Building A Wooden Bookcase

When you need additional storage for your house, shelving units may be the answer. Prefabricated wooden shelves can be costly and may not fit in your space. By making your own shelves, you can ensure a perfect fit and maximum use to store items that you need. Before starting work on a shelving project, sketch out the plans and include specific dimensions to have accurate measurements when buying the materials.


  1. Cut wooden plates with a hand saw or table. You need two pieces of the same length to form the sides of the shelving unit, two pieces for the top and bottom and additional pieces for the interior shelves. The pieces of the shelves should be the same length as the base and tip. Sand the wooden edges to make sure they do not have splinters during construction.
  2. Choose two pieces of wood the same size for the sides of the shelves. Using a pencil and a ruler, mark the points where the shelves are supported, draw a straight line through the piece of wood to serve as guide. To ensure that the boards have the same height, rest them next to each other and used a stick to draw a continuous line through the two plates. Make sure the finish line is the same distance from the base and the top on each piece.
  3. Cut pieces of wood strips in equal width sections of the side panels, you need two for each shelf, not counting the pieces of the tips in the rack unit. Using small nails, join then strips of wood into the side panels so that the tips are aligned with the pencil lines, these will become the support of the shelves. Place the nails looking down to increase the strength of support for each board. Use a level to make sure the strips are straight.
  4. Place the bottom piece of wood to the side panels. Place the panels on the outside of the bottom piece and put a strip of nails to secure, use a drill and screws for extra security. Repeat the process to attach the top of the bookcase. To make the unit stronger attach a piece of veneer on the back of the frame.
  5. Test the strength of the supports by placing several heavy items on each shelf. If the supports slide off the nails, you may need to add nails or change the angle.

Cleaning a Clogged Kitchen Sink

Kitchen drains often get clogged, leaving you with a drain that drains very slowly or not at all in some cases. This leads to stagnant water that is not only unattractive but also unsafe, as it can sometimes cause odor and bacteria to grow and spread. You can do several things to clean the kitchen drain.

Causes of clogged kitchen drains

Washing pieces of food of dishes by the drain is the main culprit of a clogged kitchen drain. If you do not have a garbage disposal, the food that gets rinsed down often ends up sitting in one of the curves in the pipe. This leads to mold growth along with bacterial growth in the drain. At this point an unpleasant odor will develop and emit out through the drain opening of your kitchen sink.

Summing up

A plunger works perfectly to break up clogged debris in the kitchen sink. Buy a small plunger from your hardware or home improvement store because this is much more sanitary than using the plunger pump. Place the plunger over the sink hole and plunge the drain as you would your toilet. Flush hot water down the drain to rinse the broken up residue.

Baking soda and vinegar

After using the plunger, pour 1 cup of baking soda into the drain; this deodorizes the sink. Pour 1 cup of vinegar over the baking soda and observe the foaming reaction that will occur. The vinegar disinfects and cleans, and the foam created by the two ingredients cleans the walls of the drain pipes. Let the foam work for an hour or so and then rinse hot water down the drain.

Avoiding a clogged drain

Use a drain plug in the kitchen sink. This sits on the drain and has very small holes that allow the water to pass through, but it picks up any pieces of food. Empty the food collected in the trash daily. Also, remember to clean your dishes and utensils before rinsing them off in the sink if you notice chunks of food. This reduces the amount of food rinsed down your drain.

How to Eliminate the Smell of Paint

Redecorating our house is very simple and you do not need to buy new furniture for it. You can give your old furniture a new life with a little hand of paint and, thus, will be like new. The problem is that the paint is a chemical whose smell that is not liked by everyone. And the case is not that you like it, more or less, it’s that the house will smell of paint for days. How can we avoid it? There are several homemade tricks, both to prevent this from happening and to save the situation if we have already painted and cannot be in our house because of the smell. They are very easy home remedies that you also have at home. So, if you want to know how to remove the smell of paint from a piece of furniture, we will explain it to you.

Avoid the smell of paint on furniture with vanilla

It is the best-known remedy of all and the most used because it really works. It is rather a trick to prevent, because as the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. It’s about using vanilla essence. Yes, what you use to bake. If you do not have it, do not worry, it’s in all the supermarkets and you can always save it to make some cake or even save it with the painting utensils.

Obviously, you must use it before painting. Take approximately two tablespoons per liter of paint. You do not have to worry because it will not spoil the paint and it will cover the same and maintain its properties. However, you will neutralize the smell enough and when it dries you will not have that toxic smell of the paint.

How to remove the smell of paint from a piece of furniture – Avoid the smell of paint on furniture with vanilla

Remove the smell of paint with onions

Another home remedy to remove the smell of paint if you have already painted the furniture is to add a sliced onion and place it in a bowl of cold water. This will cause the onion to absorb the smell of paint and mitigate it. Of course, you should keep in mind that there will be an onion smell, so if you do not like it either, then it is best to ventilate the house well because this may not be the best remedy for you.

