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Painting & Wallpaper

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best way to determine whether I need a respirator or mask?

    If you’re protecting yourself from dust or pollen, disposable dust masks are sufficient.

    If you’re dealing with large volumes of airborne matter such as wood dust, drywall dust or masonry dust, you need more than a mask. You need a respirator.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Should I use a different type of roller cover for oil-based paint and latex paint?

    Yes, just as you would with a paint brush. Natural fiber roller covers made with mohair or a blend of polyester and lamb's wool are usually recommended for oil-based paints, varnishes and stains. Synthetic fiber roller covers, on the other hand, are most often recommended for applying latex paints.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Why should I purchase more expensive paint?

    You shouldn’t just buy expensive paint, you should buy quality paint. Often, quality paints do cost a little more. However, that cost is often offset by how much paint you’ll actually need for your project. Better quality paint often coats thicker, which means you need fewer coats than a thinner paint.

    Application time and cost isn’t the only feature of a higher quality paint. Those paints will also last longer on your walls, saving you time and money when it comes to needing a fresh coat.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What is the difference between solid-color and semi-transparent stains?

    Semi-transparent stains provide a color to the wood, but still allow the texture and natural grain to show through. Solid-color stains allow the texture to show, but not the grain.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Helping Your Teen Express Their Style with Paint

    As your children near the teen years, they will become interested in having a more grown-up space that reflects their growing sense of style instead of the little kid space they've grown up in.

    Playful details, bright colors and age-appropriate decor create the perfect place to hang out with friends, study, and sleep.



    For a cheerful atmosphere, bright colors are a strong bet. Lime green, bright pink, orange, purple and vibrant blue, pink can be combined with other bright colors to create a bold and youthful room. After painting, decorate with a variety of solid colors that covers the spectrum of the rainbow to capitalize on the quirky, loud quality that you see in the walls of the room.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What's the best way to sand?

    • You can make regular sheets of sandpaper or emery paper last longer and work better by backing them with tape.
    • The tape gives each sandpaper sheet more body and helps to keep it from tearing or creasing while you are working. A few pieces of masking tape on the back of a regular sheet of sandpaper will increase the life of the paper two to three times.
    • Use regular sandpaper to smooth the sharp edges of cut glass, ceramic tile, porcelain, etc.
    • Wrap a piece of fine sandpaper around a scrap piece of wood. A short piece of 1x2 lumber makes an ideal block for sanding these types of cut materials.
    • Rub the sandpaper sheet along the edge of the glass evenly and smoothly.
    • As the cutting edge of the sandpaper is worn away, rotate the sheet of paper on the block to provide a new surface until the sheet is used up.
    • Sanding irregular and uneven surfaces can sometimes be a problem. Corners and grooves can be extremely difficult to reach with a flat piece of sandpaper.
    • For sanding irregular edges of table tops, chair legs, etc., use a deck of cards as the sanding block (see image).
    • The cards and sandpaper will adjust to the contour of the surface you are sanding. This makes a sanding block that is quite flexible, yet provides a firm base for holding the sandpaper against a curved surface.
    • Use old record covers to hold various grades of sandpaper (see image). They keep the sandpaper clean and orderly.
    • Old record covers also enable you to determine the grit of the paper quickly and easily, since the texture and grit show through the holes.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What are the best kinds of stepladders?

    Wood stepladders are sturdy and inexpensive, but they’re often very heavy. Aluminum stepladders are lightweight, but are slightly more expensive than wood. Fiberglass stepladders are both lightweight and durable, but are the most expensive. Ladder safety tips.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What colors of paint should I use to create a tranquil bedroom?

    If you want to create a sense of tranquility in your bedroom, think about monochromatic color schemes, where tints and shades of a single color are used to create a stylish room with a sense of calm.

    Quiet tones of linen, ecru and cream create a space that is soothing and restful -- just perfect for this charming bedroom. Textural interest keeps tonal bedroom paint color schemes from becoming boring. Scenic prints, quilted bedding, and an interesting mix of accessories that include painted metal and sparkling glass add visual richness while maintaining the bedroom's calming feel.



    To complement the monochromatic bedroom color ideas, use a mix of warm, natural wood tones found in the floor and cabinetry to balance out the painted headboard and nightstand, giving the room's delicate color palette visual depth. An elegantly patterned rug in a mix of soft neutral hues dotted with deep, rich burgundy adds both texture and pattern to the room, and works as a grounding element to the space's delicate accessories and wall colors.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What type of roller do I need?

    There are several different types of rollers. The difference between rollers is the length in nap – essentially, how much fuzz or pile a roller has. The texture of the surface you’re painting determines the right nap length for your project.

    • Smooth surfaces need a 3/16” or ¼” nap.
    • Slightly textured surfaces –such as sand-textured walls – need a 3/8” or ½” nap.
    • Textured surfaces – such as stucco – need a ¾” or 1” nap.
    • Heavily textured surfaces – such as brick or block – need a 1 ¼” nap.

    The type of roller also depends on the type of paint you are using. Different rollers can give you better results.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Do I need to wait before I stain and seal a newly built deck constructed with pressure-treated lumber?

    Not necessarily. Some manufactures make products that can be applied immediately to a new pressure-treated deck to prevent sun and weather damage. In addition pressure-treated lumber is not waterproof so applying a good sealer will slow the rate of water absorption and protect the surface.  Talk to your local Westlake Hardware associate about the product best suited for your specific needs.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Painting Like a Pro is All in the Prep

    You don't have to be a professional painter to get results like one. Preparation is nearly 90 percent of the job, so when you're ready to start the project, consider these professional tips:

    Preparing the surface

    Anything in the room not being painted should be removed or covered up, including furniture, light fixtures, vent covers and outlet covers. Apply a good masking tape to protect baseboards, door and window trim, crown molding and any other surfaces not receiving paint. To protect flooring, lay down a canvas or thick-mil plastic drop cloth.

    When painting over an existing semi- or full-gloss finish, the surface must be sanded to give the new paint something to adhere to (paint adheres better to rough surfaces than smooth ones). Smooth over cracks and other surface imperfections with spackle and a putty knife, and then sand smooth. Viewing the surface from an angle will reveal any spots that may have been missed.

    The entire surface to be painted should be washed with tri sodium phosphate (TSP) or a mixture of water and bleach (or other detergent) in a 2:1 ratio. This should dry completely before working with the surface again. Finally, apply a primer coat such as Ace Stain Halt to round out the prep process.

    Choosing a paint

    Latex paints are the primary paints used for painting non-metallic surfaces inside the home such as walls and ceilings. Be aware of the differences in finishes:

    Flat - Ideal for low-traffic areas; matte coating shows a color's 'true hue' and hides imperfections well. Ace Sensations(TM) with Scotchgard(TM) Protector is the flat paint that cleans like a semi-gloss, so you can use it in higher-traffic areas. What's more, it's mold resistant, so it can be used in high-moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, too!

    Eggshell - Smooth, washable finish with a very slight sheen; ideal for living rooms, hallways, bedrooms and dens.

    Satin - A bit more washable than eggshell with a similar sheen; ideal for most rooms.

