Shur-line Paint Edger Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Last month I received a little care package from Shur-line. I opened the kit and assessed the products with speculation. As you probably remember, I don’t generally like new painting gadgets. I have my tried and true painting tools that I use and I rarely find new ones that I like better. As I was getting ready to re-paint the living room, I grabbed for the Shur-line Pro Paint Edger. Having been a fan of our old Shur-line edger, I really didn’t think that they could have improved much on the design.

Well, I was wrong, and this is my new favorite paint edger.

The biggest change they made was to add flip up edge guards. Why would you want this?

Shur-line Paint Edger Review | Pretty Handy Girl

It protects the wheels and the edge guard from getting paint on it when you reload the paint! Brilliant.

Shur-line Paint Edger Review | Pretty Handy Girl

In the past, I had to be careful not to dip the wheels in the paint when re-loading. And, I inevitably had to wipe off the wheels with a damp rag when I did. Now, they flip up and out of the way when you raise the little handle between the roller wheels. After the paint is loaded, flip the handle down and the wheels and edge guards are ready to edge. Read more

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl
How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding

I love our antique heart pine floors! They are beautifully distressed. The round pegs and square nails securing them in place add loads of character. However, the square nails sit flush with the surface preventing us from ever being able to refinish them with a sander. The nails would tear up the sandpaper in no time. But, that’s no problem because I know a way to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding!

 

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

From time to time, our floors start to look dull…

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

…and the scratches are more noticeable. This is when I know it’s time to refinish them.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

The first time I refinished our floors, it was several years ago when we were painting the office and dining room. I decided to try to refinish the floors because the rooms were already devoid of furniture. Several neighbors had recommended Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish. I was skeptical, but the results were beautiful floors that had luster, but still showed their beautiful age.

Before and After Finishing Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

The Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner did a fabulous job of cleaning the floor without damaging them. And, the Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish provided a strong finish without any waxy build up. The high gloss protective layer adds some shine, but isn’t overly shiny. The polish also fills micro-scratches, evening out the appearance of the floor.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Fast forward to this past week when Bona asked me to write a sponsored post for them, I jumped for joy because I already use and love the Bona® Hardwood Floor Products! (Here’s my full disclosure: Yes, this is a sponsored post. No, I was not told what to write. And yes, I probably would have blogged about my experiences using Bona® Hardwood Floor Products at some point anyway. Win-win.)

I highly recommend trying the combo of the Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and the Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish before spending huge amounts of money to have your floors refinished. (Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner & Polish will not work on floors that have an oil or wax coating. Test in an inconspicuous area to be sure it will work for your floors.)

Here’s how to Refinish Your Wood Floors without Sanding:

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions for Cleaning the Wood Floors:

Remove all rugs and furniture from the room. If you have heavy furniture pieces that are never moved, you can leave them in place.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Vacuum or sweep the floors to remove all dirt and debris.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Assemble your Bona® Hardwood Floor Spray Mop as shown here: Read more

Quick Kitchen Cart Makeover with BB Frösh Chalk Paint Powder

It seems I have a penchant for painting my late grandmother’s old furniture. You may remember the coffee table I wrote on of her’s. This kitchen cart was Grandma’s, but it had seen better days. It has been hanging out in my Dad’s kitchen for years now. My sister Caitlin decided to rope me into giving this kitchen cart a quick makeover over the holidays.

Quick Kitchen Cart Makeover with BB Frösh Chalk Paint Powder

It actually turned into the perfect opportunity to try BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder. The powder is mixed with water first and then any flat latex paint to create a smooth, durable chalk paint that can be painted directly over any surface regardless of whether it is bare wood, metal, or previously painted. Primer is not needed! For a soft durable finish, you can add a coat of BB Frösch Clear Wax.

Quick Kitchen Cart Makeover with BB Frösh Chalk Paint Powder

I can’t wait to show you how this chalk powder works and how quickly you can give furniture a makeover.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Quick Kitchen Cart Makeover with BB Frösh Chalk Paint Powder

Optional (for butcher block top):

 

Instructions:

Begin by wiping off your kitchen cart with the damp rag.

Quick Kitchen Cart Makeover with BB Frösh Chalk Paint Powder

To remove the butcher block top, turn the cart upside down and remove the screws holding the top in place.

