Removing Vinyl Siding

Over time, vinyl siding in your home can become deformed, damaged or stained. Does the exterior of your house desperately need a renovation? There are many reasons why it may become necessary to remove or replace the vinyl siding on the outside of your home. The good news is that, with the right knowledge and tools, in addition to a little time and energy, removing the existing vinyl siding will be a fairly simple project that you can do yourself. Read the following article to learn how to remove the vinyl siding from your home

Prepare the work area.

  • Eliminate any obstacles or debris that may interfere with the correct use of a ladder.
  • Find a large space where you can handle and manipulate large sections of vinyl siding once you have removed it from the house. You may have to temporarily move patio furniture, large pots, etc.

Find the specific coating section that needs to be removed or select your starting point to remove it from top to bottom. In addition, you should look for the flange above the selected section.

Raise the selected section of vinyl siding to expose your anchor nails.

  • Use a tool to remove vinyl siding or a zip tool to lift the siding by sliding this tool between the space of the selected section and the section just above it.
  • Pull the vinyl top section firmly down to unlock it from surrounding pieces, particularly the section selected below it. Continue pulling gently along the entire piece until the liner hangs freely.
  • Lift the separate part of the siding to expose the top of the siding section you wish to remove. The anchor nails of the selected section should now be clearly exposed.

Remove the anchor nails with a hammer. Do it from left to right, being careful not to miss any nails.

Remove the part no longer anchored from the coating and discard it properly. If the lining does not come off easily, you may have to slide the piece through the molding of the channels at each end.

Repeat the process row by row until all other sections of vinyl siding are removed.


  • If you are going to remove more than one section of vinyl siding, start from the top and continue down.
  • Remove the moldings of the left, right and top channels, as well as the lower initial strip.

Things you will need

  • Zip tool
  • Hammer
  • Ladder
  • Work gloves

Creating the Perfect Patio Layout

A patio can add an additional room in your house, an outdoor place where you can spend a large part of your free time. To make it feel like a comfortable space in which you want to spend time, you’ll have to arrange the furniture on your patio to fit your lifestyle.

Find a focal point in your yard. This could be your deck, a garden or stone grill. The focal point will be what you will arrange your furniture around.

Measure the area you will use for your furniture. This will ensure that you buy furniture of the right size for the space you have.

Decide how you will use the area. Will it be to relax, eat or host friends? Deciding this will help you determine the type of furniture you will put in the space.

Place your largest piece of furniture, like an armchair or loveseat, against the longer wall or empty space. Accommodate chairs around this large piece of furniture to form a conversation area.

Use side tables and coffee tables the same way you would use them in a room. This way your guests will have a place to put their drinks.

Keep the kitchen area separate from the living area. The table and chairs can go in an area close to the grill if you have one. However, you do not want to put them too close for safety reasons.

Think about how you will use the space and add accessories to make the patio more comfortable. They could be lamps for the evenings spent on the patio, or a firepit to keep you warm when it’s cold.

Add decorative touches to accompany your furniture, such as rugs and cushions. You can even add pictures or art to add color to the area.


  • Keep in mind the scale when you buy furniture. If you have a small patio, you will not want to use large furniture, or the space will look smaller.
  • Use color in your accessories to make the patio feel more like another room in your home.
  • Consider the style in your home, especially the room you walk out onto the patio. Try to keep the same style in your yard so that it feels fused.


  • Use a dolly or furniture gliders to move furniture or ask someone to help you when moving heavy things in order to avoid injury.

Painting the Exterior of The House

Calculate the size of each wall you plan to paint by multiplying the height by the width.

  • Add all the measurements to get the total.

Measure the height and length of each door and window of the room you are going to paint.

  • Multiply the height and length to know the measure in square feet of each one of the windows and doors.
  • Take the sum of the measurements and take that away from the wall total from the first step.
  • The average size of a window is 16 square feet and a door 21 ½ square feet.

Check if you are going to paint the ceiling.

  • To obtain the measure in square meters multiply two adjacent walls.
  • Keep in mind that painting the ceiling consumes 85% more paint than the walls.

