How to Paint Ceilings

These tips will make painting a ceiling easier. You will need the following:

• Use a 2 ½ inch angle sash brush to paint the edges. It’s important to choose a good brush, such as Benjamin Moore’s Soft Nylon Polyester Brush.

• Use a 9 inch roller with an extension handle for the rest of the ceiling.
Don’t press too hard on the roller when you paint the ceiling, since that may cause splatters and drips.

After you reload the roller with paint, start painting from an unpainted area and work into the wet area.

Roll slowly when you are near the wall to help avoid hitting the wall.
You will also need a sturdy stepladder.

Step 1: Paint the edge of the ceiling where it meets the wall

1. If you plan to paint the wall, you can over lap the paint onto the wall about half an inch or more. If you don’t plan to paint the walls, use painter’s tape to protect the wall or use the brush to cut in a straight line along the wall’s edge.

2. Brush paint onto the ceiling about 3 inches from the wall to make it easy to roll up to without getting paint on the walls.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.

Step 2: “Cut in” or carefully paint around the edges of lights and ceiling fans

1. If possible, lower the cover of the light or ceiling fan to paint that area.

2. Cover the blades of the ceiling fan with plastic, secured with tape, to protect against paint splatters.

Step 3: Paint the rest of the ceiling with a roller

1. Use a roller pole that is comfortable and long enough to reach over the covered furniture in the center of the room.

2. Paint with the roller from the corner of the ceiling nearest a window. The light from the window will reflect onto the wet paint on the ceiling, allowing you to see where you have painted. Then work your way across the room opposite the window.

3. Paint the ceiling in one session, so the paint dries uniformly.

4. Wait for the paint to completely dry before you start a second coat. (Read the paint can for recommended drying time.)

Paint Your Room in This Order

Paint the room in this order to help avoid some common mistakes to make your project go smoothly.

1. Start by painting the ceiling, this way if paint drips on the walls, that won’t be a problem since you will be painting the walls afterward. If you are going to paint two coats on the ceiling, apply both coats before you start the walls.

Remember the golden rule: Make sure the first coat is dry before you start the second.

2. Next, paint the walls. If you paint two coats, finish both coats before moving on to the windows.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.
3. Paint the windows from top to bottom, leaving the windowsills for last.

4. Paint the radiator, the baseboards, and the doorframe.

5. Paint the door. Leaving the doorway for last allows you to avoid walking past wet paint as you work.

Painting in this order will help your project go smoother and involve less clean-up.

How to replace or fix a doorknob

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

Just as new knobs can give a kitchen a brand-new look, door knobs can really update the feel and look of your home. Are your doorknobs in good shape? Could they use a little updating? Are they lose or malfunctioning? If your doorknobs are dingy, you will be surprised at how simply changing them can really add to the look, feel, and cleanliness of your home.

Doorknobs are not too expensive and relatively easy to install. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and locking mechanisms. If you are changing out an old door knob, make sure your replacement is the same size. Most doorknobs are standard and interchangeable, but you want to make sure.

Essentially, you can approach replacing or fixing a door knob in the same way. Typically, if your doorknob is loose or is in need of repair, you can simply replace the whole thing, or you can take it apart and tighten it up. Either way, the steps will be the same.

How to replace or fix a doorknob:

Out with the old:

1. Take the old doorknob out of the door by first removing the trim (the metal ring on the door surrounding the knob). Using a screwdriver, unscrew the two screws that hold the trim to the door. If the trim does not come off when you unscrew it, you may need to use a scraper or flat-head screwdriver to ease it off.

2. Next remove the two screws on either side of the door knob mechanism. These are what hold the mechanism (and the two doorknobs) together.

3. Take a good look at how the doorknobs come apart. This will help when you install the new ones.

4. Take the old doorknobs out and set them aside.

5. You will be left with just the bolt (or the locking mechanism). Remove the two screws that hold this in the door, and remove the bolt.

6. Does the strike plate also need to be replaced? Take a look at it. If it’s in good shape (and matches the color of the new doorknob) then keep it. If not, remove the two screws that hold it to the doorjamb and set it aside.

In with the new:

1. Take the bolt section and place it into the opening. Doorknob bolts have one side that is slanted. Make sure the slanted side faces the direction in which the door closes.

