Quick Tip: Using a Wallpaper Pasting Machine
Wallpaper pasting machines enable do-it-yourselfs to much more quickly complete a common home improvement job.
If you have to hang a lot of wallpaper, here’s a time-saving way to apply paste. Try a manually operated wallpaper pasting machine. Cut your wallpaper strips to length, then fill the reservoir with paste and coat the applicator bar. Place the paper on the bar, close the top, and pull the paper back towards you. This way, you’ll get an even distribution of paste on each piece of paper in seconds.
For more on wallpaper, consider:
Bob Vila Radio: Vintage Wallpaper
12 “Off the Wall” Ways to Repurpose Wallpaper
How To: Bend Drywall
In curvilinear rooms, or in situations like an arched doorway, you can bend drywall using this tried-and-true technique of the pros.
Here’s a tip on how to throw a curve with drywall. The trick is to use two sheets of quarter-inch drywall instead of one standard half-inch sheet. Hose down both sides of each panel and form it to the curve, fastening with nails or drywall screws. Do the same with the second sheet, then tape and finish.
For more on walls, consider:
Bob Vila Radio: Drywall Costs
What Would Bob Do? Cutting Drywall
Quick Tip: Installing Beadboard Wainscoting
Beadboard wainscoting is as attractive today as it was in the 19th century, and it still does a great job of protecting walls from dings and dents.
To achieve a Victorian look on an interior wall, try a beadboard wainscot. You can buy beadboard at your local lumber yard. Here are some things to keep in mind when installing it yourself. Run your baseboard first to avoid creating a dust collector. Use a drill and a jigsaw to cut holes for outlets. Fit each board together snugly, then nail with 2-1/2-inch finish nails. Angle the bottom nail into the tongue of each board. Base nail the top and cap it with the molding.
For more on trim and molding, consider:
5 Things to Do with… Beadboard
5 DIY Wood Wall Treatment Ideas
What Would Bob Do? Installing Beadboard
How To: Stencil a Wall
Stencil a wall, whether at its borders or across the entire surface, for a personalized look in any room.
You can hand-paint your own stenciled border. Use painter’s tape to mark off straight edges; you’ll find the tape prevents under-bleeding. Cut your stencil out of contact paper, then blot it on your t-shirt or sweatshirt. Doing this makes it less sticky, so when you peel it off, you won’t damage the wall paint. Seal first with an acrylic matte medium, let dry, then dab on acrylic paint with a sponge brush. When dry, peel off for a perfect stencil every time.
For more on finishes, consider:
How To: Stencil a Floor
Stenciled Floors: The Best of Today’s Designs
8 Ways to Age, Distress, or Add Shine to Your Next Project
Quick Tip: Architectural Salvage Yards
Shop architectural salvage yards around the country for vintage house parts that may be used either as functional replacements or purely decorative accents.
Salvage yards have always been a great place to find old house parts. These can be recycled as art objects or as replacement parts for older homes, or even to add a touch of charm for doors, banisters, shutters, old sinks, cabinets and bathtubs in new homes. It would be a shame to see them go to waste, but you should also be sure to buy from reputable architectural salvage yards, and always ask where it came from.
For more on repurposing, consider:
Architectural Salvage 101
10 Reasons to Love Architectural Salvage
Trash to Treasure: 14 DIY Projects That Make Good Use of Old Stuff
How To: Build a Winding Staircase
By means of an ingenious shortcut, it may be easier than you think to build a winding staircase.
If space is a consideration in your remodeling project, you might want to consider building a winding staircase. You can build this simple version yourself. Think of it as a stack of wooden boxes with a portion removed for each successive step. Build each box step in advance and stack them on top of each other. Secure each level with panel adhesive and nails, then finish off with a straight run to reach the next floor. Remember to check with your local building inspector.
For more on stairs, consider:
How To: Paint a Staircase
Building Winding Stairs (VIDEO)
A “Step by Step” Solution: Pre-Cut Treads and Risers
Quick Tip: Staple Guns
On many occasions, you can save time and energy by using a staple gun instead of a hammer and nail.
For a lot of jobs around the house, using a staple can be a lot faster and easier than banging tacks or nails. The most common staple gun is the hand-powered spring-loaded variety. Standard guns accept staples from 1/4 to 9/16 of an inch long. For a real time- and energy-saver, try a hammer stapler: The impact of the head with the surface releases the staple.
For more on tools, consider:
Quick Tip: Steel Wool
How Many Tools Does a Good Multi-Tool Need?
10 Tools for Your Apartment You Never Thought You’d Need
How To: Make Homemade Clamps
For woodworkers who busy with several projects at once, DIY wood clamps can very often come in handy.
Here’s an easy way to improvise when you’re running out of clamps around the woodworking shop. After spreading glue, set the work to be clamped on top of a scrap piece of plywood. Then, use scrap wood across the top of the work, spaced 12 inches apart. Using three-inch drywall screws, secure the straps to the bottom plywood. Remove them after the glued boards have dried overnight.
For more on woodworking, consider:
How To: Build a Sawhorse
5 Easy Woodworking Projects for Beginners
DIY Workbenches: 5 You Can Build in a Weekend
Quick Tip: Custom Moldings
Give character to dull bland spaces through the use of custom moldings, whether baseboards, chair rails, or any other type.
Dress up the rooms in your house with a variety of custom moldings. These moldings are available in many historic profiles. You can add a one-piece baseboard molding for a 19th-century look, while popular cherry rails and picture moldings add detail and take paint well. And for a more elegant look, add a multi-piece crown molding to the ceiling.
For more on trim and molding, consider:
Adding Custom Moldings
Character Building: A Case for Moldings
Know Your Moldings: 10 Popular Trim Styles to Spiff Up Any Space
- Kitchen >
- How To: Make a Mosaic Countertop
How To: Make a Mosaic Countertop
For an out-of-the-ordinary effect to catch the eye in your kitchen, consider installing a mosaic tile countertop.
Here’s a unique way to use ceramic tile for a very unusual countertop. Just break up the tiles into random pieces, use thin-set mortar and create the pattern of your choice. Let the tiles set overnight, and then use ceramic-grade grout with an additive to prevent wide joints from cracking. Let set for ten minutes and wipe with a dry synthetic pad (a wet pad would wash the joints out).
For more on kitchen countertops, consider:
How To: Work with Mosaic Tile
Bob Vila’s Guide to Kitchen Countertops
One-of-a-Kind Countertops: 6 Ways to Make Yours Unique