Sandblasting 101: How to Prep Your Home & Get it Done Safely

Sandblasting 101: How to Prep Your Home & Get it Done Safely


Preparing your house or other structure for repainting is essential to achieving a smooth, clean surface to which the paint will adhere properly for an even appearance and long service life. For homes that have several layers of exterior paint that’s cracking, peeling and gatoring, slapping on another coat of paint is counterproductive. And removing the old paint manually through scrapping just isn’t practical. In such a situation, sandblasting – also known as abrasive blasting – is the only solution.

Sandblasting is the process of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to clean, smoothen, or roughen up a surface. The common name is actually a misnomer, as many types of materials can be used. While some homeowners try to go the DIY route, this is really one job that should be left to the pros, as it poses serious health hazards for amateurs – who aren’t likely to own the proper protective gear or know proper technique.

However, we’re aware of professional or aspiring house flippers who have good hands-on skills out of necessity. The properties on which you can get a good deal typically aren’t in great condition. Here’s a basic guide to economical sandblasting that keeps safety front and center.


The cost of sandblasting a house

Cost varies, depending on the size of the project, construction material of the structure and abrasive material used. The cost of the sandblasting project increases with the increase in the size of the area and the increase in the difficulty to remove the material.


Safety considerations

While many other abrasive materials are now used, silica sand remains popular. Silica is a mineral compound called silicon dioxide which is in crystalline or amorphous form. Crystalline silica is hazardous to health. It is usually found in quartz, but also found in substances like tridymite, cristobalite and tripoli. Inhaling crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis and various other diseases.

In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a directive to control exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule comprises of two standards – one for Construction Code of Federal Regulations and the other for General Industry and Maritime.

For respiratory protection, wear a respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This should cover the head, neck and shoulders.


Other protective gear should include the following:

  • Protective helmet
  • Protective clothing, including gloves
  • Safety shoes or boots
  • Ear protection


How to prep your home for sandblasting

Many Central Florida homes are concrete block construction – known in the trade as concrete masonry units (CMUs). Concrete block homes may be painted or stuccoed over. Test-blast a small area before proceeding. The type of paint (ordinary latex or elastomeric paint) and the number of coats will determine how difficult it is to remove. The closer and longer you blast the block, the more cement and aggregate you are likely to take off from the surface.

You need to be careful when it comes to the mortar between the block, particularly the vertical joints which are also called head joints. The mortar can blow out, which creates openings called bee holes. These openings act as entry points for insects and water. Patch these holes with fresh mortar, which is known as tuck pointing. Professionals are recommended to do this job, as staining and an imperfect appearance can result when improperly done.

To protect windows, cover them properly. Masking tape and red and grey tape are not usually the right option. Experts recommend using clear six mil plastic sheeting to cover windows. Use one sheet per window, double tape it continuously all around. Cover all doors that are not to be sandblasted to protect them from debris.

Also, make sure that you don’t blast stucco or CMU dry. Also ensure that you don’t sandblast a surface if there is a chance that there is asbestos or lead in it. If there’s a question about this, have the paint tested. If so, it definitely will necessitate removal by a professional.

You should also use a high-pressure sprayer, not just the hose, after sandblasting to remove sand and masonry grit. You also most likely will have to clean up the wet abrasive material around the area where sandblasting is done.


As we said at the beginning, if you’re not an ambitious house flipper or DIY-seasoned homeowner, sandblasting is best left to those with the experience, skills and equipment.

Our pros at The Paint Manager can carry out sandblasting efficiently and safely. Contact us to learn more.


How to Paint Your Baby’s Nursery

How to Paint Your Baby’s Nursery

Nothing is more exciting than welcoming your baby into this world. All kinds of preparations are underway – from making a list of names to shopping and sprucing up your home’s exteriors and interiors – as parents leave no stone unturned to give the best to their new arrival. The major preparation is, of course, decorating the nursery – which starts with choosing the wall color. While choices have fortunately expanded beyond pink for girls and blue for boys, there’s much more to consider that can have a long-term effect on the health of your newborn.


Start with a healthy environment

To make your baby’s room healthier, Consumer Reports offers some tips that you need to keep in mind before undertaking the painting project:

Use paint that has low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – VOCs are solvents that are released into the air when paint containing these compounds dries. According to the American Lung Association, breathing VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose and throat; cause difficulty in breathing; nausea; and can damage the central nervous system as well as other organs. Some VOCs can cause cancer. Not all VOCs have all these health effects, though many have several. Details on specific health effects of each specific VOC can be found in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxic Substances Portal.

Paint the nursery at least two months in advance – This is a good general rule, even when using paint containing low or zero VOCs – as all interior paints give off some fumes.

