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Category:  Decorating

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Help! My Old House Needs Updating

By Sharon Stajda

There are many styles of older homes. All unique in their own special way, all attributed to architectural designs of the past. Should we always strip away older homes uniqueness? Design elements that once made the home not only an attractive place to live, but a home that was well sought after by the general home owner? Taking into account "what goes around comes around". Would it be perhaps wiser to try and integrate the old with the new? Making your home a place that continues to maintain a uniqueness of its own. Older homes have special challenges and many times, you'll hear that you canít do this or that. I beg to differ, with a little imagination, and a bit of work, you can revamp an old home, along with all its old out dated structural components.

What to do with paneling? The truth is that you can paint paneling. Old paneling can easily be brought to life. But it has to be done right. First, it is important to clean it thoroughly. A good household cleaner can as a rule suffice. Next, scuff lightly with sandpaper and wipe away the dust with a clean damp cloth. Make sure no dust remains. It is now time to apply a good primer. Make sure your primer has no drips. Put it on lightly, remember, it's just a primer, and not intended to totally cover whatís under it. Make sure it has ample time to dry. When dry, its time to apply your desired paint color. It will take two coats, so donít freak out at the results of your first coat.

You will be very surprised at the beautiful wall that you have created, where that old outdated paneling once resided.

Wallpaper, some love it some loath it. Wallpaper was once revered as a real status symbol. Only homes of the most wealthy possessed the wonderful patterned walls.

There are a couple solutions for dealing with wallpaper. You hate it, and just want it gone. Remove it. There are great products sold at your local hardware store that will do the job. Again as in painting paneling, you have to do it right. Follow the directions on the label of what ever product you purchase. Do not become worried if the first application does not bring great results. Repeat application, as a rule it works like a charm with two applications. I will warn you, if you have several layers, you will repeat applications three to four times.

You can also paint certain types of wallpaper. Test a small corner of the wallpaper to see how it stands up to primer, and paint. When the test spot dries, if the wallpaper is still intact, go for it and prime and paint the rest of the wall. Another suggestion, make it your own piece of art work. Add to the pattern, by using your own imagination, and acrylic paints and small brush. The paper will be one of a kind. You donít have the flair to for hand paint. Use stencils and or stampers.

What about tile? Donít like the color, the grout is old and discolored? There are special paint products available for painting tile. Again, the first and most important step is prep work. Closely follow the instructions on the product you have chosen. Also, be sure to choose moisture resistant and mold or mildew resistant paint for damp areas such as kitchens and baths.

You like the older tile but the grout is so dirty... Paint it, it takes a bit of time, but you wonít believe the results.

To paint grout, chose your color paint. Mix paint 2/3 paint to 1/3 water. The grout will soak in the thinner consistency paint, like a sponge. If your grout has a sealer over it, such as polyurethane, sand the grout until water will soak into it.

In closing, you might be surprised with just a little sand paper, paint, and imagination you can make your older home one of a kind.

Sharon Stajda loves decorating old homes. For more information, visit Practical Guide To Interior Decoration or Using Color In Your Home.


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