It takes about an hour to paint a room with a Graco 360DS paint sprayer. Here’s why I know that. I had to paint a house this month for the first time in about five years. I don’t particularly enjoy painting and I’m not particularly good at it.
An old high school friend helped me out with the exterior, and after seeing his paint sprayer, I had to get one myself. Mine’s less expensive and less fancy than his: I bought a handheld Graco 360DS. While it has some limitations, I’m very glad I bought it.
A comment over at Lifehacker got me thinking about plywood as flooring, which led me to a blog post at Quarry Orchard. The author is one of many people who have had success making floors out of strips cut from ordinary 4×8 sheets of plywood, the variety that sell for around $14 at home improvement stores.
I’d be a bit concerned about durability but there’s a lot to like about the idea as well.
I have three storm door handles, much like the one to the right, that were a bit worse for wear. The painted black finish had worn off over time in places, creating an uneven finish of dull black and dull gray. Replacing them would make the house look a lot better in a subtle way, but there was nothing wrong with them–they worked fine, they just looked worn out.
So I repainted them instead of replacing them and saved myself $30.
My home inspector told me about an easy, inexpensive and nearly permanent repair: Loose brick repair with epoxy. It works really well if you need to fix a loose brick in something like a fireplace or a retaining wall. Epoxy is a effective loose brick adhesive.
Epoxy works because it’s stronger than cement. And while it’s not economical to use epoxy for mortar instead of cement, in small quantities it’s cheap enough, and much quicker.
There are several acrylic floor finishes–sometimes mistakenly called wax–that promise they’re like a new floor in a bottle. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if you have reasonable expectations, they definitely can make a floor look better and easier to clean. And depending on how you use them, they can even make the floor last longer.
I tried to remove black marks from wood floors with Bar Keeper’s Friend recently, and I’m happy to report it worked pretty well.
Here’s the story: I had some mysterious black ring-shaped marks on my hardwood floors. I traced them to metal ends of furniture legs. The long-term solution is to put the furniture on leg cups, but one still has to contend with the damage.
The pros use a floor bleach whose active ingredient is oxalic acid, but finding it is hard, and finding it in household quantities is harder. But there’s a cheap, readily available household alternative: Bar Keeper’s Friend. It costs a couple of dollars and you can buy it at big-box stores like Home Depot, hardware stores, grocery stores, and even some discount stores. It’s usually in the cleaning aisle next to the Comet. It’s good stuff to have on hand anyway, because it does a great job of cleaning up pretty much anything you’d use Comet on, but it literally eats rust spots for lunch so it’ll take care of chores Comet doesn’t.
From time to time I see accordion-style flexible drain pipe (also sometimes called flexible waste pipe) in use, much like the one below. St. Louis County inspectors take an exceptionally dim view of these, and I always wondered what the big deal was, since literally every hardware and home-improvement store in St. Louis County sells them. Why would they sell something if it isn’t okay to use it? Read more
My garage door wouldn’t go down. You know the drill–you push the button, the door goes down for a few seconds, then reverses course, and maybe your opener blinks at you a few times. Not all garage door openers do the blinky thing though.
The reason is simple. The safety sensors couldn’t see each other, so they assumed something, or worse yet, someone, was in the way, in danger of being hit by the door, and made the opener reverse course. As annoying as a door is that won’t close, a door that mashes stuff is a lot worse.
My sensors couldn’t see each other because we’d moved some stuff around and, I guess we bumped one of them. Read more
Consumer Reports advises not to buy home warranties. (Scroll past the horror stories to see the general advice why.) I agree. I’ve bought four home warranties and never got half my money’s worth. The last one I bought will be the last. Here’s why I avoid home warranties. Read more
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