Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Best Tips for Painting with Textured Paint

This is a list of tips on how to paint with textured paint. Interior textured paint is an attractive way to finish a wall or ceiling plus it hides small flaws in walls.

Textured paints give walls a unique appearance. Painting with textured paint is an easy way to quickly change the appearance of a plain wall. It can also be used to hide small imperfections in walls and on ceilings. It is even useful on floors because it can be used to make them non-skid.

  • Choosing the right textured paint is the first thing you will need to do. You would make this choice based on the desired appearance or if the paint is for a floor. If you want a sandy, glittery texture you might select granite crystals or sandstone paint.
    • If you want a high stipple you might want to go with "smooth texture paint" or if you want deep, contoured swirls you might want a Venetian plaster. Floor paints will be labeled as floor paints and you can either buy them textured or you can buy packets of "grit" to add to them.

  • The tools you will need to apply textured paint vary according to the particular type of paint you select. The basic tools you will need, however, are a trowel, a stiff brush, or textured roller. Check the manufacturers information on the can label for extra pointers.
  • Smooth texture paint can be a difficult textured paint to apply but the finished appearance makes it worthwhile. The walls need to be carefully prepared before you can begin painting. Take the time to read the manufacturers directions before you start. It will save you work and headaches later.
  • Intermix all of your containers that hold the same color so you won't have smears of varying color shades.
  • Practice the pattern you plan to create on a board or piece of cardboard so you won't have to fumble with it while you are rushing to get the paint on the wall before it becomes hard to control and shape.
The paint dries rather quickly to a point that is hard to manipulate - so work in small sections to make sure you get the design you want before the paint dries. Take the time to blend each new section with the old so it has a uniform appearance when you are done.

If you are painting a high traffic area that will need frequent washing add a topcoat of latex satin or semi-gloss paint. Clean-up will be much easier later if you finish the wall properly for the use it will receive.

Venetian Plaster and Venetian Plaster topcoat textured paint is very pretty when finished - with a marble-like appearance. It is also a time consuming process. You need to carefully clean and prime the wall - even if the wall was primed before.

You need to apply a minimum of three coats of Venetian Plaster to get a smooth, attractive finish. When you apply the final coat, it needs to be polished before it dries completely.

High traffic, high moisture areas that require frequent cleaning need to be protected with a protective finish. It will make it much easier to wash without damaging the textured surface.

The drawbacks to using textured paint come when or if the time comes to remove it or repaint it. If you need to repaint a textured wall it will take about 25% more paint than an un-textured wall would take. It is also very hard to remove.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Home Improvement Projects

Labor Day weekend is a great time to prepare your home for winter by doing basic home improvement projects.

Labor Day weekend offers a really good opportunity to do some home improvement projects that get your home ready for winter. Most people get an extra day away from work, and while it may not be the most fun thing to work on the house, it can be really satisfying and worthwhile. Labor Day weekend is a good time to do home improvement projects that focus on preparing the structure for the rigors of harsh weather.

Cleaning the gutters or eaves can be a messy task but it helps protect your home from water leaks, roof damage, and a wet basement. If the gutters are not clear the water pools, the eaves sag, rust, and pull lose from the house. This also allows water to drain into the basement or ground floor in damaging quantities.
  • Unless you have to go buy a ladder - this home improvement project is not going to cost you a lot of money.
  • You just need a good pair of gloves to protect your hands from sharp surfaces.
  • It can be time consuming though.
  • If you move the ladder around the house and climb up and down it will take you a long time.
  • You will also - probably - be very tired when you get done.
  • I have watched people climb on top of the roof, maneuver around on the hands and knees, and be done in about half an hour.
  • Words of caution -if you get vertigo, have a fear of heights, or tend to be clumsy - be safe and hire out this task.
Replacing door trims that are damaged is another home improvement project to do over the holiday weekend. It gets your home ready for winter plus it can save you, according to, approximately 15% on both heating and cooling bills. Door trims can also be called weather stripping.
  • There are two main kinds of weather stripping that go on doors.
  • Sweeps go on the bottom of the door and foam weather-stripping.
  • Sweeps and self adhesive foam strips are available at Lowe's and other hardware stores.
  • Sweeps are attached to the door with screws.
  • You just cut them to fit the door and screw them in place.
  • The foam is self-adhesive and requires an extremely clean surface.
Outdoor Painting

