Condo Blues: tools




Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Remove Grout and Regrout Tile

The grout in the Master bathroom shower is chipping. The other grout patches I did as a quick fix are discoloring. I’ve been putting this job off forever. When Husband went out of town on business, I figured it was time to do remove the bathroom grout and add new grout to the tile. 

 Pin this post to Pinterest for later! Share it with your friends!


This job isn’t hard. However is probably messier and takes longer than you might originally think. At least it did for me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Seven Tools to Remove Shower Tile Grout

The grout in between the tiles in the Master Bathroom is cracking and pitting.  I patched the tile grout when I found an issue, knowing that eventually, I would have to remove all of the shower caulk and tile grout and regrout the shower.




I wasn’t looking forward to removing all of the grout in my bathroom and replacing it. Not because removing grout is hard but because removing bathroom grout is time consuming and messy.   Putting grout in between the tiles is easy and the clean up is well, as difficult as cleaning up usually is after a big project – better if you can get someone else to do it. If you can’t rope someone else into cleaning up your mess for you, a wet/dry vaccum makes the job easier. I mentioned dust flying everywhere, yes?

Two Recommended Power Tools for Removing Tile Grout and Three that Aren’t so Great

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Pad and Tape a Color Guard Rifle

The same band I marched with in in the Presidential Inauguration Parade last year has another amazing performance opportunity. I’m stoked to be spinning flag in a real blow and go drum and bugle corps style show since that is absolutely not the type of show my small town marching band did and my drum corps loving heart desired. YES! *fist pump*

Then I found out the color guard is twirling rifle too. I haven’t done that since high school winter color guard.

Gulp!

I bought a color guard rifle which is basically a big hunk of non firing wood in a rifle-esque shape. Before I practice throwing it in the air like I don’t care (as one does when spinning rifle) I need to reinforce the rifle with tape and pad the ends so it won’t break in two if when I drop it during practice.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

7 Simple Steps to Tune Up Your Bike for Summer

I didn’t think we needed to do anything to our bikes since they are not fancy racing bikes. I was afraid to take my Toys R Us special to the Serious Cyclist Store for maintenance because I thought they’d make fun of me for riding a kid’s bike (yes, That. Short.) or hard sell me into a fancy bike when I’m not ready to upgrade yet.




Well, a flat tire I didn’t know how to change proved me wrong on all accounts at the Serious Cyclist Store. Like most bike shops, their philosophy is every one needs to start a sport somewhere and they were really nice. They didn't make fun of my kid's bike either. In fact,  some of our bike shops hold workshops about basic DIY bike maintenance that they do for coin.

I learned I should take better care of my current bike with some simple yearly bike maintenance that will make it easier to ride and last a little longer.


7 Easy Bike Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Causal Riders


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to Paint a Wavy Side Table

This post brought to you by FrogTape. All opinions are 100% mine.

I needed  to repaint the side tables on my porch. I didn't want to paint them a solid color (again) and call it a day. I wanted to jazz them up with some decorative painting.

how to paint a wavy side table with Shap Tape


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Duluth Trading Co. Gift Card Giveaway! Closed

I never thought that one of my favorite DIY tools would be a purse.

 
Last summer Duluth Trading Co. provided me with an Oil Cloth Tote Bag for review. While the bag is a little more rugged looking than what I typically go with, I quickly got over it once I used it. 

The tote holds a ton including my DSLR with room to spare so I don’t have to lug a “HEY THIS IS A CAMERA BAG WITH AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA IN IT” bag around and has more thoughtful and useful features than any purse I own. 

It is also large enough to carry a bottle of wine. I found that out by accident after a friend needed a little wine and sympathy after a big breakup.

I carried that bad boy all summer and as far into fall and winter as I could until I had to switch to a purse that wouldn’t get wet in the snow. It looks the same when I switched purses this year for summer. It makes a great Dog Mommy purse for the dog park.

See the leather key strap? That thing is GOLD. Can we make it a law that all purses should have a car key strap?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Minion Cell Phone Holder

I’m famous for asking people to call my phone because I can’t remember where I put it after I take it out of my purse. It’s kind of important to keep track of it since my cell phone is also my home phone.

Stuart (my favorite Despicable Me minion!) offered to help me out and allow me to make him into a Happy Meal toy cell phone stand. Stuart came into my life last summer when Christina from A Mommy Story and I did a Thelma and Louise road trip to Blogher last summer.

DIYminioncellphonestand


Well, we were just like them if Thelma and Louise drove an SUV and the wildest thing they did was stop at McDonalds for lunch and Stuarts and not share them with children. Then yeah, that’s us.


How to Make an Action Figure Cell Phone, Ereader, or Tablet Stand

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

16 Easy DIY Projects for Beginners

I think the best gift you can give someone lacking self confidence is a hammer.

No. Not to make themselves feel better by hitting other people with it, but to use it to build or fix something.
Completing a project is a shot in the arm to the self esteem.

