Monthly Archives: April 2017

How to Apply Epoxy Paint to Garage Floor

How to Apply Epoxy Paint to Garage Floor

In recent times, the popularity of epoxy paint coating for garage floor has increased manifold, and it can be attributed to its many good points and the fact that it comes in a variety of colors that you can choose from. The durability of epoxy paints has always been talked about and another factor that works in its favor is the fact that it does not allow oily or greasy particles to attach to its surface which makes the paint easier to clean, and thus, ranks it higher than several other types of paints. There are three different types of epoxy paints that are available in the market; water based epoxy, solvent based epoxy, and solid epoxy. The most popular type of epoxy paint for garage flooring in the market are solvent based paints.

Applying Epoxy Paint to Garage Floor

Solvent epoxy paints have an adhesive quality and it penetrates the flooring of the garage easily. But while using this type of paint, it is important that you use proper protective gear, as the fumes of the solvents are extremely harmful. It is also important that after you paint the garage, you leave it ventilated, so that there is no build up of fumes in the garage. Now that you know what precautions need to be taken before taking up a project like this, in the next section we tell you, exactly what steps you need to follow to paint the floor of the garage. In order to apply paint on a garage floor, you will need a paint kit, paint brush, primer, stir stick, metal putty knife, and a pressure washer.

First and foremost, it is important that you clean the floor completely to remove the dust and dirt completely. Use the pressure washer to do this. You will also need to remove any paint on the flooring. In order to do this you will need to use a metal putty knife so that any peeling paint can be removed.
Allow the floor to dry after you clean it. Next check the floor for any cracks. In order to get a smooth floor, you will need to patch all the cracks. You can use an epoxy crack filler to do this. Ensure that the surface level is smooth and that you allow it to dry for at least four hours before putting on the primer.
Before you start applying the paint, you will need apply a primer to the floor. Ensure that you paint in the direction that is along the wood grain and that you smooth out the primer completely. Also ensure that you allow it to dry for two hours before applying the primer.
Now start applying the paint. You will first need to mix in the two components of the paint. Use the stir stick to mix it up completely. Once you are sure that the paint is mixed in completely, you can start the process of applying the paint.
Before painting the area of the flooring, it may be a good idea to first paint the perimeter of the garage. To ensure that you do not get paint on the walls or the door of the garage, it may be a good idea to use a duct tape to cover it up so that you can get paint till the edges. Once you have painted the sides, you can start painting the rest of the floor. Once you have painted the floor completely, ensure that you do not let anyone enter the garage till you have finished it completely.
Allow the first coat of paint to dry overnight or at least for 16 hours before applying the second coat. Also it may be a good idea to add a coating additive to the second coat which allows for non-skid flooring.
Allow the coat to dry for another sixteen hours and you can start parking your cars in the garage after a week. It may be a good idea to apply a coat of floor wax if you want a flooring that can be cleaned easily.

Learning to apply epoxy paint is extremely easy. If you have spilled paint on the walls you can use an epoxy thinner to remove the same. Painting the floor of your garage is an easy project that can be easily done over the weekend.

Tips for Ebonizing Wood

Tips for Ebonizing Wood

Ebony is a name used for wood that is rich black in color. It is used as an ornamental wood in making exquisite pieces of furniture and items of home décor. There are many species of trees that yield black wood, and these can be found in parts of South East Asia, Africa and Mauritius. Ebony is prized for its smooth finish, fine texture and rich color. Most ebony trees belong to the genus Diospyros. The history of ebony being used in carving furniture, can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. However, during the 19th century, the popularity of ebony was revived in China and it slowly spread to the West.

Today, people are once again taking a liking to this rich, lustrous wood. Black is a color preferred by most people, when it comes to choosing exquisite furniture and other wooden artifacts for their homes. However, due to the rising price of pure ebony, people are more in favor of coloring their wooden furniture in a shade of ebony, instead of opting for the real stuff. This is what exactly the process of ebonizing is all about. It lends that expensive touch to your wooden furniture at a fraction of the cost! Sounds interesting? Well, you might be wondering if the look will be real enough. The fact is, with the advanced ebonizing techniques available today, you can get a look that is almost as “real” as the real thing, if not better!

