Friday, 27 January 2012

DIY Project - Making an old brass chandelier look new again!

How to Modernize a Traditional Brass Chandelier

With a few simple steps, take an old brass chandelier from old, fussy and formal to functional, fun and fresh.

Materials Needed:

  • brass chandelier
  • painters' tape
  • can of spray primer
  • 3 cans of spray paint
  • snap-on spray paint can handle
  • sheet plastic
  • globe chandelier bulbs





Prep for Paint

Protect floor and surrounding areas with plastic sheeting. Use a damp cloth to wipe dust from chandelier, remove socket sleeves then cover sockets with painters' tape.

Prime Surface

Shake can of spray primer for one minute then attach snap-on handle to can's top. With can six inches from surface, lightly pull spray handle back and prime chandelier using controlled pressure on handle. Prevent drips by covering areas to be painted with an even coat of primer, being careful not to spray one area for too long. Allow primer to fully dry for approximately one hour.

Add Finish Coat

Shake can of spray paint for one minute, then attach spray handle to top. With can six inches from surface, lightly pull spray handle back creating controlled, overlapping strokes. Allow up to an hour for first coat to dry, then apply final coat.

Insert Globe Bulbs

Remove painters' tape from sockets, slide sleeves into place then screw in globe bulbs.

To order your copy of Remodeling Hell, CLICK HERE!

*DIY project from

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

DIY Project - How to Make Chalkboard Kitchen Canisters

DIY (do it yourself) projects are very popular.  Along with informative home remodeling posts, I thought it would be fun to start including some popular DIY projects for your home.  Today's post is making chalkboard canisters.

Glass canisters are practical, inexpensive and readily available, but can be a bit boring. Chalkboard paint and an easy-to-apply stenciled detail will transform them into a unique accessory for any kitchen.

Materials Needed:

  • glass canister(s)
  • flexible measuring tape
  • painters' tape
  • glass-etching cream
  • 1" paint brush
  • chalkboard spray paint
  • square or rectangular stencil that fits canister
  • 2" foam brush
  • latex or acrylic craft paint

Clean Canister

Clean each glass canister with soap and water then thoroughly dry with a clean cloth or towel.

Measure and Tape

Using painters' tape, make a square on the outside of the canister to the dimensions of the stencil. Make sure the taped-off area is level and centered on the canister. Tip: A flexible measuring tape used for sewing will be easier to use on the curved surface of the canister than a metal measuring tape.

Apply Etching Cream

Brush on a thick coat of etching cream inside the taped area using a one-inch wide paint brush. Etched glass will provide tooth for better paint adhesion. Follow manufacturer's directions for activation time and etching cream removal procedure. Remove painters' tape after rinsing the etching cream. Thoroughly dry canister with a clean towel. Tip: Make sure to use etching cream, not a product that frosts glass or only simulates etching.

Spray Chalkboard Paint

Apply clean painters' tape surrounding the etched area and cover the rest of the canister in newspaper to protect it from overspray. Using long, steady strokes, apply the chalkboard spray paint in a thin coat to prevent drips. Allow ample drying time, then apply a second coat in the same manner as the first and repeat a third time if needed for full coverage. Carefully remove paper and painters' tape before the last coat is dry.

Season Chalkboard

When the chalkboard paint has fully dried, rub a piece of chalk over the entire painted surface to season the chalkboard. This step will prevent writing from being burned into the surface. Clean chalkboard with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.

Paint Decorative Border

Tape stencil into place. Dip a two-hnch foam brush into acrylic or latex paint and remove excess on a paper towel, leaving just a small amount on the sponge. Using this dry-brush technique will reduce the risk of paint bleeding under the stencil. Apply paint perpendicular to the stencil surface in a pouncing motion. Carefully remove the stencil, lifting it directly off the canister, so paint doesn't smear. Tip: When using a stencil multiple times, rinse between uses. Allow time for paint to fully dry, then fill canister with kitchen staples and use chalk to label jar's contents.

To order your copy of Remodeling Hdll, CLICK HERE!

*DIY project found on

Monday, 23 January 2012

Half Day DIY Project for Your White Kitchen Cabinets!

Distressed and Antiqued Kitchen Cabinets

Add cottage-style charm to white painted cabinets by distressing then applying antiquing glaze. This quick and easy project will give builder basic cabinets a custom look in no time.


Materials Needed:

  • rubber gloves
  • mocha-tinted antiquing glaze (available at most home improvement stores)
  • smooth cotton rags
  • painters' tape
  • sanding block
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • small paintbrush
  • spray polyurethane

Clean Cabinets

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and wipe cabinet faces with a damp rag to remove surface dirt. Let the cabinets dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Protect Walls

Use painters' tape to protect the walls around cabinets. Glaze dries slowly, so there is usually time to clean up an accidental mark, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Sand Edges

Using a sanding block wrapped in 80-grit sandpaper, sand raised edges and corners of each cabinet door and/or opening. Sand until the wood under paint is fully exposed.