Paint with a spray gun

For a very large house, reduce costs by painting with a spray gun.

  • If it is a small job, a gun might not be the best option, since they are somewhat expensive.

When calculating costs for painting, keep in mind the following if you’re using a gun.

  • When you paint with a spray gun or leave a light layer on the wall and waste a small amount of paint that falls off the floor and remains in the filter of the gun.

Calculate the cost per square foot of spray painting, taking into account the loss in the transfer.


  • If the walls are textured, you will need more paint than a wall without decoration.
  • Most experts suggest using brand paints to be able to have a single-layer coating.

How to Paint a Cement Patio

Cement is a tough material for an outdoor patio, but common cement can look monotonous and out of place in a back or front yard. Although it is possible to paint a cement patio, it requires special care. Painting cement can cause some specific problems, but if you take the proper precautions, you can paint your patio without issues and you will not spend time or additional money.

  1. Clean your cement patio

Check the moisture content of the cement. Before painting the patio, first make sure the paint adheres. Cement is porous and absorbs moisture, but if your cement patio contains a lot of moisture, you will not be able to paint it until the moisture content is regulated.

  • Take a square of aluminum foil or 45 by 45 inches (18 by 18 inches) thick plastic and glue the four sides, sealing the square to the cement with tape.
  • Wait between 16 and 24 hours. Once this period has elapsed, carefully remove the square and check for condensation or moisture in the cement and the lower part of the square.
  • Continue cleaning and painting if the area is dry.

Clear the surface. Remove all furniture, decorations, plants, pots, toys and any other items in the yard. It is necessary to work with a clear surface to ensure that the patio is well cleaned and painted homogeneously.

Repair cracks in the cement. Clean the cracks with a wire brush. Aspirate or blow dust and dirt or use a broom to make sure the cracks are clean. Fill them with a crack fill. Depending on the brand, apply the filler with a scraper or caulking gun (if necessary). To fill deeper or wider cracks, fill them up to 1/4 inch (6 mm) at a time and allow to dry between each application.

  • Let the product dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply grout or cement-based fillers with fine sandpaper (do not sand latex-based sealers or self-leveling sealers).

Remove moss, roots and vines. Get rid of anything that has grown on the surface of the cement and spray the patio with a pressure washer if you have one. If you do not have a pressure washer, remove everything you can manually, sweep the yard and water it with a hose to remove excess clumps of grass, dust and debris.

  • Ask a neighbor to lend you a high-pressure cleaner or rent one at a tool rental company or a cleaning equipment store if you do not have one of these tools. The pressure washer will be very useful to clean and rinse the cement patio before painting it.

Clean the cement surface. Cement absorbs and traps dirt and grease. To ensure that it is clean and has a fresh surface for the paint to adhere, rub the cement with a product that extracts substances, such as trisodium phosphate, muriatic acid or phosphoric acid. These products also remove old paint, which must be removed before repainting.

  • Rinse the cement so that the surface is moist.
  • Apply a cleaning solution (acid, trisodium phosphate or other cleaner) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Rub the cement with a stiff brush.
  • If you use muriatic or phosphoric acid, this process is called pickling and will ensure that the cement has a texture similar to sandpaper so that the paint adheres better. You must perform the pickling before painting new or bare cement.

Rinse the surface. It is best to use a high-pressure cleaner, as this will remove excess debris, old paint and efflorescence, a deposit of whitish salt that forms on surfaces such as cement and stucco. If there are still traces of paint on the cement, rub them with a wire brush and continue using the cleaner until the paint completely disappears.

  • If you used an acid solution to remove cement, neutralize the pH of the surface by sprinkling bicarbonate on top before rinsing it.
  • Especially after pickling, be sure to rinse the cement with water until no more calcareous dust comes out of the surface when you touch it with your fingers.


