Posted in design, weekend projects

How To DIY Shiplap

Out with the new, in with the old. Yes, you read that right! It seems that old fads are now all the rage. From fringe to flair and bold and flashy, current home improvement trends are taking a note from fashion and being influenced by the revival of all things vintage.

Shiplap is no exception. Originally, these long panels were utilized in the construction of homes because of their resistance to harsh weather conditions. Oftentimes hidden behind wallpaper and sheetrock, shiplap is considered the equivalent to discovering hardwood flooring underneath carpet. Those who enjoy rustic and farmhouse styling have fallen in love with shiplap. But for the homeowners who aren’t so lucky enough to discover shiplap in their own renovation, it’s easy to replicate the look!

Witty With Wood

There are so many types of material you can use to create a planked wall: fresh cut wood, reclaimed wood and ripped down panels are just a few that stay true to the classic wood look. Depending upon the length and width, wood panels range from $8 to $15 per plank.

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Keep in mind that installing planks may require you to remove and reinstall molding, baseboards, outlets etc. so be sure you’re equipped with the following:

  • Your planks of choice
  • Sander with medium-grit paper
  • Miter saw, table saw, circular saw or jigsaw
  • Nail gun and 2 inch brad nails
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Spacers
  • Spackle
  • Painting supplies

Whether your wood was precut or you measured and cut them yourself, give a quick sanding to the edges to smooth out any sharpness. Mark your studs, load up the nail gun, secure some spacers to the wall, level up your first board and get busy!

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After the boards are up, you can start spackling, sanding and priming. Be careful to only cover the nail holes and avoid filing in the natural knots in the wood if you want a classic look. When you’re ready to paint, consider going old school and using a brush instead of a roller. There will be many seams, nooks and crannies – which happen to be a brush’s specialty. While you can certainly use a roller, it will leave you with gaps that will have to be filled in with a brush anyway.

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Adhesive? Absolutely

If you adore the expression of shiplap but are skeptical of your DIY cred, you can still achieve a wood wall appearance with a stick-and-peel paneling project. Most materials like this cost around $10 to $14 per square foot. This method is equally as pricey, so consider utilizing the panels on an accent wall, mudroom, along a staircase or in the bathroom if you’re looking for a small, but impact touch to make your walls more interesting.

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While you don’t need any power equipment, you do need a game plan. Before placing any panels on the wall, arrange them on the floor to be sure the pattern is what you envisioned and the angles are correct. Don’t be afraid to get a little funky and try different designs like chevron or herringbone.

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If you want to add a touch of country, try a whitewash effect. You can even paint and then lightly sand certain areas to look more antiquated.

What’s your take on shiplap? Where would you install in in your own home? Or have you just completed the project yourself? Share with us in the comments!

Posted in tips + tricks, weekend projects

5 Strategies To Get Your Pantry Organized

The scenario: You’ve mustered the courage to categorize your grocery list items by aisle; after strolling the same store a thousand times, you could shop blindfolded without skipping a beat. You thought the hard work was over after checking out and driving home…

The reality: A challenging game of Tetris is about to begin. You got everything on your list…and more. But now, you have to figure out where you’re going to put everything.

Organizing your pantry and keeping it tidy is a chore you’ll appreciate each day. Avoid buying duplicate items because the originals were hidden, prevent overstuffed closet syndrome and find what you need when you need it. Sound too good to be true? Check out our pro tips below and regain control once and forever.

1. Be A Little Strict

The number one reason your pantry is cluttered is most likely because you’ve got too much stuff. No matter how good the sale is, if you’re buying items you won’t use that same month, save the space for something you will.

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2. Take Inventory

There’s nothing more dissatisfying than putting cans away, only to find, hidden behind a wall of soups and sauces, that you already had something you just bought!

Get a clipboard and place it on or near the fridge. Throughout the week, as you or your family members discover you’re running low or are out of something, jot it down! It’s an easy way to begin a grocery list, and you can quickly scan the cabinets and shelves ahead of time to avoid buying duplicates.

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3. Bring In Baskets

Speaking of cans, it’s much easier to see your entire assortment of canned goods with a little help from baskets. They can be wicker, wire or clear – the choice is yours, and they’re great for containing like items. You can even find ones with chalkboard tabs and have some fun labeling snacks, spices and whatever else gets a little hectic in your pantry.

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4. Picky Placement

Mimicking the stagger and stack strategy of stadium seating in your pantry will help you see everything! Building or buying simple risers allows you to place larger items in the back and smaller items in the front so there’s no crowding or losing track of items.

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5. On A Roll

Aluminum foil, wax paper, cling wrap, garbage bags – they all consume large amounts of space. Not anymore. You know those magazine and folder holders that are meant to organize your office? Well they work wonders for containing your non-food kitchen supplies and can easily be mounted on the back of a door or on a wall to free up some shelf space.

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And it doesn’t stop here. There’s tons of hacks and ideas for getting organized, and once you have some law and order in your pantry, you’ll see just how much stress has been eliminated.

