Painting Blog

Here’s Why You Should Paint Your Interior Wood Trim White


Interior wood trim comes in all shapes and sizes, from the simple to the more elaborate, but in the majority of homes it’s just about everywhere. Yet all too often wood trim and molding get overlooked when it’s time to consider how to redecorate - instead, all the focus ends up on the color of the walls, the finishing of the floor, and the designer furnishings and finishing touches that you’ll add to bring out each room’s character.

The truth is that it’s a mistake to ignore the decorative possibilities that come with your interior wood trim. Trim covers such a large overall area in your home that, when finished and maintained properly, it has the potential to make a lasting impression. It’s only through lack of thought that many homeowners end up simply leaving their wood trim the same color it has always been, often without much sprucing up or ongoing maintenance. But when you decide you’re going to give your wood trim the central role it deserves in your home, you’ll find that there are numerous ways to do so. Stained wood trim is common in many older properties in particular, and keeping it just as it is (or staining it yourself, if that’s not already been done) is popular as a way of adding warmth, texture and a rustic charm. It’s also a great means of retaining the classic look of a home with history and character.

What about the alternatives? Few of us would likely choose to paint our trim in bright pink or green unless we were really aiming to shock (though more subtle, pastel shades can do a good job of accentuating the cottage-like appeal of a colorful vintage kitchen or bathroom cabinets). Black wood trim, though, makes for a dramatic effect that most don’t even think of. It can add a sophisticated look to your rooms, making doorways and windows stand out like boldly framed pieces of art, as well as giving elements like attractive wood flooring the chance to shine.

But perhaps the most popular choice of all is to simply paint your interior wood trim and moldings in brilliant white. This is a total all-rounder, which works well with a whole variety of wall designs - from those painted in white to match, to others dressed up in brighter, more adventurous hues, or even carrying busier, more involved designs. At Sharper Impressions Painting, we’re big fans of this classic white approach to wood trim - so if you’re giving it some thought but aren’t yet convinced it’s the right choice for your home, consider these scenarios when white just works.

You want to break up more daring wall designs

Bright and brazen walls are great - whether just on one accent surface or across the whole room, they can brighten up a space to no end, and add lively personality in place of dreariness. That said, it’s easy to go overboard. White trim offers an easy way to tone down strong colors, so that you get the bold, attention-grabbing effect you’re going for, but without it consuming the decor of the entire room. And even if your walls sport relatively subdued designs and colors at the moment, who’s to say that in the future you won’t want to switch things up and go for something more extravagant? If and when you do, white trim will stay by your side - it works well alongside even the most out-there of designs, so you won’t be left needing to repaint your baseboards and moldings in a desperate attempt to avoid an undesirable clash of colors after redecorating. More practical still, the brightness of white trim on doorframes helps to emphasize the transition between different rooms, so that spaces with vastly different color schemes don’t overtly clash with one another, and you avoid sensory overload as you move around your home.

You need your basic trim to take a back seat

Not all of us are lucky enough to live in homes blessed with ornate trim and elaborate molding, the kind that looks like it’s lived the high life for centuries and has the stories to show for it. In fact, the less glamorous reality is that most of us have to put up with what seems like the most plain and uninspiring trim around, apparently lacking any real design personality of its own - and oftentimes made from little more than cheap MDF. There’s good news amidst all the gloom, though; even if you don’t plan on doing anything spectacular to bring your economy-grade wood trim to life, a coat of white paint will at the very least make it a little more inconspicuous. As it blends quietly into the background, it’ll allow other more dramatic elements of your room’s design to take the limelight - and no-one will notice that it’s not the world’s most remarkable trim.

You want your dramatic furnishings to steal the show

What’s the point of filling your rooms with stunning furnishings if you don’t give them the chance to shine? The right paint job for the space in question, properly thought out and well executed, will of course work to dramatic effect all by itself, but there’s no doubt that its real role is as a foundation for the other finishing touches you’ll add later. The great thing about plain and simple white trim and moldings is that they throw every ounce of attention at the other standout design features you’ve picked. Whether that means extravagant animal-print rugs or elaborate light fittings, white trim lets them take center stage.

You’re torn between the countless wood trim options

Perhaps making decisions isn’t your strong point, and all the merits of white painted wood trim are doing more to leave you flustered than help you settle on a firm choice. If you’re torn between either keeping your stained trim or taking the plunge towards black, white or even blue, then it turns out white is probably still your best option. Again, the simplicity of white will work well - unlike black, stained wood, or other colors - no matter how you choose to decorate the rest of the room. As a result, you’ll save yourself from the disaster of the lime-green-and-black trim combination you’re secretly tempted by.

