Book Recommended To Help Homeowners

Here’s a great book designed to educate homeowners about painting and finishing.

I like this book because it gives the homeowner expert advice from start to finish on those painting and finishing projects around the house. It explains in simple language how to do things yourself.

The book is called Painting and Finishing by Michael Dresdner. 

Here’s an exerpt from the book:


As I was growing up, I watched my dad fix and finish most everything around our house.  We weren’t well off, so what he did was a necessity, not a hobby.  But his workmanship was so exemplary that to me, “do-it-yourself” came to mean “do it right.”  I also discovered that even though finishing or painting seems confusing when you first approach it, with some clear instructions about what to buy and how to apply it, it’s just not that hard.  Now, after thirty years as a professional in this field, it is time for me to share what I’ve learned.

This book is for you, the homeowner who wants to tackle the painting and finishing projects around your house.  It’s for people of all abilities, and for those with no prior experience.  I’ve set down clear, easy-to-follow instructions on how to paint and finish everything inside and outside your home, from the deck, fences, walls, and patio furniture outside to the floors, wainscoting, cabinets, and furniture inside.  If it is made of wood, this book will show you how to coat it so that it looks great and lasts a long time.

While we’re at it, I’ll help you cut through the confusing terminology on finish and paint can labels.  Instead of being misled by conflicting claims, I’ll make sure you know what’s on the shelf, what it is used for, and how to apply it.  In short, I’ll be your guide through this jungle of finishing options.

So take the plunge and tackle that project.  I know it seems a bit daunting, but I’ll be beside you, in spirit at least, with lots of helpful tips to get you thorough the sticky parts.  In the end, you’ll find that the ear of getting started is nothing compared to the ultimate satisfaction of having done it yourself.  Give it a try.  You’ll be amazed at how well you do.

Chapter One

Start To Finish: The First Steps

“How do you swallow an elephant? One bite at a time.”  That’s a good adage to remember when you are faced with household finishing tasks.  Take any finishing job one step at a time and you’ll find it’s not so intimidating.  Whether you’re painting a house, refinishing a kitchen, or coating a recently made shop project, start each job by getting a handle on what it will entail.  Next, decide whether or not you even want to do it.   After all, some jobs really are better left to the pros.  If it is something you feel comfortable tackline, you’ll want to know in advance how much money and time you should allocate.  After that, it is down to the  nitty-gritty of choosing the right finish, gathering the gear you’ll need, and preparing the surface.

Assessing the Job

Before starting any kind of painting or finishing project, it makes sense to understand what is involved before jumping in.  In some cases, this will affect your decision whether or not to do the job yourself.  At other times, it will affect when you start the work. Stripping, painting with solvents, and other smelly jobs are best left to seasons when the house can be adequately ventilated.  Weather also affects outside jobs.  For example, you can’t paint or finish outdoors when it is too cold for the coating to cure.

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