How paint can breathe new life into just about anything

How paint can transform just about anythingInstead of throwing out your old dining room table or dresser, grab a couple gallons of paint and breathe new life into it.

A bold new color can transform nearly any piece of decor, making rooms more vibrant and allowing you to enjoy your old pieces again for years to come. Here are just a few ways paint can transform each room in your home.

Door

Whether you’re prepping to sell your home or just want to liven up the curb appeal, a fresh color on your front door can make an extraordinary difference. The most popular front door colors are gray, charcoal and navy blue according to Zillow, but depending on your home’s style and color, other shades to consider are red, orange, yellow, teal or light green (great for a cottage look!).

Dresser

If you have an old dresser or thrift store beauty, a coat of paint can make it look new again. Brighten up the room with a light shade of blue or lilac, or keep things simple with white or black paint and new handles or knobs.

Mirror

Make an accent mirror fit your motif with some spray paint. Be sure to use painters tape and paper to cover the glass while painting, or transform it into a calendar or organizational tool for your kitchen with chalkboard paint.

Stools

Tired of the light wood or white stools sitting at your kitchen island? Spice them up with a can of gold or silver spray paint.

Lamp or light fixture

Whether or not you can paint a lamp or light fixture depends on the surface material, but thrift store finds or generational hand-me-downs can become the focal point of a room with a bit of fresh paint. Consider a new shade for your outdoor lighting—porch lights, lanterns, or desk candles—as well instead of spending money on replacements.

Flower pots

Too often the only color option for flower pots or beds is green or burnt orange. Make your garden (or just your window box) stand our with an unexpected color like mauve, charcoal grey, lime green, or grab some tape and get creative with stripes.

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What do my plumbing noises mean?

What do my plumbing noises meanThe plumbing system in your home likely doesn’t get a second thought until something goes wrong. When the shower offers hot water, the toilet eliminates waste and you can wash dishes in the kitchen sink, the details of how the pipes work aren’t that important to most people.

But what if, one morning, you notice a thud when you turn off the shower, or a rattling noise after flushing the toilet? Abnormal plumbing noises could be warning signs that something needs attention. Here are the most likely causes of some common plumbing noises.

The sink hisses

When you turn on the kitchen or bathroom sink and hear a continuous hissing sound, it’s often an indication that your water pressure is too high. Not only will you run up your water bill, but the high water pressure can overwork your pipes over time. Install a pressure regulator to help maintain normal water pressure levels.

There’s a thud when the water is turned off

A hammering noise or loud thud when you turn off a faucet also suggests that your water pressure is too high. Opt for a pressure regulator, air chambers or shock absorbers. Placing these devises within your pipes will compress the water when shut off, eliminating the thud.

The pipes whistle

If the faucet sounds like it’s whistling when the water is running, your water pressure may be too low. If you’ve installed the pressure regulator, turn it down. If the pipes still whistle, you may have air or debris caught in the pipes. Turn off the main water valve, run the water until it’s all out and open the valve again to push out the air.

The pipes rattle

If you hear the pipes shaking or rattling when you flush or allow water to drain from the sink or tub, they are likely too loose. Secure the fittings on the pipes by tightening them slightly. This should eliminate the noise if it was just a loose pipe.

The drain gurgles

A gurgling drain could simply be clogged, letting you snake out any items obstructing the pipes. If it’s accompanied by a bad smell, your vent pipe is probably blocked, preventing water from draining properly. You’ll have to check the vent opening, typically found on the roof.

The faucet drips

The annoying drip of a faucet isn’t a minor leak, it’s a major waste of water. On average, a single leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water in a single year. Ensure that the fixture and connecting pipes are secure. If that doesn’t stop the drip, put a new washer inside the faucet or replace the entire fixture.

Water whooshes from the shower

The whooshing sound in your shower is caused by one of the most common water problems in America: hard water. A crusty showerhead or spotted shower doors are also signs of hard water, which is a mineral buildup in your pipes or hot water heater.

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10 tips for organizing your refrigerator

10 tips for organizing your refrigeratorDo the eggs go high or low? Does anyone really use the small cubby space for butter? And what about the refrigerator drawers—what’s really supposed to go in those things?

Like real estate, refrigerator organization is all about location. There really is a way to keep your foods fresher for longer. Here’s how to properly organize your fridge.

Eggs

Skip the built in egg container in your fridge. Leave eggs in the original carton and place them on the middle shelf, where the temperature is most consistent, to help them stay fresh.

