Thursday, October 25, 2012

3 Easy DIY Fall Home Improvement Projects

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Home Improvement Tasks Easy Enough to Do Yourself

Editor's Note: Summer is but a distant memory. If you're like me right about now you could use some inspiration to finally take on those do-it-yourself home improvement projects you procrastinated about during those lazy warmer months. So I'm pleased to present this guest post by home improvement expert and TV personality Lou Manfredini. Hopefully you'll learn a new thing or two in this story and be motivated to get out your toolbox and get to work -- I know I sure did.

Vice and bolts on work bench

Guest Post 
by Lou Manfredini 

Active summer months can play havoc on your home, whether you’ve been playing host for the neighborhood kids or simply spending more time enjoying warm summer days. With cooler temperatures on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to tackle a few do-it yourself projects around the house and to save some money along the way. 

Smart preparation can make all the difference when you’re taking on projects around the house. Whether you’re adding insulation to help reduce heating bills or restoring tired floors or furniture, it’s important to protect yourself with the proper safety gear.

Rev up kids' outdoor toys after a long summer of play

You’ve invested a lot of money in outdoor kid’s toys, like the plastic table and chairs or a little pedal car.  But they now look a little tired after a summer’s use.  Instead of sending them to the landfill, breathe new life into them with a fresh coat of vibrant spray paint and it’s so easy to do!

Clean the toys first and allow them to dry completely before painting.  When painting make sure to use a respirator and eye protection and spray these items in a well-ventilated area.  Apply light coats and allow those to dry about 30 minutes before recoating. Your toys will look as good (or better!) than new!

Mr. Fix-it expert Lou Manfredini, Image provided by 3M Tekk

Save money, save energy

There are many ways to improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home, but one of the best ways is to add insulation to your attic.  Your attic is like a hat on your head; warm air will rise and exit right out of the vents … air that you paid to heat.

This one step will make a big difference in your heating bills but please make sure you take the proper safety precautions when installing it in your home. Wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt, eye protection and a respirator, like the like 3M™ TEKK Protection™ Sanding and Fiberglass Valved Respirator. This particular respirator features 3M™ Cool Flow™ Valve technology for heat reduction and easier breathing and will help protect your lungs from insulation fibers which may escape into the air. 

Add fall flair by refinishing furniture, wood flooring 

Save money and add some new flair to your home by refinishing a piece of furniture. Wood floors add lasting beauty to your home and it’s one of the only flooring options that can be renewed. Better yet, this is a project that you can do yourself, and if you take your time will produce professional results.
  • First, sand down the piece of furniture with medium grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge to get into the nooks and crannies.
  • Use a finish stripper if there are many coats of finish or paint.  When using chemical strippers it is very important to wear a proper respirator. The Paint Odor Valved Respirator from 3M TEKK Protection has an extra carbon layer for odor reduction and is a perfect option for this type of project. Refinishing Gloves will also help protect your hands and don’t forget safety eyewear to prevent possible splashes in your eyes.
  • Once all the finish is off of the piece, lightly sand again.
  • Stain the wood in the color of your choice with a brush, let dry, lightly sand with #0000 steel wool and apply a finish. Three coats total and you now have a new-old piece of furniture to display in your home. 

Lou Manfredini in his workshop, Image provided by 3M Tekk

About the Author of this Guest Post
Lou Manfredini is a home improvement expert and spokesperson for 3M Tekk Protection. He is best know as host of House Smarts TV and Mr. Fix-It on WGN Radio in Chicago. Always entertaining while teaching new DIY homeowners skills, he has served as the official home improvement contributor to NBC TV 's Today Show since 2000.

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