Of course, you don’t even have to settle for just white trim and nothing else. In fact, pairing black and white can transform a space in its own way - either by creating a greater sense of space with black baseboards and white crown molding, or by leaving the baseboards white while painting the crown molding black in order to draw out the details of chandeliers and other lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling. Equally, just as white trim does wonders in enhancing the natural charm of rich wooden floors, combining white trim with stained wood doors and window frames - or vice versa - can help you to strike the right balance between rustic and contemporary, and so achieve the unique personality you want for your home.

It might seem like the hardest part of your wood trim job is deciding which color you want it - or even whether to make the switch from stained wood at all - but the painting itself is no mean feat, either. Simply applying a coat of color over existing paint or stain won’t make for a lasting finish, so you’ll need to wash, sand down, and prime your trim or molding before you even give a second thought to the type of paint you should be using. If that all sounds too much like hard work, and you’d rather the difficulties ended with the white-or-wood dilemma, simply give the team at Sharper Impressions Painting a call instead. We’ll take care of the task from start to finish to make sure you get the interior wood trim that shows off every one of your rooms at its best.

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How to Make Your Small Bathroom Look Bigger


It’s not called ‘the smallest room in the house’ for nothing, and if you have been cursed with a tiny bathroom and are looking for ways to make it seem a little more spacious, read on as this week’s blog will tell you exactly how to do that - all through the artful use of color.

First of all, it’s a fairly obvious tip, but we’d be remiss not to include it: paint the walls with light, or bright, colors. Not only do brighter hues create a feeling of more space but they also reflect natural light better than dark colors, meaning that the room will feel more airy. But don’t be tempted to think that white is your only option - a completely white bathroom can end up looking far too clinical and sterile. Choose cream or beige if you want to err on the side of neutrality, or opt for cool blues or greens, or even soft shades of yellow, for a room with a bit more pep.

Having said that, if you are worried that your small bathroom or en suite is going to be overpowered by one single color, it’s worth noting that you can break the space up with different shades. However, stick to hues that are within the same pallette; different shades of blue for example. Opting for colors that are on opposing sides of the color spectrum will look jarring in a small space and will only serve to highlight how tiny it actually is.

Let’s talk tiling

In a similar vein, if you are also re-tiling your bathroom (or if you are painting around existing tiling), choosing the same color for both tiles and wall paint will create fluidity which also helps enhance the feeling of space. In addition to this, consider also painting your ceiling with the same paint that you use to cover the walls. Go for a darker color and the ceiling will appear to be lower than it actually is, bringing with it an oppressed feeling; choose a lighter one and the eye will naturally stop at the point where the ceiling meets the walls. By painting the ceiling and walls in the same shade, when you glance around the bathroom your eyes won’t be forced to make a distinction between them, again creating flow and therefore the impression of being in a larger area.

Don’t forget your woodwork and moldings

Of course, your walls and ceiling are not the only things you’ll need to paint if you’re re-decorating your bathroom. Your woodwork and moldings will also need to be painted if you are to do the job properly! This is one area where you do need to go a couple of shades lighter, as painting doors, cupboards, window frames and baseboards in a paler color than the rest of the room will give them the illusion of being ‘set back’ from the walls - making the area feel bigger than it actually is.

Stripes: the small bathroom’s best friend

If you want to really make a statement in your bathroom, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go big, just because it’s the smallest space in your home. A tiny bathroom can be the perfect place to really make an impact. Painting one statement wall in a bold color can really bring the drama or, if you’re worried that this may shrink the area even more, why not add some bold touches with a brightly painted radiator or colorful accessories such as a bath mat, towels or a shower curtain?

However, one decorating trick that will create a lasting impression on any visitor to the smallest room, and make the room look larger at the same time, is to paint the walls with stripes. You need to be careful, though, and ensure that you paint in the right direction, otherwise you’ll create the opposite effect and wind up with a room that looks even tinier than it was to start with!

Horizontal or vertical stripes? Which way to paint?

If you have a small bathroom with a high ceiling, then opt for horizontal stripes as these will draw the eye around the room and make it feel bigger. However, if you have a small bathroom with a low ceiling, to create the illusion of height your stripes should be vertical in order that they train the eye upwards. As for the colors themselves, don’t be tempted to go for too much of a contrast. As mentioned earlier, the tones should be within the same color family so that the room isn’t fragmented and instead has a feeling of cohesion.