    Semi-gloss - Smooth and washable medium sheen; ideal for bedrooms, kitchens and children's rooms.

    Gloss - The highest shine of any finish, very washable; well-suited for trimwork, doors and windows and areas that receive frequent abuse.

    Tools of the trade

    If you have all necessary tools 'at the ready,' you won't have to leave halfway through your project because you forgot a crucial item. For latex paints, synthetic-fiber bristle brushes in a variety of flat and angled tips will take care of the trim and detail work.

    A good hard-core roller cover and roller cage will speed the job up and reduce the appearance of brush strokes. Don't forget a good paint tray for that roller, an extra roller cover and a 6-in-1 tool for cleaning up these items when the job is done.

    It's good to invest in the highest quality roller covers and brushes. These are worth the extra cost in the money and time you will save down the road. Quality roller covers will resist matting down and will hold more paint without dripping, reducing the amount of paint used and the number of coats required for even coverage. Brushes will also apply paint more smoothly, requiring fewer layers to conceal brushstrokes. Higher quality rollers and brushes resist 'shedding' and last longer as well.

    Painting is a process

    Cutting the edges involves outlining the area to be painted with a 2 1/2' angled-bristle brush and is a crucial step in 'framing the canvas.' Edges should be cut around doors and windows, above baseboards and at the line where the ceiling meets the wall. From there, a roller can be used for most of the rest of the job.

    When painting with a roller, it's important to work in three- to four-foot square sections to make the job more manageable. This also works as a guide for 'roller loading' - a roller should not be reloaded until the section has been finished.

    Work in a zig-zag pattern: A 'W' should be painted on the surface from top to bottom and left to right. From there, the section should be filled with horizontal strokes. To finish off, the section should be smoothed with all-vertical strokes - this will maintain the same 'pattern' and help to fuse the smaller sections into one finished surface when the paint is dry. For complete coverage, two coats are almost always recommended.

    Credit: Lou Manfredini's Tips From the Tool Box, Ace Hardware

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How many coats of varnish do I need to apply?

    Generally, from two to four coats, applied in thin layers. For the best results, make sure you know the best way to apply varnish.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I cover a water stain on a ceiling?

    Fix the leak. Before you think about painting, make sure that the source of the leak has been repaired. If you still have a leak, all of the work to cover the stain will be ruined. You'll just wind up with another stain.

    • Use primer. Prime the affected area with several coats of a reputable stain blocker. Make sure to use a drop cloth or plastic sheeting under the area you're priming (and painting) so that you don't stain your carpet or hardwood. Roll or brush your primer onto the area and the surrounding area. Don't stop at the edges of the stain. Go several inches beyond. Let the primer dry completely before applying any paint.
    • Paint the area with ceiling paint. If you have paint leftover from the original paint job, use it. If you don't, use color swatches from the Paint Center at your local Westlake to try to match your current ceiling. Usually, ceilings are painted with either stark white or a few shades softer than stark white.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I dispose of old paint?

    • Follow the disposal instructions on the original container.
    • For latex paint, expose the paint to air in a place that is out of reach of children. If it doesn’t dry completely, use kitty litter to absorb the rest of the paint. Then dispose of it in the garbage. DO NOT THROW OIL-/ALKAYD-BASED PAINTS IN THE GARBAGE.
    • Do not burn paint or chemicals.
    • Do not pour paint or chemicals down your sink.
    • Do not pour paint or chemicals down sewer or runoff grates along the street.
    • Do not bury paint or chemicals in any container.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How can I create a relaxation area within another room?

    An exotic getaway is always a treat, so why not create a special haven for yourself right within your own home? Look for an underused area like a dormer, a nook under the stairs, a bump out or even a corner of a room and focus on creating a luxurious area where you can relax and read a good book.

    Luxurious fabrics and opulent color combine to create a resplendent hideaway from the world. Golden brown walls and a soft, butter yellow ceiling impart a cocooning warmth that beckons relaxation. Soft lighting, achieved through the imaginative use of a hanging crystal chandelier, pagoda table lamp, and fabric screen to control the amount of natural light entering the space, sets the mood.


    Sumptuous fabrics with luxe details such as hand-knotted fringe and embroidered beading can be affordable luxuries for small spaces. A dramatic patterned rug paired with fabric accents in shimmering melon and chartreuse silk complete this niche's lavish look.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Is sandpaper better than steel wool for smoothing finishes between?

    It can be just a matter of preference, but steel wool is normally recommended. You might also want to consider a finishing pad. They don't shed or rust like steel wool, and they can be rinsed and reused. They're available for wood, metal and stripping.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How can I tell if I need to strip my deck before re-staining or re-sealing?

    If your deck was previously coated with a solid stain, use a putty knife or sharp blade to lightly cut a small 'X' in several spots on your deck (in high and low-traffic areas), but be careful to not cut into the wood. Then cover those 'X' marks with duct tape and rub down firmly. Quickly peel up the tape. If there are flakes of your stain on the tape, then you will need to strip your deck before restraining.

    If your deck was previously coated with a semi-transparent stain or sealer, clean it well and let it air dry for at least four hours. Then from a standing position pour a small amount of water on the decking in high traffic areas as well as lesser-used areas. If the water beads up (breaks up into tiny drops) and just sits there, then too much sealer is present and you will need to strip it.  If the water remains in a puddle and begins to absorb into the wood within 10 minutes then the coating has worn off enough that youcan re-stain or re-seal.

    Check your railings as well since coatings on vertical surfaces last much longer than those on your horizontal deck boards.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What can be used to produce a nice, smooth surface when I finish furniture?

    Using a fine steel wool between multiple coats will give you a smoother surface. Be sure to clean the surface with a tack cloth before painting each additional coat.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What can I use to thin epoxy?

    Use acetone. It will soften most paints and plastics, so you must exercise caution when you are using it. Acetone is the active ingredient in many paint strippers.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How wide of a brush should I use?

    The best answer is whatever you feel comfortable with. A bigger brush holds more paint and applies it more quickly, but it is also harder to control.

    Are you using the right brush?

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I figure out the amount of paint I need for my project?

    First, you need to determine the total square footage of the area you’re going to paint. The easiest way to do that is to add the length and width of your walls together and multiply by 2. Then take that number and multiply it by the height of your walls. That will give you the square footage of the paintable surface.

    Example: If your room is 12’x14’, add 12 and 14. That gives you 26. (12 + 14 = 26) Now multiply 26 times 2. That gives you 52. (26 x 2 = 52) If you have 9’ ceilings, multiply 52 times 9. That gives you 468. (52 x 9 = 468) Your total paintable square footage is 468 sq. ft.

    Once you’ve determined your square footage, you should plan on one gallon of topcoat for every 350 sq. ft. or one gallon of primer for every 250 sq. ft. of untreated or unpainted surface such as bare drywall, raw wood or masonry.

    In the instance above, you should purchase two gallons of paint or primer. If your project needs more than one gallon of paint, mix all of the paint in a paint bucket before you begin. If there were slight variations in the tint of each gallon, this will blend them into one perfect color.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How can I create an exotic feel in my bedroom?

