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SECTION B Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 A Delta Publications, Inc. Special Section




More than a kneeling pad

Mount Calvary area couple wins landscape makeover When Maggie McCullough of Mount Calvary first learned about the possibility of winning $5,000 worth of landscaping through American Transmission Co.’s Grow Smart® Sweepstakes, she did not think about winning—she entered to get a free garden kneeling pad that was offered for each household’s entry. “I never thought we’d actually win,” she said. But McCullough was the lucky winner, and now an entire new area of landscaping has been installed at the Mount Calvary home she shares with her husband Steve. ATC held the Grow Smart Sweepstakes as a way to continue educating the public about its Grow Smart program. The program helps property owners and communities identify low-growing, beautiful vegetation that can be planted the smart way—a safe distance from transmission line right-of-ways. The sweepstakes targeted property owners who have an ATC easement, and who also had vegetation management work performed by ATC on their property in 2015. Eligible households were notified through a postcard mailing earlier this year that they could enter to win $5,000 in landscaping for their property, as well as a two-hour personal consultation with horticulturist and gardening expert Melinda Myers to discuss ideas and visions for what could be done with the landscape (including compatible, low-growing species and other Grow Smart options). The winner was drawn at random from more than 65 entries. “We are delighted that Maggie and Steve are the winners,” said Anne Spaltholz, ATC’s director of Corporate Communications. “We have learned that they both love gardening and landscaping, and have worked for years to make their property beautiful and natural, reflecting the nature that’s around them.” This summer, the McCulloughs met with Myers and representatives from Stuart’s Landscaping and Garden Center of Fond du Lac to discuss best practices and Grow Smart compatible plantings for their yard. The McCulloughs chose to landscape an area close to their house that is common to many homes—a steep incline with an exposed, walk-out basement. But they also wanted to make sure the landscaping was complementary to other areas on their property. Maggie said, “We have 38 acres of land with a river, wetlands, a hill and woods. Around the house we’ve done a lot of naturalizing with perennials. We’ve tried to create a really good environment for the wildlife around here. In addition to the more formal perennial beds that are around the house, we also have two prairies on our land—one of which is

Homeowner Maggie McCullough (on the left in the photo at right) and well known horticulturist Melinda Myers look at some of the new plants on the McCullough property. Reviewing the newly landscaped area in the above photo are Myers along with Maggie and Steve McCullough and the crew from Stuart’s Landscaping and Garden Center of Fond du Lac.

actually underneath the power lines. It’s in keeping with ATC’s philosophy of using the low-growing perennial plants and flowers. They’ll never get tall enough to create any problems with the power lines.” Stuart’s Landscaping developed a landscape plan for the McCulloughs that features terracing and native vegetation similar to that in the established prairie on their property. The landscaping work took place at the McCullough’s home on Sept. 14 and 15. “The McCulloughs are really modeling what Grow Smart is all about,” Myers said. “Investing time up front to create an appropriate and beautiful landscape pays off with years of beauty and less ongoing maintenance. On behalf of the Grow Smart program, we congratu-

late them.” To learn more about ATC’s Grow Smart program, go to As an owner and operator of the area electric transmission system, it is ATC’s

responsibility to keep trees and brush out of the right-of-ways of power lines for safety and reliability reasons. Company officials said they understand trees and brush are an important part of the community landscape.


Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Planting some spring flowering bulbs will help shorten the wait of winter.

Time is now to plant spring owering bulbs By Melinda Myers Shorten the winter season with the help of spring flowering bulbs that you plant in fall. These beauties often provide the first bit of color, fragrance and winter relief each year. Look for new and unique ways to incorporate bulbs into your landscape. Create a seasonal water feature with a river of blue scillas and grape hyacinths meandering through the garden. Welcome visitors with a front door or walkway garden that blooms from early spring through early summer and is loaded with crocus, tulips, daffodils and allium. Do not overlook those shady spots. Many of these locations provide enough early season sun, before the trees leaf out, for bulbs to grow and flower. Use more shade tolerant spring bloomers like snowdrops, grape hyacinths, scillas, anemones, daffodils, fritillarias, and Camassias in shady areas among hostas, ferns, and other shade tolerant perennials. Whether you are new or experienced,


growing bulbs is an easy endeavor. Just follow these simple steps to a beautiful spring garden. Selection Purchase bulbs that are dense and firm, and free of bruises or mold. Shop early for the best selection. Mail order sources will ship your bulbs at the proper planting time. If you buy locally, store the bulbs in a dry, well-ventilated, and cool 60 F location until it is time to plant. Do not let deer, rabbits and chipmunks dissuade you from planting. Include hyacinths, grape hyacinths, scillas, glory-ofthe-snow, fritillarias, alliums and Camassias that the animals tend to overlook.

