Questions about the aesthetics of, how-to and suggestions for designing and decorating a personal or commercial space.

1,800 Questions
Painting and Staining

What color walls go good with a red carpet other than black and white?

Shades of yellow or peach goes very well with the red carpet, just opt for some light shade colors, please don't go for any shades of blue it will spoil your interiors.

Acids and Bases
Concrete and Cement

How do you use muriatic acid to etch concrete?

For anyone interested in the TRUE HCl concentration of muriatic acid (sans WIKIfication) simply google "muriatic acid msds" and you will see that, while the concentration varies by manufacturer, it generally ranges from 33-40%. Furthermore, even if you order HCl by name from a chemical supply house, you order by concentration, usually some reagent grade, with fuming HCl starting at ~40%. No hardware store in the world sells 100% HCl for etching concrete.

DANGER / SEVERE HAZARD -- Muriatic Acid IS UNDILUTED (100% concentration) Hydrochloric acid.

Wear Eye and face protection, acid resistant gloves, rubber slicker suit, or be VERY careful as Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and can instantly burn holes in your skin and tissues, and right through all woven clothing.

When diluting ANY acids, it extremely important that you NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID, as the reaction between the two will result in an "explosion" throwing acid instantly in all directions.

The PROPER method of diluting acids is to very SLOWLY pour the concentrated acid into a larger volume of water.

For an additonal "layer" of safety, do not pour the acid from a large and heavy container, as it is more difficult to handle and control. Pour the needed amount of concentrated acid into a smaller, acid resistant, container which will be easier to handle and therefore control the pour rate.

When using baking soda for neutralizing acid residues, be VERY CAREFUL to NOT ALLOW the baking soda to contact the UNDILUTED ACID as the resulting reaction can be explosive!

1Bust out some protective clothing and a gas mask. Have a good supply of fresh water on hand in case you need to rinse any body parts.

Be very careful with muriatic acid; it's 30% hydrochloric acid, and is fairly hazardous.

If you only want to barely 'etch' a slippery concrete surface, it is best to dilute the acid with water, as acid straight from the bottle tends to be very aggressive with any concrete surface, and can badly damage the surface very quickly.

For a deeper etch Pour the substance where you want to etch the concrete and spread it out with a nylon broom. let it sit for a half-hour. Wash it thoroughly with the hose after.

I have used a small hand held spray bottle set to a fine misty spray, and skipped the 'rinse' step altogether with very good results.

'Baking Soda / water solution' is an acid neutralizer, and can be used around most landscape with safe results.

>>> Get used to the process FIRST. Buy a few cement blocks, bricks, or slabs that you can throw away. Different concrete blends, strengths,... react differently. New and old concrete of the same formula will also react differently. An new slab poured next to the exact same mix from the same company in an old slab will be different due to moisture content and curing time).

Good luck.


#3, You follow the MFG directions on the product as with anything.

You use Ammonia to neutralize.

Home Improvement
Painting and Staining

What is the average cost per square foot to install roof?

It depends on the type of roof. A single story low pitch asphalt shingle roof will cost around $40 - $80 per square (100 sq. ft.) to tear off and $75 - $100 per square to install new shingles. If the plywood sheathing underneath is damaged, it will cost extra, up to $50 per sheet replaced. Some contractors charge for flashing chimneys ($150 - $300) and pipes ($25). All labor performed on steep pitch roofs (7/12 and higher) will be about 10% or 15% higher. Two story housed may be 5% to 10% more. Other types of roofing have a wide range of prices. It really depends on which state you live and how steep the roof is and how many roofs already are on the house.

Painting and Staining

Can you spray paint a cardboard box?

Yes! But be mindful of the fumes. They are high in VOC(Volatile Organic Compounds) These compounds are bad for the environment and your health. If the box is going to be indoors allow it to fully dry outside. the scent cant be really overwhelming if you have it indoors too soon.

Why not try painting it with ZERO VOC paint? Or is your mind set on using spray paint?

Painting and Staining
Interior Design

How many coats when using Kilz primer on the walls?

I always recommend applying 3 thin coats of such sealer primers. You have to remember that paint only cover a certain percentage (which is why we most often need to apply 2 coats in order to get a good coverage). But when using a sealer primer to hide a stain I always take the safer route and apply that 1 extra coat to avoid having to start all over again.

If you are using a quality stain block primer, not Kilz, you should be able to block a stain in a single coat. Realize that many are designed to not visually completely cover, but to stop the oils, waxes, resins and undissolved solids from leaching through the top coat of paint, so you may still be able to see the shadow of the stain through the primer without needing to apply a second coat of primer.

Painting and Staining

Can you use white spirit in emulsion paint?

Emulsion paint is normally water based. Thinning and cleaning requires water rather than white spirit. Whatever paint you use, check on the can to make sure you know what is needed for thinning before you start to use it.


