TIP OF THE WEEK
If painting is on your list of home upgrades to tackle this year, you may find yourself procrastinating to avoid a painful process. However, with the right tools and a little preparation, you can achieve the new look you want and a finished product that makes you proud.
Before you get started, take inventory of your painting supplies and ensure you have plenty of brushes (including extras, if you’ll have help), paint trays, masking tape, clean-up rags and drop cloths to protect your floor or furniture. Make a list of any items you need to purchase, and before you head to the store, measure your space one last time to ensure you know how much paint you need to buy.
Follow these additional tips for a painting project that delivers a big home improvement gain without the pain:
Lights on, lights off. Think about lighting when choosing your paint. It is easy to pick a color solely based on a photo or swatch, but it is important to think about your specific room and how the lighting may affect the color’s appearance.
Timing is everything. Prime painting season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. One important reason is that when the weather is nice, you can open up the windows and get some circulation running through the room for faster drying times and better air quality.
Prepare for everything. Before you begin painting, protect surfaces and ensure sharp lines by masking off your painting area.
Make it fun. Get the whole family involved in the project. Having kids take part will help give them a sense of ownership and responsibility for the family home, and make the end result more personal.
Revel in the results. Putting in the legwork in advance will pay off when you get the freshly painted look you want, and you’ll want to celebrate the accomplishment. Make sure to take before and after photos to show off your hard work.
Find more tips to pull off a better paint job at scotchblue.com
— Family Features/ScotchBlue

HOME-SELLING TIP
Refresh instead of remodeling your kitchen
Refreshing your kitchen doesn’t require a major update. Add a new color to existing cabinetry by refinishing or adding new coat of paint. Would you like to add a glossy shine to the kitchen? Simply apply mesh-back glass tile to fit the dimensions of cabinet door panels. Finish the update with a modern touch by replacing outdated hardware with the many new, stylish options available.
— Family Features

DECORATING TIP
Create conversation with your furniture
By simply rearranging your living room furniture, you can create a more inviting space for your family and friends. By either arranging your furniture in a U-shape or an H-shape with a couch and chairs, your living room will be more inviting for your company to carry on a conversation. Set up an U-shape area with a sofa and two chairs facing each other at each end of a coffee table. To set up a H-shape area, have your sofa directly across from two chairs with a coffee table in the middle.
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GARDEN GUIDE
Lighten your load
Potted plants are a versatile way to decorate the inside or outside of your house, but if you use heavy pots they can be a pain to move around. By simply adding a layer of packing peanuts at the bottom of a plant pot you can lighten the weight and improve drainage for your plants. Be sure to add a layer of landscape fabric on top of the packing peanuts to keep the soil from sinking to the bottom.
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