Have you painted fabric before?

Neither had we… till we heard of chalk paint!

A while back, pre-pandemic, we ruined a perfectly fine sofa in our guest room by trying to steam clean it. (Lesson learned.)

Before photo of the sofa

Long story short: the few water stains it had multiplied by the time we were done. It was such an eyesore, we covered it with sheets and pillows waiting for the day we could drag it out and take it to the dump.

Close up of water stains from steam cleaning

Fast-forward to one recent pandemic day, we came across videos of chalk paint being used to paint anything and everything – including fabric! (Just go to YouTube and search for “chalk paint fabric” and you’ll see what we’re talking about.)

There began our quest to restore the sofa.

Research Time…

We read and watched anything we could find on chalk paint and which was the best on fabric. Everyone had their own stories and suggestions for paint, but most recommended Annie Sloan brand paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Finding the Paint…

Of course, this brand is not sold in paint stores or big box hardware warehouses, no. You have to find a stockist who… stocks it. Fortunately, there is one in Old Town Alexandria: Boxwood

Getting Started…

Eddie decided that diluting the paint with water was the way to go. After all, that was some of the advice online. Eddie was wrong. After two coats (of diluted paint), the sofa looked only a shade darker than when he started the process. The paint can was empty.

Trying Again…

Eddie went back to the Boxwood for another liter of paint, and searched for better online guidance. The painting resumed. One more coat. This time with undiluted paint. Then…


After the paint dried, it got a light sanding and waxing, and in a few days it was this fabulous blue comfort zone!

The sofa painted in Napoleonic Blue. The wall is painted in Barecelona Orange and Graphite. The pottery is painted in Pure White.

To complete the makeover, we painted the wall behind the sofa in Barcelona Orange and Graphite to contrast the Napoleonic Blue. 


Why stop now? So we painted some pottery and the trunk-table, for good measure!

Trunk table is painted in Tilton.


We’re happy to share more about our process and experience. Feel free to direct message us if you’re interested.

Back-to-School Tips

Though back-to-school season looks a little different this year, it’s still one of the best times of the year. 

Establishing a Sleep Schedule

Head back to school energized and focus with the help of a regimented sleep schedule. If your student has been pulling long hours soaking up the summer sun, start to slowly transition their bedtime to ensure they get their needed rest. Pro tip: Set your alarm clock a little earlier each day to help adjust for the return to school. 

Daily Routine

Now that you have established a sleep schedule, you can figure out a morning routine to prepare students for the day ahead. Determine what will be worn, what supplies will be needed, meal preparation, etc. When in doubt, create a checklist to help guide you through the day. 

Create a Workspace Whether your student will be e-learning or in-person, an organized workspace can help keep them stay focused and engaged. Provide them with the necessary supplies to help conquer their day! 

Meal Preparation 

Start the school year off with some great habits. From breakfast to dinner and every snack in between, try to plan out meals in advance to save time throughout the week. Here are some family-fun recipes that are great for the new school year! 

CDC’s Back to School Planning: Checklists to Guide Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers

For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years. These checklists are intended to help parents, guardians, and caregivers, plan and prepare for the upcoming school year. Read the checklists here

5 Trends That Signal Real Estate is Bouncing Back

While economic downturns typically aren’t good news for the real estate market, this is the first in American history to result in more people moving. This opportunity is transformative because unlike past cataclysmic events that have limited mobility, this one has increased it — and at Compass, we are helping our clients seize the opportunity. 

Even our colleagues based in one of the few markets experiencing uncharacteristic lulls know that activity will pick back up because of the way people are seeing the value of their home in a new light. Everyone is taking this time to reevaluate what they need in a home and in a community and for many, that’s resulting in a desire to move.

Here are 5 trends we’re seeing nationally that indicate the market is making a comeback.

1. Mortgage rates reached an all-time low in July, causing a spike in mortgage applications: finally dropping below 3% after weeks of speculation, rates settled around 2.87% bringing buyers out of the woodwork. There was a 33% increase in mortgage applications for the first week of July vs. this time last year. 