2. Screw in the bolt section with the screws provided.

3. You should have two doorknobs and two trims. Take the first trim and put it up to the door, covering the bolt section.

4. Take one of the doorknobs (the one with the mechanism that fits in the bolt—usually a square hole) and put it through the trim and the bolt.

5. Take the other doorknob and trim piece and put it on the other side of the door. Make sure you align these correctly. Remember the two long screws you took out of the old doorknob? Well, this one needs those too, so make sure they all line up.

6. Put in the long screws. Begin to tighten each just a little; going back and forth between both sides to make sure that the knob is coming together evenly.

7. You will now need to put the strike plate onto the door jamb.

Strike plate:

1. Take a pencil and mark up the end of the bolt.

2. Close the door and turn the handle so that the bolt gently hits the doorjamb. Repeat this a few times.

3. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. The mark will show you where you need to place the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the previous hole.

4. Place the strike plate in the correct area, and attach it with the screws provided.

5. Test the lock a few times from both the inside and the outside to ensure that it has been assembled properly. Adjustments may need to be made.

6. If the strike plate seems loose, you may need to buy longer screws to get a tighter fit.


When you take apart your old doorknob, keep all the pieces together or even reassemble them. Having this as a reference when you put in your new doorknob will be really helpful.
Have patience. Doorknobs have a lot of tiny little pieces, which can disappear and cause contusion, so go slow. You’ll do just fine!

Key Doesn’t Work In Door

Problem: Door won’t open be cause of binding or broken key, a stuck bolt, or a frozen lock.

Background: Like most other mechanical devices, keys and locks can wear out or become damaged. Some times lock problems are caused by a misaligned door. To prevent lock problems, periodically inspect them, tighten loose screws, apply lock lubricant, and make adjustments as necessary to strike-plates. Excessively loose tubular or cylinder locksets, or locks that seize the key, may be candidates for replacement; however, sometimes a locksmith can replace worn tumblers and springs.

What to do: If the lock is frozen, try warming the key and reinserting it, or try squirting alcohol into the key hole. When a key breaks in a lock, it is often because it was not pushed in completely before turning, or the wrong key was pushed into the lock. If part of the key stays inside the lock, remove the cylinder and try pushing the key part out with a fine pin from the shaft end. When keys bend, it may be caused by a poorly made duplicate key. If an original key works in the lock, have the duplicate remade. Binding can also be caused by worn tumblers. If you think this is the problem, remove the cylinder and take it to a locksmith. If the key turns, but the bolt sticks, check to make sure the bolt isn’t blocked by paint. If the bolt can’t move because the door is misaligned, check and align the door.

Special advice: To help avoid lock problems, try to make all keys easily identified. When having duplicate keys made, go to a qualified lock smith who uses top-quality blanks. (Having at least 1 extra duplicate key kept in a secure place can pre vent an emergency.) When replacing locksets, spend more for the best quality you can afford. Locks can be lubricated with graphite (in a pinch, rub keys with graphite from a wooden pencil) or with fine oil sold for that purpose. Don’t use regular lubricating oil.

Helpful hint: When locking up the home, don’t lock all other doors from the inside; if the door locked with a key doesn’t work you won’t be able to gain entry to the inside of the home.

Interior Painting Ideas for your home

Are you looking for interior painting ideas? For all of those who are tired of the same old boring walls, consider various interior painting projects to spruce things up! There are so many ways that you can take a dull wall and make it nothing short of a masterpiece! We know that not everyone has the same levels of skills, but in the world in which we live, there are many avenues that you can take and tools that you can use to get the beautiful, colorful, and designed walls that you are looking for! Let’s not forget that we can paint a lot more than walls as well!

To start, we need to choose the surface to paint. If you are painting walls or other flat surfaces, you need to start with a good cleaning as well as repairing any damages that you may find. Patch any holes and repair any rips, tears, or seams. Then you can move on. For those who are painting other surfaces, you will need to do the same cleaning and repair, but you also may need to consider other steps as well. If the surface will not easily hold paint, you’ll need to use an etching process to help it along.

Okay, so how will you do your painting? There are many techniques to choose from. You don’t just have to paint the wall one color. You can use several in various patterns. This includes processes like ragging, rolling, and washing. In some techniques, paint is coated on to the wall then removed using sponges or rags. Or, if you want a more geometrical look, consider stripes as well as frames around the walls.

