When you are about to paint something, you will need much more than just a can of paint and a good brush. There are many other products that won't just help your paint look better, they will make the surfaces you apply it to last longer. Choosing the right primer, sealer or undercoat is imperative to getting the perfect painting result.
The Difference. Before choosing to apply a primer, sealer or undercoat, you will need to learn the difference.
The Age. If you are about to paint a new surface, use a primer. If you are considering painting an old surface, use an undercoat
The Surface. Different surfaces require different primers or sealers. You will need to read the instructions carefully in order to choose the right primer for the surface.
The Type. There are different types of primers, sealers and undercoats available for your use. The right type will depend on the surface that needs to be primed. The main types are oil, shellac and latex.
Application. When the right product is chosen, you will need to decide how to apply it. You can choose between the roll-on and spray option depending on your needs and the kind of object you are painting.
The Budget. There are several things you can save money on when choosing one of the three products. Knowing which types fit your goal best will help you operate with a low budget.
Sealers are applied to the surface before the painting process starts. Their main goal is to seal all the imperfections that appear on the substrate. They are made out of special ingredients to make the sealing fast and productive. Sealers are also used as a barrier between different finishing coats. They are especially useful for overcoating old finishes and making porous surfaces non-porous.
Primers are the first coat that is a applied to the surface before painting. The main purposes of a primer is to penetrate the surface and make it uniform to allow smooth painting. It can also benefit the adhesion of the coating system. Good primers provide different protection (including corrosion) to the surface.
Undercoats are used to smooth out the surface in order to allow the paint to spread evenly and provide and even sheen. Some manufacturers offer 3-in-1 products that act as a sealer, primer and undercoat at once.
Wood. Wooden surfaces need to be filled and leveled so the paint doesn't soak through. It is recommended to use a special wood sealer for the such surfaces.
Metal. Metal surfaces require a special non-corrosive primer that will assist the paint in bonding to the metal. There are also primers that can prevent rust. They can even be applied directly onto rusty surfaces.
MDF. MDF is porous and absorbs everything that is painted onto it. That's why it requires a special MDF sealer that won't allow the paint to soak through.
Plaster. Plaster is a porous material. It will require a special plaster sealer to prevent the paint from soaking through. If special plaster sealer is not used, more coats of paint will be required.
Tiles. A special tile primer should be used to help the paint attach evenly to this hard and smooth surface.
Multiple surfaces. If you need to paint many different small surfaces, it would be a good idea to buy the 3-in-1 primer/sealer/undercoat product. It will save you money on buying them all separately. 3-in-1 products can be used on all surfaces. However, it is still preferable to use specialized primers/sealers/undercoats best suitable for each surface.
Oil primer/sealer/undercoat. These are slowly-drying products that can produce a very smooth surface. They do a good job filling the pores in raw wood. They also offer a good barrier and don't allow the paint to soak through and the tannins to leek out. Such primers are perfect for all types of wood and can be used over already painted surfaces in case the paint is cracking.
Latex primer/sealer/undercoat. These products dry very fast and are water-soluble. They can be found in low-VOC formulas or can contain no VOC at all. They offer a better flexible finish than their oil and shellac counterparts and are less brittle. They make a good first coating for raw softwoods. Latex undercoats are the best option for drywalls. They do a good job evening out the surfaces. They let the water evaporate which allows them to last longer. Latex primers can also be used for masonry and galvanized metal.
Shellac primers/sealers/undercoats. These products are fast-drying. They use denatured alcohol. However, they provide a strong and unpleasant odor and can be difficult to use. They are perfect for stain blockage and preventing tannin bleeding. These products are also good for water and rust stains and can be applied to different surfaces whenever you need the primer to dry fast.
Roll-on primer application is the most popular way to use the primer. You will need to buy just the can of primer/sealer/undercoat and a brush or a roller. This method is suitable for small and large surfaces and won't have you incurring additional application expenses.
Spray primer. You will need to decide if a spray is a comfortable way for you to paint. Such primer is sold in a spray can, just as spray paint is, or can be purchased in a regular tin and used with a spray gun. Using a spray primer indoors can be dangerous if the area is not well-ventilated. The main advantage of this method is uniform covering and speed. It can be a good option if the object you are painting has many corners.