Apply Antiquing Glaze

Add a small amount of antiquing glaze to a smooth, clean rag. Begin applying the glaze to the front or side of one cabinet in small, circular motions until you've covered the entire section. Tip: A small amount of glaze will go a very long way. It's better to start with too little glaze rather than too much.

Smooth Finish

Once the entire front or side of a cabinet has been covered in glaze, use a clean area of your rag and a very light touch to smooth out all the circular marks. Gently wipe the glaze in straight up-and-down or side-to-side motion until the desired effect is achieved.

Darken Edges

Using a small brush, add more antiquing glaze to the distressed parts of the cabinets and/or doors. It's OK to apply the glaze liberally in these places because some of it will be removed in the next step.

Remove Excess Glaze

Wrap a smooth, clean rag around your index finger and carefully wipe off any excess glaze that's accumulated outside of the distressed spots created in the previous step.

Distress Remaining Cabinets

Continue working, cabinet by cabinet, until every desired surface has been antiqued. Make sure to stand back every now and then to ensure the overall effect is consistent. When finished, let the glaze dry for at least 24 hours before sealing it.

Protect the Finish

Spray on a light coat of clear, non-yellowing sealer to protect the distressed finish from damage.  

Tip: It's very important to use a non-yellowing sealer as regular polyurethane will turn yellow if applied over white paint.

To order your copy of Remodeling Hell, CLICK HERE!  

*DIY project found on

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Removing Carpet Stains

Here are a few tips on how to remove and clean carpet stains.  Remember to always test in a small, unnoticeable area first to make sure the carpet won’t be discolored or damaged.
Cleaning Stain From Carpet
Cleaning Stain From Carpet
  • Saturate a clean, white cloth with rubbing alcohol and dab the spot.
  • Mix 1/4 cup water with 3/4 cup household vinegar. Spray stain generously but not too much to soak under padding. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then dip a clean, white cloth in the water/vinegar and dab area until it’s removed.
  • Use a bar of Ivory Soap wrapped in with a wet cloth or a gentle bristle brush.
  • Try a laundry stain remover pen or stick.
  • Remove gum from carpet by covering and slathering the gum with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Allow it to sit for a minute or two, then remove peanut butter and gum with a wet cloth. Clean the area with a wet, soapy cloth.
  • Spot clean the area with club soda.
  • Sponge with a soapy sponge, then with hydrogen peroxide or a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia (careful on colored carpets, more for light tones).
  • Blot with household vinegar.
  • Try a baby wipe if you have one on hand.
  • OxiClean–I’ve had great success with this product.
  • Mix together 4 tablespoons baking soda, 6 teaspoons household ammonia, 1/4 cup liquid Ivory dish detergent, 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water. Sponge into spot, allow to dry then vacuum.
  • Make a thick paste with cornstarch and water and apply to area, allow to dry then vacuum up. May need few applications to lift all the stain 
 Tips To Remember

  •  Don’t scrub in stain, but blot out and wipe upward if possible. 
  • Avoid applying too much liquid so that it soaks and saturates the carpet’s under padding.
  • Don't take any chances - always test a small area first
  •  If you have pets, avoid using ammonia as it may trigger your pet to relieve himself on the spot.
To order your copy of Remodeling Hell - Click HERE!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Hot Trends For Bathroom Remodeling In 2012

From toilets that double as sound systems to water conserving spa experiences, here's what's trendy for bathroom improvements in 2012.

Trend #1 Conservation Rules
All around the country, water reserves are stressed. In response, regional governments are implementing conservation measures.  As a result, there are likely to be new regulations that will affect your construction or remodeling plans.  Here's what to watch for:

Your new toilet will have a lower flush per gallon rating than the one that's in there now.  Consider a dual flush version, or any low flow toilet coming on the market that meets your style preference. At the very least, your new commode is likely to feature a 1.28 gallons per flush rating - better than even the most recent 1.6 GPF offerings. You'll find them at home improvement centers from $100 to luxury showroom versions for thousands more.

The WaterSense label, launched in 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency to promote water conservation by plumbing manufacturers and homeowners, will become as well-known as Energy Star. You'll be shopping for low flow shower heads and faucets with the WaterSense label on the box. Just as with Energy Star appliances, there is no cost premium associated with WaterSense savings - there are faucets in every price range.  WaterSense shower heads are newer on the market, with a more limited selection today-mostly at affordable prices.

You'll start seeing more shower heads-especially reading shower models-using Venturi principles that deliver strong water pressure by adding air, not water, to the mix. They are available in every price range, to ultra-affordable standard heads to luxury rain showers.