Looking to decorate your bathroom in time for the holiday season? Get in touch with Sharper Impressions Painting today - we’ll be more than happy to provide you with a quote.

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How to Clean Painted Interior Walls

If you’ve recently gone to the time and effort of painting, or hiring someone else to paint the walls in your home, it stands to reason that you want to preserve the result and keep them clean and fresh-looking for as long as possible. But, as any parent will tell you, achieving that in a bustling family home, especially with pre-schoolers around, is far easier said than done. And even if you don’t have a couple of sticky-fingered rugrats tearing around your home, it can be all too easy to accidently leave smudges and scuffs on your walls.

So let’s assume you, or another member of your household - or even a rogue visitor! - has done the unthinkable and left your once-pristine wall in a sadly soiled condition. How do you restore it to its former glory? Well, from crayons to scuffs and from pen marks to mold, there are a number of tips and tricks you can use.

How to remove crayon from a wall

If your child fancies him or herself as a mini Picasso, the good news is that there are a number of simple ways to remove the masterpiece using household goods that virtually any home will have. If your child has a pencil eraser in their arsenal of arty weapons, try rubbing the crayon marks out. If you’ve no erasers at home but do have a jar of mayonnaise in the kitchen, rubbing the sauce onto the marks then leaving it for a few minutes before wiping with a clean, damp cloth may also do the trick. Need something a little more aggressive? Grab a tube of regular (non-gel) toothpaste, smear it on the crayon and rub away with a cloth or light scrubbing brush. The magic is in the paste’s abrasive texture!

How to remove mold from a wall

You’ll usually know if you have moldy walls - the tell-tale green, black or brown spots are a dead giveaway. However, you should also keep a look out for peeling or bulging paint, and/or a musty odor. Mold occurs in damp or humid areas, whether that’s because you have recently had a leak or the room is naturally humid - such as a bathroom or laundry room. The most effective way to get rid of mold is to make a bleach-water solution. Mix three parts water to one part bleach (don’t forget to wear rubber gloves!) and apply to the mold, either straight from the container or by decanting the liquid into a spray bottle. Scrub the mold with a stiff-bristled brush until it is all gone. Rinse your wall thoroughly and pat it dry.

How to remove scuff marks from a wall

Those annoying little black scuff marks that appear on walls, often caused by furniture being moved or people squeezing past each other really spoil the look of a fresh paint job. Where they come from may remain a mystery, but now getting rid of them won’t be! Scuffs normally take a bit of elbow grease but, even so, it’s worth trying to get rid of them the gentler way first by rubbing them with a soft, damp cloth. If you’re lucky, the mark will give up and disappear, in which case you can simply dry the wall by patting it with another cloth. If you’re unfortunate enough to have a stubborn stain, you’ll need to grab yourself a cleaning sponge made from melamine. Dampen the sponge, taking care to make sure it’s not too wet, and scrub the scuff until it vanishes. Still not having any luck? Try adding a couple of drops of liquid dish soap to a bowl of warm water, and switch back to a cloth. If you find this is working but the mark needs that added push to remove it completely, drop a tiny amount of the liquid soap directly onto your cloth. If none of the above work, you will probably have to resort to using an all-purpose household cleaner, which you can spray onto your cloth - or even directly onto the wall if you’re getting desperate at this point!

How to clean pen and pencil marks from walls

If your wannabe Renoir has graduated from crayons to pens and pencils, yet still hasn’t mastered the art of using a sketch pad or paper, don’t panic. A combination of baking soda and water will do the trick - in fact this works for many household wall stains. Simply mix to a paste consistency, apply to the mark and then rub until the pen is lifted out.

We hope these tips help, but if your walls are looking like they’re beyond redemption, why not give Sharper Impressions Painting a call? We’ll have your rooms looking spic and span again before you know it!

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How to Choose the Right Color When Painting Your Kitchen

Long gone are the days when the kitchen was thought of as being a sterile, white space. And if you’ve been thinking about giving the heart of your home a makeover, there’s no better time to do it than now. After all, with Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, chances are the family - or at least the designated chef - will be spending even more time than usual in the kitchen. So whether you’ll be the one slaving over a hot stove, or your family traditionally gathers in the kitchen to help, hinder, or eat, you should take advantage of the run up to the holiday season and create a space that makes the winter celebrations even more memorable.