  • Outdoor Painting projects for Labor Day weekend are a good choice because the fresh coat of paint protects surfaces from the elements. You just need scrapers, brushes or rollers, primer, and paint.
  • Completing painting projects now, before the weather gets bad, can save you the cost of an expensive repair later. If the unprotected wood rots - then you have a major home improvement project on your hands.
  • Painting window trim and door jambs is a project that is rewarding in addition to protecting your home's value. It shows - usually from the road - as soon as you paint so the satisfaction is immediate.
  • Painting the fascia boards, soffits and under-hangs - like the gutter cleaning - helps extend the life of your roof. The longer the boards that support your roof last - the longer you can expect your roof to last.
  • Painting or sealing wooden porches and decks (if they didn't get treated earlier in the season.) will help to protect the wood. If you use a textured paint or sealer this project also makes walking on wet or snow covered surfaces a little bit safer.

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Fix a Sticking Door Without Removing It

Two easy ways to unstick a sticking door without removing it from the door jamb.

A sticking door is usually more of a nuisance than a serious problem - as long as you take care of it before the door gets too warped. If you think the problem is from the building settling and it is really sticking, you might try the easy fixes first. If the problem continues or reoccurs you might want to have a professional check it out.

To fix the problem yourself; start by checking the condition of your door hinges. I had a door that would not swing back and forth freely and was leaving a mark on the floor. It turned out the hinge screws had come loose and the hinge was not properly seated in the door jamb. I replaced the old screws with slightly larger screws and then the door worked perfectly.

Tools and supplies needed to fix hinge screws:
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
Steps to change hinge screws:
  1. Remove one of the old screws.
  2. Put in the new screw.
  3. I found it easier to do one at a time instead of removing all of them. The door flopped around and was awkward to handle when I removed all of them from the hinge at once.
The other door I was having problems with was a little bit harder to fix - but still an easy fix. It had swollen and warped on the edges and removed the varnish from the door's edge - leading to even more swelling. I was working on the project alone so I wanted to avoid removing the door if at all possible. It turned out my repair task was pretty simple and I was able to take care of the problem with a hand planer and sandpaper - without removing the door.

Tools and Supplies needed:
  • Chalk (according to carbon paper also works)
  • Hand planer
  • Sandpaper or Dremel-type tool
  • Varnish or paint to restore the finish after sanding
Steps to sand sticking areas off of door:
  1. Visually check to see where the door is sticking.
  2. Mark the area that is sticking with chalk or (according to put the carbon paper in the door jamb positioned so the ink will rub off on the door. It is going to be sanded or planed off anyway.
  3. Check to see which way the grain in the wood goes. It will normally go up and down on a door. It will be rare to see it go from side to side because it's just not how doors are made.
  4. You can plane with the grain of the wood and sand anywhere you have to go across it. What this means for you as you try to fix your door - if the door is sticking on the sides you can gently plane away the excess using a fairly long, smooth motion. If it is sticking on the top or bottom you should sand it. (If it is on the bottom you will have to remove the door.)
  5. If you have room to move your hands and the tools you can get away without removing the door. At least I managed to complete the job without removing the door and it both works and looks great.
  6. Put a couple of coats of varnish or paint to seal and protect the newly sanded or planed edge. This will help to reduce the need for future sanding and planing work on the door.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Learn How to Replace a Doorknob

Eleven easy steps to replace a doorknob.

Replacing a doorknob is a fairly easy do-it-yourself repair. I was surprised to find this out when my closet doorknob broke. The best tip I have for anyone doing this or any type of replacement work is to take a lot of pictures as you take the original apart. There are many little parts that can get mixed up and it is a wonderful help to be able to go back to your own images of the doorknob assembly. I didn't get to do this when I changed my closet doorknob because it broke before I got to take any pictures.

The first step is finding the right replacement doorknob kit. I went to Lowe's, but most hardware and some department stores carry replacement doorknobs. Is it for an exterior or interior door? If it is for an interior door - do you need a locking doorknob or not? One easy way to choose - get the same style (locking or not locking) of knob you are replacing.

You don't need very many tools or supplies to replace a doorknob.