You also don’t have to limit your interior painting ideas to walls. You can paint furniture, masonry like fireplaces, as well as elements like molding, doors, and windows. There is no limit to the things that you can paint with the right materials at your side. Painting is a great way to show off a new look or tone within a home. It can enhance or be the focal point of the room. And, just a few coats of paint will end up leading you to a completely different looking room, within minutes.

Painting tips & tricks

Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easily.

To keep white paint from yellowing, add 2 drops of black paint to each Gallon of white.

When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.

An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.

When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.

To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.

Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.

To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.

When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact colour with you and can match accessories in store.

When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more easily.

When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.

When painting old woodwork fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.

How to restretch carpet


Carpeting that isn’t glued down is held around the perimeter of a room by wood strips with metal pins that grip the carpet backing. To repair loose carpets, you’ll need to rent a “knee kicker,” a stretching tool to pull the carpet tight and reattach the edges to the strips. These can be found at rental centers and carpet distributors.

How to restretch carpet:

1. Turn the knob on the head of the knee kicker to adjust the depth of the prongs. The prongs should extend far enough to grab the carpet backing without penetrating through the padding.

2. starting from a corner or near a point where the carpet is firmly attached, press the knee kicker head into the carpet, about 2 inches from the wall. Thrust your knee into the cushion of the knee kicker to force the carpet toward the wall.

3. Tuck the carpet edge into the space between the wood strip and the baseboard, using a 4-inch wallboard knife.


Most carpets are held together at the edges with heat activated seam tape. The tape comes in rolls and has hardened glue on one face. You will need to rent a “seam iron.”

How to reglue loose seams:

1. Remove the old tape from under the carpet seam.

2. Cut a strip of new seam tape, and place it under the carpet so it is centered along the seam with the adhesive facing up.

3. Plug in the seam iron, and let it heat up. Seam irons work like curling irons and regular irons, but they vary in the amount of time needed to heat up. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long you should wait for it to heat up.

4. Pull up both edges of the carpet, and set the hot iron squarely onto the tape. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to melt.

5. Move the iron farther along the seam, as necessary.

6. Quickly press the edges of the carpet together into the melted glue behind the iron. If anything goes wrong you have only 30 seconds to repeat the process.

7. Separate the pile to make sure no fibers is stuck in the glue and that the seam is tight.

8. Place weighted boards or phone books over the seam to keep it flat while the glue sets.

Prep & Exterior Painting

1. Wash you’re siding with an inexpensive hose- mounted brush, such as a car-washing brush. Work from the top of the wall to the bottom. Use household detergent on tough spots and rinse all soapy areas thoroughly.

2. Scrape away peeling paint with a paint scraper. Don’t gouge the wood, and be sure to change (or sharpen) the scraper blade frequently to make the work go faster.

3. Use 100-grit sandpaper over a sanding block to smooth the scraped areas. Feather the edges so they match the surrounding surface.

4. Use a flap sander mounted in an electric l (or a cordless drill for very quick jobs) to remove peeling paint from curved surfaces. This tool works on both concave and convex boards.

5. On larger scraped areas, use an electric sander to smooth the surface. U e 100-grit sandpaper and be sure to brush the sanding dust off he siding or trim when you’re done.

6. Fill any cracks between the siding and the door and window trim using a caulk gun and paintable, exterior caulk. Fill deep cracks in a couple of passes to keep the caulk from smearing on the siding.

7. Prime and then paint all sanded areas. And, try not to over-brush. Because paint tends to fade over time, your touch-ups will look brighter than the original paint covering. Keeping their size as small as possible will make them less noticeable.

8. Try to remove any paint splatters from window glass before they dry. Once the paint hardens ifs much harder to remove.

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

We’ve seen it a million times on cop shows: the guys in uniform leap up the stairs, guns ready, and kick in the villain’s front door.

If only the criminals had used longer screws!

Replacing an existing dead bolt, whether for extra security or because of a malfunction, is not a difficult job. Once you buy the lock, you can do the replacement in a few simple steps.

When you’re preparing to put in a deadbolt, make sure you buy heavy-duty three-inch screws. In the real world, a person kicking in your door is more likely to be a thief than a police officer. Many dead bolts are mysteriously sold with small screws, which won’t be enough to stop someone from kicking in your door without too much effort.