    Multicultural influences radiate light and comfort in this opulent bedroom retreat. Featuring gold and brown bedroom colors, as well as luxurious touches, this stunning space sets the stage of an evening of rest and relaxation.

    Golden brown walls and a soft yellow ceiling form the perfect backdrop for the subdued golds and bronzes of the artisanal carvings, metallic silks, and textured embroideries in this alluring bedroom. Soft lighting and an intricate rug complement our gold and brown bedroom ideas to create a look of luxurious tranquility. Just add incense, and you're ready to leave the stresses of everyday life behind!

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • I'm going to be painting a table that has a gloss finish. Do I need to prepare the surface?

    You should use a liquid deglosser, which works without sanding and produces a slight tack for better adhesion of the new finish.

    For any painting job, be sure to make the right preparations.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What does a number such as 120 on sandpaper mean?

    These numbers stand for the number of particles per square inch. The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.

    Make sure you select the right sandpaper for your application.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How can I create a feeling of serenity in my bathroom?

    Color infuses a space with energy. It can be vibrant or quiet, dynamic or peaceful.


    To create a sense of serenity in our bathroom, we selected natural materials and painted the space in a hushed, ethereal green that envelops the space in calming color. In the color spectrum, green is the easiest hue for the eye to perceive, hence, the least stressful or challenging to process visually. And like nature's own backdrop color, green is the perfect color foil for organic elements such as stone, tile, wood and water found in our bathroom design.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What tools do I need to remove old wallpaper?

    A wallpaper remover, a 3' wallpaper stripping tool, a bucket and a sponge. You can also buy a tool that will score the paper before you apply the remover.

    If you are planning on applying new wallpaper, be sure to prepare the walls.


    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Three Projects to Turn Home 'Blahs' into 'Oohs' and 'Ahhs'

    (ARA) - As the cool winter months bring us indoors, is your home feeling warm and inviting - or giving you a case of cabin fever? If it's the latter, don't fret. There are many simple and inexpensive updates you can complete to give your home a quick pick-me-up, allowing you to enjoy every minute spent inside.

    Terrific Table and Chairs

    The kitchen table is the hub of the home - where we dine as a family, do crafts, homework, play cards and board games. So it's important to make this everyday staple a welcoming area for you, your family and friends. But is your wood tabletop looking drab or stained? Or is your metal surface chipped? No matter what wear and tear you may have inflicted on your table - you can easily update it with a quick coat of spray paint.

    Directions: Remove any seat cushions from the chairs and thoroughly clean all table and chair surfaces. Once dry, spray all surfaces with your favorite color of Krylon Dual Paint + Primer spray paint. Since Dual is both a paint and a primer, you can complete your project in one simple step, and half the time. Once you've sprayed all areas and the surfaces are dry, you can re-attach your seat cushions, or create a new look with updated fabric and enjoy your refreshed kitchen activity center.

    Focal Point Finishes

    Lighting fixtures can increase the ambiance to any room - but replacing them can cost hundreds of dollars. With a little elbow grease, $20 and less than two hours, you can update your existing ones with a more attractive - and popular - finish.

    Directions: Cover your work area with newspaper and disassemble the fixture. Clean the pieces and tape off areas that don't need to be painted. Following the instructions on the label, apply aerosol indoor/outdoor primer followed by the new paint in your favorite color and finish. Once dry, remove the tape and reassemble your impressively updated focal point.

    Cover the Smallest Details

    Are you sick of staring at dull, dirty or chipped register covers or light switch plates around your home? A simple paint update can give any room an instant pick-me-up.

    Directions: Remove register covers or light switch plates and place them on newspaper. Sand the surface lightly and wipe clean. Clean all pieces to remove any built up dust and grime. Following instructions on the label and apply a number of light coats of aerosol primer, followed by a few coats of gloss or metallic spray paint. Once dry, reinstall and enjoy.

    With just a few simple home projects, your space can feel fresh and new in no time at all.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Is it safe to paint during pregnancy?

    According to the American Pregnancy Association, household painting involves very low levels of exposure. And today's paints are significantly better than those years ago. But that being said, it's probably best that a woman doesn't paint during pregnancy, just in case. In particular, avoid exposure to oil-based paints, leads and mercury. Lead based paint was commonly used prior to the 1970s, so pregnant women should avoid scraping or sanding paint, particularly in older homes, because of the risk of lead exposure. You should also minimize exposure to latex paints that contain ethylene glycol ethers and biocides.

    While there are low and no VOC paints on the market, the simplest and safest option is to let someone else do the painting or save it until after your baby's born.

    There are also several types of non toxic paints on the market.

    Low VOC: These paints use water instead of petroleum to carry the paint. To be considered Low VOC, a paint may only contain 250 grams of VOC per liter. Likewise, varnishes are limited to 380 grams of VOC per liter. However, many reputable paint companies offer paints with even lower VOC levels. Look for Green Seal Certifications.

    Zero VOC: These paints still contain VOCs but are limited to less than 5 grams of VOC per liter.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How does a sandpaper holder help me sand?

    A sanding block helps speed up sanding jobs, relieves strain on your hands and makes your sandpaper last longer.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Should I use a natural bristle brush with a latex paint?

    No. Just remember that humid weather can make someone's hair turn frizzy. Water-based paints do the same thing to natural-bristle brushes, so you will want to use a synthetic brush with latex paint.

    Make sure you are choosing the right brushes for your painting projects.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Do I need to apply anything to my walls before wallpapering?

    Wall sizing should be applied to all walls to prepare them for the paper and glue. The sizing provides a good, smooth surface for your wallpaper and also won’t allow your walls to absorb the wallpaper paste.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What are the quality features in a good roller?

    Good roller frames have a compression-type cage, which is also convenient, because their covers can be removed quickly and easily. Also, look for a handle that has a threaded end so you can use an extension pole for painting floors and ceilings.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Bathrooms in Shades of Blue

    Blue is a cool and soothing color making it a natural fit for any bathroom.   It's fresh and clean, whether light, dark, or anywhere in between.


    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What is a tack cloth?

    It's a cloth that picks up and holds dirt, sand and other debris. You should use one on any surface before you apply a coat of paint or any other finish.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Revive an Old Piece of Furniture with Paint

    Painted furniture can freshen up the look of any space and you can easily change the color to coordinate with a room's color scheme. Good candidates for painting are dressers, tables, bookcases, mirror frames, and non-upholstered chairs.

    Choosing the Paint Colors for Your Furniture

    Perhaps the most fun, creative part of painting your own furniture is choosing just the right hue to harmonize with the color scheme of the room the piece will live in. Keep in mind that darker colors will appear larger and might overwhelm a small room.

    Brighter colors and colors that contrast sharply with the walls and other furnishings will draw attention to a piece and make it the focus of the room, while lighter colors will help a piece blend in.

