Getting your home ready for the holiday season

Published November 2, 2017

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With the Holiday season fast approaching, many of us are left with a very long “to-do list ” of household chores and maintenance issues to button up before family members and guests start arriving for the traditional gatherings.

Coming out of the winter months straight into the busy holiday season is an inconvenience to say the least.  We all want our home’s to be looking and functioning the absolute best they can around this time of year. Finding the time to make this all happen is the tricky part. Our current working situations and lifestyles leave little room for extra curricular activities, projects and tasks around the home. Finding the time to complete all works needed may be near impossible for most families and households.

Make a list and check it twice 

There may be some projects that are just out of your realm of capabilities, things that are going to need the experience and expertise of a qualified professional. Your best bet will be to start by prioritising everything that needs to be done and then breaking the tasks down into a few seperate lists.

One list should contain all of the things you and your household members can easily accomplish yourself, things like a big push of spring cleaning, inside and out. Getting deep in there tackling all of the things that seem to go a mis and get the pass during the regular tidy ups and cleaning sessions. Giving your lawn and gardening tools and equipment a good once over if they have been sitting for the past months. You will know best what is inside your scope of capabilities our advice is to be realistic and don’t try and take on too much as it will only cause unnecessary stress and angst. The last thing you want is to make a space unusable because you were feeling proactive and decided you were going to tackle that little bathroom renovation yourself, or install that new sink and tap in the kitchen with out any real knowledge of how to do this or even the tools needed to get the job done.

** DIY tip : Create a brief safety checklist that ensures you have everything you need to keep yourself, your home and your guests safe. You’ll want to make sure you check and, if necessary, change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries, for instance. You should also have a fire extinguisher near the stove so you can quickly get a handle on any kitchen fires that break out while cooking. If you have family member that have young children, make sure your home is kid friendly and safe for the little ones. Install gates at tops and bottoms of stairs and make sure there is nothing in reach of kids that will potentially cause them harm. When the adults are visiting and getting in to the holiday cheer its nice to know there are no avoidable incidents looming around your home.

Another list should contain a few of the things you may need a contractor or professional tradesmen’s skills to accomplish. Again the key is to be realistic! You might not have enough time to get the home extension you have been thinking of fully completed before guests start arriving, but you may possibly still have time to get a few other projects done and dusted that will have a positive impact on your guests stay. Being around a month and a half out of the start of holidays lets use that timeline to go over a few things you will be able to get finished in that time.

Bathroom and Ensuite Renovations

This may be pushing the envelope a little bit with the 2 month timeline. If you are gong to undertake a bathroom or ensuite reno you should have a lot of your design and layout done as well as lighting, flooring, fittings, fixtures and material selections sorted already as there can be a lot of decisions that take consideration. You want to create a space that is timeless and you are going to love for years to come. If your at this stage and your bathroom is a reasonable size your contractor should be able to have the works completed. Your guests will really appreciate and be impressed by a clean and beautifully renovated bathroom space. Talk to the experts and project managers at M.J. Harris Group to discuss your bathroom renovation project.

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Guests will appreciate a fresh clean bathroom space.

Upgrade your lighting

Upgrading and adding lights to your home can have a big impact in turning dim and dark spaces into a light and bright welcoming home. With so many fixture options and lighting design it also gives the ability to really change the look and feel of a space. Give it a modern touch with all new fixtures, switches and conveniently placed outlets. Add some wow with a eye catching and stylish feature lights such as a chandler, pendants or a handmade, custom one of a kind custom piece. See M.J. Harris Design for more information and services regarding lighting design for your home.

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Be bold & creative with lighting fixtures

Outdoor Area’s

Consider focusing some efforts on your outdoor space. In most cases a majority of you and your guests time will be spent outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. There is really nothing better then having a few beverages with family and friends in a beautifully manicured outdoor space with lush plants or relaxing on a new, or improved decking area.

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Create a beautiful outdoor space with the MJ Harris Group

Interior, Exterior Painting

Painting for the holidays, inside and out, is one of the best ways to see major results in terms of the look and feel of your home.  Many people make the assumption that painting is simple and they can do it themselves. It is easy to underestimate the time and effort that actually goes into painting your space but you can trust us that this is no easy task, especially to have it done properly.

