“Going Green” with your project

•August 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I continue to be impressed with the quality of Faux Effects water based products.  If you are considering having any type of decorative painting done…consider the TYPE of products your contractor is using. Faux Effects has bridged the gap between oil based products and waterborne technology.

There are many hazards to using oil based products and I encourage you to do your homework before you make any final decisions. Oil based paints have been popular because it was believed they would provide a more durable finish, an oil-based (alkyd) paint is tough to beat for kitchen cabinets. But you must be willing to put up with the strong odor and solvent cleanup, along with a longer drying and curing time than you’d get if you used an ordinary water-based paint. Plus, the color of an oil-based paint may yellow over time.

Technology has evolved and now you can use water based paint with a top coat for durability.  The newer-technology waterborne acrylic enamel paint (such as Satin Impervo by Benjamin Moore) willdelivers the good flow, leveling and hardening characteristics of an oil-based paint without the odor and long drying time.  I prefer Faux Effects, they are more expensive but they are superior.  My clients have never been disappointed.

If you are considering a DYI project,50% of a successful project is the prep work.  The most difficult task of this project is degreasing, cleaning and sanding and priming.


Kitchen and Bath

•August 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The kitchen & bath are the most essential rooms in your home. You want these spaces to be comfortable and welcoming while reflecting the needs of your lifestyle and personality.Without question, the kingpin of consumer home remodels is the kitchen.It consumes more attention, energy, finances and complex decision-making than any other project, short of building an entirely new house.  Not sure what kind of kitchen you can afford? So where do most homeowners spend their money? Here are some average’s provided by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). 

Cabinets 48%

Installation of new cabinets 16%

Counter-tops 13%

Appliances 8%

Flooring 4%

Sinks,faucets,etc  4%

Misc. 1%

Of course, different people have different ideas of what makes an ideal kitchen. So don’t feel you have to break down your budget to match the numbers above. Remember that  installation is highly dependent on job site conditions and if you are choosing to refinish  instead of replace that will save you aprox 16% on the budget. Need a quote on updating your kitchen? www.kbwalls.com


What is Venetian Plaster?

•August 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Venetian Plaster is a Finishing technique using thin layers of plaster applied with a spatula or trowel and then burnished to create a smooth surface with the illusion of depth and texture. “Venetian plaster” is American-made term to explain the variety of different techniques and materials used to create the polished stucco finish. The Term “Venetian Plaster” is common misconception.

The English word “plaster” comes from old French word “plaister” which literally means gypsum. The term “Venetian plaster” is mainly used between architects and designers in the US.

None of the materials used to create those finishes is plaster except the Scagliola finish. Basic Plaster mix is gypsum, sand and lime or just the gypsum and sand. In other words gypsum is the main material in the plaster mix. Stucco is the mix of lime and sand (Traditional) and modern stucco is the mix of lime, cement and sand. So, main material in the modern stucco mix is the cement and traditional mix is the lime or hydraulic lime used in polished stucco.

There are HUGE differences between venetian plaster applications and products.  Lowes will sell the products for a fraction of the cost and unfortunately you will get exactly what you have paid for…a fraction of quality.  The technique is a speciality for decorative artists and is very labor intensive.  Venetian Plaster is the rediscovery of effects and techniques typical of Italy’s decorative past. These rediscoveries include both famous (Venetian Stucco) and less famous (Stucco Mantovano) products and application techniques developed through the centuries, whose virtues are now stirring new interest in the Architectural community worldwide.  This websitewill provide you with some QUALITY samples of wall work.  Don’t be fooled…like anything…you will get what you paid for. You can view some of my samples at www.kbwalls.com