Remove the smell of furniture paint with coffee

Another food that we have at home and can help us eliminate paint odors on our furniture is coffee. You can use it in grain, ground or even the grounds. No need to waste freshly purchased coffee, after taking your cup in the morning take advantage of the grounds to eliminate the smell of paint.

You must place the coffee in different strategic points of the house or the room where the painted furniture is. Place them in containers so that they neutralize the smell of the paint.

Maybe this is a remedy that you like more than using an onion because of the rich smell of coffee. Who would not want their house to have the aroma of coffee beans? Of course it is better than the smell of paint. But if you are not a coffee person, we’ll tell you other remedies that can help you.

Remove the smell of paint from a cabinet with ammonia

The best thing to eliminate the smell of paint on your furniture as soon as possible is to ventilate the room where they are or the whole house, so that the air comes in and comes out freely and the smell goes away as soon as possible. However, it may be that the room where you painted the furniture does not have good ventilation. In this case, the smell of fresh paint would remain for many days also permeating some fabrics such as curtains, carpets or even sofas and chairs.

To avoid this in a room that does not have windows, or they are very small, you can use the trick of cold water. It consists of placing two or three containers around the room filled with cold water with a little ammonia in each one. You will see how, little by little, they will eliminate the smell.

To calculate well and not to add too much ammonia (which also has a very strong smell) you can calculate two tablespoons of ammonia for each half liter of cold water. With this amount distributed in several containers will suffice, unless it is a very large room. Then, maybe you have to double the amounts.


Finally, one last trick is with a product that you may not have at home but that is also very effective. It is about charcoal, the same kind used for barbecues. Also, if you did not know it has many beneficial properties for health and cosmetics.

In this case, we will use charcoal to neutralize the intense smell of the paint. To do this you have to place several pieces in some small plates scattered around the room, as close as possible to the furniture you have painted. It is an excellent absorber of odors. Of course, you should be careful with the type of heating you have, since a nearby fireplace could ignite the coal and the house.

The Importance of Cleaning Gutters

The gutters of your home are a very important part of the general structure of the house, because they prevent the water during the rainy season from stagnating on the roofs and walls. The rain gutters collect rainwater and avoid annoying splashes on the terrace and prevents the facade from getting dirty. It is a valuable piece, and we should only keep in mind that it will collect everything on the roof with the water: moss, dust, earth, but also larger debris, from dead sparrows to plastic bags and leaves from the trees. The normal maintenance of the gutters is simple and reduces to cleaning it to avoid clogging. It will be necessary to do preventive cleaning in autumn and spring,

How to clean roof gutters

If the gutters are not clean they will cause moisture stains on the inside, which cause mold growth and other structural problems. The first thing is to remove with a metal bristle brush all the  dirt that is causing the humidity to stay there and cause the channels to rust, rot and corrode. Then wash the channels with a hose that has enough pressure to finish carrying the dirt, starting with the initial part and carrying everything to the spout. This step must be done several times, because in most cases the leaves stuck to the surface and are difficult to remove, in others you must remove the elbows and pieces of the gutters to remove the dirt. If there is rust inside the channels, you must remove it with a spatula and then cover the entire surface with special roofing cement so that it does not oxidize easily.

Organic Landscaping Tips to Try at Home

The sun has made its first appearance for the year. Which means it’s time to walk in the park, sit in the grass, and have a picnic.

Design local landscapes

When you’re designing a new landscape, first analyze your site and soil and select the most suitable trees and plants for the location. The ideal planting mix should include low maintenance, drought tolerant, disease resistant, and native plant materials. And contain no more than 20 percent of turf areas, which should be planted with a seed mix that’s suited to your area.

Plant a variety of plants

Healthy landscapes need a mix of plants and trees, not just one species, to prevent pests and diseases from spreading. You can also plant densely to crowd out and suppress weeds. Prune only to remove dead or diseased branches.

Amend your soil

For optimal growing conditions, amend your existing soil with a mix of compost and topsoil. Use a mix of 50 percent pure compost (either yard waste or manure) plus 50 percent topsoil. Amend existing soils with compost to a depth of 6-12 inches.

Avoid chemicals

The use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides will make it into the watershed so it’s suggested to stay away from these products. It’s a good idea to use only 100 percent organic fertilizers and supplements like bone meal, blood meal, kelp meal, and cow and chicken manure.  You can find organic fertilizer at your local nursery or big name home improvement store.