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Paint your guest bedrooms for family & friends

 

** DIY tip : When having works done at your home it is essential to do everything you can to help out the contractors you have hired. You may think well I am paying them so they can move my furniture, clean out vanities etc, but it will be in your favour to have everything clean cleared and as ready for works to begin as possible. Its going to save you time and money and your contractor will really appreciate it.

 

Time to consider to paint your interior

Published May 23, 2017

Winter is well and truly on the way and with wet season approaching Melbourne painters are looking for places to stay dry. Interior work is ideal for any painter during winter and painters strive to book out with interior jobs.

We probably shouldn’t be sharing this but you may find that during winter the costs for internal painting come down compared to summer. During autumn, spring and summer everyone wants the exterior of their house painted, including the staining of decks. Generally exterior painting comes around more often than interior painting as it requires more maintenance.

Melbourne painters are likely to sharpen their pencils when pricing for interior work at this time of year. We recommend if you are considering a repaint of your home that now is a good time to start looking.

 

interior bathroom painting project

What to look for when hiring an interior painter:

  • A reputable company, someone that employees a team of painters and doesn’t sub contract out any work.
  • Find an accredited company or someone who is aligned with leading brands or affiliated with Master Painters associations.
  • A company that holds insurances gives you piece of mind that your protected.
  • A team of painters ensures an efficient job, the quicker it takes, the sooner your get your home back.

 

What are the best areas of your home to paint during winter?

There are many surfaces around the home which can be painted during these cold and wet months, some of these areas include:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Skirting boards
  • Cabinetry
  • Kitchen joinery
  • Staircases and balustrades

internal painting of staircase

We understand that for some people painting the whole house at one time can be daunting. Thats why we recommend to those who can’t to it in one hit, its best best to break it up. This takes away the stress of having to move furniture and finding areas to store your items.

 

 

7 things to consider when painting the interior of your house

Published November 24, 2016

Clean painting jobs in Melbourne at Eltham

So you’re thinking of painting the interior of your house? Here’s 7 things to help you on your way.

  1. Why Paint In The First Place

There are so many reasons why people decide to paint the inside of their home. It could be that your painting over old paint that has faded, or replacing the wallpaper that currently covers your walls. Maybe the kids have grown up and now is a good time to add a fresh coat of paint.

By knowing why you want to paint in the first place will allow you to work out what steps are necessary with your project. Planning to paint the inside of your home is much more than working out what colour paint you want. It can be a big job and the more you know about what you’re doing, the better you’ll be in making sure the outcome is exactly as you pictured it.

  1. What To Paint

Okay, you now know why you’re about to start painting. The next thing is to know what you’re going to paint. It could be that you’re going to paint the entire interior of your home or you might just go for a feature wall. Perhaps it’s the bathroom ceiling because the paint has peeled due to moisture.

Having a game plan of what you will paint allows you to work out how long you’ll to paint, how much paint and what supplies you will need, like plastic sheets, ladders, etc.

  1. Theme

Does your home have a theme? Some people like dark colours or a period look. Whatever your style, make sure that you match your new paint project to the theme of your home. Even if you were to paint one feature wall, the colour should reflect the overall theme of your home.

  1. Colour

So much emotion can be created by colours. Especially if you’re trying to keep up with or create a new theme for the inside of your house. Choosing the right colour is possibly the biggest decision you’ll make. Take your time on this step because choose the right colour will provide you with years of satisfaction when you walk inside your home.

And with so many colours to choose from these days, you can get lost in the decision making process. That’s why you need to know what you’re painting, why you’re painting it and do you have a theme that you need to consider.

Bringing home colour swatches is always a good start. By putting the swatch against the area you want to paint, you’ll be able to see what will and what won’t work.

  1. Timeframe

By now you’ve figured out a number of things. Why you’re painting, what you’re painting, is there a theme and what colour or colours you’ll be painting with. Then depending on the size of the painting project, you should be able to give yourself a timeframe as to when you think you’ll have the job done.

