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06.25.14

Now that the summer is in full force, you'll probably be spending a lot of time in your backyard. From cookouts to Slip-n-Slides, there are so many reasons to get outside this summer. If you plan on having people over to your house, you might want to take this time to spruce up your yard a bit. Here are five easy ways to improve the look of your backyard.

Clear the Weeds

Even if you mow down the weeds in your yard, they're going to look unsightly. Apply the appropriate, seasonal weed killer or pre-emergent.  Take an afternoon to go around the whole yard and pull out what doesn't belong. If you end up with bare spots, buy some sod to fill in the gaps or consider adding some plants in the empty areas.

Powerwash the Concrete

This will get rid of the stains and dirt build up on your concrete by blasting high-power streams of water over the surface. You can buy a power wash kit to use yourself, or you can hire someone to do the work for you. You could go one step further and powerwash your siding, fencing, decking, and more. Consider this a car wash for your backyard!

Stain the Deck and Fence

The weather in Oklahoma can quickly make your fencing and decking look old and worn. If you invest in deck and fence staining early into the summer, you can have a great looking yard that seems fresh and well-maintained. Staining will also provide your wood with a new sealant to preserve and protect it from the sun and harsh temperatures to come.

Improve Your Patio Furniture

Adding patio furniture to a back yard can provide a burst of color and a level of comfort that you wouldn't get from Mother Nature alone. If you already have patio furniture, you may want to get new cushions to modernize or update the look. With a metal or wood surface, you could also repaint the furniture if it is starting to look faded and neglected.

Replace or Turn the Mulch

If you have mulch in your backyard, turn it over or replace it entirely. This will let the moist mulch at the bottom come back to the surface so it doesn't look as dry and withered.  Turn your mulch periodically throughout the summer to keep your yard looking its best.

Happy Summer!

05.09.14

Brick and stucco present unique challenges in the painting industry. They are not like textured drywall which is meant to minimally absorb paint. They soak it up like sponges, which often lead to splotchy, uneven paint jobs. Assuming you don't want that look for your home, you need to know how to paint brick and stucco. Here are some tips to get you started.

Power wash Everything

If you have a chance to power wash the surface of the stucco or brick, do so. This will clean off any dirt or grime that may be resting on the surface. This dirt will make it difficult for the paint to stick to the walls, which is why it is important to clean it off ahead of time. Avoid using soap and other products as those will also make it difficult for the paint to stick.

Once you have finished washing the brick or stucco, let it dry for an hour before proceeding. You don't want to trap moisture under the paint that could lead to problems later on.

Prepare the Walls 

Some brick and stucco need to be primed before it can be painted. This seals the texture and minimizes the amount of paint absorbed into the walls. It also creates a flat plain of color to paint on top of so you don't end up with big spots everywhere. Professional painters in Oklahoma City can determine whether or not your walls will need to be primed by their texture, condition, and base color.

Apply the Paint

The best way to get even coats on brick and stucco is to spray the paint onto the surface. Rollers also work well for this, but you must make sure they are the right texture for this application. With either rollers or spray paint, you must strive for thin, even layers of paint. This may take a few coats to cover, but it will result in the best look overall.

Seal It Off

In some cases, a glaze may be applied to the surface to bring out the depth and dimension of the paint and the wall texture. This emphasizes the unique gradient of stucco and the intricate texture of brick. If you are doing this on your own, make sure the paint is completely dry before applying the glaze. Ideally though, you should work with the best painters Oklahoma City has to offer to ensure your paint looks great from the start.

05.02.14

You might not think that the texture on your wall matters much, but it sends subliminal messages you probably don't notice. With the right texture services, you could completely modernize your home for very little money. Here is a look at the difference the right texture can make for you.

Modern Appearance

If you go into a home with popcorn ceilings, you instantly assume it's outdated. That is a natural reaction because most painters and designers do not use that kind of texture any longer. If you want to make your home look fresh and new, texturing a great way to go about doing that. Add some modern carpets and cabinets to the mix and no one will really know how old the house really is.

Hidden Flaws

If you have issues on your wall, texture can make it look at lot better. This is like putting icing on a cake that isn't appealing on its own. It still tastes good, but the icing makes it look inciting and bite-worthy.  In this case, texture could make your home beautiful and view-worthy.

Elegant Finishes

Fans of TLC's Trading Spaces may remember that designer Doug Wilson had a thing for Venetian plaster. Whenever he had the opportunity to use it in a room, he did. He only had a $1,000 budget to design the entire room, including furniture and accessories. That might put the cost of texture into perspective. 

