Should You Paint Your House Before Selling?

Should You Paint Your House Before Selling?

When it comes time to sell your house, it may be what’s known as a buyer’s or seller’s market. In a buyer’s market, the supply of houses is greater than demand – which gives buyers leverage in the offering price. The opposite is true, of course, in a seller’s market – which is the current environment. But even with high demand among homebuyers, home sellers need to have their house present itself in its very best light in order to sell quickly – and for top dollar!

The truth is, no matter how hot the real estate market, a house that is in obvious need of maintenance or updating can languish for months without an offer – or attract only lowball bids from those who consider it a “fixer” in need of extensive, expensive repairs and/or remodeling. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. A fresh paint job – exterior, interior or both – can get your house the positive attention from potential buyers it needs to stand above the neighborhood competition.

First Impressions Count – What Real Estate Agents Say

Don’t take our word for it – experienced though it is! Writing for HomeLight, real estate author Melissa Rudy notes the following:

“How your home looks from the outside shapes a buyer’s opinion from the start, which is why 76% of top real estate agents nationwide say that improving curb appeal is the no. 1 thing a seller can do to boost the marketability of their home.

“And the chances of recouping the cost are in your favor: According to a HomeLight survey of more than 900 real estate agents, painting the exterior of a home boosted the value by around $4,228 compared to a cost of $2,803, which means it nets a 51% return on investment.”

HomeAdvisor expert Dan DiClerico agrees that painting your home before putting it up for sale can be critical to selling it faster and for a better price.

“While it varies a lot, we estimate that fresh paint adds 1% to 3% to a home’s final sale price,” he says. “On a $300,000 home, that means you could be getting $3,000 to as much as $9,000 more.”

Also writing for HomeLight, home design and real estate journalist Erika Riley observes the following:

“Curb appeal is vital for making a fantastic first impression with buyers; it sets the tone for buyers’ expectations of your home’s condition. Since your home’s exterior takes up most of the view, fresh paint can go a long way in enhancing buyers’ initial view.”

Also, your home’s exterior condition can impact your buyer’s ability to qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. Riley reports that the FHA has minimum property standards to ensure every buyer’s physical and financial safety. “While cosmetic deficiencies are not listed in these standards, deficient paint and damaged plaster and sheetrock in houses built post-1978 are. If you miss the mark on these standards, you might miss out on some eligible buyers.”

Our blog post – “How to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home” – includes many more helpful tips on making potential buyers fall in love with your house at first sight!

Should You Paint Your Home’s Exterior, Interior or Both?

If your home’s exterior is due for a paint job, chances are that the walls of your interior rooms need freshening-up, as well. The good news is that if your budget is a concern (as it probably is), you may not need to paint every room. Ottawa-based Marilyn Brophy of Heart and Home Staging is a Certified Colour Consultant™ as well as a Certified Staging Professional®. In her article – “Why Paint Before Selling Your House” – Brophy recommends focusing on the foyer, as it presents the first impression that buyers will get of what it would be like to live there. Other important rooms she identifies are the kitchen and bathrooms.

“The buyer does not want to update fixtures, paint walls and replace cabinets and counter tops. If your budget is limited, concentrate on these three areas. These are the highest traffic areas of a house and will likely have the most wear and tear, marks on the walls and baseboards, holes from hanging pictures etc. Clean it up and paint with neutral colours to show off the features of each room and show the areas are well maintained and clean.”

Which Exterior and Interior Colors are Best for Selling Your House?

Choosing the right paint color is essential to appealing to the widest range of buyers. If your interior rooms reflect your love of bold, bright colors, start the psychological process of detaching yourself. After all, it will soon be someone else’s home. And that will happen even faster if the wall colors are neutral, allowing potential buyers to visualize themselves in the house. Also, don’t make the mistake of using personality-plus colors when preparing to sell in the belief that others share your taste and will consider your choice hip and trendy – or tell yourself the new owners can always repaint if they don’t like the color.

“Bright, vibrant colors are usually avoided when painting a home for sale,” writes Travis Nolan for Old Crow Painting. “These colors are a distraction at best, and could make someone absolutely hate your house at worst. Potential buyers that dislike the color would want to repaint after purchase, but more often, they’ll pick a different home.”

For this reason, such neutral shades as whites, beiges, taupes, light grays, etc., may seem boring, but can help you earn more “green” when you sell – which is the color you really want to see!

HGTV’s Maria Conti and home remodeling guide Fixr provide the following breakdown of exterior and interior colors that help sell houses:


“First impressions are everything and Fixr’s design pros agree that fresh white or gray exteriors will win the hearts of homebuyers this year,” Conti writes. “Not sure if gray or white is the best fit for your home’s façade? Choose a neutral paint color (think: greige, beige or taupe) that complements surrounding homes in your neighborhood and is in keeping with the architectural style of your home.”


Fixr reports that warm gray or classic white tones are best for the kitchen, while you can’t go wrong with white for the living room.

“When in doubt, white it out,” Conti writes. “Fixr’s surveyed pros believe white paint will sell your home because not only does it provide future buyers with a blank slate, but it gives living rooms a fresh, well-kept appearance that appeals to the masses.”

We do caution that there are actually many shades of white, ranging from undertones of red/pink, blue, yellow and green/gray – so be sure to choose the one that best complements the room, as well as adjacent areas.

The report reveals that design pros agree that airy white or soft taupe paint is a winning option for a best-selling bedroom. As for the bathroom, pale blue is the best hue!

Hire a Pro for the Best Results

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you may have noticed that we’re forgoing our usual pros-and-cons of doing it yourself or hiring a professional painter. When you’re preparing your house to sell, you probably don’t have the time for a DIY project of this scope – nor the expertise to achieve the same high-quality results as a pro who has the right degree of experience and skill, as well as the proper supplies and equipment. People will be examining your house very closely for any flaws. You don’t want an amateur-level paint job to be among them!