Hey don’t laugh. We all know someone with great intentions and yet, when they start a project at home, never get around to finishing it. That’s why knowing how much time to give yourself to complete your interior paint job will give you peace of mind. At least you have an end date to work towards.

  1. Furniture

If you’ve chosen to paint all of the inside of your house, then you’ll need to factor in time to either cover your furniture or move it out of the way. As you can see so far, having an idea to paint inside is one thing. Getting to the end of the project is another. Taking time to write down the steps to manage the covering or shifting of furniture will save you time before you start painting.

Or even if you’ve decided on a feature wall or painting a bedroom, you’ll need to know what to do with your furniture. It could be as simple as covering them with cloth or plastic sheets, to be a bit more physical and having to shift the furniture around.

  1. Find The Right Paint

Depending on what you’re about to paint will determine what type of paint you need. Doors, windows and trim are usually finished with an interior enamel paint. With walls, you will want to find a durable paint that you can easily wash. You know, when kids or pets get too close to the wall and “accidentally” mark it. And ceilings may also require their own finish to stand out from other colours you have on your walls.

Along with choosing the right colour, choosing the right type of paint is up there with the decision making. It’s best to find a paint type that is going to suit the requirements of your lifestyle and not just a paint that looks good.

Painting the inside of your home can be both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Exhilarating in that the inside of your home is about to have a spot of fresh paint applied to it. Frightening at the same time because there is a lot of preparation before you even start. That’s why we have so many satisfied customers because we manage the process the entire way for you. From our colour consultation, through to covering furniture and taking the necessary steps to keep your house clean whilst we work, we make sure that you don’t have to consider anything other than allowing us to work for you.

Call us today on (03) 9431 1177 and organise a time for us to visit and provide a free quote on your next house painting project.

Painting kitchen cupboards

Published October 27, 2016

Have you been thinking about refreshing the look of your kitchen cupboards? A cost-effective way of updating your kitchen is looking at working with your existing cupboards and adding a fresh coat of paint. Though choosing the right colour can cause many a meltdown in the household. Any interior painting project can do that. That’s why we’ve put together a few ideas for you to ponder.

It’s alright to be white

White. It’s a classic look that most people choose as their first choice. And why not? White leaves any room feeling bright and clean, the perfect ambience for a kitchen. And white also blends in beautifully with almost any other colour you have on your walls. The other bonus of white is that it’s easy to match up with a range of bench tops. Feel like white might be your colour? Wait…

Do you have children or pets that like to rub themselves all over the house? Then consider that smudges or food will be seen easily. So if you’re after that clean look 24/7, you may decide to go down another path.

Back in black

From the subtleness of white to the rich elegance of black. Working well with black kitchen cupboards are metal hardware such as stainless steel, brass and brush nickel handles. A semi or high-gloss finish will visually appeal to you if you’re looking for a lighter touch in black. Add plenty of lighting and your kitchen won’t feel as dark as it looks.

Grey’s Anatomy

Industrial. That’s probably the first thought that comes to mind when you think of grey cupboards in your kitchen. Remember, you’re painting your cupboards grey, not installing metal. Darker grey cupboards provide a fresh twist to traditional black kitchen cupboards. On the other hand, lighter greys then compete nicely against classic white kitchen cupboards. A little easier to keep clean as opposed to white. Think about that one for a while.

Don’t feel Blue

It’s hard to feel down when your kitchen cupboards are coloured in blue. This colour is sure to brighten up any kitchen in an instant, making you feel welcome and ready to prepare a feast for hundreds… if that’s your kind of thing. Add style to your kitchen with a touch of blue on your cupboards. It will also make you smile with its warmth.

Painting Your Cupboards

Once you have decided on your colour, you’ll need to find a paint that will handle the everyday wear and tear of what goes on in your kitchen. Along with a great paint, you’ll need to prepare the cupboards before painting. Getting this right is essential to the finish of the final product.