Keep your lawn healthy

You can core aerate to improve lawn circulation and promote root growth and soil structure. When you mow, set your blades to 3-4 inches in height to encourage thicker turf which helps with weed control. Leave the grass clippings to decompose and to serve as mulch and natural fertilizer.   Also consider using a phosphorus-free fertilizer for lawn applications. Excess phosphorus causes algae to build up in waterways and can disrupt the ecological balance. If you only fertilize your lawn twice a year, make one application in the spring and one in the fall. If you only fertilize once a year, make sure to do it in the fall.

Weed by hand

Weeding by hand can be meditative and relaxing! Rather than using toxic chemicals, control weeds by mechanical methods like pulling them by hand, layering mulch in garden beds, or burning with a weed torch. Learn about sheet mulching to control the spread of weeds.

Conserve water through proper irrigation

Water conservation is a growing priority in the states so we suggest watering less frequently, but for longer periods.  This helps landscape plants grow deep roots that are less vulnerable to drought conditions.  Install an irrigation system with timers to minimize water usage, a rain sensor to stop the irrigation system when it detects precipitation, and a minimum of four separate programs per cycle. This saves water that might otherwise puddle in compact soil or end up as runoff on slopes. To prevent evaporation, irrigate early in the mornings and in the evenings, rather than during the day.

Practice integrated pest management

This tactic uses natural systems to disrupt the physical environment of common garden pests, rather than using chemicals to kill them.

A few tricks:

  • Remove material that is infested by pests
  • Put netting over plants to prevent insects from reaching them
  • Pick mites off plants by hand or use traps, rather than using chemical insecticides
  • Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs to control an aphid population

Install permeable landscaping

Landscaping are the elements of your garden like pavers and paths. Impervious materials like concrete and asphalt can prevent rainwater from reaching the ground and increase flows into nearby streams, which can damage habitat.  When you’re installing new paths or a driveway, install permeable materials like gravel, pavers that allow water to seep in between, or permeable pavement.

How to Remove Paint Stains from Clothes

Removing paint stains from clothes is not an easy task and may even seem almost impossible to achieve. Although these spots can be very rebellious if not treated in time, if this situation happens you should not throw your clothes in the trash. Here are some tips so you can learn how to remove paint stains from clothes in the indicated time.

  1. The first thing you should do is read the label of the clothes. This is because not all products can be used with your garment, so act with caution. Do not wash the clothes before removing the stain, since this way you will only make the stain worse and it will be more complicated to eliminate.
  2. For cases where the paint stain is oil based, you should scrape the paint. Then sponge the rest of the paint and dry with absorbent paper. Repeat as many times as necessary until the stain comes out almost completely. You can also apply liquid detergent stain on to the stain, let it act, and proceed to wash by hand in hot water.
  3. If the paint stain is water based, you must act immediately and not let the stain dry. Rinse the garment with enough hot water and apply a detergent to remove stains. Then you should rinse with hot water and wash by hand with a normal detergent.
  4. Paint stains should be treated as quickly as possible, especially if the paint is oil-based because it is strongly saturated with the fibers of the clothing and becomes permanent. Remember that in case the stain does not come out, if the garment is worth it, it is best to have it treated by a professional.

The Correct Way to Paint the Exterior of Your Home

If you are planning a makeover for your home or simply do not like the exterior color of a house that interests you, knowing the right way to paint the outside of a house can save a lot of money in the long term. Not only will you be able to complete the project yourself, you will be able to do it with confidence. Once you know the steps to follow, you can complete the project yourself without having to spend additional money on a professional.


  1. Check local building codes to determine if there are any restrictions on the use of oil-based paint. These types of paints contain higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or solvents.
  2. Choose between oil-based supplies or latex supplies. Whichever type of paint you choose, make sure it matches the same type of primer. In order to determine what type of material you are going to use, first determine the type of coating material your home is made of. If you have vinyl siding, you should always use an acrylic latex primer and topcoat, but with aluminum siding, you should use an oil-based primer with a top layer of acrylic latex.
  3. Apply a coat of primer to areas of bare wood or areas where you have removed the paint so that the top coat adheres better to the surface.
  4. Immerse a brush in the paint so that no more than half of the bristles are submerged in the paint. When lifting the brush, make sure you clean the bottom of the brush on the edge of the can, and keep the bristles up while moving towards the house.
  5. Paint the house from the top towards the bottom, starting from the pediments and moving on to the main siding, windows, moldings and doors, in that specific order. Make sure that the paint is removed periodically to prevent mixing.
  6. Paint the siding with the 5-inch brush 2 to 3 inches from the edge of the corners, windows and doors, making sure to paint three to four boards at a time and move the brush with a back and forth motion. Make sure to paint in the direction of the coating.
  7. If you’re painting under the edge of the boards made of wood, use a 3-inch brush; If you have wood shingles, paint around the edge or perimeter, making sure to work the paint into cracks and seams.
  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 until the entire house is painted.
  9. Clean the brushes when you have finished working, using soap and water for latex paint and paint thinner or turpentine for oil-based paint. Make sure you have the paint thinner and turpentine in a tightly closed glass container.
  10. Allow the first coat of paint to dry for eight hours, or the amount of time recommended on the paint label, before applying the second coat and repeat steps 4 through 7.

