sealers in conjunction. It is generally recommended to stain your hardwood floors first and once the stain has dried, add the sealer to make the floors watertight.

Staining Allows You To Attain a Specific Wood Appearance

Staining Allows You To Attain a Specific Wood Appearance

Arguably the biggest benefit of using wood stain is that it allows you to attain the appearance of a wide variety of woods without the cost or limitations of working with these specific wood types. For example, you can use a stain to achieve an elegant dark finish to stand out on the real estate market without having to shell out the high cost of installing dark wood options such as hickory or walnut. In addition, some lighter woods, such as oak, aren’t very flexible, making it difficult to use them for latticework or herringbone floors. However, you can use a wood that is easier to work with for these purposes and look through the various wood stain colors for outdoor furniture to find a finish that replicates the oak appearance you had in mind for the project.

Not All Woods Stain Equally

Although staining provides endless possibilities for wood, not all wood provides endless possibilities for staining.

Woods with large pores will stain best, as they will more readily absorb the stain to give the finish a more complete, even appearance. Some examples of woods that stain well are oak, cedar, chestnut, hickory, and ashwood.

Tight-grained woods will not stain as easily because there is not much room for the stain to settle, which can result in an unattractive, partially-stained final product. Some tight-grained woods are maple and birch. In addition, some coniferous woods that contain a lot of sap, such as pine, will actively resist stain and create a beady, messy look on the wood’s surface.

Staining Requires Preparation

Staining Requires Preparation

Staining your wood surfaces is not as easy as finding a great product, rolling it on, and calling it a day. You need to be meticulous in your approach and understand that getting the desired result will take some work.

This starts with preparing the surface. You should repair, wash, and sand the area to be stained to guarantee that there are no hazards or problem areas that will require you to stop the project.

It is also important to make sure that the surface is completely dry before starting, as moisture will prevent the wood from absorbing the stain. Check the weather to ensure that there is no rain in the forecast. Also avoid staining on very windy days, as it can cause the stain to evaporate before it sets.

Finally, it is critical to select the right tools. Have a fresh roller and a wide selection of brushes to help you reach corners and guarantee attractive transitions. It is also a great idea to have plastic or cardboard handy to keep the stain from getting on adjacent areas of your home.

Stains and Sealants Can Save You Money in the Long Run

Although it may be a stretch to say that your wood structures will rot and fall apart if left untreated, there is no denying that sealing and staining are great defensive measures against more expensive future repairs. Not only can moisture damage cause localized cupping and buckling that may require you to replace sections of your hardwood floors or deck, but extensive UV exposure will degrade some boards beyond repair. In addition, untreated wood is more likely to have cracks and splinters that are hazardous for homeowners.

The Bottom Line on Wood Staining

Although wood staining is a relatively straightforward way to give your home a facelift, it’s not as simple as grabbing the first bucket of stain you see and thinking you’re good to go. There are myriad factors to consider, such as:

  • Understanding the difference between stains and sealers
  • Deciding on the final appearance you want to achieve
  • Realizing that not all woods were meant to be stained
  • Giving the proper attention to preparation
  • Looking at staining as an investment in your property

However, with the proper planning and perspective, wood staining is a great way to make your worn and weathered wood rich and majestic in a matter of days!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Improving Your Health With a Home Remodel

Your home and your health are connected in ways you may have never imagined. Healthy living is all about developing healthy habits, and each room of your house can either enhance or hinder a daily routine that maximizes benefits to your mind and body. By making smart remodeling decisions, you can create an environment that makes healthy habits easier and more pleasurable.

Cook Healthier With a New Kitchen

Eating healthy without spending a fortune on takeout takes a lot of time and effort. After a long day of work, a kitchen that makes cooking miserable can ruin your motivation to prepare fresh meals. A kitchen renovation gives you the opportunity to implement features that make cooking something to look forward to rather than dread. Well-placed, spacious cabinetry combined with high-tech appliances and expansive countertops can help you cook like a professional.

Use Your Yard for Sports

Whether you love playing basketball or you want to improve your swimming speed and endurance, you can transform your yard into a space where it’s fun to exercise, which is key to improving your physical and mental health. Having your own outdoor exercise area means you never miss an opportunity to do your favorite activities because the park is closed or the recreation center is too busy. A custom design for your front or backyard can accommodate any kind of sport setup you might imagine.

Transform Your Basement into a Home Gym

Regularly going to the gym to work out is a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but the need to travel and mix with unknown people can kill your motivation. Installing gym equipment right in your basement means you have the opportunity to work out whenever you have free time at home. If you want to include carpeting in your basement gym, make sure to include subfloor installation to prevent mold. If you don’t have a basement, consider some other home gym ideas, such as a:

All home renovations take a lot of time and work, but basements can be especially tricky. You must consider many things apart from the gym equipment, such as your local building codes, fasteners, vapor barriers, spacing, and heating and cooling. The last thing you want is a basement gym that’s useless in winter. The optimal way to avoid making mistakes in any of these areas is to hire a professional home renovator.

Find a Contractor the Smart Way

If you choose to hire a reliable contractor, do some research. No matter what type of project you’re planning, choose a contractor with good references, proof of experience, professional licenses, and good communication. For example, if you need to paint your home, you can see from visiting their website that Patrick’s Painting has been in business for 15 years. They’ve painted 2,054 houses, have 3,273 satisfied customers and garner top reviews on Yelp. Having these sorts of stats and information make it more likely you’ll reach out to Patrick’s for a paint job.

Whatever improvements you decide to make, let your contractor know your goals for a healthy home, such as paint without VOCs, cleaner air or improved cooking ability, to help them make transformations that promote healthy habits. By hiring a reliable contractor, you can reduce headaches, shorten project timelines, and get on with an easier healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.

DIY What You Can to Save Money

For quality paint jobs, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and the like, a contractor is a must. However, there are still plenty of changes you can make on your own, keeping your budget in check and making healthy updates. You can swap out furnace filters, replace curtains or drapes with blinds, change light fixtures, install a ceiling fan and even strategically place an air purifier.

From a design perspective, you can make simple changes like adding bold wallpaper to an entry space or bathroom wall. Plus, completely customizable wallpaper allows you to choose whatever design your heart desires. Print on-demand designs put you in the driver’s seat, and are a great way to add a quick refresh.

A home refresh can be a great way to improve the health of your living environment. With careful choices, including the help of great contractors, you can transform your space into a place that promotes your wellbeing.

Curtis Fisher