People are often confused about low VOC and odorless paint. You might have heard both the terms hundred times when handling an interior or exterior painting project, but don’t have complete idea about what they actually are. Manufacturers often advertize these paint types, but are they really helpful? Homeowners with a proper knowledge on the differences between low VOC and odorless paint can actually make better decisions before purchasing the paint products for an interior or exterior painting project.

What are VOC Paints?

The term VOC actually stands for Volatile Organic Compound. VOC compounds generally contain carbon in its molecule. Typically a large numbers of molecules are evaporated in the air from VOC compounds and they can affect air quality. Manufacturers often add VOC to paint for many reasons. The number one reason is to prevent mildew and to extend the shelf-life of the product.

Low VOC Paints:

As per the federal rules, a latex-based paint may contain VOC of a maximum of 250 grams per liter and oil-based paint may contain VOC of a maximum of 380 grams per liter. Paint that contains lower VOC content that the set limit mentioned in federal regulation is considered as low VOC paint. A low VOC paint is often advertised as low odor paint and is popular as a “green choice”. Although a little more expensive than the normal paints, low VOC paints have the same coverage ability as regular paints.

No-VOC or Odorless Paints:

No-VOC paints are known as odorless paints and they can perform as well as paints with low VOCs. However, there are definitely some differences between the two. These differences are as following:
Unlike low-VOC paints, walls that are painted in odorless paint should not be cleaned with any chemical based cleaning products. In fact, once the initial paint application is done, no-VOC or odorless paint should not be cleaned for 30 days. However, you can use a solution of mild soap or detergent powder and water to clean the surface painted in odorless paint?

Since no-VOC or odorless paint contains no fungicides, they are subject to micro-bacterial contamination. This is the reason why the professional painting contractors suggest that the painting tools not be put directly into the paint can.
With no-VOC or odorless paints, more coats are necessary in order to achieve the same results as regular low-VOC paints. Odorless paint should also be kept in a separate container and should be stored in a cool place. However, there are no such conditions with low-VOC paints.

Prioritizing your home improvement project list is always difficult. It is not very easy to decide whether to put design and aesthetic ahead of functionality or to choose comfort level over energy efficiency and cost savings. When it comes to handle a home improvement project, it’s always important to prioritize both your personal choices as well as the potential return of investment. Especially, when you are on a strict budget, it is vital that you spend your money wisely to receive the biggest bang of your buck.

When you are trying to figure out which home improvement project to handle next, you can take final look at the list and check whether some of your projects could actually double up on the benefits and provide you with style, comfort, and energy efficiency all at once. Following is the list of home improvement projects that give you the most bangs for your buck.

Painting Exterior and Interior:

Painting the exterior and interior of your house can add great amount of value to your old home. Painting is also the fastest and easiest method to give your home a new look and to increase the overall curb appeal of your home. You can even increase the resale value of your home by painting it with fresh and modern paint color. A fresh exterior paint job also makes your old house look nicer and last longer. Painting will also give you the most bangs for your buck since it forms the defense line against rain, snow, and ice.

Small Home Repairs:

While remodeling the home exterior or interior, you should also focus on doing the necessary home repairs first. You may have the most attractive exterior in the neighborhood, but if you ignore the small details like leaky plumbing or an uneven foundation, it will be difficult for you to sell your to the potential buyers in the long run.

Front Door Replacement:

Another important home improvement project is front door replacement. Your front door not only increases the overall curb appeal of your home, but it makes the first impression to the visitors before entering the inner places. A simple improvement in the front door like applying a fresh coat of paint or a magnetic weather stripping can add a great value to your home.

Remodeling Your Basement:

Since the additional living space is in high demand, you must focus on remodeling your old basement. Converting a old basement to a study room or a game room is genuinely valuable and can provide you with the biggest bang for your bucks.

For so many of us, garage is a special place. It’s not only the place where people generally store favorite recreational gear as well as gardening tools, but it’s also considered as the place to stash items that just don’t fit indoors anymore. With all that stuffs we store into the garage, it’s easily understandable how the place can so easily become cluttered and full of dirt.

Painting your garage is the easiest and cost-effective way to freshen up your old, dull garage. With a little strategic planning and good quality paint, you can spruce up the place as required.

Painting Your Garage Walls:

Painting your old and dirty garage could be the most useful idea to give it a fresh look. Painting can do a lot to spruce up your old garage. The main difference between painting the interior walls of your house and garage walls is the type of paint you need to use. For example, eggshell or satin-sheen is typically recommended for painting interiors, but shouldn’t be used on garage walls. You should use a thicker, tougher, mildew resistant exterior paint to give your garage walls a refreshing look. The best way to do this is to use a bright acrylic latex paint for your garage walls.