Stains and odors. If you are faced with stains that show through the surface regardless of the amount of primer or the number of coats you apply or need to fight the cigarette smoke that stays locked in the substrate, you need a stain-blocking primer. You can purchase either an oil-based or water-based primer. Choose oil-based primer if you need to get rid of rust, smoke, wood tannins and water. Get water-based product to make cleaning easy and avoid unpleasant odor. They are perfect for solvent-based stains such as grease, ink and crayons. Stain-blocking primers are white and will need to be tinted if you are planning to use dark paint.
High-moisture areas. If you are looking for the best products for the areas that are high in moisture and prone to mildew such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, you need a vapor barrier sealer. Humidity is one of the worst paint enemies since it causes peeling, flaking and blistering. Vapor barrier seal will seal the surface and will not allow most of the moisture to go through. If you are also faced with mildew, you'll need a stain-blocking primer followed by a special mildew-reducing topcoat (it will be marked as such). All existing mildew must be removed before painting.
Previously painted wood. If you are faced with previously painted interior wood such as doors and the paint is chipping or flaking, you will need to purchase an oil-based undercoat. It will do a perfect job attaching to the previously painted wooden surfaces and staying smooth in the process. Fast drying primers and sealers will soon become brittle. Oil-based primers will take about 2 days to dry but will produce a good result. If you still wish to opt for a water-based primer, look for acrylic-latex undercoat that can be sanded.
Color switch. If you need to follow through with a drastic color change (from very light to very dark or the other way around), you will need too many paint coats to do it. Choose a primer that can be tinted with lighter and darker colors in order to reduce the number of coats that will need to be applied. Tinting a primer gray helps the color become richer and help hide surface imperfections.
Exterior surfaces. Exterior surfaces always need special care since they are exposed to different weather conditions, including extreme temperatures and precipitation. The paint on the exterior surfaces will last longer if a good primer is used. The best choice will be the highest quality acrylic-latex primer for exterior surfaces. The label should read “100% acrylic.” If the primer is well-chosen you can extend the life of paint by several years.
Drywall (new or patched). The products that are used for the drywall seams react differently to the paint than the rest of the surface does. The difference between the surfaces can lead to flashing and improper sheen. In order to paint the drywall, you can use a drywall sealer. Standard drywall sealer is good for perfectly smooth surfaces. If there are some imperfections, you should go for a high-build drywall sealer which can be more expensive. However, it will do a better job making the surfaces leveled-out.
3-in-1 sealer/primer/undercoat can save you money when you are painting small areas or objects with angles. While more expensive on its own, it will allow you to avoid purchasing large cans of each product. This solution will not work for large areas since it doesn't provide better protection than the three products separately.
2-in-1 paint and primer can save you time and money for painting. However, this solution will only work if the surface doesn't need too much additional help to be smooth and allow good paint bonding.
Research. Knowing which primer/sealer/undercoat is perfect for each situation will help you avoid unnecessary spending. Using high-quality products can help prevent paint problems in the future.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Primer/Sealer/Undercoat.
Waterproofing is a process where a particular objects or materials are treated with differently, or they are made out of materials or structure which makes it water resistant or water repelling. Materials can be different and in general, they are covered with a protective layer to prevent the water from going through.
There is no 100% waterproof material. Water will go through any surface at a time and with enough pressure. As all of the materials and surfaces will eventually get water inside, there is a set standard which can tell how good the material is and how water resistant is.
Waterproof and water repelling materials are not the same, and they have different qualities and features. If the material is water repellent, it means the liquid will not stay on the surface, but in case it stays on it penetrate much easier. Some materials like nylon are more likely to be waterproof, and some like cotton, have a low waterproof and water resistance ability.
For a better understanding how good the material is, no matter of purpose, there are standard set numbers which can help determine how good waterproof or water repellent material is.
PSI - When looking to buy a waterproof product always look for PSI number. Water resistant standards are established in the laboratory environment, and they are known as PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch). This is the most common used way to determine the material is waterproof. This method is created in the laboratory in Leeds.
mm/24hours - this means how much water or rainfall in 24 hours on a particular surface can be present before it goes through the fabric. It is the less used method and it is measured in millimeters.