Check for the presence of lead-based paint – Homes built before 1978 often contain lead-based paint. If there is no chipping or peeling of the paint on the wall, windowsills or doors, it doesn’t mean the environment is safe. Intact paint can be dangerous – especially on windows and doors – because they generate lead-contaminated dust when they are opened or closed. If your home has lead-based paint, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Hire a licensed contractor for removal, and find other accommodations during the mitigation process until it is determined safe for you to return.


Getting down to work

If you’re considering taking the DIY approach to painting the nursery, the good people at Ecos Paints outline the process as follows.

Understand the effect of colors on space – Dark color schemes can make your room look more cramped, whereas light colors like white can make it appear more spacious. Different color schemes can also have a bearing on your baby’s mood. For instance, research claims that red color can increase the feeling of aggression, whereas yellow color can pep up the mood. Also, some soothing colors are known to help your baby sleep better. The best way to select a color for your baby’s room is to view how it would look on the wall. You can get sample colors, and then choose the best for your baby’s nursery.

Determine the amount of paint you need – The quality of paint and the area of the room you have to paint (square foot) are the two things that will determine the amount of paint you need to paint your baby’s room. For example, to paint an average sized room (two coats) you would need about five gallons of average quality paint, but the same can be painted in three gallons if the paint is of premier quality.

Take into account the durability of the paint – The paint finish you choose is what would affect the durability of the paint. For instance, if you want moisture resistant and washable paint, you can choose eggshell finish. For a high traffic area, you can either choose eggshell or some other pale to mid color because they are less prone to marks from rubbing. If you use matte paint, on the other hand, it can hide the imperfections in the wall.

Do the necessary prep work – Before you start the project, you should ensure that you have all the right supplies. You also need to prep up your tools. Also, clean the rollers and brushes so that it can paint properly. You also need to ensure that you remove all the furniture from the room and cover the floor with drop cloths. You also need to tape off the floorboards, corners, and other outlet covers and switches. Keep a rag handy in case of spills. You can first sand the walls and prime them before putting on the paint coats.


How color affects your baby

 While a newborn may be unaware of the color of his or her nursery, this will most likely be your child’s room for the next several years, transitioning from infancy to childhood. Project Nursery has an informative guide on the emotional effect that colors evoke. Of course, it isn’t a good idea to use wall-to-wall red, but it can work as an accent color. The article provides a thoughtful analysis of the major colors and their suitability for a nursery.

With so much to prepare for in anticipation of your new arrival, you may not have the time (or inclination) to do the job yourself. The Paint Manager has an experienced team of painters ready to create the perfect nursery.

Contact us to learn more!

Hire a Handyman This Year! Here Are The Advantages!

Hire a Handyman This Year! Here Are The Advantages!


Why You Should Hire a Handyman

Home maintenance is an ongoing obligation. No matter what the season, some area of your home’s interior or exterior will need attention during the year. Many of these tasks fall under the category of “odd jobs” – that is, not major enough to require a home repair or home renovation contractor, but still require a certain amount of time, expertise and physical ability to perform. Then, there’s the infamous “honey-do” list of small projects that seems to keep getting longer. Hiring a handyman can be the ideal solution for those lacking DIY skills and/or would rather not engage in manual labor on weekends.

Advantages of hiring a handyman

Enlisting the services of a handyman is practical for many reasons. As Get Local Home Pros points out, a handyman has a variety of skills, tools and equipment to complete different tasks. According to the article:

“Just because you have several home repairs it doesn’t mean they’re all related skill-wise. Most people don’t have a full set of tools ready to go to tackle every job that arises, let alone the skill to handle them.

Handyman Service, Orlando Home Repair Company, How to hire a handyman

 “The advantage to hiring a handyman is they are skilled in multiple tasks and can handle a variety of home repairs easily. They have all their own tools too. If you’ve got a list of repairs that cover a wide range, like touching up paint, caulking or replacing shingles, handymen are ideal.”

In addition, the article points out that a handyman can save you money by performing multiple home repair or maintenance jobs at his (or her) hourly rate, as opposed to having to hire a different tradesperson for each project. Depending upon the size and complexity of the jobs, a handyman may be able to knock out your entire honey-do list in one day – again, as opposed to having to schedule individual tradespeople at various times during the week.

If you’ve ever performed an exterior or interior home improvement/repair/etc. project, you also learned that after the main job is done, there’s the second job: cleanup. A handyman takes care of this, as well, picking up and disposing of all debris.

Giving yourself the gift of time

Even though you will probably need to be at home to supervise the handyman or provide direction if an unforeseen complication occurs, hiring a handyman frees you from spending the time and effort on the job itself. Binge-watch your favorite series, spend quality time with your kids or whatever you’d rather be doing than what you hired the handyman for. You won’t be climbing a ladder, lugging supplies around or making an emergency run to your home improvement center because you need more paint.

Freshen up your curb appeal

How to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal, Yard of the Month, Landscaping Tips, Home Improvements

 Whether you’re planning to sell your house, or just want to freshen its look, a handyman can do the jobs that will make it the neighborhood gem. Improving your home’s curb appeal can increase its resale value, allowing you to get top dollar. A new exterior paint job, shutter repair and other such fixes are all in a good handyman’s wheelhouse.