  1. Prepare to paint

Choose the painting. Since you are going to paint cement in an exterior area, any paint will not do. It is likely that common exterior paint will crack on a cement surface and peel shortly after application. There are several types of paint that will work for your cement patio and these include:

  • Cement paints containing sealants or waterproofing qualities which are made to withstand water, salt, oil and grease. These are a good choice because they are specially designed for outdoor cement and to resist various substances and elements.
  • Latex paints, water-based or oil-based for exteriors that are designed for floors, patios or porches. They are also a good option, since they are created for outdoor use and are specific to withstand pedestrian traffic.
  • Masonry paints containing binders and additional epoxy resin. Although they can adhere well to cement, they will not necessarily protect the concrete from adverse weather conditions.

Choose a color. To help you decide what color to paint the patio, consider the color of the exterior of your home and the color of the patio furniture. Take samples of color with the paint shop so you can compare the existing decoration with your painting options. Do not be afraid to ask a painting specialist for advice.

Think about using a primer. A primer for cement will allow you to work with a homogeneous and pleasant surface, instead of the irregular and porous surface of the cement without priming. It will also reduce the number of layers needed to adequately cover the surface.

  • If you are going to use one, choose an exterior primer and make sure it is designed for cement. These primers are often called concrete primers, masonry or binders.

Determine the amount of paint you need. Once you have chosen the type of paint you are going to use, it is necessary to perform some basic calculations to determine the amount of paint cans you need to cover the surface of the patio. Check the paint can or manufacturer’s website for how much coverage a can provides and compare it to the surface in square meters of the concrete area.

  • To determine the area in square meters, multiply the length by the width of the area in which you are going to work. Do not worry if the patio is not perfectly square or rectangular: you only need a basic idea of ​​the area you are going to cover.
  • Do not forget to take into account if you plan to apply several layers. The primer will reduce the need to apply more than one or two coats of paint.

Gather your tools and equipment. Before you start, gather all the tools you need to paint. The most suitable tools for this work are: a masonry brush, a high capacity roller or a texturizing roller.  The equipment you will need may include:

  • A primer (optional) and paint
  • A roller and a roller brush to paint
  • A tray for painting
  • Extensions for rollers and brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Thick and thin brushes

Protect surfaces. Tape the surfaces near the cement patio, such as the edges of the platform, exterior walls, doors or windows, and other areas that you do not want to paint accidentally.

Choose the right day. The ideal is to start painting on a dry day when it has not rained 24 hours before and rain is not expected in the long-term weather forecast. The best temperature to paint outdoors is 50 ° F (10˚C).

  1. Paint your cement patio

Apply the primer. Make sure the patio is completely dry before you start painting or applying the primer. Pour the primer into a paint tray. Take one of the finest brushes and wet it in the primer a few times. Clean the excess inside the paint tray and verify that the brush has a homogeneous layer of paint.

Start by applying the primer with the brush around the edges or places where the patio comes in contact with other structures or parts of the house.

Use a thicker roller or brush and an extender to apply the primer to the rest of the area.

Let the primer dry. Although it should dry more or less in two hours, wait at least 8 hours before starting to paint. However, do not let more than 30 days pass.

  • If you reuse your brushes, rollers and trays, make sure to clean them thoroughly and allow them to dry before reusing them.

Pour the paint on the tray. The tray will allow you to easily cover the brushes or rollers evenly, therefore, it will be easier to apply even coats of paint to the area.

Paint around the edges of the patio. Use a small brush to apply a coat of paint around the edges, joints or other very difficult areas that the larger roller or brush won’t be able to do. Make sure to use a small brush to apply paint anywhere in the areas adjacent to the patio where you placed adhesive tape to ensure that no paint falls on the walls, platforms or windows.

Apply the first coat of paint. Choose a starting point, such as an interior corner that faces the house and progresses from there. Do not paint in a corner or center where you cannot go back out without stepping on fresh paint. Use even passes with the roller or brush to apply a thin and homogeneous layer of paint.

  • Connect the roller or brush to an extender so you can continue standing while you paint. In this way, you will avoid injuring your back, knees and wrists.
  • If you use a brush instead of a roller, make sure it is large enough to cover a large area, so that the paint does not dry before finishing a section.

