Let’s paint the house beautiful!

Painting is a quick and cheap way to give a makeover to your house. A good paint job can enhance the beauty and add a protective layer, too. For durability and looks, repair and repaint as soon as you notice the crack, blister, or peel on your walls. As ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive—and expensive— job.

There are few painting tips every homeowner should know, regardless of he doing the paint job himself or hiring an expert.

Selecting the paint

Paint comes in wide varieties – sheen, matt, oil, latex etc. Out of which, latex is the most common and preferred paint type used due to easy maintenance and durability. It is more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint.

However, oil-based paint is ideal for preparing wood edgings, as it tends to cover marks and knots from the wood better.

Sheen or no sheen

Sheen or glossy paints have their own advantages depending on the purpose of deciding the paint.

  • Glossier paints are easier to clean. It is ideal for kids’ rooms, playroom, kitchen etc., which tends to get dirtier easily.
  • Semi-gloss is a good option for kitchens and bathrooms allowing easy cleaning and giving lesser shine.
  • Satin sheens have a satiny smooth finish which makes it a fit for kitchens, bathrooms, and lobbies.

Flat or matte paint is perfect for walls with lots of imperfections. The drawback of this paint type is that it gets dirty easily and is difficult to clean. It is a good choice for private rooms that do not get a lot of visitors.

Choosing the color

You can change the feel of any room in your house with a little designing and some color, vary the shades for a certain look or feel. A good rule of thumb is to remember the color wheel.

  • A white or an off-white color gives the rooms a brighter and clean appearance.
  • Colors near each other on the color wheel such as blue and purple are analogous to each other and will allow one color to stand out more.
  • Colors opposite each other on the color wheel such as green and red are complementary to one another and will nicely play off each other.
  • Staying within the same shade of color will give you a subtle and soothing look.
  • Painting with cool colors such as blues, greens and purples make small rooms appear larger and airier while colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges will give a room a more vibrant appearance.
  • You can vary the warmth even with a red or yellow by choosing muted shades of those colors such as pink, peach or a buttery yellow.
  • Warm colors have cool ones as their complementary colors while cool colors have warm compliments.

Painting the ceilings

Change the entire getup and visual size of any room by applying little creativity in painting the ceilings.

  • Lower a high ceiling visually by painting it a darker shade than the walls.
  • Expand a room by selecting a lighter color for your ceiling than the walls.
  • Add a tint of color to your ceiling paint for a tied in and subtle looks.
  • Paint the ceiling, door trim, and floor moldings the same shade such as a creamy ivory to add a touch of elegance and a nice transition throughout the room.

Creating Focal Points

Focal points are important when painting a room. Add a darker color to one particular wall and change the entire look of any room.

  • Make a large room look smaller by painting one wall a darker shade.
  • Highlight any interesting aspect in your rooms with a darker, complementary shade to the one you have chosen for your walls.
  • Visible stairways, especially those in the middle of the room look incredible when painted a darker shade than the walls and gives you a wonderful focal point.

With a little paint and some creative imagination, you can save lot money spent on interior designing of your house. Change the entire look and feel of your house and make it stand out.

Home Care During Monsoons

Monsoons are certainly one of the most exciting seasons of the year. The beautiful experience of sitting on the balcony of your house and watching the raindrops is truly mesmerizing.

 

However, the season also brings the odds of damaging to your den. Leakage, cracks, rust, fungus, and dampness are some of the few diseases that your home becomes vulnerable to. And, one of the worst affected, are the walls of your house.

 

German Plast brings to you, the tips and tricks to prevent the damage to the walls when it is pouring outside.

 

Protecting the exterior walls of your home

The quality of paint used on the exterior of a house plays an important role in protecting the walls. The inferior quality paint allows moisture seepage which gets collected within the walls. This built-up moisture creates damp patches along the interior wall surfaces resulting in shedding of the wall paint.

 

Once the moisture gets collected within walls, it remains there even after the monsoon season so, the walls repainted afterward, remain prone to the damage.

 

To protect the walls from damage, a coat of waterproof cement paint is highly recommended much prior to the setting in of the monsoons. A coat of damp proofer can be applied to the exterior of your house as a decorative as well as waterproof paint.

Protecting the interior of your home

Ensure cross-ventilation to keep the humidity level in check and reduce the effect of dampness.

Even the damage is already been done and the walls are peeling due to dampness, there are still ways to reverse the effect.

