5 Free Apps That Will Speed Up The Painting Process In Your Home

Everybody loves free stuff… check out these 5 free apps that will help with the painting process of your home!


Voice of Color by PPG
Price: Free
Available On: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android
What does it do? Once you’ve matched your color to the PPG color collection, Voice of Color serves up a color card and you can choose to view shades of the color or harmony colors. You can easily save your favorites, add notes and order 8×12 sample sheets. Voice of Color also allows you to browse the PPG color collections and over 1,800 colors, find the closest retailer, and link up with Voice of Color via Facebook and Twitter.


ColorSmart by Behr
Available On:
iPhone, iPad and Android
What does it do?
Once you’ve matched your color, this app has a feature that shows how colors will work together in preloaded example rooms. It comes with a handy paint calculator and shows the closest store that carries Behr Paint. You can keep a list of your favorite palettes, rooms, paint calculations and store locations for quick access. You can even share your projects by email or on Facebook or Twitter.


App: Benjamin Moore Color Capture
Price: Free
Available On: iPhone and Android
What does it do? In addition to including the color-capture feature, this app ensures that you’ll always have Benjamin Moore color cards at your fingertips. One of the handy features of this app is that you can save photos and color swatches to your photo album, which gives you the ability to create photos for clients and email the inspiration photo with color swatches. It also allows you to search for the closest Benjamin Moore store so you can quickly pick up your client’s paint.

Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap
Available On:
iPhone, Android and Blackberry
What does it do?
This app gives the color details and the best coordinating colors to the color you’ve matched. From there add colors, adjust colors and create well-rounded palettes. Palettes can be saved under the project name for easy identification later and are easily emailed to clients. ColorSnap also allows you to play on the color wheel and browse all the SW colors. Once the color choice has been made, easily search by zip code for nearest Sherwin-Williams store.


App: Olympic ColorClix
Price: Free
Available On: iPhone, Android and Windows Phone
What does it do? This app automatically pulls the colors from the photo and lines them up under the photo. Easily buy samples, add colors to a favorites list or create a project. The best thing about this app is that there is a place for notes in each project. Once you have a project saved with color choices and notes, you can email information to the client or post it on Facebook or Twitter.

If you know of anymore apps or have any you recommend be sure to let us know what they are!

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

Affordable Ways To Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

We all love summer for the long days, plethora of outdoor activities, and lazy afternoons, but everyone can agree that sometimes it just gets too hot.

Here are some tips to keep your house cool and utility bill from burning up your cash.


No. 2: Keep the sun out

If you want to enjoy the sun– go outside. Keep your shades, blinds, or drapes closed throughout the day, especially on the southern and western sides of your home.

No. 3: Fans are your friend

Moving air is cooler than stagnant air. Fans are versatile and convenient. Running a fan for 12 hours on full blast everyday is only going to cost about $10 dollars at the end of the month.

  • At night, place standing fans in front of open windows to bring in the cool night air
  • Ceiling fans have two settings– one that pulls air up (for winter use) and one that pushes air down (for summer use). Be sure your fan is blowing down, or clockwise.
  • Make your own AC unit by placing a bowl of ice or frozen jug of water front of one or more fans.

No. 4: Turn it off
Turn everything off…lights, electronics, etc. They all radiate unneeded heat during the hot summer days.

  • Keep your electronics on a power strip so you can quickly turn everything off as you leave for the day or while not using it.
  • Be sure to leave lights off unless they are necessary.
  • Don’t cook on the stove during the hottest parts of the day

With a little bit of conscious effort your home will stay cool this summer and your wallet won’t be emptied on utility bills.

Now get out and enjoy the sun!


Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

The Perfect Porch

No one ever really knows how it happens, but one day you will notice your once shiny and welcoming porch is now covered in cobwebs and used as a storage place for odds and ends. Time for a much needed facelift? Yes!

Creating an inviting front porch is important because some people may never even enter your house. Don’t let a bad first impression be their only impression.

No. 1: Start simple
Just tidying up the stuff left on your porch can make a huge difference. Put away the abandoned toys and move the hardly ridden bikes to the garage or side of the house.

Power wash the porch and add a coat of fresh paint to the trim, railing, and floor to bring the old shine back.

Joe Ruggiero, a furniture and fabric designer and TV host/producer, suggests adding an accent color to the porch floor or rail with an exterior wood or concrete stain.

No. 2: Make it cozy
Once the basic cleaning and freshening up has been done add some comfy outdoor furniture.

