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 (www.Longfield-Gardens.com). 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.)
BUILDING TRUST SINCE 1957 GENERAL CONTRACTOR
Industrial • Commercial Design/Build • Pre-Engineered Metal Building N5435 Lakeshore Drive, P.O. Box 157, Stockbridge www.parsonsconstruction.com
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 blog.paintquality.com.
Your beautiful autumn STARTS HERE!
9208947877 • ELKHART LAKE Mon-Fri 9-5 • Sat 9-4
• Mums • Hardy Pansies • Ornamental Kale • Fall Yard Decorations CALL NOW to schedule your fall yard cleanup!
REDUCED! Perennials Shrubs • Trees
w w w.millhomenursery.com