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Design ideas Include a variety of bulbs for added color throughout spring. Early bloomers like Glory of the Snow, crocus, early tulips and daffodils, and grape hyacinths (Muscari) are followed by mid-season daffodils and tulips along with fritilTurn to BULBS/page 4

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016




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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

With kids back in school, it’s good time to paint Now that school bells are once again ringing, it is a great time to ring in the fall home painting season, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “With kids out of the house, interior painting is several grades easier, and with proper planning, you can ace the job in record time,” said Zimmer, who offers some tips for mom and dad painters with school-age children: Start by finishing your “homework” early, she advises. Pick up color cards at your local paint store, plan out your color scheme, and purchase paint and sundries ahead of time, not on the day you want to paint. Also, favor top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint in a glossier finish to get a painted surface that is more “kid-

proof”, i.e. easier to clean. The night before painting, slide furniture away from the walls and cover it. Wipe down the surfaces you will be painting, and patch any nicks or holes in the walls. Remove switch-plates and outlet covers. Then apply painter’s tape as necessary to protect the ceiling, woodwork, and anything else you want to keep free of paint. “With shopping and prep work completed beforehand, you’ll be able to plunge right into your painting as soon as the morning school bus leaves,” Zimmer said. Begin your painting by doing the largest wall first. When you finish that, you will have an immediate sense of accomplishment and confidence that you can

Bulbs larias. Late-spring blooming tulips and alliums finish off the spring display. Combine several bulbs that bloom at the same time to double the floral impact or at different times to extend the color throughout the spring. You can create your own combinations or look for prepackaged combinations prepared by experts like those at Longfield Gardens ( Low growing White Splendor anemone along with Ocean Magic grape hyacinth make a striking combination for under shrubs. The yellow blossoms of Dutch Master daffodils, pink Involve tulips and purplish blue grape hyacinths will give you several layers of color in the garden. Or add a bit of eye-catching red to the garden throughout the spring with the Really Red collection of tulips. Red Emperor starts things out in early spring, followed by Oxford and ends with double-flowering Red Princess and Sky High Scarlet. Location Plant bulbs in well-drained soil for best results. Avoid areas such as next to the dryer vent or against the south side foundation of your home that tend to warm up early in spring or experience a winter thaw. These bulbs often sprout too early and subsequent cold temperatures can limit or eliminate their bloom. Reduce maintenance and boost your garden’s beauty by mixing bulbs with perennials. Once the bulbs are done blooming, the neighboring perennials mask the fading bulb foliage.

continued from page 2 When and how to plant Increase growing success in poor soils by incorporating several inches of compost, peat moss or other organic matter into the top 12 inches of soil. This improves drainage in clay soil and the water-holding ability of sandy and rocky soils. Then be sure to incorporate a low nitrogen, slow release fertilizer. Wait to plant bulbs until the soil cools. This is any time after the night temperatures are consistently 40 to 50 F, but several weeks before the ground freezes. Plant spring blooming bulbs three times as deep as the bulb is tall. Water thoroughly to remove air pockets and encourage fall root growth. Add a layer of mulch to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and reduce the risk of early sprouting. So break out your trowel and garden gloves and get busy planting. You will be glad you did when spring arrives and your yard and garden are filled with a rainbow of beautiful flowers. (Melinda Myers has over 30 years of gardening experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including “Small Space Gardening.” She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Longfield Gardens for her expertise to write this article.)


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complete the job before the kids return. Use an angled trim brush to “cut in” the edges of the wall, applying a threeinch strip of paint where the wall meets the ceiling, and adjacent to doors, windows and molding. Then use a roller to cover the wall in three-foot by three-foot sections, working from one side of the wall to the other. Roll out the paint in a “W” pattern, then fill in the pattern and move on to the next section. Repeat the process on the secondlargest wall, and proceed from one wall to the next until you finish the room. If you must stop painting to pick up the kids, or for any other reason, do not stop mid-wall or you may be left with a visible

line in your paint color. If you are also painting the trim, the best practice is to wait until the next day. However, if you started your project early enough and the walls are completely dry, you can move right on to that phase of the job. Starting with the first wall you painted (where the paint is driest), apply painter’s tape to the wall right next to the trim. Taping off the woodwork in this way will not only speed your painting, it will also give the room a neater finished appearance. For more information, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