An outdoor rug surrounded by some seats sets the scene for a cozy conversation spot. The rug can be bright and used as an accent but keep the furniture neutral colors. Changing the color of the cushions or accent pillows for each season is a great way to keep your porch fresh and inviting.

No. 3: The ultimate charm
Hanging a front porch swing is the ultimate charm to add to your home. Everyone on the block will be jealous.

Keep the furniture limited– a porch swing, a couple chairs, and a table for drinks is all you need!

If you need something to store toys or extra stuff in look into a wicker table with a pop up lid. Vintage metal boxes also look great if it goes with the theme of your home.

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

5 Uses For Beer You Never Knew Existed

….and none of them involve drinking!

No. 1: Get rid of slugs in your garden

This trick never fails.

Lure slugs away from your veggies by setting out a small, short bowl, or tupperware of beer near the plants where you’ve noticed them.

This trick works with mice as well. Place a bowl of of beer in the cupboard or behind the fridge. The mice will climb in to enjoy their beverage and not be able to get out.


No. 2: Loosen rusty bolts

Pour some beer on the rusty bolts and wait a few minutes. The carbonation will break up the rust and make them easier to unscrew.


No. 3: Fix brown spots in your yard

Spray either home-brew or Rolling Rock (both chemical free) onto the brown spots and watch them turn green in a week or so. It may sound like a wives tail but According to Andrew Lopez, a professional gardener, the fermented sugars in beer stimulate plant growth and kill fungi. The grass absorbs the sugar in the beer and draws energy from it.


No. 4: Clean wood furniture

Beer spills all the time, but who would intentionally wipe down their wood furniture with beer?

Well maybe you should! The beer cuts built up gunk and coats the wood in a protective layer.


No. 5: Shine copper

In the olden days the last drops of beer were collected from used up kegs and used to polish the copper vats in the breweries.

The acidity of beer cuts the dirt and makes it shine. Pour a little on, let it sit, then wipe it off.


Now feel free to go enjoy a cold one.

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

The Pre-Vacation Checklist

As the days get long and hot most of us have on thing on our mind– VACATION.

It’s safe to say the week leading up to your vacation you will be dreaming of sandy shorelines and drinks on the beach. The last thing on your mind will be the home you are about to leave behind. Do not let your excitement lead to neglect of your home.

College Works Painting has created a checklist of things to do before you leave

  • Never announce that you are leaving/away (as hard as it is wait to post pictures until you get back!)
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Make sure all drains, drain-spouts, and gutters are clear
  • Find a friend to keep an eye on your home
  • Flush all toilets
  • Secure the garage and unplug the electric garage door opener
  • Arm your alarms
  • Stop deliveries and pickups or schedule someone to pick them up for you (mail, garbage, newspaper, etc.)
  • Power down and unplug appliances and electronics
  • Turn off the water
  • Trim tree limbs and plants that may interfere with your home
  • Don’t turn off the AC– instead set it to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep your home from having problems with mold or mildew
  • Run the dishwasher and leave the dishwasher door open when done
  • Use timers to light your home light you are home. If you don’t have timers, leave a couple dim lights on so the house is not entirely dark at all times

Now that you know your home is safe and sound you can enjoy your vacation without out any worries


Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

17 Common Phrases You Are Saying Wrong


Who would have thought that so many people misuse the most common phrases? Let’s take a look at 17 phrases you may be saying incorrectly.

“I could care less” and “I could literally eat a horse” are two of the most commonly misused phrases in the English language. While you may or may not be using them correctly, chances are you hear phrases being misused all the time. Let’s look at 17 of the most commonly misused phrases and learn the proper way to say them. Feel free to pass this along to some friends that need help


Correct way to say it: It’s a dog-eat-dog world.

Meaning: There’s no such thing as a “doggy-dog” world. The expression goes all the way back to 43 B.C. when Roman scholar and writer Marcus Terentius Varro (comparing principles of humanity to that of animals) stated that even “a dog will not eat dog.” A “dog-eat-dog” world is defined as ruthless behavior to get what you want… so look out.


Correct way to say it: For all intents and purposes…

Meaning: “Intensive” means your purpose is intense. “Intents and purposes” means practical.


Correct way to say it: I’m supposed to go grocery shopping today.

Meaning: “Suppose to” is grammatically incorrect. Don’t forget to add a “d” to the end.


Correct way to say it: The baby screamed for half the night.

Meaning: “Literally” implies that it’s true. Don’t say “literally” unless it’s a fact!


Correct way to say it: The toddler spilled his milk by accident.

Meaning: Most people say “on” instead of “by.” Surprisingly, “by” is grammatically correct.


