- Termites: Termite damage doesn’t have to be inevitable. Learn how to keep your home off the menu.
- Design Trends: Spring into the new season with these 4 interior design trends for a fresh, new look.
- Painting Tips: There’s more to painting than just picking the color. Here are 5 things to save time and money on your next painting project.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Removing Stains: Spilled candle wax on the carpet and upholstery can be a sticky situation. Sandy learns a simple trick for removing wax stains.
- Installing a Bathroom: Phillip wants to add a half bathroom in a space with concrete floors and walls. He’ll need a jackhammer to dig things out.
- Duct Cleaning: Is it worth having your HVAC ducts cleaned? We tell Sherry she’s better off using good quality filters and changing them more often.
- Insulation: Pros and cons of 2x6s vs. 2x4s for exterior walls? Ron will save money by using 2x4s and adding spray foam insulation that’s more efficient.
- Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Why is the bathroom still steamed up? Diane needs to check that the exhaust fan is venting outside and consider installing a fan with a humidistat.
- Water Heaters: Mike has questions about draining sediment from his water heater. We have tips on doing it faster and recommend getting an electronic water softener.
- Metal Roofing: Is a long-lasting metal roof worth the expense? It can add value to a home, but Debbie may not get a full ROI if she’s moving anytime soon.
- Property Vandalism: Tenants caused intentional damage to Bonnie’s rental property. We advise her to press criminal charges and make an insurance claim.
|TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is the Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
|TOM: And we are here for you. We’re here to help you take on the projects you want to get done around your house and create your dream home, create your forever home, create your perfect home. Create your home that is comfortable, all that is safe and secure, the sound that is beautiful. And if you need some help taking on those projects, or maybe you don’t know where to start with the project, that’s also what we do. Reach out to us with your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. That’s 888-666-3974. We’re happy to take those. And also, you can simply post them at Money Pit E-commerce ask by clicking the blue microphone button. Coming up on today’s show, you know, before I got behind this microphone, it’s been 20 years as a home inspector. And after doing this for a long time, I tell my clients there are three kinds of houses, those that had a termite problem, those that have a termite problem or those that will get termite problem.
|TOM: Now that it’s spring, it’s time to talk about those categories. We’re going to have solutions for keeping those termites and their very costly damage away from your home coming up.
|LESLIE: All right. And coming up ahead, also, are you ready to upgrade your interior design game for the season ahead? Well, we’re ready to help with four DIY design trends to help you breathe new life into your home.
|TOM: And if you’ve got a painting project planned, there are five important things that you need to consider. They’re going to save you time and money before you start. We’ll let you know what those are.
|LESLIE: But first, what project are you planning for the warmer weather ahead? Maybe you have a project or two in mind. Is it an indoor project? An outdoor project thinking of a new outdoor hangout space, maybe putting in a pool, maybe some sort of a fun outdoor kitchen. Well, whatever it is, we want to help you make your best home ever. So give us a call so we can help you get those projects done right.
|TOM: Call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or you can post your questions at Moneypit.com/ask Just click the blue microphone button. Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
|LESLIE: Sandy in Texas is on the line and need some help with the carpet question. What’s going on?
|CALLER: Well, I had a in one of those little things that is a hot wax. And my granddaughter, Nancy, is like, this is the over on to the carpet. And part of it splashed upon my armchair, which is upholstered. And I didn’t get done anything yet because I don’t know really how to go about cleaning that.
|LESLIE: Well, the first thing you want to do, and this is it’s kind of an easy fix. You just have to make sure you haven’t already scratched at it or rubbed it or anything. Take a brown paper bag and an iron and you want to put the iron on a high setting without steam and put the paper bag over the wax and then iron and the wax will melt, but then stick to the paper bag and you’ll be able to peel it right off.
|CALLER: That’s awesome. Okay. Brown paper bag with a hot iron. Not only seen no steam, just hot cotton and held it on there for a few minutes, then it will pull it out. Yeah.
|LESLIE: You don’t want to like sit it on there too long because you don’t want to burn it through. So you want to kind of just, you know, hold the brown paper bag, then put the iron on top and then shifted around, you know, moving to a clean part on the bag as you get more of the wax on to the bag this way, you’re not spreading the wax.
|TOM: So the bag kind of acts as like the absorbing medium here. That’s like the paper towel, right? Leslie exact soaks into it. Okay. Got it.
