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Interior paint has come a long way in the 32,000 years since we started slapping it up against the sides of cave walls. That primitive mix of crushed charcoal, clay, and animal marrow has evolved into a sophisticated cocktail of pigments and resins able to resist scrubbing, stains, and mildew. Today, paint ranks among the most DIY-friendly—and thrifty—home-improvement materials, easy to brush or roll on and quick to transform the look and feel of a room with just a couple of gallons. Paint companies continue to update their formulas, making them "green" by stripping out chemicals that are unhealthy for our families and the environment, boosting colorants for more vivid hues, and adding high-tech ingredients to provide greater durability. The problem is, paint aisles are now crowded with so many choices that it's hard to decide what to buy. And unless you know what you need and where to find it, each can looks pretty much the same. The amounts differ among brands, but they all share these ingredients. Additives. Performance boosters such as antifoaming agents and mildewcides. Binders. Resins that turn liquid paint into a solid on the wall. Carrier. Solvents that keep paint liquid until it's on the wall. Water is the primary carrier for latex, mineral spirits for oil paint. Colorant. Liquid tints that add color to paint. Pigments. Powdered minerals that give paint its hiding ability. How much to buy DIY or hire a pro How does it hold upWith the right prep, a paint job should last 10 to 20 years. Some companies offer lifetime warranties on their products.
One gallon covers about 400 square feet. To calculate how many to buy, divide the square footage of your walls and ceiling (minus doors and windows) by 400.
If you have the time and energy to do the wall prep, which accounts for about 70 percent of the work, go for it. Putting color on the walls is easy.
Interior paint has come a long way in the 32,000 years since we started slapping it up against the sides of cave walls. That primitive mix of crushed charcoal, clay, and animal marrow has evolved into a sophisticated cocktail of pigments and resins able to resist scrubbing, stains, and mildew. Today, paint ranks among the most DIY-friendly—and thrifty—home-improvement materials, easy to brush or roll on and quick to transform the look and feel of a room with just a couple of gallons.
Paint companies continue to update their formulas, making them "green" by stripping out chemicals that are unhealthy for our families and the environment, boosting colorants for more vivid hues, and adding high-tech ingredients to provide greater durability. The problem is, paint aisles are now crowded with so many choices that it's hard to decide what to buy. And unless you know what you need and where to find it, each can looks pretty much the same.
The amounts differ among brands, but they all share these ingredients.
Additives. Performance boosters such as antifoaming agents and mildewcides.
Binders. Resins that turn liquid paint into a solid on the wall.
Carrier. Solvents that keep paint liquid until it's on the wall. Water is the primary carrier for latex, mineral spirits for oil paint.
Colorant. Liquid tints that add color to paint.
Pigments. Powdered minerals that give paint its hiding ability.
How much to buy
DIY or hire a pro
How does it hold upWith the right prep, a paint job should last 10 to 20 years. Some companies offer lifetime warranties
on their products.
What are VOCs
Volatile organic compounds—found mostly in the solvents that keep paint liquid—are chemicals that off-gas into the air as paint dries. Short-term exposure to fumes can cause headaches and eye and lung irritation. Limit your risk by using paint certified as low- or zero-VOC.
It depends on the amount and quality of the resins, pigments, and additives inside the can.
For one, check the paint company's material safety data sheets online to see how much titanium dioxide it adds to each can. The higher the percentage of this pigment, the better the coverage with fewer coats. Cheaper pigments, such as calcium carbonate, are less effective.
Here's how three grades of semigloss paint from one maker stack up.
Resin: Vinyl acrylic
Pigment (by weight): 12 percent titanium dioxide, 5 percent calcium carbonate
Additives: Defoamers to ensure a bubble-free finish
What to expect: Stains should come off if you clean up within the hour. Susceptible to burnishing if scrubbed hard.
Price: About $30 per gallon, Sherwin-Williams
Resin: Vinyl acrylic
Pigment (by weight): 18 percent titanium dioxide, 7 percent calcium carbonate
Additives: Wetting agents to reduce lap marks
What to expect: More resistant to stains and burnishing. Hides previous colors better.
Price: About $37 per gallon, Sherwin-Williams
Resin: Styrene acrylicPigment (by weight): 23 percent titanium dioxide
Additives: Mildewcide to help prevent mold growth
What to expect: Needs no primer because of high level of titanium dioxide. Styrene-based acrylic resin makes it more durable and washable. Some companies use 100 percent acrylic resins in their top-of-the-line paints.
