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Building & Renovating

Common Interior Problems and How To Solve Them

Let these tips from an interior designer help you keep your home in tip-top shape

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez and Paula de Guzman Photography: Miguel Nacianceno

Maintaining a home feels like a roller-coaster ride—one minute you can’t get enough of the thrill of decorating a space, and the next thing you know, you’re facing a ton of problems that require immediate repair.

Aside from enlisting the help of your trusted carpenter or a reliable professional, there are solutions you can do on your own. Interior designer Jane Karla Samson of IDeal Interior Design Services shares a list of common interior concerns and how you can properly address each. Best to bookmark this page so you know what to do when a home problem arises:

For walls:


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Why does paint peel over time? How can I solve this?

“If paint peels from an interior wall, it is because the paint does not stick properly to the surface beneath. This is caused by moist walls, an improperly prepared surface, incompatible paint layers, and poor quality paint. To avoid this, assess and prepare the area and surface and clean the surface before painting. Prep the wall with a solid primer, and never paint a room before and after rainfall to avoid moisture. Also, research about the paint you want before buying.”

What should I do if the paint starts peeling?

Scrape away the loose paint, repair any cracks on the wall with patching compound, and sand it to make it smooth before applying primer. Clean the wall with cloth to remove dirt. Seal and prevent moisture problem by applying the primer and allowing it to dry accordingly. Then apply the paint, allow it to dry, and apply a second coat if desired.”

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How about peeling wallpaper? What should I do with it?

“To repair it, apply wallpaper adhesive with a paint brush. Cover the entire piece with wallpaper adhesive, especially the ends. Press it back onto place, and smooth it down with clean hands or a roller. To fix bubbles underneath the surface, check or feel the bubble to determine if inadequate gluing causes it or if there is dirt underneath. Slice a small X into the bubble with a cutter then flatten the bubble or remove the dirt. Apply wallpaper adhesive to the back of the wallpaper, then roll the paper back into place with a damp rag.”

For lighting:


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When is it time to replace light bulbs?

“It’s time to change light bulbs when it often burns out or overheats, or when the lamp color and wattage are not appropriate for a task usually done in a certain room,” Jane says. Consider buying a new set when you're already spending too much on high-energy consumption.

For flooring:


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When is it time to change my flooring?

“Regardless of the quality and type of flooring you have, it will reach a point where it needs replacement—when it is no longer functional, no longer in good condition because of wear and tear, when it is already outdated, and no longer safe. Any damage done to the flooring are usually remedied by replacing it. For flooring that has become dull, which is what usually happens to vinyl, wood, and ceramic or porcelain flooring, you can refurbish it with products made for restoring shine.”

Got questions about home maintenance? Send us a message on Facebook and we might features your queries on the website.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015-January 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine.

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