Fix Wood Floor Scratches

Why is it that prospective buyers zero in on the few flaws in a home?  It's because they stand out so much comnpared to everything else.  Learn how to fix those annoying scratches so potential buyers see the beauty of your home and not get distracted by the scratches in your floors.

Mary Kay Robinson

 

Erase Ugly Scratches from Your Wood Floors

By: Jane Hoback

Repair wood floors and scratches that make rooms look worn out. We’ll show you easy ways to put the luster back into your floors.

Dogs chase kids, pans drop, chairs scrape, and soon you must repair wood floors and erase scratches that make a mess of your red oak or Brazilian cherry. A professional floor refinisher will charge $1 to $4 per square foot to apply a new coat of finish. No worries. We’ve got inexpensive ways to remove wood scratches and repair deep gouges in a few easy steps.

Camouflage Scratches

Take some artistic license to hide minor scratches in wood floors by rubbing on stain-matching crayons and Sharpie pens. Wax sticks, such as Minwax Stain Markers, are great scratch busters because they include stain and urethane, which protects the floor’s finish.

Don’t be afraid to mix a couple of colors together to get a good match. And don’t sweat if the color is a little off. Real hardwoods mix several hues and tones. So long as you cover the contrasting “white” scratches, color imperfections will match perfectly.

Homemade Polish

Mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar, which work together to remove dirt, moisturize, and shine wood. Pour a little directly onto the scratch. Let the polish soak in for 24 hours, then wipe off. Repeat until the scratch disappears.

Spot-Sand Deep Scratches

It takes time to repair wood gouges: Sand, fill, sand again, stain, and seal. Here are some tips to make the job go faster.

  • Sand with fine-gauge steel wool or lightweight sandpaper.
  • Always sand with the grain.
  • Use wood filler, which takes stain better than wood putty.
  • Use a plastic putty knife to avoid more scratches.
  • Seal the area with polyurethane, or whatever product was used on the floor originally.
  • Apply the polyurethane coat with a lambs wool applicator, which avoids air bubbles in the finish.

Fix Gaps in the Floor

Old floorboards can separate over time. Fill the gaps with colored wood putty. Or, if you have some leftover planks, rip a narrow band and glue it into the gap.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/repair-wood-floors-and-erase-ugly-scratches/preview/#ixzz3dSkJc4sL
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Posted on June 19, 2015 at 12:19 am
Mary Kay Robinson | Category: Home Repair

Wall preparation before painting

 

A fresh coat of paint can make can do wonders for your home.  Prepping the surface correctly though is critical to getting the best results.  Read below to get ideas on how to fix probelm areas and find a less toxic was other than TWP to wash the walls.

Mary Kay Robinson

 

Remove Stains From Walls Before You Paint

By: Pat Curry

Remove stains from walls before you slap on another coat: It's the first commandment of painting. Here’s how to wash seven common stains off your walls.

Painting instructions often warn: Remove stains from walls before painting. But they never say how. Any cleaning rookie can wipe off dust and cobwebs. But it takes a cleaning pro to scour grease stains, watermarks, and kids’ crayon and ink wall art.

Dirt and Grime

Dirt and grime are part of everyday life. The oil from your hands gets onto walls, cabinets, doors, and door frames. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($3 for 4 pads) easily cuts through these stains. Wet the sponge and rub gently to avoid taking bits of paint off with the stain.

Or try this: Mix 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white distilled or apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda with one gallon of warm water. Wipe the solution over walls with a sponge or cloth, and rinse with clear water. The solution won’t dull the painted finish or leave streaks. 

Grease

Grease is an occupational hazard of cooking; it covers cabinets and walls and attracts dirt and dust. Any good dish soap can remove grease stains on walls. For small stains, mix 1/4 teaspoon of soap in a cup of warm water, and wipe. Rinse with clean water, and blot until dry. Clean stubborn grease stains with solution of 1/3 cup of white household vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.