Get outdoor areas ready for fall While everyone eagerly waits for spring each year and wishes summer could last a month or two longer, when it comes down to it, fall just might be America’s favorite season. Packing it in early is something dynamic design duo Colin and Justin would never consider. The home improvement stars of “Cabin Pressure� and “Game of Homes� make the most of their beautiful Western Red Cedar deck all year around. Here are some of Colin and Justin’s design solutions to help extend outdoor living well into the autumn months: Start with the right deck Just because you procrastinated does not mean you need to wait until next spring to build or start designing a showstopping deck. Whatever your plans, though, one thing almost everyone agrees upon is that there is nothing quite like the rich, textural warmth of a Western Red Cedar deck to create a beautiful all-season outdoor living space. Heat things up Paradoxically, as the days grow shorter, you

will wish they would last longer. There is no more perfect way to cap off a perfect fall day than by sitting around a fire with friends and family. “In the autumn, we have two propane operated fire bowls that sit smack dab in the center of our Western Red Cedar deck,� Colin said. Bundle up with textiles Sometimes all it takes to warm up an outdoor

living space is some simple, yet chic, soft furnishings and yes, maybe even a change in wardrobe. Install a BBQ cover If you’re like Colin & Justin, you enjoy the thrill of the grill year round. This is where an easy-to-build, Real Cedar BBQ Cover really earns its keep. This sturdy and beautiful structure is going to last you a very long time.

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

10 smart ideas to heat home for less As cooler temperatures begin to sweep the nation, homeowners are turning on their heat for the first time in months. With every degree increase on the thermostat, utility bills follow suit. A warm, comfortable home should not cost a small fortune. Luckily, there are some simple strategies for combating the chill while lowering heating costs at the same time. Change the filters The summer and fall months are a prime time for airborne allergens and microbes which can clog furnace filters and inhibit airflow. This makes the furnace work harder and in turn, costs you more. Change your filters monthly to help open airflow and save money. Embrace the sun Want to help heat your home for free during the winter? Pay attention to the sun. Try opening curtains on south-facing windows and the radiant heat from the sun will help naturally heat your home. Just remember to close them at night to keep out the evening chill. Use a programmable thermostat You can save up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply adjusting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Use a programmable thermostat to change the temperature for time periods you are sleeping or away from home. Some air conditioning systems can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app like “Smart AC,” which works seamlessly with LG duct-free systems, allowing the homeowners to wirelessly connect, control and monitor the temperature through an easy-to-use smartphone app. Consider installing a duct-free minisplit system to provide zoned heating Instead of moving air through ductwork as central heating and air conditioning systems do, duct-free systems deliver warm, conditioned air directly into a room. Duct-free systems like those from LG provide high-performance zone heating, allowing homeowners to keep their bedrooms toasty warm at night when it is frigid outside, while turning the heat down (or off) in the rest of the home to help save energy.

Clear heat registers One common mistake homeowners make is covering heat registers with furniture, toys or other items that block the heat flow. To improve heating efficiency, inspect all heat registers in your home and remove anything that is blocking them. Seal leaks and lock windows Phantom heat loss is a huge energy drain. Test for leaks by using a flashlight to see if light filters through cracks or try pulling a dollar bill through. Then, seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs, chimneys and recessed lights with spray foam. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal windows and doorway drafts. Do not forget to close and lock windows and doors. Locking pulls the components tight against the weather-stripping to block cold air from entering the home.

Following some simple tips can help keep homes cozy without costing a lot.

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016


Fall good time to help trees with mulch “I know we’re supposed to do something to our trees in the fall, but what?” Tree owners often feel compelled to spray, prune or apply something to their trees and landscape plants on a regular basis. But, unless there is a specific reason to spray, prune or apply things to landscape trees, the best thing to “do” to keep your trees healthy is apply a layer of composted mulch. “Fall is a great time to be out in the yard spreading shovels-full of composted woodchip mulch under your trees,” said Tchukki Andersen, Board Certified Master Arborist, Certified Treecare Safety Professional (BCMA, CTSP) and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association. “Trees with mulched root zones are usually larger, healthier, develop faster and have higher rates of survival than plants surrounded by turf grass or bare dirt. Mulches retain soil moisture and nutrients and reduce erosion and soil compaction.” Mulched trees also have fewer weeds growing near the trunk, which reduces the need for the roots to compete for limited resources. The soil under the mulch also likely stays warmer longer into the winter and also warms faster in the spring, helping extend the growing season for plants in colder regions. Natural mulches are a favorite among professional arborists who view wood chips as an excellent, attractive mulch for trees. Other natural mulches include bark chips, ground bark, composted lawn clippings, leaves and straw. These mulches are high in cellulose and low in nitrogen, and should be free of weed seeds. Good mulching How wide is wide? A good mulch bed should extend out at least three feet from a tree’s trunk in all directions, though extending out to the dripline is preferred.

