Monday, May 18, 2015

Upgrading the Garage: Give Your "Second Entranceway" a Little Respect With a Fresh Coat of Paint

Most homeowners keep their front door freshly painted to make the best possible first impression on visitors and guests. But many of us totally neglect the appearance of our second entranceway – which, oftentimes, is not the back door, but the garage!

It’s easy to undervalue the aesthetic importance of the garage. Part carport, part storage shed, part work area, the garage serves many purposes. Yet, it’s also a convenient way to bring guests into the home. And even if you consider the garage off-limits to visitors, shouldn’t you and your family pass through a pleasant environment as you transition from the harsh outside world into the comfort of your home?

Homeowners aren’t the only ones who give short shrift to the painted appearance of the garage. It’s often the last area that builders spray-paint when they complete a house, and at that point, careful craftsmanship isn’t commonplace. That’s assuming the garage is painted at all – sometimes the walls are left as unpainted sheetrock.

If your garage isn’t up to snuff, think about upgrading it with a fresh coat of paint. But be sure it’s the right kind of paint.

Unlike the interior or exterior of your home, the garage is something of a hybrid: not directly exposed to rain or snow, but typically not temperature-controlled. As a result, the walls and woodwork may expand or contract considerably in extremely hot or extremely cold weather. For this reason, it’s important to choose paint with excellent adhesion characteristics. Top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint fits the bill.

Formulated with superior acrylic binder, these paints will tightly grip onto a properly prepared surface... and they’ll continue to adhere well with the normal changes in temperature and humidity that you’d expect in a garage.

Assuming that your garage is like most, the walls and woodwork will be more than a little soiled from accumulated dust, dirt, exhaust fumes, grease, grime, fingerprints, paw-prints, and who knows what else. Make sure you remove these contaminants by thoroughly cleaning these surfaces before you apply any coating – primer or paint.

If stubborn stains can’t be removed from the walls and woodwork, you may have to apply a stain-blocking primer before painting in order to conceal them. Even if you don’t have stubborn stains, a quality drywall primer will help give freshly-painted walls a more uniform appearance, especially if they are unpainted sheetrock.

One final tip on garage-painting: Think about using paint with higher sheen in order to simplify maintenance on your new paint job. If your walls and woodwork are in relatively good shape, a semi-gloss sheen will offer good stain resistance and ease of cleaning. But higher sheen levels also highlight surface imperfections, and garage walls and woodwork are famous for dents, dings, and sloppy joints in the drywall. If that describes your garage, eggshell, satin, or low-lustre paints are a good compromise: better stain resistance than flat paint, without calling unwanted attention to surfaces that are uneven or banged up.

With your new paint job in place, your second entranceway will be far more welcoming, whether you use it for friends and family, or just for yourself.