Correct way to say it: A moot point.

Meaning: “Mute” means unable to speak; “moot” means irrelevant or obsolete discussion.


Correct way to say it: I nipped that problem in the bud!

Meaning: If you nip a plant in the “bud,” you are preventing it from flowering. You simply can’t nip problems in the “butt.”


Correct way to say it: I ate too much today. Case in point, I ate out four times.

Meaning: “Case and point” is not a phrase. Instead, use “case in point.”


Correct way to say it: Head toward the door and you’ll see me.

Meaning: Toward never has an “s” at the end. Neither does “anyway.” Keep in mind that “towards” is acceptable and correct in countries outside the U.S.


Correct way to say it: I should have worked out instead of taking a nap.

Meaning: “Should of” is never proper grammar. It’s always “should have” or “should’ve.” The same goes for “would have,” “could have,” etc.


Correct way to say it: Regardless of how the interview goes, I’m proud of you.

Meaning: Regardless means “no matter what” or “in spite of everything.” Irregardless is not a proper word — plain and simple.


Correct way to say it: He was at my beck and call while I was sick.

Meaning: “Beck and call” means being made available, ready to obey. “Beckon call” is not correct usage of the English language.


Correct way to say it: She hadn’t eaten all day, making her hunger pangs unbearable.

Meaning: Hunger “pains” do not exist; hunger “pangs” do. This is by far one of the most misused phrases of all.


Correct way to say it: You have another think coming!

Meaning: It’s “think,” not “thing.” The phrase implies you have another thought (or think) coming. Over time, “think” became “thing,” which is simply incorrect.


Correct way to say it: The weather will wreak havoc on our picnic.

Meaning: To “wreck havoc” means destroying chaos and adding more chaos — it just doesn’t make sense. To “wreak havoc” means to cause chaos.


Correct way to say it: Yoko Ono is a famous scapegoat, often blamed for the breakup of the Beatles.

Meaning: A “scapegoat” is someone who gets blamed (possibly erroneously) for the actions of others. An escape goat is a goat that has escaped. Use it correctly!


Correct way to say it: I couldn’t care less.

Meaning: If you “could care less,” then you care and are capable of caring less. Make sure to keep it negative — meaning you don’t care and couldn’t care any less.

Written By: Sara Brooks for SheKnowsLiving.com

Mean & Green: The Fantastic Four Green Cleaners

Keeping your home clean and sanitary while also taking the environment into consideration can sometimes seem like a daunting task.

Let us tell you about the Fantastic Four– The worlds toughest green cleaners!

What you need

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda


Glass and Mirrors

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • half gallon of water

Mix them together and watch your glass sparkle. Use a lint free rag or old t-shirt instead of paper towels to clean as well.


  • Pure lemon juice

Dip a cloth in straight lemon juice and watch the acid remove stains from vinyl items like furniture or tile floors

Furniture Polish

  • 2 parts olive oil
  • 1 part lemon juice

This is a very affective wood polish… and you can use the left overs for salad dressing!

Paint Odors

  • Pure vinegar

Leave small dishes of vinegar around the room when repainting a room. The vinegar absorbs the smell so you don’t have to be bothered by the odor. Change the vinegar each day


  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon

Mix salt and vinegar and add one more ingredient from your kitchen cupboard: flour. Make a paste using equal parts of the three ingredients; rub the paste onto the brass or copper item with a soft cloth. Cover the entire surface and let the whole thing dry out (this will take about an hour). Wipe off the dried paste with a clean, soft cloth.

Lemon can also be used for lightly tarnished brass or copper pieces. Slice one lemon and dip it in salt, then rub the item with the salted lemon. Afterward, rinse and dry thoroughly.

Another fix for lightly tarnished copper is to use a spray bottle filled with undiluted vinegar. Just spray the copper piece and sprinkle the tarnished area with salt. Wipe thoroughly with a sponge or cotton cloth; be sure to remove all the salt, or the item will turn green. Repeat if necessary.


  • Water
  • Vinegar

A basic water and vinegar solution is great for cleaning most types of bare floors. Mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 gallon warm water (must be warm) and mop it onto ceramic tile, linoleum, or wood floors. There is no need to rinse after– saving both time and water.

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

Clean For Company In Under An Hour

It’s been a busy week and you have barely been able to keep up with the daily activities of your family, let alone keep the house clean. Your dinner guests are expect in just a couple hours and you’re not sure how your going to get the cleaning done in time. Follow these steps to get your house cleaned up in under an hour.


