Category Archives: DIY

Remove paint from plastic

It’s easier to remove paint from plastic than it may seem. The trick is knowing the right chemical to use. The method to apply it will vary, depending on whether the item is too big to soak.

This method works for toys and virtually anything else made of plastic. I learned the trick from a hobbyist who restores vintage plastic models. It works on every type of paint I’ve tried: oil and water-based? Check. Enamel, acrylic, and latex? Check. Both brush-on and spray paint? Check.

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Is peel and stick tile any good?

Is peel and stick tile any good? That’s a fair question, considering its low cost. And if you just buy the cheapest peel and stick you can find and slap it down without any preparation or thought, you probably won’t be very happy with it.

That said, if you do good prep work and think about it, you may find peel and stick vinyl tile more durable than costlier floor types.

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Repair a large hole in drywall

When I changed the cheap bar-style light fixture in my bathroom to something a little nicer, I found something weird other than a red wire. I also found a 5-inch by 2 1/2-inch hole in the wall behind the old fixture a few inches from the electrical box. It’s a good thing I know how to repair a large hole in drywall.

All it takes to fix a big hole in the wall is a scrap of drywall larger than the hole, a ruler, a utility knife, a pencil, some wood glue or regular white glue, and some Gorilla Glue.

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Where the red wire goes in a light fixture

A friend was replacing a light fixture in his bathroom and ran into something confusing–a red wire in the electrical box along with the usual black and white wires. And when he hooked up his new light fixture, he did what I would expect the majority of homeowners to do–he connected the white wire on the fixture to the white wires in the box, and the black wire on the fixture to the black wires in the box. And then his light switch wouldn’t work–the light stayed on all the time.

He was on the right track when he asked what the red wire is for. That was the key to solving his problem.

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