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association Index  
2. National home sale activity rebounded: Existing-home sales in June rebounded 20.7% month over month, the highest monthly increase ever recorded. 

Source: Wall Street Journal
3. Home prices are at all-time highs: Median existing-home prices grew 2.8% to hit an all-time high, for the 100th consecutive month, highlighting the opportune environment for sellers. 

Source: National Association of Realtors
4. Homes are selling at the fastest rate ever recorded: 20 average days on market before sale. 

Source: Inman
5. Homebuilder sentiment is at 72: Increasing by 14 points in July, the last time we had a yearly average as high as 72 was in 1999. 

Source: National Association of Homebuilders

If you’re interested in a more detailed look at how the market has been performing in your neighborhood, let us know! We’d be happy to provide you with our insight into the ever-changing real estate landscape.

LiveStream Open Houses

Livestream Open Houses – Sunday 7/26/2020

Tour these homes without leaving home.

520 N Street SW S216
Washington, DC

LiveStream Open House 
Sunday 7/26, 1-1:15pm

Southwest Waterfront
1 Bed | 1 Bath | $499,000

Want to be near all the waterfront excitement, but come home to a very special place? Make S216 your new address! A ONE OF A KIND redesigned one-bedroom co-op in one of Washington’s Best Addresses. This Harbour Square apartment has everything you’re looking for in your next home: open gourmet kitchen with ample prep areas, thoughtfully designed storage solutions, and a space-saving dining table built into the kitchen peninsula; a spacious living room with electric fireplace in decorative chimney breast. A glass barn door separates the public and private spaces. Have a spa day in the beautiful and luxurious bath with glass enclosed walk-in shower, porcelain tiling, and linen closet. The serene bedroom features a ceiling fan, walk-in closet, laundry and shoe closets. Situated in a tranquil tree court, S216 also offers a balcony overlooking the co-op’s Waterfront Walkway — one of the many beautiful spaces within the property. Other amenities include public rooftop terraces, green spaces with grilling and seating areas, a community/party room, indoor pool, fitness center, bike storage, guest parking, 24-hour gatehouse, security, in-house maintenance and much more. Pets allowed.

560 N Street SW N413
Washington, DC

LiveStream Open House 
Sunday, 7/26 1:30-1:45pm

Southwest Waterfront
1 Bedroom | 1 Bath | Den | Balcony $425,000

In beautiful SW Waterfront. N-413 offers a renovated kitchen with stainless appliances & granite counters, den/office/guest room, in-unit washer/dryer combo, large balcony, bath with tub shower, ample closet storage, hardwood floor and more.

Harbour Square co-op has indoor pool, gym, public roof terraces, 24-hour gatehouse, and onsite management. Pets allowed. Visitor parking available. Monthly rental parking. 

LiveStream Open Houses

Livestream Open Houses – Saturday 7/11/2020

811 4th Street Northwest, Unit 1103
Washington, DC

LiveStream Open House 
Saturday 7/11, 1-1:15pm

Mount Vernon Square
2 Bed | 2 Bath | Garage | $625,000

Light Filled 2 bedroom/2 bath + Garage Parking + Storage. Step into hallway foyer, leading to step-up lofted flex bedroom with partial wall that lets lots of natural light in. Guest bath with tub shower. Open kitchen/living/dining. Wall of windows with tranquil high-up eastern views. Spacious second bedroom is directly off living room separated by pocket door. Floor to ceiling windows with sliding doors that open to small balcony. Another full bath with walk in shower. Closets galore throughout. Maple flooring + carpeted bedrooms + ceramic bath tiles. Extra high ceilings with exposed AC ducts. In-unit Washer/Dryer. Gas cooking. Granite countertops. 

430 M Street SW, Unit N201
Washington, DC

LiveStream Open House 
Saturday 7/11, 2:00-2:15pm

Southwest Waterfront
Studio | 1 Bath | $265,000

This lovely studio co-op offers updates throughout. Ample and flexible living, dining and sleeping spaces. Storage galore. A spacious west-facing balcony extends your living space to enjoy the outdoors privately. Pets allowed

What’s It Like to Sell Right Now?

