Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 10/4/2019

Post

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

One of the benefits of hardwood floors is their durability. When they start to look worn, refinishing takes time, but is much less of a hassle than replacement. Yet sometimes, stains won't simply buff out of the surface of your hardwoods. If you’re dealing with tough stains, like juice or wine spills or ink stains, and need to prep your hardwoods for new finish, bleaching is the answer. Whether you bleach the entire floor and refinish it or simply bleach the area with the stain, this process is not difficult and can restore the look of your beautiful floors. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1 – Prep the Floor

Sand the floor to remove the finish, using a chemical stripper if necessary. You need to remove all of the finish for the bleach to soak in well.

Step 2 – Mix the Bleach

Oxalic acid crystals, which you can purchase at a hardware store, are the best material to use for bleaching hardwood. Mix these crystals into water until no more crystals dissolve. This will take some trial and error, and hot water works best. Be sure to use gloves to protect your skin.

Step 3 – Apply the Bleach

Use rubber gloves, safety goggles and a respirator mask, then grab a sponge and apply the solution on to the stain. Allow it to dry completely. Apply a second application if needed to completely eliminate the stain. Wash off all of the bleach crystals that remain with clean water.

Step 4 – Neutralize

Make a solution by mixing two heaping tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of water. Apply this to the wood to neutralize the bleaching solution, and allow the area to dry.

Step 5 – Refinish

Once you are sure the stain is gone and the wood is dry, refinish the floors as you see fit. If you only bleached part of your floor, take some sandpaper and sand the area, fading the edges of the repaired area to the edges of the rest of the floor. Then, find a matching stain and refinish the area you treated.

Whether you are getting a house ready to stage for sale, have purchased a home and discovered hardwoods under the carpet that need a little TLC, or simply want your existing home to look its best, bleaching the hardwoods is often the best way to get rid of stubborn stains. Before you assume that your stained hardwoods have to be replaced, consider trying this easy DIY solution.




Tags: diy   Bleach   Hardwood Flooring   Stains  
Categories: DIY  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 9/18/2019

Paint is the magic elixir when it comes to inexpensive home makeovers. It rejuvenates space in a way few other things can do. Yet many homeowners have blinders on when it comes to the places they can paint. Namely, they only see the walls as a palette. Let's challenge that notion and remind you of a new way to use paint -- on cabinets.

Step One: Prepping

Whatever you do, don't skip step one — prepping. Though tempting to overlook, the risks of ruining your cabinetry if you do are simply too high.

To prep your cabinets, begin by labeling each cabinet opening and door front with corresponding numbers marked on painter's tape. This will save you countless headaches when it comes time to reinstall. You'll remove the labels before spraying with primer and paint, and then replace the tape when you're ready for reinstallation. You can place the labels just above wherever you've set the pieces to dry so you don't lose track.

Remove all hardware, including hinges and screws. If you're getting new hardware, it likely won't align properly, so be prepared to redo these holes later.

Wipe each cabinet front with a bonding solvent. Allow 1 1/2 hours of drying time before troweling a thin layer of spackling compound over the entire surface to fill holes, blemishes and wood grain pores. Use a second coat if deep holes are evident.

Next, it's time to sand. Doing so eliminates any existing sheen or protective sealant from your cabinets, thereby allowing primer and paint to bond appropriately to the surface. Fine-grit sanding blocks or pads work best for most cabinet and drawer fronts; however, rough-grit sandpaper is acceptable for cabinets with a lot of lacquer or shellac.

Step Two: Add Primer

After vacuuming or wiping down the cabinets, add primer using pigmented shellac sealer and a 2-inch brush. Pour about 1 1/2- inches of your primer into a small can and dip the brush about 1-inch. Press the brush against the side of the can to remove excess primer. Don’t wipe it across the rim, as this removes too much primer. Shellac dries quickly, so move fast and avoid going back over areas that have started to dry. Try to avoid heavy buildup and runs, but don't be overly concerned with uneven patches.

Step Three: Paint

Brush on the first coat of paint, then smooth it out with just the tip of the brush. Follow each layer by sanding lightly using a fine-grit sanding sponge.Allow at least 8 hours for each layer to dry before going over it again. Work from top to bottom to avoid dripping on finished areas. Likewise, paint the insides of the cabinets before moving to the outside. If any paint spills onto a finished area, simply dab it with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits.

Step Four: Reinstall Hardware

Finally, it's time to reinstall door hinges, handles, pulls, mounting plates, and other hardware removed for the project. Once this is complete, attach the door fronts and reset the cabinets in place.

Getting ready for a move or remodel can be stressful. Call, email or use the contact form on the site to schedule a consultation today.




Tags: diy   home improvement  
Categories: DIY  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/25/2019

Have you looked at your bathtub or shower lately and thought that it was in need of some work? Maybe you want to do something yourself but don’t know how to do it or even if you can. If you want your tub to look clean and fresh, try renewing the caulk.

Replacing the caulking

This remedy can bring new life to many a surface. If your caulking—that is the rubbery material in the edges and corners of surfaces designed to protect wet areas like tubs and sinks—has changed color over time, it is simple to cut it out and replace it. All you will need is a knife to cut out the old caulk, a fresh tube of caulking in the color of your choice, and a caulking gun. Each of these should be relatively inexpensive and readily available at your local home improvement store. If you have no idea how to use one ask an associate and they will be happy to show you. 

