About with bad luck served as a catalyst for Hannah Venema, who launched her business The Handywoman Eclectic last year.
“I started my business after being laid off due to COVID-19,” she explained. “I took some time off during the beginning of the pandemic to finish my own home projects and it really inspired me to pursue my passions in home renovation.”
Venema’s family owned a hardware store while she was growing up and she earned a bachelor’s degree in painting from Kendall College of Art and Design, so the move to home improvement services was pretty seamless for her.
The Handywoman Eclectic is focused on small scale home improvements. “Though painting is my specialty, I also do drywall/ plaster repair, door truing, tiling, wallpaper installation, finishing work and much more,” Venema said. “No requests or houses are the same, so my expertise continues to broaden every day.”
Venema shared some tips for tackling home painting projects this spring.
Think about the surrounding finishes in your space. If you have brighter hardwood floors, then your wall color may look more yellow/orange than it does on the swatch.
Being aware of how much natural light versus artificial light is in that space — and what light bulbs you are using — can affect that look of your wall colors, too. When you apply samples to the walls, make sure you put some on all the different areas so you can see how the light changes it throughout the day and evening. Lighter colors are going to be more forgiving and easier to cut in with.
“I took some time off during the beginning of the pandemic to finish my own home projects and it really inspired me to pursue my passions in home renovation.”
The lower the sheen, the more imperfections you will hide and the easier it is to touch up spots in the future. Venema typically suggests a matte finish for the sheen. If you buy quality paint, then the sheen should not affect its washability, so you are not stuck with satin or semigloss in order to clean up easily in the future.
Take your time. Prep the walls by spackling any old nail holes or dents and sanding them. Caulk around trim, windows and baseboards to allow for the best overall look.
When using painters tape, go with a higher quality tack to yield the best results. Use long strips of the tape, or one continuous piece if possible, so that you don’t end up having choppy lines on your ceilings or baseboards.
If you are going with a light color over a dark color, it is best to prime before painting to ensure that you block out the old color, so it doesn’t bleed through and gives the truest effect of your newly chosen color.
If you are using a dark color, or satin or semigloss sheen, be sure to end your rolling lines in the same direction each stroke so you don’t see each roll mark made.
Tools of the trade
Hannah Venema shares the tools you’ll need to tackle your walls.
- A 1.5- to 2.5-inch angled paint brush for cutting in the edges of the space.
- A roller with a 3/8- inch nap roller cover with a tray and liner.
- A positive attitude and some good music to listen/ dance to. All projects have their unexpected difficulties, so trying to have as much fun as possible and include a friend, family member or partner may help keep the good vibes going as long as possible.
- And tape, beginners will feel more comfortable with their painting projects if they have a good roll of painters tape to help keep them in line.
- Make sure you clean the rim of the paint can and put the lid back on securely/ tightly so that it has a good seal and will be useable the next time you need to do touch-ups. Paint can last up to seven years if properly stored. Do not store in garages or anywhere that dips below freezing. You can take your paint can back in to get shaken when you are ready to use it.
This story can be found in the May 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox each month, subscribe here.