|CALLER: Great trick. That sounds wonderful. Thank you so much.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Sandy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Philip on the line. Who needs some help installing a bathroom. What are you working on?
|CALLER: Well, we have an unusual house. It’s all concrete poured concrete. Back in the eighties. So all of the walls in the upper and lower are concrete. Now we have one bathroom in this house. However, we want to install a small half bath in the bedroom right next to the bathroom that’s in the basement now. So we have a concrete wall between the two. We have concrete floors where the toilet and Ove the Ove bath tub is installed now between the bathtub and the other wall. All the plumbing is in there. That’s not concrete. That is a frame down so that we have access to that in the room next door. But the question is, is we want to install another bathroom, a half bath. So we want toilet in a sink. The sink is no problem because what I just said about the plumbing being rough in there, but boy, how do we really want to do this? So it’s going to take some I assume some demolition work to get down in end of that.
|TOM: What room do you want? The half bath to be in? Is it going to be on the same level as the existing bathrooms?
|CALLER: That is correct. It’s in the lower level. It’s basically the same as, you know, you could just say it’s a basement. The only difference is, is that the wall can between the bath that is there now and the bedroom right next door, which where we want the half bath is a concrete wall.
|TOM: Okay. So you’re worried about getting through the wall that separates these two bath spaces. So you have concrete below and then you have a concrete dividing wall. What about the ceiling? Is that typical with construction?
|CALLER: It is.
|TOM: So. Okay. Well, there’s two ways to do this. Number one, yes, you could dig out the floor and break that area out, try to find the intersection with the waste pipe on the other side of that wall. Or you could use what’s called a lift pump. So there are toilets out there that have pumps that are built into them that when you flush them and you can spill the water waste from the sink as well, it essentially activates a pump. It grinds the waste, it runs it up through a pipe, and then it would go up into the ceiling and then cut across to the waistline and be dropped down from there. So that’s, B, less destructive. The Ove mechanism is, you know, a little more complicated, perhaps a little louder than a typical a toilet flush. But they work very, very reliably and they’re very often used in basement bathroom situations where the toilet position is below the main waistline.
|CALLER: Well, no, the main waste line since Ove the only bath is Ove in the lower level right next to where I want the half bath to be. So the waste line is in the floor and it runs out to the south through and right out and it goes right down into the sewer line outside. So there’s no it’s Ove the same level. So I would really like to hook up to the existing line that is right next to the have pants that I want to put in.
|TOM: So I got two words for you. Jackhammer. You know, if you can break up that floor and connect with that line or like I said, you can go up over the wall and drop into the vent pipe, which will no doubt be in that same space. And then, of course, you know, eight feet below that connects with the waistline.
|TOM: So those are your options. I hope one of those works for you. Thanks so much for calling us at 88.
|LESLIE: Money Pit Share in Iowa. You’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Been living in my house for like 20 years and the house is probably 50 years old. Is it worthwhile to have the air ducts or the furthest ducts clean.
|TOM: Unless you’re having a problem? I mean, what most people drop the ball is that they don’t replace their filters soon enough. And so if you’ve not done that, if you’re not replace your filter recently, then that would be the first step. But I don’t think you necessarily have to get your ducts clean. There’s so such a wide variety of quality when it comes to air filters for heating and cooling systems.
|TOM: And I would just tell you to invest in a very good quality filter and make sure you change that on a regular basis.
|CALLER: The furnace guy comes in the spring, in the fall, and if he changes, it’s in the air.
|TOM: But that’s not enough. Depending on the type of filter you have. I mean, probably going to be changing that filter at least every couple, couple of months. So probably at least the minimum four times a year and probably maybe even more frequently than that. And the other part of this is making sure you use the exact right size filter and that it’s situated properly in the ducks, because if not, air and dust is going to go around it. But if you put the right kind of filter in your system, the air is going to be cleaner as a result.
|CALLER: Okay. Thank you.
|TOM: Well, in the 20 years I spent as a professional home inspector, I often told my clients there were three kinds of houses, those that had termite problems, those that have a termite problem, and those that will probably get yes, you guessed it, termite problem. But if you take the right steps now to keep those termites away, there’s a good chance you can keep your house off the termite menu.
|LESLIE: Yeah, that’s right. And this is the time of year to do it. Now, termites are going to nest in soil all winter. But come springtime, they’re bustin out in search of some new food and your home’s walls. Well, that’s their favorite meal. And guess what? They’re super hungry.
