How To Remove Water Stains

Permanently rid (hide) nasty water stains

If you’re like anybody else, you’ve probably had water stains on an interior wall or ceiling at one time or another. The good news is, with some good products now on the market, they’re easy to hide.

Just do the following:

Clean the intended surface

Apply stainblocker. The best coating to use on water damage is an oil-based primer/stainblocker. I recommend using a spray can type (KILZ Original oil-base is great!). Rather than brushing it on, just spray it on.

Ventilate area well as fumes can be somewhat strong

Why use a spray can?

Because it’s quick, and you don’t have to worry about the hassle of any paint brush clean-up.

Just shake the can well and lightly spray the primer until no stain is showing.

*NOTE* Keep the can of spray paint moving (like your brushing on paint), so as not to let the paint run and drip.

Let dry for fifteen minutes to a half an hour.

Apply as many coats of finish paint over the area as needed. You’ll probably need just one coat, but, if you’re using dark colors, be prepared to put another one on just in case.

At this point you should not see any “bleed-through”, or a stain still visible after a couple of applications. That’s why using oil-based primer is so effective – in most cases, it covers and hides stains the first time.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is one of those pit falls of home remodeling that most people would like to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common necessity when you buy a new home and discover that you can’t possibly live with the old owner’s decorating tastes. It’s almost always better to remove wallpaper than to cover it or paint it. How to remove wallpaper depends on the type of wallpaper that was used, and the type of wall it’s covering.

There is such a thing as strippable wallpaper. Strippable wallpaper is designed to be easily removed without the use of tools or solutions. You can determine if your wallpaper is strippable by trying to pull it down. Start at one of the upper corners and try to pull the wallpaper off the wall slowly. If it pulls easily without breaking, it’s your lucky day. You can remove strippable wallpaper by slowly pulling it off in a uniform way. Be sure to keep the plane of the paper parallel to the wall and not pulled out towards you for best results.

If you weren’t lucky enough to discover strippable wallpaper, you will require a little more effort to get your wallpaper down. The process for how to remove wallpaper is much more time consuming when it is not strippable. The first step is to move the furniture away from the walls and put down drop cloths. The glue on the backing of the wallpaper will need to be moistened to get the wallpaper down. Unfortunately, some wallpaper is designed to be water resistant (washable), and won’t readily absorb liquid. In this case, you will need to puncture or score the wallpaper so that you can soak the glue. This can be done with a utility knife, but the easiest way is with a special scoring tool for wallpaper available at most hardware stores. This tool fits in the palm of your hand and has spiky wheels on the underside that make tiny holes in the wallpaper.

You can either use a soapy solution of water and household soap to moisten the glue, a warm water and vinegar solution or a chemical wallpaper removal solution. Some chemical solutions are noxious, so check to see if you need a mask, gloves and goggles to work with the one you choose. Whichever solution you choose, apply it to the wallpaper with a spray bottle or a bucket and sponge. Allow it to soak into the glue for about 30 minutes.

When the glue is softened, try to peel off the wallpaper. It may come off with just your hand, but more likely than not, you are going to have to use a putty knife or wallpaper scraper to get it all. Be careful scrapping, and don’t apply too much pressure or you could cause a lot of damage to your walls. You may have to spray some more solution onto the wallpaper as you go if you encounter some tricky pieces that are stuck tight. Continue to peel, spray and scrape until you get all of the wallpaper off.

If you start to remove one layer of wallpaper and discover another layer of wallpaper, you’re looking at twice the work. The bad news is that you need to remove one layer at a time or you risk damaging the walls underneath. Hopefully, there won’t be even more layers under those, or you will have to remove those separately as well.

Once you get all the wallpaper off, you need to remove any remaining glue from the walls that was left behind. To do this, use a solution of tri sodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water. That should remove all of the glue. Let the walls dry completely (it may take several days) before moving on to the next step. You will also have to repair any damage to the walls caused by the removal process. The scraper will occasionally pull off some bits of drywall or poke small holes in the wall, but those can be easily fixed with some spackle. All you have to do is apply the spackle over the hole, let it dry, and sand it down. You can also apply a primer coat on top of it if you like. You’re now all set to paint or apply another wallpaper better suited to your decorating tastes.

How to remove stains from hardwood floors


Water and other liquids can penetrate deep into the grain of hardwood floors, leaving dark stains that are sometimes impossible to remove by sanding. Instead, try bleaching the wood with oxalic acid, which is available in crystal form at home centers or paint stores.

How to remove stains from hardwood floors:

1. Remove the floor’s finish by sanding the stained area.

2. In a disposable cup, dissolve the recommended amount of oxalic acid crystals in water.

3. Wearing rubber gloves pour the mixture over the stained area, taking care to cover only the darkened wood.

4. Let the liquid stand for 1 hour. Repeat the application, if necessary.

5. Wash the area with a solution of 2 tablespoons borax in 1 pint of water to neutralize the acid.

6. Rinse with water, and let the wood dry.

7. Sand the area smooth.

8. Apply several coats of wood stain until the bleached area matches the finish of the surrounding floor.


Wood expands and shrinks according to weather conditions— especially humidity—causing floorboards to rub against each other and against the nails holding them in place, and thus to squeak. It pays to check, however, whether the source of persistent squeaky boards is more than a change in weather. Sometimes shifting or squeaking boards can indicate a bigger problem, like leaking pipes or drains. Be sure to check under the floor to make sure it is free from water damage or rot.
Although there are little tricks to get rid of those squeaks, sanding and refinishing the floor is not one of them, so don’t let any professional talk you into something you don’t need and that won’t fix the problem. Little tricks are good, but to truly fix the problem, you will need to uproot your flooring and repair what’s going on underneath it.

One trick, for a temporary fix, is to put some baby powder between the boards that: squeak. Step on the boards in a bouncing action to allow the powder to seep into the joints.