Better Warm-Weather Drywall Finishing

When finishing drywall, it helps to use the right joint compounds.

(NAPSI)-Warm weather and remodeling seem to go hand in hand. If you’re tackling a remodeling project or putting on an addition, you’ll want to take certain precautions when using drywall. That’s because summer weather-whether it’s hot and dry or wet and humid-affects the performance and working qualities of the joint compounds that conceal gypsum panel joints.

A good first step in any drywall project is to use high-quality gypsum board panels. United States Gypsum Company’s Sheetrock® Brand Gypsum Panels, for instance, snap cleanly, requiring less rasping and joint compound. Also, stick with brand-name joint treatment products, which offer reliable consistency and performance.

Some additional good-sense practices to consider when finishing drywall:

  • When the weather is hot and dry, use setting-type joint compounds such as Sheetrock Brand Lightweight Setting-Type Joint Compound (Easy Sand™), as these products harden quickly and help minimize the effects of very fast drying conditions. Work shorter lengths in order to finish each section before the compound becomes too dry.
  • Prevent extremely rapid air movement from reaching wet joints, especially if a thin-consistency mix is applied. This combination can cause cracking.
  • When conditions are wet and humid, allow each coat of compound to dry thoroughly before applying subsequent coats. Don’t rely on a visual inspection to check joint dryness. Use setting-type or lightweight setting-type joint compounds, as their rates of hardening are virtually unaffected by high or fluctuating humidity.

No matter what the weather conditions, be sure to follow these basic installation practices:

  • DO keep tools and mixing containers clean at all times. Always use clean water for mixing.
  • DO add powder compounds to water when mixing-not water to powder. And sift compounds when pouring.
  • Do use 150 grit or finer sandpaper when sanding all-purpose joint compounds.
  • DO remove all sanding dust from surfaces prior to decorating.
  • DON’T roughen the surface paper of drywall panels when sanding. This raises the nap of the paper and can cause joint and fastener areas to remain visible after decoration.
  • DON’T begin painting before the joints are thoroughly dry.

For more drywall tips, write to United States Gypsum Company, 125 S. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60606-4678 or call (888) 874-2450 and ask for the company’s Quality Drywall Finishing in All Kinds of Weather brochure.

Freshen Up Your Home Without an Extreme Makeover

(ARA) – Remodeling a room (or several rooms) in your house can be a big undertaking. Of course, there’s practical planning that goes into it. Can you live there during the remodeling? Will you need to move in with relatives, or rent an apartment? Or, can you stick it out with the dust, tarps and lack of facilities?

Then there’s the financial planning. Do you re-finance? What about home equity lines of credit? Or will you decide to save first, which could delay the project for months, or even years?

Sometimes, a complete remodel is overwhelming. But, you can spice up a room or two in your house without having to call in the troops or take out a second mortgage. Small changes can make a big difference in the look and feel of a space, and many projects are available for do-it-yourselfers.

“For people looking to freshen up their bathroom, we often tell them that even the faucets and bath accessories can completely change the décor and personality,” says Jeff Pratt, vice president of sales for Danze, a manufacturer of decorative plumbing products.

You can also change the “era” of the room. According to Pratt, a fun way to change a room’s personality is to change it from a traditional-looking room to a contemporary style or vice versa. “We have several fun lines of contemporary, traditional (Victorian-like styles) and transitional lines, which look good in any environment,” he adds.

If you’re simply looking to soften a room’s décor, choosing a faucet and accessories with a brushed finish may be the way to go. Manufacturers offer many brushed finishes including brushed nickel (an option to the brightness of a chrome finish), brushed brass (as opposed to the polished brass), oil rub bronze, antique copper and many others.

Of course, fixtures and accessories are only one aspect to a bath or powder room. Another way to instantly, and dramatically, change the feeling in a room is by painting. When selecting your paint colors, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

* Observe which direction your windows are facing in that room. If it’s a Southern or Western exposure, cool colors will work best. If a Northern or Eastern exposure shines on that room, don’t be shy to heat up the room with a vibrant red, orange or yellow.

* If you’re using multiple colors, keep in mind that your eye will be drawn to the brightest color. Be sure you use those bright colors in an area you want highlighted.