|TOM: Absolutely. But if you want to keep those termites from chowing down on your house, there’s a few things you can do. First, for starters, moisture and wood are termites favorite delicacies. So keep those stacks of firewood or mulch away from your exterior walls. Leslie, I find this all the time. When I was inspecting houses, folks had stacks of firewood right up against the siding. Vinyl siding doesn’t matter. Wood siding, anything. And then I would sort of peel off a couple of logs. No one looking there, and sawdust is the bottom of the pile because that’s where they would come up. And sure enough, the termites were hard at work destroying that firewood pile. And who knows what else inside your house at the same time?
|LESLIE: I mean, it’s such a disaster and it’s such an easy fix to now another one keeping your gutters clear. Now, termites love those overflowing gutters, so keep them clean, keep them pointed away from your house so that the runoff is going to wash those bugs further away from the foundation and not directly towards it.
|TOM: Now, if your porch across space is dirt filled, keep an eye out for signs of the bugs. For example, if you see piles of discarded wings or you see cracked or bubbling paint or mud tunnels, these are little tubes made of sand that the termites construct on the top of the foundation to keep them sort of protected from the light and to keep them moist. Those are things that are signs of active termite infestations. You can also check your basement walls, your crawl space walls inside, especially that area between the wood framing and the walls itself. If you see these sand colored tubes again, those are the superhighways for termites. So they get back and forth between the soil and the house and definitely time to call in a pest pro for professional treatment.
|LESLIE: Yeah. And if you have to call on treatments today are really effective because the termites don’t know that they’re there. And so they’re going to go back and forth through the soil. They’re going to pick up these treatment chemicals, they’re going to bring them back to the termites nest. And then that takes care of it once and for all.
|LESLIE: And they don’t even realize what’s happening until it’s too late.
|TOM: I don’t even know if they get it done. But truth is, you’re not going to have an ongoing termite problem. The systems today are very, very effective and they do the job of keeping your house protected.
|LESLIE: Hanover to Illinois, where Ron’s got some stuff going on at his Money Pit. Tell us what’s happening.
|CALLER: Thinking about building. And I’m looking at exterior walls. And my question is, should I consider two by six or two by four? And I’m getting different opinions. And so I’m kind of wanting to see what you guys think.
|TOM: So the reason that you would go with a two by six is so you can have more insulation, right?
|CALLER: Well, supposedly, yes.
|TOM: But you could also have more insulation if you used spray foam versus fiberglass because spray foam has a much higher r-value than fiberglass. So you could use a two by four wall with spray foam in those walls instead and have a much better insulation package when you’re all done and probably spend less on lumber.
|CALLER: What would you think about the two by four with the one inch Styrofoam sheeting on the outside with fiberglass inside and your drywall?
|TOM: Yeah, well, you can do that. I mean, all the insulation you add is going to help, but there’s just nothing better than spray foam when it comes to both insulating and air sealing.
|CALLER: What about the cost on something like that?
|TOM: It’s a little more than fiberglass, but the thing is, it’s a much more efficient system. It’s going to save you more money over the long run because it goes on really, really thin when they spray it and then it expands. It has like 100, 100 to 1 expansion ratio. So it swells up and it basically seals all of the gaps. Go to money FT.com and go to under. Listen and watch. There’s a section on books and guides and there’s a free download there that we wrote some time ago on all the different ways to insulate a wall. And there’s a lot of information on spray foam, and that includes some pictures of my own house when we applied spray foam to a very old house and just been thrilled with it.
|TOM: Just very, very happy when.
|LESLIE: You’ve been saving your money.
|TOM: Yeah, absolutely.
|CALLER: Excellent. Excellent. I’ll do that. Thank you very.
|TOM: Much. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: Diane in Minnesota has got a steamy bathroom. Tell us what’s going on.
|CALLER: Yes, the exhaust fan is just does not seem to take the steam out of the bathroom at all. It just doesn’t work for some reason.
|TOM: Well, where is the exhaust fan mounted? It’s on the ceiling and goes into an attic. Is that correct?
|CALLER: Yeah, it’s in the ceiling. I just live in an apartment, so I’m not exactly sure where it goes, but.