Price: About $45 per gallon, Sherwin-Williams
The chief difference between a $50 premium paint and a superpremium one that costs twice as much is the type and amount of pigments. These finely ground minerals comprise up to 70 percent of the paint's weight, compared with about 30 percent for an ordinary premium brand. Lift a can from Fine Paints of Europe or Farrow Ball and you can feel the extra heft of the pigments. The payoff: more vivid colors, fewer coats, and a longer-wearing finish.
Choose based on what's important in the room, whether it be masking dings in foyer walls, highlighting living room trim, or easy cleaning in a bathroom. How a paint will perform has to do with its sheen, or gloss. Flatter, low-luster paints contain minerals that roughen the surface, creating an even coat that hides flaws. Glossier paints have fewer minerals and form a smoother, more durable finish, but they show imperfections.
Gloss This shiny paint, used on trim and built-ins, can take a beating that would ruin flat paint.
Oil-based gloss has a harder, more scrubbable finish than any water-based latex.
Mansion Farm White, about $110 per 2½ liters; Fine Paints of Europe
The traditional sheen for wet areas, the shiny surface is easy to clean. Choose one with mildewcide.
Lulworth Blue, about $79.50 per gallon; Farrow Ball
The most popular sheen for walls, it's washable without being too glossy. Great for high-traffic areas and fingerprint-prone stairways.
Chivalry Copper, about $21 per gallon; Behr
These finishes resist burnishing, the shiny spots that happen if a surface is repeatedly rubbed or scrubbed. Its low gloss gives off a warm glow.
Pink Clay Pot, about $20.50 per gallon; Olympic
This paint hides imperfections and has an even tone that doesn't attract attention. The hard-to-clean sheen is perfect for ceilings, which aren't prone to stains. Paints sold specifically for ceilings are made extra flat to prevent distracting shiny spots.
Ultra White ceiling paint, about $23; Pratt Lambert
It's a matte that acts like an easy-to-clean glossy. The secret to its scrubbability is microscopic: ceramic beads that create a hard surface with a soft sheen, making it a great choice for kitchens.
A translucent resin-rich liquid that you apply over colored wall paint to coax our a deeper, richer hue and add shine. Glazes can also be tooled with brushes and rollers to resemble textured fabrics or plaster. Because they dry slowly, you can blend and rework glaze patterns until you're happy with the results. So take your time and have some fun.
Green Bonnet ceramic paint, about $42.45 per gallon; California Paints
Yes, it does. Green paints are safer because their makers have reduced or eliminated the toxic VOCs that can harm us and the air we breathe. And they've done it without compromising quality or jacking up prices. Green paints are as good or better than the old-school variety, and most cost the same as a midrange or premium latex. The problem is, some green paints are more people- and eco-friendly than others. Here are the key questions to ask when shopping for green paint:
What's the VOC level
A can of paint is generally labeled "low-VOC" if it has less than 100 grams of VOCs per liter for flat sheens and 150 grams for nonflat. Cans that meet standards set by Green Seal, an independent tester and certifier of paints, have even less—no more than 50 grams per liter for flat finishes and 100 grams for nonflat. A "zero-VOC" paint can't have more than 5 grams per liter, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Does it contain other harmful ingredients
Your best assurance that a paint is formulated without nasties is a logo from independent testers Green Seal, GreenGuard, or Scientific Certification Systems. They bar more than 1,000 unsafe compounds, including VOCs such as benzene, heavy metals such as cadmium, and plasticizers like phthalates. Green Wise, another tester, bars 26 such chemicals. Can't find logos on products at the paint store Visit Green Seal, GREENGUARD, Scientific Certification Systems, or GREEN WISE for approved paints.
Do the colorants have VOCs
You may think you're home safe with a low- or zero-VOC paint, but once it's tinted with the universal colorants used in most paint stores, it could be anything but. On average, these colorants add about 150 grams of VOCs to a gallon; darker shades have more. To get around this, either settle for colors that are factory-mixed or look for paints with no-VOC tinting systems, such as Mythic, Freshaire Choice, or Yolo Colorhouse.
Did you know
Regular latex paint off-gasses formaldehyde and other VOCs for up to three years—the time it takes to fully cure after it's rolled onto your walls.
Use 'em once and you'll wonder how you ever got along without 'em.