Posted in guides, tips + tricks, weekend projects

The Only Spring Cleaning Tool You’ll Ever Need

As spring approaches and winter recedes, it’s time to inspect the exterior of your home and access any improvements you’ll need to make for warmer weather. Patios may show staining, mildew and grime could be creeping up your siding, and windows will need a wash. So while you’re decluttering and dusting your home’s interior, it’s the perfect time to add a few outdoor chores to the checklist!

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Outdoor Spring Cleaning List:

  • Wash outside windows
  • Clean outdoor light fixtures
  • Power wash deck
  • Power wash garage doors
  • Power wash siding
  • Clean grill
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Wash door frames
  • Clean gutters
  • Clean out trash cans
  • Wash vehicles

If you don’t have one already, a pressure washer is a great investment, as it handles a variety of cleaning tasks with power and ease.

Removing Stains

Driveways, walkways and patios get stained from mud, paint, oil and other solutions – it’s inevitable, mostly because these surfaces see lots of traffic. Many homeowners assume that because concrete is a durable material, that it is impenetrable.

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While it does have a great deal of physical resistance, it is weak when it comes to spills. You could spend lots of time bent over, scrubbing with dish detergent, bleach or vinegar. But those fixes aren’t guaranteed to do the trick. Or, you could blast away stains with a pressure washer. It will save your back, get the job done, and it’s pretty fun!

Reviving Surfaces

When it comes to bringing your home back to life after a long winter, nothing beats a good scrub, wash and rinse. But your conventional garden hose doesn’t always cut it. A pressure washer is the quickest way to restore wood, concrete, vinyl and aluminum.

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These high-power sprayers are designed to expertly remove stains, dirt, mildew, moss and peeling paint. You name it, you aim it and grime is gone. After you’ve given your deck or patio a nice face lift, you may even find that you don’t have to re-stain, resurface or repaint it.

Pressure Washing Tips + Tricks

If it’s your first time power washing, here are a few guidelines to get you started in model selection and technique.

PSI: Pressure washers are rated by strength, which is measured in Pounds per Square Inch, or PSI for short. A typical garden hose is rated at about 60 PSI. Household use pressure washers range somewhere between 1,500 – 2,000 PSI – anything higher, and you risk accidentally damaging exteriors.

Tips: Wide-spraying fan tips are best for mild, close-range chores such as patio furniture, wooden decking, concrete and driveways. For a more precise spray, a jet stream is better for cleaning out-of-reach areas like siding and gutters.

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Detergent: Many units have a detergent tank, so you can add cleaning agents for dirty jobs.

Protection: The force of pressure washers is impressive but also dangerous. Take caution by wearing google to protect your eyes from debris. Don’t aim directly at windows, electrical outlets, gravel or other people.

Polstein’s Picks

1. Sun Joe 1160 PSI Cordless Pressure Washer: Yeah you read that right, cordless. The Sun Joe SPX6000C. gives you the room to roam, courtesy of the powerful onboard, rechargeable 40-Volt EcoSharp lithium ion battery, to take your cleaning tasks on the road – or anywhere power is at a premium. Perfect for the cabin, deck, boat, RV or a host of chores around the house, the innovative, top-loading detachable bucket design fills quickly with fresh water, or can be connected for continuous use with a garden hose.

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2. Sun Joe 2030 PSI Electric Pressure Washer: Packed with 1800 watts of pure power, the SPX4001 boasts a 14.5-amp motor generates up to 2030 PSI to demolish every last bit of dirt, grease, gunk and grime. Five Quick-Connect tips allow you to go from intense jet to gentle spray to suit the cleaning task, and the onboard 54.1 fl oz detergent tank lets you dial-in just the right amount of detergent to give your cleaning blast a boost! And don’t forget about the hose reel, which make clean up simple.

Shop

spx4001-1_1-13-2017-20-06-373. Sun Joe 1885 PSI Electric Pressure Washer: Packed with 13 Amps of pure cleaning power, SPX2500 delivers a might blast – up to 1885 pounds of pressure per square inch and 1.59 gallons per minute – to demolish every last bit of dirt and get really clean, really fast. Simply twist the adjustable nozzle to go from intense jet to gentle spray and watch Sun Joe make light work of mildew, grease, oil, tar, mud, rust and more!

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Sun Joe has many more pressure washers to suit individual cleaning needs, plus a whole array of specialty attachments that make particular tasks much more easier.

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Posted in design, weekend projects

4 Home Improvement Projects To Beat The Winter Blues

We’re already halfway to spring, but the coldest months of winter still lie ahead. And if you’re anything like us, the thought of being stuck inside is not one that is met with content.

Cure cabin fever with some fun, easy and inexpensive home improvement projects that are not only rewarding, but can increase your property value, conserve energy costs and improve your quality of life.

Walls That Wow

Many homeowners underestimate the power of the obvious. Refreshing your walls with a bold coat of paint and adding modern trim and molding can completely change the aura of a room.

