Posts Tagged With: pressure washers

Refresh Your Home with Interior, Exterior & Shutter Paint

DIY Home Refresher: Interior, Exterior and Shutter PaintingSummertime is often when we decide to spruce up our homes, and nothing can give your home’s exterior better curb appeal than a fresh coat of paint. Whether you decide to tackle the outside of your home or just an interior room that needs a makeover, painting is an easy DIY project.

Preparation Pays Off

There is only one word to remember in painting: “prep”. The key to any successful painting job, whether it is the exterior of your home or an accent wall in your den, is preparation. To achieve a professional paint project, follow a few key steps.

Prepping an Exterior Paint Job:

  • Pressure wash your house – Removing the dirt and debris will make sure the paint adheres correctly. Learn more about it in our blog, How to Pressure Wash Your Home’s Exterior for Paint.
  • Remove add-ons  Take down storm windows, screens, shutters, awnings, wall-mounted light fixtures and even downspouts.
  • Scrape loose paint – Remove cracking, peeling paint and sand smooth before painting. If paint is intact, don’t scrape to the bare wood.
  • Repair surface flaws – Use a repair compound that is rated for exterior use. Sand after it dries.
  • Remove old caulk – Re-caulk around door trim, windowsills and other areas with paintable exterior caulk.
  • Repair and re-putty windows – Remove old putty and apply new glazing. Let dry before painting. Don’t forget to check under eaves and doors for any damage that needs to be repaired.
  • Use drop cloths to protect flowerbeds and lawns – Gently tie up shrubs or small trees to keep them from rubbing up against wet paint.
  • Prime bare wood or anywhere repairs are made – The primer will help the paint adhere to the wood or newly repaired area. The primer you use depends on the paint you are going to use.

The average paint job on the exterior of a home can last from five to eight years if the proper preparations are done.

Why Not Paint the Shutters?

Since you have removed your storm windows, screens and shutters, now is the perfect time to repair or paint them. A paint sprayer makes an easy job of painting shutters. (Check out our blog post on Airless Sprayers to see how they can make quick work of your painting jobs.)

Here are a few guidelines for painting shutters with a paint sprayer:

  • Clean the shutters to remove grime and mildew.
  • Scrape off loose or flaking paint.
  • Lightly feather sand the shutters.
  • Prime any bare spots.
  • Starting with the back, paint all the shutters on the same side, let dry and then flip them over to paint the other side. This will keep the painting uniform.
  • Spray at a slight upward angle so that you can paint the upper portion of each slat.
  • Spray the entire face including the frame.
  • Use a dry brush to eliminate drips and runs.
  • Avoid drips and runs by painting two or three light coats rather than one heavy coat.
  • Paint the metal hinges that hold the shutters in place.

The Inside Scoop on Interior Painting

Painting the interior of your home is similar to what we’ve discussed for the exterior. Preparation is still the most important part. Though time consuming, prepping your walls the right way will give you professional results. Here are some steps for guaranteeing success:

  • Remove as much furniture as possible – Cover the remaining pieces with plastic to protect against accidental spills.
  • Clean the walls – After vacuuming or dusting, wipe them down with a damp cloth. When washing down kitchen walls, use a mixture of 3 tsp of laundry detergent to a gallon of warm water to eliminate grease build-up.
  • Tape trim, windows and door frames – No matter how steady your hands are they will get tired. Stay on the straight and narrow by putting blue painters tape down. Remove immediately after painting (before the paint dries) to avoid peeling off any with it.
  • Prime walls – Some say a wall with multiple coats of paint doesn’t need it. However, if you want a uniform look to your color choice, don’t take the chance – prime.
  • Use a brush where you can’t use a roller – Use a paint brush to get around trim and in the corners of walls.
  • Use the “W” technique – Paint a 3 x 3 foot “W” pattern on the wall and then fill it in without lifting the roller. It helps hide seams where you picked up the roller and put it back down.
  • Paint the trim – Once the walls are dry, tape where the walls meet the molding and door frames. Straight edges give you a crisp, professional look.