Higher the number means the higher water resistance - Most of the water resistant fabrics can handle 3-5 PSI of pressure. The most popular water resistant material is Gore-Tex, and it can stand up to 40 PSI.
Categorizing - The fabric is categorized as waterproof if it can provide a high level of water resistance.
Breathable Coated Membranes with Polyurethane Coating . This kind of materials should have:
• A thin layer of water resin usually is added at the factory
• water resin material is placed inside of a garment fabric
• this step is done at the very beginning of production
• Sprayed with Polyurethane. Polyurethane prevents moisture and water from going through the fabric.
DWR is Durable Water Repellent. The second type of waterproofing materials:
• Needs to have a protective form or laminate membrane applied to the material.
• DWR is not completely waterproof, needs to be combined with other materials
• helps to reduce water condensation, improves airflow and moisture to evaporate - more breathable
DWR is a layer added to fabrics, and that combination of DWR and other waterproof membranes like Gore-TEX are making a fabric waterproof. DWR is fluoropolymer based.
• Protective layer will need to be reapplied again. This type of protection has to be treated with care as it can be removed easily. With the time a protective layer can disappear, and it is necessary to apply it again. That way a fabric life will be extended and can be used again.
• DWR is used to increase the breathability of fabrics not to help make it waterproof.
• DWR is used with materials like Gore-Tex to improve breathability.
Non-Breathable - this kind of material is not allowing an air flow. It protects the fabric from water; however, it will not allow moisture to evaporate on a natural way. Non Breathable fabrics are not recommended for intense and extreme sports conditions. This type of material is recommended for extreme wet conditions. It will keep the water out, but internal moisture will not be able to go out also. It is good for larger pieces of equipment that need to be protected from water.
Key features are:
• not breathable
• suitable for extreme conditions
• good for equipment like fishing boots or diving suits.
Breathable - this type of fabric allows airflow between materials. It is a great type of fabric for extreme sports.
• blocks the water- has a high PSI
• allows airflow - body temperature can stay natural in extreme weather conditions and skin airflow will keep the body fresh all the time
• allows the body moisture to evaporate
It is suitable for making equipment for climbing or cycling or any other extreme sport. It is an excellent choice for sports clothes which is meant to be used in extreme conditions. For example in the cold area.
For both of the types, there is a formula to measure how much the fabric is efficient and waterproof. The formula is g/m2/24hours. This means it measures how many grams of water has been on the material surface in one square meter in 24 hours. Producers will have different names but most of the times they have similar feature written;
Layer types are most important part of waterproofing. If the membrane is not good quality, the fabric will not be waterproof in total. The best layer type is, the better quality of the waterproof material is.
Gore-Tex is the most popular type of waterproof material. This is a type of laminate and membrane in one. This means that waterproof membrane is also protected with a layer of DRW and it will repel the water at the same time.
If the goal is to get something with high waterproof resistance than a similar type of production should be used.
Gore-Tex has a membrane, and this membrane is bonded with other fabrics. This creates the laminate. The membrane itself has small pores and allows airflow. Pores are microscopic size, and they can’t be visible. This will not allow water is going in, but it will allow breathability of the fabric.
GoreTex is not used just for clothing. It is used for high-quality waterproof shoes, tents, bags and other types of equipment. This is the most preferred type of waterproof fabric.
Event - This kind of membrane is also made of small pores, and they keep the water out and allow the airflow. This is the high breathable membrane. Pores type and way of production are similar to GoreTex. They have the similar set of quality. Choosing any of the two is a smart choice. It requires a regular cleaning to keep the pores clean. In chance pores are clogged with oil or dirt, the efficiency of the eVent will be less and with the time it will lose the ability to protect from the water. It is popular with extreme sports users like snowboarding or other wet and extreme sports.