If you think painting your kitchen cupboards is erring on the side of a domestic breakdown, then call us for a free quote on (03) 9431 1177. Our painters in Melbourne are here for you!

How To Paint A Door

Published July 19, 2016

Here are some helpful tips from our experienced painters on how to paint a door:

Step 1 – Preparing To Start

Prepare your work space by laying down a drop sheet to protect the area from any paint drips or splatters. Then decide whether you want remove your door to paint or leave it swinging. Our painters leave the doors hanging as often when removing the door can lead to not re aligning when re hanging. We recommend you remove the door handle and latch for ease when coating. A handy tip is to tape all parts on the handle together so nothing gets lost. Then tape your hinges with masking tape.

Step 2 – Preparing The Door For Paint

Thoroughly sand your door with 120 grit sand paper, then secondly sand with a finer grit sand paper, 180 grit or 240 grit will suit. A great way know you have sanded enough is to look over the door and ensure most of the ‘sheen’ or glossy finish has flattened off. Ensure that you sand in between coats with a fine grit sandpaper, we recommend a 240 grit. If there are imperfections, gaps and cracks be sure to fill them prior to undercoating. From more preparation techniques see our Interior Preparation page

Step 3 – Undercoating The Door

Choose and all in 1 undercoat. Stir the paint thoroughly and poor it into your tray. First paint the spines of the door before you start the faces. This ensures you collect any overlaps or runs with your roller. Apply you paint in a ‘W’ or ‘M’ motion to the door, this will ensure full coverage is achieved.

Then you need to lay off your paint. This is achieved by taking your roller and rolling from top to bottom of the door in direct lines, be sure to keep even pressure on your roller when doing this. Slightly overlap each roller run to prevent any ‘tracks’ in your paint.

Tip: Use a door wedge or door stop to hold the door in place while painting

Step 4 – Top Coat

Lightly sand the door with 240 grit sandpaper and dust down before applying top coat. Use the same method as applying undercoat, making sure you leave a nice even finish. Follow this process again for the second and final coat.

Step 5 – Reassemble The Door

Re install the handle, open and shut the door a few times to ensure the door latch catches correctly. Remove tape from hinges and enjoy your freshly painted door.

Accent and Feature Walls

Published April 15, 2016

For and easy inexpensive way to drama to any room, consider creating a feature wall with an accent paint colour. It is perfect for highlighting a focal point in a space such as a fireplace or dado rail.

Not all accent walls have to be a solid hue, you can easily get creative with colour blocking, adding a striped wall, a feature angular shape or a graphic pattern.

If you are hesitant to try a bold graphic wall, start with its sister trend, the half painted wall. This painting technique not only looks great, it accentuates architectural details and creates them when there are none present.

Images via Pinterest.

7 Tips for Exterior House Painting Melbourne

Published February 21, 2016

7 tips for Exterior House Painting Melbourne

With Autumn not too far away its best to get all your exterior house painting completed before the weather changes. Melbourne’s long and wet winters can soak all the exposed timbers left from flaking and loose paint, this is when timber rot sets in. Unless your a skilled handyman or handywomen, replacing timbers can be an expensive process. You need to hire a carpenter, buy the materials and then all new surfaces still need to be painted.

Here are our handy tips for your Exterior House Painting Melbourne:

  1. Safety First – Make sure you have the right equipment to get to those hard to reach places. You will need a solid ladder that you feel comfortable working on. If you don’t feel safe working at heights thats when you should call in the experts. Most Melbourne painting companies have their own access equipment or resources to hire scaffolding or machinery.
  2. Choose the right Colour – Colour choice is crucial and choosing the right colour can be hard. When selecting the right colours you need to take into account the houses surroundings and the surfaces of the house that isn’t being painted. Do you want tie your house into its landscape? Or make a statement in your street? Either way making the wrong choice can be an expensive exercise and even devalue your home. Using a qualified Colour Consultant can help you make the right choice and ensure you’ve made the right decision with colours. Before meeting a colour consultant you start online or at your local paint store to narrow down your options.
  3. Choose the right product – Although colour is a very very important choice, just as important is what product you use. Our painters have trialled a lot of different brand and products and we believe the Dulux Weathershield range is the best. Dulux have been testing their Weathershield products for over 40 years in all different Australian climates. Dulux are so confident their product will not peel, flake or blister in any weather condition that if it doesn’t deliver – they will replace the product free of charge*.
  4. Preparation – The key to a long last paint job is good preparation. A thorough preparation job sometimes requires extensive amounts of work. Depending how far gone your current paint job is, you may need to hire a professional painting service. Make sure every surface is sanded thoroughly, and sand between coats. This helps the paint adhere to the surface ensuring your paint job lasts.
  5. Front Door Finish – Your front door is the entrance to your lives and often sells the front facade of your home. It’s often the main point of focus when entering your home, so we believe in making it stand out. This doesn’t necessarily mean to have a light bright colour, there are subtle ways to make it pop. You can change the sheen level to a high gloss to make it glisten in the sun, or pick out features in a different colour to draw the eye. What ever you do to brighten your entrance make sure your preparation is second to none because a poorly prepared/painted door can stand out even more!
  6. Start from the top down – Never start your paint job from the ground up. Just think, does it makes sense to work over the top of an already finished surface? This leaves it open to catch dirt, flaking paint and paint splatters from above. After your prep, then work your way down from your fascias and gutters.
  7. Know when to call the professionals – The best tip we can give is don’t be afraid to call a professional Painter. I know when my car needs a tune up that I am out of my depth and I could only be costing myself more money by having a go myself. If you have a double storey home or a house that hasn’t been painted in over 30 years, its usually best to call a pro. By having a professional painting crew come in and undertake your Exterior Painting work you can rest assured knowing it will be done safely and won’t chew up your weekends for the next 3 months.

Visit our website to see more than 7 Tips for Exterior House Painting Melbourne – www.mjharrispainting.com.au

Pressure Washing

Published February 4, 2016

Exterior Painting Maintenance – Pressure Washing

A good paint job protects your home from Melbourne harsh weather. The paint protecting your home needs your help to stay strong and do its job. When dirt or dust sits still on your painted surfaces it begins to eat into the paint, over time this causes the paint to break down and separate from its substrate. No fear, there is a simple solution to help your paint. Washing! Its as simple as pressure washing or hosing down your surfaces. If you can manage to get outside once a year and give your house a wash it will ensure you paint job last a a lot longer. Visit our pressure washing page for more info or for some handy hints visit Lowes.

Home renovation in Richmond, Melbourne

Published November 25, 2015

Here’s  a stunning preview into our latest work in Richmond, Melbourne. This one was a team effort by all our trades featuring all trades from the M.J.Harris Group.

Featuring interior and exterior painting by M.J. Harris Painting, custom bifold door installation, custom outdoor seating and full bathroom and ensuite renovations. Both the bathroom and ensuite feature beautiful bright white Caesarstone vanity tops, black glass mosaic feature tiles from Beaumont Tiles and tapware from E & S Trading.

Using plaster to make an impact in your home

Published November 12, 2015

Traditional or contemporary, federation or minimalist, whatever your style, plastering is a key feature and not a decision to be taken lighting.

For centuries, plastering has been a work of art and takes the skill of a true craftsman to master. In this post we showcase how you can incorporate plastering into your space to best maximise the full potential of your home.

M.J.Harris Plastering are proud to specialise in all types of plastering and solid rendering. Our full time specialist Plasterer trained in Europe and specialised in traditional plastering and rendering styles before relocating to Australia, so you can rest assured that the quality of workmanship on a M.J.Harris job will be second to none. You are sure to be impressed with the expansive knowledge and expertise we demonstrate while working on your project.

Our dedicated team can provide you with service and advice with:

  • Plastering
  • Rendering
  • Texture Finishes
  • Rough Cast/Stucco
  • Heritage Plastering
  • Ornamental Cornices
  • Ceiling Panels and Roses
  • Contemporary Plastering
  • Repairs and Plaster Patching
  • Tuscano and Mediterranean Render
  • White Set

Visit our website or contact us on 03 9431 1177 to find out more.