Let the first layer dry. Cement and exterior paints may take more than six hours to dry before they are ready for additional layers.  Therefore, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • You should always let the most recent layer dry before deciding if you need to apply another one.
  • Depending on if you used a primer, you may need one to three coats of paint.

Apply the necessary layers. Follow the same steps as indicated above. Use a small brush around the delicate or difficult edges and a large brush or roller to complete the layer. Apply a sufficient amount of layers to achieve the intensity of color you want for your patio.

Let the paint dry and cure. Although you may be able to walk on it 24 hours later, you should wait about 7 days before placing the furniture back.


If you are going to paint a newly installed cement patio, verify that the cement has hardened before cleaning and painting it. Although some suggest you should wait 30 days, others recommend that you make sure that the cement is exposed at least 90 days before painting it.

How to Build Deck Stairs

Normally you wouldn’t have to build some deck stairs, but if you end up having to, you don’t need to take a class to do it. These tips will help you build the stairs you need to access your deck.

Check with local requirements to determine the measurements you should use.  An example is a minimum width of 36 inches, the depth is 10.5 inches and the height is 7 to 8 inches in its design. The stringers should not be greater than 16 inches apart. Foot adjustments should be 6 x 6 inches of treated wood or roofing paper to prevent rotting.

  • Ideally, the staircase should be constructed with a material designed for exterior use.

Measure the height of the stairs from the bottom of the deck to the ground. Then divide that measurement between 7 or 8.  This will give you the number of steps you will have to make.

  • Adjust the height to achieve the necessary balance. Take the number of steps and multiply them by 10.5 inches. This will give you the length which includes the stair stringer. Take that length and project it out. Now you have the location for the feet of the stairs.

Place the steps on the crossbar, by means of 2 x 12 inches of treated wood, with a square. Adjusts the height to the determined height.

Cut the high with a circular saw. Use a handsaw to finish the cut.

Install the stringers by placing them on top of the overlay, outside the metal frame. Set up vertical cards using 1-inch thick screws in the treated wood.

  • By placing the stringers and bands in place, the installation of the rungs begins. Secure all with screws.


  • Check frequently the stringers with the T-square.
  • Place the boards face down to avoid tripping.
  • The wood may require you to make holes before drilling the screws in to make it easier to screw.

Applying Stucco on Concrete or Masonry

Prepare the surface of the wall. You can apply stucco directly on rigid and solid surfaces, but only if the surface is more or less rough and absorbent. If the wall does not absorb even a little water, or if there is surface contamination, wash the surface evenly. If the wall is covered with paint or sealer, or if it is too soft to withstand the stucco, try some of the following methods.

  • Acid etching
  • Sandblasting
  • Roughing machine (for unpainted and smooth surfaces).
  • Apply an adhesive agent, consult the specific instructions of the product. Do not use over water-soluble paint.
  • If you have doubts about whether the wall will support the stucco, follow the instructions in the section of the stucco wall, add the metal strip and apply plaster on top.

Moisturize the surface. Moisten the wall just before applying the first coat or plaster, preferably with a sprayer. This improves adhesion and reduces the amount of water that the wall absorbs from the plaster, preventing it from drying out prematurely. The surface should be wet, but not soaked.

  • Delay work if in the following week the temperature will be cold, warm (above 32 ° C / 90 ° F) or have strong winds. These conditions will interfere with the drying process.

Mix the scratch layer. This should be 1-part cement (with lime) and 2¼ to 4 parts sand. Plastic cement, premixed with lime, is usually easier to mix and work with. Combine it with gypsum sand from a dry material.

  • Just add the water needed to spread the plaster, otherwise the wall could fall or fall apart.

Apply and mark the scratch layer. Spread on a ¼ inch (6.4 mm) thick layer. Mark the surface with horizontal lines using a palette with slots and keep the tool perpendicular to the wall. These grooves will allow adhesion of the next layer on the surface.

  • The etching surfaces (among others) cannot be rough enough for good adhesion by this method. Instead, hit the scratch coat with a gunner, or shake it with a fiber brush or swab. This releases the air to create a more resistant adhesion.
  • Some builders combine the striped layer and the brown layer into a single base layer. If you choose to do so, plan a total thickness stucco approximately 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) for concrete, and ½ inch (13 mm) for masonry. Leave a thickness of about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) for the final coat.