Make sure the job is done right, and safely

A professional handyman uses the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing for the job – such as safety goggles, work boots and heavy-duty gloves. The items that non-professionals tend to buy may not provide adequate protection for work conditions. A good handyman also knows how to handle and properly dispose of hazardous chemicals, as well as hold any required certifications for doing so.

When DIY becomes DDIY (don’t do-it-yourself)

Sure, you may think that anyone should be able to do some types of home repairs or simple maintenance.

But there are certain circumstances and stages of life when hiring a handyman is preferable.

Senior citizens – For those of mature years, the ‘round-the-house jobs you may have once done easily could now be too demanding – or downright risky – to take on. Be honest with yourself about your physical capabilities. Hiring a handyman for jobs that require climbing a ladder or lifting large, heavy objects may prevent serious injury, a medical emergency – or worse.

But YouTube made it look easy – The prevalence of DIY videos on YouTube can give false encouragement to inexperienced homeowners in their ability to tackle an odd job. Those guys and gals wielding power tools make it look easy, but they’ve had plenty of practice. If you haven’t – again, be honest with yourself. Even if you’re a young whippersnapper, it’s better to leave it to the pros. And young whippersnappers can still be shaky on a ladder. You don’t want to learn this fact for the first time while trying to fix a shingle on your roof.

Botching what you initially believed to be a simple project can cost extra money and time in hiring an expert to set things right – not to mention perhaps making the problem even worse or creating one that didn’t previously exist. If you are interested in acquiring DIY skills, home improvement centers offer free workshops that teach the basics in a wide variety of projects. Visit your local store’s website for class schedules.


What kind of jobs does a handyman do?

So what kind of jobs are best for hiring a handyman?

The full list we offer can be found here, including the following highlights:

The Paint Manager is a one-stop resource for hiring Central Florida’s most experienced and skilled professionals. Our satisfied customers can vouch for our reliability, efficiency and trustworthiness. Contact us to learn more and schedule a top-quality handyman for your next project.

How to Use Outdoor Lighting as a Home Improvement

How to Use Outdoor Lighting as a Home Improvement


When it comes to the looks of your home, the first impression does make a difference, and a positive one can have a huge impact. A beautiful home exterior not only increases the curb appeal of your home, but it also says a lot about the attitude of the homeowner. And, it is basic human psychology to strive for more and better, be it your job or the way you keep your home. There is a lot that you can do to improve the look and feel of your house. For example, an exterior paint job, pressure washing the exterior of your home and outdoor lighting are all home improvement projects that can revitalize the look of your house.


While this article focuses on the benefits of residential outdoor lighting, here are the main benefits of exterior home improvement projects, as provided by home improvement contractor Windows on Washington:

It increases the value of your home – When you undertake a home improvement project, it certainly increases the value of your home. An attractive home exterior not just reflects well on the homeowner, but it also increases the curb appeal of your property.

It makes home maintenance easier – Everyone these days is short on time. Exterior home improvements can help you cut down on the time you need to spend on the maintenance of your home. For example, siding installation makes it easier for the homeowners to maintain the house as they don’t have to spend time on repainting the exteriors over and over again. Similarly, a new garage door and energy efficient replacement windows also make it easy for the homeowners to maintain their house.

Energy savings – This is another important consideration that encourages homeowners to take up exterior home improvement projects. For example, siding installation can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. Similarly installing replacement windows can also reduce your energy bills substantially.


Home exterior lighting ideas

While many people don’t necessarily consider exterior lighting a home improvement, a well-planed system adds beauty and security to your property. Exterior lighting can do much more than line walkways or illuminate entryways. Artful use of outdoor lights can define entertaining spaces – such as a patio – as well as call attention to landscaping features.



Contemporist offers several ideas for outdoor lighting, which include:

String lighting – If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy way of lighting up your backyard and garden, you can use string lighting. You only need to string them up, connect them to a socket, and you are ready to spend some quality time at night in your backyard or garden.

Lanterns – You can also use lanterns to light up your garden and backyard. They are not just easy to place, but are available in a variety of styles to set any mood.

Strips of LED lights hidden under the furniture or base of your stairs – If you want to transform your outdoor spaces and make it modern, you can use strips of LED lights hidden under the furniture or along the base of the stairs.

Uplighting – Another way of making a style statement is to place lights under the trees and plants (positioned upwards). You can also place these lights on the walls (facing upwards). Uplighting helps create a sophisticated, dramatic effect.

Spheres and orbs – You can also use spheres and orbs to lighten up your garden and backyard. You can put them up individually or use them in cluster forms on the ground to set a contemporary mood.

Pendant lights – For homeowners who have a dedicated dining area in their backyard, pendant lights help define the space, as well as better illuminate place settings for meals.