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This is where the fine, absorbing tree roots extend out into the soil, and mulch provides many health-related benefits for those roots. Keep all mulches several inches away from the base of the tree to avoid rot and diseases. How deep is deep? The mulch bed depth should be maintained at two to four inches. Go ahead, cover the grass. If there is grass in the area that needs to be mulched, put a five-page layer of newspaper over the grass, get it wet, then add mulch on top (this will help keep the grass from growing up through the mulch). Use the right mulch. For poor soils, use well-composted mulch to build up the nutrients. Soils that are healthy will do fine with a highly stable softwood bark (such as cypress bark), which does not break down as easily. Measure the pH content. Checking the pH content of the mulch ensures it is compatible with the tree and soil. Bad mulching The biggest no-no when mulching is to create a “mulch volcano” that is piled high around the base of the tree. This practice traps moisture around the tree trunk and root flare leading to decay and, eventually, structural failure. Avoid fine mulch. Thick blankets of fine mulch can become matted and prevent the penetration of water and air. Do not let mulch sour. Low oxygen levels (from packed mulch) creates a toxic “sour” mulch which may give off pungent odors. Even worse, the compounds produced during the souring process (methanol and acetic acid) can kill young plants. Do not keep adding new mulch on top of the old. While mulch does decompose, you do not want to accumulate excessive

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mulch year after year by adding fresh mulch every spring. If you want the look of fresh mulch, break up the old with a rake, and only add a layer of new on top if there is less than four inches in depth. A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best trees to plant. Contact the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), a public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture since 1938. It has more than 2,300 member tree care firms and affiliated companies who recognize stringent safety and performance standards and who are required to carry

liability insurance. TCIA has the nation’s only accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. An easy way to find a tree care service provider in the area is to use the “Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies” program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on www.

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tips to prevent drafts, save energy costs Can you imagine keeping your windows open all winter long? The heat loss, cold drafts and all that money spent on wasted energy would be staggering. But if your home has folding pull-down attic stairs, a whole-house fan, a fireplace or clothes dryer, you may be doing the equivalent of leaving the windows open every day. Drafts from these often overlooked spaces waste energy and cost you big in the form of higher energy bills. They are also the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits that caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize energy loss and drafts. But what can you do about drafts from the four largest energy leaks in your home—the folding attic stairs, the whole house fan, the fireplace and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these areas. Attic stairs When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood. Because your attic space is ventilated directly to the outdoors, the attic space can be very cold in the winter, and in the summer it can be very hot. And what is separating your conditioned house from your unconditioned attic? Only a thin sheet of plywood. Try this yourself: at night, turn on the attic light and shut the attic stairway door. If you see any light coming through, it means your heated and airconditioned air is leaking out of these large gaps in your home, 24 hours a day. An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an insulated attic stair cover that seals the stairs and stops drafts and energy loss. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling. Whole-house fans, AC vents When whole-house fans are installed, a large hole (up to 16 square feet or larger) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only the drafty ceiling shutter between you and the outdoors. An easy solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan shutter seal. Made from white textured flexible insulation, you simply install the seal over the ceiling shutter, secure it with Velcro, and trim it to fit. The shutter seal also can be used to seal and insulate air conditioning vents, and is easily removed when desired.