Polartec Neoshell - This type of a membrane has a spun construction. It is made out of strands, and they are connected and in a shape of floss. Not like previous two, this type does not have pores, and it works in a different way. It is waterproof and breathable. Also, it is made with PU laminate
Paremo - The High breathable material, it is designed in a way it moves the moisture, not just the water vapor. Producers have decided to imitate animal fur and skin and copy the natural water protection and breathability with artificial materials. It keeps the body temperature and airflow. It is made out of two layers. Frist one protects from the water and the second one allows airflow.
Good waterproof materials have a high score on PSI scale. Looking for breathable materials is good. Breathable material means good airflow.
Look for the combination of DWR materials and other waterproof types and membranes.
It is paramount to keep clean the fabric.
Body oils, dust, and dirt can weaken the fabric. With the time, the waterproof fabric will lose the ability to repel the water. Using recommended products such as Nikwax is good. This product provides a DWR layer. Also, another recommended product is Grangers Extreme Wash In.
The best way to use it is after the wash. A product like Nikwax or Extreme Wash needs to be applied. The amount should be small and after the application, fabric needs to be treated with heat. Best thing to use would be an iron, tumble dryer.
It is not recommended to use detergents as they can damage the membrane.
The right paint is the difference between a beautiful home and a disaster. While it might seem that there is nothing easier than buying the paint you like, there are several things that need to be considered before you make a purchase. A well-chosen paint will make you feel comfortable and aesthetically pleased.
Place. What exactly do you want to paint? Exterior or interior? There are different paints for different places. If the paint has a perfect color and quality but is used for the wrong purpose, it will soon need to be replaced.
Location. Where will the paint be used? Kitchen, a child's room or living room? Depending on the place, you will need to choose the properties.
Properties. Paints have different properties that are important when choosing the right paint for the right location. It can be durable, washable and low-odor.
Brand. Paint consists of resin, carrier, clay, solvents and pigment. The quantity of each ingredient determines the quality of the paint. Reputable brands usually have a good mix of the necessary ingredients to make the paint quality the best possible. Unknown and cheap brands might try to save money on one of the important components. While looking great on the outside, the paint might turn out to be almost useless.
Color. The right color can be chosen depending on your preferences as well as the type of the room the paint is chosen for.
Finish. Flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, high-gloss: the right choice of finish will make the color of your paint as rich or as light as you wish. Some reflect light, some don't. Some are shiny and some aren't.
Interior paints used for walls and ceilings are usually emulsion. Such paints are water based with an addition of vinyl and acrylic. They can be easily applied as opposed to oil paints. They cause less unpleasant odor and are easy to wash off from the painting tools after use. Emulsion paints come in several finishes.
Exterior paints. There are many more requirements for exterior paints than there are for interior ones. Such paint should be:
Bathroom and kitchen. These are the two places in each home or apartment that require durable paint since they steam up quickly and are prone to humidity and condensation. The regular emulsion paint won't be able to resist moisture which can cause discoloration and molding. At the same time the grease that is the unavoidable part of cooking will stick to the walls. This means the paint should also be washable. Bathroom and kitchen require the durable and washable type of paints. Same can be considered for the laundry room.
Bedroom and living rooms. These rooms can be painted with regular emulsion paint since they are not exposed to excessive moisture and grease. Usually bedrooms are not heavily used. Accordingly, you can save on the quality of the bedroom paints.
Children's room. While not exposed to moisture and grease, children's rooms are prone to mechanical damage. Usually the walls get scratched or drawn on. This means that a little child's room requires durable and washable paint. It should also be low-VOC. Such paints contain the least toxic components.
Low-VOC paint contains the least amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC). These toxic elements produce pronounced paint smell. Some low-VOC paints might not be as durable as higher-VOC products. However, reputable brands tend to offer no or low-VOC high quality paints.
One-coat paint is thicker than the standard emulsion-type paint and it makes a thicker layer on the surface. This type of paint is more expensive but it saves work time. It can be a good idea to purchase such paint if the room needs to be painted in the shortest possible time. However, such paint type is not always available in all desired colors and might not have other important properties.
Durable (scrubbable) paint has a special ingredient formula to ensure a durable finish. This means that it is more resistant to scratches and other mechanical damage. Interior paints are even rated for their “scrubbability”. By learning the rating, you can get a good idea of how tough the paint is and how well it can withstand physical damage. Such rating is not always available on the can, but can be discussed and discovered by a retailer.
