Important DIY Tips You Have to Know

You can ask anyone who has ever done a home improvement project and I’m sure they’ll tell you it takes much longer and is usually more expensive than they first planned. One of the reasons for this is that do-it-yourselfers frequently make more mistakes that make their project more time-consuming and costly. Another reason this happens is that most people simply do not plan their projects properly.

Here are 9 ways to avoid those common and costly mistakes and help make your home improvement project go smoothly.

First off, take some time and really plan all the steps you may need to do to get your project done. This encompasses everything we will discuss in the paragraphs below.

Safety is of the utmost importance. Being on a first name basis with the paramedics is something we want to avoid. Take all necessary safety precautions, open windows when painting or stripping paint. Wear safety goggles and gloves, use a respirator in dusty areas. These are things you must remember to do. Safety does not only include yourself, it extends to others as well. Be sure to keep small children and pets away from the work area. It’s easy for them to get in harm’s way and that is something no one wants.

Have all the right tools and materials you need at hand before you start your project. I say the right tools because, you don’t want to cause any further damage by using the wrong tool for the job at hand.This will save you lots of time and please invest in quality tools.

Make sure you have the necessary permits. Too many people skip this step but it’s really important. You want to make sure that your project is done correctly and you are safe.

When your materials arrive you’ll want to be there to accept them. If you do not plan on starting your project that day, store them properly to protect them from theft and the elements.

Set aside enough time for you to complete your home improvement projects. Stay focused on the task at hand and try to avoid those little distractions. If you do not get the task completed in the time you allotted be sure to secure all tools and materials and keep them out of harm’s way.

If you are painting, prepare walls properly. Clean, sand or patch any holes before you paint. Take your time, you want the best result possible on your first try.

Only tackle projects you know you are capable of doing. You can’t do everything if you don’t have experience in certain areas leave those projects alone. Let an expert handle it.

You know that old saying, measure twice and cut once. Use it and use it often. Always take your time to measure properly, this alone will save you countless hours and headaches.

If you follow these simple tips getting your DIY project done will be a snap. After you complete one you can move on to the next one. There’s no big secret, all you have to do is put a proper plan in place and you are good to go.

Choosing Your Kitchen Tiles

For homeowners, the decision of choosing the right kitchen tiles can be complex and confusing, with too many varieties and options to pick from. Whether it be color, material, shape, or texture. However, the kitchen can accommodate for a range of tile styles and types without compromising on the functions. There are no limits to the creativity of your tiles for your kitchen, whether that’s giving your kitchen character through mix-matching tiles, or the sophisticated “one-tile” look. Your kitchen tile choices should not be as complex as you may think, and it all comes down to personal preference! The Lubbock Painting Company wants to ensure that your paint colors don’t clash with your tile selection.

Where do tiles in the kitchen need to be placed?

Work out exactly what type of tiles you like, and identify the areas of the kitchen to be tiled. There are a range of tiles for you kitchen to choose from, glass, metal, wood, natural stone and ceramics – which all come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. Your tiles need to be right for you, your kitchen, your budget and the look you want to achieve.

If you are tiling your kitchen floor, choosing slippery or easily chipped tiles can be dangerous in a household with small children or senior people; slip-resistant tiles would be the best option. Where as tiles used on counters or for backsplash slip-resistant tiles would not be necessary. Talk to your sales assistant about the requirements in your kitchen, and they will be able to advise the best materials for the purpose.

How much is tiling my kitchen going to cost?

This all depends on the area of your kitchen you are tiling, and the type of tiles you are using. Like everything, tiles range from high-end designer types, to the lower-end alternatives. The high-end designer tiles can come with a higher price tag! But these tend to be hand-painted ceramic pieces, and can often add more value to the kitchen. The lower priced tiles may often not be considered tiles, as they are usually stick-and-peel or vinyl types. Before you decide on the tiles, work out the area of your kitchen you want to tile and put together an estimate on your tile spending. Shop assistants should be able to help you with putting together an estimate, and help you with backsplash and floor measurements.

The backsplash areas of your kitchen still have to fit in with the surrounding areas. What style are you trying to achieve within your kitchen? If you’re looking for a modern edge, using glass or metal will enhance your look. Traditional styles may suit natural stones or ceramic to creative a rustic, classic look.

Do plenty of research before making your tile purchase, establish exactly what you are looking for, and ask as many questions to your sales assistant as possible so the process isn’t quite as overwhelming!