Apply the brown coat after a few hours. With modern cement on a rigid surface, there is no need to wait for the scratch coat to dry completely. For good adhesion, spread over the second “brown” layer as soon as the scratch coat is rigid enough to resist cracking, usually after four or five hours. Soften this surface until it is level and ¼ inch (6.4 mm) thick.

  • The mixture of the brown layer must contain 1 part of cement and 3 to 5 parts of sand.
  • It may be useful to compact this layer by softening it with a splint.

Preserve the moisture of the brown layer while it dries. During the next 48 hours, it is important to maintain the stucco humidity. If the relative humidity of the air is below 70%, you will have to spray or moisten the surface once or twice a day. Wait at least seven days for the brown coat to dry, moisten it periodically if it begins to dry prematurely. Some organizations recommend 10 or even 21 days for drying for greater resistance to cracking.

  • In extremely hot conditions or with strong winds, place a windshield or umbrella over the area. You may even need to cover the surface dampened with polyethylene.

Apply the last layer. The last decorative layer contains 1 part of cement and 1½ to 3 parts of sand. Optionally, it can include a pigment and color. Soften it into a thin layer about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Let it dry completely before painting (if desired), follow the same moisture drying instructions described above if the weather is warm.


While stuccoing a house, work on the back and sides before starting with the front. It will allow you to improve your technique before working on the walls of the facade that faces the street.

Things you will need

  • plywood
  • galvanized nails
  • nail gun
  • construction paper
  • mesh ribbon
  • nails with coating
  • hammer
  • adhesive agent (optional)
  • large bucket
  • masonry cement
  • Portland cement
  • medium grain sand
  • pigment (optional)
  • palette
  • Stucco spray (optional, but necessary to save time)

Traditional Garden Structures to Add to Your Garden

Adding a structure to your garden is an excellent way to incorporate color, style and even practicality. The right garden structure serves as a focal point to tie together a landscape. Many cultures have developed their own traditional garden constructions, so if you’re looking for functional or purely aesthetic features, there are many to choose from.

Functional structures

Many traditional garden constructions arose from practical needs, making it possible to grow plants that do not survive if fully exposed to the open air. For example, the Conservatory was initially built as an interior garden room, intended to display and store plants or even food. Like many greenhouses, it has a glass and metal structure. However, unlike a greenhouse, the main function of a conservatory was not to grow the plants, but to store them. This function is evidenced by the etymology of the word, derived from the Italian “l”, to store or preserve. As early as 1650, the word refers to food and product storage structures.

Decorative buildings

Traditional garden structures often draw their extreme designs for pure decoration. Often the constructions are designed in a specific style, very ornate, like those that evoke ancient ruins. A pergola is also a structure that serves mainly to decorate a garden. It consists of pillars that support a horizontal lattice overhead. While vines can grow on the structure, their open design offers little shade. Originally erected in ancient Egyptian gardens, modern pergolas come from Italy, where they were used in gardens during the Renaissance.

Traditional buildings of Asia

Asian gardens often feature traditional constructions. For example, a Japanese garden may feature a tea room, intended to practice the cultural tea ceremony within a tea garden. The structure has a very special setup, with certain elements related to the ceremony – including a pair of shoji doors, which must remain closed during the ceremony. One of the corners of the teahouse has a hole called a tokonoma, to hold a parchment, incense and an arrangement of flowers. The pavilion, another traditional garden structure, comes in many forms. Chinese gardens may have outdoor or enclosed pavilions; an outdoor, six-sided pavilion is a traditional design.

Unique structures

Several traditional garden buildings have unique shapes or made of unique materials. For example, the strombrella consists of a covered structure with a swing below, designed for two people. The Stromboli often has intricate “gingerbread” style carpentry along its roof line or support beams. The wattle is unusual, not because of its design, but because of the construction materials it uses; popular in medieval gardens, it implements small branches, branches and reeds to create a woven framework for walls and ceilings. A slightly more substantial version of the structure uses mud to hold the branches in place.

handyman at home

How to Paint Over Varnish

Furniture and walls that have been previously painted with varnish have a stained surface. At some point, you may decide that you want to paint over the varnish. The stained surface is difficult to paint. Often, the paint does not adhere to the varnish and will easily peel off. It is possible to paint over the varnish by following these steps to prepare the surface before painting.

