31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

I love to paint rooms! It’s one of those meditative tasks that leaves you with instant gratification when  you are done. But, I don’t like the clean up afterwards. Several years ago I came up with an Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner that costs next to nothing!

All you need are two plastic grocery bags and two strips of painter’s tape.

Day 11: Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner

Make sure your grocery bags are clean and don’t have any holes in them. Turn the bags inside out if there is printing on them. (Sometimes the ink is water soluble and can mix with the paint.) Observe as my sister gives her best Vanna White impression and shows you how to invert that bag:

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

Slip the first bag on from the top of the tray and tape it at the bottom.

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

Slip the second bag over the bottom this time:

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

Tape the opening of the bag across the entire paint tray width.

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

You’re ready to rock and roll, errr roll and paint!

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

When you are done, carefully remove the plastic bags and throw them away. If you are pitching your roller, you can grab the roller through the bags and pitch it too.

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

No need to clean the tray (unless some paint seeped inside.) Unfortunately, you’ll probably still need to wash your paint brushes. But, if you clean your paint brushes correctly, they should last you a decade or more!

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paint tray liner plastic bag

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a ghost in your house? I do! Want to know how I know? Because we have scuffs that magically appear on the walls. It doesn’t bother me because I know a few easy tricks for removing wall scuffs.

Day 10: Easy Tricks for Removing Wall Scuffs

My number one tool in my arsenal against wall scuffs is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This guy is tough on scuffs! Before you start using that new eraser, cut it into fourths. That way you only dirty one small section at a time.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Rinse the eraser under water and ring out as much water as you can.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Locate your wall scuffs:

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Gently rub the wall with the Magic Eraser until the scuffs disappear.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Instantly gone, invisible and no more ghost evidence.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Recently I accidentally marked my wall with a Sharpie marker.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

The Magic Eraser worked a little too well in removing the mark. I accidentally rubbed down to the old paint color.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

For true paint touch ups, I use the Shur-Line touch up painter. I poured this paint in the tube a year ago. Then stored it in the garage.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

I snapped a new roller into the top. After a year, the paint clogged at the release hole. But, I was able to poke a pin though to start the paint again.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Then I rolled over the “oops” until it had good paint coverage.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

And the mark/scuff is gone.

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have any tips or tricks for removing wall scuffs? I’m anxious to hear your tips.

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 9 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Would you believe that a burst water line can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home? It’s true! If one of your water supply lines is not braided metal, you could be putting your home in danger of a massive leak; leading to a flood; which can lead to rot, mold and termites! Yup, termites love moist wood.

Day 9: Replace All Water Lines with Braided Metal:

Take a few minutes to look behind your toilet, behind your washing machine and under sinks to see if you have water supply lines that look like these:Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

If you do, it’s time to change them out for braided metal water lines:

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

And if you are purchasing a new washer, dishwasher or refrigerator, request braided metal water supply lines instead of the basic lines that are sold with the appliance. The cost difference is literally a few dollars in some cases. That extra dollar or two could save you tens of thousands of dollars!

Replacing the water lines is as easy as attaching your garden hose. To replace your washing machine hoses, locate the water shut off (usually it is behind the washer.) Turn the knobs off. Then remove the supply line from the shut off and the back of the washer. Have a towel underneath to capture any drips.

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Tighten the new braided hoses onto the washing machine and the water shut off valve. Turn the water back on and look for any drips or leaks. You might need to use a wrench to tighten up to half a turn more if you notice any drips after you turn the water back on.

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Replacing the water lines to your toilet and sink is almost as easy, usually the shut off valve looks like this:

water_shut_off_valve

Replacing the dishwasher water line can be a bit trickier if it is behind your cabinets. You might need to call in a helper to help you remove the dishwasher.

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 8 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Today I have a VERY IMPORTANT tip to prevent a fire from starting in your laundry room.  I’m going to show you how to replace your flexible foil or plastic dryer vent duct with a much safer semi-rigid ductwork. Before we go any further do you know what type of dryer duct hose you have? Go run and check. I’ll be waiting right here when you get back.

Day 8: Replace Plastic or Flexible Foil with Semi-rigid Dryer Duct:

Does your vent hose look like this semi-rigid type:

Or the shiny foil flexible type:

Which do you have? If your dryer ductwork is semi-rigid or solid metal ductwork you can skip the rest of this post and come back tomorrow.

What’s the difference? Well, let me show you what each of these ducts look like after one year of use:

Semi-rigid vs. flexible dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

Which one do you think is safer? Exactly! The semi-rigid doesn’t collect lint as easily as the flexible duct! Therefore, you have less of a chance of the lint catching fire.

To replace the duct hose, measure the length of ductwork you need to replace. You can order semi-rigid flexible aluminum duct from Amazon or head to your local home improvement store to purchase it. Be sure to pick up any dryer vent adjustable elbows and hose clamps you might need as well.

Remove the flexible duct and replace it with the new semi-rigid. For more detailed directions you can follow my tutorial for installing semi-rigid dryer hose.

How to Replace Your Flexible Dryer Hose | Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t forget to continue to clean out your dryer vent ducts 1-2 times a year! It’s an easy maintenance task you can do yourself (once you get the dryer out from the wall…which may be the hardest task.)

vacuum out your dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 7 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. We’re sticking with the laundry room theme for a few days. Today I have a tip to help protect your home from a fire. Cleaning out your dryer vent duct is an extremely important home maintenance task. The good news is that you can do most of this maintenance yourself. I recommend cleaning out any lint build up at least once a year (preferably in the late summer before the drier and static filled air sets in.) Twice a year is best.

Day 7: Clean Out Your Dryer Vent Duct:

 Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the vent duct tube from the wall and the dryer. Normally the duct is held on with a hose clamp. Use a flat head screwdriver to loosen the bolt attached to the clamp.