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Create visual interest with an accent wall, add texture and pattern with printed wallpaper or create a custom design using painter’s tape to achieve a scratch-board effect.

cozy-blue-living-room_amazing-tosca-wallpaper_elegant-transparent-flower-vase_amazing-blue-velvet-couchhoneycomb_wall_calloutWe also love the new paint roller trend, which is lovely for layering dual tones.

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Add A Splash Of Personality

Update your kitchen by adding a DIY backsplash. Go natural with stone, classic with subway tile, modern with metal or funky with geometrics!

Not too familiar with laying tile? No problem! Most Big Box home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free workshops. Plus, many backsplashes come in large mat-like pieces and even peel and stick applications, making it very easy for a novice to create a beautiful accent without all the frustration and mess.

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The best tip we can give you on installing your own backsplash is to prep and plan! Lay out a template before application to ensure you do not run into any irregular lines or spaces. And failing to clean the excess grout off the tile when wet will cause a glaze that is almost impossible to remove once dry.

Light It Up

Instantly brighten and warm up any room with new lighting.  Opting for a modern standing lamp with an edgy shape or a table lamp with a colorful shade can transform any space.

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Swapping old bulbs for LEDs or installing dimmers are both cost effective upgrades that allow you to customize the ambiance of your space.

Adore Your Entryway

Usually an afterthought, the doors in your home could probably use some TLC. One of the most used access points, bedroom and entryway doors are subject to unavoidable scratches and cracks from longtime use.

You may consider switching to a whole new type of door which is more functional and attractive pertaining to your style. For example, double doors are a great alternative to sliding or bi-fold models, while famed French doors let in natural light and add architectural detail to fuse indoor and outdoor spaces.

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And updating to new knobs or hinges is another great change DIY job that can easily be done in a weekend with instant results.

Posted in weekend projects

DIY Home Projects You Can Complete In A Weekend

Many easy do-it-yourself projects can be finished even by an amateur in just a weekend. There’s an unlimited library of detailed instructions and step-by-step videos that cater to any skill level and can be found on the Internet.

Before getting your hand dirty, it’s wise to invest in these basic tools: hammer, tape measure, utility knife, wrenches, regular and Philips head screwdrivers, tape measure and level.

For projects that require specialty equipment that tends to be expensive, considering borrowing from a friend, renting, or checking out sites like Amazon for the lowest prices. For lawn and garden tools, snowjoe.com constantly offers great deals weekly.

Here are 10 cheap, simple DIY projects that will boost your home’s value:

Paint
Perhaps the most easy, yet dramatic change you can make in just a few days, painting allows you to go bold by changing up the palette of your entire house, adding an accent wall, or just cleaning up crown molding with a fresh coat of white.

You can even go off the grid and update old cabinets you can’t yet afford to replace with a new hue, or give a new life to old, lackluster furniture.paint-swatch-graphic1-white-cement-guide-to-paint-to-house-inside-wallThe key to painting is in the prep work, including carefully taping around windows and cutting in around the ceiling. Keep that in mind when budgeting the time a project will take.

Change your kitchen or bathroom hardware
This is another one of the easiest projects you can do that will instantly freshen your kitchen or bathroom. Before you start, ensure the new hardware aligns with the existing holes, or the project will expand to include filling old holes and drilling new ones.

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Make sure the new pieces will fit snugly by measuring the distance between holes for pulls, and bring an old knob to the hardware store for comparison.

Reorganize a closet
You can purchase a closet-organizing system at any big box variety or home improvement store and install it yourself, or you can create your own system with shelving you buy or already have.

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Boost your curb appeal
Repaint your front door or garage doors, add fresh house numbers and a new mailbox. Take care of your first impression, the front yard, by mowing your lawn regularly, planting flowers or trees and cleaning up around garden beds and walkways.

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Turn a closet into a mudroom
Many homes have a hall closet immediately when you walk through the front door. But that doesn’t organize the backpacks, shoes, sporting equipment and other items your family brings home and dumps at the entrance. Consider removing the closet doors and adding hooks and shelves to make a space that better suits your family’s needs.

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Install updated lighting fixtures
Swapping out one chandelier for another is surprisingly easy, though some light fixture changes are best left to professionals. Something as simple as lighting can have a huge impact. An easier project is to replace your light switch covers with new, clean ones.

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Build a stone or brick path
Or even a patio! In many cases, all you need are the stones and some sand.

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Replace your shower head
You can quickly endow any shower with a spa-like essence your whole family will appreciate with a rain shower head. You’ll also cut down on your water usage with a more efficient model. Don’t forget the plumber’s tape to wrap the threads before you install the new head.

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Add pullouts, shelves and other organizing tools inside your kitchen cabinets
Adding pullout drawers requires a little skill and tools, but inserting wire shelves or a lazy Susan for spices takes no know-how and significantly increases your storage capacity.

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Break out the pressure washer
Power wash the exterior of your house, your deck, patio and walkways to remove mud, dirt, mold and other grimy buildup. The Sun Joe SPX 3000 is the current top-seller on Amazon.

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