Preparation

First things first cut out the old caulk. Removing caulk can be done partially to take care of a small section that needs replacing or the whole length of caulking to maintain uniformity and a clean look. Once the old caulk is gone, you will need to make sure that you clean and dry the surface to prepare it for new caulking. Insert the tube of caulk into the caulk gun and cut off the tip of the tube. 

How to apply

Slowly apply a line to the prepared surfaces and take your finger along the caulk to ensure that it goes into to crevasse and is smooth on the edges. As you do this, it is important to note that you may wipe up edges that go too far out. But, you do not want to tape or in any other way make sharp edges of your caulk line as this will compromise it causing it to peel away or allowing the water to seep underneath it. Make sure that you completely and carefully follow the instructions on the caulk that you got to ensure that it has the proper time to cure. Final setting up usually takes about 24 hours. 

Value-added

Get ready to enjoy knowing that you have a fresh, clean bathtub that will be good for you, or for anyone else down the road. Replacing the caulking in your house is a cost-effective home improvement that will bring great value for the cost to your home and your sanity when you see it.




Categories: Home Improvements   DIY   bath tub  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 1/21/2019

Whether prepping your home for sale or just wanting a fresh new look, you don't need to redo the whole house completely. Instead, change out a few critical pieces for something more modern or timeless. Here are a few ways to bring your dated home into the Twenty-first Century.

  • Wall paint: Okay, this one is an easy decision, but, don’t just repaint the same old way. Instead, give each wall a slightly different shade of the same hue to create a dramatic effect. Even neutrals like gray and taupe come in a vast variety of colors. Pick one for your main wall, then one with twenty-five percent white, and then one with fifty percent white for a simple version. In the kitchen, paint above the cabinets a darker shade than the walls to give the appearance of depth and dimension. If you have architectural alcoves or niches, give them the deeper shade. Nothing says so-last-year like chalkboard walls and stencils. Keep the blank slate in the kid’s playroom and update your kitchen with a sophisticated adult color.
  • Ceiling paint: If your ceiling still has the contractor color (the same as the walls), consider changing it up with a bright white. White with a hint of blue reflects light with a more natural sunlight color while white that leans slightly creamy gives the room a warm glow. 
  •  Smooth ceilings: If your home has popcorn ceilings, an immediate update comes with scraping off the texture and smoothing the plaster. Before you begin this project, however, check with a professional to see if your ceiling's surface contains asbestos. If that's the case, you'll need to hire certified asbestos abatement to remove the existing ceiling.
  • Stair railings: Nothing dates a house like an elaborate wood railing with turned spindles or an iron railing with curls and swoops. Swap out the existing one for a simple, yet classic style that spans the decades.
  • White appliances: While moderately expensive, changing out white devices for stainless steel moves your kitchen into the current decade and won't look too out of place with the rest of the kitchen. But, if you're going to upgrade the entire kitchen, go one step further with graphite, blue-gray, or slate units, in high gloss or matte finishes.

If you’re curious about what trends are popular in your neighborhood, visit open houses to see what others are doing, and check with your local realtor.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 1/14/2019

Baby, it's cold outside—but that doesn't mean you have to put a hold on all your home improvement plans. Colder temperatures, rain, and snow can make you feel like you can't work on your home during winter months and face it it’s just a bit harder to get yourself up and into it when that cozy afghan is calling to you. Don't let the temptation of winter hibernation slow down your momentum when it comes to upgrading your home. If you moved into a new house in the fall or are planning to sell your home in the spring then start with some of these projects that you can accomplish over winter and keep moving toward your home goals.

Paint, paint and more paint.

Brighten up the cold season and your home with a fresh coat of interior colors. It tends to be drier during winter months allowing paint to dry much faster in your home. Don't wait until spring to start painting when humidity from rain will limit what you can do. Start now and liven up your living areas, kitchen, and bathrooms with fresh colors. Remember: during winter you will have less ventilation ability after you paint so visit your local hardware or paint store and work with a professional to select the best low VOC paints for options with lower odors and fumes.

Fixate on fixtures. 

Take this time to select new door knobs, light fixtures, outlet covers and more to give your home a whole new look. Install lever-style door handles for easy entry and exit for children and elderly family members. Replace your off-white outlet and switch covers with a pure white or bronze to match the exciting new paint colors you installed. Brighten up your space with modern ceiling fan and light and try new wall sconces in the hallway. Transform your kitchen with new cabinet and drawer pulls without having to install new cabinetry. 

Floor to ceiling. 

Replace worn or outdated carpet with plush fibers or install hardwood flooring. Construction projects slow in colder seasons, and you can find great deals on flooring materials and installation. Modernize your living room with new, eco-friendly bamboo flooring and make your master bedroom cozy again with new carpeting.

Go the extra mile and set your home off with crown molding, chair railings or even completely transform your living room with full wall moldings. You can accomplish these projects with the help of your local hardware store and see a complete difference in your home. When designing these projects make sure you consider all the rooms of your house, especially if you're preparing to sell, so you maintain continuity of design throughout.

Get rid of the popcorn finishing in your older home and enjoy flush naturally textured ceilings. Remember: before you start scraping the popcorn off your ceiling check to make sure the texture does not contain asbestos. If you own an older house and are concerned about asbestos fibers bring in a licensed professional to help plan the proper disposal of asbestos materials and assist you to refinish your ceiling.

If you're not exactly certain where to start on your winter DIY projects speak with your trusted real estate professional for advice on the best projects to upgrade your home.




Tags: home impovements   diy   winter  
Categories: Home Improvements   Winter   DIY