    Preparing Surfaces for Painting

    Preparing your furniture for painting is simple. Just follow these steps:

    • Rough Sanding: Start with a medium-grit sandpaper to remove traces of dirt and residues from polishing or waxing compounds, which may cause adhesion problems for the primer or paint.
    • Repairing: Next, repair cracks, joints that have expanded, and nail holes with a good wood-patching compound. After the compound has thoroughly dried, sand it down to make it even with the surrounding wood.
    • Fine Sanding: Using fine-grit sandpaper, emery cloth, or sanding block, lightly smooth the surface so that there are no drop-offs, or ledges, between sections of remaining finish and bare wood. Then wipe the entire surface with a damp, clean cloth to remove any remaining traces of dust and particles.
    • Priming: Unless you are repainting a previously painted piece, you should prime the surface, particularly when bare wood has been exposed. In some cases, spot priming will do.

    Choosing the Right Paint

    High-quality latex paints are easy to apply, easy to clean up after, and create a smooth finish. When painted with care, they generally require no more than one coat. The type of finish will depend on whether your painted furniture will have a purely decorative function or a practical use. If the piece will be touched often, choose a protective gloss or semi-gloss finish that can be easily wiped clean.

    How to Paint Your Furniture

    The actual painting is the simplest and easiest step in the process.

    • First, paint the larger, flat surfaces. Start near a corner, but not on the very edge, and work outward, brushing with the grain. Be sure to not overload your brush with paint. If you want a thicker coat, let the first coat dry before repainting rather than using too much paint the first time.
    • Continue by painting the edges and trim. If there is too much paint on the brush when you brush up to or over an edge, some of the paint might run over, so be especially careful and wipe any drips or overflow immediately with a clean, damp cloth.

    Finally, all that's left to do is let it dry and enjoy the beautiful results!

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I Prep for Painting my Home's Exterior?

    Warm weather months are a great time to treat the exterior of your home to a new coat of paint. It will give your home that coveted curb appeal and attractiveness, and also serve as a protective 'shield' from the deteriorating effects of wind, water, sun and mildew.

    Do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) recognize painting as one of the most economical ways to make a noticeable difference outside their homes. In fact, the 'Why Americans DIY' Study of 1,000 American homeowners commissioned by Ace Hardware reveals that nine out of 10 homeowners choose to DIY to save money rather than pay someone to do the job.

    Following are some guidelines on how to freshen up the façade of your home.

    Make Preparation Your Priority

    Your paint job - how it looks as well as how long it lasts - hinges largely on your preparation technique. After all, 90 percent of the task depends on proper prep work.

    First, have the tools you will need at the ready: Various sizes of paint brushes and rollers, sandpaper, scrapers, exterior-grade caulk and putty, masking tape and a drop cloth or two to protect shrubbery, walkways and cars. It may also be beneficial to have protective eyeglasses or a face mask on hand, as spattered paint can cause serious damage to the eyes.

    Of course, you will also need a sturdy ladder to help you reach high spots. Another useful gadget found is a pot hook (about $3), which will allow you to hang the paint bucket from your ladder for easy access.

    The first major step in the preparation is water-blasting the siding of your home to get rid of debris. Use either a normal hose with a high-powered spray attachment or consider renting or purchasing a pressure washer - a simple electric model will run you between $100 and $150. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a safe cleaning agent to use. To remove and prevent mildew, use a detergent with mildewcide or a mixture of one quart of household bleach in three quarts of water.

    If your home was built before 1978, take caution before cleaning or removing paint because it may contain lead. To determine this, purchase a lead paint test (about $11) or have a professional test it for you.

    Once the surface area has been power washed, concentrate on damaged areas. Scrape off flaking paint, repair surface flaws, remove old caulk and re-putty windows. Lastly, sand over and prime spots where repairs have been made to ensure a smooth area for the paint to adhere to.

    The next step is priming. A paint primer seals porous surface materials so the topcoat won't soak in and dry unevenly, and it helps prevent peeling, rusting and bleed-through. Your local Ace store will be able to point out the pros and cons of choosing either an exterior latex or oil-based primer.

    Once everything is cleaned, you will need to figure out how much paint you'll need, and what kind to use. A good rule of thumb for estimating is multiplying the length of each wall by its height, then add another 30 percent to be safe. Typically, one gallon of paint will cover 200 to 350 square feet. Also, buy more than you think you will need - you can always use the extra paint to touch-up trim.

    Above all, invest in the best paint you can afford. Doing so will actually save you money in the long run because high-quality paint truly outlasts lower-quality brands.

    Application is Easy

    Once you've chosen the color and type of paint to use, you'll need to decide on how you'll apply it. This is actually less challenging than the preparation. Brushes and rollers will assist you best in getting into cracks and crevices, but a paint sprayer is the fastest way to get the job done. Opt for the technique you feel most comfortable doing.

    Follow the 'top-down' rule - work from the top down to get the most even coverage, and finish with the trim. Also, take care to paint into already wet paint, and not away from wet paint, making sure that there are no noticeable overlapping marks or shading nuances.

    Credit:  Lou Manfredini's Tips From the Tool Box, Ace Hardware

     

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How long after painting a room is it safe for a newborn?

    Consumer Reports suggests painting at least two months before your baby's arrival to give the fumes a chance to subside before you bring your new baby home.

    Having a moving source of air will not only allow the paint to dry more quickly, it can also help to dissipate the paint fumes more quickly. Open as many windows as you can and consider adding rotating fans to the rooms you've painted. This will help to clear VOC's from your living area.

    There are also several types of non toxic paints on the market.

    Low VOC: These paints use water instead of petroleum to carry the paint. To be considered Low VOC, a paint may only contain 250 grams of VOC per liter. Likewise, varnishes are limited to 380 grams of VOC per liter. However, many reputable paint companies offer paints with even lower VOC levels. Look for Green Seal Certifications.

    Zero VOC: These paints still contain VOCs but are limited to less than 5 grams of VOC per liter.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Why is my wall cracking? How do I repair it?

    Your wall is probably cracking because your home’s foundation is settling. A little settling over time is natural. You can repair those cracks without worrying too much more about them. But if you repair a crack and it comes back soon or gets worse, you might have studs in your wall or joists in your ceiling or floors that are damaged. That’s a structural problem and should be taken seriously.

    For cracks, there are different processes for drywall and plaster. The vast majority of walls in modern homes are drywall (also called sheetrock). Drywall cracks require joint compound or spackling putty. Fill the crack and wait for the joint compound to dry. Sand it down with a very fine grit sandpaper, then put a second layer of compound on over the crack. Spread it evenly with the surface using a putty knife. This should blend the putty with your natural wall surface. Once it’s dry, sand that layer down to even out the surface and you’re ready to paint.

    If you live in an older house that has plaster walls, the crack-filling process is a lot like sheetrock, but you may have to deal with securing a lathe board first. Lathe boards – what the plaster is spread over during initial construction of the walls – can separate from wall studs and make it seem as if you’re wall is warped. To reattach a lathe to a stud, simply hammer a few nails through the plaster and lathe. This may cause a few hairline cracks, but you’re there to fill cracks anyway. Once your lathe boards are secure again, use a putty knife to fill cracks with a small amount of plaster paste. You can find the paste in both powder and premixed forms at Westlake. Once your cracks are filled, sand and paint.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I select the right color for my walls?