Our team at The Paint Manager has been proudly serving Central Florida homeowners for 20 years with experienced, dedicated and professional services that include exterior and interior house painting, roof repair and cleaning, drywall repair, popcorn ceiling texture removal, cabinet refinishing and so much more!

Plus, become a member of The Paint Manager to receive a 15% year-‘round member’s discount. Contact us to learn more about our services and membership discount offer. We look forward to meeting you!

Why You Should Remove Tree Stumps From Your Property

Why You Should Remove Tree Stumps From Your Property

Cutting down a tree in your yard poses a dual problem for homeowners. The first is the issue of removing the tree, and the second is stump removal. No one likes to cut down a tree for no reason. Healthy trees planted in a good location on your property help to increase curb appeal. But it becomes necessary when a tree is dead or dying. In Florida, in particular, unhealthy trees can be uprooted during a tropical storm or hurricane and cause extensive damage to your home and nearby structures (and vehicles). However, it is crucial to understand that removing the stump is equally important, as it has the potential to cause multiple issues of its own.

What’s the Harm in Leaving a Tree Stump?

A tree stump may not be a lovely sight, but after a while, you’ll get used to it and ignore it. So what’s the harm in leaving a tree stump in place? Actually, there are many reasons, which include the following:

Curb appeal – While you may have gone “stump blind,” tree stumps are an eyesore to everyone else. If they are visible from the road, they decrease the curb appeal of your property. Removing tree stumps can make your property look better – which helps you get top dollar for your home when it’s time to sell!

If you own a commercial building, banishing the stumps will increase your business’s professional image and create a positive impression among current and potential customers. Leaving them makes it look like you don’t care. And if you don’t care about the appearance of your business, what else don’t you care about? This is not a good question to raise in the mind of customers.

It decreases the value of your property – A tree stump in your yard can decrease the value of your property and keep potential buyers away. Again, if you’ve neglected your yard, house hunters wonder if you’ve also slacked off in other areas – such as maintenance and repairs. Homebuyers also see one or more stumps as an expense they’ll have to incur for removal. Add that to the other repairs and needed updates they’re noting during the open house, and you can expect most people to continue their search.

Speaking of people anticipating extra expenses because of a tree stump, consider that the roots are still very much alive. They continue to grow, with the potential to invade underground pipes, as well as undermine driveways, sidewalks or decks.

Safety issues – Tree stumps just sit there, waiting for you to absentmindedly run into one with your lawn mower, or a family member or visitor to trip over it. The last scenario could set you up for a lawsuit. Although laws vary from state to state, even someone who is on your property without your knowledge or permission can sue for negligence. Owners of commercial property also need to be aware of this possibility.

Space wastage – A tree stump can hinder your plans for getting the best use and enjoyment from your yard. It could have a negative impact on landscaping plans by preventing you from planting new trees, ornamental shrubs, flower beds or even a pond in the area in which the stump sits.

Insects and diseases – A decaying tree stump is vulnerable to insects and diseases. It can attract ants, spiders, grubs, termites and other insects in hordes. Once these insects start living in your yard, they can eventually enter your home. A tree stump is also home to various tree diseases, which can quickly spread to healthy trees.

A tree stump facilitates new growth – New trees can come up around the stump, which is not just unsightly, but can leech the nutrients meant for nearby healthy plants. Also, new roots around the stump can make the removal process even more cumbersome. Such new growth is typically not attractive, and unlikely to become good landscape trees.

Different Types of Stump Removal

There are three main methods to remove a tree stump:

  • Stump grinding
  • Manual removal
  • Chemical removal


Stump grinding involves using a piece of machinery that is straightforwardly known as a stump grinder. There are several different types to fit a variety of jobs, each of which the good people at American Climbers identify and describe. However, all stump grinders use a powerful, rotating blade that rips into the wood as it turns. The blade’s teeth cut the stump wood into small pieces. The operator guides the blade over the entire stump as the blade reduces the wood to chips, and takes the stump down to well below ground level.

Advantages of stump grinding include:

  • Takes the stump down to below ground level.
  • Reduces stump to wood chips, which can be used for mulch.
  • Kills the root system, preventing continued growth and possible intrusion into sewer pipes and damage to driveways and house foundation.


American Climbers notes a disadvantage to this method if you plan to build over the site of the stump. Because a tree stump is wood, an organic material, it will decompose over time. This means that it isn’t a stable base material for construction, as any foundations, footings or rigid materials will move over time.

Manual method – This method involves digging out the stump, exposing the root ball and taproot. The taproot is then cut with an ax or bowsaw. It is typically used for small-to-medium-size stumps.

Chemical method – Chemical stump remover products use potassium nitrate, which accelerates the process of wood decay. Holes are drilled into the stump, after which the chemical remover is added. This is followed by pouring water into the holes, then covering the stump and waiting for the chemical to do its work – which can take up to one year, depending upon the size of the stump. Potassium nitrate is a hazardous substance that can cause skin and eye irritation. Keep children and pets away from the stump, as well as the chemical granules.

Why This Isn’t a DIY Job

Removing a tree stump using the first two of the above methods is dangerous work that should only be performed by a lawn service professional or arborist (tree surgeon). Our blog post – “Are You Stumped by Tree Stumps?” – covers in detail the numerous reasons for leaving this job to the pros.

Regarding stump grinding, even though you can rent a stump grinder, that doesn’t mean you have the ability or protective clothing and equipment to use it safely. And manually digging out a stump requires the use of an ax and other sharp tools that can cause serious injury when wielded by an inexperienced person. In addition, you may risk cutting into utility cables or a sewer pipe.

While the chemical method may seem the most benign, it still requires proceeding with caution. As previously mentioned, keep stump removal chemicals away from children and pets – and keep them away from the stump while it decomposes. You’ll also need to make sure the stump remover doesn’t harm surrounding plants or trees. Your goal is only to rot away the stump itself, but if the chemicals get anywhere else, they can also kill the grass and other nearby plant life. Proper storage and use of any chemical is essential.