No. 1: Grab a trash bag

Getting rid of the trash is the first step in any type of cleaning, especially crisis cleaning. Quickly move through each room that will be seen by guests and gather anything that can be thrown away. Do not get distracted or clean anything else at this point! Only gather trash!

No. 2: Get those dishes

Once all the trash is removed, move back through each room picking up any dishes that have been left. Put these in the sink, but do not bother to wash them yet, unless your dishwasher is to be loaded.

No. 3: Quick pick up

Grab a laundry basket and start in the first room. Toss anything in the basket that belongs in another room. Do not deliver it to the other room yet! Get it out of the way as your straighten pillows, cushions, and rugs. Straighten book shelves, organize magazines and throw toys into the toy box.

Moving to the next room, take anything out of the basket that belongs in the current room, then straighten the room. Repeat this process though each room.

No. 4: Vacuum

Vacuum the areas that will be seen by guest, but do not do the kitchen yet. 

No. 5: Windex– make it shine

Using a bottle of windex, clean any obvious fingerprints around door handles. Stop by each bathroom and follow this routine, it should take no longer than 5 minutes: Spray the inside of toilet bowl and bottom and top of the seat with windex. Let sit. Spray counter and sink. Let sit. Clean mirrors. Close shower curtain and straighten rugs and towels. With a rag wipe the sink and counter using a little water if needed. Then swish toilet bowl with a brush, be sure to hit the lid as well. Use a rag to wipe the seat dry.

If you like to avoid toxic cleaners, like Windex, check out the list of green cleaners we talked about last week!

No.6: On to the kitchen

Repeat steps 1-3. Stay focused on the fact that this is still the tidying process.

No. 7: Load dishwasher and run

If they don’t all fit in the dishwasher, fill the sink with warm soapy water and let them soak.Wipe down your appliances, tabletops, cabinets, and counters to remove obvious finger prints and dirt. Finish the dishes by hand and put them away.

No. 8: Vacuum round two

Just vacuum the kitchen this time. Be sure to move large items out of the way like chairs and trashcans. Empty the trashcan so it doesn’t stink up the kitchen while guests are over.

Do a once over to be sure you didn’t miss any spots, but your house should be ready for company!

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

Back To School Preparation

Summer is coming to an end, which means it’s back to school time. Starting off the school year strong is important for both you and your children to have a successful year.

imgresWith just a couple more weeks of summer left here are some things to do to prepare for school.

No. 1: Get into a routine

During the summer everyone gets out of their normal routine. With just a couple weeks left it’s time to starting getting back into it. If you’ve never had a solid routine, now is a great time to start.

Establish chores, bed times, curfews, etc. They do not have to be as rigid as they may be during the school year but this is a great way to ease in to rules and routines.

No. 2: Get organized

Create a centrally located family calendar for the upcoming year. Sit down together and add important dates that will effect everyone. Color coding is great if you have multiple children or tend to have a very full schedule.

No. 3: Clean

The whole family has enjoyed a relaxing summer and most likely the house has gotten a little messing in the mean time. Nothing wrong with that! But before school starts have a family cleaning day. Cleaning as a family before school starts will help you go into the school year on the right foot. And having the kids help is a great way to bring the family together.

No. 4: Plan your grocery shopping

Snacks, popsicles, and easy to make meals are popular in the summer but when school starts popsicles for lunch won’t work. Start making a school year grocery list. Have the kids help you decide what they are going to want in their lunches and other meals as well. This will eliminate stress when you go to pack their lunches on the first day. They also can’t complain about what you make because they are able to pick out some of what they will be eating.

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting

Fall Is Coming– Is Your Home Ready?

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start preparing for the fall and winter months. It feels like just yesterday we were doing our spring cleaning! College Works has compiled a few of the most important things to do to help you prepare your home for the colder months to come.


1. Test the heater
During the summer you forget about your heating system. But trust me,  you’ll sure notice if it doesn’t work properly in the winter. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s cold out to find out that it’s broken.

2. What’s up top?
Roofs last 20-30 years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need occasional maintenance. Check for broken or rotting shingles at least once a year to avoid serious issues.

3. Clean the gutters
Remove leaves and other debris from your drainpipe and gutters to prevent clogging.

4. Prepare your water
Drain hoses, sprinkler systems, and anything else that runs the risk of freezing. Draining the water heater and clearing out any debris that has settled in the tank as well.

5. Keep safe!
A home safety check should be an annual ritual in every household. Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect (or install) fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.

For additional fall preparation, check out some of the other blog posts like Back to School Preparation for your family.

Melanie Lovejoy
College Works Painting