Obviously the first stage of painting your kitchen is to choose your color scheme - something that is easier said than done, as there are a number of things to consider, not least the size of your space and the amount of natural light it receives. Kitchens are normally also busy places - both in terms of foot traffic and in the amount of fixtures and fittings they contain - so choosing a color that won’t show up sticky fingerprints AND won’t make the space look too cluttered is also important. So how do you even get started on choosing a color?

Basic rules for picking kitchen colors

Whether you are going for a full kitchen refit or simply painting the walls, let your cabinets set the tone for the direction you want to take, as these are the room’s main focus. If you are going to paint them, you need to make sure that the paint you choose for the walls is complementary. If you are leaving them white or in their natural wood state, you have more freedom. Assuming you are also changing backsplashes or countertops, pick out colors for these next.

If you are just painting the walls, then make the color count - there’s not much wall space in a typical kitchen, so you want to pick a hue that has an impact.

You also need to know what effect both natural and artificial light will have on your chosen shades. Do your kitchen’s windows face north or south? Light coming from the north is usually cooler than that coming from a southerly direction. Does your kitchen receive much sunlight? The movements of the sun - as it rises, sets, and moves in and out of clouds - will leave your room bathed in different lighting effects during the day, something that will make the same color look different depending on the hour and the weather.

So what color should you paint your kitchen? Some ideas.

If you have a large kitchen that the whole family uses, one slightly unusual option is orange. Not the first color most people have in mind when picking kitchen paint, for sure - but it creates a cheerful environment if you have children who use the kitchen table for doing their homework in the afternoon, yet dim the lights in the evening and you’ll create a sophisticated, soft warm glow - perfect for a grown-up dinner and a glass of wine at the end of a long day.

Greens and blues are a popular choice for many homeowners, mainly thanks to the clean perception they bring to a room - and it goes without saying that in a kitchen, clean is good! Both, however, can be overpowering, so they might be best avoided if you have a lot of wall space. In a large open-plan kitchen it might be best to pick an accent wall to paint dramatic navy or deep moss green, and keep the rest of the room neutral.

If you have a small kitchen then consider yellow, a color which brings an instant ray of sunshine to any room, no matter what the weather is doing. Bright, zesty yellow is normally best avoided in bedrooms or living areas as it can be difficult to relax in, but in an active kitchen it makes perfect sense.

Like orange, red is often overlooked when it comes to kitchens, however the color is widely believed to stimulate the appetite (which is why you see it used in so much fast-food restaurant branding). So if you love to cook up a storm and serve meals in a kitchen/dining area - and you want people to really appreciate your efforts and eat every last morsel on the plate - a pop of red might be just what you need!

Painting your kitchen can be tricky thanks to all the appliances and cabinets that need to be painted around or behind so, if you’d like to get your home holiday-ready, why not give the experts at Sharper Impressions Painting a call? We’d be happy to provide you with a free quote!

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Last Minute Painting Before Winter


At Sharper Impressions Painting, naturally business slows down over the holiday season - after all, most folks’ thoughts turn to the festivities, fun, family and food that accompany Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, rather than to decorating. But what if you’re desperate to have the exterior of your home painted before winter really sets in? Is it even possible to paint during the colder, darker months?

Well, the answer is “yes” and also “no”. Obviously it all comes down to the weather during the days that your paint job is scheduled - it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that painting while it’s raining or snowing is not a very good idea, to put it mildly! And while you might protest that you can handle inclement weather and don’t mind painting in sub-zero temperatures (the hard work will keep you warm, right?) the same can’t be said for your trusty tin of paint.

There are two things to bear in mind, whether you’re thinking about taking on the challenge of painting the exterior of your home yourself, or are considering hiring a professional such as Sharper Impressions Painting, and those are temperature and weather - or moisture to be more precise.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can get away with - and what will leave your paint job, and your home, in a sorry, soggy state over the winter holidays.


It goes without saying that paint should only be applied to a surface that is completely dry; it simply won’t adhere to the surface you are painting otherwise - whether that’s the exterior of your property, or a kitchen cabinet. And just because you woke up and the sky is blue (or more likely, gray) that doesn’t mean that you - or your painter - are in the clear. During winter, the air is naturally damper, and even humidity can have an adverse affect on your finished result.

If it has rained, hailed, sleeted or snowed, the general rule of thumb is to wait a day before painting - although don’t forget that, just because a surface may feel dry to the touch, a porous material such as untreated wood or concrete may still be damp inside. Another thing to remember is that while you may have packed up your ladder and brushes for the day, your paint will still be drying overnight - and that means it could be affected by that evening’s low. The key here is to check weather reports, compare that night’s low with the previous evening’s, and of course look out for any mention of snow or rain.