|TOM: Okay, well, see, that would be a good place to start because you want to make sure when you turn on an exhaust fan that you can see it actually exhaust somewhere. And generally it’s going to be a vent outside the building somewhere and you can turn on the exhaust fan and see that vent open. So you need to figure out or if it’s an apartment, you need to have a super figure out where its exhaust because it could be obstructed, it could be crushed, it could be blocked, it could be terminated. There could be a lot of things wrong with it. And the other thing that you might want to think about and you may or may not want to do this because it’s an apartment and not a condominium that you’re home. But there’s a different type of exhaust fan that’s out now. Brown and new tone make it same company it’s called ultra and what’s cool about it is it has a moisture sensing switch built into it to mean a stat.
|TOM: So it runs whenever the room gets moist so you can kind of set it and forget it and you take a shower. It’ll just stay on until all the moisture is evacuated the room and then go off again.
|LESLIE: Mike in Texas, your next up on the Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
|CALLER: Yes, ma’am. I had a question about my water heater. Number one, I try to drain it periodically, you know, and it takes forever to drain that day. And I thought I’d heard a year or so ago on the show, there’s a way that you can pour something through your water heater. It’s all electric to help clean that stuff out. I’ve got really hard water where we live out here in West Texas, and I mean extremely hard, right? Just about five years old. And I worried twice now I’ve had to replace the lower heating element. COIL. Yeah, yeah. And I always replace both of you.
|TOM: Have a water softener?
|TOM: Well, I mean, look, that. That’s the first. That’s your first step right there moneywise.
|CALLER: This is not an option right at this time.
|TOM: So there’s a couple of different kinds of water softeners. You know, the salt based solutions where you have to keep fed them with salt is one type. But there’s also electronic water softener, which what it does is it’s like sort of electronically is a coil that wraps around your main water pipe and it charges the hard water particles. And by charging them, it kind of think of them. It’s not really magnetizing, but it’s like when you have magnets and they’re all the same polarity and they repel each other. So when it charges these particles, it does forces them to not stick together. They bounce off each other and because they don’t stick together the same clump. So it’s a less expensive way of getting a water softener. So that’s an option. In terms of the water heater itself, you said it takes a long time to drain. When you do drain it, you open up the pressure relief valve or do you just open the bottom off?
|CALLER: Well, I didn’t at first, but, you know, then I said, well, I need to go ahead and release this now.
|TOM: Because you got to let air in, is what I’m saying. Yes, you got to let air in. That’s going to speed it up. So once the water gets past the height of the valve and of course, you got the power off, it’s cooled down, I hope. Yes. And you open that pressure relief valve up, then the water will come out faster. But the problem with some of those valves is once you open them, sometimes they completely shut and you’re having to replace them. You know, the crack the hard water material gets kind of jammed up in the mechanism. And I’ve had those where I’ve had to pop them open and closed a few times to get them the kind of receipt properly. But I would say that, you know, the best thing for you to do is to try to even if you have to save up for it is use one of the even electronic water softener to try to get some of those particles to not stick together. And, and R-value then, you know, continue to empty the water heater out now and again to try to release some of the build up so that build them, that’s at the bottom. You know, it shouldn’t really affect the efficiency because that sediment is going to be at the bottom when it when you have a gas water heater in the sediments at the bottom, it actually acts like as an insulator because the heat’s underneath it. But because your coils are embedded up higher in the water heater, it probably won’t affect efficiency.
|CALLER: I switched over to electric. You know, I’m on propane down here and I had a gas heater and I was just having more trouble.
|TOM: Yeah, well, I think you know what the solution is, and it’s trying to get to the bottom of the hard water. And unfortunately, your appliances are going to continue to misbehave. And until that’s taken care of, they just don’t work well. With all that sediment and water. Okay. So I wish I had better news for you, Mike, but that’s what you’re up against. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT reporting on a big electrical project. Well, not terribly big, but one that I’ve been sort of putting off on a house that we have the garage for this house, detached garage, has an old fuse panel. And while I made sure the fuses were correctly sized, it is sort of complicated to find anything when you’re looking for it. For example, there’s a light on the outside of the garage and it got turned on and I’m like, I don’t know how that happened. So I go in the garage and I am turning off every switch and checking the light and it won’t go off. It just won’t go off. So then I turn off. The panel still won’t go off. I’m like, Aha, this has to be coming from the main house, but where? So I start looking around. The normal place would be like by the back door, right? That’s where you put a switch like that thinking that, yeah, I’m going to go that door and turn the switch to the garage light, then I can walk outside. Nope, not so much the door. I found it on the opposite side of the house on the front porch.