Washable paint will allow you to clean the walls with a sponge just as you would another kitchen or room surface. This type of paint will be perfect for kitchens where the walls are exposed to grease.
Light -reflecting. Such paint is especially made to make a room appear brighter and larger. It's a great choice for smaller rooms.
Magic white paint is a great choice for painting ceilings. It requires just one coat. When you paint, it appears pink so you can see where you've already painted. Once the paint is dry, it turns white.
Preference. The first thing that needs to be taken into account is your personal preference. Once you choose the colors and shades you prefer most, you can go on to considering other properties.
Light. When choosing the right color for your room, you will have to consider how much light the walls are exposed to during the day. If you have south and west facing room, your colors will appear lighter. North-facing room can make colors look darker.
Darker colors can make the room appear smaller and are more prone to fading if they are exposed to direct sunlight. Scratches and dirt become much more visible on darker colors than they do on lighter ones.
Lighter colors are the best choice for a small room. However they can look bleak when used in a very large room. Lighter shades are more suitable for bathrooms and hallways.
Important tips. Here are some important tips for choosing the right paint color:
• The colors you see on the paint chips in the store can look completely different on your walls since the room sizing and the light factor are absolutely different. Consider carrying the chip out of the store to see how it looks in daylight. The best way to be sure that the paint fits your preferences is to buy a small can and try painting a small part of each wall.
• When trying the paint at home, apply it to a window wall first. It is usually the darkest part of the room. Then go on to apply it on the sunniest side. Then proceed to the floor and ceiling level. Make sure to check out the way it looks in the evening time when the lights are on.
• The paint always looks darker on the walls than it does on the paint chips. Keep this in mind when choosing the shade and go for a lighter one in order to achieve the desired results.
Flat finish has low reflective qualities. 0-5% gloss.This means such paints are good to mask the irregularities and flaws of the wall surfaces. Flat paint can also make a color look richer on a wall. However, it can be hard to clean. A flat finish is perfect for the ceiling where low reflection is an advantage and the least cleaning is required. Flat paint is ideal to cover minor imperfections or bumps on the wall as it does not have a glossy finish.
Matte finish is also known as a flat low gloss paint. However, compared to flat finish, the matte finish has a higher percentage of gloss having 5-10% gloss. Matte finish can hide imperfections on the walls like flat but has the added advantage that you can scrub and remove marks from the surface of the wall due to its glossy finish. Matte paint also allows you to cover imperfections or bumps on the wall as the gloss is considerably low.
Eggshell is the most popular finish out there. It's hard to go wrong with it. This finish has more luster than the flat one but it is far from being shiny. It can be cleaned with a wet sponge or rag. This finish is usually chosen for kitchens, bathrooms, children's rooms and other areas that are heavily used.
While close in sheen to eggshell paint, satin is also slightly reflective and works well on most walls, satin paint has a silky finish. Some people refer to it as velvety. Like eggshell you can wash marks with a wet sponge or rag.
Semi-gloss finish is more resistant to wear. It is very good at reflecting light. It's shiny without the wet look. However, such finish will reveal all the imperfections you have on your walls. Which means the walls should be made as smooth as possible before painting. Semi-gloss finish is great for resisting moisture and is easy to clean. Such finish can also be used for doors and furniture.
High-gloss finish is the shiniest paint option available. Such finishes reflect light almost as good as mirrors do. It can be a good choice for windows and doors trimming. Using such finish on the walls will make your room look very glamorous. However, it is highly recommended to try it on several walls before making a decision to paint the whole room.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing Paint.
Choosing the right stains for your wooden or concrete surfaces is imperative for their durability and longevity. There are several things to consider before applying the stains that will make your wood or concrete look its best even if it has been stained before. A well-stained surface will serve a long time and provide you aesthetic pleasure.
Wood: Wood stains allow the natural wood grain to show. This stain penetrates the wooden surface and gives wood protection from different weather conditions. Depending on your needs, the wood stain can:
• Disguise dull and inferior wood and make it look more like high-quality wood.