  1. Clean the area you want to paint completely with some liquid soap. You can clean the area with a scouring pad while you clean. Clean as much waste as you can; You want the area to be free of dust.
  2. Check if that the room where you are going to paint is well ventilated. Make sure you prepare the floor of the surrounding area so you do not damage anything while cleaning or painting. You can cover the floor with painter’s cloth.
  3. Remove any accessories from the furniture you’re working with.
  4. Sand the area or piece of furniture with fine sandpaper. This will give the surface a texture so that the paint can adhere. Try sanding in the direction of the grain. Completely clean off any residue.
  5. Fill the scratches in the wood with a wood filler. Sand until it is dry.
  6. Clean the area or furniture you want to paint again with paint thinner or denatured alcohol. The surface must be clean and dull and these products will make that happen.
  7. Apply the first coat of paint. If the varnish is very dark and difficult to cover, you may want to apply 2 coats of paint. It is better to use a base coat over the varnish. The oil-based paint will create a good surface for the paint to adhere to.
  8. Paint the area you want to repaint or piece of furniture with oil or latex-based paint in the color you want. Apply as many layers as necessary with a brush to cover the varnish completely.


Skip the previous preparation and choose to remove the varnish from the furniture. This way you will be sure that the surface is well prepared to paint. Removing the paint takes more time and patience, but you will not have to worry about the paint coming off through the varnish below. You can buy different types of products that help you with this.

Things you will need

  • Paint thinner
  • Painting
  • Paint remover
  • Fine Sandwich
  • Multi-use cleaner
  • Scourer
  • Cloth
  • Brush
  • Oil paint

How to paint with enamel paint

Enamel paint is a general term for paints that dry to a firm and durable finish. They are an excellent option to paint things that are going to be used outdoors or in places prone to a lot of wear, such as garden furniture, molding and stairs. To work with enamel paint, it is necessary to know if it is the most suitable for your project, and to learn where and how to apply it.

Select the right materials for the job

Decide if enamel paint is appropriate for your project. Enamel paints are best suited for outdoor places that are exposed to adverse weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. They are also useful indoors in areas exposed to much wear. Due to its dense and high gloss finish, surfaces painted with enamel paints are easy to clean and resistant to stains and damage.

  • If the project you are going to work with must withstand a lot of wear and tear, it is likely that enamel paints are your best option.
  • Enamel paints are also a good choice for any material that needs an impeccable finish that protects the surface. Bathroom accessories and metal appliances are often painted with enamel paints.

Choose the right type of paint. Normally, enamel paints are made from oil. The oil content allows the paint to mix and be applied more smoothly, as well as adhere to surfaces for longer. With the recent increase in demand for non-toxic paint alternatives, water-based enamel paints have become more common. Water-based enamel paints may be easier to work with, since they dry faster and are not very difficult to clean, while oil-based enamel paints last longer and provide a softer finish and are more durable.

  • The decision to use water-based or oil-based paint basically depends on your preferences. Water-based paints will serve you for basic projects, while high-strength oil-based paints will withstand constant wear and tear and rigorous exterior conditions.
  • There is a wide variety of enamel paints. Before buying the paint, check out the different types until you find the one that best suits your project.

Use good quality brushes. You should not just use any type of brush to work with enamel paints. To get the best results, choose a brush with the correct type of filament and the proper stiffness for the paint you are going to use. For example, a Chinese or ox hair brush has soft bristles that help to spread the thick oil-based paints effortlessly. When working with water-based enamel paints, it is better to use synthetic fiber brushes, as the filaments will not absorb the water contained in the paint or become soaked.

