Monday, September 6, 2010

What's the Plan, Stan?

This week is dedicated to pure practicality…believe me, there’s good stuff ahead.  I’ve got a crazy, hands on, big time project ahead of me and I’m taking all of you along for the ride, so buckle up.  I started my morning by picking up my Mom and one of the most talented members of her crew from the airport.  For those not in the know, she’s the founder and owner of Lillian’s Paintbrush, an amazing decorative painting company based out of Moorestown, NJ.  She flew in this week to head up the “team of redecorators” that will be turning my brother’s new house from hot mess to home in a week or less.  We’re rolling up our sleeves and getting to work…and even though we haven’t made a big dent just yet I’ve got a sneaking suspicion the before and after pictures I’ll be posting Friday are gonna be out of this world.  We got started this morning by coming up with a strategy for how we’re going to prep, paint, furnish and decorate eight spaces (three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, a hallway, a living room and a recreation room) in less than five days.  The battle is won in the planning as they say (Do they say that?  If not, they should cause it’s true).  It’s extremely important to gather as much as you can for a project before you start…information, materials, any and everything really.  Think as many steps ahead as you are able…what do you need?  How much do you need of it?  Do you understand the technical aspect of what you’re doing?  How long will everything take?  Plan, plan, plan to the best of your ability.  
Before we could come up with a color palate, we had to pick out a few key items to base our colors on.  When you’re ready to paint sometimes it’s tempting to just jump right into it, but make sure you’re not working backwards.  Even if you have a color in mind, wait until you have a good idea of exactly what’s going into the room before you paint.  We picked out bedspreads for each of the rooms and a couch for the living area and went from there.  I’m crazy about our color selections (can’t wait to show you)!  We went withBenjamin Moore’s Aura paint because it’s the best all around…self-priming, easy to apply, and quality that will last.  If there’s one thing you should take away from today’s post, it’s that all paint isn’t created equal.  Every brand has something to offer…while the ones with rock bottom prices may tempt you with the offer of leaving a few extra dollars in your pocket, know that your painting experience will be a difficult one.  We’ve pretty much tried them all, and our favorite brand is Benjamin Moore.  You should know we don’t gain a thing in terms of endorsement from saying that…it’s just the truth.  Now, I’m just going to level with you- their Aura paint is around $50 a gallon which isn’t cheap as far as paint goes, but the benefits are extensive.  Just to name a few…
-It’s available in over 3,300 hues in a Matte, Eggshell, Satin and Semi-Gloss finish.
-It’s made of 100% acrylic latex with proprietary resins to give it extraordinary performance properties.  
-Because it’s self priming you should never need to apply more than two coats
-It provides a mildew resistant coating.
-It’s no color rub-off Color Lock® Technology offers long lasting color and maximum durability.
-Stains wash off easily.
-It’s easy to touch up.
-It’s certified under the GREENGUARD standard for low emitting products and the GREENGUARD for Children and Schools product certification programs.
-It contains low VOC’s, so it’s low odor, good for the environment and good for your family.
The bottom line is that even from a fiscal standpoint it pays to spend a little more upfront.  Not only will you get your money’s worth in a better painting experience, but you’ll need less coats and your paint job will last substantially longer.
After getting all our materials (we’ll talk more about that full list tomorrow) we set some really specific goals to make sure we completed the project before my Mom heads back to New Jersey this Friday.  There’s a lot to be done and some long days ahead but we know we can do it.  So wish us luck and check back tomorrow for some more tips!


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