Hard Wood Flooring Types And Best Tree Species

Most people have seen so many oak floors that they’ve come to expect oak to be the only species available for hard wood flooring types. Oak does account for most of the types of hardwood floors sold in the United States. Other species used for hardwood flooring types, namely maple, pecan, birch, beech, various pines and fir are available, although it may take extra effort to locate sources for these species. More exotic species, like domestic cherry or walnut, mahoganies and other tropical woods, can also be custom manufactured or bought from specialty suppliers – with an increase in cost.

How To Choose The Wood Flooring Types For Your Requirements

Choosing the best species and hard wood flooring types is purely a subjective matter that concerns your own tastes in color and grain. In some locations, say a heavily trafficked hall, some soft wood flooring types (like pine or fir) may not last, so you may want to use a hardwood like oak or maple. For the same reason, gyms and courts are almost always made of maple. High-moisture areas, basements or below-grade slabs, will do better with hardwood flooring types that are moisture stable or with laminated or parquet flooring. In most cases, however, color and grain requirements will govern the selection of types of hardwood floors available for that use.

Selecting The Right Grade Of Hard Wood Flooring Types

Most suppliers will have a chart available that describes the characteristics of most soft and hard wood flooring types, and their typical applications. I’d recommend starting your selection process for the best types of hardwood floors with color. If you like warm wood tones and flamboyant grain, the red or white oak hardwood flooring types are a good choice. As you will see in manufacturers charts, the grades of wood flooring types has everything to do with grain pattern. Reddish hues dominate red oak hardwood flooring, while white oak is lighter with a tan to light brown color. However, expect considerable variation within a given lot of either red or white oak hard wood flooring types, and don’t be surprised to find an occasional white oak board in a bundle or red oak flooring, or vice versa.

White oak is slightly less moisture stable than the red oak hardwood flooring types, which means it will expand and contract more during seasonal moisture changes. For this reason, a white oak floor might be “noisier” than a red oak floor, snapping and popping a bit until the boards reach equilibrium moisture content. Red oak is more porous and slightly softer than white oak. Because of this, red oak absorbs more stain than does white oak, producing a very noticeable contrast between boards in the same floor. Also, red oak wood flooring types will consume a lot more stain and finish than white oak.

Red oak’s stain-absorption properties can be a plus with heavy pigmented stains, such as whites or greys. These stains consist of large particles that don’t penetrate deeply into the wood’s large pores. When a wide color variation is wanted or a pigmented heavy stain is being used, red oak will probably produce better results. White oak hardwood flooring types are more evenly colored to begin with, and it accepts stains more evenly, if sparingly. White oak isn’t as good a choice as red when a wide color variation is desired, but the final result will be more uniform.

Non Oak Based Types Hardwood Floors

Hard maples are also widely available types of hardwood flooring, mostly for gyms and sports floors but in residential applications, too. The light color and subtle grain pattern are a nice change of pace from oak. Two maple hardwood floor types are available, one grown throughout the South and lower Mid-west and the other in the upper Midwest. Both are similar in appearance – creamy white in color with tight, relatively subdued grain – but the northern variety is denser and harder. Maple hardwood flooring types are one of the hardest species used for flooring. Like white oak, it’s not very porous but accepts most finishes evenly. Because maple has low rot and moisture resistance, these wood flooring types are a poor choice for wet areas like bathrooms or below-grade applications.

Three other types of hardwood flooring that might turn up with a diligent search of suppliers are pecan, beech and birch. These three are similar to maple, in that they’re very hard and have dense, subdued grain. Depending on your tastes in color, any of the three hard wood flooring types would be a good alternative to the rather pronounced grain of red oak and white oak.

How To Remove Exterior Paint And Stain

There are several techniques you can use to remove prior paints and stains. These are few that may work for you. If at all you don’t feel comfortable taking this job on, contact Wichita Paint Pros. They’re the experts in all things painting in Wichita, KS. We cannot recommend them enough.


One often used method for flat surfaces is scraping. Make sure your scraper/putty knife is sharp. Apply even pressure throughout the process, scraping at a ninety degree angle in one direction. Be sure to get in corners. Be gentle, applying some pressure. Too much pressure will sometimes hurt wood that may be underneath the paint.