Because this method may take up to one year to remove the stump, maintaining vigilance for such a long period can be demanding if your yard is the neighborhood playground and/or you have rambunctious dogs. If this is the case, opting for removal by a professional will be more expensive, but can give you peace of mind – as well as some clear square footage that you can put to better use sooner rather than later.

If you have a stump in your yard and are looking for a professional tree stump removal service, call The Paint Manager! Our stump grinding services can remove stumps of all sizes and types. We have the appropriate equipment, and our trained professionals are capable of safely removing the stump. We invite you to visit our website’s Stump Grinding Services page for details and pricing – then contact us if a tree stump is spoiling the aesthetics of your home!

Should You Replace Your Home’s Popcorn Ceilings With a Smooth Surface?

Should You Replace Your Home’s Popcorn Ceilings With a Smooth Surface?


Travel far and wide throughout the United States, and hardly anyone will have a kind word for popcorn ceilings. Also known as acoustic ceilings, they were popular in residential construction during the 1930s into the late-‘70s. Occasionally, a builder would add sparkles so the ceiling would twinkle at night in the incandescent lighting. Today, popcorn ceilings aren’t just out of style – they’re proven deal-breakers when homeowners who haven’t seen fit to resurface them list their house for sale.


Which leads to our big question: Should you remove your ceiling’s popcorn surface and replace it with a smooth surface?

If you plan to sell your house soon, and it’s in a desirable neighborhood, yes. If you’ve been happily ensconced in your home for decades, you may not realize how truly reviled popcorn ceilings are among contemporary homebuyers. Just watch the numerous home buying shows on cable TV and take note of the reaction when prospective buyers look up and catch sight of a popcorn ceiling. It isn’t pleasant.


Orlando Popcorn Ceiling Removal, Florida Popcorn Ceiling Removal


Popcorn ceilings – a brief history

Characterized by their textured look by being sprayed on with a hopper gun using a special mix, popcorn ceilings were much more economical than hand-troweled plaster ceilings because the surface was quick to apply and hid imperfections – whereas plaster required painstaking application to achieve a perfectly smooth surface. When drywall took preference over plastering, the popcorn surface easily concealed the seams. The textured surface also provided sound-dampening benefits.

Despite the wide time range of popcorn ceilings (the surface was reportedly still being used at the turn of the 21st century), their heyday was the ‘60s through ‘70s, during the boom of the suburbs.

The bumpy textured ceilings always had issues, however. They trapped dirt and grime, and were difficult to clean without inadvertently dislodging some amount of the “popcorn.” Making ceiling repairs inconspicuous was likewise challenging.

The downfall for popcorn ceilings came when the danger of asbestos became well known.


As described by general contractor Glenda Taylor, writing for

“Asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral, was the material of choice for popcorn ceilings until the substance was banned as a health hazard in 1978. Manufacturers switched to paper fiber that year, but suppliers continued to sell existing stores of asbestos-laced material. That means that popcorn ceilings installed as late as the mid-’80s could contain asbestos, and, when disturbed, disperse microscopic fibrils known to cause lung-scarring illnesses and even lung cancer if inhaled.”



How to tell if a popcorn ceiling is safe

A popcorn ceiling that contains asbestos doesn’t pose a hazard as long as the ceiling isn’t disturbed. However, many people don’t want such a dangerous substance in their home, and aren’t willing to take the risk. Also, in Central Florida, homes are more susceptible to structural damage during hurricane season. A tree crashing through the roof of a home with a popcorn ceiling containing asbestos will release it into the air, after which it will settle on interior items and the floor.

To determine if your popcorn ceiling has asbestos, forgo the approach of taking a sample yourself, and call an EPA-certified remediation company to do the job. Should the report come back positive, do not attempt to remove it yourself. This is not a DIY project. Risking your life – and the lives of your family members – isn’t worth saving the expense of professional remediation.


If a popcorn ceiling is safe, but still unsightly

Even an asbestos-free popcorn ceiling can be undesirable simply because it’s outdated. Thanks to changing consumer taste, their advantages are overlooked – much the same as homebuyers expect stainless steel kitchen appliances and turn up their nose at perfectly good white or black appliances.

One advocate for popcorn ceilings is “Steve,” an agent with Crossland Team Real Estate, Austin, Texas. His blog post on the topic is a practical take on their unappreciated positive qualities and the motivation of so many to scrape and resurface them into smooth oblivion.

Steve writes:

“People hate popcorn ceilings. But as I look at my own vintage 1978 popcorn ceilings, and how perfect they are, I wonder what all the fuss is about … Please, somebody agree with me and let’s admit that this obsessive neurosis about the texture and appearance of a popcorn ceiling is nothing more than ‘“texture snobbery.”’

Removing an asbestos-free popcorn ceiling is typically recommended for the experts on the basis of labor and time. Such ceilings are throughout the entire house, save for kitchens and baths. Tackling the job yourself may be practical if you’re highly experienced in home renovation projects and bought a “fixer” to rehab, and you don’t intend to move in immediately. For the DIY enthusiasts, YouTube offers numerous step-by-step videos on the removal process.



Otherwise, hiring a home renovation contractor to do the removal and resurfacing is the more practical – and ultimately economical – approach.

The Paint Manager offers experienced popcorn texture removal and replacement with an even, smooth surface that reflects quality craftsmanship. Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment. While we usually leave our call-to-action message for the end of our blog post, here’s some helpful advice for those who choose to carry on.


Loving your popcorn ceiling

For the “Steves” out there who love their popcorn ceilings – or don’t have the budget to replace them – DIY repair is possible, as long as you’re sure they don’t contain asbestos. Popcorn ceiling repair products are available at any home improvement center.

First, scrap the damaged area about one inch larger than the repair needed. Sand, wipe with a damp cloth, apply a stain blocker and let it dry thoroughly. Then apply the ceiling patch product according to manufacturer’s instructions. Apply only one coat at a time. Let the area dry completely before applying another coat. Keep in mind that no matter how carefully you do the repair work, it is difficult to match the original ceiling texture.