Budget-friendly home exterior lighting ideas

Home improvement projects, especially outdoor lighting need not always dig a big hole in the homeowner’s pocket. There are many budget-friendly home exterior lighting ideas that you can use to make your outdoor spaces brighter and beautiful.



HGTV offers the following inspirations:

Create a moonlight effect – Use small directional lights in a large tree to create a moonlight effect. You can supplement it with candle lanterns around the tree which is an affordable and easy option that you can do without the hassle of wiring.

Use lanterns to brighten up your outdoor space – One of the easiest, attractive, and effective ways of lighting up your backyard and garden is to use decorative lanterns. You can use them in a cluster on the dining table, line them up on the wall, or put them up in groups. Wax candles or outdoor LED candles can be used in these lanterns to lighten up the outdoor space.

Chandelier – If you have a dining space in your backyard, you can use a chandelier to create a stylish dining atmosphere. You can suspend a candle chandelier from the beam or covered patio. For easy operation, you can use battery-operated LED candles. You can use string lights radiating from the chandelier’s mounting to create a magical experience.

Use step lights – You can light up your steps and walkways with solar-powered lights, which you can install yourself. Mount them on any flat surface or place them on the ground to give a modern look to your outdoor space.  

Create a romantic glow – Group flameless LED pillar candles wherever you want to set a magical mood – patio, porch or outdoor seating area.

Vintage-style lights – These Edison-style lights with exposed filaments adds more style quotient to your outdoor space. If outdoor party lighting is what you are looking at, then vintage-style lights can bring on the magic.

String lighting – Positioned at regular intervals, you can use overhead string lighting to illuminate your courtyard. You can also use copper DSE uplights to illuminate the shrubs, trees, and pottery. You can also use café lights in a string formation which adds a magnificent glow to your garden or backyard. If you don’t have trees and other tall objects in your backyard and garden, then you can use temporary planters and wood posts to hang these lights. Of course, they’re always ideal outdoor party lighting!

Use planters – Planters that glow from within are becoming popular as intriguing accents for yards and gardens. Most are solar powered so that you can display them anywhere.

Solar deck accent lights – Everyone’s all-time favorite, this is another way to brighten up your deck railing, post, or stairs. Solar deck accent lights can turn on automatically at dusk, and it is an attractive option to illuminate your backyard and garden.

To learn more about innovative outdoor lighting ideas, get in touch with The Paint Manager. You can also contact us for other outdoor and indoor home improvement ideas that can boost your home’s curb appeal!

Why You (or a Pro) Should Pressure Wash Your House

Why You (or a Pro) Should Pressure Wash Your House

Ah, the joys of fall in Central Florida! As we ease away from worrying about hurricane season, temperatures begin to drop to the double-digits – making this the perfect time to get back to outdoor chores and home improvement projects before the thermometer dips even lower and it gets too cold for our thin Florida skin. Pressure washing (also called power washing) your house should be at, or near, the top of this list. Not only does a sparkling-clean abode show a sense of pride about yourself and your status in the neighborhood, it’s also a necessity to maximize curb appeal if you’re planning to sell, and to properly prep your house if you’re planning to paint.


If you can’t remember the last time you pressure washed your house, it probably could benefit from a good cleaning, no matter what your plans. It’s typical to not look at your home’s exterior closely, unless a problem becomes obvious. However, ignoring built-up grime, mildew, road dust (if you live on an unpaved street) and bird droppings not only creates a dingy appearance, but can actually damage your home and pose a health hazard. As noted by New Life Painting, mildew and mold continue to grow if left unchecked – and mold can grow within walls, meaning your home’s interior could be affected.


Do you dare DIY?


Pressure washing is one of those jobs that inexperienced, yet physically sturdy people often think they can take on themselves and save money. Of course, only you can judge your own capability to handle the equipment. Yet just because you may be able to wield the wand with ease, keep in mind that it can be hazardous if you aren’t familiar with how to work a pressure washer. Dangers include using too much pressure or the wrong nozzle – which can damage surfaces (such as siding, mortar and wood), break windows, and even cause injury. Improper use can also blast paint off, which means you’ll be repainting long before you intended. When it comes to safe, successful pressure washing, brain is as important as brawn.


Of course, hardcore DIY types probably already own a pressure washer, and therefore probably aren’t reading this. But if you’re generally handy with home maintenance and confident in your ability to tackle the task, renting the equipment at a home center is a good option. The advantage is in being able to talk to the rental associate, describe your house and get a recommendation on the type of pressure washer and accessories you’ll need. Being upfront with the associate about your experience level will result in the detailed, helpful advice and instructions that will allow you do to the best job in the safest way.


Once you’re set up and ready to start, become familiar with the wand or spray gun to work out the most effective spray pattern. You should use both arms to prevent fatigue. It is recommended to wash with the wand aimed downward, but there may be times you’ll have to aim it slightly up. As a general rule, work from the top down, and don’t spray water directly into cracks and gaps.


