Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

Winter is tough on everyone, but it’s especially tough on your home.  The temperature difference between the outside and inside your home can leave a thick layer of mildew on your windows. Aluminum storm windows are especially prone to this condition. Before you open the windows and let in the warm breeze of Spring, you’ll want to quickly and easily clean mildew off your windows.

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

This is not one of my favorite cleaning tasks. In the past I used bleach and ended up smelling bleach all day long and probably doing damage to my nose (and brain.) This year I have a new cleaning BFF. The HomeRight Steam Machine Plus is my go to tool for cleaning almost anything! Just like when I cleaned the boys’ stinky bathroom, this little steam cleaner did not disappoint.

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

To clean the windows, release the hand held HomeRight Steam Machine Plus from the upright mop. 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

Fix a Leaky Faucet - Take 2 | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember last week when I was showing you how to fix a leaky faucet in 10 minutes? Well, sometimes a fix doesn’t always solve the problem. This is not unusual in home repairs. It doesn’t mean you did it wrong or it’s time to call a plumber. It just means you have to look further for the solution. Don’t give up! Today’s tutorial should also take 10 minutes or less (minus the trip to pick up the parts) and should definitely fix that leaky faucet.

In my tutorial last week I showed you how to replace the “O” ring and seat washer on the faucet. This worked for a few days, but then the faucet began leaking again. The cause was a worn valve. As promised, let’s get to this equally easy and quick fix for your leaky faucet.

dripping-faucet

(Side note: it will cost approximately $15-$20 for new valves vs. $5 for new seat washers and “O” rings. This is still cheaper than a plumber. But, one reason you might want to try changing just the washers is that they are easier to find at Lowe’s or other home improvement stores. Replacement valves may be a bit trickier to locate. Valves can usually be purchased at a plumbing supply store. If you have one nearby, I’d suggest replacing the whole valve stem that comes with a new seat washer and “O” ring.)

Materials:

Fix a Leaky Faucet - Take 2 | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Faucet stems (cartridges) purchase after removing the old

Instructions:

(This may be déjavu from the other post, but at least you’ll be familiar with the steps by now.)

Begin by turning off your water. You can locate the water shut off valves under the sink.

10 Minute Fix for a Leaky Faucet | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn on the water until the faucet runs dry.

10 Minute Fix for a Leaky Faucet | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the philips screwdriver to loosen and remove the screw on top of the faucet handle. Read more

Leaky faucet? No problem! Check out this TEN MINUTE fix from Pretty Handy Girl to get that faucet working in no time! | how to fix a leaky faucet | #prettyhandygirl #tutorial #DIY

Drip, drip, drip! Is that leaky faucet keeping you up at night? I have a 10 minute fix that will bring you sweet dreams and a lower water bill.

Leaky faucet? No problem! Check out this TEN MINUTE fix from Pretty Handy Girl to get that faucet working in no time! | how to fix a leaky faucet | #prettyhandygirl #tutorial #DIY

Oftentimes the washers in faucets wear out after continuous use. Replacing them is actually easy and will only take about ten minutes (minus the time to run to Lowe’s to pick up the new ones.)

Materials:

10 Minute Fix for a Leaky Faucet | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Pliers
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Philips screwdriver
  • O-Ring (purchase after removing the old one)
  • Seat Washer (purchase after removing the old one)

Instructions:

Begin by turning off your water. You can locate the water shut off valves under the sink.

10 Minute Fix for a Leaky Faucet | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn on the water until the faucet runs dry.

10 Minute Fix for a Leaky Faucet | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the philips screwdriver to loosen and remove the screw on top of the faucet handle. Read more

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you leave your crawlspace vents open or closed? The great debate ends now.

Do You Open or Close Crawlspace Vents | Pretty Handy Girl

If you guessed open, you are right. If you guessed closed, you are also right!

Crawlspace vents should be opened in the spring and closed in the fall. The reason being that you want to preserve any heat in your crawlspace in the winter. This will help protect your water pipes from freezing and keep your home a little cozier on those cold days.  Once spring arrives, go ahead and open the vents to allow better air flow in the crawlspace and to eliminate moisture build up.

Adjusting the vents should take you 5-10 minutes total.

Do You Open or Close Crawlspace Vents | Pretty Handy Girl

Usually, they will slide freely open and closed with your own hand strength.

Do You Open or Close Crawlspace Vents | Pretty Handy Girl

Occasionally you’ll run into a stubborn vent that might be rusty or stuck.  Use pliers or a wrench to grab the vent tab as close to the base as possible and gently tap on the wrench with a hammer.

Do You Open or Close Crawlspace Vents | Pretty Handy Girl

The only time you shouldn’t close your vents is if you have high radon; an appliance that can build up fumes; or excessive water and moisture problems. If you have these issues, you have bigger problems than worrying about your vents being opened or closed. Consult with an expert to remedy those situations immediately.

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Curtain rods, towel bars, and other wall mounted accessories are relatively easy to hang. The trick is securing them to a stud so they can hold up to the abuse. But, how often have you found that you don’t have a stud where you want it mounted? Probably 98% of the time, right? That’s where it is important to use good wall anchors (specifically for your type walls.) Today I’m talking about drywall anchors.