What wall colour goes best with a gold carpet?

Loads of colours go with gold. It depends what sort of look you want. A few suggestions would be:

White, green, purple ect

Painting and Staining

What colour to paint walls if sofa aubergine?

That will depend on your lifestyle and favourite colours.

If you entertain frequently and want a sophisticated look try taupe or grey for the walls, and paint your trim to match (or one shade darker than the walls). A good area rug with the aubergine in the pattern, casual tables in black lacquer or natural wood, throw pillows that include the black & aubergine in their pattern and window treatments to match the wall colours will finish the look. Note: if you truly love aubergine, you could go to a solid window treatment in the same colour as the sofa for impact.

If yours is a casual life style, try sage or celery green on the walls (trimmed in white or natural wood), with tan or natural wood casual tables and accessories. Sisal floor coverings and bamboo window coverings will give the room texture and keep the look casual. For a very feminine look a soft, slightly greyed lilac on the walls would be wonderful.

Arts and Crafts

What is the best type of paint to use on clothing?

I use acrylic paints - the kind you buy in the little bottles at the craft stores. Works beautifully. I have also been know to use regular old wall paint. I figured it didn't come off when I accidentally got it on my clothes so why not out it on them intentionally!


What color goes with gray bathroom fixtures?

As grey is a neutral colour, it is possible to paint your bathroom any colour you like.

If the bathroom is an ensuite to a bedroom a matching or complimentary colour to it would be nice.

Painting and Staining

How do you store used paint?

Put the lid back on it, and put it in a shed or a garage. Don't leave paint brushes in it though!

One of the best tricks I have found for keeping paint is Once you have cleaned the channel on the rim of the paint can and securely reattached the lid, store the paint can upside down. This ensures the paint is air tight.

Painting and Staining
Interior Design

Can latex caulk be painted over?


Home Improvement

Can you use food color to dye paint?

i read in handyman magazine. that a woman was going to surprise her husband with a room makeover. she ran out of paint 3/4's of the way through and used food color to dye white paint and finish the job before her husband got home.

History of Italy

What are some traditional ways to decorate for Christmas?

Set a pair of shoes (wooden ones if you can find them) outside the door with hay and carrots for the reindeer. String cranberries as well as popcorn. For an old fashioned look (but not quite authentic as the real thing, but also not nearly as dangerous) get strands of lights shaped like candles and use those on your tree. If you have a fireplace, try roasting chestnuts. Also stockings, of course, but the traditional ones were real socks. Hang pine needles and pine cones around the house. Ribbons were used also. Jessie You could hang Christmas lights up, put some Christmas stockings around the house, have a traditional Christmas dinner (e.g meat, vegetables)

Painting and Staining
Interior Design

Where can you find ideas on designs to paint your interior walls using different colors to make patterns or accents?

You can check out the Bob Villa site. It has some really good ideas for "bag' painting walls and faux designs. It also has a program where you can try out Bob Villa, paints on different style rooms. Or mix your own color combinations. Another suggestion: You can go to the "" web page. you can choose the color you might want in the room and it will show you a picture of the room with those colors on the walls. Also, it will suggest some complimentary colors to go with it. If you like a certain color you can also alter it a bit making it more muted, brighter etc. Good luck. When I tried it I found it to be very helpful. Going online and to paint stores are great sources of knowledge. Another is Barnes and Noble where I have found tons of information on novice to advanced techniques of decorative arts and faux finishing.


What wall color goes well with cherry cabinets?

light beige


What does decor mean?

Decor means decoration consisting of the layout and furnishings of a livable interior like home decor, room decor and exterior decor. Now a day maximum people installing auto sliding door in case of home decorating and home safety, which provides you beautiful natural light, home beauty, convenience, ventilate and fresh outdoor air to your home.

Painting and Staining
Interior Design

Do you paint walls or trim first?

1- Door & Window frames first (and the ceilings if applicable)

2- Next the Walls.

3- Then you finish off with the baseboards.

The reason why it's important to paint the frames before the walls is that it is much easier to cut a strait line with your brush comfortably resting on a wall (compared to the tiny edge of of frame).

Now the reason why you don't paint the baseboards first is in 2 part.

1- Even if you do a great job cutting in with the brush and not put any paint on the baseboards, you're still going to have tiny drops from when you roll out the wall paint.

2- The most important reason for DIY's however is to create the illusion of a straighter line.

The logic is simple... unless you are lying down on the floor... you will be admiring the beauty of your new paint job from a higher point than your baseboards. This means that if there should be any of the trim paint touching the wall it won't be as noticeable than having some wall paint touching the top of the baseboards.

Test it... and see for yourself :)

Happy Painting Everyone!


What is diluted paint?

Watered down paint


What color carpet goes with black furniture and neon walls?