There are several methods of ebonizing wood and you can choose one according to the kind of effect you want. In this article, we’ll look into a simple and effective method, along with some useful tips.

How to Ebonize Wood

So, you’re interested to learn how to ebonize wood? Let’s have a look at what all things you would need for the process.

Materials Required

Plastic jar with lid
Steel wool
White vinegar
Paint brush
Coffee filter
Tannic acid or tree bark powder
Measuring cylinder
Stirrer
Rags
Ammonia solution
Gloves

So, now that you have all the required stuff ready with you, let’s begin with the process of ebonizing wood. But before that, let me remind you that you must wear the rubber gloves throughout the process, to protect your hands.

Step 1: Prepare the Iron Solution
This step involves soaking the steel wool in white vinegar till it gets completely dissolved in the vinegar. Take the plastic jar, pour white vinegar in it and place the steel wool in the jar. You can use small pieces of iron, such as nails, for the process as well. Here we shall be using steel wool for the simple reason that the thin filaments get readily dissolved in the vinegar and you get a solution in lesser time. It usually takes 5 – 7 days for the steel wool to get completely dissolved in the vinegar. So, make sure to start with this solution well in advance, so that it is ready by the time you begin with the ebonizing process. Also, make sure that the jar you are using for the solution, is not air tight but has a vent for the release of gases that are formed during the process of the metal getting dissolved in the vinegar.

Step 2: Prepare the Tannic Acid Solution
Start with this step only when the iron solution is ready. The tannic acid solution acts as a base for the ebonizing agent, which in this case, is the iron solution. You can either use tannic acid powder for the solution or use tree bark powder. Either way, you’d get the desired results. Just add the powder to hot water and use the stirrer to make a uniform solution.

Step 3: Soak the Wood
Once you have both the solutions ready with you, pour the tannic acid solution on to the wood. Use a rag to spread the tannic acid solution evenly on the wood surface, but be careful not to rub too hard. Wait till all the tannic acid solution is absorbed, before you start applying the ebonizing solution.

Step 4: Apply the Iron Solution
The final step is the application of the iron solution to the wood surface. Use a coffee filter to filter out the solution into a plastic jar. Then, using the brush, apply a thin coat of the iron solution and wait for the surface to turn a shade of black. Then apply further coats till you get the shade you are looking for. Once you feel that the wood surface has acquired your desired shade, allow it to dry. After that, apply a coat of the tannic acid solution and again leave it to dry. Your piece of ebonized wood is ready! Finish off by applying a coat of ammonia to seal the dye within the wood.

Useful Tips

Now that we have a brief idea about the process of ebonizing wood, let’s have a look at some wood ebonizing tips.

Remember to always use real steel wool for the solution. Synthetic steel wool will not serve the purpose.
When choosing the jars for preparing the solutions, make sure to use plastic jars, as metal containers might react with the contents.
If you wish to get a darker shade, you can do so by increasing the strength of the tannic acid solution.
Use a blotting paper to soak excess tannic acid from the wood surface, if necessary.
You can obtain the best results by sanding the wood before beginning with the process of ebonizing.
While soaking the steel wool in the vinegar, make sure that the entire steel wool is immersed in the vinegar. This will prevent formation of rust on its surface.
To test if the iron solution is ready for use, you can dip a piece of wood into it and see if it turns black.
During the process of ebonizing, it is possible that traces of one solution might end up in the other. You need to be careful to prevent this.
To prevent any inconsistencies, stay away from applying too much pressure on the wood surface.
You can use spray finish on the ebonized surface to enhance its look.

How to Fix a Hole in the Wall

How to Fix a Hole in the Wall

Holes are easily formed on your wall due to various reasons, like, removing the nails used for fixtures, regular wiring, plumbing, etc. If you find that the walls in your house have been damaged due to any of the aforementioned reasons, then simply follow the step-by-step instructions given below.

Materials Required

Putty knife or chisel
Broad knife
Patching plaster
Latex bonding agent
White-pigmented shellac
Nails
Dusting brush
Paint
Sanding paper
Sponge

Procedure

Step 1
Clean out the loose material around the hole using a chisel and then dust off this area with a dusting brush.