Scrapes paint off roller covers and old caulk out of joints. Doubles as a putty knife. About $9; Hyde Tools
Grab green tape, rather than your blue standby, to stop paint from seeping underneath. About $6; FrogTape
Give your screwdriver a rest and open lids with the tool designed for the task. The key won't bend the lid's lip, so the can reseals easier. About $1; hardware stores
Decorative painting adds depth, texture, and a liveliness to walls, yet even the most daring look-alike effects—tanned hides, draped fabric—can be easily achieved without any fancy tools or brushwork. Just sheathe a roller frame with one of these specialty covers for a professional-looking finish that you can do yourself using just paint or a combination of paint and glaze:
1. Floppy roller
Soft scraps of chamois screwed to a fuzzy roller provide a fast, easy way to mimic the look of worn leather. About $10
2. Bag roller
For a washed-silk effect (shown left), use this instead of crumpling up a plastic bag and randomly blotting the wall. About $7
3. Rag roller
Get the look of crushed velvet or parchment paper, effects typically achieved by dabbing the wall with cotton cloths. About $7
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THE SINGAPORE MUSIC TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
Reach for the Star in You!
A performing platform to showcase your talent before a live audience appropriate performance attire and footwear should be worn. Attire and performance etiquette will be taken into consideration in the adjudication. Calling all novice and budding composers/performers of all ages 10.1 Objectives 10.2 Theme of Composition The theme for this inaugural composition category is: 'SINGAPORE'. 10.3 Gala Concert Any composition or arrangement deemed outstanding by the adjudicators will be featured in the Gala Concert 12:00 – 13:30
10. COMPOSITION ENTRANCE GUIDELINES New!
Calling all novice and budding composers/performers of all ages
10.2 Theme of Composition
The theme for this inaugural composition category is: 'SINGAPORE'.
10.3 Gala Concert
Any composition or arrangement deemed outstanding by the adjudicators will be featured in the Gala Concert 12:00 – 13:30
- The Violinist's Toolbox for Effective Practice - Strategies to Improve Tone, Intonation and Co-ordination Quickly (Dr. Goetz Richter, Violin)
- Avoiding Injury - Using Efficient Technique to have a Lifetime of Joy Playing your Instrument (Dr. Michael Hall, Violin)
12.4.4 Music Workshops
Monday – Thursday 10:30 – 11:30
- Critical Thinking: Becoming and Creating Independent Learners and Performers (Dr. Greg Petersen)
- Music Exam: What’s Wrong with Them (Dr. Marc Rochester)
- Unleashing Your Creativity through Music (Dr. John Sharpley)
- Programme Notes – Why do we need them and how do we write them (Dr. Marc Rochester)
12.5 Panel Discussions (Saturday)
- Between the Practice Room and the Stage
- Student-Teacher-Parent: Finding Equilibrium in Triangulum
- The Portfolio Musician in the 21st Century
12.6 Descriptions of Workshops music written for a medium other than piano as an interior part of interpretation; and the intention or "will" of making music with depth and meaning.
The Fantastic Sound-World of Claude Debussy (Kramer–Wachter)
This presentation honors the centenary of Debussy’s final year (1918-2018) and will show how Debussy created his special “sound-world” for the piano in works such as Pour le Piano, Estampes, Images I and II, and others. The presenters will give special insights into the interpretation of Debussy’s sound-world through historical context, imagery, harmonic language, tone production, and the imaginative use of pedal.
21.2 PEDAGOGY WORKSHOPS (Dr. Scott McBride Smith)
Preparing Students to Handle Stage Fright
Stage fright doesn’t sound so scary any more in this interactive workshop in which participants learn practical, hands-on methods for coping with nerves. The session will include actual case studies and teaching techniques. Attendees will receive a handout filled with up-to-date information and a list of proven survival strategies.
Motivation: Get Your Students to Work Harder and Achieve More
“If people take anything from my music, it should be motivation to know that anything is possible as long as you keep working at it and don’t back down.” Eminem
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, a fatherless high school dropout who was bullied at school, had the motivation to become Eminem, the top-selling song artist of the 2000s. Are you and your students equally inspired You can be! Join Scott for a research-based and anecdote-filled overview on the art of motivation, with many practical tips that will get your students achieving more—immediately!
Memorization: Psychological Data and Some Practical Advice
“Does it really matter if you got it right Does it really matter what was wrong or right (yeah)”
The Backstreet Boy “Memories” (2005)
Playing from memory. It’s easy for the Backstreet Boys to sing about it, but we piano teachers know that it’s not so easy to do. Join Scott for an enlightening look at the history of memorization, along with some practical tips to make memorization skills a strong point of each of your students.