|TOM: How that made any sense whatsoever? I don’t know. It was a complete lucky find when I found it because I’d given up somehow. They ran the wire through the house, I guess through the basement, through a crawlspace, and then they put it in the front wall near the front door. So, you know, sometimes these projects don’t go as planned and they get complicated. But in this case, it was this the one last straw that broke the camel’s back to convince me that it was time to redo all that wiring? Because I’m kind of uncomfortable with the fact that that wiring is running underground in a house that’s like 50 something years old. It just doesn’t feel good. So I’m going to fix it.
|TOM: That’s my next spring project.
|LESLIE: That’s kind of a big project, and I think you can tackle it, but please do it safely.
|TOM: Well, have you got a spring project in mind? We’ll help you make sure you get it done safely when you reach out to Assad moneypit.com/ask.
|LESLIE: Debi and Louisiana’s on the line has a roofing question How can we help you?
|CALLER: Today we’re getting ready for a new roof on our home and we’re going back and forth between our regular roofs and a metal roof. And I’m finding the price is double for a metal roof in the long run. Am I going to recoup my money out of that if I go to sale?
|TOM: Yeah, that’s a great question. So how long do you see yourself living in this house?
|CALLER: Probably minimum, ten years. Okay.
|TOM: So from a longevity perspective, you know, the metal roof is pretty much a once in a lifetime kind of roof. If it’s done right, you’ll never have to reroof it again. But then again, if you’re going to only be in that house for ten years, your roof is going to be just fine. Even if you were to use asphalt shingles, does it add value to the house? I think it definitely makes your house easier to sell compared to one that doesn’t have a metal roof because it is a much more durable roof. So it’s kind of a nice feature. But whether you’ll get a dollar for dollar replacement for that is highly unlikely. So what you get out of it is a more durable roof that will protect the house more. But I don’t think you’re going to get 100% of that money back when it comes time to sell. And if you’re only going to be there for ten years, which is about half the life of an asphalt shingle roof, it may not make economic sense for you to spend the extra money on the on the metal roof.
|CALLER: Okay. Does that make much of a difference on energy consumption?
|TOM: Possibly the new metal roofs have a low paint finish on them. So what happens is they’ll reflect some of the heat, which is important down Louisiana off of that roof and make it a little bit less expensive for you to cool the house. But then again, lighter roof shingles can do some of the same thing.
|CALLER: So we’re talking two different strains. $8,00 and $16,00.
|TOM: Yeah, no, I didn’t surprise me. I mean, I think it’s probably worth every penny. It’s just it’s just. I mean, it may not be worth it to you because you’re not going to be there more than ten or so.
|CALLER: I do appreciate it very much.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Debbie, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
|CALLER: Thank you.
|TOM: Well, you guys are ready to upgrade your interior design game for the season ahead. You know, keeping up with the ever changing world of interior design can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve handpicked four DIY design trends to help you breathe life into your new home. Let me be more specific, Leslie, but for DIY trends, because I’m not sure you would want my design trends. So, Leslie, where do we start?
|LESLIE: Well, first of all, let’s talk about lighting now. Brighter is better now. Creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere at home is definitely a central and natural lighting plays a vital role in achieving this. But what if you don’t have those large windows or exposure to natural sunlight? Well, in 2023, the focus is all about chandeliers and lighting and lamps. Now there’s no wrong way to choose a pendant, but oversize and noticeable ones will be a big trend for the upcoming seasons. So choose a larger chandelier. It could seem intimidating, but it’s the right time. Make that leap of faith and add a statement piece to your home.
|TOM: All right. Next up, let’s talk about multi functionality. That’s a key going all the days. You know what, homes were just a place to eat and sleep and chill out. But in 2023, having multi-functional homes, that’s definitely the way to go. So we’re talking about additions like movie and game rooms, gyms, saunas, of course, home offices. These are all going to be popular add ons. The trend reflects pretty much the changing lifestyle and the needs of homeowners who really want to maximize their functionality of their homes in make them more attractive, make them more comfortable, make them prettier spaces in which to spend more time.