Step 2
Next, take the latex bonding agent and dampen the edges of the hole. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before mixing and applying it.

Step 3
Now you’ll need the patching plaster. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and prepare the mix accordingly. Using a broad knife you have to apply the plaster to fill up the hole. A single layer is usually enough for small holes.

Step 4
In case of deep holes, you would need an extra layer. In this case, after applying the first layer in the hole, press it inside and let it set for about 30 minutes.

Step 5
After 30 minutes, take a nail and score the surface. This will help fix the next layer properly. Now let the first layer dry for about a day.

Step 6
Now it’s time to apply the second layer of patching plaster. This layer will fill up the hole and will make the wall surface even. Wait for 2-3 hours after application.

Step 7
The primary procedure is over, it’s time to give the finishing touches. Using the patching plaster in a creamy consistency by adding water, apply a smooth coat over the hole. Clean the surrounding area and wait for next 30 minutes.

Step 8
Dampen the sponge and use it to smooth the plastered patch, blend it well into the surrounding surface.

Step 9
You can apply a coat of paint similar to the existing wall color. Once it dries off slightly, sand the area to make it look even. Finish by applying the white-pigmented shellac.

If you are worried if the hole is bigger than expected, then it is best to call a professional to do this task. He/she will be able to do it perfectly. In case you don’t have enough time to work on the holes, just hang a frame, fix a wallpaper, or any other type of wall decoration items, so that this hole is not visible.

The Basic Set of Tools No Homeowner Should be Without

The Basic Set of Tools No Homeowner Should be Without

For new homeowners, the shift away from having a landlord or maintenance professional handle every little problem that goes wrong in an apartment or rented home can be a bit shocking. Rather than making a phone call and having someone magically appear to fix a leaky toilet, malfunctioning furnace, or patch holes in drywall, the new homeowner must learn to be self-sufficient or, alternatively, pay the price to have a professional come in to correct small issues.

For the enterprising sort, or for those who simply do not wish to absorb the costs of paying someone to fix small issues―which is always a shock after living in a maintenance-free rental environment―learning some basics and acquiring the requisite tools to perform the most common household tasks is a good first step. Without further ado, here is a quick list that can be very helpful in overcoming what new homeowners are likely to face.

The Real Basics
Most major home improvement stores and hardware stores will carry tool sets that include the most commonly-used tools, which can then be supplemented with a few extras. These are the things that most people will have acquired along the way prior to owning a home, though for those who are not very handy, perhaps becoming a homeowner will represent the first foray into ‘do it yourself’ repair. A good set of basic hand tools should include the following:

Claw Hammer
Tape Measure
Submarine Level
Hacksaw
Screwdrivers―Multiple Sizes (Regular and Phillips)
Adjustable Wrench
Pliers (Regular and Needle Nose)
Channel Locks
Hex Wrenches
Extension Cord

Cordless Drill
The very first tool to purchase beyond the basics noted above should be a cordless drill. And if you’ll be spending a lot of money on any given tool, this is the one to spend it on. Cordless drills have come a long way since their inception, and 18-Volt models should be good for most homeowners. There are options with more and less battery power, but any less is generally less effective for actually drilling (the drill can also be used as a powerful driver) and any more is generally unnecessary at the homeowner level. Buying an extra battery is also a good move, and if the drill, battery and charger are properly cared for, they will last a long time. Be sure to pick up a set of bits and drivers as well, in multiple sizes. In the future, for those who wish to get into more and more improvement projects, there are a variety of attachments and bits that can be used for a wide variety of applications.

Power Tools
For the most part, the average homeowner will never need power tools, beyond the cordless drill. However, for the more adventurous, power tools can take projects to the next level. The most basic power tools to consider, and that have the widest array of applications, are the circular saw, the reciprocating saw, the miter saw (for cutting moldings) and the table saw. For some, adding in an electric drill will also be a good idea, but an 18-Volt cordless drill, noted above, will be sufficient for most projects.