The Fireplace Plug blocks energy loss, drafts, noise, odors, insects, and fits most any fireplace.

study showed that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating-energy consumption by 30 percent. Another recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher each winter because of the drafts and wasted energy caused by fireplaces. Even if the damper is shut, it is not air-tight, and glass doors do not stop the drafts either. Your chimney is an opening that leads directly outdoors—just like an open window and like a giant straw sucking your expensive heated or airconditioned air right out of your house. A simple way to avoid this problem is to add a Fireplace Plug to your fireplace. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, the Fireplace Plug is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors, and noise. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

into your house. Many dryer vents use a sheet-metal flapper to try to reduce these drafts. This is very primitive technology that does not provide a positive seal to stop the drafts. Compounding the problem is that over time, lint clogs the flapper valve, causing it to stay open. A surprisingly simple so-

Clothes dryer exhaust ducts In many homes, the room with the clothes dryer is the coldest room in the house. In the winter, cold drafts come in through the duct, through your dryer and

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Fireplaces It is ironic that while fireplaces are intended to heat up a house, they can create some seriously cold drafts. Fireplaces, especially during the winter heating season, are energy losers. One

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016


Making memories

Tips for preserving, creating meaningful wooden pieces From your first meal as a married couple at your oak dining table, to enjoying a glass of lemonade with your grandchildren on your pine kitchen stools, your most cherished memories are made at home. “Families have so many pieces of wooden furnishings in their homes that are meaningful to them,” said wood finishing expert Bruce Johnson, spokesperson for Minwax. “If you don’t yet have a piece like this in your family, it’s easy to make something unique out of wood, whether it be a new item or upcycling something old.” If you are looking to protect a piece of your family’s history or create something of your very own, it is important to take steps to care for your wooden furniture. Johnson and the experts at Minwax offer some guidelines for preserving valued wooden pieces as well as creating your own personal items with love ■ If the clear finish on the piece is still in good shape, you can preserve its beauty with a high-quality paste wax like Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. At least once a year, use a very soft cloth to apply the wax a little at a time. Rub gently with the grain of the wood, spreading a thin, even coat of wax to seal and protect the wood. ■ To apply a new finish on an existing piece, you will need to remove the old one first. Choose a well-ventilated but low-traffic area in which to work. The

temperature in your work area should stay higher than 65 F, and humidity should stay around 50 percent to help facilitate drying throughout the process. Consider using a solvent that removes the finish and conditions the wood at the same time, such as Minwax Antique Furniture Refinisher. Wear rubber gloves and use fine steel wool to gently rub in small circles until the old finish is removed. Once the old finish is removed, it is important to protect the surface. Try using a one-step stain and finish such as Minwax PolyShades. It combines beautiful, rich color and long-lasting polyurethane protection in one easy step. You can apply it on top of an existing polyurethane finish or on bare wood. ■ If you are taking on your first wood-finishing project and you want to create something to last for generations to come, try using a beautiful traditional wood stain. Minwax Wood Finish is an oil based stain that comes in a variety of gorgeous colors, creating a rich, appealing color in a single coat. For darker, richer hues, apply a second coat, allowing the piece to dry completely between coats, according to label directions. When you are done staining and the piece is completely dry, do not forget to protect it with a clear finish such as Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane. Minwax recently launched the “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax” campaign, which celebrates the mean©2016 Badgerland Financial, ACA. NMLS ID 458065.

Creating, preserving, or refinishing wooden items in the home can be done easier by following some simple steps suggested by professionals.

ingful stories captured and preserved through building, personalizing and gifting items from the heart. The movement aims to empower inspired DIY’ers to get started on new projects that will be cherished by future generations. For more tips on caring for, staining and

finishing your wooden furniture and more, watch a variety of the latest howto videos from Minwax. For inspiration and project ideas for completing your next wood finishing project, visit www.

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T I T E ... L


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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

Refresh home with 6 DIY paint projects Few things are as satisfying as pulling off a do-it-yourself (DIY) project, especially when the results are successful.= Whether you are looking to refresh something old or create something new, there is no need to hire a professional. Updating your home both indoors and out can be effortless. All you need is a fresh coat of paint. Whether a quick afternoon project or a weekend makeover, here are some DIY projects to spark your inspiration: Update your bedroom You can change the entire look of your bedroom with a can of paint and a few easy steps. A splash of vibrant color could be just the change for which you are looking. But paint is not just for the walls. Take your old desk and chair set from abandoned to astonishing with a little paint from HGTV HOME(TM) by SherwinWilliams for the perfect study corner, or add a coat of your favorite color to every piece of furniture in the room. For this project, try HGTV HOME by SherwinWilliams Showcase Interior Paint. This paint was created with a Precision Color Promise and features exceptional color matching with fade resistant technology allowing you to choose the perfect color to revamp your space with confidence. Paint a picture frame Gallery walls are super trendy these days, so why not make yours even more stylish with a personalized touch? Refresh those old picture frames you have lying around, or pick some up at a thrift store and add a layer of paint. Just be sure to wipe off your frames first so the surface is clean and ready for brush strokes. After the frames are dry, slide in photos and they are ready to hang. Two-toned accent wall When it comes to creating an accent wall, the possibilities are endless and the quickest and easiest way to make a huge difference in any room. A subtle hint of color can elevate even the plainest of rooms in just a couple of hours. A twotoned wall is an unexpected twist that takes any room from bleak to bold with high-quality paint. Select two hues from one of their 16 unique Color Collections. Each of the paint colors in the collections were designed to work together in harmony, so you truly cannot go wrong. Then line the wall with painter’s tape and roll on the first color. Let it dry and then apply the other. Once paint is dry to the