Lightly sand the rest of the cart with a sanding block. It helps to enlist the help of one adorable niece for this step. Read more

3-DIY-book-giveaway

I love being able to peruse real bound books! Browsing through blogs and online is fine, but there is no substitute for the printed word in a book.

Lucky for you, I’ve reviewed three new home, garden and design books that I think you’ll love!

The first is Decorating for Real Life by Wendy Hyde (blogger at The Shabby Nest)

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Blogger Wendy Hyde began writing her blog, The Shabby Nest in 2008. She has taken her online world of decorating and design knowledge and has created a book full of magazine worthy homes. The photos may seem unachievable at first, but she breaks each room down to help you get the same look in your own home. She holds your hand and points out what makes the room work design-wise. This 208 page hardcover book is full with color photos of almost every room in a typical family home. At the end, Wendy printed several pages of grid paper and typical furniture items to help you design your own room layout.

PostBreakblueThe second book is Cultivating Garden Style by Rochelle Greayer

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Rochelle takes us into a diverse world of beautiful and inspiring gardens. Her book is filled with ideas and tips to create landscaping that reflects your style, your home or your dreams. This hardcover book has over 300 pages filled with twenty three unique garden styles and step-by-step DIY projects to complete your outdoor space. Whether you like modern, Asian, Cottage or any other style, you’re sure to find inspiration in Cultivating Garden Style.

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Last but certainly not least is DIY Wood Pallet Projects: 35 Rustic Modern Upcycling Ideas to Personalize Your Space by Karah Bunde (blogger at The Space Between Blog)

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Karah takes her popular blog theme of upcycling and decorating using shipping pallets from the online world and into the pages of this book. She created 35 new projects using shipping pallets and gives you the step-by-step tutorial to complete each one. In the beginning of the book she discussed everything you need to know about the safety of wood pallets and how to harvest the wood from them. The rest is full of tutorials using pallet wood that will definitely be easy on your wallet.

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WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirlWORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

A few months ago WORX sent me their WORX Lithium Cordless Chainsaw with Extension Pole for a product review. Our property is very wooded and we have so many trees that I’ve lost count. I do know that they need pruning and maintaining on a regular basis (at least every six months.) I knew our yard was a good test environment that would put the JawSaw through a rigorous test on our hardwoods and ornamental trees.

Recently one of our smaller trees died and needed to be removed. I charged up the JawSaw battery and snapped it in place after it was fully charged.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

As is always the case, as I got closer, that little tree didn’t look so small. I honestly doubted I’d be able to use the JawSaw for this task. But, I was pleasantly surprised when the jaws fit around the trunk.

To work the JawSaw, you have to push the button with your thumb and pull the trigger at the same time. To start the saw moving, you push the handle in towards the shaft.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The blade easily cut through the tree trunk. And within about fifteen minutes I was able to cut the tree down and cut it into manageable pieces.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

Next I added the pole attachment to trim branches up to 12 feet high. The pole slides into the slot near the black handle. The handle snaps into the handle clamp on the pole. The JawSaw handle needs to be pressed into the shaft and the red bar is inserted into the bottom to lock it in place.  The power pack slides into the battery slot on the JawSaw. The battery pack is then inserted below the handle on the extension pole.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The pole extension has a 12 foot reach, but you will need to position one hand on the black shaft to operate the JawSaw.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

After positioning the JawSaw “jaws” around the branch…

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

…pull back on the black shaft to set the blade in motion.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The JawSaw does all the work for you while you remain safely on the ground. I also like the JawSaw because it gives the user a safe distance from the blade. With a regular chainsaw kickback is always a concern.

Logs and branches can be cut directly on the ground because the “jaws” blade guard holds the blade just above the ground. You can’t do that safely with a regular chainsaw.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The only negatives about the JawSaw is that you will need to have a battery charged ahead of time (but I much prefer the cordless vs. a corded yard tool.) And you are limited to a 4 inch cutting diameter.

Using the JawSaw on the extension pole is a bit awkward, but I don’t have the strongest arm strength. However, once the jaws are around the branch you don’t have to support the saw the entire time.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

Overall, this is one yard tool that I’m happy to have in our tool shed. It is invaluable for safely removing limbs and cutting up small trees. I highly recommend the WORX Lithium Cordless Chainsaw with Extension Pole for tree trimming and small tree removal over a chainsaw.