No matter which choice you make about your popcorn ceiling, The Paint Manager is always available to take on the home renovation projects you need, with conscientious, experienced service. If you don’t feel confident in making a DIY repair, we can help there, as well! No job is too small for our home repair experts.

How to Use Outdoor Lighting as a Home Improvement

How to Use Outdoor Lighting as a Home Improvement

When it comes to the looks of your home, the first impression does make a difference, and a positive one can have a huge impact. A beautiful home exterior not only increases the curb appeal of your home, but it also says a lot about the attitude of the homeowner. And, it is basic human psychology to strive for more and better, be it your job or the way you keep your home. There is a lot that you can do to improve the look and feel of your house. For example, an exterior paint job, pressure washing the exterior of your home and outdoor lighting are all home improvement projects that can revitalize the look of your house.

While this article focuses on the benefits of residential outdoor lighting, here are the main benefits of exterior home improvement projects, as provided by home improvement contractor Windows on Washington:

It increases the value of your home – When you undertake a home improvement project, it certainly increases the value of your home. An attractive home exterior not just reflects well on the homeowner, but it also increases the curb appeal of your property.

It makes home maintenance easier – Everyone these days is short on time. Exterior home improvements can help you cut down on the time you need to spend on the maintenance of your home. For example, siding installation makes it easier for the homeowners to maintain the house as they don’t have to spend time on repainting the exteriors over and over again. Similarly, a new garage door and energy efficient replacement windows also make it easy for the homeowners to maintain their house.

Energy savings – This is another important consideration that encourages homeowners to take up exterior home improvement projects. For example, siding installation can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. Similarly installing replacement windows can also reduce your energy bills substantially.

An exterior home improvement that’s growing in popularity is adding an outdoor kitchen. This trend is especially catching on in Central Florida, thanks to our favorable year-round climate and love for outdoor entertaining. Our friends at Seriously Smoked provide plenty of great outdoor kitchen ideas for spaces of every size, and projects and grills for every budget.

Home exterior lighting ideas

While many people don’t necessarily consider exterior lighting a home improvement, a well-planed system adds beauty and security to your property. Exterior lighting can do much more than line walkways or illuminate entryways. Artful use of outdoor lights can define entertaining spaces – such as a patio – as well as call attention to landscaping features.

Contemporist offers several ideas for outdoor lighting, which include:

String lighting – If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy way of lighting up your backyard and garden, you can use string lighting. You only need to string them up, connect them to a socket, and you are ready to spend some quality time at night in your backyard or garden.

Lanterns – You can also use lanterns to light up your garden and backyard. They are not just easy to place, but are available in a variety of styles to set any mood.

Strips of LED lights hidden under the furniture or base of your stairs – If you want to transform your outdoor spaces and make it modern, you can use strips of LED lights hidden under the furniture or along the base of the stairs.

Uplighting – Another way of making a style statement is to place lights under the trees and plants (positioned upwards). You can also place these lights on the walls (facing upwards). Uplighting helps create a sophisticated, dramatic effect.

Spheres and orbs – You can also use spheres and orbs to lighten up your garden and backyard. You can put them up individually or use them in cluster forms on the ground to set a contemporary mood.

Pendant lights – For homeowners who have a dedicated dining area in their backyard, pendant lights help define the space, as well as better illuminate place settings for meals.

Budget-friendly home exterior lighting ideas

Home improvement projects, especially outdoor lighting need not always dig a big hole in the homeowner’s pocket. There are many budget-friendly home exterior lighting ideas that you can use to make your outdoor spaces brighter and beautiful.



HGTV offers the following inspirations:

Create a moonlight effect – Use small directional lights in a large tree to create a moonlight effect. You can supplement it with candle lanterns around the tree which is an affordable and easy option that you can do without the hassle of wiring.

Use lanterns to brighten up your outdoor space – One of the easiest, attractive, and effective ways of lighting up your backyard and garden is to use decorative lanterns. You can use them in a cluster on the dining table, line them up on the wall, or put them up in groups. Wax candles or outdoor LED candles can be used in these lanterns to lighten up the outdoor space.

Chandelier – If you have a dining space in your backyard, you can use a chandelier to create a stylish dining atmosphere. You can suspend a candle chandelier from the beam or covered patio. For easy operation, you can use battery-operated LED candles. You can use string lights radiating from the chandelier’s mounting to create a magical experience.

Use step lights – You can light up your steps and walkways with solar-powered lights, which you can install yourself. Mount them on any flat surface or place them on the ground to give a modern look to your outdoor space.  

Create a romantic glow – Group flameless LED pillar candles wherever you want to set a magical mood – patio, porch or outdoor seating area.

Vintage-style lights – These Edison-style lights with exposed filaments adds more style quotient to your outdoor space. If outdoor party lighting is what you are looking at, then vintage-style lights can bring on the magic.

String lighting – Positioned at regular intervals, you can use overhead string lighting to illuminate your courtyard. You can also use copper DSE uplights to illuminate the shrubs, trees, and pottery. You can also use café lights in a string formation which adds a magnificent glow to your garden or backyard. If you don’t have trees and other tall objects in your backyard and garden, then you can use temporary planters and wood posts to hang these lights. Of course, they’re always ideal outdoor party lighting!

Use planters – Planters that glow from within are becoming popular as intriguing accents for yards and gardens. Most are solar powered so that you can display them anywhere.

Solar deck accent lights – Everyone’s all-time favorite, this is another way to brighten up your deck railing, post, or stairs. Solar deck accent lights can turn on automatically at dusk, and it is an attractive option to illuminate your backyard and garden.

To learn more about innovative outdoor lighting ideas, get in touch with The Paint Manager. You can also contact us for other outdoor and indoor home improvement ideas that can boost your home’s curb appeal!