Something a light cream or an offwhite.

Building and Carpentry
Painting and Staining

What type of paint should you use on your bathroom walls?

  • The best paint to use is a semi-gloss, EXTERIOR latex house paint. Yes, exterior. The reason is that exterior house paint has fungicides added at the time of manufacture to prevent mold and mildew growth on the outside of your house. Since your bathroom happens to be a warm, wet environment perfect for the growth of these same life forms, exterior paint is perfect for bathrooms. It is a little more expensive than interior paint, but worth it in the long run.
  • Exterior paint has chemicals unsafe and unhealthy specially for enclosed or small rooms like a bathroom, they are specific for exterior use. there are excellent interior paint specifically design for bathrooms and kitchens that are durable and already come with mildewcides. Or you can try Kilz primer, with anti mildew and fungus chemicals and paint with semi-gloss enamel paint. You may also use semi-gloss latex based which will give you decent results.
  • You can use an interior latex paint and have your retailer add "mildew inhibitor" to it. It comes in a small rectangular package and is usually sitting right in front of you at the check-out counter. There is an up-charge for it but it's minimal. The paint finish should be nothing less than eggshell, satin is better. Also, there are paints manufactured just for bathrooms (the inhibitor is already in the paint). I would not suggest using melamine or exterior paint for this project.
  • Use Kitchen and Bath paint, which has mold inhibitors in it like exterior paint, but will dry like interior paint. It's also got a unique sheen to it that is easy to clean.
  • Do not use exterior paint! You need to get a paint that is mildew and mold and moisture resistant. Go to Sherwin-Williams and ask for either Bath Paint which comes in a satin or semi-gloss finish. Or your best bet is Duration Home which is all of the above and comes in Matte, Satin and semi-gloss and can be made in thousands of colors.
Painting and Staining

Is there odorless acrylic paint?

The term odorless on a paint can, does not mean to be without odor, it means it has less odor than other similar paints.

There are a number of paints with low VOC (volatile organic compounds), the things in paint that can cause environmentally sensitive people to react badly. Check with your local paint retailer for the ones available in your area.

Interior Design

Which is better high ceiling or low ceiling?

For drama, and scale and in hot climates a high ceiling is best.

It leaves room for crown mouldings and wall treatments that have scale. It also gives the warm air a place to go, leaving the lower areas relatively cooler.

For an intimate or cozy feeling, there is nothing better than a room with a sightly lower than normal ceiling. Painted with light colours and decorated for comfort, you have a perfect den of bedroom.

Units of Measure

What size tablecloth do you need for a 60 inch table?

If the table height is 29 inches standard then 120 inches is perfect fit, which gives the drop up to the floor.


How should you decorate your dark purple and gold colour theme India-themed room?

If you are adventurous, and have permission from the owner of the building (this paint technique is not a one-coat cover-up) Start by marking a horizontal line around the room part way up the wall, using painters' tape. Choose the height by your personal taste (I usually run it at the 28 inch height, but take into account such things as the number of pieces of furniture that will be taller, and thus interrupt the border). Now paint the area below the line your dark purple, it may take two of three coats of paint to get the depth of colour. Above the line you have a couple of choices. I would go with a very soft blue or if you want a monochromatic look, soft lavender. If your ceiling is textured, leave it white, if it is smooth, lighten your wall colour (by adding white or buying it a shade or two lighter) and paint it. Be very careful with the edges, sloppy work can ruin the look. Here is where it gets interesting - using water-based glazing medium, used for faux finishing (buy it in the paint store NOTE this is NOT the stuff used to put windows in) in a clean paint tray pour a generous amount of the glazing medium into the well of the tray. one one side add a very small (1/4 cup) of the purple (you may use a lighter colour of purple if you would like this to be subtler) and on the other side add about the same amount of gold paint (you can use craft paint if you would like). Stir the two sides separately, just a small amount, not enough to completely blend the glazing medium and the coloured paint. With a new, roller cover, load the two colours onto the roller, now, randomly roll patches of the two colours over the upper part of your wall. This is best done with two people. Work quickly, turning and twisting the roller as you go. Reload as the colour gets thinner, be sure the roller goes back in the tray with the purple side in the purple side. You do not want to mix the colours on the roller. The second person comes behind with a (just barely) damp sea sponge and blends the glazing medium/paint spots on the wall. The idea is to soften the look, but not to loose the distinctness of the colours.

Once this is done, remove the tape and you will need to put a chair rail up where it was. Before you put up the molding, paint it gold, then come back in and touch-up the nail holes where you installed it. Also paint the other trim (baseboards, window and door casings, etc.) in the gold.

Once this is all dry, I suggest LOTS of fabric, pick colours and patterns that work well with your colour scheme. Use them as window coverings and you could create a draped canopy at the head of the bed.


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