21.3 STRING WORKSHOPS
The Violinist's Toolbox for Effective Practice - Strategies to Improve Tone, Intonation and Co-ordination Quickly (Dr. Goetz Richter, Violin)
Effective and enthusiastic practice is perhaps the most important activity a violinist (and any musician for that matter) needs to learn. This workshop will remind us about some fairly fundamental principles of performance, human learning, and development as they are applied to violin playing. With the help of workshop participants I will show ways of improving performance notably and quickly through clear attention and affirmation, somatic understanding, clear visualisation and imagination and rhythmic organisation. Areas discussed will include co-ordination, tone production, phrasing and expression, intonation accuracy and reliability and selected instrumental techniques. The workshop will cover all relevant aspects of learning and practice. It will ultimately show how we can transform practice into an exciting discovery and profound process of learning.
Avoiding Injury - Using Efficient Technique to have a Lifetime of Joy Playing your Instrument (Dr. Michael Hall, Violin)
Together we will explore how to make your playing more convincing - technically and emotionally. Learn concepts applied from the Alexander Technique and the Coordination Technique, by noted string pedagogue Karen Tuttle. If you have concerns with endurance, pain, physical frustration, or emotional detachment from the music then this workshop is for you. Open to all string players.
21.4 MUSIC WORKSHOPS
Critical Thinking: Becoming and Creating Independent Learners and Performers (Dr. Greg Petersen)
Who were and are some of the most important music makers Who were their teachers, and how did they become more influential than their teachers What if instead of focusing on music theory, technique, and sound production, we focus on what is happening in the brain In this presentation we will discuss stages of development in thinking, regardless of age, and how these apply to music making and the music industry. We will also discuss the stages of critical thinking and how to use them for effective practice and performance, including how other people use them to overcome nervousness and stage fright. Throughout our time together, we will explore the importance of intellectual curiosity and asking questions so that you and your students can use your intellect to reach your full musical potential.
Unleashing Your Creativity through Music (Dr. John Sharpley)
“Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.” Ludvig van Beethoven
These “tones” as mentioned by Beethoven inevitably come from one’s interior mindscape well before any note of an intrument or voice is composed or sounded. Creativity embraces a living bridge between the infinite and the finite. As musicians, how do we do this Can we do this This sometimes interactive presentation will construct mutlitple models through lecture and demonstration that may be useful for the creative process. It is the dichotomy of Chaos (right brain) and Order (left brain) in which the heart of the creative process resides. Both the triggering and the hampering of creativity would be discussed and explored. Under the best of conditions, craft arises as a by-product of creativity, a way to “ride the storm”.
Graded exams – What’s wrong with them (Dr. Marc Rochester)
With around 10% of all candidates for graded music examinations worldwide coming from Singapore, and with the Singapore Government itself regarding certification from London-based examination boards as pre-requisites for music teachers, this workshop looks into the real value of graded music exams as both an educational and musical tool. Marc Rochester assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the system and asks whether its dominance in Singapore music education is beneficial or even desirable, and whether the time has come for a more relevant, locally-focused alternative.
Programme Notes – Why do we need them and how do we write them (Dr. Marc Rochester)
Programme notes are a vital link between the music, the performer and the audience, providing an invaluable road map to understanding and appreciating the music played and heard. Increasingly, performers are expected to write their own programme notes – and they are now an obligatory aspect of all diploma examinations. In this workshop session, Marc Rochester explains the function of programme notes, what they should contain (and what they should not), and offers guidance and advice on using appropriate language and on the level of detail expected in a variety of situations where programme notes are required.
21.5 PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Between the Practice Room and the Stage
For most musicians, the location of practice is a comfortable and familiar place, and the lesson venue less so; but, the performance space is a place of mystery, imagination and, sometimes, horror. As one moves from one location into another, what needs to be in the head, so the musician can play with heart, and what shouldn't be in the head, so the nerves don't run away with the performance In this panel we will focus on how to successfully transition yourself or your students, intellectually and emotionally, from the practice room to the stage.
Student-Teacher-Parent: Finding Equilibrium in Triangulum
"Why do I have to do it" How often do you think children ask themselves this question about practicing, playing a particular piece, why a piece should be played a specific way, and several other questions Then they get older. Why do most "child prodigies" fail to find success as adults This panels focuses on kinds of relationships that are best between students and teachers, between teachers and parents, and between parents and their musical children, and how these different parties can synergise to find the most affirmative pathway for student learning.
The Portfolio Musician in the 21st Century
[Imagine Star Wars music and a floating script] Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there existed a world where musicians only practiced and became so good on their instrument that the only thing they did was practice and perform, and they didn't do anything else. Now let's leave the movie theatre and enter Singapore, and most other countries in the 21st century and discuss how musicians actually make a living, not by doing one thing, but a collective of activities that a musicians chooses to include in their portfolio. What are these activities, and how does one use them to make a living and chart a career in the 21st century