When painting your garage walls, it is important to fill the holes in the walls with vinyl spackling and then wipe excess spackling with a damp cloth. It is also important to mask all window, door facings, electrical outlets and switches with painter’s tape.

Painting the Ceiling of Your Garage:

Painting is the simplest way to give a great finish to your garage ceiling. It gives your garage a refreshing look. Before you start painting the ceiling of your garage, you need to move all items from the floor so you can move freely when you are painting. Please get a stepladder if the ceiling is high. You can use plastic drop cloths to protect the walls from spatters.

Applying Epoxy Paint on the Garage Floors:

You can easily transform your dull garage floor into a brilliantly painted place in just one weekend with a high quality, durable epoxy floor finish. In order to ensure the success of the epoxy paint job, always spend time in quality prep work. Removing the oil spots from the garage floor, cleaning and degreasing the floor, scrubbing it with a mild acid etc are essentially required when it comes to apply epoxy paint on your garage floors.

Painting the interior of your house is one of the easiest and fastest ways to give your old home a new look without spending a dollar on new furniture and furnishings. Interior painting not only enhances the visual appeal of your home but also protects your interior surfaces from chips and cracks.

Mentioned below are 5 important things that you must know before taking an interior painting project.

Choose the Paint Depending On the Mood:

When it comes to choose the best paint color for your interior rooms, it is important to decide the same depending on the mood and theme you would like in room. For example, you can choose the paint color based on the ambiance you would like to create in the interior room. Decide whether you want to get a relaxing mood to the kid’s room or a bold feel and appearance in the bedroom.

Consider Your Lifestyle:

It is important to select the best paint brands for the interior painting project. However, when selecting the paint brand, consider your lifestyle. For example, if you have kids in your house, then you can choose acrylic based paint brands since they have an easy to clean facility. You can choose oil based color if you have young adults in your family. Also, choose an easy washable paint for the area where you receive the most of the traffic.

Surface Preparation is Important:

Surface preparation is the key to get success in any painting project. In order to get excellent results in your interior house painting project, painting contractors often insist on the importance of surface preparation before applying the paint on it. Scrap the walls with proper sandpaper to get rid of all dirt and mildew. Also, if your walls have crack and holes, repair the same before applying the paint.

Priming the Surface:

Priming the interior surface is also important in an interior painting project. Priming not only seals the surface of your walls, but it also provides a high quality base to the walls so it can grab the paint well. Priming is essentially important when you have cracks and holes, and rough surfaces on your wall.

Consider Eco-Friendly Colors:

Eco-friendly paint color is the recent talk of the town. Traditional paints contain certain chemicals and toxins which emit harmful fumes in the air. Many of these fumes have often been linked to life threatening diseases such as cancer. This is the reason why you need to use eco-friendly paint color. Eco-friendly paints are water-based and lead free and are a safe choice for interior painting.

Painting can be considered as the number one home improvement project nationwide. A fresh coat of paint can help you change the look and feel of your entire house from dull to brand new. However, when painting the interior or exterior of a house, most homeowners face a difficulty to choose the right type of paint. With different types of paints available in the market, the most important question that home owners often ask is whether they should use oil based paints or latex paint for painting project.

When you are in confusion to use oil or latex based paint, you first need to look at what you plan to paint. Before you choose oil or latex based paint, determine you have wood, metal, plaster, or drywall to paint. Here’s discussion on the pros and cons of oil and latex paints.

Advantages of Oil-Based Paints:

Oil-based paints are more durable than the latex paints. However, they take longer time to properly dry. You also need to use turpentine or paint thinner or any kind of mineral spirits to clean the surfaces. Typically, oil based paints are made of alkyd or natural oils. Alkyd paint is more common since it is less expensive and has a tough nature. Oil-based paint is also good for using on trims since the trim takes more abuse in the long run than walls do.

An oil-based paint goes very smoother and can cover more thoroughly in a single coat. It shrinks less and takes longer to dry so painters have more working time. Another reason why most painters prefer oil-based paints is because they hold up well in high-traffic areas.

The only disadvantage of oil-based paint is that they are more likely to crack, fade, and turn yellow in the long run. Also, the fumes that come from the oil-based paints can be overwhelming.

Advantages of Latex Paints:

On the other hand, latex paints are easier to work with and they dry more quickly. However, latex based paints are not as durable as the oil-based paints. Homeowners generally use latex based paints for general painting projects like wall and ceilings. Unlike the oil-based paint, latex paint doesn’t get yellow in the long run and is safer choice for the environment.