 It might have taken me all afternoon, but I held my head a little higher for the rest of the day after completing my first DIY project. Who knew changing a deadbolt door lock can change your world? (Beyond the added security that no one can come in your house uninvited and take your stuff.)



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guest Bed Progress

I took advantage of the tiny break in weather to scurry into the garage and make over the guest bed.
Once I gave it a up close and personal looksee, I realized the bed frame  was a bit more beat up and damaged than I originally thought. But hey, it was a freebie from an old boss, so I’m not complaining.

 
It is difficult to tell from the photo, but this bed is pretty beat up.

After repairing some unexpected cracks and dings with wood filler, it was time to sand the finish off the bed to prep it for painting. This is when my Mouse detail sander earns its kibble because the point allows me to sand the curves, nooks, and crannies I'd have to do by hand if I used an orbital or finish sander to sand the finish off this bed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Would You Paint a Room With Scented Wall Paint?

If there is one thing blogging has taught me about people, it is that smells and scents are an individual and highly opinionated thing.  It makes sense (har!) Scientists proved smell is the most powerful mnemonic trigger there is.



Trust me I get this. There are smells that I love such as lavender. There are other smells that make me gag. Wall paint is one of them. The scent of conventional paint reminds me of my parents in progress fixer upper house that I swore was such a pit when I first saw it I wasn't going to live there. Of course since I was a kid I had no choice and my parents and grandparents worked their butts off to transform the house into something I was proud to call home.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to Hang a Floating Shelf

In a small house, you have to be creative when it comes to storage and display space. This goes double for my craft room/guest room. I built a wall of wrap around shelves to go with the new decor and had to use every bit of it to hold my craft and sewing supplies. I don't have room on them to display some of the creations that inspire my DIY madness.

The wall space over doors is often forgotten although you can make it work for you with a simple shelf or by hanging artwork. Making an over the door fence board shelf works well in the guest bathroom, why not hang a floating shelf over the door in the guest bedroom and use it to display my doodads?

This is project sounds harder than it really is, I promise.





Sunday, January 26, 2014

13 Things to Have in Your Car for Winter Snow and Ice Emergencies

Growing up on the Ohio North Coast, stocking a car and being prepared for winter driving is engrained in you from an early age. It is right up there with knowing your name, address, and telephone number. Even little kids know you are supposed to have jumper cables and a blanket in the trunk of your car. You also know you are supposed to hang your head in shame when you don’t.

After I moved from the Cleveland area I thought it was weird this stuff isn't common knowledge. In fact, I still kind do.

I realized why when I saw the weather people completely freak out about the first winter snow and for every snow thereafter. They didn’t offer any of the winter driving tips I grew up expecting to hear on the news. No wonder folks panic around here and forget to how drive in snow every. single. year.

Guys, we did the same thing last year, remember?

Sigh. Guess not.

Last week, I wrote about the basic things you should carry in your car for winter snow emergencies. Most of the items in that post 14 Basic Things to Have in Your Car in Winter Part 1 live in our car full time because they are useful to have for summer too.


13morethingstocarryinyourcarforwinteremergencies


Part 2 of my winter snow emergency prep kit goes beyond the basic list (you can review the basic snow emergency car checklist here.) Again, this is not a list supplies to get you through any type of doomsday scenario. This list is to help you in a winter driving or snow emergency and especially if you drive long distances or frequent country roads where it might be awhile before help will reach you. (Been there. Done that. On Christmas Day no less. Not fun.)


13 Things to Carry in Your Car for Snow Emergencies if You Travel Long Distances or Country Roads


Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Tips for Shoveling Snow

This winter there’s no business! Like snow business! Like snow business I know!

Hey, I’m just trying to lighten the mood since we we broke snow and cold records this winter. It is warmer in Alaska than it is in the Lower 48 right now. Crazy!

Tonight they predicted we will get more snow. You know what that means.

Shoveling.

And lots of it.

howtoshovelsnow



If you can't find a kid wanting to make a quick buck on a snow day, you’ll have to shovel it yourself. If that’s the case, here are some snow removal tips to keep in mind and to prepare you for what lies ahead. 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

14 Basic Things to Have in Your Car in Winter

Growing up near the Cleveland snow belt on Lake Erie has its advantages. Starting with the first snowfall of the year, the local weather people constantly remind you what emergency items to carry in your car for winter in case you got stuck in the snow (or more likely, get stuck in the mud after the snow melts.)

Prompted by the latest snow storm and my car accident last week, I’m spreading the word on what to have your car during winter snow emergencies.

14thingstocarryinyourcarforemergency
 Pin this list of ideas to your Pinterest boards! Share it with your friends!

You probably already have most of the items on the list. The basic items don’t cost a ton of money and are things you can use year round. I’ll do a Part 2 later this week with the more advanced/prepared items for winter driving. If I don’t this post will be way too long!

14 Things to Carry in Your Car for Snow Emergencies

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Craft Room Remodel: Painting Damaged Walls

When the cat's away, this little mouse drags her tools out to play.