Day 15: Use Good Wall Anchors

You are probably thinking, “Okay, no problem. The towel bar I bought came with wall anchors. I’ll just use those.” And that would be a mistake!

use_better_anchors

Why? Because those freebie wall anchors get mangled and they won’t hold up to regular use. DO NOT USE those El Cheapo wall anchors that come with your curtain rods, shelves, towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc. In fact, don’t even save them if you don’t use them. PITCH ‘EM…NOW… JUST DO IT!

I am a big fan of the TOGGLER wall anchors because they are easy to drill into drywall and you can remove them fairly easily with a phillips head screwdriver. There are several other brands and types of wall anchors that will work just as well. When purchasing wall anchors, pay attention to the weight limit and wall types they are designed for.

Now, pin this post because friends don’t let friends use el Cheapo Wall anchors!

Good & Bad Wall Anchors | Pretty Handy Girl

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Pin for later!

how to choose the right wall anchor

I’m participating in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge. Check out all the other bloggers who are participating!

31 Day Writing Challenge

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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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Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

I painted my interior front doors Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Highlighter. It’s my way to start my day off on the right foot. When I get up in the morning and head downstairs, I see my front doors and immediately Good Day Sunshine starts to play in my head!

Let me tell you how this happened. Remember when I was in the middle of the DIY project from HELL?! I tried to paint our front doors on the outside and the paint was peeling off. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I wanted to run down the street screaming. Instead, what did I do? I decided to create a cheerful view when I go downstairs every morning. I put stripping the outside of the doors on hold for a day or two and focused my efforts inside.

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

The solid wood doors are original to our house and had cracks in them.

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

Instead of replacing the doors, I fixed them by scraping the edges until they were smooth and devoid of bumps. Read more

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl

I have a friend named Holly. She and I live in the same neighborhood and we help each other out with DIY projects. Last week she asked me to help her come up with a solution to hide her dirty laundry.

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl

Holly and I were trying to figure out how to replace her sad laundry room door(s). The right side door had broken off and was unusable. We floated several ideas, originally thinking about creating inexpensive sliding barn doors. But, we scaled back that idea after realizing that inexpensive pipe hardware (spanning over 8 feet) was still too expensive for the budget. We began discussing buying cheap bi-fold doors and dressing them up. However, even new bi-folds aren’t super cheap. I mentioned she “might” have luck going to the Habitat ReStore to find the exact size doors. We both knew that was a slim chance. Then an idea hit me like a bi-fold door falling off its hinges! Among the multitude of things I have stored in my attic, were two sets of closet doors! One that used to be on my son’s reading nook closet. And the second set used to be on the pantry.

Would it be fitting that the only before pictures I have of the pantry doors are these gems?

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl
The Streaker

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl
The Goofball

You get the picture. They are ordinary bi-fold doors. After the doors were removed from our pantry I liked how open it was. Although sometimes I wonder if I am just too lazy to open and shut the doors every time I want food.

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl

Regardless, I liked the open concept, but not necessarily our food being constantly ON DISPLAY. I have plans to add built-in cabinets and shelving to the pantry, similar to what my friends The DIY Village created, but for now we just have it open.

I ran home to dig through the attic and find the two sets of doors that might work for Holly. I held my breath (partly because the attic was stifling hot) as I measured the doors. My son’s closet doors were…too narrow. Whomp wah. The pantry doors were… a perfect width!!! But, they were 2″ too tall. No worries, I knew I could trim them down.

Here’s how to remove (and install) closet doors and cut them down to size using a Dremel Ultra-Saw:

Read more

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Raise your hand if you have a sad excuse for a shower head! Is it drippy, rusty or clogged? If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’m about to show you why there is no excuse for you being able to install a new shower head yourself! It’s super easy.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

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.)

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Optional: Shower arm & flange, rag to protect new shower arm

Instructions:

1. Remove the old shower head by unscrewing it from the pipe arm. Use pliers to help get it started.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Unscrew the old shower arm if it is rusty or won’t match the new shower head. Remove that rusty flange (now is the time to do it! Don’t put it off any longer.)

unscreEasy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girlw-old-shower-arm

3. Replace the old shower arm with new one by screwing it into the plumbing pipe in the wall. Then slide the new flange over the arm.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Wrap the end of the shower arm with plumber’s tape (wrap it clockwise to keep it from bunching up when you attach the new shower head.)

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

4. Screw the new shower head onto the end of the shower arm. Hand tighten the head. Then put the rag over the spot base of the shower head and use the pliers to tighten it 1/4 turn.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

5. If your shower head has an extension hose, attach that at this time by screwing it onto the shower head and attaching the other end to the body sprayer.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn on the water and test the spray! Beautiful! No drips or clogs? If you have some leaks anywhere, give an extra 1/4 to 1/2 turn to tighten it the shower head or hose.

I installed the Delta In2ition shower head in the Topsail Beach Condo we renovated. I’ve been intrigued by this shower head and after trying it out, I love it!!!

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Because who wouldn’t love a shower head that sprays from the top even when you want a body spray too?

The interior head is fully removable and nests back into the outer ring when done body spraying.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl        

The only initial drawback I found was getting used to setting the body sprayer back into the ring. Once I realized you have to push it in and down firmly, there was no problem.

Wasn’t that easy? Go on and replace your shower head today if you’ve been putting it off!

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Disclosure: No disclosure necessary. I wasn’t paid or provided with the Delta In2ition shower head. My stepmom paid for it to be installed in the beach condo. I chose this shower head because I wanted to try it out.