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Planning a kitchen remodel? You already know that most of your budget will be claimed by replacing the cabinetry. But if the existing cabinets in your home are solid wood and in overall good condition, they can be refinished with stain for an updated look at a fraction of the cost. Before rushing in, however, there is much to consider – starting with whether you should do it yourself, or hire a pro.

The DIY approach can be successful if you have experience and confidence in your ability to take on mid-level to major home improvement projects. As we always caution here, don’t let your enthusiasm for cable TV house flipping shows make you think you can do likewise if you’ve done nothing more complex around the house than change lightbulbs.

In addition to expertise, staining a kitchenful of cabinets will demand a good deal of time. This includes such prep work as removing handles and other hardware, removing doors, stripping the existing finish, sanding, etc. You may not be willing or able to dedicate evenings and weekends to the project, which also will impact your kitchen’s function to some degree.

For those who want to learn more about what’s involved in staining cabinets to help you decide which route to take, The Paint Manager offers our helpful DIY resource page, which provides answers to common questions, as well as links to DIY videos and other tips from the experts.

An even more up-close look at the entire cabinet finishing process can be seen courtesy of The Idaho Painter.



Should you decide to leave the work to the professionals, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with the basic products so you can make informed choices. Start with the stain itself. There are three types: oil-based, water-based and gel. Minwax provides a comprehensive guide to staining, which includes a chart of stain products, their characteristics and best uses. Your paint contractor will be able to tell you which type is recommended for your cabinetry, and why.

Here are some other benefits of hiring a pro for wood cabinet staining:

  • You don’t have to compromise your safety – Doing the project on your own entails some risks. From the step ladder and tools to wood dust and volatile fumes, the project can be hazardous if this is your first cabinet staining rodeo. Professional contractors have the right tools and expertise, and also know how to properly ventilate the space so that it doesn’t become hazardous for occupants.


  • Quality prep work – The casual do-it-yourselfer may not consider the amount of preparation required before even opening the first can of stain. Please re-read the third paragraph of this blog post for a (very) general outline of the labors that doing a thorough job of the necessary prep work involve. A professional paint contractor performs each step, in the correct order, to ensure beautiful results that will last for many years.


  • Top-quality results – Professional paint contractors have great experience in applying stain evenly to bring out the wood grain and achieve consistent color on all cabinet surfaces for a custom appearance that will make you proud of your kitchen again.


  • Relatively quick job completion – Several factors – such as the size of your kitchen – will affect the amount of time the project will require. However, hiring a pro means the job will be done in a few days, rather than a few weeks – or months – as would be the case with doing it yourself. Your kitchen will be fully functional much sooner, and you and your family won’t have to work around disassembled cabinetry, vinyl sheeting partitioning off work areas or the persistent odor of wood stain stripper for what will seem like an indefinite period.


  • It’s still economical – Compared against the cost of new cabinetry, hiring a paint contractor to refinish your cabinets will still save you a significant amount of money. If you’re considering doing it yourself to do the job as inexpensively as possible, keep in mind the real cost of your time, labor, personal risk and overall inconvenience – not to mention the possibility of a poor aesthetic result due to lack of experience


Contact us at The Paint Manager to bring your old wood kitchen cabinets back to vibrant new life!

Why You Should Hire a Professional Landscaper to Trim Your Shrubs

Why You Should Hire a Professional Landscaper to Trim Your Shrubs

Your front yard is vital in creating the first impression people get about how well you keep up your home. However, yard maintenance is not an easy task. Case in point: trimming shrubs. Depending upon the size of your property, your schedule and your physical capability, hiring a professional yard or lawn service can be the best approach to keeping shrubs and hedges well-groomed, healthy assets to your home’s curb appeal.

In addition to creating an attractive appearance, there are practical reasons to make sure shrubbery is in good shape, so to speak. Trimming is important to the plant’s health, ensuring it gets enough sun and encouraging growth. Trimming is different from pruning, which is done to eliminate dead, broken and infected parts of the plant. Pruning shrubs regularly helps promote healthier shrubs that produce more blooms.

If your landscaping is new, it’s much better to start pruning shrubs when they are young, then do minor annual pruning. If you allow them to become overgrown, they’ll end up needing major renewal pruning, which – assuming you hire a service – will be even more expensive. Black + Decker’s website provides an informative guide to shrub trimming. (For the adventurous, there’s even info on “How to Make a Topiary.”) Despite being written for the do-it-yourself, the article includes helpful basics that everyone should know. For those who may be entertaining the thought of going the DIY route, learning about the specialized equipment involved may tip you toward hiring a service.

Hiring a Yard Service Versus DIY

There is great deal of difference between a professional approach and the DIY way of doing things – unless, of course, you are qualified enough for the job and own the right equipment. In making a list of the advantages of hiring a yard or lawn service, equipment is a good place to start.


Yard and lawn care services have all of the proper tools and equipment to do an expert job in trimming and shaping shrubs. In the hands of an experienced landscaper, these specialized pruning tools, saws and power trimmers create a uniform, beautiful effect for the perfect manicured yard. A professional service regularly maintains its tools, keeping them in good working condition, and stores them appropriately.

Physical Labor

There’s no getting around the fact that yard work is hard work. Even lightweight hedge trimmers are heavy and unwieldy, requiring a great deal of physical effort to use. Florida’s triple-digit summer temperatures make the job especially hazardous, necessitating performing it in the early morning or early evening for those insisting on the DIY route. Overexertion leading to illness, heat exhaustion or heat stroke are possible health hazards. Also, the more birthdays we celebrate, the more mindful we need to be about not overestimating our stamina and assuming we can still do what we once did easily in previous years.


Professional landscapers are trained to do their job safely. For those who don’t do so on a regular basis, climbing a ladder to reach the top of a hedge, wielding a power trimmer or using a small curved saw can be hazardous. Hiring a yard or lawn service could save you a trip to the ER.