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Disclosure: This is a product review for the WORX JawSaw Cordless Chainsaw. I was provided with the tool at not cost to me. However, I was not swayed to write a positive review or write anything at all. This is NOT a sponsored post. As always I am very particular about the brands and products I choose to showcase on this blog.  

Sport Gear Storage in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

My home is protected by ninjas! Well, actually Tae Kwon Do athletes, but they are ninjas in training. So, don’t even think about breaking into our house or they will open up a can of whoop ass on you! 😉

Unfortunately, where my boys are plentiful in kicking and punching skills they lack in the picking up your stuff department. Which means that the bottom of the stairway to our bonus room is usually the dumping ground for their gear bags, clothing and gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew I could “up” the amount of storage we had in this small unused space by going vertical. I designed and created Sports Gear Storage Shelves in the small space at the base of our bonus room stairs. Adding mesh siding gives the storage system a locker vibe and allowed for better air flow around stinky sports gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to know how to build your own Sport Gear Storage Shelves? Hang out for a while and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step tutorial.

Materials:

Cut List:

  • 5 – 15″ x 24″ plywood (shelves)*
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 15″ (shelf cleats)
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 23″ (shelf cleats)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 88″ (sides of support frame)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 4.5″ (top & bottom of support frame)
  • 1 – 5.5″ x 84″ piece of wire mesh
  • Rip edge banding 1/4″ thickness from one 1 x 3″ board

* You should be able to get a sixth shelf cut from your plywood if you wish to use it for a base.

Instructions:

Before beginning to build, sketch out your design with painter’s tape. Take note of the height of any baskets or gear bags you will store on the shelves. This should give you the ability to visualize the storage shelves and make any alterations to your design before you build. Once you are happy with the layout, write down your shelf heights.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

You may wish to clad the walls in wood planks like I did before you build the shelving. If you decide to add the planks, here’s the tutorial for planking your walls.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the heights of your shelves.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Using a level, draw a pencil line where the shelves will rest.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Secure the 1×3″ cleats below the pencil line using 2 1/2″ wood screws into studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue securing shelf cleats to the wall with screws into available studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint or stain the cleats to match the wall color.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Building Curved Shelves with Edge Banding: Read more

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember when I declared that I only use a handful of painting products that I’ve used for 15 years? I usually detest “new and improved” painting gadgets. I’ve tried many and they are usually a flop or not as efficient as my current arsenal of painting tools. So, you’ll understand that when HomeRight first approached me about trying their PaintStick products, I declined. After saying no, I started seeing many rave reviews from other DIY bloggers. As I began anticipating the task of painting our master bedroom, I began to rethink trying the HomeRight PaintStick Paint Applicator. I was definitely tentative. Finally, I agreed to try out both the PaintStick original and the PaintStick EZ Twist. I warned HomeRight that I have high expectations and that if they weren’t met, I wouldn’t blog about their PaintSticks.

I guess you know where this is going because here I am to tell you that I really loved both PaintSticks! And I will be using one every time I paint a room from now on! Seriously, these products are a game changer.

For one, you don’t have to worry about the messy task of pouring paint into a tray and moving the tray with you as you paint. Both HomeRight PaintSticks come with a paint can cover and fill tube that fits on your gallon paint container.

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

This keeps the paint from drying out and eliminates the need for a tray. The fill port on both PaintSticks is covered with a sponge type gasket that allows the fill tube to go through, but keeps the paint inside the PaintStick.

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

But, my FAVORITE aspect of the PaintSticks is that I can roll half a wall without stopping! No joke. With the traditional roller and tray I can usually paint a 4′ x 4′ square and then have to reload my roller. No more! The PaintStick literally allowed me to paint an 8′ x 7′ section (almost 4 times as much) without reloading.

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

And refilling the tube is almost as fast as rolling. I cut my painting time down drastically. Here’s a video HomeRight made showing a side by side “Paint Off” race between the EZ Twist PaintStick and a roller and tray (and a paint sprayer). It’s pretty accurate in my experience.

The only negative, is that you will spend a little more time cleaning up. The PaintSticks have to be disassembled and cleaned out when you finish painting. But, this process doesn’t add enough time to come near exceeding the time it would take to paint conventionally with the roller and tray.