    There is no right or wrong color, but here are some simple tips:

    • Take your furniture and window treatments into consideration. There's nothing like spending all of that time, effort and money on painting a room only to realize that it doesn't match the tone of the rest of the room.
    • Collect pictures from magazines and the internet. When you decide to paint a room, don't jump right in. Start to look through other people's choices until you find a combination you think will complement your own style and furnishings.
    • Use color cards. Take a trip to your local Westlake and grab some color cards that you like. Take them home and put them next to your couch, your bedspread, your curtains or anything that will start to give you an idea of what matches and what doesn't. Reminder: color on a wall is usually a lot more powerful than on the color card. It's not a bad idea to go a shade or two lighter than the color you like on a card.
    • Pick the right white. Not all whites are actually white. True white is a very harsh color in most rooms. It's simply too bright and sterile. Most whites have a hint of tan, pink or blue. Those are usually better for most homes than true white.
    • Know what colors can do for a room. If you want to warm up a room, try shades of reds, oranges or yellows. If you want to cool a room, go with blues, greens and grays.
    • Test before you paint. Buy a small amount of paint in the complementary colors you like (one for trim, one for the walls). Paint a board with each shade of paint beside the other to see how they look together. You can also use a small section of wall in the actual room you'll be painting. This may help you visualize the color scheme in context a little better than a painted board.
    • Test again. Try a couple of different colors. Try dozens more if you need. By buying small amounts of paint and testing them, you could save yourself the time and money of painting a room, not liking the results and painting again.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.<-->

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Can I paint over wallpaper?

    You don't necessarily have to remove your old wallpaper to paint your walls a different color. In fact, removing wallpaper -- especially if it's been on the walls for years -- can cause unexpected damage to your walls. So if it's in good condition and has no signs of adhesion failure, there's no reason to invest a lot of time and effort in removing it before painting your walls. Also, by leaving the wallpaper in place, your walls will stay in their current condition, and you'll be able to start painting without delay.

    Prep before Painting

    It's vital to prepare your walls carefully before painting. Follow these simple steps to ensure the best results:

    • Start by replacing any damaged sections and adding adhesive to loose pieces to minimize the chance the paper will fall.
    • Add a thin line of clear caulk around the perimeter of the walls, at the joint seam where the paper meets the floor and ceiling. This will help seal the edges and keep the paper from peeling after you've painted.
    • Cover heavily textured paper with a thin coat of joint compound (spackle). This material will help smooth out the surface so that the texture won't show through the paint.
    • Gently sand down the seams of the wallpaper so they're not too noticeable.
    • Apply a coat of oil-based primer to the entire surface of the walls before painting. This helps seal the adhesive within the paper and away from the moisture in the paint.
    • The wallpaper is now ready for painting. Because the moisture in latex paint can sometimes loosen wallpaper glue, causing bubbles or peeling, you should use oil-based paint.


    Finally, it's time to enjoy your freshly painted room.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What's the difference between gloss, semi-gloss, satin and flat? What are the best uses for each?

    All of those terms refer to the different sheens available in your paint aisle. The more sheen, the more the paint will reflect light and seem to shine. Gloss has the highest sheen, while flat (which is sometimes called “matte”) has very little or no sheen.

    Sheen is also a good indicator of stain resistance and how washable a coat of paint will be. Glossy finishes are much more stain-resistant than satin and flat. Gloss is also very easy to wipe down and wash, while low-gloss paints take a little more effort to clean. This makes higher gloss paints very useful in kitchens, bathrooms and some dining rooms. They also make for striking entrances, such as front doors.

    One thing to consider: along with the sheen, the general quality of the paint is also a consideration in stains and washability. A good quality satin may be more stain-resistant and washable than a low-quality semi-gloss.

    A downside of gloss paints is their reflectivity. Reflective finishes make imperfections in a wall surface much more obvious than low-sheen paints. A satin (or “eggshell”) finish is much more forgiving of holes and patches than a paint with more sheen. Low-sheen paints such as satin or flat are good on walls that have a lot of holes or holes that have been filled in. Family rooms, living rooms and bedrooms are all places where artwork and mirrors have been hung over time, so low-sheen paints work well to disguise those holes. Satin is also well-suited for the trim and molding in any room.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I select the right sandpaper for my application?

    The type of sandpaper first depends on the type of material you’re sanding:

    • For woods, garnet and flint are best.
    • For metal and fiberglass, use silicon carbide.
    • If you’re using a power sander, aluminum oxide works well.


    Choose your grade, grit and coating:

    • Grades of sandpaper run from ultra-coarse to ultra-fine. Coarser papers are rougher than fine.
    • Coarser papers also have a lower number when it comes to grit, because grit refers to the number of abrasive particles per square inch.
    • Lower grit is better for rougher surfaces and surfaces that have large blemishes.
    • Fairly smooth surfaces with only slightly noticeable imperfections call for a larger grit.
    • Use open-coated paper on soft woods and closed-coated papers on hard woods.

    For the best results, review our sanding tips.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What are the advantages of latex paint?

    • Easier to apply and touch up.
    • Cleans up with water.
    • Non-flammable.
    • Dries faster.
    • Less fading, cracking or peeling.
    • Won’t yellow like an oil-/alkyd-based paint.

    Make sure that you are using the right paint brush to get the best results with latex paint.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Hide your Home's Wall Flaws with Beautiful Texturing Techniques

    (ARA) - When it comes to home decorating, texturing can do for your walls what a good coat of wax can do for your car's finish - hide a host of flaws. Poorly patched holes, uneven sheetrock, ugly wallpaper and even multiple layers of peeling paint can all be hidden beneath a beautiful layer of texture.

    Texture's beauty, versatility at covering imperfections, and ease of application have made it a long-loved technique of do-it-yourselfers. There's a texturing technique to fit virtually every budget, decorating theme and level of expertise. Here are some tips for adding a textured look to your home decor:

    • Keep it simple. You don't have to do anything complicated, difficult or even particularly time-consuming to achieve a good textured effect. In fact, the easier the process, the more you will enjoy it and that enjoyment will show through in your work.
    • When working by hand with a trowel, roller or paint brush, you can use your favorite paint and any color you choose. Simply mix your paint of choice with regular drywall joint compound. Or, if you want to be cautious with color, you can apply the joint compound first, then paint over the completed texture once it has dried.
    • The range of textures is virtually endless. Popcorn (most often used for ceilings), knock down and orange peel are among the three most popular, and simple, textures. Knock down and orange peel textures mimic the appearance of plaster or stucco on an interior wall.
    • Nearly anything can be used to put the texture in the compound - from commonly used items like sponges and paint trowels to whisk brooms and even window squeegees. The texture is limited only by your imagination.
    • Sprayers, a favorite tool of in-the-know do-it-yourselfers, is now also a viable alternative for adding texture to your walls. There are sprayers specifically designed for adding texture to walls or ceilings.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What type of paint brushes do I need?

    For latex paints, use a brush made of a polyester/nylon blend. For oil paints, use brushes made of black China bristles.

    For cutting in to window frames, door frames or trim, use a 3” wall brush with a straight edge. For woodwork, use a 2” brush with a straight edge. For corners and window sashes, use a 2” tapered sash brush.