Paint brands come with a minimum and maximum ideal temperature range in which they can be used. Good quality paints that are recommended for outdoor use can come with a minimum temperature point as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 1.6 degrees Celsius). While this is good news for anyone who wants the outside of their house painted regardless of the biting cold, slow down before you grab your paintbrush and thermals because you also need to take into consideration that paint really doesn’t like sharp or sudden changes in temperature - whether hot or cold. You might be lucky and catch one of those mild winter days where the temperatures are in the low sixties - but how far is that going to drop come nightfall? Think of your poor paintwork as it clings to the side of your home, desperately trying to dry!


Well we told you “yes and no” earlier when it comes to the question of being able to paint your home during the winter, and while you might just be lucky enough to get away with it - providing the temperature and climate are aligned in perfect harmony - there is a good chance that you might be left waiting until spring starts to bloom.

Of course, in a country as vast as the US, location plays a huge part in a successful outcome too. Painting your cabin in Upstate New York in the middle of January? Probably not going to happen. Painting your vacation home in the Florida Keys in December? You might stand a decent shot at it.

No matter where you are, the sooner you decide to paint your home before winter is upon us, the better. And if all the consulting of weather charts, picking the perfect day, and testing wood for dampness sounds like too much hard work (and that’s without the painting itself!) why not give the team at Sharper Impressions Painting a call? We’ll be happy to ensure that your home’s exterior is picture perfect before the holiday season rolls around.

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Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Colors for Your Home


Deciding that your home needs a makeover and actually getting around to the task in hand can be two very different things. And if you’re slightly prone to procrastination, choosing which paint colors to use can morph into a daunting task if you’re not sure which hues will work best in your rooms.

With that in mind, Sharper Impressions Painting present these tried-and-tested tricks to help you select the perfect paint palette for your home’s interior.

Dip your toe into the paint pot

If you’re not accustomed to living in a brightly colored home and you’ve decided you want to dial your beige rooms up a notch, but you’re a little afraid of going all out and finding out that the color you’ve chosen isn’t for you, try starting small. The best way of doing this is to play around with color in a small room or area: a walk-in closet, an en-suite bathroom, a utility room, or even a small hallway. If you don’t instantly love the finished result, give it a period of grace so that you can decide whether or not it grows on you. Then if you decide that you do want to switch back to basics, you haven’t spent too much time, effort or money on the project.

Passion and drama or chilled-out bliss?

Once you’re ready to move on to painting a larger area or room, to help you choose the right color it is helpful to start off by considering your end goal. Do you want your family room to be a chilled-out zone where you can gather as a group to sit and read, or do you want it to be a fun place where you play games and hold impromptu parties? If it’s the former you will probably want to opt for softer neutrals such as a warm shade of brown, and if it’s the latter you may decide zesty orange is more for you. The same goes for bedrooms: do you want a relaxing and restful atmosphere - perhaps in lilac or blue - or a passionate and sensual, deep red boudoir?

Creating a cohesive connection

Another factor to take into consideration is whether or not your rooms are connecting. There’s probably not too much point getting hung up on whether your lime green dining room clashes with your bright red kitchen if they are in different areas of your home, or if they connect by a door. However, if you have an open-plan kitchen-diner, this is something that needs to be carefully thought through. Of course, you can divide designated areas by painting them different hues, but make sure the end result is coherent. Even if your rooms aren’t open plan, if you can see into one room from another, through an open archway for example, try and make sure your colors flow.

No need to reinvent the wheel

Now you’re really sold on the idea of using color in your home, you may decide that you want to try combining two or more colors in a single room. But how do you know what will work? If you’ve always loved hot pink and primrose yellow but you’re not entirely convinced they’ll make a perfect match in a single room (tip: they probably won’t!), using a color wheel is a great way to find out - without making a costly and headache-inducing error of judgement. The wheel will show you which colors are opposite to - and complement - one another, for example orange and blue, and which are too close on the spectrum to really work together, such as red and purple. This is a great way of not only finding out if your two favorite hues work together, but also discovering new, hitherto-unthought-of color combinations.

It’s time to see the light

It’s important to factor in the lighting in a room when deciding which color or colors to paint it. If the room has an abundance of natural daylight, painting all the walls a deep red might be too intense, as natural light shows a color at its ‘truest’. Bear in mind that artificial lighting will bring out warm tones such as orange and yellow so, if you are really in love with that dark red paint swatch, it might be best employed on an accent wall, or in an alcove where you can highlight it with a carefully positioned lamp or spotlight. On a similar note, be careful when painting a small space in a very overpowering color, as this could appear to shrink the room quite drastically.