What’s the difference between the PaintStick and the EZTwist PaintStick? Read more

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

A year has flown by since I laid our Globus Cork glue down tiles in our kitchen. I wanted to check back in and let you know how they are holding up.  I must say this is one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) fixture in our kitchen. I had some minor doubts because some people feared that dogs and cork floors don’t go well together. Or that rambunctious boys would ruin them. Well, I’m here to report that after a year they still look the same as when they were installed!

Update: Our Cork Floors One Year Later | Pretty Handy Girl

I can tell you that there has been lots of chair scraping. Lots of matchbox car races. Lots of wrestling and plenty of Buddy sliding on them as he runs to retrieve balls.

Update: Our Cork Floors One Year Later | Pretty Handy Girl

I have yet to see a scratch anywhere! The only mark that I did manage to make was a small dent when I dropped one of the heavy corbels and it hit the floor right at the pointy edge. But, I can’t even find that dent to be able to check on it.

There is also one dip where I must not have filled a knot hole in the underlayment. But, it is barely noticeable unless the light hits it just right: Read more

finish-nailer-comparison

A finish nailer is a great tool to have in your workshop.  It’s great for small projects, installing moulding, wall planking and more. After using both types of finish nailers for many projects, I wanted to break down the pros and cons of each.
Compressor_finish_nailer_combo_kitI was able to score this Campbell-Hausfeld nailer and compressor combo around Father’s Day at Lowe’s for $69! (Normal MSRP is $99.) I’ve used the compressor-powered nailer for many years on an assortment of DIY projects (like my Art & Craft Studio scrap wood wall.)  I haven’t had any problems with it. It’s reliable, lightweight and can fire a variety of length finish nails and U-staples. For the value, you can’t go wrong. The cons of the Campbell Hausfeld are mostly related to the compressor. It is very loud when the air tank is recharging. It’s a little bulky to store and haul around. You are limited to the length of your air hose and a power source. And you must empty the tank and maintain it periodically.

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Ryobi-nail-strike

In all the ways that the Campbell-Hausfeld fails, the Ryobi Air Strike excels. It doesn’t take up as much room to store. No compressor needed because it is essentially built into the tool. As long as the battery is charged you are ready to fire nails on a moment’s notice. The light helps illuminate in dark working areas. You aren’t tethered to an air hose or compressor. This allows you the freedom to wander anywhere with the nail gun. And it is quiet (with the exception of the bang when firing the nail.)

The downsides are it doesn’t shoot U-staples. The gun itself is heavier to hold because of the battery and size of the gun. If you lose charge in the battery you have to wait a while for it to charge. Finally, the price is slightly higher than the MSRP of the Campbell-Hausfeld at $129.

Update: I’ve had a few occasions where my Ryobi Air Strike has quit firing. Usually I can get it working again by unlatching the front of the gun and checking it for jams or reloading with new nails. Recently at a DIY conference, I learned that I’m not the only person who has had this problem. So far the nail gun still works, hopefully it will continue to do so.

2nd Update: After another winter of the Ryobi Air Strike refusing to fire after every other nail, I’ve finally decided to pitch it. I’m in the process of testing a Porter-Cable 18 gauge 20 volt brad nailer and a DeWalt 16 gauge Angled Finish Nailer.

I hope this comparison helps you select your own finish nail gun.

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Want to learn how to use a finish nailer? Check out my tool tutorial videos and more!

 

Pin for later!

 

Xtend + Climb Telescoping Ladder Review | Pretty Handy Girl

A few months ago I got an email asking me if I wanted to test an Xtend + Climb telescoping ladder. I said I’d be happy to try it, but I couldn’t promise I’d blog about it. I try lots of products, but only the ones I love get mentioned on the blog. The litmus test is if I would recommend it to a close friend. If I would, then I share it with you (because y’all are like friends I just haven’t met yet.)

Xtend + Climb Telescoping Ladder Review | Pretty Handy Girl

The 760P Xtend + Climb ladder arrived in a compact box. When it arrived, I doubted that it really contained a 14.5ft ladder. But, sure enough inside was the telescoping ladder. Over the course of three months, I truly gave it a work out. I used it to clean the gutters and… Read more