Safety first


Before getting underway, be sure you know how to use the pressure washer safely. Industrial equipment manufacturer Mi-T-M Corp. offers this helpful video of safety tips. Highlights include the following:

  • Read and heed all safety instructions on the equipment.

  • Wear safety goggles and closed-toe shoes.

  • If using an electric pressure washer, plug into a properly grounded GFCI outlet.

  • Place the pressure washer on a flat surface before starting.

  • Never point the nozzle at a person or animal; never come directly in line of the spray yourself.

  • Make sure the work area is clear of children and pets.

  • When not in use, hold the nozzle or gun assembly properly, so that water doesn’t accidentally spray.

  • When you turn off the pressure washer, release the pressure by squeezing the trigger before detaching hoses and nozzles.

  • Be careful before moving the pressure washer from one place to another, as the engine can get very hot.


Leaving it to the pros


If you’ve already decided that pressure washing is best left to the pros, The Paint Manager is ready! Our team has years of experience in power washing homes of all sizes, construction materials and ages to provide the best possible results. You can also contact us for innovative ideas on painting and repainting your home’s interiors and exteriors. We offer free estimates on all projects, and will be happy to help you take your home improvement plans to reality!

When to Paint the Exterior of Your House

When to Paint the Exterior of Your House

Painting your home’s exterior is perhaps the maintenance project that homeowners dread the most. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, the task is expensive and nerve-wracking. If you’re like us here at The Paint Manager, you’re economy-minded, and consider any home improvement investment over $100 expensive. And although we pride ourselves on doing our jobs as quietly as possible, having people working on your property isn’t relaxing even under the best circumstances.


In Central Florida, the additional factors of intense heat punctuated by afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and hurricane season through November 1 compound the problem of finding a window of opportunity to accomplish this mission.


But first, let’s consider your motivation for painting your house. If you’re planning to sell, giving the exterior a fresh coat of paint is a sure way to boost curb appeal. This can also be the ideal time to update the colors to attract more interest among potential buyers. As with everything else, exterior colors go in and out of style – which means you want your house to look as up-to-date as possible. A newly painted house also creates the impression that the rest of the place has been regularly maintained and kept in good repair – and is therefore unlikely to present the new owners with nasty surprises.


If you’re planning to stay, this can still be a good opportunity to give your house an exterior makeover with an updated color scheme. However, your motive may be more than to create an impression – that is, you are regularly maintaining your home. Indicators that it’s time to repaint include:


  • Flaking, bubbling or cracking paint – These conditions often signal dry rot, wet rot or mold caused by failed weatherproofing. Strong sunlight, extreme humidity, storms, blowing sand and ocean breezes can contribute to the damage.


  • Hardened caulk – Caulking eventually loses its ability to expand and contract with your house. If the beads are hard and resistant when you press down, it’s time to recaulk – which typically means it’s also time to repaint.


  • Fading paint – Perhaps the most obvious sign. Sun bleaching is common, and dark hues tend to fade faster than paler shades. However, according to Nationwide, fading on shady sides of the house indicates problems with the vapor barrier or with water intrusion. Look for stains dripping downward on the paint. If water-soluble materials designed for home interiors end up outside the house, it’s a sign of water leaks. If you can’t pinpoint the source, call an expert.


  • Morphing paint color – Did your home’s color morph from sedate beige to pink? Blame ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can sometimes transform paint to an unexpected or undesired shade. To prevent this, make sure the paint is an exterior grade that can withstand UV effects.


  • Patching stucco – Stucco exteriors were popular in Florida in the 1990s, but fell out of fashion due to problems with the material adhering to the concrete block it was applied over. To minimize costs without re-stuccoing the entire house, patch stucco cracks and repaint the whole house. Otherwise, homeowners will be left with streaks or a patchwork from paint that doesn’t quite match.


The quality of the paint and painting materials you choose makes a significant difference in the durability of your exterior paint. Selecting high-quality paints and painting materials will ensure that your paint job lasts longer. Equally important is performing detailed prep work, should you decide to go the DIY route. Clean and sand the surface so paint adheres to it properly. Apply two coats for greater durability and longer useful life.


Now comes the question: How often should your paint your house? Assuming you don’t wait for it to acquire a weather-beaten appearance, the answer is: It depends on some variables – your region, climate and weather conditions, your home’s construction materials and the quality of those materials.


For example, houses with wood siding may require a repaint every three to seven years; every four years if it is stained. Other time frames are:


  • Stucco – 5 to 6 years
  • Brick – 15 to 20 years if painted; occasional pressure washing if not
  • Cement fiberboard siding – 10 to 15 years


If you are planning to have your home exteriors (and interiors) painted, and you need a professional home painting contractor, get in touch with The Paint Manager. Select the perfect color from our color picker page, or contact us for innovative house painting ideas!