The supplies you will need to complete the task are:
  • Screwdrivers
    • Phillips
    • Flathead
  • Replacement doorknob kit
Steps to replace a doorknob:
  1. Most doorknobs will have two long screws that are easily visible on the base. The long screws go through the base and into the knob assembly on the other side of the door. These long screws have to be removed first so the base and knob can come off of the door.
  2. When the base trim ring has been removed you can ether check to see if the bolt (the part that goes from the door into the door jamb) needs to be replaced or just go ahead and replace it with the new one.
  3. Make a mental note of which way the slant goes on the old bolt. You will need to know when you put the new bolt in place.
  4. To replace the bolt look for two screws attaching the long rectangular part to the hole in the door and remove them.
  5. Place the new bolt in position and replace the two screws.
  6. If you have a locking doorknob make sure the key hole and locking side are on the correct sides of the door. It is surprisingly easy to get this backwards.
  7. Slide the long part of the new doorknob (it should be square) through the center hole of the bolt assembly.
  8. Line up the screw holes on the doorknob with the screw holes on the bolt assembly.
  9. Put the two long screws in place. They will go right through the bolt assembly and into the other side of the knob.
  10. To change the metal strike plate on the door jamb (so it all matches.) remove the two screws holding it in place. Put the new strike plate over the hole in the door jamb and put the two screws back in place.
  11. Test your new doorknob.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Light and Fruity Labor Day Drink Recipes

Light, fruit flavored drinks to enjoy at Labor Day parties or at any other warm weather get-together.
Cook outs and barbeques have become a common part of the Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day has, according to the US Department of Labor, been celebrated in the US since 1882.

Light, refreshing drinks are nice a nice addition to Labor Day meals - or for any warm summery day. Raspberry Lemonade Punch or Light Fruity Kool-Aid Punch with Lemonade Ice Cubes are refreshing, easy-to-make (non-alcoholic) drinks to enjoy on a hot day.

Lemonade Ice Cubes

The Lemonade Ice Cubes take the most planning ahead of these three recipes. That is because of the time it takes to freeze them so they will be ready. Flavored ice cubes are nice because they enhance the flavor of the drinks rather than diluting the drinks as they melt.

Ingredient List
  • 1 package of Lemonade Flavored Soft Drink Mix (Kool-Aid - for an example)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Quarts Water
  • Ice cube trays
  1. Mix up the lemonade mix with water and sugar as directed on the package.
  2. Pour into ice cube trays
  3. Freeze
  4. If you are making up a punch bowl for your drinks I recommend freezing the lemonade into a large ice ring, freezer bags, or in a medium sized plastic bowl (or two). A large piece of ice will take longer to melt than ice cubes take. Ice cubes would be best for going directly into glasses while the larger flavored ice would be best for a punch bowl.

Raspberry Lemonade Punch

This punch is super easy to make and it tastes like it took a lot of work. With flavored ice cubes it stretches the quantity a little bit further.

Ingredient List
  • 1 - 12 ounce can of raspberry lemonade frozen juice concentrate
  • 36 ounces of unflavored carbonated soda water
  • 1 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime flavored soda
  • 1 or 2 lemons (as garnish)
  1. Substitute carbonated water for regular water
  2. Combine juice concentrate, lemon-lime soda, and carbonated water
  3. Wash the outside of the lemons
  4. Slice the lemons fairly thin
  5. Cut a small slit in the lemons so they can be placed on the rim of a punch bowl or on the glasses
  6. Serve with flavored ice

Light Fruity Kool-Aid Punch

You don't have to use Kool-Aid brand drink mix for this recipe - any brand or flavor you like will work.

Ingredient List
  • 1 package soft drink mix - choose the flavor according to your personal preference. I like the ones that do not have artificial coloring the best.
  • 2 Quarts water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 - 2 liter bottle lemon-lime flavored soda
  • 1 can of pineapple juice
  • 1 quart of rainbow sherbet

  1. Mix the drink mix, water, and sugar as per package directions
  2. Pour all of the liquids into the punch bowl. If it does not all fit at once put about half of each and mix up more later.
  3. Float the rainbow sherbet on top of the punch. It is pretty, adds flavor, plus it cools the punch in the bowl.
  4. If you also have flavored ice cubes, drop a cube into each glass to help keep it cold without diluting the drinks.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Fun and Easy Barbeque Recies for Labor Day

Foil-Wrapped Grilled Potato recipe and BBQ-Loaded Burger: recipe ideas for a Labor Day celebration or for any cook-out.

The history of Labor Day, according to the United States Department of Labor website, goes back to 1882 when the Central Labor Union of New York City decided to create a day of rest to honor working citizens. Labor Day did not become a federal holiday until 1894 and all 50 states have made it a state holiday as well.

Labor Day means a lot of different things to different people. For some people it is a day away from work, a last weekend before school starts, an end to summer, the start of football season, or just another summer holiday to enjoy a cook-out with friends and family.