Tips and warnings

  • Let the house dry for two or three days if it has rained recently.
  • Paint the east and north sides of the house in the afternoon and the west and south sides of the house in the morning to prevent the paint from drying out too quickly.

Patio Lighting Ideas

Patio lighting is all about creating atmosphere. “Think of the lighting at McDonald’s,” says TJ Wilcoxson of Alexon Design Group in Gilbert, AZ. “They purposely light it that way to encourage customers to leave as soon as they’re done eating. Now imagine the lighting at your favorite Italian restaurant. It’s romantic, it sets the scene. That’s the goal of lighting for your patio,” he says.

To encourage friends and family to relax and enjoy themselves, use subtle down lighting. Gerry DuBreuil of Belknap Landscape Company, Inc. in Gilford, NH suggests attaching lights to trees and aiming them downward through the foliage to get a moonlit effect. If you don’t have mature trees nearby, another prime opportunity for down lighting is to install fixtures in a patio cover or pergola. The pergola acts as a ceiling and can support many different styles of light fixtures as long as they are made for outdoor use. Learn more about patio cover lighting options.

Another way to light a patio is to add fixtures to a wall or column at the edge of the patio. This is an option for new construction because the fixtures have to be integrated into the structure of the wall itself. Sometimes the fixtures are hidden underneath the wall cap so that the source of the light cannot be seen. This type of lighting helps to illuminate the surface of the patio in a similar fashion to how path lights illuminate walkways. Often down lighting is used in conjunction with wall lighting.

Landscaping Tips for Large Commercial Spaces

Ample outdoor space is a hot commodity. As a business owner, it gives you the chance to spread out, expand, and get more out of your property—not to mention, it looks pretty good, too!

All that space comes with a need for mindful space management: ways to seamlessly improve the look and flow of your property. In today’s blog, we will be sharing a few such ways to do just that. Take a look.

Link spaces together with visual cues

Your landscape may be large, but who says it can’t be cohesive? To create a sense of unified space, use similar visual cues throughout your property: landscape enhancements, like signs and benches, sidewalk borders, water features, etc. By implementing this element of repetition, employees or customers can explore the extent of your landscape while still feeling “at home,” surrounded by familiarity, wherever they roam.

Remember sound design

Sounds can carry over large, empty spaces. To prevent people on one side of your property from being distracted by traffic over on the opposite side, utilize the help of sound design: the carefully-planned addition of water features and other sound elements that help soften unwanted noise.

Break up the visual landscape

A rich, grassy lawn is beautiful, but it can sometimes seem boring if your landscape is nothing but one shade and style throughout. Break up the visual field by adding elements of varying shapes, sizes, and colors. Something as simple as a pair of palm trees, a rain garden or topiary can help add interest to your space and prevent it from looking uniform all the way around.

Create separate spaces that work together

Think about your favorite theme park—more likely than not, the large property is broken up into separate “lands” or areas, separate spaces that combine to form a more cohesive whole. Even if the park itself is enormous, it doesn’t feel intimidating because each separate space lets you take one “bite” at a time. You can apply that same idea to your commercial landscape! Create separate spaces that work together, like a designated sitting area for lunches and picnics, a reflective pond or fountain area, a shady tree section perfect for walking through, and more. When you break it down like this, your landscape is a lot easier to manage!

Make it walkable

Above all, be sure to make your landscape walkable. In most cases, you want people to be able to freely explore the space without needing to trample over grass or walk through obstacles to get around. Providing abundant sidewalks and passageways can help you achieve a more pedestrian-friendly space.


Install Gutters with Nails or Screws?

Gutter to nail

Dean Johnson of Time Home suggests that gutters be driven “in the rafters and under the tiles so that the nail head is not exposed.” It also suggests that roofing cement be applied around the head of the nail to prevent leaks and for cement around the raised tiles to prevent it from coiling.

Instead use screws

Ron Hazelton calls Ron Hazelton home suggests that to mount the gutters, you can drive a screw in each bracket and in the face plate in the eave.

Final score

Gutter experts advise the replacement of gutter nails with screws. Since the channels expand and contract with temperature changes, the nails have a tendency to loosen over time. In the article Channels drop and hang professional Gutter works explains that although a screw will not keep the gutter from expanding and contracting, the screw cannot be removed as easily like a nail.