While Husband was out of town on a business trip, I painted the guest room/craft room. Good times!


Of course, I want to live in a bright crayon box. Why do you ask?


I'm a wild woman. This is how I party it up when Husband is out of town.

First, I had to unload the room. I ended up stashing stuff in every.single. room.of.the.house.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father’s Day Gift to the Most Important Men in My Life

I’m lucky gal. When I see something I want or need, I am not afraid to go into my workshop, pull out my tools, and make it. If I don’t know how to do or use what I need to make my idea a reality, I’m not afraid to ask (especially my BFF Google) or take a class and learn how to do it.

I always thought if people couldn’t find what they liked or have a champagne taste on a (craft) beer budget like I do they just build or make over something to fit their vision. Stereotypical Man’s Work and Woman’s Work never existed in my world. It has always been You Have Two Hands And The Job Needs To Be Done So Do It work.



Do you know who I have to thank for this?

My Dad.

My Father in law too.

Collectively Husband and I call them The DIY Dads.  Without these two men in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. This post is my tribute to them and their Father’s Day gift. Well, part of it anyway.

Thanks Dad for not kicking me out of the garage while you worked on something, especially when I was little. For teaching me if I want something and don't want to wait, it usually best if you build yourself like our first DIY project,  the scrap wood step stool we needed so toddler me could reach the bathroom sink and brush my teeth. I’m sure I didn’t help much except maybe to hand you something or stay out of the way but I will never forget that once the paint was dry you said we built it. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

2 DIY No Slip Rugs

Lacey’s decorating again. She doesn’t like my layout of the cotton rugs in the Master bath and puts her own spin on things.

Well, not exactly spin. It is more like a frantic running and sliding the rugs around so she can bark at her reflection in the bathroom mirror kind of thing.

Don’t tell Lisa but it really is a cotton rug slides on the slick floor and it is like surfing kind of thing. We worked on the dog in the mirror thing. I know it is me and I am a pretty, pretty girl!

I need a no slip rug option. It is a miracle I haven’t tripped on the bunched up rugs or slid and fallen flat on my butt while shambling in and out of the shower.  I have nightmares about trying to convince an ER doctor that no, really, I wasn’t beaten by ninjas or anything nefarious, I slipped and fell over a rug and to please leave one hand free in my body cast so I can pet my dog thank you.

I have two bathrooms. I tested two ways to make a no slip rug or bath mat. Both methods and rugs work equally well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

11 Painting Tips and Tricks

Friends invited Husband and I to an apartment painting party to prep the place for a new tenant.  While we painted and before the pizza guy delivered we traded painting tips and tricks. Some you may know, others you may not. Feel free to add your tips in the comments section below!




1. Check for lead. If your home was built or painted prior to 1978 (when the US banned lead paint), it is a good idea to test the surface with a lead testing kit (you can find them here) before sanding or scraping peeling paint. If the test is positive for lead paint check HUD's Field GuideLead Paint Safety at to learn how to do the work safely or consider hiring a pro.

2. Prep it. Preparing the walls for paint is not as fun as diving right in there with a brush, but it will make the project easier in the end. Fill cracks and holes with spackle, let it dry and the sand it smooth with a sanding block, and then wipe the area with a lint free rag. If the walls are dirty, wash them down with water and dish soap,  and let them dry before painting or priming. Scrap and sand peeling or chipping paint. Mask off moldings and any area you do not want to paint  with painters tape. Not sure what type of tape to use? Check out my painter's tape vs masking tape post here.

painting around wood trim
 Painting the window molding would be a crime against architecture. We masked it off with painters tape to avoid accidents when cutting in around the windows and fireplace.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Dog Tail Coat Rack

 I have dog.

She has lots of stuff.

Most of  Lacey’s stuff is for taking walks. Her leash, towel, et al is in the drawer of a small step stool by the front door.

In theory.

Most days it looks like this.


 Clutter makes me cranky!

All that junk spilling up and over the step stool means I can’t use it to see out of the peephole in the front door.

That. Short.

Husband thinks this is hysterical.

I think it is time Lacey supervises her first DIY project.

How to Organize Dog Leashes


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cooking Carrot Soup with Power Tools!

I believe power tool projects are cheaper than therapy.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods Condo Blues
Some of you tell me your fear of chopping off a body part is why you do not try using tools, you have a husband/son/brother/father to do it for you, or the garage is a foreign land because it is dirtier and unheated unlike your kitchen. I can totally relate. I’d rather spend more time in my heated kitchen than my unheated garage during the winter too.

Although I have secretly grabbed and sterilized a power tool from the garage to help me with a cooking project.

True confessions time. When I bake and puree fall pumpkins (read how on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef here) the rind is so hard to cut I usually grab my rotary tool from the garage and use it to cut the pumpkin in half. It was my dirty little secret until now because every cook I know can cut a pumpkin in half with a standard chef’s knife. I had a case of Really Stupid Lazy Budget Chef over it.