Lawn and Garden Equipment
Which tools to purchase for lawn maintenance and gardening is largely a product of the homeowner’s environment. Those dwelling in the city may need nothing more than a garden hose to spray down their concrete backyard. For those in the suburbs or rural areas, however, the needs expand greatly. Obviously, a push mower will work for small yards, while a riding mower will be warranted for yards approaching an acre or more. For those with larger yards, a large-deck (48 inches or more) mower with a small or zero-turn radius might be a good idea. Beyond that, here is a selection of garden tools that should be purchased for the homeowner with a medium- to large-sized yard to maintain.

Shovel
Spade
Hoe
Garden Rake
Leaf Rake
Chainsaw
Hedge Trimmers
String Trimmer or ‘Weed-eater’
Ax
Post-hole Digger
Pruners

These tools and appliances should suffice for most home improvement or repair projects. If you need anything more than this, then it might be more advisable to call in for professional help.

Motion Detector Lights Troubleshooting

Motion Detector Lights Troubleshooting

Today, motion detector lights are considered to be the source of security, or you can say, watchdogs, if you speak about the safety of your own house. They not only help you see through the darkness, but come on with an alarming bang in case of hunches. The best part is that they automatically switch on when they sense any sort of motion, burglary, human, or animal movement in the surrounding area of a residence. They stay on for a while and all the detector alarms go off automatically. Now, in this time of action, all the chaos that is aroused is good enough to instill fear in the burglar and scare him till the end. Since these lights are so handy and useful to a homeowner and his property, it is obvious to keep a check on its regularity and proper functions, whether they work well or not. If, however, they malfunction, you could try out some simple motion detector lights troubleshooting tips for fixing them.

Troubleshooting Tips

Clean the Lights

As most of them are outdoor motion sensor lights, cleaning happens to be the most valid point though. Clean all its light surfaces with a piece of cloth and a cleaning solution. There can be mildew, debris, dust, light attracted freaky insects stuck into the sensors, and so on. These typical outdoor conditions soil the sensors, dim the capacity of the bulbs to emit proper light, and ultimately give out on the fixture’s normal functionality.

Check the Light Manually

A detector could be blocked due to some good reason eventually providing no power to the light. If you see a blockage, remove the interference that is causing it. Remember, interior lights have detectors on the switches, and the ones that are on the exterior have detectors fixed directly on the light(s).

Dysfunctional Detector

Another possibility can be a bad, dysfunctional sensor. If you find out that the detector or the sensor is gone completely bad and the alarms aren’t functioning well, it’s time to change them. You can only learn about the state of a bad detector by using an electrical meter. This meter will help you know whether there is electricity running through the main power supply box or not. If the power is missing, perhaps the breaker is tripped and if the electric power is present, that means the detector has gone bad. Buy a new one from the hardware store to fix the problem.

Fussy Light Bulbs

One of the most common problems with these lights is that of erratic light bulbs, which burn out over time. They are the main reason motion detector sensor lights do not work half the time. So, if you learn that the light bulbs aren’t working, unscrew them and replace the old for new with the same wattage. After replacement, switch on the bulb and check for its working condition.

Aim and Adjust the Sensor

If the lights do function, but if they do not function at the right time, there is no point. For this reason, you will have to adjust the points of the sensor correctly. Choose the area where you want the light to respond to, then hold the detector at its back and tilt it slightly such that the light sensor directs in your chosen area. Next, set the distance of the light to monitor and slide the Sensory Adjustment Dial to medium, low, or high state, depending on how far you want its light to respond to. Once all this has been decided, slide the switch to next and test the detector for its working condition.

Set the Right Time

There is a choice of adjusting the time of your motion detector lights to remain on even after the object or movement has been detected in your surroundings. The time range is standard, i.e., 30 seconds to somewhere around 10 minutes long. If, in this given time, the lights do not go off, then it’s time to adjust the sensory adjustment dial located on the detector to feed in the right time for the light to stay on.

It is hard to deny that with increasing technology in today’s world, a man’s life is becoming much easier day in and out. And, one of the major contributors are these motion detector lights, which guards a homeowner and his property and gives him sound sleep at night. These tips should come in handy the next time you have a problem with your security system.