Remove the duct and use your shopvac to clean out both the dryer and wall ports.

Then clean as far as possible in both ends of the duct hose.

vacuum out your dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

If your duct is long or difficult to clean out, you can purchase a long dryer vent duct cleaning brush like this one:

Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush

While you have the dryer pulled out, vacuum off the back of the dryer, the washer, and the wall behind both. Eliminate as much lint as possible. A clean laundry room is less prone to fires.

Re-attach the ductwork to the wall and the dryer. Tug gently on the hose to make sure it is secure. Gently push the dryer back towards the wall being careful not to crush the tube.

If you can reach the exterior vent, go ahead and clean it out also. Make sure the vent closes properly when the dryer isn’t running. Otherwise you may get birds, rodents or bugs in your vent. That reminds me when we had our new dryer delivered. As the delivery guys were removing the old one. I heard the sound of the dryer crashing down, followed immediately by squealing and screaming. Apparently a mouse had made his way into the dryer but electrocuted himself. His dead body dropped out on the floor just as the guys were picking up the dryer. I’m telling you, that guy was the size of a line backer and he was terrified of a dead mouse! I tried so hard not to laugh, but couldn’t control myself. Needless to say, I double check the exterior vent more often now.

Tomorrow I’ll be showing you one more way to keep your laundry room from becoming a fire hazard.

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 6 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. So you finally upgraded to an HE washer. You have to be careful because if you don’t take care of it you’ll have a stinky funky mess. Funky music = good. Funky washer = bad! The HE washers (front load especially) are air tight, which can be the perfect environment for growing mold.

Have no fear, this tip will take 30 seconds of your time! Keeping your HE washer funk free and like new is super easy.

Day 5. How to Keep Your HE Washer Funk Free

After each wash load,  grab a dry wash cloth or rag and wipe off the door.

Then wipe out the gasket (top to bottom) to remove any water and moisture. This is the main area that will get mildewy first. Gently pull the gasket towards you to get into the fold.

Open the detergent dispenser drawer and wipe out any visible moisture. Finally, leave the detergent drawer and washer door open to thoroughly air out your washer.

If you are already stuck with a funky washer, follow these tips for cleaning it out and eliminate any odors. Be sure to read the comments because my readers have a bunch of tips to help keep your washer clean!

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 5 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Winter is fast approaching and now is a good time to assess your doors and windows. Do you feel a draft by your window when the wind kicks up outside? Can you see daylight seeping through your door?

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you are throwing away money on heating and cooling your home. Today I’ll show you a super quick fix to make your home more energy efficient and weather tight.

Day 5. Add Weatherstripping to Doors and Windows

The photo above is a picture of the gap between our front doors. We were losing heat and letting the cold air inside through this gap. The solution is as simple as buying a roll of foam weatherstripping.

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Peel off a section of weatherstripping. Press it onto the door jamb. Peel off the protective paper. Test your door by closing it and look again for light.

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

No drafts will be sneaking in here! You can also use the same weatherstripping on the bottom of your old windows.

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 4 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  What happens when you strip a screw head just enough that the screwdriver won’t get a good grip? Or the screw has been painted over so many times that you can’t get the screwdriver head in the hole? Ahhh, well, I have two quick tips for solving this problem!

Grab a thick rubberband, your screwdriver and a hammer.

Day 3. Removing a Stripped (or painted) Screw

If your screw is painted over, this tip will probably work for you. Set the screwdriver in the screw head (be sure to line up the grooves in the screw with the screwdriver cross. Use the hammer to give the screwdriver one good whack.

The pressure will either crack the paint or set the screwdriver in just enough to get a grip on that stubborn screw.

Need a plan B? Use a rubber band!

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Slip a thick rubber band over the end of the screwdriver. Insert it into the screw head.

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn to remove the screw. The rubber band will fill in the hole and give some gripping power while turning the screw.

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Uh oh, the screw still won’t come out? Here’s plan C: Use a dremel to get the screw out!

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 3 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  Have you ever tightened a screw 1,485 times before you finally admit that the hole is stripped? Procrastinate fixing that stripped hole no more!

Grab some wood glue and tooth picks and we’ll fix that hole in a jiffy.

Day 3. Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole

Remove the screw. Squeeze some wood glue into the hole. Add a little more on the end of a toothpick.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Shove as many toothpicks as you can into the stripped hole.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

After the wood glue has dried, snap or cut the toothpicks off with a hand saw.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Drive your screw into your newly fixed hole!
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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 2 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Today I’m going to show you a tip for fixing a rubbing or sticking door.

Day 2. Fixing a Sticking Door

Do you have a door in your home that rubs on the frame or gets stuck certain times of year? Our bathroom door used to stick in the summer (but not the winter.) The excess humidity in the air caused the door to swell just enough that it rubbed at the top of the frame. The fix literally took less than five minutes!

Take a look at your door and determine where the door is rubbing. Assess which direction you need to nudge the door to break the contact.

The simplest fix is to try loosening or tightening the door hinge screws. Take a look at the door below. The door was too tight in the upper left corner. To relieve the rubbing loosen the screws a half turn in that top hinge. Test the door again. You may also need to loosen the screws on the middle hinge and tighten the screws on the bottom hinge.

Is your door still sticking? Try removing the screws completely from the door frame. Instead of shimming with a wooden shim (which would be too thick) cut a piece of thin cardboard (think cereal boxes and product packaging) and inserted it behind the hinge. Then drive the screws back in.

Shim a door hinge

95% of the time the above two tips will resolve your issues. If your door is still sticking, you may have to take more drastic measures like routing out more material from the door frame with a Dremel or using a power planer to trim down your door.

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