A Fresh Look at Fall Colors for Your Home

A Fresh Look at Fall Colors for Your Home


After a summer’s worth of Florida’s triple-digit temperatures, many people are ready to welcome the cooler temperatures of fall. But in the Sunshine State, autumn is more a state of mind than reality. For this reason, we enthusiastically decorate to capture the spirit of the season. Now that the first cinnamon-scented brooms are making their appearance in supermarkets, we take a look at this year’s popular fall colors, and how to incorporate them in your home. From major projects – like painting a room – to introducing pops of color through accessories, everyone can enjoy a touch of autumn, even if the AC is still running non-stop. Here are some of our favorites here at The Paint Manager, offered by the experts!  


First up, author Cyndy Aldred, whose blog, The Creativity Exchange, focuses on color, paint and home improvement. Writing for Better Homes & Gardens, she makes the following observations. “Paint colors will continue to warm up this year. Common among the various trend reports are softer neutrals, creamy whites, muted colors, and rich dark hues.”


Although Aldred notes that paint manufacturers and other industry influencers made their pronouncements for the entire year, rather just autumn, the trend toward rich, deeper colors is especially suited for the season.


“Soft neutral paint colors will have warmer undertones this year, which make a space feel cozy and warm.” Aldred writes. “Mixing a soft neutral wall color with a dark or bold accent color in furniture, fabrics, or art is a beautiful way to add contrast to a space.”


Also, look for rich, dark hues – another common thread among the 2018 paint color forecasts. Designers are mixing these colors with whites and soft neutrals to create contrast and make a statement. If you want to be daring but don’t want to risk being overwhelming, choose a dark shade for an accent wall.


According to Aldred, other noteworthy colors are chestnut brown, deep burgundy, and dark blue – which can be used for interior doors, cabinetry and furniture, as well as walls. And consider a combination of rich colors paired with shiny finishes like brass or chrome.


Next, none other than lifestyle diva extraordinaire Martha Stewart, whose website provides idea-inspiring photos of 20 interior settings using fall colors. Overall, Stewart recommends such shades as orange, yellow, dark green, rust and brown as accents. These versatile colors can be used for walls, fabrics, accessories and floral arrangements.


Using different tones of one color help richen the effect, as does layering deep colors and textured fabrics. For example, Stewart picks out a red damask tablecloth, reddish-brown wall color and red lacquer accessories tinted with cinnabar or vermilion as variations on a theme of fall’s signature color.


Reporting on paint color trends for The Spruce, blogger Kelly Weimert identifies “An Abundance of Berries.” Weimert writes: “From strawberry red to raspberry pink to blueberry, well, blue, berry-inspired color palettes are bringing all kinds of vivacious cheer to interior spaces in the upcoming season.


“The beauty of this color trend is its versatility – bolder style sensibilities can select a bright red with which to make a striking style statement while more subdued styles will benefit from a softer raspberry hue to add increased warmth to their aesthetic.”


fall colors, fall home designFor those who prefer a more traditional take on warm autumn hues, floral arrangements are a perfect way to set the tone. Teleflora offers suggestions on its blog post, “Bring Stunning Fall Colors Into Your Home.” They’re all great ideas for those who have come to Florida from locales that actually have four seasons.

  • Decorate the coffee table with candles in seasonal colors and scents; feature a floral arrangement of flowers in fall colors, mixed with leaves (which, of course, Teleflora can supply). Great fall inspired decorations can be found at
  • Use your imagination to spread small bursts of autumnal color throughout the home. For example, orange roses in small vases in the living room, bright yellow flowers in the kitchen and some deep, ruby red bouquets in the bedroom.


Feeling inspired to invite fall into your home year ‘round with warm colors on your walls?  The Paint Manager has over two decades of experience in providing high-quality, trusted full-service residential painting for homes of every size and age. Our team can provide décor ideas, does all the demanding prep work and performs skilled, meticulous application to ensure beautiful results. Contact us for an estimate.

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Planning a kitchen remodel? You already know that most of your budget will be claimed by replacing the cabinetry. But if the existing cabinets in your home are solid wood and in overall good condition, they can be refinished with stain for an updated look at a fraction of the cost. Before rushing in, however, there is much to consider – starting with whether you should do it yourself, or hire a pro.

The DIY approach can be successful if you have experience and confidence in your ability to take on mid-level to major home improvement projects. As we always caution here, don’t let your enthusiasm for cable TV house flipping shows make you think you can do likewise if you’ve done nothing more complex around the house than change lightbulbs.

In addition to expertise, staining a kitchenful of cabinets will demand a good deal of time. This includes such prep work as removing handles and other hardware, removing doors, stripping the existing finish, sanding, etc. You may not be willing or able to dedicate evenings and weekends to the project, which also will impact your kitchen’s function to some degree.

For those who want to learn more about what’s involved in staining cabinets to help you decide which route to take, The Paint Manager offers our helpful DIY resource page, which provides answers to common questions, as well as links to DIY videos and other tips from the experts.