  • Some brushes are designed with angled bristles which help paint softer lines. This type of brush would be ideal to work with enamel paint since it requires a uniformed finish.
  • Use only one type of brush for a particular type of paint. For example, although you can use a synthetic filament brush with oil-based enamel paint, it is better to opt for a new brush if you have already used that same synthetic brush with a water-based paint.

Apply enamel paint

Start with a primer. Primers are special products that prepare the surfaces that you will be painting later with a last layer. A primer coat will fill the cracks in the grain of the wood, cover inconsistencies in the unfinished materials and give the paint a more uniform area to adhere to. Most of the primers are made with oil, which allows them to seal better against the wood and, after drying, helps the paint to adhere in a better way. It is recommended to use a layer of primer before applying the enamel paint, especially on interior surfaces, furniture, cabinets and molding.

  • Look for approved primers to be used on the type of surface you are going to paint. Some brands of enamel paint are even formulated with built-in primers that improve adhesion.
  • You should always use a primer when painting wood and other irregular natural elements, as well as walls, cabinets, moldings and any surface with different dimensions and textures.

Use the right type of brush. Due to their smooth and shiny consistency, enamel paints tend to make the imperfections more noticeable when painting. For this reason, it is better to use a second brush after applying the last coat of paint. To do this, make sure that the bristles of the brush are full of paint (but not saturated) and tilt the brush as you take the second pass, so that only the tips pass along the area you just painted.

  • When using the tip technique, be sure to drag the brush along the entire length of the surface you painted (following the direction of the natural grain if you are painting wood) to maintain the thickness and orientation of each smooth brush.
  • Try to make your brushstrokes as fluid and uniform as possible. Some surfaces, such as furniture and handmade crafts, will be more difficult to paint than others due to their irregular contours.

Use a sprayer. Enamel paints can also be applied with a sprayer, which is a manual device that sprays paint through small holes in the end of a nozzle. A sprayer will help you apply the paint in even layers. Using a sprayer can save you time in jobs where there is a large area to cover, such as redoing the finish of outdoor furniture and appliances.

  • A sprayer will help you work quickly on painting projects on uneven surfaces.
  • You may have to dilute thicker types of enamel paint before you can use them in a sprayer.

Apply two layers. Most experts recommend applying a second coat on home improvement projects, where enamel paints are used because they need a protective cover. Let the paint dry between layers and apply the last layer with the tip of the brush to achieve a uniform finish. If you are looking for absolute continuity, durability and color integrity, then two layers of paint will be better than one.

  • Use two layers of paint on stairs, outdoor work spaces and any surface that is regularly exposed to weather conditions.
  • Although you must apply the first layer in the most uniform way you can, it is not necessary to use the tip technique of the brush, since it must be reserved for the last layer.

Dry, clean and remove paint

Take into account drying time. Under normal conditions, oil-based enamel paints will need between 8 and 24 hours to dry completely due to their thickness. Water-based paint may become dry to the touch in 1 to 2 hours (or less). Temperature and humidity affect the drying time, so outdoor projects can take longer to dry. Freshly painted surfaces should not be handled while drying to avoid stains and other contact imperfections.

  • Whenever possible, time the outdoor painting projects to coincide with a warm and dry climate, thus avoid excessive humidity, temperature peaks or precipitation ruining the drying process.
  • Some companies produce special quick-drying enamel paint formulas that dry in only 15 to 20 minutes.

Retouch the worn paint with great care. When you re-apply enamel paint in worn and discolored areas, use only one thin layer at a time. Apply the new coat carefully to make sure the surface stays even. It is not necessary to use primer to do retouching, unless you intend to remove the previous paint first.

  • In general, it is a good idea to apply a new coat on the entire surface you are going to paint, as long as it is not too large. This way you can avoid variations in thickness or an uneven “line” in the place where you applied the new layer.

Clean enamel paint when necessary. Another benefit of the smooth finish created with enamel paints is that they can be cleaned without problems. In case an enamel painted surface gets dirty, simply wet a towel with a mixture of warm water and mild liquid detergent and clean the debris adhered to the outside of the paint. Oil-based enamel paints can be more difficult to clean and require the use of mineral spirits or diluted acetone.

