Home Decorating—A Rewarding Challenge
YOU enter the modest home of a host. A first glance reveals a tastefully decorated dwelling. The paint job is clean and well-done.
Later you are surprised to learn that all the work was done by members of the family, who took up the challenge of home decorating. But there can be pitfalls to such a do-it-yourself project. So before you start any home-decorating project, consider the following.
Choose Materials Carefully
The variety of materials now available offers you considerable choice when it comes to the style in which you decorate your home. What is practical in your area? Will a decorative wallpaper present a pleasing appearance? Or perhaps you prefer a veneer or a fabric wall covering? You may conclude that a simple coat of paint will provide the look you prefer. Before finally deciding, take into account the practical aspects. These include the cost, the durability of the finish, the ease of installation, and the time and effort needed to maintain and clean the walls. All of this has to be compared with what it would cost to have professionals do the work.
The color of your chosen decorative material is also important. Will it blend with other features of the room? If the room is usually cold, a warm shade of paint will create the sense of warmth. Light blue or green hues will make rooms that are on the warmer side of the house seem cooler. Dark or poorly lighted rooms can be brightened with light-colored finishes.
Plan and Prepare Your Work
The secret of successful decorating is good preparation! Have you noticed how long professional decorators take to prepare surfaces for painting, in comparison with the time it actually takes to do the job? If you are doing it yourself, do not skimp on time and effort when getting ready. Experts suggest that you aim for a surface that is dry, smooth, and clean.
Repair damaged surfaces by filling in cracks. Then rub down the repaired surface with glasspaper or sandpaper to achieve smoothness. Before you begin to paint, wash the surface with a damp cloth to remove dust from the wall plaster, and allow to dry.
What about your plan of action? Have you arranged to include the entire family? Not only will everyone be involved but all will take pride in the finished product, and that surely encourages better care. Rather than do-it-yourself home decoration, make it a do-it-yourselves program. The rewards are great.
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CARE FOR YOUR BRUSHES AND ROLLERS
1. Bend and thoroughly work the bristles of a new brush to remove dust and loose bristles.
2. Avoid dipping the brush too deeply into the paint. (Cover only between one third and one half of the length of the bristles to prevent excess paint from becoming embedded in the stem.)
3. Clean the brush after use. Use mineral spirits for oil-based paint and warm water for latex, or water-based, paints.
4. Store clean, dry brush in clean paper to absorb remaining dampness and help keep the bristles in shape.
5. Follow a similar procedure with paint rollers, making sure to dry any metal parts completely to prevent rust and consequent paint discoloration next time you use them.