    For the best results, make sure you choose the right brush.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What's the difference between a wood stain and a varnish?

    Wood stains are absorbed by the wood and mimic the color of a particular species of wood. (This could be the same type of wood you’re using or a completely different species, depending on your preference.)

    Varnish is a clear, transparent coating that lays on top of the wood. Varnish is durable and hard and comes in a variety of sheens – from flat to glossy.

    For the best results, follow the application instructions.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What are the ideal weather conditions for staining my deck?

    For best results, the general rule is that the temperature should be between 50° and 90° with low winds and no rain in the forecast within 24 hours. If it's too windy your stain may dry too quickly.  And avoid staining in the direct sun. Read the manufacturers recommendation on the package and check your local forecast.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • When do I know to use a primer for my project and how do I pick what to use?

    Unfinished surfaces:

    • For raw woods, you need to seal the wood so that it doesn’t soak up your paints and cause your coat to look uneven. (As a bonus, it will also cover dark spots and knots in the wood and not allow them to show through your paint.) An oil-based primer works well on sealing interior woods and also provides a smooth surface that allows your paint to adhere.
    • For unfinished drywall, use a PVA primer to cover joint compound and provide a smooth surface for your paint.

    Stained surfaces:

    • Oil-based primers work best on water-based stains, such as inks, foods and smoke.
    • Water-based primers work best on oil-based stains, such as grease, lipstick and crayons.
    • Shellac-based primers work best for stains that come from severe smoke or water damage. They also keep stains from producing odors.

    Previously painted surfaces:

    • If you’re painting lighter color over a dark color, use a quality primer to cover the darker hue and provide a nice, light surface for your topcoat. Two or more coats of primer may be necessary depending on the color you’re covering.
    • If you’re painting a darker shade over a lighter shade, use a tintable primer. This provides a good surface for your topcoat, while also preventing the old color from bleeding through.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I tell which steel wool is finer?

    The smaller the number, the finer the steel wool.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.



     

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How to Turn Your First Home into a Decorator's Showcase

    (ARA) - Whether you've signed a lease agreement or purchased a house, moving into your first home is an exciting time. For many people, it's their first opportunity to express their personal style by decorating their own space.

    Whatever your taste - contemporary or classic, modern or rustic - you want your first home's interior decor to look polished and put-together. And you'd probably rather not spend a bundle achieving that look.

    Do-it-yourself home decor is popular for exactly those reasons. By doing the design and implementation yourself, you can save a lot of money. Plus, many people find that doing it themselves makes decorating their homes an even more personal and rewarding experience.

    So where do you start if you want to turn your first home into a decorator's showcase? Focusing on a few key areas can yield high-impact results.

    Start with the walls; they're the largest design element in any room, and repainting them is an easy, high-payoff way to begin redecorating. Choose colors that not only speak to you, but that also make sense with key furniture pieces you already have. For example, if you have a great sofa that you love, consider choosing a color or two from the pattern and using that on the walls.

    Another smart paint strategy is to do three walls in a restful, neutral color and then spice things up with a more vibrant hue on a fourth 'accent' wall. Whatever color you choose, remember to buy the best quality paint you can afford. It will last longer and look great.

    Another option for dressing up your walls is to use removable murals. Wall murals are a favorite design trick of interior decorators. Repositionable murals make it easy to decorate with a mural - minus the commitment or expense of having one professionally painted.

    Once you've gussied up your walls, it's time to look down and think about the floor. Flooring is the second largest design element in a room and it forms the foundation for your other design decisions.

    If you've got the budget and the gumption, you can remove and replace old carpet, re-stain worn wood and retile dated floors. If your means and your DIY skills are more modest, you can always cover up unappealing carpet with throw rugs that speak to your tastes. Carpet tiles are also a great way to get the look and feel of new carpet without the expense and installation challenges of wall-to-wall. And bathrooms and kitchens can both benefit from a new flooring of easy-to-install vinyl tiles.

    Finally, accessories are the icing on the cake when it comes to your interior decor. Even if your furniture is mature, you can make it look young again with new accent pillows and slipcovers. It's possible to find reasonably priced artwork to fit nearly every design theme these days, whether you look online or hit one of the big box home design stores.

    Window treatments are another accessory that will give you more bang for the buck. You can get a designer look for less when you dress up cheap, store-bought panels with some personal touches.

    Turning your first home into a decorator's showcase doesn't have to cost a lot. A sense of adventure, some creativity and the willingness to do the work yourself can have your home looking like something from a TV interior design show in no time.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Does low-VOC paint cover walls as well as traditional paint?

    Yes. High-quality paint that has low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is just as good as traditional paint on your walls and even better for your home's air quality.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What is the advantage of a natural-bristle brush?

    Bristle has naturally split ends called flags, which help hold the paint in the brush so that it is released throughout the stroke instead of all at once.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How can I tell if something was painted with an oil-based paint?

    Oil-based paint usually feels smoother to the touch, but if you can't tell for sure, here's a quick, easy way to do a test. Pour a bit of an acetone-based solvent like nail polish remover on a rag or paper towel and rub it on the surface.  If nothing rubs off it's oil, if paint rubs off on your rag, it's latex.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How much area will one gallon of paint cover?

    Paint coverage is affected by numerous factors: the quality of the paint you’re using, the color you’re covering and the color you’re using. That said, a good rule of thumb is that one gallon of paint will cover between 350 and 400 sq. ft.

    Planning ahead will help you determine the amount of paint needed for a project.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What type of brush works best with oil-based paint?

    Natural bristles are best for most oil-based finishes including varnishes and stains. Their soft tips leave fewer brush marks.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Ideas for 'Re-Feathering' Your Empty Nest on the Cheap

    (ARA) - The kids are finally on their own and you're ready to reclaim some spaces in your home that were previously dedicated to child's play. Even though as empty-nesters you probably won't spend so much on food, education and gas money, you're still not ready to go into debt to redecorate the once-kid-centric rooms in your home.

    Fortunately, it's easy to find redecorating options that pack grown-up appeal without a grown-ups only price-tag. You can make over bedrooms and play rooms with a few budget-friendly tricks.

    Not sure where to start? Here are a few helpful hints:

    Your teen barred you from making decorator decisions about her room long ago. Now that she's moved out, it's time to tear down those rock band posters, empty the closet of clothes she'll never wear again, and do something more sedate with those awful candy pink walls.

    Whether you're planning to sell your empty nest and downgrade to something smaller, or just want to enjoy all the rooms in your home again, redecorating a child's room has many advantages.

    Start by repainting walls in neutral, sophisticated tones. Then, spice things up - in a mature, adult way - with an accent wall. For those that are afraid of committing to wallpaper, repositionable peel and stick wallpaper is a great option for creating a unique decorator feature in a room. Whether you're looking for beach wall murals to evoke the relaxed feeling of your last tropical vacation, or a city skyline to create a sophisticated aura, you can find many options online.



    Clear all the excess toys out of the playroom, and put their X-box on eBay. (If they really wanted it, they'd have taken it with them.) Now you're ready to put that space to adult use -- as a home theater, craft room or office.