An even more up-close look at the entire cabinet finishing process can be seen courtesy of The Idaho Painter.



Should you decide to leave the work to the professionals, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with the basic products so you can make informed choices. Start with the stain itself. There are three types: oil-based, water-based and gel. Minwax provides a comprehensive guide to staining, which includes a chart of stain products, their characteristics and best uses. Your paint contractor will be able to tell you which type is recommended for your cabinetry, and why.

Here are some other benefits of hiring a pro for wood cabinet staining:

  • You don’t have to compromise your safety – Doing the project on your own entails some risks. From the step ladder and tools to wood dust and volatile fumes, the project can be hazardous if this is your first cabinet staining rodeo. Professional contractors have the right tools and expertise, and also know how to properly ventilate the space so that it doesn’t become hazardous for occupants.


  • Quality prep work – The casual do-it-yourselfer may not consider the amount of preparation required before even opening the first can of stain. Please re-read the third paragraph of this blog post for a (very) general outline of the labors that doing a thorough job of the necessary prep work involve. A professional paint contractor performs each step, in the correct order, to ensure beautiful results that will last for many years.


  • Top-quality results – Professional paint contractors have great experience in applying stain evenly to bring out the wood grain and achieve consistent color on all cabinet surfaces for a custom appearance that will make you proud of your kitchen again.


  • Relatively quick job completion – Several factors – such as the size of your kitchen – will affect the amount of time the project will require. However, hiring a pro means the job will be done in a few days, rather than a few weeks – or months – as would be the case with doing it yourself. Your kitchen will be fully functional much sooner, and you and your family won’t have to work around disassembled cabinetry, vinyl sheeting partitioning off work areas or the persistent odor of wood stain stripper for what will seem like an indefinite period.


  • It’s still economical – Compared against the cost of new cabinetry, hiring a paint contractor to refinish your cabinets will still save you a significant amount of money. If you’re considering doing it yourself to do the job as inexpensively as possible, keep in mind the real cost of your time, labor, personal risk and overall inconvenience – not to mention the possibility of a poor aesthetic result due to lack of experience


Contact us at The Paint Manager to bring your old wood kitchen cabinets back to vibrant new life!

Seven Top Home Painting Myths You Should Know

Seven Top Home Painting Myths You Should Know


For some reason, there’s no home improvement project that has more mythology surrounding it than house painting. Knowing fact from fiction is essential if you’re planning to do it yourself. If you expected the job to be easy-peasy, reading the following may prompt you to call a professional. Should you still decide to go it alone (or with family and friends), at least you’ll have a better idea of what you’re getting into.


Home DIY, home painting, painting myths

  1. You don’t need a primer – Some people believe it’s important to use a primer, while others think it’s a waste of time, money and energy. The fact of the matter is that if you want to make your walls look smooth, perfect, and professional, you should always apply primer. Moreover, one of the main reasons why using a primer is necessary is because it helps the paint bind well to the wall.


  1. You don’t need to clean or sand the walls if you use a primer – No matter how high-quality the primer, it won’t adhere well to a greasy or uneven surface. Family Handyman notes that you should pay special attention to high-traffic, high-touch areas, as well as kitchens, baths and baseboards.


  1. You always need to apply two coats for a perfect finish – This may have been true in the past, but the quality of paint has improved over the years. If you apply primer, a single coat should be sufficient. However, if you don’t use primer or are applying a lighter shade over a dark color, two coats may be necessary.


  1. Painting the ceiling makes the room look smaller – If interior décor experts are right in declaring that accent walls are no longer trendy, the accent ceiling is on the rise, so to speak. In fact, light walls with a dark ceiling can create the illusion of a taller space. Queen Anne Painting of Seattle expands on this as follows:Home DIY, home painting, painting myths

“… if you paint the ceiling light blue, the room will appear to have a much taller ceiling when in fact, it is the same height it has always been. If you want to avoid the ceiling appearing smaller, be sure you use a medium shade on the walls and a shade or two darker on the ceiling.”


  1. Don’t use dark colors, as it will make a small room appear smaller – Not true at all. A room will look big or small depending on the way you style it, and not on the color you use on the walls and ceilings. The way you light the room, the kind of floor you opt for and the type of furniture you use will determine whether your space looks larger or small. In fact, dark walls can make your room appear larger if you do it the right way. If you have lots of windows, light-colored floors and furniture, a bold color can add to more flavor to your room than lighter shades.


  1. You don’t need to paint your house if you are planning to sell it – If you’re not selling your home as a “fixer-upper,” most buyers are looking for a move-in ready house. Painting your interior walls neutral colors throughout will create a fresh, clean look that will appeal to the majority of homebuyers. Also keep in mind that dingy walls painted in outdated colors may raise a red flag to potential buyers that your home may not have been carefully maintained, and serious problems could be lurking.