(The same goes for an inside chain lock. Make sure you use long enough screws to prevent someone easily kicking in the door.)
There are two basic types of dead bolts: surface mount and internal. Surface mount dead bolts are easier to install, but internal deadbolts provide more security. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I recommend spending a little extra effort and money for the sake of your security: if you can, go for an internal dead bolt.

Check to see if your door has a hole for a dead bolt. If not, you will need a hole saw for this project. Hole saws can be found at any hardware store. They are about the size of a measuring cup, with jagged teeth, and attach to a drill, Make sure the hole saw you buy matches the size of the new dead bolt.


How to replace a dead bolt:

Out with the old:

1. Take the old dead bolt out of the door by using a screwdriver to remove the screws on the inside panel of the lock. Take a good look at how the lock comes apart. This will help when you are installing the new one.

2. Take the inside and outside pieces of the lock face and pull them apart and away from the door.

3. Remove the screws from the lock mechanism plate, which is located on the edge of the door.

4. Remove the screws from the strike plate, which is located on the doorjamb.

5. Measure the diameter of the hole in the door to be sure that you buy the same size dead bolt. Even better, you can take the old dead bolt to the hardware store to en sure that you buy the right size.


Some models may be a bit more difficult to replace due to mounting brackets or slightly different assembly. The process of removing the old dead bolt can teach you things that make puffing in the new unit that much easier, so remember the steps.
In with the new:

1. Place the new dead bolt mechanism in the hole in the door.

2. Instead of using the screws provided to attach the strike plate to the doorjamb, use longer screws that are the same diameter. This will make the lock much more secure. You may need to drill pilot holes first.

3. Put the inside and outside halves of the lock cylinder together. You can use the screws provided to attach them to each other and to the door.

4. Be sure that the bolt plate on the edge of the door is flush with the surface of the wood. Otherwise, it will keep the door from closing. If the new plate is slightly bigger than the space for the old plate, you may need to use a wood chisel to enlarge the area a bit.

5. Now attach the strike plate.

6. Take a pencil and mark up the end of the bolt.

7. Close the door and turn the latch so that the bolt gently hits the doorjamb. Repeat this a few times.

8. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. The mark will show you where you need to place the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the previous hole.

9. Place the strike plate in the correct spot, and attach it with the long screws, not the ones provided with the plate.

10. Test the lock a few times from both the inside and the outside to ensure that it has been assembled properly. Adjustments may need to be made.


How to install a new dead bolt:

1. Buy a dead bolt and measure the diameter of the hole it will require you to make in the door. Buy a hole saw of the same size. The hole saw will attach directly to your drill.

2. The dead bolt should be placed about 6 inches above the doorknob (from the center of the doorknob to the center of the dead bolt). Center it above the doorknob. Measure and mark this distance with a pencil.

3. Wearing eye protection, drill a pilot hole with a 1/8-inch drill bit all the way through the door in the very center of your mark.

4. Attach the hole saw to your drill.

5. Using the pilot hole as a guide, drill through the door, stopping halfway. Very important: only drill halfway! Drilling halfway from each side will prevent the door from splitting. Make sure you hold your drill level and steady so that you do not create a crooked hole.

6. Move to the other side of the door, and drill from that side until you get all the way through with the hole saw. The hole saw will hold on to the drilled-out piece of the door. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it out.

7. Place the new dead bolt mechanism into the hole of the door and follow steps 2—10 for replacing a dead bolt.

How Do I Choose a Paintbrush or Roller

How Do I Choose a Paintbrush?

Choosing a paintbrush all depends on what you are using it for. Always buy quality brushes. When you skimp, the brush tends to fall apart, and you will end up having to pull loose bristles out of your paint job, leaving you with a less-than-perfect look. For water-based paints, you can choose all-purpose brushes. For oil-based paint, choose brushes made with animal hair, such as ox or hog. Most brushes will be marked for their best application. Look at the packages before you buy.
Its best to keep a range of clean brushes on hand, including 2 ½-, 3-, and 4-inch flat brushes as well as tapered sash brushes. Here is a detailed list of paintbrushes and their uses:

Walls For walls (cutting around the sections you will roll), choose a 3-inch to 5-inch paintbrush with straight edges. These can be called wall brushes or professional paint brushes, and are designed to carry lots of paint and distribute it widely.