    Bring in that big-screen, high-def TV you didn't buy before because you couldn't bear the thought of sticky fingerprints all over it. Buy that awesome surround-sound system you passed on for years because you feared how it would sound with your kids' favorite cartoon blasting out of the speakers.

    Finally, don't overlook the bathroom. If you've held off on buying new towels, bath matt and a shower curtain until there were no more teenagers in the house to mess them up, it's time to treat yourself. While you're at it, replace the utilitarian shower head with a luxurious multi-head unit or a rainfall shower head. Install a towel warming rack now that the electrical outlets are free of curling - or straightening - irons. Choose a serene, comforting color and paint over the cartoon fish decals.

    Seize the opportunity to re-feather your empty nest to your tastes. And don't feel bad about doing it. Studies show that redecorating an adult child's room so they know they 'can't go home again' actually helps them better make the transition to independence.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What's the best way to clean my deck before re-staining?

    Remove everything from your deck and sweep off all dirt and debris. Check all structural elements for damage. Replace any damaged boards, tighten any lose boards or screws and fix any nail pops.

    There are the variety of deck cleaning products available. Some are detergents, others are bleaches, and still others are chemical solutions designed to react with certain woods. Whatever cleaner you choose, read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

    Many cleaners can be easily applied with a pump-style garden sprayer following the manufacturer's instructions. It's advisable to test in a small, less visible spot first before cleaning the entire deck.

    Sometimes lightly watering down the deck can assist you in applying and spreading the cleaning solution. Many solutions should not be allowed to dry on the wood so periodic spraying/misting may be required. Depending on how dirty your deck is you may see results immediately. But many cleaning compounds require a few minutes to work before you see results.

    Depending on the cleaner you select and the amount of algae on your deck, you can use a stiff brush with a long handle (typically a synthetic bristle brush since many cleaning solutions will deteriorate a natural bristle brush) and a regular garden hose or you can use a pressure washer.

    Once you've cleaned your deck well, let it dry for 12 to 24 hours and you're ready to sand. Using a pole sander makes this job much easier and saves your knees. Use 120 to 150 grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the wood grain. Most likely you won't need to sand your spindles or railings because vertical surfaces don't wear as fast. When the sanding is finished, use a leaf blower, broom or wet/dry vac to thoroughly remove the dust, and your deck is ready for staining. You should stain or seal it as quickly as possible after you have sanded to protect it from the elements.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What is an oil-based paint?

    Oil-based – or alkyd-based paints – have chemicals or resins in them that evaporate once the paint dries. This allows them to go on a little thicker and provide a better coverage on the first coat.

    Tips for oil-based paint application.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Should I buy a paint brush with angled bristles or cut square?

    An angle-tipped brush allows you to put the tips of the bristles on the work at the natural angle that the brush is held. In addition, an angle-tipped brush puts slightly more bristle area on the work than a square-tipped brush of the same width.

    Consider the type of paint job before choosing your brush.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Picking The Right 'Brushes' For Perfect Painting Results

    You can buy the most expensive paints available, have the colors mixed accurately, prepare the surfaces perfectly and still end up with a disappointing painted surface because you used the wrong brushes or rollers to apply the paint.

    While proper paints and preparation are important, a real secret to a good paint job is the paintbrush.

    There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all brush. You need some variety. Good paint brushes have bristles that are firmly attached to a metal holder, called the ferrule. The more expensive the brush, the more bristles it has and the more tenaciously they will stay in place.

    Paintbrush Varieties

    Paintbrushes come in two major varieties and each has a place in your toolbox:

    Natural - fiber bristle brushes are made from animal hair. The most common is hog hair, which is labeled 'China bristle.' These are used for oil paint and solvent-thinned finishes only, since water-based paints will absorb into the bristles and leave them limp and mop like.

    Synthetic - fiber bristles are the choice for latex paint and water-based finishes. These contain fibers made of nylon or polyester. Generally, they are less expensive than natural fibers. The fibers are hollow, which is why after cleaning they continue to leak paint-tinged liquid.

    Brush Shapes and Types

    Some brushes contain blends of both natural and synthetic fibers and those can be used with any type of paint. You should own at least one of each of the three basic shapes of brushes:

    Flat brushes have bristles that are perpendicular to the ferrule. For painting exterior siding or decks, a 4-inch plat brush with either natural or synthetic bristles is the applicator to use. It covers large areas quickly, yet still is light enough to maneuver easily.

    Trim brushes are cut at an angle that makes it possible to paint crisp lines on trim, molding and windows and glass doors. They range in width between one and two inches. Chisel trim brushes are angles on both sides for extra precision.

    Stain brushes have flat bristles that are shorter and wider than a normal flat brush. This gives them less of a tendency to drip, which is ideal for using with stains.

    Here's a good tip for you... When it comes to paint brushes, buy the best you can, keep them clean when you're finished using them and they'll stay with you for years.

    Rolling That Wall

    If you are painting a wall, a roller works much better than a paintbrush. Painting walls or ceilings with a roller is faster and leaves a smooth matte finish in its wake rather than a bunch of brush strokes. Rollers come in two styles based on their cores:

    Cardboard core rollers are less expensive. They begin to compress and give way when dampened from the paint. The more you roll, the more the fibers glued to the core tend to pull out and stick to the wall.

    Hard core rollers are more expensive, but also more durable and can be cleaned and reused, so the added cost really balances out in the long run.

    Lastly, I recommend buying a sturdy metal rolling pan. The low-cost plastic pans make it seem appealing, but when you try to pick one up filled with paint it invariable will bend, spilling paint.

    Credit: Lou Manfredini's Tips From the Tool Box, Ace Hardware

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Can I use the same brush for both latex and oil-based paint?

    Yes, but you must make sure you clean them extremely well. It's best if you just buy two sets of brushes-one for latex and one for oil-based paints.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How to Create a Great Accent Wall

    Accent walls are a great way to add color to a space and experiment with smaller doses of brighter, bolder hues. Whether you'd like to define a living space or spotlight a treasured piece of artwork or an architectural feature, the right accent wall colors can help you create a striking, unique design element.

    Accent walls can also help you create color continuity throughout your home. By using the same color in fabrics, finishes, accessories, and furnishings in adjoining rooms, you can create a seamless transition from space to space.

    Make a Bold Statement

    Bold, colorful shades are good accent wall colors because they accentuate a space without overpowering it. For example, perhaps you're using bright colors in your decorative accessories throughout your space, but they seem far too bold for entire walls. Why not choose one of those colors to create an accent wall for a lively splash of vibrancy?

    (Tip: Accent walls can also take away the stress of decorating a kid's room. Let your child choose a color for one wall and then choose a neutral color that you can live with for the other walls. Use decorative accessories and bedding to pick up the accent color to tie the look together.)

    Create a Subtle Contrast

    If you prefer a more gentle contrast, try painting an accent wall in a deeper version of your existing wall color. This can be just enough to add interest and break the monotony of a single-color space.