Trend #2 Technology Advances

You may not think of your bathroom as a high-tech space, but that's about to change. Here are some of the trends that can benefit your home:

You'll be able to create a custom showering experience more affordably than ever. For $300 for simple controllers, two $3500 or more for a complete luxury installation, programmable showers let you digitally set your water temperature, volume, and even massage settings before you step in. To achieve a personalized shower experience, you'll need 120 volt power source, and the thermostatic valve and controller in addition to your standard shower head or heads. Luxury models may include a steam system, a Wi-Fi source for music, multiple body spray outlets, tankless water heater, and the secondary controller to start the system from another room.

Dock your iPhone or MP3 player directly with your speaker equipped, high-tech toilet so you can entertain yourself on the commode.  While you're not likely to invest $4000-$6000 for a Kohler Numi toilet using this technology today, start looking for competitive models later in the year with lower prices.

Catch up on news and weather while you brush your teeth. Television screens are being integrated into medicine cabinets and vanity mirrors. Cost? Early entries to the market command a premium $2200-$2400 price tag.

Plug your smart phone or MP3 player into your medicine cabinet so you won't miss a call or song while you're getting ready for work or bed.  A built in jack keeps your unit charged ( and away from wet countertops) and linked to a built-in speaker system.

Trend #3 Aging Demographics Emphasize Safety

It's not just high-tech that bringing an experience to the bathroom.  Trends in universal design features added comfort, convenience, and safety. But that doesn't mean your bathroom has to look institutional. Here are a few universal design innovations that can factor helpfully and stylishly in your 2012 remodeling plans.

Sleek, low-profile linear drains are ideal for creating safe, zero threshold shower designs. Unlike standard round drain covers that are typically mounted near the front end of the shower, these long, straight drains can be installed in different locations to minimize the slope of the shower floor. One popular location is at the outside edge of the shower,creating a wheelchair friendly curbless shower.  More offerings in more finishes - including nearly invisible tile-in channel modes that are largely covered by shower floor tile- are becoming the standard for upscale spaces.  You'll spend $500-$900 for a quality linear drain.

The rapidly expanding selection of porcelain, glass, and ceramic tiles makes it easy to find slip resistant, low maintenance floors that don't skimp on style.  Expect to see faux wood, linen, and uniquely textured looks for tiled bathroom floors and walls in 2012.  The texture adds both visible impact and better traction for wet feet.

The accessible tub is no longer limited to the high walled, narrow door format that dominated the market in the last decade. Newer models, such as Kohler's Elevance ($5,100) employ rising panels in front that give more of a traditional tub look with easier entry and exit. Others use standard hinged, sealed doors, but are increasing door width by several inches for better accessibility and appearance.

What improvements-big or small-are you planning for your bathroom this year?

To order your copy of Remodeling Hell and to download your free Salvation Guide, CLICK HERE!

*article from

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Three Tips About Kitchen Remodeling

It's one thing to read about the remodeling process but it's a different thing entirely to have first-hand knowledge about kitchen remodeling from people who have done it themselves. Below are some top tips for kitchen remodeling given by men and women who have been through the process.

Add 15% to your total
No matter how specific or detailed your budget is for a kitchen remodel, you can almost guarantee it will be more expensive.   Add on 15% to your estimate to make sure you are able to complete the whole project without meeting additional financing.

Choose Value Over Cost
Just because something is cheaper initially doesn't mean it will make a good material choice.  Opt for the best building materials you can find and expect them to last much longer than cheaper choices.

Add More Lighting
Many kitchen remodelers mention that they wish they had more lighting, so avoid that regret and add plenty to begin with.  Under the kitchen cabinet is a particular favorite.

By following these three helpful tips from veteran remodelers, you too can have a kitchen remodel that goes smoothly! With products from leading manufacturers at savings up to 50% off,  there are many ideas for home improvement that will make a big difference in your design.

For additional tips you can order your copy of Remodeling Hell by clicking here and

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Do Homework Before Hiring A Housekeeper

For most homeowners hiring a maid service is a luxury. If you decide it's worth the splurge, do some homework before you hire so you don't wind up in a nightmare situation with someone who has access to your home.  First, decide what you want from a housekeeper or maid service. You might expect someone to clean your windows, inside and out, every month, and to vacuum under the bed and couches.  You might want your housekeeper to move your books and knickknacks for dusting, and put them back as  before.  Or you might need help with the laundry and ironing, changing the sheets or sweeping the porches and driveway.

Chances are those services aren't part of the standard package that includes a good cleaning of the kitchen, bathrooms, floors and furniture. Some services might agree to do your special jobs for an extra fee, and some might not offer them at all. So the more specific you are about what you want before you choose a maid, the better the chance that you'll get what you want.