Wood For most woodworking projects chooses a two-inch paintbrush with straight edges. These are typically called trim brushes.

Corners and windows when you need to get into tight places, such as corners and windowsills, it is best to choose an angled or tapered paintbrush. Also called sash brushes, these are from 1 to 2 inches wide.

How Do I Choose a Roller?

Invest money in a good, high-quality paint roller base. You can use it for years to come, and even the best ones are fairly inexpensive.
The standard roller is nine inches wide and has a sturdy metal frame. Pick up the roller for a test drive in the hard ware store, and buy the one that fits your hand most comfortably makes sure that the bottom of the roller handle is threaded so that you can attach an extension pole for hard to-reach places.

Roller covers are disposable and come in various different thicknesses, or ‘naps.” For most interior jobs, you need only a 1/4- or 3/8-inch nap. If you have a rough surface (such as stucco or brick), it is best to use a thicker nap (or more). Choose a quality roller frame that won’t let the cover slip off. Just like a paintbrush, make sure you buy a cover made of quality nap. If you don’t, you will end up having to pull tiny fibers out of your paint job.

Before using a roller cover, be sure to rinse it off (with water if using water-based paint or with paint remover if using oil-based) to remove any loose particles or lint. Can you reuse paint rollers? Depending on the quality and the surface, you may be able to use the rollers a few times. But just take a look: you will be able to tell when you can no longer use the roller because it won’t roll as well and will begin leaving nap behind on the wall.

For water-based paint, an all-purpose roller cover will work just fine. For oil-based paints, however, you will want to use a more expensive roller cover, such as lamb’s wool. If you are painting to a high-gloss finish, try to find a mohair roller cover. It is more expensive but will leave you with a smooth, professional finish.

How to replace grout or a broken tile

How to replace grout:

1. Scrape out the existing grout with a chisel or small putty knife and a small hammer, or simply a utility knife. Be careful not to tap too hard and chip the surrounding tile.

2 Clean the area with a vacuum to remove excess sand, dust, and debris.

3. Run your hand over the grout. Does is feel smooth or a little rough? If it’s smooth, you will need to buy unsanded grout. If it is a little rough, you will need to buy sanded grout. Take a piece of the grout with you to the hardware store to match the color. You only need to buy a small bag or box of grout for small repair jobs. Buy the smallest one you can find.

4. Mix up the grout according to the directions on the back of the bag or box.

5. Take your float, load it with grout and spread grout over the repair area, making sure to push it down into the gap.

6. Scrape away all excess grout by holding your float on its side or at an angle, making sure the grout is smooth and even, just at or slightly below the tile surface.

7. Let the grout dry (or “set up”). This should take about 2 hours.

8. Remove all excess grout and messiness with a damp sponge. Rinse out the sponge frequently and keep it clean. The water will appear chalky or cloudy until it is clean.

9. After grouting, do not get the surface wet for at least 24 hours.

10. After the grout has set up for I week, it should be completely cured. Now it is time to apply a grout sealer. You can buy this at your local hardware store and should follow the directions that come with the product.

How to replace a broken tile:

1. Scrape out grout with a chisel or small putty knife and a small hammer, or simply a utility knife

2. Break the tile in need of repair into tiny pieces using the small hammer.

3. Remove all the pieces of the broken tile. Use a utility knife or small putty knife to scrape the area clean of all excess debris. There will probably be quite a bit of debris left from under the tile, so scrape well! Vacuum the area to remove small particles.

4. Test fit the new tile in the opening. It should have an equal gap on all sides and must also sit flush to the surrounding surfaces.

5. Apply adhesive to the back of the tile and immediately place it into the area being repaired. Use even force with both hands, slightly twisting the tile until it is level with the surrounding area. You want to make sure that the adhesive does not push up the tile unnecessarily.

6. Use a piece of blue painter’s tapes (a type of masking tape) to the tile to hold it in place for 24 hours.

7. Remove the tape and clean around the replaced tile again to assure no debris, dust, or particles have accumulated in the gaps. Clean if necessary.

8. Grout around the tile, following steps 3—10 in the previous project.