Find out more tips for painting the interiors in our blog, Painting Walls in Your Dream Home Made Easy.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your DIY painting projects. From pressure washers to paint sprayers, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Spring Refresh DIY Idea #2 – Building a Backyard Playset

How to Build a PlaysetWhen you think back on your childhood, you may recall playing on a rusty old metal swing set with hard plastic seats. Remember how the whole thing threatened to flip over if you swung too high? The backyard play sets of today are a far cry from those rickety contraptions. Now kids have their choice of towers and forts in addition to swings and slides. What about a rock climbing wall?! We have the technology. The choices are endless … and the cost can run in the thousands of dollars. So what’s a parent to do? Here are a few things to consider in your quest to build a better playset.

Shop Smart

Before you start shopping stores or the internet for a playset to assemble, consider this:

  • Know your audience – What’s the age of the child you are building the playset for? What interests a toddler is less engaging for a 10-year-old. Look for a playset that can be reconfigured as your child grows up. Some sets will have features that can be removed and replaced with more age appropriate ones using very little additional construction.
  • It’s going to be how big? – Determine the size of the area where you want to put the playset. It will help to narrow down the choices in design plans. Consider placing the structure off to one side of the yard rather than in the middle. That gives the kids an open space where they can play football and other games. Besides, you don’t want to step out you back door and onto the jungle gym.
  • Avoid any trips to the ER – Know the weight limit of the playset you select. If you expect a neighborhood of kids to be on it at one time then spend the money for the highest rated play set. Accidents will happen so cushion their falls with a protective surface like bark or rubberized mulch. Spread it in a dense layer and extend it around all sides of the structure. Make sure all platforms and ramps have guard rails.
  • Can I mortgage that playset? – Focus on the quality of the building materials and the inclusive safeguards more than the elaborate play features. A playset made from good hard wood like cedar or redwood is the preferred choice of most professional playset builders. Sure, you will have to clean and paint it, but if properly maintained, a set built out of this kind of wood could last 7-10 years. Pressure treated lumber is less expensive but it has been created using chemicals that you don’t want to expose your children to. Manufacturers say the toxicity levels are low but ultimately it is your call as a parent on whether the risk is worth it.
  • Stick with the classics – Forget all the fancy construction plans. Swings and slides will always be in fashion. Elaborate features like rock climbing walls or trapezes only add to the cost of the project. Remember these are the same kids that happily played with your pots and pans just a few years ago. That swinging pirate ship may fall out of fashion with them in a heartbeat, and if isn’t not easy to remove, you’re stuck with it marooned in your backyard.

A Family Project

No one knows your kids the way you do. Select the type playset that will make them want to put down the smart phone, remote or other device and run out to play on it. Make building it a family project. Even young children can hand you a hammer or help spread mulch. It is all about creating memories of childhood days spent playing with friends on a backyard playset – one they’ll remember was built just for them by you. Priceless.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your backyard projects. From circular saws and nailers/staplers to pressure washers and mulch, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Does Your Garage have a Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner?

Pressure WasherMost homeowners see the pressure washer as industrial or painting equipment — ideal for servicing vehicles or for a thorough cleaning before a paint job. However, a pressure washer is a handy tool for the home as well, and you might need one in your garage.

Why would this be the case? Pressure washers perform a variety of tasks – cleaning driveways, walkways, garages, gutters, and dog kennels, to name a few. You can also use them to clean garden equipment, outdoor furniture, lawn movers – practically anything that is covered in heavy dirt and grime. Using an ordinary garden hose can be ineffective, and will certainly involve additional cleaning and scrubbing. Using a pressure cleaner not only saves you from back-breaking scrubbing and cleaning to remove the grime, but also gets the work done in half the time.

Working with a pressure washer surface cleaner is extremely easy. Start a good distance away from the spot you want cleaned and work your way closer. In addition, if you would like to increase your cleaning power, consider using a rotary nozzle. A rotary nozzle can assist in tougher jobs such as wrought iron furniture.

Whether you are using it for an everyday task like cleaning out the dog kennel, or for a bigger job, like prepping the surface of your home for new paint, a pressure washer can be an invaluable tool to have around your home. Pressure washers can help you save water, money and time by cutting jobs in half and making cleaning into a simple, quick task.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

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