Here are some ways we are helping our clients with Safer Selling:

LiveStream Open Houses

LiveStream Open Houses allow us to walk through and show homes to buyers remotely.

3-D Models enable buyers to tour homes at their leisure from anywhere, at anytime.

Compass Concierge can help sellers move out, allowing for their homes to be shown vacant.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, let’s talk about your options today! Please send us a message, schedule a time for a call or conference, or give us a ring!

Connected with Compass

During the last three months, many of us have begun to re-evaluate what we need from our homes. Some desire more space, maybe with a terrace, garden, or pool, while others may be ready to downsize into a low-maintenance lifestyle. Some might be ready for a residence in warmer weather, while others are looking for a cooler escape. 

Over the next few months and subsequent years, there will be many changes made to the places we call home. At Compass, we are connected to the best real estate professionals in regions all across the country who are ready to help you explore and navigate your options. 

With trusted colleagues in over 130 markets nationwide, we’re here to help — no matter where your move takes you.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!

What Happens After A Contract is Accepted On My Home?

by Eddie Rangel & Steven Dean, REALTORS

After a contract is accepted for the sale of a home, we keep working for you. Here is a list of the actions that typically have to happen to get from contract acceptance to the settlement table:
1. Contract Delivery: Your contract isn’t binding until it’s signed and delivered. We ensure that it’s delivery and confirm that it’s delivered.
2. Report the Sale: We report the sale to the local multiple listing service, so other agents are aware of the contract. This allows your life in your home to begin to return to normal without the flow of constant prospective purchasers.
3. Verify Loan Application: Contact the Loan Officer for the Purchaser to verify that the loan application is complete and that the sale is moving forward.
4. Verify Funding: If the Purchaser is not obtaining a mortgage, verify that they have the funds to complete purchase.
5. Wood-destroying Insect Inspection: Confirm the date and time for the termite inspection. Provide access for the inspector.
6. Wood-destroying Insect Treatment & Repairs: If needed confirm the date, time, and cost for the termite treatment and repairs. Provide access for the contractors.
7. Appraisal: Confirm date and time of the appraisal. Provide access for the appraiser, and provide data on comparable sales.
8. Home Inspection: Confirm date and time for the home inspection. Review the Home Inspection Notice when received and negotiate as needed.
9. Home Inspection Repairs: Assist with locating contractors to perform repairs required by the Home Inspection.
10. Contingencies: Verify that all contingencies have been removed from the contract, and that the sale is moving forward.
11. “SOLD”: Once the contract is non-contingent, place a “SOLD” sign on the property.
12. Title Work & Survey: Confirm that title work and appropriate surveys are ordered.
13. Completion of repairs: Verify that all repairs required by the contract are completed
14. Wood-destroying Insect Reports & Certifications: Forward copies of the termite reports and any needed certifications to the settlement company.
15. Title Work Status: Once an abstract of title has been received, confirm the status of the title work with the settlement company and the Seller.
16. Title Issues: If title issues arise, advise the Seller how to resolve the title issues.
17. Schedule Closing: Confirm the date and time of settlement with all parties.
18. Movers: If requested, give movers access to the property to create moving bids.
19. Closing Costs: Obtain closing costs figures for the Seller.
20. Walk-Through Inspection: Schedule the date and time for the final walk-through inspection by the Purchaser.
21. Attend Walk-Through Inspection: Meet the Purchaser and the Purchaser’s Agent for the final inspection.
22. Negotiate Walk-Through Inspection: If any issues arise during the final walk-through inspection, negotiate a resolution.
23. Remove Sign & Lockbox: Remove the “FOR SALE” sign, the lockbox, and bring the keys to settlement.
24. Attend Settlement: Attend the Settlement and bring copies of paperwork related to sale of the property.
This is a general guide. For specific guidance, please contact us.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!