3 gifts for the house that add comfort and value

3 gifts for the house that add comfort and value

What if you took all the money you plan to spend on individual gifts for your family and spent the whole chunk of change on something for the home that everyone can enjoy. After all, how many sweaters or portable devices do you need? Installing a stationary generator to get you through the next blackout or central air conditioning to survive another hot summer will improve not only your quality of life but the value of your home as well. … (read more)

Five ways to get an exterior paint job that lasts

Five ways to get an exterior paint job that lasts

Painting the outside of your house is a big job and one you probably don’t want to undertake yourself. But a new coat of paint can add value to your home so it’s worth the investment. And avoiding some tempting shortcuts can ensure you a paint job that lasts 10 years or longer. Here’s some tips from the paint pros at Consumer Reports.

Don’t buy by brand alone. Frequent reformulations to improve performance and lower emissions may mean that … (read more)

Avoid buying the wrong paint with these color-choosing apps

Avoid buying the wrong paint with these color-choosing apps

A growing list of free websites and smartphone apps can help you narrow your choices of paint colors, figure out how much paint you’ll need—and even “paint” your house before you open a can. When you’re ready to buy make sure you get a paint that can weather the elements. Not all do, as Consumer Reports discovered in its exterior paint tests.

Guessing gallons. The Paint Quality Institute has a helpful paint calculator for gauging how much … (read more)

EPA cracks downs on violators of lead paint rule

EPA cracks downs on violators of lead paint rule

It’s never been wise to play around with lead paint, the kind kicked up during the renovation of homes built before 1978. Nowadays, doing so can be costly in more ways than one, as the Environmental Protection Agency continues to fine violators of its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP).

The Renovation, Repair and Painting rule requires contractors to use lead-safe work practices to ensure that lead dust isn’t left behind after renovation, repair, and painting … (read more)

Mickey and Minnie brighten up Walmart’s paint department

Mickey and Minnie brighten up Walmart’s paint department

With names like Minnie’s Polka Dots, Eeyore’s Rain Cloud and Belle of the Ball, Walmart has introduced a line of Disney-themed paints. Sold in colors that match Disney bedding products, the retailer hopes to appeal to parents who continually redecorate their children’s rooms as they grow. Claimed to be kid-tough, the paints are made by Glidden, a brand that has typically done well in Consumer Reports paint tests.

While we haven’t tested the new Disney line of Glidden paints, Glidden … (read more)

Picky about paint? Try Sherwin-Williams’ online matching tool.

Picky about paint? Try Sherwin-Williams’ online matching tool.

Sherwin-Williams’ Chip It, an online color tool, creates paint palettes based on images that catch your eye. Simply find an online photo with colors you love—a Maui sunset, Parisian cafĂ©—or use an image saved on your computer and upload it to letschipit.com. A palette of up to 10 Sherwin-Williams’ colors instantly appears, corresponding to the hues in your photo. And while we like this online app, not all Sherwin-Williams paints measured up in Consumer Reports paint tests.

Chip It(read more)

Ace Hardware’s free paint giveaway is deja blue all over again

Ace Hardware’s free paint giveaway is deja blue all over again

Without spending a dime here’s your chance to try an interior paint that performed impressively in Consumer Reports’ tests and that we recommend. Ace Hardware is offering you a free quart of its Clark+Kensington Flat Enamel paint on Saturday, March 16. Ring a bell? If you missed the last giveaway here’s another chance to try Clark+Kensington paint.

You can find the form for the free sample on the Ace Hardware website. Fill it out and … (read more)

Five ways to save on paint that the stores don’t tell you

Five ways to save on paint that the stores don’t tell you

You’ll pay about $ 32 a gallon for the top-rated satin, flat, or semi-gloss paints from Consumer Reports’ latest tests. Benjamin Moore interior paints also performed very well, but cost twice as much. You can spend less but too often the most inexpensive paints are no bargain. Many require additional coats for hiding so you might have to spend more to get good covering. We asked our experts if there’s a way to save money and still … (read more)