What to do with old countertops

What to do with old countertops

When you have an older home, eventually the question always comes up of what to do with the old countertops. It’s actually two questions. First, there’s the question of how best to replace them without turning your kitchen renovation into a nightmare that costs ruinous amounts of money. Second, there’s the question of what to do with the old countertops afterward. Let’s tackle both questions.

While methods do exist to resurface existing laminate countertops, it’s usually easier and cheaper to replace laminate countertops with new ones. The old countertops may have other uses around the house. And yes, I will deal mostly with laminate countertops here. Usually laminate seems to be the type people want to replace.

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TV wall mount won’t unfold

TV wall mount won’t unfold

I bought a TV wall mount, and then when I went to set it up, I couldn’t unfold it to attach it. It took some time but I figured out what to do. Here’s what to do when your TV wall mount won’t unfold.

TV wall mounts have to be very tight to support the mass of a TV, and without the mass of a TV on them, they can be difficult to unfold. You may have to get creative to reach the adjustment screws, and try turning them the opposite way you think. If you just can’t reach the screws, a little bit of disassembly may be necessary to get to them, but this isn’t terribly difficult to do.

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Coax cable TV antenna you can make yourself

Coax cable TV antenna you can make yourself

You can make a surprisingly good digital TV antenna out of a piece of unused coax cable. While not suitable for pulling in distant signals, inside a metro area, this homemade antenna you can make in 15 minutes pulls in dozens of HDTV channels.

You can make a simple TV antenna by stripping off the last six inches of insulation off a standard coax TV cable, folding back the shielding, and leaving six inches of bare copper wire. Where I live, 10 miles from the St. Louis city limit, this simple antenna pulls in 40 channels. If you live outside a major city, you’re better off with a Gray-Hoverman design.

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Liquid Nails vs wood glue

Liquid Nails vs wood glue

Which is better, Liquid Nails or wood glue? It depends on what you need to stick together. And there are times when Liquid Nails is more convenient, but wood glue will give a stronger bond, long-term. So let’s look at Liquid Nails vs wood glue.

Construction adhesives like Liquid Nails give a strong bond with quick grab, and they work well on dissimilar surfaces. But for some applications, wood glue is better, especially if you use a premium wood glue.

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Can you paint vinyl siding?

Can you paint vinyl siding?

If you’d asked the question a couple of decades ago, the answer probably would have been no. But thanks to advances in paint, these days you can paint vinyl siding. Not only that, there sometimes are compelling reasons to do so.

The point of vinyl siding was for it to be maintenance free over the course of its life. But vinyl siding has a usable life of 25-30 years, so if your vinyl siding is reaching that point, painting it is a way to extend that usable life.

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How to remove super glue

How to remove super glue

Super glue is permanent, right? Actually it’s not, and it’s not necessarily as strong as we think it is either. In some cases, super glue is extremely strong and worthy of its name. But sometimes it’s a pushover, and that can be a good thing. That means you can get rid of it when you need to. Here’s how to remove super glue.

Super glue dissolves readily in acetone, or you can use specialty debonders sold in hobby shops, or use a couple of my other tricks to break its bond. Water will not help, as moisture accelerates its bond.

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Tile over Formica backsplash

Tile over Formica backsplash

I had an old Formica backsplash, original to my house. It was still in good condition, but I’m not sure it looked good in 1965, let alone now. I wanted to replace it with tile but didn’t relish the $700 expense. What if I could lay tile right over Formica or other laminates? Here’s how to tile over Formica backsplash.

Tile mastic doesn’t stick well to Formica and other laminates, and the manufacturers won’t warranty it if you try. The most cost-effective solution in terms of time and money is a peel-and-stick product. As long as your existing backsplash is in good condition, it’s a good candidate for this.

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What is WD-40 used for?

What is WD-40 used for?

WD-40 has a number of uses around the house. It’s been a longtime tinkerer’s favorite for a reason. But it may also be one of the most frequently misused household chemicals. So here’s what WD-40 is used for, and best not used for.

WD-40’s main uses are protecting metals from water, as a penetrating oil to loosen stuck parts, and even as a cleaner. It is not, however, a very effective general purpose lubricant.

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