Once you’ve decided on your home’s color palette, why not pick up the phone and give the team at Sharper Impressions Painting a call? We have years of experience decorating homes of all shapes and sizes, and will be happy to quote you for turning your color scheme dreams into rainbow reality.

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Repainting Versus Residing your Hardie Board Siding


If you have a home covered in hardie board siding, you may have reached a point in its lifecycle where you’re wondering whether or not to replace it completely, or simply repaint over it. Thanks to its cement fiber and sand construction, hardie board siding is especially popular in regions that experience extreme weather conditions. But although it is much loved for its rugged defiance in the face of inclement conditions, that does not mean that it has an infinite life span.

Hardie siding is increasingly popular at the moment for a number of reasons, its hardiness - excuse the pun - being just one of them. Also loved for its wide range of colors and textures, if you have been won over by hardie siding and its ability to recreate the look and grain of wood, albeit in a tougher package than the real deal, chances are you won’t want to be swapping it out for a different type of siding anytime soon.

So where does that leave you if you own an older home and it’s time for an upgrade? As most types of hardie board siding come with a 50-year warranty, the good news is that it is not something that you will need to worry about replacing too many times in your lifetime. The finish, however, is a different matter, as most color options come with a warranty that lasts only around 10 to 15 years.

Hardie board siding: to repaint or to reside?

It is precisely due to its durable nature and ultra-rugged construction that hardie board siding is a good candidate for a simple repaint job. Bad weather conditions, no matter how extreme, will not chip, swell, or rot the siding, regardless of how much rain, hail, snow, strong sunshine, or humidity Mother Nature throws at it. Even airborne detritus such as twigs or branches would be hard-pressed to damage this super strong siding. In a similar vein, termites and other insects will have no effect on hardie board: those tiny teeth that can nibble away at wooden sidings and cause so much damage will not make a mark on hardie. In fact, even if you are unlucky enough to experience a house fire, due to the concrete construction, it is fire-resistant too.

So if there is precious little that can do your hardie board siding any real harm, it seems to make sense that repainting it, as opposed to reinstalling it, is the way to go. But what about when seen from a cost perspective? Does hardie siding’s unique nature make it prohibitively expensive to repaint? Would it just be cheaper in the long run to replace it?

Well, while hardie board siding might possess almost supernatural powers of impenetrability, the fact is that it is no more or less costly than the other types of siding on the market. However, because it needs barely a shred of maintenance apart from painting, it is a great long-term choice.

The other thing to note is that, because hardie board siding is considerably heavier than wood, aluminum, or vinyl sidings, it is more difficult - and more time-consuming - to install. Your property needs to be suitable, for one thing, and more manpower will be needed too. If you take into consideration that 100 square feet of vinyl siding weighs approximately 65 pounds, and hardie board siding weighs around 300 pounds, you can see how the cost of labor and installation are bound to increase for the latter. And that’s looking at it from the point of view from a new installation; if you are in the position of wondering whether to repaint or replace your hardie sidings, you will also need to factor in the not-inconsiderable cost of removing the old sidings in the first place.

The conclusion

If you are lucky enough to have this eminently durable type of siding protecting your home and it’s looking a little under the weather then, unless yours is an extreme case, we would definitely recommend repainting your hardie board siding rather than replacing it. Reinstalling it will be a large, costly job, whereas a professional exterior decorator will be able to restore your home to its former glory for a far lower price and much more quickly.

If your property has hardie board sidings and you’d like to know how a new coat of paint could give your exterior a new lease of life, get in touch with the experts at Sharper Impressions Painting today.

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Why You Should Caulk Your Home


Caulking your home is a must for a number of reasons: it keeps water and cold weather out, helps stop rot, mold and fungus from forming, keeps your heating and maintenance costs down, makes your home look more attractive and better cared for, and even helps paintwork to last longer.

So, given all of the above it becomes clear that the humble tube of caulk that you have sitting in your toolbox or in the cupboard under the sink is actually something of an unsung hero in the world of home improvements. The basic function of caulk is to fill in the gaps between different building materials - such as the tiles around your bathtub and the tub itself. Put simply, air and water are kept in their respective places, eliminating problems such as higher energy costs, and mold and rot.

However, with so many different types of caulk lining the shelves in your local hardware store, and with so many suitable applications, there are a few things you need to know before you grab your caulking gun and start squeezing the trigger!