• Stains helps even out the color of the wooden surface which is useful for most wood that has differently colored patches.
• Stains can be used to change the shade of wood.
• Wood stains are used to hide the difference between several different wood types used to make one object such as furniture.
• Stains can be used to help restorers when they need to replace a certain part of the object with new wood.
• Stains are used to protect the wood. Special exterior-grade products are especially designed to protect the wood from UV rays, rain, insects and fungus.
• Stains are sometimes used for simple coloring or finishing.
Concrete: Stains for concrete are used for coloring purposes.
Material your Staining. What kind of material do you need a stain for. There are special stains for wood and completely different stains for concrete.
Types of Stains. There are several types of stains out there. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages in relation to a certain material. You will need to choose between, oil, water-based varnish and gel stains for wood and reactive and non-reactive stains for concrete.
Kinds of Stains. There are several kinds of wood stains that you will need to consider before making the right choice for your surface.
Oil wood stain. These are the most popular and the most available type of stains. They are very easy to use since the oil ingredients give the painter enough time to remove all the imperfections before the stain dries up. This is true even for large areas. Sometimes oil stains are called “pigment” or “wiping” stains. In most cases oil stains have both pigment and dye. Some just have the dye. Oil stains are the best choice to be applied under any finish except the water-based types. They can be chosen any time you don't require special characteristics other wood stain types offer.
Varnish wood stain. Varnish stain is very similar to the oil wood stain. There is just one difference. Varnish stains have varnish as the binding agents and that leads to varnish stains drying hard. This means that a varnish stain can be applied to the wooden surface and left to dry without the need of wiping away the excess. The topcoat will not chip or peel they way it would if the oil stain is left without wiping. Varnish stains can use the same mineral spirits thinner as the oil stains do. They are often applied as an overcoat to already stained surfaces, for example, old furniture. You can choose this type of wood stain as an overcoat to a surface that is already stained but dull or scratched.
Water-based wood stain. For this stain typewater-based finish is used as a binder. The organic thinner is replaced with water. These stains are more environmentally friendly than other types. They are easier to clean up after than varnish and oil wood stain. However, these stains are more complicated to use since they lift the wood grain and dry very fast. Water-based wood stains should be chosen for using under a water-based finish.
Gel stains. Gel stains have oil or varnish base and have a very thick composition. They are hard and messy to use but they are the perfect choice for fighting uneven coloring on pine which is caused by different wood density. Blotching can be removed by sanding or painting. But the best and the easiest solution is staining. Gel stains are irreplaceable for pine and soft woods.
Clear stains. These stains also go by the name of deck water sealers. They allow the grain to show through. There are no oils or pigments in the clear stain but it offers moisture protection for the wood by acting as a water-repelling agent. The downside of this wood stain is its bad durability. Such stains need to be applied once a year. They also offer no protection from UV rays.
Solid stains. These stains don't penetrate the wood. They act as paint and just stay on the wooden surface while making the grain visible. They are used to hide color imperfections, such as discoloration and help create a uniform look. The disadvantage of these stains is that they are prone to peeling and cracking.
Semi-transparent (opaque) stains. These stains cause some wood tinting and allow the grain pattern to be visible. Opaque stains penetrate the wood and offer stronger protection. They also last longer than clear and solid stains. Semi-transparent stains are less prone to peeling than their counterparts. The main downside of such stains is that with time color can be lost and they will need to be reapplied.
Reactive Stains – acid-based concrete stain produces a chemical reaction with the concrete surface to create translucent color tones and interesting marbling effect. The best acid-based concrete stains have metallic salts that come into a reaction with the lime content of concrete. Once the chemical reaction is completed the stain bonds with the concrete permanently and won't be chipping, cracking or peeling.
Non-reactive Stains – water-based acrylics stains. They don't produce a chemical reaction in order to create a certain color. They work in a similar way paint does. Acrylic stains leave the pigment in the pores of the concrete surface. Their advantage is a wide choice of different shades and colors and they are much easier to apply. The final color will be more opaque but a thin layer can still produce a translucent effect.
Learn the color effect. consider what color effect your are striving for before choosing between reactive or non-reactive concrete stains.