Simple and delicious barbeque recipes add a sense of fun and ease to Labor Day festivities. Consider these easy Foil-Wrapped Grilled Potatoes or BBQ-Loaded Burgers for your Labor Day celebration.

Foil-Wrapped Grilled Potatoes

Recipe directions are for one pouch of potatoes and should serve two or three people.

Ingredient List
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil about a foot and a half long to create a pouch (or double-layered regular aluminum foil)
  • 2-3 medium potatoes
  • ½ onion
  • ¼ green pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 clove garlic (garlic powder also works)
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter or margarine (cut into thin slices or divide into tiny spoonfuls)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Wash, peel and slice the potatoes thinly. (You can leave the skins on if you enjoy potato skins. Then just wash and slice thinly.) Pile directly in the center of the foil.
  2. Peel and slice the onion and green pepper. Pile on top of the potatoes.
  3. Put the crushed, diced garlic or garlic powder, salt, and pepper on top of the potato, onion, and green pepper combination.
  4. Finally, put the butter or margarine on top, spread across the surface as much as possible. Wrap the foil around the potatoes and seal it by folding it over itself several times. If it looks like it might leak (if it did not seal up tight) - wrap another piece of foil around the whole thing. You want the potatoes to simmer in the margarine and you won't want it to leak out and cause flare ups - and a greasy mess on your grill.
  5. Cook between ½ hour to 45 minutes. Turn it about every 10-15 minutes to prevent scorching.

BBQ-Loaded Burgers

You can make these tangy burgers as hard or as easy as you want - depending on if you use store-bought BBQ sauce or if you make your own from scratch.

Ingredient List
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed, diced or garlic powder is okay)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ - 1 cup BBQ sauce
  1. In a large bowl mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, and chili powder
  2. Form the meat mixture into thin patties
  3. Put half of the patties on a plate or cutting board
  4. Put a dollop - about a Tablespoon - of BBQ sauce in the center of each patty
  5. Put the other half of the patties on top - one at a time and sealing each one around the edges by pressing them together with your fingers. Make sure you don't press in the center or the BBQ sauce will go everywhere and you will get a sticky mess.
  6. Lightly spray your grill with non-stick spray
  7. Grill the burgers as you would normally. They might take a little bit longer to cook and need a slightly lower heat so they can cook through without burning - because they are going to be a little bit thick with the two patties.

Sources :

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When is the Best Time of Day to Mow?

Whatever time of day you chose to mow can have benefits, but is there a time that is truly best?
I don't usually share lawn care / landscaping tips here, but hey, part of getting everything organized and under control includes maintaining the outside of our homes too - so here goes.

Mowing the lawn can be fun - or it can be an annoying challenge - depending on your personal point of view. Whether you love it or hate it - it is a necessary part of maintaining an attractive living area for you, your family, your pets and your neighbors. It is also an important part of maintaining the health of the grass plants themselves.

Morning Mowing Facts
Some people prefer to mow during the early morning hours before the heat of the day sets in. Some people prefer to mow later to make sure the grass is dry and free of any signs of morning dew. Still other people don't care what time it is and they mow whenever it is convenient. The best time of day to mow is a common point of discussion for many people.
Mowing early in the morning increases the chance that you will be mowing wet grass. The grass is more likely to clump and lay in globs on the lawn (unless you like to rake a lot). The plants also lose more moisture that is needed for growth when mowed in the morning because it increases the evaporation rate. It is also a common theory that wet grass creates more wear on the mower engine and does more damage to the mower blade.

Afternoon Mowing Details
Mowing in the afternoon increases the chance your lawn will be dry - saving wear and tear on the mower and reducing the need to rake. It also unfortunately (unless you are a person who enjoys hot weather) leaves you mowing in the hottest part of the day. It also leaves your grass trying to recover from the stress and shock of being cut during the part of the day when it is already the most stressed from the heat of the sun.

Evening Mowing Info
Evening mowing offers the benefits of the grass being dry and of not being the hottest (normally anyway) part of the day. The mower takes on less damage and is easier to keep clean. The person operating the mower gets a little bit of relief from the heat, and the grass has the cool evening and nighttime hours to recover from the shock of having been cut.

The Answer to the Big Mowing Time Question
Overall, mowing in the evening offers the most benefits for both the lawn and the person mowing it. It avoids extra clean-up work as far as raking and cleaning the mower blades. It lets the lawn have the most recovery time in the cool hours of the night. It lets the person operating the mower work during the cooler evening hours instead of during the heat of the day.

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