  • Mineral spirits are delicate solvents that are used to dilute and remove paints. You can apply them with a brush or a damp towel. Due to their solvent properties, mineral spirits are very effective in removing dust and dirt from dry enamel paint.

Remove the paint using chemical strippers. If you have to remove a layer of paint, you will most likely need a very strong paint stripper. Chemical strippers come in a variety of forms and are one of the few methods strong enough to remove thick paint that has already hardened. Apply the stripper on large amounts instead of even coats and give the solvent time to act. After the chemical stripper has dissolved into the enamel paint, remove any remaining paint by passing an intermediate grain sandpaper over the area.

  • Chemical strippers tend to be very caustic and some types can emit toxic fumes. You must be careful when using chemical strippers if you are going to remove the enamel on your own.
  • If possible, hire the services of a professional to remove surface paint with an enamel paint finish.


  • Use primer whenever possible before working with enamel paint. Paint applied without a primer base is more susceptible to squeezing, cracking and peeling.
  • Some enamel paints have lacquer components that increase the gloss and waterproof the finish.
  • Be sure to cover the work area with painter’s tape before painting precise lines and corners.

Building a Gable Roof

The gable, also called a gable roof, is simple to design and cheap to build. Its symmetrical shape is attractive, it sheds water from rain and snow efficiently, and provides a large attic space. It is a good option in climates that receive snowfall, but it may not work as well in areas with strong winds. If you have knowledge in carpentry, you can build a gable roof of a simple rectangular structure, such as a shed.

Nail the upper plates to all the outer walls. The upper plates should consist of 2 boards of sufficient width to cover the upper part of the walls.

Measure and cut the roof beams of 2-by-4 wood. You will attach these to each pair of beams so that they resist the pressure to the outside of the beams in the walls. Install the roof beams on the top plates to span the structure from one long wall to the other.

Cut a 2-by-6 ridge shaped wood. The ridge forms the top part of the roof. It is parallel to it, as long as they are the longest walls of the structure.

Place the plates through the roof rafters. This will give you something to stand on while you arm the roof. Later you can move them to the outside of the roof.

Calculate the rise of the gable roof. You want the inclination to be between 25 and 45 degrees.

You can use the Pythagorean Theorem to calculate the slope of the roof and the length of the beams if you know the distance of the ridge board to the outer wall and the rise of the roof.

If you do not want to do the calculations for the beams, you can buy a copy of the The Roof Framer’s Bible, which contains tables that will tell you how long they should be.

Look and cut the 2-by-4 wooden beams. The beams will be attached to the ridge beam at intervals of 16 to 24 inches (41 to 61 cm) and will sit on top of the walls. The length of the beams depends on the elevation (height) of the roof and even beyond the walls you wish to extend the beams.

  • Use a miter saw to cut the beam plates so that you can attach them to the ridge beam at the correct angle.
  • Create a triangular notch in the beams in the place where they will rest on top of the walls.
  • Cut the end (the end that protrudes from the wall) so that the beams reach a point.

Make a neck loop for each pair of beams. You will connect this to the boards of the beams near the top of the roof inside, stabilizing the beams. It is not necessary to cut the neck ties.

Mount the roof. Make sure that by doing so the top plates of the walls fit well into the notches in the beams. To do this better, get an assistant and use temporary support.

Clave boards to the beams to run parallel to the ridge beam.

Cover the ends of the gable roof with the beveled boards. Leave space to install vents so hot air can leave the roof and help keep the structure cool.

Stretch asphalt paper and nail it on the boards. Start at the bottom and overlap the leaves. Cover the ridge with an additional sheet.

Add asphalt shingles and roofing nails. Start at the bottom and overlap your rows. You will also need to compensate the rows so that the edges of the tiles are centered on the tiles above and below them.

Things you will need

  • Hammer or nail gun.
  • Nails
  • 2-by-4 wood
  • Wood plates
  • 2-by-6 wood
  • Miter saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Team of carpenters
  • Ladder
  • Protection for the eyes
  • Asphalt paper
  • Roof tiles