Contemplate the age. The age of the concrete as well as its condition will affect the shade of color it will have.
Consider the Location. Consider where your concrete is located. Stains for outdoor concrete should designed to resist UV rays and protect the concrete from wear. The same stain which is manufactured for indoor use can't be applied to outdoor concrete.
Get a sealer. Manufacturers of some stains will recommend applying a clear sealer to the concrete after the staining is done. It will give additional protection against UV rays, chemicals and physical damage.
How easy is it to use? Is the stain you have chosen easy to mix and use? Read the label before purchasing a stain in order to understand how easy the preparation process is.
Get the right application tools. Some stains require special application tools that you might not have. So you must be ready for buying additional equipment.
Coverage rate. Each stain has its own average coverage rate. It will tell you how the area of the surface that can be covered with one can of stain. However, this rate can fluctuate due to many different number of factors. The main advantage if this information is that it can help you compare the prices
Identify the wood. Each different wood type has its own properties, such as natural hue and individual density. You will need to learn the natural color and hardness (or softness) of the wood before finding the right stain.
Identify the color. Choosing the color is a hard job and requires serious consideration. There are a few tips you can use:
• The color is affected by the number of coats.
• First coat is usually darker than the second one
• Second coat is smoother than the first once
• The source of light affects the color. If you are staining furniture which is near a window, it will have a completely different color than the same furniture in the dark corner of the room. The exterior light changes throughout the day. It is imperative to consider light conditions when choosing the color.
• Colors change as the stain dries
• Choose more than one color and test each to get a better idea of what it will look like on your object
Test the stain. The stain must be tested before being applied to the whole object. Get one small piece of wood from the object you are about to paint or, if it's not possible, find the most hidden spot and test the stain.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Stain.
Ladder injuries are something they never tell you on home-improvement shows and in shops. However, you need to be sure your ladder can do the job. This guide will show you how to choose between different types of ladders without compromising on safety.
Safety is the priority. When you use a ladder, put it at the correct angle so that the foot is one measure out from the wall. Add one foot for every four measure of the height, for example if you need a ladder to reach 5.2m eaves, the foot should be approximately 1.3m from the wall. In order to check if everything is correct stand with your toes touching the feet of the ladder. Put out your arms. You should grasp the rungs somewhere at shoulder height.
Inspect and Maintain Regularly. We are going to discuss different ladder materials later in this guide. Depending on them, oil, water or other liquids and substances can damage the ladder posing safety hazards. Wipe everything from steps and rails before you start using the ladder, and clean everything after each use.
Keep bolts tightened but don't overdo this. If you have an extension ladder, inspect it for hinges and check the lanyard for fraying. You will need to place the lanyard from time to time, so follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Aluminum ladders shouldn't have any dents, bent parts or rivets. Fiberglass ladders can have chips, missing parts or cracks. Wooden ladders can lose rungs or steps and also have splits and chips. Any of these problems could lead to failure and requires fixing or replacing the ladder.
There are four main types of the ladders - folding ladders, step ladders, rigid ladders and multi-purpose ladders. Safety and height depend on the type of a ladder, thus you should carefully choose the right one.
Folding Ladders and Step ladders - Step ladders are the ones you can find in many homes, they are lightweight, small and compact, because you can fold them up and places in small areas. Choose this ladder if you're going to work around low heights, such as the top of walls or ceilings, as it can be used for many purposes such as painting the ceiling. Step ladders are often smaller than folding ladders: they can be higher than 4 or 5m. Folding models are heavier and more durable and made of fiberglass or aluminum. Their stability rates are also higher. These ladders create a four-legged base when you fold them out, which is helpful when you can't lean the ladder against the wall. Check the weight-load capacity before buying one. The importance of weight capacity is discussed below.
Rigid Ladders - Rigid ladders are single ladder rails that should be lean against the wall or other solid objects. These ladders can be used for reaching high areas but are often less stable as folding or step ladders. Rigid ladders are made of wood, fiberglass or aluminum. Rigid ladders often offer the most height but it's recommended to have somebody to secure the ladder while you're standing on it.
