By Suzy Kridner
The new year is often a time when we want to spruce up our homes, both inside and out.
And what better way than with paint?
It can give a whole new look to your home and is inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself.
The Volusia County Home & Garden Show is coming to the Ocean Center Friday through Sunday with lots of advice from a well- known painter who also has written several books on improving your home.
Show Technology, one of the nation's most successful business-to-consumer trade show organizers, is presenting this year's show, which includes an added bonus, the Daytona Boat Show on the same days under the same roof.
A highlight of the Home and Garden Show -- and someone who can provide advice on painting, wall covering, and faux finishes -- is Brian Santos, "the Wall Wizard."
He has several books out, including "The Best of the Wall Wizard," keeps up with the latest decorating trends, and provides detailed advice for those who want to do it themselves.
Mr. Santos has traveled for nearly 20 years with his Wall Magic workshops bringing the secrets of home decorating to do-it-yourselfers all over the world.
Mr. Santos will give seminars all three days on the Celebrity Stage and others will give seminars on the Garden Stage.
In addition, exhibitors from around the nation will showcase everything from front entrance décor to backyard landscapes.
Some exhibitor highlights include: gardens, landscapes and water features; "Home Improvement Alley;" pools, spas, outdoor living and hardscapes; interior design and home accessories, plant and tree sales and the latest trends in kitchens and baths.
There will be plenty of interactive activities for all ages, including shopping at the "Art, Gift & Gourmet Center," fun for kids at the Interactive Kid's Zone, live Birds of Prey shows, and visit the "Pet Zone," (with live pet adoptions available).
Mr. Santos' seminars are Friday: 4 p.m., Painting Secrets; Saturday: 11:30 a.m., Painting Secrets; 2:30 p.m., Faux Finishes; and 5:30 p.m. Wall Covering Secrets, and Sunday: 12:30 p.m., Painting Secrets, and 3:30 p.m. Faux Finishes.
Also on the Celebrity Stage at 1:30 p.m. Saturday is Doug Ringold of Thermal Insulation Systems, "Energy Efficient Coating to Save Your Money."
With the economy still recovering, painting is an inexpensive way to redecorate your home.
Most homeowners can't afford to hire a pro to do the dirty work.
Brian Santos is a fourth-generation painting contractor who can help.
In the how-not-to category, he corrects over-consumption, waste and thoughtless harm to the planet. For example, he'll teach you how to turn a discarded milk jug into a paintbrush. Also, how to clean brushes properly: Rather than stick them under a faucet, sending paint into the ecosystem, he advises dipping them into a bucket of water mixed with fabric softener -- "it cleans water-based paints off in 10 seconds."
"We're clearly at a fork in the road." While all-natural materials can add as much as 15 percent to the cost of a redo, "it's a premium we have to pay," Mr. Santos said.
The Volusia County Home & Garden Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6.
Ticket prices are: $7, ages 17 and older; $3, retired military with ID, and seniors 65 and older. Those age 16 and younger and active military with ID are free.
Pay once and come back free all weekend.
A $1 off coupon is available online at www.ShowTechnology.com
For more information visit: www.volusiacountyhomeandgardenshow.com.