  • Fill and seal the cracks with modified waterproof mortar.
  • Use the same polymer to seal the joints in the pipes that carry the rain water.
  • Replace the damaged wall tiles, if any, to prevent water seeping.
  • Open the structural cracks in a ‘V’ shape and fill with crack fill-putty before painting the walls.
  • Ensure there is no loose plaster by tapping on the walls. (A hollow sound is an indicator of loose plaster.)
  • Ensure proper curing time post the repair work to bridge the cracks during re-plastering.
  • Make the surface dry and free from dust by scraping with sandpaper.
  • Fungus-affected areas need separate bleach powder treatment.

 

So, the next time you are planning to get your walls painted makes sure you do it before the monsoon. Moreover, opt for the specialized paint with high water repellency that is modified with silicon. You will enjoy the season without the worries.

Strong construction happens only with the right ingredients – II

While we learnt about cement as an important component of concrete mixture, let us now understand concrete and an important part of construction work.

Concrete

Concrete is a mixture of cement, water, sand and broken stones in a definite proportion which is a workable mass initially and hardens over a period of time. The concrete is normally recognized by its strength which is the compressive stress required to make a 150mm x 150mm x 150mm cube crack.

The process of making and using cement concrete is covered by BIS guidelines. The making of concrete to get specific properties (like strength, for specific type of work etc.) is called concrete mix proportioning. The strength of concrete is influenced by the quality, strength and other properties of the ingredients in concrete like sand, jelly or crushed stones and cement.

Ingredients

Cement

Cement bags with ISI mark with a number below indicate what type of cement you are using. The quality reduces with time. However, if it is stored in well-protected rooms, it can be used up to 60 days, but cement beyond 90 days from manufacture is not recommended.

Sand

Sand should be clean river sand or manufactured sand. Silt content in sand is very harmful for the concrete or mortar. The filter sand supplied in big cities is also not recommended.

Stones

Course aggregates or crushed stones provide the mass and strength to the concrete mass. We should have a mix of all sizes of stone pieces below the specified size so that small pieces sit in between big pieces and give concrete a good mass.

Water

Water is the life of concrete and until cement comes in contact with it, the mortar many not achieve any binding property. However, excess water would dilute the binding property and affect its strength. This is referred to as water-cement ratio by engineers. A lower water-to-cement ratio gives better strength.

Admixtures, available as plasticizers, can be used only with advice taken from the technical team of the cement manufacturer or the admixture manufacturer.

Points to remember:

  • For procedures like curing, vibrating or compacting of concrete, one has to ensure that there are no leakages in the form work.
  • It is better to keep concrete moist all along – start spraying water on concrete from about three or five hours of concreting. This reduces the appearance of hairline cracks.
  • The curing should continue for about 28 days in concrete and 12 to 15 days for plaster and mortars.

Strong construction happens only with the right ingredients – I

The journey of building a home is exasperating. The unorganized construction industry has no fixed regulations except for few guidelines of building bye-laws to manage the work. However, there are few guidelines provided by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) regarding the quality of the materials used and the rules to be followed in the construction practice.

This series of articles is a small effort to educate you in knowing the components that go into the construction work.

Cement

Cement is one of the basic construction materials manufactured in controlled conditions. There are two types of cement for which Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has drawn up specifications that can be used in normal construction work.

There is a perception that blended cement is not good for construction. On the contrary, blended cement is much better for plastering and masonry work. The blended one is made by mixing industrial bye-products. The mortar and concrete made of these cements have better durability and chemical resistance. In fact many underground structures are built with slag cement or the concrete is mixed with GGBS.

Important tips

  • Cement color comes from the raw materials used in the manufacture. It is not an indicator of strength or any other of its quality parameters.
  • Technically cement is something like glue or gum when it is mixed with water (cement-water reaction produces a gel called CSH gel). Addition of more water to cement would dilute the CSH gel and make it weak.
  • Cement requires a specific amount of water to complete the chemical reaction; any excess water will not participate in the chemical reaction but remains in the mass as water.
  • Use of less cement in any work will produce less gel, hence less binding, and addition of more cement may not help much.
  • Use of blended cement will give you better results as the blending materials are slow in reacting, hence they would be releasing the CSH gel slowly over a period of time. It has been observed that if this period is as long as 90 days or even a year, it would strengthen the concrete or mortar better. It is also called secondary strengthening.
  • The chemical reaction of cement is irreversible; hence it is advised to take proper guidance from your engineers or from the technical help given by the cement manufacturer.

Read our next blog post to know about concrete and its specifications.