A professional yard or lawn service may include clean-up of plant debris in the price of trimming. Be sure to discuss waste removal before hiring a service. Also ask if the service will remove the bags of debris, or if they will be left curbside for yard waste collection day. Some municipalities charge extra for bags of lawn waste that exceed the permitted limit, so check your local regulations first.

Peace of mind

When you hire a professional yard or lawn service, you can spend quality time with your family and friends instead of spending time on landscape maintenance!

The Paint Manager is well-experienced in such yard maintenance jobs as shrub trimming, and has been serving Central Florida homeowners since 2000. Contact us today to learn how we can make your yard an inviting place of beauty for your family and friends.

How to Stay Safe When Painting Homes With Lead-Based Paint

How to Stay Safe When Painting Homes With Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint is a grave health hazard for not only for homeowners, but also for those who are into home remodeling.

If you live in a house that dates back to 1978 or before, you need to make your home free of lead-based paint. The federal government in 1978 banned the commercial use of lead-based paint, though some states had done so earlier. Lead-based paint – which includes lead-contaminated dust – is the leading cause of lead poisoning.

Lead-based paint is known to have an unhealthy effect on children, especially those under the age of six years. According to a declaration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead-based paint ingestion can lead to severe learning disabilities, seizures, behavioral problem, and even death. 

In adults, lead poisoning can cause high blood pressure, and can negatively impact fetus development if women are exposed during pregnancy.

Lead poisoning can also cause such acute conditions as renal failure and encephalopathy.

Traditionally, lead-based paint was routinely used in the painting of home exteriors and interiors. And, the chances of lead-based paint being used increases as the age of your home increases. The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Protection Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1992 (also called Title X) to safeguard families from lead exposure from paint, soil, and dust. The EPA, through the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, has also directed home remodeling contractors to help control exposure to lead paint.

Putting things in perspective for lead-based paint

It is no doubt upsetting to find out that there is lead-based paint present in your home, but you can work to remove the problem. However, to solve the lead problem, you need to first get to the basics of the issue. And, to understand the basics, you have to know the facts about lead-based paint.

There are millions of homes that still have lead-based paint present, as it typically has been painted over through the years by non-lead-based paint. What you need to understand is if the paint is in perfect shape, you don’t have to worry much about the lead being present in your home. But, do keep in mind that when the lead-based paint starts chipping, peeling, cracking, chalking, or becomes damp or damaged, then the situation turns hazardous, and it becomes urgent for you to resolve the problem.

It is also a safety hazard if found on the surfaces, which your children can chew or those places where there is too much of wear and tear like doors and door frames, windows and window sills, and porches, stairs, and railings. Clean up the dust regularly and make sure to keep the paint in good condition.

Lead dust comes from the deteriorating lead based paint inside your home, or it can also come from the soil from outside your home, which of course is a result of the worsening exterior lead-based paint.

During painting, repair, and renovation activities when paint surfaces are demolished or disturbed, it produces toxic lead dust. This is why you need to hire professionals to do the job.

How to test if your house has lead-based paint

One way to find out is to use a home testing kit for lead. Though inexpensive and widely available, according to the EPA, they are not particularly accurate. Per EPA recommendations, you should look for a lead abatement company to perform the tests.

How to stay safe when repainting a lead-based home

Repainting a lead-based home is a risky proposition, and you need to carefully follow all the guidelines to keep you and your family safe. It is always advisable to hire a professional company to repaint your house if the test confirms that lead-based paint is present in your home. But, if you decide otherwise, there are ways to reduce the risks when repainting a lead-based home.

Encapsulation is the most common and effective way of dealing with the problem – it keeps the paint intact and stable. Encapsulation, as the name suggests is applying a fresh coat of paint on the lead-based paint. This makes sure that the lead-based paint doesn’t find its way into your home.

Make sure that you use a respirator when you are scraping the lead-based paint. NEVER remove lead-based paint without a respirator. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for clean-ups.

Spray adequate water on the surface you are working to keep the dust at bay.

Put on safety gear before you start working on the lead-based paint. Make sure that you cover your eyes, hands, body, and head appropriately – use goggles, gloves, coverall, and hat to stay safe. Also, ensure that you use disposable gloves and coveralls and that you discard them every day. And, don’t forget to wash your goggles on a daily basis.

Always remember to dispose of the lead-based paint surface at a safe location outside your house. Make sure that no one except for those working on the project enters the work area, and seal the non-work areas with plastic sheets.

Why you should call in experts to repaint a lead-based home

Making a home lead-based paint safe is a risky job. Those who have the required experience and expertise can better handle the safety concerns of lead. After all, there is no point in risking your life and that of your loved ones by adopting a DIY approach.

When you hire professionals to repaint a lead-based home, you can rest assured that they will take all the necessary precautions as mandated by the rule of law.

Professionals are not just trained to do their job with perfection, but they also have all the resources (protective gear and tools) to carry out the work safely. They would also make sure that you stay safe while they work.

When you hire professionals, you don’t have to worry about toxic waste disposal. Lead disposal is a risky job. They know how, where and when to safely dispose of the lead-based waste.

The Paint Manager is experienced in making Central Florida homes safe from the hazards of lead paint. We are a full-service painting company in Orlando delivering quality work to residential and commercial customers. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Roof Repair Contractor?

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Roof Repair Contractor?

Unlike many other areas of home maintenance and repair, your roof is not a DIY project. Roof repair is a specialized job, and you need professionals to do the task correctly. The philosophy of “jack of all trades and master of none” does not hold true in case of roof repair.

A well-maintained shingle or tile roof not only increases the curb appeal of your Central Florida home, but prolongs its life. Conscientious roof maintenance starts with a clean roof – which speaks volumes about the overall condition of your home, and your values as a homeowner.