|LESLIE: Yeah. And I think that goes along with choosing the colors for the home too as well. So if you’re repainting any rooms in the house, you want to pick colors that of course speak to you and ones that you really love. But if you’re planning to repaint your walls, you want to opt for natural colors that kind of embrace this calming vibes or maybe even earth tones. But if you want to add a pop of color, try to stick to the more mellower tones of those colors. You know, tranquil blues and greens, softer pinks and lavenders, because that’s going to give you the touch of that color, but kind of give you a more elegant form of that tone as well. And then you can incorporate softer golder tones and kind of still bring in that metallic, but it gives you a chance to bring in the color, but kind of in that muted way that’s going to work with that multi-function purpose of the room as well. So it kind of goes with everything but still gives you that color and that pop of color vibe that you’re looking for, but will still work with everything that you’re trying to achieve in that same space.
|TOM: Another thing to think about is how you might bring nature inside. This trend has been around for a while, but this year it’s going to become more popular than ever. So we’re talking about embracing indoor gardening plants, earthy pieces, that sort of thing that will really help transform your home into more of a sanctuary that soothes the senses and brings everything in from nature. You follow tips like this and you’ll be totally ready to transform your home into a very stylish and functional space for all the seasons ahead.
|LESLIE: Bonnie and Marilyn’s on the line. Is having an issue at her home. What’s going on?
|CALLER: My husband has rental property, and one of the tenants decided to destroy the property on the way out and poured wet cement into the drains. And so I just want to know what can be done and the cost of it and things like that. In terms of the repair cause, because maybe it’s just not even worth trying to find another tenant after doing a bunch of work that cost so much money.
|TOM: Wow, that’s awful. Boy, what a jerk to do something like that. It’s just it’s just terrible. You know, it seems to me, though, that that’s a crime. I mean, that’s basically vandalism. And as such, not only can you first, of course, press criminal charges, but secondly, it seems like that should be something that’s covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
|TOM: Have you tried speaking with your insurance company about this?
|CALLER: You know, it was just something that my husband had, you know, talked to me about. It’s not really anything that it’s really my business. I’m not sure like.
|TOM: Well, you should call your insurance agent and you should talk with them about that, because this is not we’re not talking about wear and tear like, oh, you got to paint the walls because somebody’s living there. This is damage. This is like some. But this is like having an arsonist burn your house down. And that’s those kinds of crimes are covered by the insurance. That’s one of the reasons you have insurance. So, gosh, we pay so much money for that. So I would definitely make that make that claim. Now in terms of, you know, whether what how much work this is to fix, I mean, I guess it kind of depends. I’m guessing since you’re in Maryland, this house, the bathroom was on the first floor, second floor. What’s underneath the plumbing? Does it go to a trailer? Okay. It’s a tree. So like I said, yeah. So then you have you for your full access above and below. So you’re probably going to you’re probably going to have to just cut out those pipes will it’s all going to sort of hang down the bottom of the pipe. So you’re just going to have to find out where it ends and cut it out. But but again, I would I would not hesitate to file a criminal complaint and also to file a claim with my insurance company or at least speak to my agent about that part.
|CALLER: Awesome. Thank you.
|LESLIE: Well, if you’re getting ready to paint, there are a few things that you need to think about besides deciding on a color, including how that color will look in different lighting, how much paint you need, and what supplies to use. First of all, you’re going to want to measure the room to figure out how much paint you need. Now you can use an online paint calculator and simply enter the height and length of each wall and the number of doors and windows. And then that calculator will tell you how many gallons you’re going to need to buy.
|TOM: Now, if you found a color that you like, bring home a paint chip as well as a small sample jar of paint. The paint colors today are generally available in very small jars so that you can apply them to your wall and kind of wash them throughout the day. Because here’s why it’s important lighting as it changes is going to change how the paint looks to you.
|TOM: And then when you turn lamps at night, you’ll have another color scheme. So if you paint a small area, you can see how you like it under various conditions. The other thing to be aware of is texture. The texture of the wall can affect the paints color. So if you’re painting over plaster textured surfaces, wood paneling or any kind of like detailed molding, be sure to paint a sample directly on those services as well to see how they reflect the light.
|LESLIE: Now, after you’ve settled on the color, you do need to decide what paint finish to get. Now, eggshell or sun finishes will work well on most interior walls, and semi gloss is most often used on baseboards and trim. Now glossy finishes. While they’re more durable and easier to clean, they will show dirt more. Now, if you’re painting a light color over a darker one, it’s usually a good idea to use Primer as your first coat to cover that original color. And Primer is also helpful if you’re painting cabinets or furniture because it helps adhere the paint to the surface.