    Choosing the Right Paint Color

    To help you choose the best accent wall color for your space, use a hue from a pillow or your favorite artwork as your inspiration. What is the most appealing color to you in that piece? Does it work with the main wall color? Would you enjoy living with accessories in that same color? Whatever shade you choose, accent walls allow you to express your own unique, confident design style. So grab a paint brush and let your imagination go!

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How can I create a spa feeling in my bathroom?

    Give your bathroom the relaxing, rejuvenating feel of a spa. Painting your bathroom a light gray and adding a few simple accessories, you can create a spa-like retreat at home.

    The subtle gray colored walls echo the natural gray marble to create a feeling of serenity and tranquility in this spa-like bathroom. The creamy white door and trim provide the perfect backdrop for the refreshing splash of green from the lush fern on the vanity. A large mirror creates the feeling of spaciousness. We used accent colors of warm taupe and crisp white in the towels and decor to create a look that is both invigorating and restful.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Furniture Fix-Ups Just in Time for the Holidays

    If you're hosting upcoming holiday parties, you want your home to look its best. If the wood table has watermarks, the dining room chairs are wobbly, or the couch's upholstery is unsightly, consider doing some furniture 'TLC.'

    Easy, minor touch-ups can make your furniture look like new, and your local Westlake Hardware store has the products you need to give your furniture a fresh look.

    Here are several furniture fix-up suggestions to get your home ready for holiday entertaining:

    Repair a Wobbly Chair

    If a chair is so wobbly that there's an old paperback jammed under the leg for balance, it's time for a repair. Knock the loose joint apart with a hammer. Then, with sandpaper or steel wool, remove any old glue from both parts that need to be reattached. If the glue is difficult to take off, try adding vinegar to it. Spread wood glue on both surfaces and then, using a wood clamp or tourniquet, apply pressure on the chair joint for 24 hours allowing the glue ample time to dry. Adding a small screw to the joint will assure a tight hold.

    Fix a Furniture Spindle

    If your chair's spindle is separated from its socket because of playful pets or years of use, you can re-secure it with a little elbow grease. Use a high-speed cutter to thoroughly remove old glue from the rung and inside of the socket. Then coat the end of the spindle and the inside of the socket with carpenter's glue, and wrap silk thread around the end of the spindle. Clamp and let settle overnight.

    Remove Residue from Wood

    Some common residue can be removed without the help of a professional furniture refinisher. Bear in mind, though, that you should always test your remedy in a small, inconspicuous area first just to be sure it doesn't damage the finish. For watermarks and rings caused by cups without coasters, use a wood amalgamator like Howard's Restore-A-Finish or Formby's Conditioning Furniture Refinisher. Use with #0000 steel wool. The more zeros in the code, the finer the weave is. Drench the wool and squeeze out lightly. Apply pressure with the grain, and your woodwork will look like new again. Finish by wiping clean with a tack cloth.

    Cloths referred to as white ring removers also work to remove marks caused by heat and water and even minor scratches and will not remove finish from the wood surface.

    If candle wax is the culprit, harden the substance by holding an ice cube wrapped in cloth against it. Then, use a plastic credit card or a dull knife to scrape it off. Rub the wax with an extra-fine steel wool dipped in mineral spirits, wipe dry and set with wax or polish.

    Upholding Your Upholstery

    Many furniture fabrics carry an upholstery code, usually found on a label under the cushions, which gives specific instructions on the proper methods for cleaning that fabric type. Typically, vacuuming and light brushing to remove dirt and grime is recommended as well as spot cleaning with an upholstery shampoo or mild solvent.

    Always patch testing the cleaner on the fabric first to ensure it doesn't shrink or discolor. It's a good idea to treat leather every year or so with a leather oil or conditioner. These products will keep the leather from cracking and remain more pliable to avoid rips and tears.

    Credit: Lou Manfredini's Tips From the Tool Box, Ace Hardware

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What is the best way to apply varnish and stains?

    For the best results:

    • Sand down any varnishes or stains that were previously on the surface.
    • Clean the surface you’re varnishing/staining.
    • Thoroughly clean the space where you’re varnishing/staining so that no dust particles get into the finished piece.
    • Stir your varnish. Don’t shake it. Shaking causes air bubbles in the varnish which can easily transfer onto your finished piece.

    Want to learn more about varnishes and stains?

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What should I use to thin shellac?

    Denatured alcohol, which can also be used in many shellac based products.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Instant Gratification: Painting Projects to Update Your Decor in One Weekend

    (ARA) - Updating the decor in your home doesn't have to be a long, laborious or expensive process. Instead, get a little instant gratification by using paint to easily refresh areas and items throughout the house. With a little cash and a free weekend, you can makeover your house right now.

    Furniture Facelift

    Whether it's an old pair of chairs in the attic or a desk that's seen better days, it's easy to breathe new life into pieces of forgotten furniture with a fresh coat of paint. You can add interest and a pop of color to any room. A semi-gloss finish works best when painting furniture because it's easy to clean and hides any imperfections.

    How to:

    • Make sure the surface is clean, dull and dry.
    • Prime with a stain blocking primer to ensure the surface is properly sealed. This will help the paint go on evenly and uniformly.
    • With a high-quality mini-roller, like those from Purdy, apply the paint of your choice to achieve the best finish. These tools are versatile, lightweight, and can quickly and easily deliver a perfect finish with smooth rolling action.
    • For extra protection, brush on two thin, even coats of water-based polyurethane.

    Door Do-Over

    Changing the color of an interior door can make a big impact in any room. The key to getting this update right: color selection. Choose color similar to your walls for the door, because you don't want the contrast to be jarring. Be sure to paint the frame too, so the door doesn't seem to float in space, and use a gloss or semi-gloss finish.

    How to:

    • Remove door and hinges from the wall.
    • Make sure the door is clean dull and dry.
    • Prime bare, sanded woodwork; there's no need to prime previously painted surfaces if they're in good condition. However, if you are going over an existing oil-based paint with a latex paint, follow the instructions on the paint can on how to prime.
    • When applying paint or primer, work from the center of the door outwards in the following order: molding, inside panels, rails, stiles
    • Once paint is completely dry, re-hang door using existing hinges.

    Step To It

    For an unexpected update, paint an area of the house that doesn't usually receive a lot of love - your stair risers. They can get nicked and scuffed easily, so a fresh finish - and color - can really perk up the staircase. If you're unsure of which shade to choose, cut and paint cardboard pieces the same size of the risers and position them on the steps to get an idea of the effect.

    How to:

    • Dust risers with a broom and cover steps with masking paper; secure with painter's tape.
    • Apply latex primer to wooden risers or metal etching primer to metallic ones. Brush horizontally and let dry for at least two hours. Mini rollers are another tool to consider especially over metal.
    • Apply gloss, latex paint with a clean brush or mini roller. Let first coat dry two hours, then apply second coat.
    • Wait a day for the paint to cure and then add a third coat for the most durable finish.


    Remember: Painting is the easiest way to make a dramatic and instant impact on a room. This weekend, get inspired and makeover with these simple and inexpensive projects.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • What type of brush is best for rough surfaces?

    A synthetic brush is your best choice, because the rough surface can quickly damage the flags on a natural-bristle brush.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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