  1. You don’t need to hire a professional painting company This depends. Most homeowners lack the experience, expertise and equipment to achieve professional-quality results – not to mention time. Those who are inspired by the numerous home renovation shows on cable TV may think they can tackle the job, but reality could be quite different. If, however, you have a good deal of practical experience on a rehab project or two (and the right equipment), going the DIY route might be successful.


Speaking of house painting professionals, The Paint Manager has over two decades of experience in providing high-quality, trusted full-service residential painting for homes of every size and age. Our team does all the demanding prep work and performs skilled, meticulous application to ensure beautiful results. Contact us for an estimate.

Hurricane Season is here! Are you ready?

Hurricane Season is here! Are you ready?

Hurricane season officially started on June 1, and will run through November 30. There are a number of steps of you should take in preparation for potential hurricanes, the intensity of which seems to increase yearly. Complete the following supply and safety checklist, and speak to your family about the actions you will take should a hurricane approach.

Have a Hurricane Safety Checklist

Although hurricane season has started, it is never too late to take the necessary steps to protect your home and family. Use this hurricne safety checklist from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative. It provides a comprehensive list of the items you may need in should a hurricane hit your home.

Make sure you download and save the website’s PDF checklists for convenience and reference.

Essential items include:

  1. Food and water.
  2. Battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  3. First aid and non-prescription drugs.
  4. Tools and supplies.
  5. Sanitation, clothing and bedding.
  6. Special items.
  7. Possessions and documents.


Hurricane Do’s and Don’ts


Should you choose to ride out a storm, the preparedness of your house makes all the difference. New or old, your home should be fortified to protect you and your loved ones from the dangers presented by a hurricane.

Consider these common mistakes Florida homeowners make when it comes to hurricane preparation, and how you can avoid them.

1- Don’t:Tape your windows. 

Do: Apply storm panels or shutters. A number of options are available, including plywood, metal, plastic and fabric. Whichever material you prefer, all effectively add protection for you and your windows.


2- Don’t: Empty your inground pool. 

Do: Leave the water level alone and remove any loose equipment. Draining the water can cause hydrostatic pressure beneath your pool, causing it to ‘pop’ out of the ground. This is a risk for both inground fiberglass and concrete pools. For a great explanation of this big word, read this informative article by Holly Jender for River Pools.


3- Don’t: Open windows or doors to ‘equalize pressure.’ 

Do: Keep your windows and doors shut and secured. Exposing them to harsh winds can turn them into dangerous debris. By opening either structure, you also increase the chance of negatively affecting the interior pressure of your home, compromising the integrity of your roof.


4- Don’t: Neglect your roof. 

Do: Regularly inspect, clean and repair your roof. When it comes to hurricanes, your roof is the integral structure that protects you from wind. Without it, your home’s walls can collapse, causing injury or leaving you exposed to the elements. Invest in a high-quality roof and any necessary equipment to back it up, such as roof clips.


5- Don’t: Leave debris clean-up for last minute. 

Do: Regularly tidy your yard and maintain foliage prior to and during hurricane season. Trimming your trees and bushes helps create wind resistance, preventing the chance that they will become harmful debris. Any outdoor furniture and other loose items should have a designated area for quick storage.


6- Don’t: Forego a backup power supply. 

Do: Purchase a generator and learn the safe way to operate it. To prevent death from carbon monoxide poisoning, DO NOT OPERATE indoors. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions. If possible, have it installed by a professional. As hurricanes approach, generators become a prized commodity – one you do not want to be stuck without. In the event that power can not be restored for days or weeks, a generator can provide power to essential appliances.


After the storm


In the wake of a hurricane, it is of the utmost importance that you wait for an official declaration that your area is safe. Continue listening to NOAA Weather Radio for updates and announcements.

In the likely event of lost power, you may be unable to access information regarding the storm’s location. In many instances, people have mistaken the calm ‘eye’ of the storm as an indication that it passed through the area, and that the danger is over. Moments later they find themselves exposed to the harshest extent of the hurricane. Also look out for tornadoes. For every hurricane that makes landfall, the formation of at least one tornado is likely. Tornadoes are known to spawn up to three days following a hurricane.

Hurricane winds themselves typically account for only 50% of storm-related deaths. The other half are due to subsequent flooding. As Florida is prone to flooding, staying up-to-date on your proximity to flood zones can help you prepare. Even areas that had never before experienced flood waters are now susceptible. Recent studies show a 20% to 30% slow-down over land areas affected by North Atlantic and North Pacific tropical cyclones. Slower forward speed means increased rainfall and a greater likelihood of inland floods.

You should use equal caution in handling your supplies, and being exposed to the dangers presented by hurricane damages – such as fallen power lines. Read this article from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to learn about indoor and outdoor post hurricane safety tips.

If your hurricane preparedness includes roof cleaning, home repairs or shrub trimming, contact The Paint Manager. Our experienced team can help you complete your Florida hurricane preparations, and give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your family.

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