A little extra paint here and there can do wonders for sprucing up a home without a lot of time or money invested.

touch, slowly pull off the tape, angling it toward you. Try using HGTV HOME by SherwinWilliams INFINITY Paint for this project. This interior paint provides a durable finish that is stain resistant and can easily be washed and cleaned, making it the perfect paint for any room in your home. Instant curb appeal Ready for the fastest and easiest ways to improve your home’s curb appeal? Give your front door, trim and shutters a fresh coat of paint. Pick a bold color (or colors) or a brightening white, but make sure they complement the other colors of your home. These simple painting projects will give your home that nice finished look that will have neighbors stopping and staring as they stroll past. You will also need a paint that pro-

vides protection against even the toughest elements, such as heavy rain and intense sunlight. HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams offers a wide variety of paint products that do this, especially their Showcase Exterior Paint with WeatherTuff technology. This paint also offers a thicker coating for extra protection from cracking, peeling and blistering for a long-lasting beautiful finish. Upgrade your mailbox Dress up your mailbox by painting the wooden post to match the exterior of the home, or take a bold approach and paint it a vibrant color. Picnic table revamp Shatter picnic table stereotypes by painting yours with a cheerful color. After all, a picnic table does not have

to be brown. Start by cleaning the table with soapy water to remove dirt and grime. Next sand the table, so the surface is free of splinters. Then rinse the dust away. Let the surface dry, and then it is time to paint with a premium quality exterior paint that is perfect for unprimed surfaces, such as HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams INFINITY Exterior Paint. This paint is a one-coat paint and primer making it easy to update the picnic table in just an afternoon. It is also mildew resistant and holds up against harsh weather conditions, keeping the picnic table bright and beautiful throughout the entire year. Feeling inspired to revitalize the look of your home? Get started this weekend with any of these quick and easy DIY paint projects. Visit for inspiration.

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Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016


What’s old becoming new again in homes Fall is a popular time for home improvement as people think about impressing their guests during the holidays. It is also a time for change, which makes the current trends in home dÊcor so unique. Simply put, what is old is new again. Homeowners are gravitating to classic and timeworn elements to give their home a traditional feel. Character is not something with which every home is born. Newer construction often sacrifices some of the charm or detail of older home styles that can be incorporated with strategic use of materials and furnishings. Imagination is the limit for homeowners, but here is a sampling of what can be done. Build from the ground up Install new flooring that is inspired by the charm of vintage floors. Retailers like Lumber Liquidators sell an array of flooring styles that mimic the look and feel of vintage woodwork—wide planks that echo farmhouse floors, distressed finishes and much more. By replicating techniques such as wire brushing and hand scraping, distressed flooring achieves the look of vintage craftsmanship. Rustic charm of wall accents Adding a wood accent wall can create the feel of a farmhouse or even an industrial loft. Wood can add an artistic element or focal point to backsplashes

and ceilings. Whatever your goal, accent wood makes a statement. Small touches: Fixtures and surfaces Don’t forget the little details—a glass doorknob, an oil-rubbed light fixture or a stained glass panel in the window. These touches go a long way to convey the look of another era in a newer home. Mixing eras with furniture Antiques and classic period pieces mix well with more contemporary furnishings to create an eclectic style in a newer home. Mid-century modern elements—from architecture to furniture— weave their way into home dĂŠcor again this season, proving their staying power. If homeowners are looking to imbue a newer home with the timeless details of tradition, there is a project of every scale. New materials that are designed to look old will not only perform better, they will last for years to come. And “timelessâ€? is always on trend.

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12 Tri-County news • Fall Home Improvement • Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Fall Home Improvement 2016  

View this edition for all your fall home improvement projects.

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