Kim Alexandruik's motto is to "go for impact." Use it as an opportunity to play with unusual seating and colorful artwork that may be harder to integrate into other rooms. Her color of choice is a "putty-colored gray, with a hint of pink and lavender. Not too light, so it doesn't go vapid," says Aleandruik. Use this hallway designed by Mally Skok as inspiration. Arvada House Painters CO

Before the scrubdown, protect nearby plants by misting their leaves and saturating the surrounding soil with water, pulling them away from the house, and shrouding them in fabric drop cloths. (Plants will cook under plastic.) Lay more drop cloths along the base of the walls to collect any falling paint debris. Walls should be wet down before getting scrubbed, then washed with a gallon of water mixed with 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 cup of either a concentrated, phosphate-free cleaner, such as a trisodium phosphate (TSP) substitute, or Jomax House Cleaner. Working in sections, from the bottom to the top, will avoid streaks. Be sure to rinse walls well before the solution dries. Wood siding and trim should be ready to paint after a day or two of dry weather. House Painting Arvada

Mixing multiple cans of the same color of paint into a larger container, such as a five-gallon bucket, will help ensure a uniform color is applied to your home's exterior. This step, called boxing the paint, is a method the pros follow. This step is important if, for example, you initially bought a gallon or two of paint less than you needed and then picked up the extra gallons at a later time. House Painting Arvada

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