Latex paints are also easier to clean and you can clean them just by using a mild detergent powder or soap. Also, many homeowners would find latex paints more widely available than oil-based paints.

A disadvantage of latex paint is that it swells the grain of wood and as a result sanding between the coats becomes a necessity.

Filling the cracks and the holes of your house’s trim and siding by using caulk before applying paint not only makes the whole painting job easier but it also help the paint job look better. Caulking also makes the paint last longer. Typically, cracks and holes in any part of the surface collect a large amount of water which may cause the paint to peel.

What is caulking?

Caulking is actually a substance which is specially designed to seal the joint between two surfaces. It is also used to fill small holes on the surface. High quality caulks can even withstand with extreme weather condition where temperature changes are very frequent. However, before using caulk for sealing joints or for filing holes, you need to make sure that the manufacturer recommends caulk for both materials. For example, if you want to apply paint on the caulked surface, you need to make sure that you buy paintable caulk. If you are unsure about which caulk to use on your exterior, you need to contact the professional painting contractors in your area.

Why Caulking is Important?

Caulking is more important during the winter months since the winter months are all about keeping the moisture out of the homes. During the winter, one has to deal with large amount of snow and water, which can ruin the exterior and interior surface of your home without even realizing this. One of the most important and the safest steps you can take in order to save your exterior surfaces against the harsh weather condition is by caulking the surfaces. The best time to caulk a surface is after you scrape, sand, or prime. Caulk typically adherers the best to the primed surface.

Exterior Caulking:

Caulking your house exterior is important since it helps in protecting exterior surfaces against water and insect damages that are very common with the openings and cracks between joints along windows, doors, and aluminum sidings. Caulking actually helps you prepare the surface before applying paint so that it can protect the house exterior against extreme heat, cold, and moisture. Paint is definitely important, but in order to protect your house, you have to spend on good quality caulk as well. In fact, a professional caulking job can save your money in the long run by adding your home’s insulating value. Caulking is important since it helps you protect the wood and substrates from both the inside and outside of your home.

If you look at paint and stain, they both look the same. For the most part, paint and solid stain are the same in appearance. Stain is composed of pigments and other ingredients that perform the same things as they do in paint. Both stain and paint are applied on a surface with a purpose to provide protection and add color.

However, if you check inside, there are so many differences between solid stain and paint. Stain is always thinner than paint and when stain is applied on a surface, it tends to soak into the surface. On the other hand, paint stays on the surface and creates a thin film.

What are Differences between Solid Stain and Paint?

Paint is more expensive and is more time consuming to apply on a surface. One should also apply paint over a primed surface in order to get the best result. If applied professionally, paints are likely to provide color uniformity and offer various degrees of sheens. Paint also provides a broader color range.

On the other hand, solid stain can be easily applied and recoated. With solid stain, you need minimum or no surface preparation and primers are not always required. Hence, solid stain is less time consuming to apply on a surface. Stains are also a cost-effective choice and they require very low maintenance cost. Solid stains are able to resist cracking, peeling, and blistering if applied according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

Stain v/s Paint:

There is a common misconception that stain doesn’t need re-doing. But this is simply not true. Stained surface often need to be re-coated just as you do as any of your painted surfaces. The chief advantage of stain v/s paint is that stain provides a natural look and usually will not peel and chip like a paint film. With stain, no priming job is required and it usually requires only one coat.

Unlike solid stain, paint has more color choices and is available in various sheens. Stain only comes in flat sheen and it cannot be applied over a painted surface. Nevertheless, paint can be applied on wood and many other surfaces like plastic and stucco. If you have a highly absorbent surface, it may require more stain than you planned on.

Does paint last longer than stain?

Paint that is applied according to the manufacturer’s direction will last longer than stain. However, solid stain will provide more protection to wood surface by letting the moisture escape.

Asphalt roof staining organisms such as algae, lichens, moss etc often feed off the organic material in shingles. In other word, the stains on Asphalt roof actually eat the roof. This is a serious issue and if left unattended for many days, they will cause more damage. By removing the ugly roof stains you can greatly improve your home’s look and it will also help restoring your roof’s natural and healthy state.

As a homeowner, you may find it difficult to find proper information when researching Asphalt roof cleaning methods. However, cleaning the stains from Asphalt roof is an important task and if done wrong, the roof could completely be torn up and need replaced. This is an issue that should not be overlooked, but very often people do overlook these differences and they either receive very poor roof cleaning service or face trouble ever riding their roofs of moss.