Next, search for reputable, trustworthy service that has been in business a while and that comes highly recommended by friends, family or neighbors. If you go with the company, choose one that does background checks on its employees, has insurance, bonds its housekeepers and has a valid local business license.  Ask what the company's insurance covers: theft; accidental damage to your possessions; rekeying in case the maid loses her house keys; flooding caused by a housekeeper who forgets to turn off a faucet; on-the-job accidents?

Third, talk about price. Ask neighbors with same size homes how much they pay so you'll have a benchmark.  But don't be surprised if your price fluctuates with the frequency of your service (you'll probably pay less per visit for weekly service than if you have someone come just once a month) or because your family is larger than your neighbors or because you have pets.

Then, ask for and check references. Start with the Better Business Bureau to learn if any homeowners have filed complaints about the services you are considering. Call customers to ask if they have any complaints, if the maids are reliable and thorough and if they would recommend the service to others. Once you've narrowed down your selection to a couple, dig a little deeper. Some questions to ask:

  • Will the maids bring their own vacuum cleaners, dusters and cleaning products, or use yours?
  • Does the service use echo friendly cleaning supplies, or harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia? Are the products safe for children and pets?
  • What is the procedure if you have a complaint? How does the company resolve problems between homeowners and housekeepers?
  • How will the company ensure you're getting high quality service? Will the manager inspect your home after it is been cleaned?
  • Will the service honor your request to send the same maids every time-or to stop sending someone you don't like? If you're not comfortable with someone who comes to your home, you should have the right to ask for someone else.
Finally, write it all down. If you decide to work with a housecleaning service, the company will draw up a contract that covers your agreement. If you hire an individual, it's a good idea for you to write a contract on your own for the two of you to sign. Hiring a housekeeper is just the beginning of your relationship with the stranger who'll have the run of your house-possibly while you're not at home.

Once you settle on a service or an individual, arranged to spend most of your housekeeper's first visit talking instead of cleaning.  Explain your expectations, show them maid around, set ground rules about off-limits rooms, point out which fragile items she should handle with care.  Make it clear whether it's okay for her to talk on the phone, turn on the TV or stereo, or bring a helper or even her children to your house during her shift.  Talk often. If you're not happy with something your housekeeper does, say so. And allow her to approach you with suggestions or questions.

Many homeowners employ their housekeeper for years. Hire thoughtfully and treat your employees fairly and with respect, and you may never have to repeat the process-because you will be working with a keeper.

To order your copy of Remodeling Hell and to download your FREE Salvation Guide, please CLICK HERE.

*Article written by Rosie Romero for The Arizona Republic

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

10 Steps to Make an Attic Suitable for Storage

No matter how small your attic is, there's probably room for storage. The problem is the space may not be in any shape to preserve items left there for any length of time.  Here are 10 things to consider if you want to convert your attic into a storage room.

  1. How clean is it? Odds are it is the filthiest spot in the house. Pull on a sturdy pair of work gloves and give your attic a thorough cleaning, from ceiling to floors. Scrub away all dust, dirt, grime, mildew and mold. The cleaner your attic is, the safer it will keep your stored possessions.
  2. Does it have bugs? Search for bugs, rodents and other critters-dead or alive.  If you spot anything, call an exterminator to treat the attic. You won't want anything nibbling on the holiday decorations or spare linens you place in your new space.
  3. How hot is it? Answer: Extremely, particularly in 100° temperatures.  If you store collectibles or keepsakes, know that the heat can warp, discolor and even destroy them. You might need to add ventilation to help cool the space.
  4. Is there light?  Most attics have a single bulb or no light at all. Call an electrician to tap into that single bulb and run enough lighting to rid the attic of shadows.
  5. Can you move around safely? Beware of protruding roofing nails. And take care where the ceiling slopes and the exposed frame is just waiting to bang your head.
  6. How sturdy is the floor? Your attic might have a plywood floor or no floor at all.  Be sure to install a sturdy floor, particularly if you want to store books, stacks of magazines and other heavy items.  The last thing you want is for your possessions to crash through the ceiling.
  7. What will you store? You may want to invest in storage bins to protect your most cherished possessions.
  8. How much space do you have?  Most attics are shallow and narrow. Consider every nook and cranny as a potential storage area. Build shelves, if you can, to add layers. Be sure not to block vents because airflow is vital to keeping the attic relatively cool.
  9. Does the roof leak? Check for water stains, wet spots and mildew. Have a leaky roof repaired before you place anything in your attic.
  10. Is it easy to get into? Once your attic is clean, organized and full of your stuff, inspect it regularly to check your items for damage.  Keep a stool or a ladder nearby for easy access.

For your copy of Remodeling Hell and your FREE Salvation Guide CLICK HERE!

*Article written by Rosie Romero for The Arizona Republic