How To: Painting to Feel Like Home

As fall semester comes to an end, some students are starting to feel like they are at home here in Fort Wayne, Ind. Students, who have moved out from their parents’ home, are finally starting to feel adjusted in their new apartment or house. Some students have taken it among themselves to paint the interior of their home, but how does someone go about painting their home? Painting the interior of a home can be difficult and there are a few steps that new homeowners need to go by to achieve a well done painted room.

Kierstan Yates, an IPFW student who recently painted her living room in her new home, said painting can be a bigger task than what most people think.

“Painting can be hard and time consuming,” Yates said. “If you go about it wrong, as in not having the right tools or knowing a lot about paint, it can make life a lot harder for yourself.”

Painting a room can be a hassle for anyone. Students, or any new homeowners, need to go about painting in the right steps. The first step to begin painting a room is choosing the right paint for a room.

Kory Mettler, a store manager of Sherwin Williams in Logansport, Ind., said choosing the right paint can be difficult.

“Latex is the most common nowadays,” Mettler said. “High traffic areas like living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms you would want paint with a better shine.”

Mettler said other ideas to be considered would be choosing a light color because it gives that shine that you want for an active room setting.

With the type of paint chosen, now it is time to go to the next step. The next step is to get the room ready. Before moving on to this step, all the tools and supplies for painting and preparing a room need to be gathered.

Steve Knothe, an employee at Umbers Ace Hardware in Fort Wayne, said all the tools needed for both painting and preparing can be purchased at Umbers Ace Hardware.

“We have it all. Brushes, rollers, masking tape, pans and so on,” Knothe said. “We even have paint here at our store. We have everything.”

After purchasing the supplies, masking tape needs to be placed as a barrier between what needs to be painted and what needs to be protected.

Masking tape allows you to paint walls without getting paint on other things within the room, which includes the ceiling, window trim and basically anything that should not have paint on it.

Make sure to put down a drop cloth. A drop cloth protects the floor from getting drips of paint on it and spills. When putting a drop cloth down make sure all furniture is moved toward the center of the room and away from the perimeter.

Now it is time to start painting.

A good way to start is by using a trim brush near the areas where there is masking tape. This allows for small areas to get the right amount of paint for detail, such as corners for example. The trim brush allows for a crisp line due to its slanted edge. When painting the edges, dip the brush in the paint about half way. This allows for a minimal amount of paint to soak into the bristles and for an easier and cleaner way of painting.

When painting along the masking tape, be sure to paint parallel with it. This gives the ability to keep the paint looking nice along the trim.

Once painting along the masking tape is completed, it is time to fill in the rest of the wall. Use the roller. Using a roller is best because this allows you to cover larger sections.

Pour some paint into a pan. This can gives the ability to soak the whole roller up with enough paint. Paint in a zig zag form until the wall begins to fill with paint.

Finally, after applying the paint to the wall, there is only one step left. This step is deciding whether or not a second coat of paint is necessary.

“I would say if you are asking yourself if it needs another coat or not, go ahead and do it,” Mettler said. “Generally you will see spots where the paint did not cover it all the way.”

Painting a room is a way to make a house feel more like a home. Visit,, for a pictured manual of the steps of painting a room explained above. Though painting can be troublesome, following the rights steps can lead to a successful and well-painted room.


Tasting Wine the Simple Way, the Only Way


Pictured above: Wine barrel where the wine is aged and wine tanks where the wine is made at Two EE’s winery. Photos by Sarah Goodman.

The “pop” of a cork coming out of a freshly opened bottle of wine is enough to get most wine lovers excited about pouring themselves a glass. But is simply sipping wine enough to get a fulfilled wine drinking experience?

“Actually, tasting wine is so much more than a lot of people think,” Eric Harris, owner and wine maker at Two EE’s Winery in Huntington, Ind., said. “It’s a simple process but most just drink wine, not actually taste the different elements of it.”

Agreeing with Harris, Gary Skeel, owner of Wine Down Tasting and Tapas in Fort Wayne, said the proper wine tasting process is a simple one that many people do not practice.

Skeel said the appropriate wine tasting steps are the “five S’s: sight, swirl, smell, sip and savor.” Harris said the same five steps as the most substantial parts in properly tasting wine.

“Sight is a very important step,” Harris said. “You have to visually inspect the wine to insure that it isn’t flawed.”

Skeel said if a wine has a brown tint to it, chances are that the wine has gone bad. Another indicator of wine being flawed is if the cork falls apart or breaks easily when opening the bottle.

The next step in wine tasting is swirling the wine. “Swirling wine in the glass allows the wine to open up,” Skeel said. “Red wines need to open up more than whites do, so you don’t always need to do this step with white wines.”

“I always make sure to swirl my wine before tasting it,” Brittainy Ellis, a wine enthusiast, said. “Swirling the wine lets me see if the wine is a big bodied wine and how intense it will be on my palate.”