Milk

Milk usually lands on the top shelf if it’s one of the most used items in your home, but it needs to go down low. Place it on the bottom toward the back where it’s coldest.

Cottage cheese, yogurt and sour cream

As with milk, these dairy products do best on the bottom shelf.

Raw meat

Packaged raw meat also needs a place on the coldest shelf. Placing meat on the bottom shelf also means other foods won’t be contaminated if the packaging drips.

Vegetables

Finally the refrigerator drawers can be used for more than chocolate you’re trying to hide. Place your veggies in the drawer labeled high humidity, as it’s the moistest spot in the fridge. Leave veggies in their packaging or a plastic bag.

Fruits

The low humidity drawer—sometimes labeled crisper—is meant for fruit. As with veggies, keep fruit in its packaging or a loosely tied plastic bag. Wait until you’re ready to eat or prepare fruits and vegetables before washing as water can cause bacteria to grow and promotes mold.

Deli meat

There are two options for your deli meats. Most refrigerators have a small deli meat drawer that stays colder than the rest of the fridge. If you don’t have that drawer, opt for the bottom shelf.

Butter and cheese

These dairy products do not have to be super cold, so store them in the warmest part of the fridge, the dairy compartment inside the door.

Condiments

Most salad dressings, ketchup and mayonnaise have a number of natural preservatives, making them ok to store inside the fridge door. Pickles and salsa are the same. Some oils—sesame, walnut, and other nut oils—belong in the fridge as well.

Juice

Fresh squeezed juice should be on the bottom shelf, but pasteurized orange juice or others made with preservatives can stay inside the door.

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5 telltale signs it’s time for a new toilet

zac23334_rgbYou probably don’t give much thought to your toilet until something goes wrong, but years of use can cause it to not work as efficiently as it once did.

Keep an eye out for these signs it’s time to install a new commode.

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10 ways we waste water daily

10 ways we waste water dailyEven though 71 percent of the earth is covered in water, 99 percent of water on earth is either salt water or locked in ice caps and glacier. Only one percent of that water is suitable for drinking, making the need for conservation clear.

Changing bad habits can conserve hundreds of gallons of water every year, and it doesn’t hurt to recognize that saving water will also lower your monthly bill.

Here are 10 ways we waste water every day. Continue reading

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How to create more counter space even in a small kitchen

How to create more counter space even in a small kitchenEven if your kitchen doesn’t have a pantry or walls lined with endless cabinet space, you can still make everything you need fit neatly with a few simple hacks.

Whether you got a new kitchen gadget or you’re just trying to clear more room for meal prep, here are eight ways to create more counter space. Continue reading

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5 ways to fake a mudroom

5 ways to fake a mudroomA mess at the front door becomes even more obvious when there’s no closet to organize and hold everything.

If your home doesn’t have the space for a designated mudroom—somewhere to stash the shoes, coats, book bags and dog leash—here are five ways to reclaim the space you do have and keep the clutter under control.

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How to tell when it’s time for a new water heater

Time For A Hot Water Heater_editedIf your hot water heater goes out, you’re faced with more than just a cold shower. Your dishwasher and washing machine are virtually useless without one of the most important plumbing assets in your home working properly.

A broken water heater needs immediate attention, especially in the winter. If your unit is only a few years old, basic repairs may keep it running. But if you have a standard convection water heater that’s near the end of its 10–13 year lifespan, you may need to replace it. Continue reading

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How to remove rust stains from sinks, toilets and tubs

Remove Rust Stains From Sink_editedThe smallest rust particles in your water can leave stains in your bathroom fixtures. Even when the water has no color and tastes normal, certain levels of iron can leave rust rings.

Rust stains develop over time where there’s water resting against the porcelain—think a toilet bowl, or a tub frequently used for bathing. Because it takes a while for these stains to develop, they can be particularly difficult to remove. The typical big box store toilet or bathroom cleaner may not do the trick.

If your porcelain has fallen victim to high iron levels or rust particles, here are some solutions. You’ll need tough scrubbers and a lot of elbow grease, but you should be able to remove the rust stains in your bathroom.

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5 habits to avoid in your bathroom

bathroom-habitsThe bathroom is a safe haven, a spa experience, a private getaway and a homeowner’s worst maintenance nightmare.

Common daily habits can be the cause of plumbing mishaps and expensive repairs. Avoid the following to keep the plumbing flowing smoothly. Continue reading

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