Removing wallpaper is a home improvement project that seems challenging. However, with the right tools and a little know-how, it’s a task that almost anybody can complete. Here’s everything you need to know about removing old wallpaper using either water, solvents or steam.
What you’ll need
No matter which method you use to remove your wallpaper, you’ll need a few tools. These include:
• A wallpaper scorer to perforate the paper and allow the solvent, water or steam through.
• A scraper to separate the wallpaper from the wall.
• A spray bottle to apply solvents and water.
• A steamer, which can be rented or purchased. You can also use a clothes steamer.
How to do it
Gather your supplies and get to work. You’ll need to do the following:
• Prep the area. Cover anything you don’t want damaged by moisture, like your floors, baseboards, light fixtures and plugs.
• Peel off the facing. If the wall¬paper is coated in vinyl or plastic, start by peeling it off, if possible.
• Perforate the wallpaper. Using your wall¬paper scorer, make holes all over the surface of the paper.
If you’re using a commercial solvent (wall¬paper stripper) or water, do this next:
• Moisten a section. Spray the surface liberally with the liquid. Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
• Scrape the wallpaper. Using your scraper, carefully separate the wallpaper from the wall.
If you’re using a steamer, you’ll need to do this:
• Turn on the machine. Wait for the water to boil.
• Apply the steam. Start with a corner close to the ceiling.
• Peel off the wallpaper. As you apply the steam, use your other hand to pull the paper away from the wall.
No matter what method you use, you’re bound to be left with a few stubborn patches that won’t come off. Using solvent, scrub any remaining bits of glue or backing from the wall. Once it’s dry, prepare it for a fresh coat of paint or new wallpaper.
Remove your cabinet doors for an instant kitchen upgrade
Do you love the airy look of open shelving in a kitchen? If so, removing your cabinet doors is an easy way to modernize your space without making a huge investment in time or money spent.
To get the look, remove the doors, fill in any imperfections and paint the interiors of the cabinets. Choose a color that contrasts the rest of the kitchen or the dishware you plan to store inside. Bright jewel tones, pale pastels or dark hues can all provide visual impact. If you’d like to make even more of a statement, use wallpaper instead.
Keep in mind that daily cooking can cause grease and dirt to accumulate in the kitchen faster than in any other room in your house. If you take the doors off your cabinets, only store items you use regularly to make sure everything stays clean.
Advantages of oil-filled space heaters
Oil-filled space heaters have a series of joined metal columns that are attached at the base of the unit. These columns (also called fins) are filled with diathermic oil, which serves as the heating element. The oil isn’t used as a fuel, so you’ll never need to refill it.
Here are some advantages of choosing this type of space heater over others.
• They’re energy efficient. Unlike other types of heaters, the entirety of the power used to run an oil-filled space heater is converted into heat.
• They’re comfortable. They don’t dry out the ambient air in a room like other heating systems do. Oil-filled space heaters also make virtually no noise when running.
• They retain heat well. Because it takes a while for the oil to cool, they continue to warm up a room even after they’re turned off.
As with any other heating appliance, safety is of the utmost importance when running an oil-filled space heater. Never use an extension cord to plug it in, don’t leave it unattended and, as the metal body can get very hot, be sure to keep it away from children and pets.
What to consider when shopping for a new washing machine
Are you thinking about updating your laundry room? Before you start shopping for a washing machine, it’s best to evaluate your needs and options. Here are some considerations.
Your laundry habits
A large family will use their washer more often than someone who lives alone. If you do a lot of laundry every week, choose a machine with a big drum that can accommodate larger loads.
The features available
These days, washers often come with features like integrated sinks and Wi-Fi connectivity, among others. Do you prefer a simple top-loading model or a front-loading one with all the bells and whistles? Keep in mind that the more feature-laden models come with higher price tags.
The size you need
If you live in a home with a large laundry room, you may not have to worry about the size of your machine. However, apartment dwellers and those with just a small nook for their laundry area should carefully think about size.
No matter what washing machine you choose, opt for one with an Energy Star rating. This guarantees that your new washer will use less electricity and water than their non-certified counterparts.
Bedroom decorating tips to help you get more Z’s
Many people suffer from the occasional bout of insomnia. However, if this happens to you more often than you’d like, making a few tweaks to your bedroom may be the solution. Here’s what you should do.
Get the right bed
Resting on a comfortable mattress makes it easier to fall and stay asleep every night. Choosing the right one, however, can be tricky.
The best thing to do is find a store with a good return policy so you can sleep on the mattress for at least a month before you decide if it’s a good fit.
Your bedding can also make a difference. Choose soft linens made of natural materials and comfortable pillows.
Make it a relaxing space
Decorate your bedroom with soothing colors, round shapes, soft textures and cozy or airy fabrics.
Many sleep experts also recommend keeping your bedroom clutter-free and clean. A disorganized space can stress you out, while a dusty and dirty room can aggravate allergies and make it harder to sleep.
Also, it’s a good idea to install blackout curtains to make the room as dark as possible when it’s time to sleep.
Keep technology out
It may be tempting to keep a television in your bedroom, but the light from the screen can trick your body into thinking it’s not tired. The same goes for your smartphone and even digital clocks.
For a restful sleep, keep your room free of light-emitting technology. If you need to unwind before bed, read a book or write in a journal instead.
One last tip: consider lowering the thermostat. Cool rooms help you fall asleep quicker and encourage deeper slumber.
How to choose the perfect desk
If you frequently work or study from home, creating the ideal workspace is a must. So what’s the first step? Choosing the right desk, of course! Here’s what you should do before making your pick.
Measure the space you have
Some people have a whole room they can use, while others are allotted only a corner. Before heading out to look for desks, calculate the space you have, and don’t forget to factor in room for a chair and other office furniture.
Determine the way it will be used
Will you be working primarily on your computer, or do you need space to handle paperwork? Will your desk be kept clear, or do you need it to hold other office equipment like a phone or printer? Select a compact, rounded desk that allows you to reach everything you need without changing positions.
Deduce what storage you need
If you need to keep books, papers and other supplies handy while you work, consider a desk with drawers. Alternatively, filing cabinets and bookshelves can help keep you organized.
Prioritize your comfort
Pick a desk that’s the proper height, and if you suffer from back pain, a standing desk might be an ideal option. Things like foot rests, keyboard wrist rests and monitor stands can make your workspace more comfortable.
In addition to these considerations, consider what style elements you want your desk to have. Traditional and stately or contemporary and chic? For a seamless fit, choose a desk that matches the design esthetic in your home.
3 air exchanger mistakes to avoid
New homes are more tightly sealed than ever before, and older houses with modern windows and doors can be just as well insulated. While this helps maintain your home’s temperature and thereby reduce your energy bills, it also stops fresh air from getting in. An air exchanger may therefore be necessary If you live in a home that doesn’t breathe.
Air exchangers remove stale, polluted air from your home and replace it with fresh, filtered air. To get the most from yours, avoid making these three mistakes.
1. Installing it yourself. Though instructions for installing air exchangers yourself are easily found online, this job is ultimately best left to a professional. The machine will need to be installed correctly in order to work efficiently.
2. Not keeping it on. This may seem like a good way to save money, but you risk your health and that of your family. An air exchanger is only effective if it’s turned on.
3. Not maintaining it. Like all household appliances, your air exchanger needs regular maintenance in order to continue working well. Following the frequency suggested by the manufacturer, periodically clean the filter with soap and water.
Don’t let poor indoor air quality affect your health or that of your loved ones. Installing an air exchanger is a great way to ensure you’re always breathing clean air.