Pricing aside, having a great wall finish can really make your home look elegant and refined. You wouldn't expect to visit Buckingham Palace and see flat walls, would you? You don't have to spend a lot of money to get nice looking texture. You just have to find out which option will highlight your home's best features.

Painting Opportunities

Good texture allows Oklahoma City painters to create beautiful walls with paint and glaze. Think of your walls as massive canvases that you can show off. They don't have to purely serve a function of protecting you from bad weather. With the right texture on your walls, painting experts can accentuate the different layers of texture on the walls so you can get the best look possible. Your home will have depth like never before.

01.22.14

DIY Popcorn Ceiling Removal

 

Popcorn ceilings were popular decades ago, but like shag carpet and paisley wallpaper, they have become a thing of the past. Most modern homes have flat textures on their ceilings, but the old ones that are still standing need to be revamped to achieve the same look. The guide below explains how to remove a popcorn ceiling on your own.

 

What You Need:

 

Tarps or drop cloths for the floors

 

Basic garden sprayer

 

Ceiling texture scraper

 

Putty knife

 

Mask, goggles, shower cap, and other pieces to protect you from the falling ceiling debris

 

Step 1 – Prepping:

 

Take everything out of the room with the popcorn ceiling, including furniture, rugs, and wall hangings. Cover the floor with a tarp or drop cloth so it is easy to college the popcorn pieces that fall down. Put a shower cap, mask, and goggles on your head, and consider wearing an outfit that you don't mind getting dirty. There will be particles coming down.

 

Step 2 – Softening:

 

Using a standard garden hose sprayer, spray down a portion of the ceiling to soften the popcorn particles and loosen the adhesive. Try to stick to a 4-6 foot square. Let the water soak for about 10 minutes.

 

Step 3 – Scraping:

 

Use a ceiling texture scraper to remove the popcorn. This will have a bag underneath it to trap the falling particles. If you do not have a tool like that, you can use a putty knife throughout the ceiling. It will just take longer to scrape that way, and it will be messier. You will need to use a putty knife for the corners of the ceiling no matter what.

 

Step 4 – Repeating:

 

Repeat steps 2 and 3 throughout the room. If you notice that the popcorn is tough to get off, respray it with water and let it soak for another 10 minutes.

 

Step 5 – Cleaning:

 

To clean up the room, gently roll the tarps and drop cloths like burritos, sealing in all the ceiling debris. Take each tarp outside individually and shake it out.

 

Alternatives to DIY Popcorn Ceiling Removal:

 

If the guide above seems like too much work or you just don't want to deal with the mess of a project like this, call in the professionals. The team at Ray the Painter has removed dozens of popcorn ceilings over the years, and we know how much of a pain this process can be. Let us do the dirty work for you. We can even texture your ceiling afterward so it looks like something from this century. Give us a call to see what we can do for you.

 

11.19.13

BUSINESS: Ray the Painter

In 1991, Ray Wolf established his new painting business, Ray the Painter. The concept was simple: one guy, lots of brushes. His commitment to detail and craftsmanship earned him a reputation that enabled him to grow his business into a 15-person operation. Since Wolf passed away in 2009, president Amy Wewers and her staff carried his legacy forward, eventually purchasing the business from Ray’s wife in December 2012. Today Ray the Painter boasts commercial and residential clients from Williams-Sonoma and Southern Nazarene University to homes in just about every neighborhood of the metro area.

“Ray was always good about quality craftsmanship and good customer service. Our mission statement lays out our continuing commitment to those ideals. We stay until the job’s done right…satisfaction guaranteed—that’s what we shoot for,” said Wewers.

Though Ray the Painter handles both interiors and exteriors, the services don’t stop there. They also offer cabinet refinishing, fence and deck staining, sheetrock repair and wallpaper removal—all of which are time-intensive hassles for even the best DIY enthusiasts.

In addition to the work done, they offer a two-year guarantee—rare in this industry. The company doesn’t just care about their projects after they’re finished, but is committed from start to finish. Their painters are neat and dependable, arriving at job sites at 8am and leaving at 4:30pm. They thoroughly clean the area and put away tools before leaving. Your house or business won’t look like a construction site while waiting for the job to be completed.

Their large selection of green products, including low volatile-organic-compound (VOC) paints is unique. Ray the Painter is also EPA-certified in lead paint removal.

Wewers doesn’t like surprises, so she’s especially vigilant about not surprising clients with the bill. The staff carefully reviews each job site to provide clients with an estimate that includes a detailed scope of the project.

