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 6 Tools & Tricks You Need For House Renovations- Advice from an Artist

With HGTV home renovation shows taking over the airwaves it seems that everyone is trying to flip a house. The market is flooded with half done projects, everytime I do a "one-day" Zillow search for New Hampshire properties. My father is one such person, as he's currently flipping a house. Or desperately trying to. As money dwindles it's become a husband and wife project.

When I went over to help Apple (his wife) paint she was in awe by what I brought with me. Almost a year into a complete home make over and she had never seen what I unpacked. No one had ever told her these little hacks. It got me thinking-- how many other people don't have an artist in their life to tell them these little tips? So I'm doing what any millennial in my position would do. I'm making a blog on the internet. Straight to the point:

1. Frog tape

Many people apparently have no idea what this stuff is. They pass by it as the "expensive painters tape". Well let me tell you; those few extra dollars are 100% worth it. Especially, if like me, you don't want to mess around with drying paint. Yellow frog tape can go on paint that has only dried for 24 hours, while keeping those lines crisp!

2. Cheap plastic drop clothes

Seriously, the cheaper the better. Why? Because the cheaper the drop cloth, the thinner the plastic, the thinner the plastic the easier it is to work with. The big rolls of thick quality plastic are irking as they don't want to easily lay where you put them. Like folding cardboard as opposed to paper; the latter folds easy peasy, one fights you on it because it has bulk. Also, many thick plastics need to be cut by hand! Not the end of the world by any means, but it sure is a pain if you're a speed demon. Go thin- wave it out, lay it over everything that needs protection, tape, go. And when you're done, let any paint dry overnight and boom you have a brand new drop cloth that can be repurposed the next day it. You get 10 per pack, so it ends up being more than enough. And with the money you end up saving on plastic you can splurge on the frog tape.

3. Goo B Gone/Goof Off

Goo B Gone is my secret weapon. Many people only know it's traditional yellow goo-- but oh baby they have expanded! I have around 7 different types, but the Household Spray Goof Off is probably my favorite. My stepmother motioned to the new tile behind her, splattered with paint. My father would flip his lid. "No problem", I said. Goo B' Gone in hand I sprayed, wiped, and boom! It's like it never happened. Tears welled in her eyes, filled with gratitude... ok, that's an over exaggeration. But my eyes have been known to well up as I contemplate the scraps Goo B' Gone has saved me from. Whoever invented the stuff-- I applaud you.

Tub of Towels Clean*

After few sprays, with a 30 second sit time, low elbow grease level with nail use.


A tool your contractor hopefully will have, but get also; Tub o' Towels. Trust me here. You don't have time to find running water, and these things are a great (especially paired with Goo B Gone, they make a perfect 1-2 punch). Here's a quick example 1 wipe away example of Tub O' Towels handiness (no Goo B Gone or extensive scrubbing).

1 wipe, no sitting, 0 elbow grease

4. Small Artist's brushes --

The ones you would get at Michael's. No need for super fancy, but something with an actual point (kid plastic brush sets are out). The smallest chip brush is still too big for small crevices which is where these bad boys shine! And on small touch up jobs. The first day I went to work at the house, I forgot brushes. When my father went to the hardware store I asked for some. He came back with the aforementioned plastic kid brushes. They did the job that day, but it's equivalent to using frog tape vs. blue tape (or fat free icecream vs full fat)-- once you know the difference you can never go back.

5. Rubber Cement

Now hear me out on this one because it really is something you'll probably need an artist to tell you. Rubber cement is basically a liquid mask. Artists often use it on watercolor paper to keep the 'true white' of the page in areas they want white prior to painting. Why? Because then once the painting is completed they can simply gently rub off the stickiness to reveal perfectly protected paper. My thought process was, if this was true on delicate white paper surely it was applicable to stronger surfaces! I gave it a shot with some detail work while I was refinishing a fan, and my hypothesis proved true! (Yes, I'm sure a million others had the same idea, I know I'm not special, quiet down commentors) this little trick has proved itself invaluable to me time and time again. Have a weird fixture you just can't tape a spot of? Rubber cement! Pro-tip= wash your brush out immediately or just accept that the brush will be ruined.

6. Drill Bit Cleaning Brushes

For those of us who utilize the Goof Off, and can make a mess but the lack upper arm stregnth to really give hard to come off spills enough 'elbow grease', I present your saving grace. The drill bit brushes. Using the power of a drill and the chemicals of Goof Off you can clean just about anything. I only wish I had known sooner in my life.

There you have it! From my families half finished house to yours I wish you luck!

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