You can scrape off paint from metal surfaces as well using a two-hands scraper. Sand the area afterwards with medium grit sandpaper for smoothness. Always wear protective gear such as goggles, face masks, and eye goggles to prevent dust and paint from getting on the skin, in the lungs, or in the eyes. This is extremely important as it is hazardous to your health.

Wire Brushing

For surfaces that are not so smooth, a stiff metal brush can do the trick. If you are using a power wire brush, be careful with it, using it only on those very stubborn areas. Once again, keep yourself protected with preventative wear.


Always sand after scraping to ensure smoothness of the area. If the area is wood or steel, you can use a power sander for the job. This can save time over large areas. However, do NOT power sand bricks, aluminum, or plastics.

Power Washing

High pressure water is great for lifting old paint. Stay away from using bleaches and other harsh chemical cleaners since they can affect the paint placed over the area. When power washing, hold the sprayer 6 – 8 inches away from the surface, and only spray in a horizontal or downward angle. If sprayed upwards, water can take siding off.

Chemical Removal

There are solvent-based removers that will take off most oil-based and latex paints, primers, and stains. About 2-3 square feet at a time is covered with the chemical, using a natural bristle brush. Check the label on the chemical to see how long it should sit on the paint for. Then remove the paint with a scraper/putty knife. Feel free to repeat this process if necessary and then clean the area with a towel. It is important to note that steel wool will discolor the surface and therefore should not be used. These chemicals should on be used on upright surfaces, such as trims and moldings. Do NOT apply chemicals to ceilings or other face-down surfaces as chemicals can drip down onto you.

When you use these strippers, cover floors, plants and anything else that could be affected by the chemicals. As always, and especially with this method, protect the eyes, skin, and mouth with protective wear.

Heat Gun

Heat guns can remove older stains and paints but can be dangerous to use. Put down a drop cloth and keep the drop cloth damp the entire time. You should also mist the building where you will be working. When the old paint begins to soften, it can be removed with a scraper/putty knife. Place all the hot pieces into a metal container. Do NOT use a plastic container or garbage bag, as these pieces will be hot and can burn through the container. Again, and definitely for this project, be cautious! Cover the skin, hands, eyes and mouth! SAFETY FIRST!

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Wooden floor parquet background, perspective view from above. 3d illustration

Prefinished hardwood flooring is definitely easier to install that solid flooring. By far the most difficult part of floor work is sanding and finishing. It’s backbreaking, dusty work with a heavy machine that can wreak havoc in a moment of inattention. Unfortunately, there’s no way to practice sanding. If you’ve never done it, you have to dive in and hope for the best. Once the dust is all swept up, the new floor is off limits for several odorfilled days while the finish dries. It’s easy to see why hardwood flooring was a hard sell to do-it-yourselfers, and why prefinished products have such appeal.

Prefinished hardwood flooring was developed quite a while ago but came into its own during the mid-1970s, when very few professional floor finishers were to be found. It comes straight from the factory with stain and a very durable finish already applied. All you have to do is nail it down, sweep up a little sawdust and you’re done.

It should come as no surprise that prefinished hardwood flooring is very popular. It accounts for about 15% of wood flooring contracting business and about 40% of do-it-yourself sales. Most manufacturers offer strip, plank and parquet in some kind of prefinished grade.

Besides eliminating sanding and finishing, prefinished hardwood flooring tends to have a tougher finish and a more even color. Factory finishing suffers from none of the constraints placed on the on-site finisher, so some rather exotic surface treatments are possible, including distressing, decorative pegs, coloring and very durable urethane or baked-on waxes.

One of the more elaborate methods of prefinished hardwood flooring involves impregnating the wood grain with an acrylic plastic finish. Although limited to relatively porous red oak in thin pieces, this process ensures absolutely even color through and through. Acrylic-impregnated flooring is extremely scuff resistant and dent resistant, and even with sanding it retains a uniform color throughout its lifetime.

Maintenance is an occasional buffing or treatment with a special conditioner that revives the finish.

Until recently, prefinished hardwood flooring was waxed or coated with polyurethane. This flooring was easy to factory finish but hard for the home owner to maintain. Lately manufacturers have been offering products coated with the more durable urethanes or Swedish finishes. I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t use wax as a floor finish. A properly maintained waxed floor will outlast any other finish and, in my opinion, it looks better, too. However, even minor wet spills turn a waxed floor into an ice rink so I’d think twice about a waxed floor in the kitchen or bathroom.