|TOM: Yeah, it’s really what makes paint stick that primer. And finally, remember that high quality tools we’re talking about brushes, rollers, really important. If you go cheap on these, you’re going to find that the rollers are going to lose their bristles. They’re going to fuzz up, they’re going to leave obvious brush strokes in the cheap brushes. So invest in good painting tools before you start painting and clean them properly after you’re done so you can use them again for future projects. And of course, the best part about painting something is that if you mess up or change your mind, you can always repaint, right? What comes after paint repaint? Hopefully not immediately, but you do have that option, so it’s worth considering.
|LESLIE: Jen in Seattle wrote in saying, I’m going to paint my daughter’s room, my husband wants to use nontoxic paint. Is it worth the price difference? And what’s the problem with traditional paint?
|TOM: Well, it it’s a little more expensive. I think it’s a good idea. I mean, most traditional paints have VOCs, volatile organic compounds like benzene and formaldehyde, which can potentially be released into the air even for some time after they dry. Now that there’s a lot of voc free paints that are top quality and look great. And last a long time, there’s no reason not to use them.
|LESLIE: I mean, it definitely will give you peace of mind and is the way to go.
|TOM: Well, do you guys love displaying photos in your home but find that getting the frames just right. The photos look right once they’re in, the frames never goes smoothly. Well, Leslie has tips on how to make those images. It’s a core element in today’s edition of Lesley’s last Word. Lesley, you’re really good at this.
|LESLIE: Thanks, Tom. Well, you know, one of the greatest ways to make a space your own is to hang pictures that mean something to you and your family. But if you’ve visited a frame shop lately to check on the price, you know that it can be very expensive. So instead you can buy some inexpensive frames just about anywhere and then customize the mats. And it’s a lot easier than you think. You do just need some heavy duty paper and any color that complements the picture. And then what you do is you cut the outside of the paper to match the dimensions of the inside of the frame. Then with an Exacto knife or an actual mat cutter, you cut a square or rectangle and, you know, big enough to display how much of that picture that you want showing. Now, here is the trick. You get non acid tape and tape only one side of the picture to the mat taping more than one side is going to cause it to not lay that straight or can cause the image to wrinkle. And then now you’re manic a picture like a pro. The other thing you can do, and this is when you start to get a little fancier, is you can layer different colors of paper, you can do a larger white matte. And then just inside of that, before you get to the picture, do a little layer of like a silver matte. You can do a thicker sort of art card or thicker board and then do a thinner, you know, something you can get more creative to add a little bit of color, a little bit of tone, a little bit of depth, but you don’t have to go crazy. You can just use the white, you can just use an ecru, anything, everything. Or I should say everything everywhere all at once, since it seems to be that movies, year, whatever you want to do, but truly it doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be crazy. I will tell you, when using an Exacto blade or a matte knife, even seasoned pros like myself who currently has a Band-Aid on her left hand index finger pointer finger. They’re sharp. Guys, be careful. It happens. It happens. But it’s not a difficult project. You just need to make sure that you’re cutting straight. You’re measuring, you’re taking the time to cut correctly and evenly and do the job well. It looks great when your photos all are sort of along the Exacta same theme. Maybe they’re all from different ski trips, maybe they’re all from beach vacations, maybe they’re all family trips, but they’re all black and white so that they’re all kind of themed together. It works great when you kind of, you know, match them in a way, even if they’re all mismatched. But it’s a fun project and you can do it yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive, so definitely something you can do and have fun with. And remember, when you’re mapping it out on the wall, you don’t have to start hanging things up and kind of testing it out. You can cut out the shapes and sizes of all your frames with little pieces of paper and just kind of tape them up on the wall. And you know, move them around until you’re happy with it and then actually hang the pictures. So mess around with it, have fun and you will create a beautiful gallery.
|TOM: This is the Money Pit Home Improvement Show. We’re just about out of time. But coming up on the next edition of The Money Pit, if you’re planning to build a deck project to expand your outdoor living space, you might be considering what kind of materials to use. Wood, what kind of wood? Composite. You know, there’s a lot of choices out there, PVC.
|TOM: So we’re going to walk you through the pros and the cons of decking choices on the very next edition of The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie.
|TOM: So remember, you can do it yourself.
|LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
|CALLER: The body paint.
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)