* Paint is an inexpensive and quick solution to changing a room’s décor. Choose something trendy or bold without fear. Besides, it’s important to remember that “it’s just paint.” If you change your mind or your style later on, it’s easy to update the room with new color choices.

If it’s your shower that needs a little work, consider a fun, unique showerhead (or two in oversized showers). Danze offers a wide range of more than 130 styles of showerheads and shower arms.

“Home owners love many of our large sunflower and bell showerheads,” says Pratt. “Our new 10-inch antique bell showerhead is one of the largest on the market and it provides a drenching, yet relaxing overhead shower — like standing in the rain.”

Just as faucets, fixtures or other decorative elements can dictate a contemporary or traditional style in the room, so can showerheads, and Danze offers a wide array of choices. You’ll get a stately look with a Victorian-styled ceiling mount showerhead with an antique copper finish, or try something whimsical, like a sleek contemporary showerhead that spins.

So, maybe you’re not ready for a complete over-haul of your house. But even some of these simple, small ideas could give you the fresh, new room you’ve been waiting for!

For more information on the beauty and variety of the Danze line or for a retailer nearest you, call (877) 530-3344 or visit

Courtesy of ARA Content

5 Ways to Make a Small Living Room Look Larger

The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home, but in reality, the living room is the central point of most homes these days. It is where the family relaxes while watching television, and it is the room where many people eat their meals and spend the majority of their time. A small living area is not appealing, especially when trying to sell a home, but it is possible to open up a small living room to make it appear larger. With a little redecorating, painting, and natural lighting techniques, a small living room can look considerably larger.

Color Matters

Many people are leaving their decorating comfort zone and dabbling with darker or bolder wall colors, and although this is a stylish change from the stark white walls of days gone by, dark or bold colors are not appropriate in all applications. Smaller rooms appear even smaller when painted with darker colors. The impact the bold color was supposed to make is overshadowed by the small and enclosed appearance of the room.

To make a small living room look larger, opt for lighter colors. You do not have to choose shades of white, but it is wise to choose clean bright colors. In addition, consider painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. This painting trick will present the illusion of a larger space, and even without doing anything else, a small living space will immediately look larger.

Downsize Furniture

Oversized furniture does nothing to make a small living space look larger. In fact, overstuffed furniture with large armrests and huge cushions make the room look inadequate and smaller than ever. Too many pieces of furniture also decrease the available floor space in the room.

Take notice of the size, type, and number of pieces of furniture in your small living room. What pieces can you live without? If anything can be eliminated, move it to another room, or get rid of it altogether. The less furniture lining the walls or taking up valuable floor space, the larger the living room will look.

Consider Glass Tables

The less the floor can be seen, the smaller an area will appear, especially a living room. If you must have a coffee table along with two or more end tables, opt for clear glass instead of slate tile or solid wood. Clear tables will make a small living area appear larger while providing the convenience and practicality of having tables to hold lamps and centerpieces that add to the design and overall style of the space.

Create a Focal Point

An attractive focal point will draw the eyes away from the size of the room, and guests will focus more on the style and appearance. Consider developing an impressive focal point with a beautiful wall mirror and decorative sconces. The mirror will reflect light and help make the small living room look larger, and along with stylish sconces, the focal point will add interest and unique design to the room.

Natural Lighting

Any type of bright lighting will make a small living room appear larger, and this is why real estate professionals recommend turning on household lights before showings. However, natural light is the most complimentary light of all, and opening blinds and drapery will greatly enlarge the appearance of a small living room. Take advantage of natural lighting when the sun is shinning, and open blinds and light-blocking window treatments. You will be surprised by how large the space appears when natural light is shinning in.

Minor and affordable changes such as these can drastically modify the entire appearance of a small living area. Not only will these simple changes make a small living room look larger, but they will also make it appear more impressive and up-to-date. Give your small living room the makeover it desperately needs, and give yourself the added space and the stylish living space you have always wanted.

Jessica Ackerman is a senior staff writer for Wall Décor and Home Stop by for wall decorating ideas, wrought iron wall art , wall mirrors and metal wall hangings .