Crayons

Wall erasers work like a charm on crayon marks. If they don’t do the trick:

  • Rub marks with toothpaste (not gel).
  • Erase marks with an art gum or a pencil eraser; use a circular motion.
  • Swipe marks with baby wipes.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub marks.

Permanent Marker

Permanent markers are tough to remove from walls. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab the stain. Or spray marks with hairspray, then wipe drips.

Ink

Ballpoint ink, which is oil-based, often succumbs to foaming shaving cream, dry-cleaning solvents such as Carbona, or nail polish remover. Make sure you open windows when using cleaning solvents and polish remover.

Mildew

Mildew is a fungus that eats soap scum and body oil. To remove from walls, spray with vinegar water: 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 quart water. Also, try an enzyme laundry detergent; follow the pre-treating directions on the label. Blot it on the stain, and then rinse thoroughly with water.

Water Stains

After you’ve solved the problem that caused the water stains, rinse with a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Thoroughly dry with a hairdryer or fans. If bleaching doesn’t remove water stains, you’ll have to repaint. Prime the walls with a stain-killing primer, such as Kilz Paint.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/wall-stain-removal/preview/#ixzz3dSjEA0Oh
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Posted on June 19, 2015 at 12:16 am
Mary Kay Robinson | Category: Home Repair

Kitchen Countertop Triage

You may not have to replace those kitchen countertops in sell your home.  Read below for different repair ideas.

Mary Kay Robinson

 

Kitchen Countertop Triage: First Aid for Scratches

By: Jane Hoback

You can repair kitchen counter mishaps with only a little time and money. Big boo-boos, however, will need professional help.

Repair kitchen counters that show a history of wine spills, dropped pans, and unidentified sharp objects, and you’ll maintain the value of your kitchen and home. You can easily hide some counter mishaps, while only professional contractors can solve other surface problems. Here’s a look at counter cures and lost causes.

Granite

Even granite counters suffer kitchen wear and tear. But you can make them shine with a little time and know-how. After you fix them, don’t forget to reseal them.

Cracks, chips, scratches: Fill nicks in granite by building up layers of epoxy resin colored to match the stone. Clean the area first with acetone, which breaks down grease. Be sure to open a window for ventilation.

Stains: The type of stain — wine or ink, oil or bleach — determines the type of poultice you’ll need to suck it out. A paste of flour and hydrogen peroxide pulls out grease, oil, bleach, and ink stains; a mix of flour and bleach cleans wine stains. If you want to go commercial, check out Alpha, Aqua Mix, and StoneTech stone cleaners. Cost: $6 to $20.

Related: Can Granite Film Fool the Eye?

Solid-Surface Counters

Solid-surface countertops, such as Corian, are man-made from resin, acrylic, and other materials. They’re tough but not impervious to scratches and stains. To repair minor scratches, rub a white polishing compound on the area with a wool pad, then apply a countertop wax.

For deeper scratches or cuts, call a professional. Figure labor costs at about $15 to $35 an hour. If you need to replace portions of the counter, figure at least $35 to $65 per square foot.

Laminate

Fixing gouges or covering burns in laminate is tough for mortals, though repairing minor problems is doable.

  • Fix small chips with laminate repair paste that matches the color of the countertop.
  • Cover scratches with countertop polish or car wax.
  • Fix peeling laminate with contact cement applied to both surfaces and pressed back into place.
  • Remove coffee and tea stains with vinegar or a paste of baking soda and household cleaner.

Bigger problems will require replacing the damaged stretch. Laminate comes in a billion colors, but finding an exact match for an old counter could be difficult.

To get the look you want, replace the counter. Labor will cost $15 to $35 per hour; countertops range from $3 per linear foot for Plain Jane straight-edged laminates to $100 per linear foot for laminates with a beveled edge that look like granite.

