360renos - Home Improvement & Decor

How to make your home stand out when selling

We can help your house sell quickly and at a good price -- even in a slow market.

It takes a lot more than sparkling windows, scented candles and chocolate-chip cookies to sell a home in today's market.

Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments.

Beyond any doubt, the best investment you can make is new paint. Painting can make a room or an exterior fa├žade look brand-new, and totally transform the look and feel of a room or the entire residence. It is always wise to be somewhat restrained when choosing colors for a home-staging paint project. Avoid choosing colors that are too individual or flashy and favor neutral colors and schemes. This does not mean painting everything white, however.

Use subtle color schemes to accentuate the home's strengths and minimize weaknesses. Dark colors, for example, tend to make a room feel smaller, while lighter colors and pastels can make a room feel bigger.

There is another benefit to painting as well: the process of preparing the interior or exterior surfaces of a home for painting automatically allows us to go over the entire area receiving paint in great detail, and this can often expose items or areas requiring repair. It seems you always discover where the caulking has let go, where the wall is dinged.

It is always preferable that we discover and deal with these items before the real estate agent (or worse, the prospective buyer) points them out to you!

Dave - 360renos

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Caulking - Don't Forget to Caulk

Excellent article from Dave Lowe of Top Notch Interiors of Lethbridge. They are so correct about the proper use of interior caulking to finish a room properly.

Enjoy the article -

Today’s generation of ‘Do It Yourselfer’ is very empowered. Big box hardware stores bombard marketing channels with campaigns focused on telling the target: “you can do it”.

Corporations have realized that it works. It works very well. I venture to say, with no market research to back me up, that there are more ‘do it yourselfers’ now than there have ever been before. People are prideful. We love to be able to complete tasks. What a great feeling it is to sit back and enjoy a freshly painted room! So when a commercial comes on and tells me that I can build a tree house on my own or with my child, I’m going to be that much closer to actually thinking it. However, just because I think I can do it, and probably can do it, does not mean that I should do it.

When I go into a new home or renovation site and discuss process with homeowners I get an idea of what they know about painting. I also, by nature of profession, critique the paint job of every home I enter into. So I have a pretty good statistical sample pot to develop a thesis or two in regards to what people know about painting.

One thesis is that Caulking is an extremely underrated task. People either don’t know about it, or don’t appreciate the difference maker that it is. The objective of this article is to either introduce you to caulking, or reinforce its importance.

The Importance of Caulking when it comes to Painting Painted trimwork is the trim of choice these days because it is cheap, easy to work with, and paints very well. However, the homes and do it yourselfers that I have come across don’t realize the way it’s suppose to be painted. Convenience gets in the way. After all, it is a lot easier to paint the baseboards and trimwork before installation and call it complete.

Here are some scenarios that I come across:
A: Pre-finish the trimwork with 2 coats of paint and call it done.
B: Pre-finish the trimwork with 2 coats of paint. Once the installation is complete, putty the holes and touch them up. No caulking needed.
C: Paint the trimwork after installation with no caulking or puttying.

The problem with these very common scenarios is that the trimwork does not look finished. It’s not finished!

After installation there are numerous issues that need to be resolved and cannot be left:
1. Nail holes caused by the nail gun (volcanoes)
2. Cracks exist where trimwork meets trimwork or trimwork meets wall
3. Field/Scrarf joints

This article focuses on issue #2: Cracks exist where trimwork meets trimwork or trimwork meets wall.

The objectives behind caulking trimwork are:
1. Make it look like one piece
2. Create a seal (especially important on the top of baseboards)
3. Cracks break up pieces and look unfinished – fix that problem!

In a home the most common areas that need to be caulked are:

  • where baseboard meets wall and inside corners of baseboard
  • door jam casing meets wall
  • door jam casing meets door frame
  • vertical pieces of door frame meet horizontal pieces (both sides of door stop as well as the 90 degree joints of door stop
  • window casing meets wall and vinyl window

In cases where custom multiple piece trim work is used, it is necessary to caulk all cracks where trim piece meets trim piece. Caulking needs to happen after installation, but before painting. A very common malpractice (even by home builders!!) is to buy the same color of caulking as the color of the trim and wait to caulk at the very end. This is extremely bad because the texture of dried caulking loves to collect dust and anything else in the air. The tube will probably say “non-yellowing” or something, but in a year or so it will look horrible due to the amount of dust and other particles the caulking absorbs. So make sure you paint over caulking at all times!

The most important characteristics that you should be looking for in caulking is paintability and ease of application. You don’t want a caulking that is too runny, or too thick. The best caulkings come out of the gun wet enough to wipe it with your finger once and leave a smooth transition. Don’t bother with buying those silly toothpaste tubes of caulking. They are a huge time waster. Make sure you are using a caulking gun, preferably dripless (go to your local paint expert store for more info).

Once the tube is loaded in the gun you need to cut the hole. CUTTING THE HOLE ISVERY IMPORTANT! It can be the difference between a clean caulking job, and a very messy caulking job. Cut a hole just smaller than 1/8" and your job shouldn’t be too messy. Without going into too much detail, the caulker needs to keep in mind that long, single, uninterrupted strokes in both application and wipe are essential to a good job. On the wipe, if too much caulking is collecting on your finger then you are applying too much (hole is too big or your passing too slow). If after the finger wipe the crack is just covered, with a nice small curved transition between materials, you have done a good job. A bad caulking job can be worse than no caulking job!

I encourage all who read this information to implement the use of caulking in your painting practices. It is essential to a perfect looking paint job, and is sure to result in compliments from the fussiest of people. Remember, caulk all cracks, paint over caulking at all times, and smooth transitions. Those are a professional’s secrets.

About the Author

Dave Low is president and CEO of Top Notch Interior Specialists Inc. With over 15 years of professional painting experience, Dave is extremely passionate about doing the job right, fast, and sharp.

That is why 360renos uses Dap Painters Caulk on every interior painting project. We want the homeowner to be satisfied!

Dave - 360renos
613-429-5000 or
Cell 613-282-2124