According to Paul Gregutt, author of the online magazine article, “How to Taste Wine” from, Swirling the wine can reveal which wines are riper, more mouth filling and dense.

After swirling the wine in its glass, smell the wine’s aroma. “Surprisingly, smelling the wine is something that people often skip,” Harris said.

There are three types of wine aromas that are identifiable according to Madeline Puckette, author of the online blog, “Learn How to Taste Wine & Develop Your Palate” from

There are primary aromas that carry fruit, herb, and floral notes, secondary aromas that come from the yeast of the wine and finally tertiary bouquets that smell like oak, vanilla, spices or nuts.

Skeel said the smelling step in wine tasting is vital because it can help you determine if the wine is sweet or dry. People who enjoy sweet wines will typically want to smell fruity aromas compared to those who enjoy dry wines, who will want to smell more nutty and oak scents.

After smelling the wine, take a sip, absorbing the flavor and structure. “Tasting is something that we do naturally,” Harris said. “But actually thinking about the different flavors of the wine is key to knowing if you really like it or not.”

Savoring, or thinking about what is tasted, the wine is the final step. This is when it is determined if the wine is one that is enjoyable, as well as if it is balanced.

“Balance is everything when I’m drinking wine,” Ellis said. “If the wine is out of balance to me, then I don’t really enjoy it.”

“Acidity, body, mouth feel, bitterness and sweetness are all things that determine if a wine is balanced or out of balance,” Harris said. “If all of the key elements aren’t in harmony to whoever is tasting the wine, then the wine is out of balance.”

Overall, the key to wine tasting is finding wines that are enjoyable. If all of the proper steps are covered while tasting wine, then finding wines that are enjoyable should be no problem, Skeel said.

Now that the proper steps for wine tasting have been identified, experiment with various types of wine to discover the right one. Cheers!

House Fires: They Can Happen to Anyone

Above: The Fort Wayne Fire Department offers home fire inspections and suggests that families have a plan in case of a house fire. Photo by Erin Martin.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – When Maddie Clay’s mother had woken pre-dawn hours on Nov. 21, 2014 to retrieve the family dog from downstairs, she saw smoke coming from the basement’s utility room and she immediately headed back upstairs to the 11 people sleeping there.

The night before, Clay’s father was finishing up a project that involved staining a door and when he was done, he set the rag down that he had been using for the night and headed upstairs. No one could have expected that mixed with the dry air, that same rag would spontaneously combust near a piece of plywood in the utility room and create a fire in the Clay’s basement.

“A fire can happen any time of year at any time of day, but there does happen to be an increase in house fires in the winter because of people turning on their heat and gas in their homes or even building a fire in their fireplace if it hasn’t been properly cleaned,” said Captain Dave Meadows of the Fort Wayne Fire Department and Safety Education Division. “Preparing for a fire is extremely important to plan for your safety, and your family’s safety too.”

“Once my mom woke up my dad and he became aware of what was happening, he woke up the house with a shout to get everyone up and within 30 seconds everyone had their coats and were by the back hallway,” said Clay.

With no initial plan or meeting place, the Clay family quickly had to decide what to do right then and there which led to the decision to meet in the cul-de-sac of their addition while a family member called 9-1-1.

“Make copies of important documents and pictures or keep the originals and place them in a fire safe box that you can keep in an accessible place,” said Cpt. Meadows on what to do in preparation for a house fire.

Brooks Huffer, a second-generation captain of the Warsaw Fire Department, has had his experience with house fires. “Keep an eye on your appliances – dryer, washer, toaster, and especially any heaters or your furnace,” said Huffer. “They are likely to catch fire if the lint trap is not cleaned out, crumb tray emptied periodically, and so on.”

Clay’s family did not have a fire extinguisher nor had they checked their smoke detectors recently. Both Cpt. Meadows and Cpt. Huffer suggested having a full fire extinguisher on hand, as well as checking your smoke detectors once a year.

“New smoke detectors are wireless and send corresponding signals to the other smoke alarms in your home, meaning if one goes off they will all go off making it difficult to ignore,” said Cpt. Meadows.

Cpt. Huffer said young children sleep deeper, making it more difficult for them to be woken up in the case of an emergency.

“Children 15 years old and younger sleep through 85% of smoke detectors because they do not hear them which is why it is extremely important for families to come up with escape plans,” said Cpt. Huffer.

Both captains expressed families should create multiple plans and practice them for different situations such as an instance where the door is too hot to open or climbing from a window. In cases where they are separated, family members must know where to meet – by a mailbox, a specific tree, or even at a neighbor’s house.

“If it’s predictable, it’s preventable,” said Cpt. Huffer. You can call the Fort Wayne Fire Department at (260) 427-1478 and ask about a home fire inspection or visit for more information on how to prepare for a fire.