Here are 5 Reasons to Have Your Roof Professionally Cleaned

  1. Aesthetics – keep your home beautiful and enjoy pride of ownership
  2. Roof longevity – maximize its life and save money
  3. Value – protect your investment
  4. Health – mold triggers allergies; a clean roof promotes a healthy home
  5. Energy cost – a stained roof ultimately results in higher energy bills


How to Tell When it’s Time to Repair Your Roof

Sometimes, even a clean roof needs to be repaired. Damage from high winds, hail, tree branches, etc., necessitate calling a roof repair contractor. In the case of damage covered by homeowners insurance, your policy will determine eligible reimbursement for repairs. No matter how up to the task you may believe yourself to be, the main reasons for leaving it to the experts follow.

Experience and training – Roofing professionals have experience in a wide range of repair and replacement jobs, giving them the ability to recognize conditions that warrant a particular approach. What you may know from watching a YouTube video and what a pro knows from having encountered the same thing numerous times are probably two different things. Guess who should produce the more sound result? The roof is one of your home’s most complex structures. Don’t compromise its safety/integrity.

Roof repair can be dangerous – According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falling is the leading cause of injuries in construction. In 2015, out of a total 937 reported injuries, 350 were due to a fall. Climbing and working on a roof is not an easy job, it requires training and precision to avoid falls and accidents – which do-it-yourselfers typically lack.

Professionals are licensed and insured – Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured. There are usually two components to insurance – workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, which protect homeowners from injuries suffered by others on your property and accidental property damage liabilities.

Also, hiring a licensed roof repairing company means that they have the necessary experience, the required skill set and a verified background check. It means that an insured and licensed roofing contractor will have trained professionals.

Repairing the roof on your own can void the manufacturer’s warranty/guarantee – Most roofing material manufacturers offer a warranty, but doing the job yourself may void it. In addition, a reputable roofing company will most likely guarantee its own work, providing an extra degree of protection.

If you live in the metro Orlando area and your roof needs repair, get in touch with The Paint Manager. With more than 15 years of roof repair experience, The Paint Manager is a trusted name in Central Florida roof repair. Living up to our customers’ expectations is our highest priority. We adhere to OSHA guidelines, and work as a team to give your roof a new look.


How to Hire a Professional Painting Company

How to Hire a Professional Painting Company

A nicely done up office space or building speaks volumes about the taste of the commercial establishments it houses. It not only creates a stunning first impression on people who see and visit the space, but it also increases the curb appeal of your commercial building. Around the world, commercial spaces look stunningly beautiful because professionals paint and/ or refurbish the interior and exterior of the building. The same is true if you are in this part of the world, namely Orlando. Even you should hire an experienced commercial painting company that infuses life into your building.

To attract customers to your commercial establishment, you need an attractive exterior and an exquisite internal décor. Commercial painting is a specialized field, and not everyone out there in the market is fully equipped to do the job with perfection. Things can horribly go wrong if you don’t hire an experienced commercial painting company.

You might think that hiring a commercial painting company is a cake walk, but the reality is different. Looking for a commercial painting company is not all that easy a job, you have to carefully weigh your options and do some research on your own to find the best professional painting company.

If you own a commercial space in town and are interested in making it an attractive investment destination, then you are at the right place.

6 Things to Consider When Hiring a Professional Painting Company

There are many companies in the market who claim to be commercial painting experts. So, how do you differentiate between a company that is genuine from the one that is not? It is always advisable to start the process by doing some research on the internet.

The first thing that you have to keep in mind while looking for a commercial painting company is the quality of work they deliver. Secondly, find out about the painting company’s standing in the market. And, finally try to assess whether they stick to what they say. After all, you need to trust the company that would renovate your commercial space.

You should start your search by asking your friends, family and/ or colleagues to recommend a commercial painting company in town. Any recommendation that comes from your near and dear ones is worth considering because only a satisfied customer would recommend someone.

  1. Should have sufficient experience – Nothing can replace experience. The first thing that you need to do is find out how long the commercial painting company has been in the business. Inexperienced companies can do more harm to your commercial property than doing any good. You would also not want to hire a fly-by-night operator. Hence, make sure that the commercial painting company has a minimum standing of three years or more in the market. The more experience the commercial painting company has in the market the better is the result you can expect. Businesses that have been there in the market for long are more likely to paint your commercial space with perfection.
  2. Expertise and knowledge – It is important to find out whether the commercial painting company you are planning to hire has sufficient knowledge, adequate expertise and the required exposure. In fact, the company should have a team of highly skilled painters who can do the job with perfection. They should have adequate knowledge about all the latest products and modern painting techniques. A professional painting company would also make sure that their prep work is properly done. The painting contractor should also know the latest trends, finishes, and colors that can make your building stand out in the crowd.
  3. Always ask for referrals – Any commercial painting company worth its name in the market would not hesitate in providing references. Speak to at least three references to find out the track record of the company you plan to hire. Never think twice about speaking to the references. After all, it is your right to find out that the company you are hiring is trustworthy, experienced and hard working. You can also visit the website of the company you are planning to hire and go through the testimonials. This would give you a fair bit of idea about the standing and reputation of the company.
  4. Find out whether they have their own employees or are they subcontractors – This is an important one. You need to find out whether the commercial painting company you are planning to hire employ people directly or are they subcontractors. Direct employees of the company are covered for compensation and general liability insurance by the employer. But, if they are subcontractors, then you need to make sure that they are separately insured. Either way, the commercial painting company should give you proof of employee’s insurance details.
  5. Make sure that the company has a valid license to work – This again is an important consideration. Make sure that the commercial painting company you are planning to hire has a valid state issued license. Any reputed company will always have a state license, employees’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance. It is important that commercial painting contractors protect their employees. If the commercial painting company you are planning to hire is unable to show you the required documents, then don’t waste your time just move on.
  6. Always ask for guarantee – Find out if the commercial painting company you are planning to hire offers guarantee or not. Usually, paint manufacturers guarantee their products, but commercial painters worth their salt would also give warranty on the prep work they do. Make sure that you have everything in writing, all the promises, guarantees, and warranties.
  7. Do find out the total cost – This is again important; you need to know how much you have to pay. But, do remember that price should never be a limiting factor. If you hire a professional, licensed, hard-working, trusted, and reputed commercial painting contractor, then their rates would be higher than those who do not have proper paraphernalia, skilled workers, and/ or experience. However, looking at the larger picture is the key when you plan to hire a commercial painting company. For a lasting result and a stress free experience, you need to hire a contractor that is insured, licensed and has enough experience of delivering high quality work on a consistent basis. This should be your primary concern rather than just the rates.
  8. Finally ask for a written estimate – Make sure that you ask the contractor to give a written estimate for all the work that they plan to undertake. Nothing should verbally be agreed upon, ask for a written estimate. You need to know the material the contractor would use, the kind of prep work they will do and the time they need to finish the project. Ask the contractor for a written contract, and not something scribbled on the back of his or her card.


