Author Archives: Sarah Monzon & Bob Vila


Bob Vila Radio: Rust Removal

Reviving rusty metal tools or furniture is a great indoor winter project, and there are three ways to remove rust.

How to Remove Rust

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You can grind the rust off using a power grinder fitted with a grinding wheel or disc, or a wire wheel to get into seams or around corners. Work your way up from a coarse grit to a fine 400-grit abrasive for a smooth finish.

You can also use chemicals to soak the rust off, but it can take some time. Soaking doesn’t always leave a smooth finish, and unless you use one of the newer non-toxic, acid-free solutions, you’ll need a lot of ventilation.

If you don’t mind that bumpy finish, the easiest way is to kill the rust is to brush off any flakes with a wire brush and then spray on a converter, which you can buy at any home center. No matter what method you use, always read the safety precautions, and prime before you re-paint.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on maintenance, consider:

Quick Tip: Cleaning Gutters
How to Clean Stainless Steel
How to Clean Painted Walls


Bob Vila Radio: Pex vs. Copper

For anything from small plumbing repairs to running lines for a whole house, there are lots of reasons pex tubing beats traditional copper or pvc these days.

Pex Vs. Copper

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Bob Vila Radio: Hearing Protection

If you’re exposed to it long enough, any noise level above eighty-five decibels—like what you’d hear on a busy city street or in the school cafeteria—can gradually damage your hearing.

Hearing Protection

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Bob Vila Radio: Oven Cleaning

If your oven had a busy holiday season, January is a great time to do some oven cleaning before it makes a smoky mess, or worse, causes a fire.

Oven Cleaning

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Bob Vila Radio: Drywall Costs

As of January 2nd, U.S. drywall manufacturers increased their prices by 25 to 30%. On top of a similar increase last year, this means that a four-by-eight-foot sheet of drywall that cost you six bucks before the recession will cost twelve this year.

Drywall Costs

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Bob Vila Radio: Barrier-Free Showers

If you’re thinking about a bathroom remodel, there’s no better time or place to think ahead. Something as simple as the right shower design could be what allows you or a loved one to stay in your home as you get older.

Barrier Free Shower

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Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip – Flashlights

Save your eyes and shed a little light on the job you’re doing with the right flashlight. LED flashlights are illuminating the market, ranging from twelve-hundred-lumen models for over a hundred bucks… to ten-lumen miniatures that cost less than ten bucks and fit on a zipper pull.

LED Flashlights

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Bob Vila Radio: Space Heaters

If your home has cold, drafty spots, this is the time of year you’ll notice them. Rather than cranking up the heat in the whole house to compensate, however, sometimes it’s more efficient to use an electric space heater where and when you need it, as long as you keep safety in mind.

Space Heater

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Bob Vila Radio: Lithium-Ion Batteries

Cordless power tools, and now lithium-ion batteries, have revolutionized the home improvement world. But anyone who’s been held up by a dead battery knows these tools have limitations. Here’s how to get the most out of your batteries.

Lithium Ion Battery

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Bob Vila Radio: Log Splitter

If you heat your house with wood, you know how expensive buying firewood can be. Cutting, splitting, and drying a cord of wood adds so much to its price that if you are lucky enough to have the natural resources (the trees), it’s well worth doing it yourself.

Log Splitter

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