Choose the right caulk for the right job

The caulk that you choose really depends on the materials you are working with and whether you are caulking the interior or exterior of your home. You should take into consideration the presence of moisture, the elements and range of temperature, whether you can paint over the caulk after it has dried, and whether or not it needs a degree of flexibility to be used between surfaced that move in response to weather or temperature.

You’ll likely find a bewildering range of caulk in your hardware store although it’s worth noting that many of these are highly specialized. For jobs around your home, you will probably find one of the following suitable for your needs:

  • Kitchen and Bathroom Caulk - for use in the spaces around sinks, showers and tubs, this type of caulk is highly resistant to water, and helps prevent mildew and mold from growing.
  • Butyl Rubber Caulk - this highly flexible caulk is mostly used for sealing brick, concrete or metal surfaces such as roof flashing and gutters. It can be painted when dry.
  • Acrylic Latex Caulk - can be painted over, can be used both indoors and out, and comes in different colors, which makes it ideal for caulking around doors, window frames and moldings.
  • Silicone Caulk - used for non-porous surfaces such as ceramic tiles, glass and metal. It is not usually possible to paint over silicone caulk, although it is flexible and comes in clear and other color options.

Caulking applications in the home

Once you’ve selected the right type of caulk for the job, you’re ready to get sealing, and it’s highly likely that once you’ve started looking you’ll find any number of areas that are ready and waiting to be caulked. Here are the main areas that you should take care to inspect:

  • Doors - your exterior doors are a prime target for caulking. Moisture and even dampness from cold concrete floors, such as those found in garages, can cause wood to rot and will damage paintwork. Seal around the trim and the door frame or siding, as well as the frame and threshold.
  • Windows - if your window has a trim, apply caulk to the top and sides of the frame only. If your window doesn’t have a trim, apply caulk to all sides, including the bottom. Wooden window frames usually need more caulk, both where the glass and wood meet, and around the trim, siding and sill.
  • Fascia Boards and Soffits - applying caulk behind fascia and soffit boards is a surefire way to increase their longevity, leading to less maintenance and expense. Not sure what a ‘soffit’ is? It’s the name given to the underside of your roof’s overhang.
  • Bathtubs, Showers and Sinks - choose a caulk that has been designed specifically for use in kitchens and bathrooms, as these contain mold and mildew preventing agents. Caulk in the space where your tub, sink or shower tray and/or doors meet the walls. Remember that you will need to let the caulk dry for the length of time stated in the instructions before exposing it to water.

Caulking might not be the most fun job on your home improvement to-do list, but it is a crucial one if you want your home to look better and be safer, more energy efficient and less expensive to run and maintain.

If you’d rather save your precious leisure time for something a little more exciting than caulking your home, talk to the team at Sharper Impressions Painting - we offer caulking and sealing services that will ensure your home is properly protected against the elements.

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Why You Should Regularly Repaint Your Front Door


Your home’s front door, as well as other entry doors, face a great deal of abuse from the elements. Whether they’re being attacked by winter’s harsher climate and are subjected to a battering from rain, hail, snow and sleet, or the scorching summer sun has faded them to a shadow of their former selves, repainting your door is essential if you want to maintain the appearance of your property.

The front door is one of the first things that passersby and visitors to your home notice. It’s the focal point of your property’s facade and speaks volumes about how well you take care of your investment. Of course this becomes of paramount importance if you are thinking of putting your property on the market. Research has shown that buyers take between just 25 and 38 minutes when deciding whether or not they want to buy a new home - a surprisingly short amount of time when you consider it is one of the largest investments most of us will ever make. But that means that the decision is formed quickly - pretty much from the minute a potential buyer pulls up in their car outside your property. And it doesn’t take a real estate tycoon to work out that the more neat and tidy the exterior of your home is, the higher the likelihood is that someone will put in an offer.

Whether you want to sell your property or not, presenting your best face to the world - or at least to your neighborhood - is something every owner who takes pride in their home and who wants to protect their investment should do. Wooden front and entry doors can look stunning when they are properly cared for but it doesn’t take much for them to fall into a less than attractive, or even shabby, state of disrepair.

Of course, the other reason why you should consider repainting your front door is that it can give the outside of your home a fresh new look. If you don’t have the budget to get the exterior of your house painted, simply choosing a fresh color for your door will give your property a whole new lease of life.

The good news is that by simply repainting your front and other entry doors you’ll be able to upgrade your home’s appearance quickly and inexpensively. If you’re thinking of undertaking the challenge yourself, read on for a few helpful hints.