Due to the root systems of these different algae and moss growths, the only way to get rid of these stains is to pressure washing the Asphalt roof. There are many roof cleaning contractors that use high pressure washing methods to remove asphalt roof stains. Mentioned Below are some of the most important aspects you should keep in mind when thinking about pressure washing your asphalt roof staining.

Check Your Roof Condition:

Before you hire a professional pressure washing company to remove staining organisms from Asphalt roof, make sure the company has checked the roof and qualified it for a roof cleaning. There are many older roofs that are in poor condition with severe balding or granule loss. This actually disqualifies these types of roofs for any aggressive pressure washing methods. This type of old roof should be replaced with a new one.

Find a Licensed Roof Cleaning Contractor:

Find a company that is qualified, licensed, and insured in performing all types of roof cleaning activities including pressure washing. Check the local trade journals and customer testimonials to look any issues for a prospective company. If you find any current or lingering issues, you should not work with the particular company anymore. Always visit the contractor’s office in person and ask them about the past projects they worked on. A good and honest pressure washing company will not hesitate to share any details to their potential customer.

Proper Equipments:

Once you have found your roofing company of choice, check whether they have proper equipments to do a good composition of roof clean and pressure washing treatment without any further damage to roof.

Choosing the most suitable painting contractors that are going to paint your house is a crucial decision. Your home is typically one of your most important and largest investments. This is the reason why it is so important to protect your life-time investment by applying fresh paint to the surface in every 5-10 years later. The goal behind this is to get the longest lasting paint job for the best price. Mentioned below are three most important questions you need to ask to the painting contractor before you get your house painted by them.

How Do You Prepare The Surface Before Applying Paint On It?

This is the most important question that is going to make or cancel the deal for the painter you are choosing. The surface preparation job required for any house painting project is everything. If the painting company you choose does not emphasize their step-by-step process to properly prepare the surface before applying paint on it, you should avoid the painter and choose a different one. The preparation job is more necessary when there are faulty areas on the surface of your home like peeling, fading, or chalking. If it is not prepared correctly, the new paint job is not going to last even for a year.

What Type of Painting Material Do You Generally Use?

This is another important question that determines whether you will continue with a particular painting company. Always ask the painting contractor what brand of paint equipments they are going to use on your home. This includes the actual paint, caulking, primer, paint brush etc. However, it is important to do your own research on the available paint brands to make sure you can cross-question the painter. Always choose a paint brand that is of high quality and durable. Under any circumstances you should not let the painting contractor use low grade or cheap materials on your house. In most cases, the painting companies will let you change the paint brands used on the house if you request it.

What Kind of Guarantee Do I Get?

If you choose a reputed and experienced painting contractor to get your house painted, the painter should stand behind their work. This is typically demonstrated with some sort of guarantee like a 3 year, 4 year, or 5 year. The guarantee or warranty offered by the painting company should cover both labor and materials if the paint job fails.

Painting aluminum or vinyl siding is important because the same has been installed on many different houses in the last few years. Aluminum and vinyl siding was once started as a cheaper alternative to traditional finish products is now a sensational product among the homeowners. Aluminum and vinyl siding can now be seen on homes in all price ranges and has been proven an excellent choice for many situations.

Aluminum and vinyl siding offer a lower installation cost. They are durable and almost maintenance free. Since the styles, personal tastes, and color of the aluminum and vinyl siding vary, the most important question that comes in the mind of many homeowners is that “can aluminum or vinyl siding be painted?” This question often leads us to another question, “How do you paint aluminum or vinyl siding?”

Aluminum and vinyl siding can be painted and the process of painting the same goes through some interconnected stages. Mentioned below are the steps to paint aluminum and vinyl siding.

Surface Preparation:

Surface preparation is the most important thing when it comes to start any painting project. A properly prepared surface greatly increases the success of Aluminum and Vinyl siding painting project. It is also important to check whether there are underlying problems. If you think that the siding needs any repair or nailing, you should take care of any loose pieces prior to start painting. Once you make a close inspection of your house, you can get to know about many problems like decayed wood, insect damage, or moisture under the siding.

Priming Aluminum or Vinyl Siding:

The aluminum or vinyl surface requires a good priming job. However, the surface that you are planning to paint will dictate whether a primer is needed. Priming is essential if the siding is glossy or slick, or in the case of aluminum siding, check whether it is weathered down to bare metal. You should also apply primer if the there are stains or discoloration on the surface. Priming ensures that the paint job will last as long as possible.

Paints for Aluminum or Vinyl Siding:

When it comes to choose colors to paint vinyl siding, you may be restricted to colors that are lighter than the vinyl surface. If you paint vinyl siding with darker color, it may cause the siding to warp. If possible, you can check with the manufacturer of the vinyl siding to determine what colors can be used.