If you are based in Orlando and are looking for a commercial painting company, just get in touch with The Paint Manager. We have over 18 years of experience in the commercial painting industry. From big to small, we have undertaken projects of all sizes and completed them to the satisfaction of our customers.

The Paint Manger is a trusted name in the commercial painting market. We are a full-service painting company in Orlando having the requisite experience and expertise to deliver quality work.


Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Let’s accept it, first impressions make a difference. Don’t you try to look your best when you go out on a first date? Or, do you buy clothes that don’t appeal to you in the first place? In fact, you always want to look impeccable and you can only buy stuff that creates a good first impression. Likewise, when you plan to sell your house, first impressions make a huge difference.

People spend so much money on the upkeep and appearance of their home’s interior, but do you make sure that it looks attractive from the outside as well? If not then you should start paying attention to your home exteriors, as it improves the curb appeal of your house.

In fact, what people get to see from outside either makes or breaks their impression. The same is true for your home as well.

So, what exactly is the curb appeal?

Curb appeal is a term generally used by realtors to evaluate a house or property that is up for sale. It is the attractiveness of a house or property when seen from the street. Interested home buyers first see a house from the street, and if it appeals to them, then they ask the realtor to move forward.

63% of prospective home buyers will come by to visit a house only after they like what they see online (National Association of Realtors).

This clearly means that the house they see from outside should generate sufficient interest among the potential home-buyers in the first place. What do they see from outside? The front entry, driveway, sidewalk and yard. Your home’s exterior should have the capacity to attract prospective home-buyers and bring them to the table for further negotiations.

Hence, the home exterior is the first thing that you need to work on and improve if you want to sell your house at a decent price.

So, what is it that you need to do?

Let’s Examine 9 Ways to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home

  1. Start thinking like a buyer – The first thing that you need to do is start thinking like a buyer. Grab a notepad and pen, and walk around the exterior of your home with a hawk eye to find out what could annoy a potential home buyer. Make note of things that you think needs replacement, repair, or cleaning. Take your car and drive down the street on both sides of your house, both during the day and night. You might just see a few things on the roof that you must remove, or a sidewalk that needs repair.
  2. Make sure your address number is visible, clean, and tastefully depicted – Address number is a small thing which many people tend to overlook, but has a tremendous effect on everyone who enters your home. If you write your number differently, then it generates more interest among prospective home-buyers. For example, if your house number is 428, you can write it as “four2eight”. Written numbers are a more stylish form of displaying your address.
  3. Ensure that your roof is clean and spotless – Many people think that a clean and spotless roof doesn’t improve the curb appeal of your home. That can’t be further from the truth. It creates a negative impact on the image of your home. Therefore, ensure that your roof is clean, free of streaks, and does not look dingy. Also, make sure that your roof isn’t missing shingles. Once you plan to sell off your house, see to it that your roof is cleaned, pressure washed, repaired, or replaced.
  4. Make your front door attractive and eye catching – Front doors are another thing that influence home-buyers. An attractive, eye-catching front door can impress your prospective buyers, and raise the value of your house. Make the entrance of your home more stylish. Paint it a bold color, and don’t forget to place a new cheery welcome mat in front of the entrance.
  5. Repaint the trim and shutters, and get a new mailbox – When you are repainting your front door, don’t forget to redo the trim and shutters. Also, try a new mailbox for your home. If yours is damaged or weathered, it could detract from the overall aesthetic.
  6. Get your sidewalk, driveway, and deck pressure washed – A dirty driveway, sidewalk, and deck can act as a spoiler for people who plan to buy your house. This is another important thing that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get your driveway, sidewalk, and deck pressure washed to make it sparkling clean. Don’t forget that someone’s first impression at times turns out to be their last one. This is not just cost efficient, but it is also very effective.
  7. Light up your porch, walking path, and landscape – Putting up lighting fixtures at the right places can bring out the best of what your home has to offer. Use them to draw the buyer’s eye to the most interesting aspects of your home, and away from the mundane parts.
  8. Place flower pots in front of the entrance – There are many plants (in a flower pot, of course) which you can place in front of your entrance. Put the flower pots in a symmetrical fashion, and spruce up your front yard with seasonal flowers.
  9. Get your home exterior painted – If you think your home’s exterior is worn out, then get it repainted by a professional painter. A freshly painted home exterior can be your best tool, in finding a buyer and receiving more offers.

Freshly done up home exteriors can greatly improve the curb appeal of your house, but it is not all that easy to spruce up your home exteriors in a jiffy. You need a lot of time, innovative ideas, and executional capabilities, besides experienced and trained manpower to change the face of your home from outside.

It is always advisable to hire professionals to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get in touch with The Paint Manager and make your home exteriors look attractive.

From repainting your home exteriors, pressure washing your sidewalks, driveway, and decks to the installation of a new mailbox, redoing your front door and roof cleaning, professionals at The Paint Manager are capable of providing a facelift to your home’s exterior just the way you would love to see it.

Most importantly, you should consult professionals at The Paint Manager for innovative ideas that can improve the curb appeal of your house.

Photo credit: Scott Webb: httpss://

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