How to give Furniture a Faux Finish

•August 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

Faux FurnitureMaterials and Tools:
tinted painter’s wax
three colors of paint
crackle medium
small paintbrush
painter’s cloths
1. Sanding the furniture surface thoroughly to ensure that the paint will stick. Apply your first color. Remember, this color will show the least out of all of the other colors. Once it has thoroughly dried, you can add the second layer, which will be the first wax layer. Apply the wax with a piece of cloth. Be sure to cover the entire surface.
2. After the wax has set, it’s time for another coat of paint in a different color than the first layer. Once it is dry, add another layer of painter’s wax.
3. The crackle medium has the same consistency as paint. Gently brush it onto the surface and allow it to dry. Paint over it with your final color. Once the paint is applied over the medium, it will instantly crackle. If it dries and you pass over it again, you will lose the crackle, so it’s important to make sure you cover it completely and evenly in the first try.
4. Once the final layer of paint has dried, it’s time to gently sand the surface. Remember, the harder you sand, the more layers you will remove, so be gentle. Ideally, the areas that should show the most layering are the corners and high points. The best technique is to pass over the entire painted surface gently and go a bit tougher on the corners and high points.
5. Evenly apply another layer of tinted wax until you have achieved the aged look you want. This final step will seal the surface, so there is no need for a finish.

Tuscan Kitchen Design

•July 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Whether homeowners prefer to keep their cabinet refacing costs low or they simply crave a slower pace, a major change is popping up in many home renovation projects across the country. The brushed metal cabinets and matching stainless steel appliances craze is winding down, only to be replaced by the warmer, heartier bronze and copper tones popular in Tuscany and in the Napa Valley.

Some experts suggest that “Wine Country Style,” which marries classic Tuscan kitchen design with modern materials, emphasizes family and hearth while still finding room for the high tech gadgets beloved by American home cooks. Best of all, creative cabinet refacing can achieve this look for a fraction of the cost of new, custom cabinets.

Black, silver, and chrome kitchens that reached popularity a few years ago can be brought up to date with Tuscan kitchen design in mind. Cabinet refacing specialists can create custom covers that obscure stainless steel appliances. Brushed aluminum inlays can be reset with frosted glass or pressed laminate to keep cabinet refacing costs low. The entire kitchen can be fitted with bronze and copper faucets and fixtures that evoke a stress-free, country lifestyle.

Tuscan Kitchen Design Opens More Space for Food and Fun

Warmer, deeper colors are not the only Tuscan kitchen design influences reaching American shores. Tired of TV dinners and fast food, a growing number of Americans are emulating the casual lifestyle of wine country residents by taking more time to cook. Classic Tuscan kitchen design incorporates more space for food and cookware storage, often spilling over from the kitchen into a separate pantry area. Cabinet refacing specialists have started helping homeowners convert closets and other storage spaces into extended kitchen areas.


Atlanta Journal Constitution

Oakland Tribune

San Luis Obispo Tribune

Should your Replace or Refinish ?

•July 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am working with a potential client that has had a bad experience with a faux painter.  I can only assume that when he orginally decided to refinish/glaze his cabinets he went with the cheapest price and did not know what questions to ask.  Now he has a mess on his hands.  Three years later , the paint is peeling, chipping and his cabinets need to be fixed.  He had a cabinet company come to his home to discuss replacing and he had a company come out to discuss refacing.  Both companies have assured him his cabinets were impossible to repaint and refinish. His best and only option was to have them replaced.  I have looked at the cabinets and I am confident they can be refinished and it would cost him aprox 5-7k vs 20-30k! Küche und Haushalt’s  has a good article on his BLog on Reface Vs Replace Kitchen Cabinets.  There are indeed times when they must be replaced or refaced. After you have made the decision to replace, reface or refinish you will need to decide on your kitchen counters and decide what type of counter will work in your space.

Recycle (Dont Replace) your kitchen cabinets

•July 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Going Green in your kitchen!  Are you thinking of a remodel in your kitchen? Americans will spend nearly $233 billion on home remodeling this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The tight economy has encouraged homeowners to refinish and recycle instead of replace.  A Popular TV Show, THIS OLD HOUSE  ran a segment on replacing kitchen cabinets.  I agree with the estimates, replacing  will average $20-30,000.00 and refinishing kitchen cabinets is less expensive and less intrusive.  Upgrading appliances, door handles and painted tired walls can add new life to your kitchen and add value to your home.  Sometimes doing it yourself can save money, but always bring in a professional for the big jobs!