How to repaint your wooden front and exterior entry doors

  • You can leave your door hanging, but if you want the best possible result, you will need to remove your door from its hinges. After all, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well as the saying goes! Once the door is off its hinges carefully lay it on a pair of sawhorses in your yard or in a space that has plenty of ventilation.
  • Likewise, you could, at a pinch, leave the hardware attached but to achieve a professional finish, you should remove it all: knockers, hinges, letterbox, bell, knob, numbers etc. Then use painter’s tape to mask any glass or windows.
  • You now need to clean your door. Use a wet sponge to do this and make sure it is done thoroughly. Once you’re happy with the state of your door, lightly sand the surface. Wipe again to remove sanding dust and let dry.
  • Next up is priming. Don’t be tempted to skip this crucial stage - after all you’ve come this far, and primer really will help the paint adhere better to the surface of the door.
  • It’s finally time to start painting! If your door has large flat areas, you can use a roller to paint these. For anything else, such as paneling, use an adequately sized brush.
  • Once you’ve completed your first coat you’ll need to let the paint completely dry before adding a second. Again, this is not a step to gloss over, if you excuse the pun! A top coat will not only give you a far better finish but will protect your door against the elements for longer - therefore reducing the chances of you needing to go through the whole procedure again soon. Don’t forget that if you need to let the paint dry overnight (according to the time you started painting and the paint manufacturer’s instructions) you will need to secure your home. You can do this by screwing a cut-to-fit piece of plywood in your original door’s place.
  • Once your second coat is completely dry you can remove the masking tape, replace all the hardware and rehang your brand new door.

If all of this sounds like a little bit like too much hard work and you’d prefer to spend your weekend doing something a little more relaxing - or fun - get in touch with Sharper Impressions Painting today and our team will be more than happy to give you a quote for repainting your external doors.

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How to Protect your Home During Winter


Harsh winters can really take their toll on your home, especially on its exterior. The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to limit damage and ensure that your property makes it through to spring as unscathed as possible. So, read on as we take a look at some of the things you can do to protect your home during the winter months.

While the weather is still clement, carrying out an inspection of your home is the first step towards battening down the hatches in preparation for those long windy, rainy, and snowy days ahead. Start from the top by checking your roof for any signs of damage - and make sure you carry out any repairs sooner rather than later as problems could become significantly worse over the winter. Loose, damaged or missing shingles will leak and allow rain, sleet and melting snow to drip through into your attic.

While you have your ladder out now is also the time to clean your guttering and downspouts. Gutters that are full of leaves and other debris can cause water, ice or snow to collect, resulting in damage to your roof and sidings. It may also be worth looking into downspout extensions which will direct water away from the foundations of your home. You should have air leaks fixed and may also want to consider insulating (or re-insulating) your attic, especially if you were plagued by ice dams and icicles in previous winters.

Take a look at the exterior walls of your home too and caulk any cracks or holes to prevent the problems worsening as well as warm air escaping and cold air from infiltrating your home. In a similar vein, you should also repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around your windows and exterior doors.

It is also worth considering painting the exterior of your home now too, as besides making your home look more attractive - an added bonus if you have guests over the holidays - it will add an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Something to bear in mind for a later date just prior to the really cold weather hitting, bring plants in pots or containers indoors, place covers over plants that are susceptible to frost damage and spread mulch around other plants. This is also a good time to drain the water from fountains, water features, birdbaths, and lawn irrigation systems, if you have them. Don’t forget to drain water from outside faucets too - water left in the pipes can freeze, leading to the dreaded burst pipe scenario when ice causes the pipes to expand.

If they are not already, you might also want to pad your pipes so that in the unfortunate event one does burst, any flooding will be better contained. Your local hardware store should sell insulation sleeves which are easily placed over exposed and unheated pipes such as those found in attics, basements, crawl spaces and cabinets like the one under your kitchen sink.

Whether you have a real fireplace or any other type of gas, oil, coal or wood burning stove contact a chimney sweep who will come out and check that your chimney and vents are clean and in good working order so you don’t experience a chimney fire or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning. Now is also the time to check the batteries in your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors just in case your heating appliances are overworking. After all, you want to be warm, safe and sound when you’re burning your yule log or roasting chestnuts over an open fire!

There are plenty of qualified professionals who can help you winter-proof your home against the elements and if you are thinking about painting the exterior of your home, get in touch with the team at Sharper Impressions Painting and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with an affordable quote.

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