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How to Reglaze Window Glass

photo smoothing out new window glaze

If you need to paint the exterior of old wood and glass windows, you will probably be dealing with window glazing that needs attention as well. Window glazing starts out as a soft, doughy putty made of powdered calcium carbonate whiting and boiled linseed oil.

To seal the joint between window glass and wooden framing, this putty is pressed into the space around the glass and smoothed out to create a flat bead. When the putty hardens, it creates a solid, air-tight seal around the glass. To restore old wood and glass windows like this, the missing and cracked glazing will need to be replaced. This page contains instructions for removing damaged window glaze and reglazing to restore these types of windows. Read More

Wirind Diagram for a Switch Loop

wiring diagram for a switch loop

When the electrical source originates at a light fixture and is controlled from a remote location, a switch loop is used. This circuit is wired with a 3-wire cable running from the light to the switch location. The neutral from the source is spliced directly to the neutral terminal on the light and to the white switch loop wire. The source hot is spliced with the black loop wire. This is an updated version of the first arrangement and complies with the electrical code as of the 2011 NEC requiring a neutral wire in most new switch boxes. The red and black are used for hot and the white neutral wire at the switch box allows for powering a timer, remote control, or other programmable switch. Read More

How to Build a Door Frame

diagram of a new door frame

The parts that come together to form a door frame include: the cripple studs, which transfer the wall load from the top plate to the door header. The header is supported by the jack and king studs along the sides where the load is transferred to the soleplate, which in turn transfers the load to the floor joists and foundation.

To start an opening in an interior wall, first remove the plaster or drywall on both sides of the wall. Leave as much of the original drywall in place as possible when doing "demo" work to avoid extensive wall repairs later. With the wall covering removed, there are two choices for removing the existing framing to make room for a new door. 1-the studs that fall within the new opening can be cut to form the required cripples at the top, or 2-all the framing can be removed and all new pieces installed.

Saving the studs may be the easiest way, but both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Removing them completely will mean an easier cutting job, but require additional framing and wall repair. Preserving them can make repairing the wall easier, but cutting them off straight can be difficult. Read More

Cleaning with Oxygen Bleach

photo mound of sodium percarbonate powder

Oxygen bleach has been around for a long time, but it has just recently found popularity as a cleaning agent around the house. Ask most people how to whiten fabrics or clean stains, and they will tell you to use chlorine bleach. This has long been the go-to solution for getting some surfaces and fabrics truly clean.

The problem with traditional laundry bleach is its toxic effects on humans, animals and the environment. Bleach fumes damage your lungs and organs and direct contact will harm skin, eyes, and other soft tissue. In the environment, chlorine bleach persist and accumulates over time causing long-term harm to plants and wildlife, especially fish and birds. This toxic nature makes bleach very undesirable for cleaning surfaces around the house that need a good brightener or cleaner. Oxygen bleach by contrast is totally safe for plants, animals, and the environment. This is because the chemical base for oxygen bleach is sodium carbonate, also called soda ash, which at its worst is slightly alkaline. Read More

How to Sand Drywall Without Dust

photo of a shop vac sanding block

When it comes to sanding dry joint compound, you're going to have a lot of dust. And because it's so light, the dust will float through the air and get on every exposed surface. This can be the most difficult part of doing wall repairs or hanging new drywall for some people.

The good news is there is a way to greatly reduce the dust produced from sanding joint compound. The bad news is, you may need to buy a new tool or two to do it. If you already have a good shop vac, you're halfway there. If not, you may be able to rent one, or you can use an old house vacuum, if you don't mind getting it dirty or possibly damaging the motor. Read More

How to Remove Old Wallpaper

photo removing the top vinyl on wallpaper

Wallpaper removal is a messy job no matter how you do it, but if you want to get rid of old wallpaper, you really have no choice but to strip it. While it may be a bit of a hassle, it's well worth the effort when the result is a fresh new wall to decorate.

Stripping the paper off the walls is probably the toughest part of the job but the most important part is dissolving the paste. After the paper is gone the paste will be left behind, causing new paint finishes to crack and even new wallpaper to peel. To be successful, you need to dissolve and get rid of all the paste. For this we recommend Savogran® stripping solution. Not all liquid strippers will dissolve the paste so it can be washed off the walls, but this one does a good job with the least effort. Read More

How to Choose a Paint Brush

photo of 3 professional quality brushes for house paint

For painting projects around the house, you really only need 2 or 3 "good" paint brushes. Even if you need to paint every room in the house and the entire exterior too, you will likely want just a few favorites to do it all.

Good paint brushes aren't cheap. A basic high-end, 3 inch brush will start at around $15.00. This may seem like a lot to pay, but as long as you wash it properly after each use, a brush like this will last through many years and painting projects. In reality, a quality brush will be much cheaper in the long term than a low-end one. Read More