Start that reno project early

Living in one home for many years almost seems like a thing of the past. We hop around, increasing our yards, our space, our bathrooms and closets.

Older homes (which often have already been done in wallpaper) often lend themselves to being refreshed with a new pattern of wallpaper. And for some reason

Living in one home for many years almost seems like a thing of the past. We hop around, increasing our yards, our space, our bathrooms and closets.

Little things that eat at our nerves are solved by sticking a for sale sign on the front lawn.

The less handy types or those whose lives are too hectic can get away with this. The crafty, “lets give it a whirl, shall we?” types, they wouldn’t stand for that sort of mentality.

Now for some, a couple years in a newer home means that their changes are more cosmetic than a true renovation. You are painting out trim and walls, upgrading a light fixture here or there, perhaps changing out some window treatments.

The homes 10 years and older is where you see some interesting things happening. Stippling is a thing of the past and for those who like to create a mess before having a clean slate to work with, you have the perfect kind of project to both keep you busy, messy and covered in popcorn-like material.

Projects that involve removing faux finishes or wallpaper can become frustrating very quickly as materials from those “eras” may not be as user “minded” and had the be-all-end-all of adhesive or imperfections hidden beneath.

What you thought you were working with all of a sudden morphs into another beast all together.

If you are facing an issue where you must fill drywall or patch areas, consider the consistency of the filler you are using.

The lighter the filler, the less strength it will have so if you favor the light weight Dap, then only use that for filling nail holes. If you are filling things like plywood or metal doors then head for the heavy duty stuff that will bring you back to a flat surface.

What you choose for a project usually starts with the finished idea in mind and then you work backwards trying to figure out everything you will need to do and buy to complete the project.

Most wallpapers now come pre-pasted; however not all do and you will want to ensure you are aware at the time of ordering. Another tip: wallpaper is priced as single rolls but only comes packaged in doubles so if you are looking at a price in the back of a book, you will likely have to double it to get a good idea of the price range you are in.

While a double roll sounds like a lot, consider with cuts and pattern matching, you will likely be getting about 50 square feet per double roll. It can add up quickly.

Old tones of brick are more frequently getting painted out. The trick is to know how much tone you want with your colour, how much shine and that once on there, you will only have painting as an option again without a serious amount of elbow grease.

One of my favourite things I’ve just discovered are SAMAN SSV stains. They come with the poly urethane already in them, they are a mix of an oil and latex which dries quickly, levels itself beautifully and doesn’t smell. Why do I love them?

A quick, but even, scuff sand on any wood and you can put the stain right over top. You don’t have to sand the item back to bare wood but rather you just stain right over top.

Megan, I am quoting you now. “Use multiple thin coats rather than one or two thick ones so the poly urethane stain stands up to chips.”

But you can deepen pre-existing wood tones that have become out dated. Love it!

Spring fever means folks are bustling to start projects so that when this crazy weather is finally over, they will be ready for soaking in the sun!

E-mail Jenny Kennedy-Olsen, president of Urban Lane Designs, a local home-staging company, at

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