Related: Why Laminate Countertops Deserve a Second Look

Tile

If you’ve planned ahead and stockpiled old tiles, then grab a few and replace cracked or scratched areas. If you don’t have extra tile, then attempt the following first aid:

  • Wipe away scratches with a dab of toothpaste on a clean cloth.
  • Work epoxy glue into cracks with a toothpick, then color with matching oil-based artist paint.
  • Remove old grout with a utility knife, then replace with a rubber trowel.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel countertops become scratched, stained, and dull over time. Although you’ll never completely remove scratches, you can buff them into a warm patina by massaging with vegetable oil.

Remove stains with a paste of baking soda and dish soap. A sprinkle of Barkeeper’s Friend will remove stains without scratching.

Related: 99-Cent Store Solution for Scuffed Countertops

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/repair-and-replace-kitchen-counters-stay-top-scratches/preview/#ixzz3dShqioQu
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Posted on June 19, 2015 at 12:10 am
Mary Kay Robinson | Category: Home Repair

How to Kill and Prevent Bathroom Mold

This is a very common issue in the Pacific Northwest.  I thought this was great advice for prevention of mold.

Mary Kay

 

How to Kill and Prevent Bathroom Mold

By:  Deborah R. Huso

Got bathroom mold on your ceiling? Here’s how to get rid of it and prevent future infestations, too.

If you’ve never experienced bathroom mold, perhaps you aren’t looking deep enough into the corners of your bathroom.

It’s one of the most common problems in any house; it’s also one of the easiest to prevent and cure — as long as you haven’t let it get out of hand.

“Bathroom mold occurs primarily because mold loves damp, dark, isolated spaces,” says Larry Vetter of Vetter Environmental Services in Smithtown, N.Y. “Typically, a bathtub, shower, or entire bathroom remains damp enough for mold growth just from showering or bathing.”

Common Causes of Bathroom Mold
Lingering moisture caused by lack of ventilation
Leaky toilets, sinks, and plumbing pipes
Damp cellulose materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, grout, drywall, and fabric

So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Matt Cinelli, owner/operator of AERC Removals in North Attleboro, Mass., says, “If you can see it or smell it, you’ve got it.”

Finding the Mold in Your Bathroom

Bathroom mold isn’t always obvious. Check out hidden areas, such as under sinks, access doors to shower and bath fixtures, around exhaust fans, even in crawl spaces and basements underneath bathrooms.

“It could be starting in the bathroom but actually forming in another room,” says Cinelli, adding that lack of proper ventilation is the biggest culprit for mold growth.

Preventing Mold

The best defense is preventing mold from occurring in the first place. Yashira Feliciano, director of housekeeping for Conrad Conado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers the following tips for keeping mold out of your bathroom:
Use your bathroom ventilation fan when you shower or bathe, and leave it on for 30 minutes following the end of your bath; if you don’t have an exhaust fan, install one.
Keep household humidity levels below 50%; an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help.
Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and wash or replace it frequently.
Don’t keep bottles of shampoo or shower gel, toys, or loofahs in the shower, as they provide places for mold to grow and hide.
Wash your bathroom rugs frequently.

Getting Rid of Mold

What do you do if mold growth is already a problem? As long as the infestation isn’t large, you can take remedial measures yourself:
Strip away and replace any caulking or sealant that has mold growth.
Clean your bathroom with mold-killing products, such as bleach, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.
Open windows and doors while cleaning to provide fresh air and help dry out the mold.

If you have a problem area bigger than 10 square feet, refer to guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or call in a professional.

“When you see it creeping into walls and insulation, you need a professional,” says Cinelli, who notes that tearing out walls (which may be necessary for a big problem) can release mold spores into the rest of the house and create an even bigger issue.

“The idea is to kill it and then remove it,” he says. “And the most important thing is to figure out why you have it before you clean it up.”

Related:
6 Unexpected Places Mold Can Hide in Your Home
What’s the No. 1 Thing People Want in Their Bathroom?

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/bathroom-mold/preview/#ixzz3cmyvHuz6
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Posted on June 11, 2015 at 8:53 pm
Mary Kay Robinson | Category: Home Repair