Multi-Purpose Ladders - There are ladders that can be transformed and rearranged into different shapes to suit all needs of the person using it. These ladders can be also called as combi-ladders and are perfect for different purposes such as working in low spaces and hard to reach areas and roofing. However, these ladders use joints for maximum flexibility, which does cut down the strength of the ladder.
After choosing the type of the ladder, consider the features you'll need. Here are the major ones.
• Aluminum ladders can handle a lot, but they should never be used near voltage sources such as power lines because they conduct electricity. Choose a wooden or fiberglass ladder for those situations. And remember that any ladder can conduct electricity when it's wet.
• Wood ladders are decorative, affordable and functional being the most traditional options out of all types. Wooden ladders are perfect for electricity-related works since they're nonconductive, unlike their aluminum counterparts. Some wooden ladders, however, often have metal parts, which make them unsuitable for electrical work. Wood ladders shouldn't be painted, since paint can conceal defects or damage that indicate that the ladder isn't safe and should be replaced. Treat your wooden ladder with a sealant that protects from moisture and other substances.
• Metal ladders are durable, strong and resistant to corrosion, which makes them perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. There are lightweight options available, making them easier to transport. However, one of the drawbacks to this type of ladders is their ability to conduct electricity. While metal ladder can be used outside and inside, it's important not to use it around power lines. If you prefer a metal ladder, make sure to look for rubber or plastic feet to ensure more stability.
• Fiberglass ladders are the most recent type and they are good for almost all types of work, thanks to their durability, strength, and non-corrosive nature of the material. These ladders will last you a long time. And unlike ladders made of steel or aluminum, fiberglass doesn't conduct electricity and are perfect for using in areas near power lines and performing electrical work. Fiberglass ladders are the most expensive, so people that don't perform electrical works still prefer aluminum or wooden ladders.
Choose a ladder that high enough for all types of work that you're going to perform - you should be able to reach everything up in a way that don't destabilize the ladder. Indeed, if you step on one of the highest steps on the ladder, the risks for accidents will significantly increase. An extension ladder should be at least three feet about the work surface (a roofline, for example).
If you need a ladder for professional use, purchase the strongest type available in the height you need in order to ensure the ladder will be useful across different projects. Heavy duty ladders often last longer, ensure greater stability, and much safer when something heavy should be taken up the ladder. However, a person who plans to use the ladder occasionally at home can invest in a cheaper, lightweight model.
• House ladders usually have a label telling you the maximum weight they're designed to support. This is a voluntary rating that is based on a standard developed by the American National Standards Institute that has three main types. To meet the standard and get the label, a ladder's step should resist bending under a load up to three times of its weight rating. It should also pass a side-twisting test. But even though those tests ensure safety, the added stresses of real life use (such as weight shifting or climbing) add more to the load.
• Domestic ladders are produced for DIY home projects, these are the weakest and the lightest ladders you can buy. They can be perfect for the occasional use at home and can't be used in the workplace. Moreover, using them in a work or commercial environment contravenes Health and Safety regulations. Even insurance companies state that using this type of ladders or steps for commercial work will invalidate all claims for personal injury. They often have a duty rating around 15 stones. These ladders are made of thin aluminum and designed to be small, economical and lightweight.
• Trade ladders are produced from stronger gauge materials to withstand frequent usage by regular home users or tradesmen. They follow the EN131 European wide standard for aluminum ladders. Trade ladders represent the most popular grade of aluminum ladders that you can find on the market. Their maximum load is approximately 24 stones and they are perfect for use both in the workplace and at home.
• Industrial ladders are the heaviest models available. They are also called Class 1 ladders and represent the best strength and quality ladders you can possibly find. Usually reserved for complicated, frequent industrial work, these steps and ladders are designed for industrial applications and heavy site work. They are available in many sizes and often come with the option of rope operation. Industrial ladders are suitable for use everywhere, be it the workplace, home, factory or building site. Their maximum load rate is 28 stones. However, regular home owners usually don't need industrial ladders.
There are a number of factors that influence the final cost of the ladder. The type of the ladder, its material and weight capacity play the most important role and the price may vary from $30 for the lightweight ladder to 500 for a heavy model.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Ladder