“We’re not the cheapest painters in Oklahoma City. We’re not the most expensive either. Part of what people pay us for is the experience. From the bidding process on down the line, the customer comes first. We provide a good experience. That’s a big deal when you’re working with a painter,” said Wewers.

Not shy when asked why homeowners and businesses should choose Ray the Painter, Wewers simply said, “We’re the best.”

For more information, visit paintokc.com or call (405) 605-3563.  Read the article in Outlook Oklahoma.

 

11.07.13

The kitchen is the heart of your home. It is the place where most families spend hours a day cooking meals, cleaning dishes, eating breakfast, or just hanging out. The kitchen is also one of the biggest selling features of a home, with most people getting 93% of their original investment back when they go to sell. You don't have to spend a fortune remodeling your kitchen if you use your money in the right places. Here are some affordable ways to remodel a kitchen.

Refinish the Cabinets

Why spend money on new cabinets when the ones you have function just fine? With cabinet and panel refinishing, you can use what you already have and still get a new look for your kitchen. During this process, the painters will strip away whatever paint or varnish is on the cabinets now and replace it with whatever you like. If you'd like to add new trim or some beadboard to the doors, they can do that for you as well. Just changing the face of the cabinets will make a huge impact in the kitchen, and it will cost a fraction of what you'd pay for new cabinets.

Change out the Hardware

The hardware in your kitchen also makes a big difference in the way it looks. If you have rod iron door handles from centuries ago, you may upgrade to sleek silver ones that match this decade. If the hinges on your cabinet doors are visible, make sure to change those out too. That way you get a cohesive look all the way around.

Replace the Flooring

This part can get expensive, depending on what kind of flooring you buy. The new rage at the moment is 12 inch tile, but that gets pricey very quickly. You could see if a local home improvement store has any tile on clearance in case you can make that work. If not, you could get some laminate flooring that looks like tile for next to nothing. They have come out with innovative new designs that look like the real deal from afar. You may be able to get away with not paying for true tile.

Change the Countertops

Changing the countertops can also be pricey if you want marble, granite, or some other stone like that. You could try using a Formica countertop, which will look real if you polish it out correctly. Some laminate floor products look like marble or granite, and you could easily put those on your counters too. You could even use a peel and stick granite film if you want to.

We like the idea of painting your own granite, which is what the woman did in this video. She did her whole kitchen for less than $100!  Watch the video

The more creative you are with your kitchen remodeling, the less money you will have to spend. Let us know what other ideas you come up with in the comments below.  To request a bid, click here.

 

 

10.09.13

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a time to celebrate the women in our lives who have survived or avoided this deadly disease. In support of this special part of the year, Ray the Painter is offering $100 off anything over $600. Use this as an excuse to give mom that dream room makeover she's been hinting at for years now. Here are some tips to get started.

New Bedding, Pillows, and Curtains

Depending on the room you make over, you might change out the bedding or pillows to give the room a new look. These will act as your inspiration pieces for the rest of the room. A brown couch can go from boring to modern with the addition of some boldly colored pillows. A basic bed frame can come to life with throw pillows and an elegant comforter. Find matching curtains to tie the look together, and you will have a foundation to build on.

New Paint

The reason we bring up paint second is because you need something to pull the color from. You could go with a basic beige tone, but where is the fun in that? Maybe mom wants a rose colored dressing room or a pastel blue art studio. Use the fabrics you have already chosen to find a color that complements them well. Talk to one of our Oklahoma City painters, and we'll help you pick the right hue for the job.

Accessories

Paint and fabric will make the biggest difference in your room makeover, but it's the accessories that make a room feel special. Artwork, sculptures, rugs, and light fixtures can completely change the way a room is perceived. Most women like to be in rooms that feel full without being cluttered. Be selective in what you buy to accent the room, and don't be afraid to leave a little bit of work for your mom. She'll have fun adding to the amazing space you have created for her, and she'll try to make it her own in no time.

Cancer Affects Everyone

We wanted to end this post with a quick shout-out to all of the cancer survivors in Oklahoma. Ray Wolf, the founder of Ray the Painter, lost his battle with cancer a mere month after being diagnosed with it in 2009. He is no longer here to guide the team, but his lessons are carried on with all of us. He was a remarkable man who left a lasting impression on his community, and his memory will never be forgotten.

As a tribute to Ray's legacy, we want to wish the best for all families who are dealing with the difficulties that cancer brings along. Know that you are not alone in your fight.

If you would like to donate money to support breast cancer research, visit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.