Show Notes: Rubber Bands and Painting – On the House

Show Notes: Rubber Bands and Painting

By on June 11, 2016

If the warmer weather is making you feel it’s time to spruce up the house, Morris and James have painting and roofing tips to get you going in the right direction. And as a bonus, did you know all the things you can do with rubber bands?

 Thank you to our guest: Kimberly Simonson

Simonson Design Studios –

218 791-1662


Hate Folding Laundry?

How much would you pay for a machine that folds your laundry for you?

FoldiMate, a California-based start-up, has built a robot whose main goal is to fold your freshly laundered items of clothing (yes, really!). The robot folds laundry at all the right angles, as well as steams, perfumes, softens, and sanitizes it. It will also add a good smell to the clothes as it does its repetitious work.

The machine, which is now in the prototype stage, will be released in 2017 and is expected to cost around $850 (£590). On their website, you can sign up to find out exactly when pre-orders are available; so far over 67,000 people have registered for this notification. That was as of June 7, Tuesday.

What does the laundry-folding robot does to your laundry? They shared they plan to start taking pre-orders sometime next year, and to ship the first units in 2018. “Up to now 84 percent of the respondents picked the answer “…take my money”, according to Quartz.

There is less than a 1% chance that the machine will do anything other than fold your laundry.

However, not all reactions to FoldiMate’s robot have been positive. Once complete, the machine dispenses folded clothing into a tray that can accommodate up to 30 items depending on fabric thickness.

CEO Gal Rozov talked to US Weekly that the company received positive comments on the laundry-folding robot including some of them on social network platforms. But the real chore of folding still needs to be done once the clothes are clean… until now.


10 Painting Tips That Will Save You 

Painting is one of those tasks that you either really enjoy or just simply can’t stand. For most people there seems to be no in between. In either case, it is something that each of us is relegated to perform at one time or another.

Experience has taught us that a shortcut here and a tip there can make an otherwise unbearable project palatable. As for painting, it can mean the difference between getting more paint on the walls and ceilings instead of on yourself or other vulnerable finishes.

Why paint? The answer may seem simple, however it can be a bit more complicated than what first meets the eye. For example, most people might respond to the question with the obvious; “I want to change the color of my living room.” While aesthetics have much to do with the motivation to paint, there are other benefits.

Even when using the same color, a fresh coat of paint can give a distressed surface a clean and uniform finish. And speaking of clean, an added coat of paint (providing that it is quality product) can make a surface more abrasion resistant. That means that it will stand up to the ware and tear imposed by Teenage Mutant Ninja kids. The surface is also a lot easier to clean without the risk of removing the paint when washing the wall.

Finally, paint provides a protective coating from adverse environmental conditions that could lead to distressed finishes, material failure and perhaps even rot. For example, we recommend that the walls and ceiling of a wet area (bathroom, laundry or kitchen) be painted with an oil base semi gloss enamel. Aside from its tough finish, the oil base product is more apt to withstand moisture hence protecting the wallboard and framing below. By the way, paint is not a vapor barrier and is in no way a substitute for adequate ventilation in a damp space.

Preparation. It has become our mantra when it comes to painting. It easily accounts for three quarters of a paint job. Preparation can include washing, scraping, filling, sanding, caulking, masking and priming. It is an absolute must for any successful painting project, indoors or out.

Indoors, holes in walls and ceilings should be repaired with a vinyl spackling compound. Since most of these products are prone to shrink, more than one coat may be required. Larger damaged areas will likely require a wallboard or plaster patch. Wallboard repairs can be made with Fiberglas joint tape and drywall joint compound. Plaster repairs are best done using a plaster patching product.

The most difficult part of making a wall patch is matching the textured finish. This can now be done relatively effectively by the do-it-yourselfer with spray texture in an aerosol can. Quit ingenious and it really works!

Flaking paint at exterior finishes such as siding, trim, gutters and downspouts much be removed. A paint scraper (not a putty knife) is one of the easiest and most effective methods of removing flaking, chipped or blistered paint. It may be useful to begin with a power washing with water to remove the majority of the damage and follow up with the finer prep work. Now would be the time to remove mold and mildew with a 50/50 solution of bleach and water.

Damaged areas can be repaired with a high quality exterior grade vinyl spackling compound. Severe damage to wood siding should be replaced with new material or patched with an epoxy resin patch material. Once sanded, all patch locations should be spot primed with and oil base material in preparation for the finish coat.

Aside from preparation, choosing the right paint and applicators for the job is the key to an attractive and long lasting job. Earlier, we discussed using an oil base enamel for kitchens, baths, laundry and other spaces subject to abundant moisture. For other spaces in the home such as a bedroom, dining room, family room, etc., we suggest that you invest in a high quality 100 percent acrylic latex flat wall paint. Note that we used the word invest. That’s because we strongly believe that paint is an investment.

If you like painting and want to do it frequently, buy inexpensive paint. If you’re like us and enjoy painting, but can find other ways to spend a free afternoon we suggest that you bypass the bargain basement stuff and go for the gusto. Unfortunately, you can’t look at the label of a paint can to compare quality. However, you can choose paint from a reputable paint company and understand that paint quality is a function of price.

Therefore, generally speaking, the more costly the paint the better the quality. What that means is that you will likely get one coat coverage, the paint will be more abrasion resistant and will remain looking good longer.

Use the right applicator. Brushes are great for windows, doors, trim and for cutting into corners and hard to access areas. A roller makes applying paint over a large flat area a breeze. Not all brushes are created alike. Use synthetic (nylon and polyester) for water base paints and natural Chinese bristle for oil base paints. Long nap rollers work best for rough or heavily textured surfaces while a short nap roller is the best choice for a smooth surface. Brush and roller size is a function of the area being painted. You wouldn’t use a four inch brush to paint a window sash. An inch and a half trim brush would be perfect.

Don’t paint yourself into a corner. A good rule of thumb is to apply a two to three inch band around the ceiling with a brush where a roller can’t reach. Do the same around corners and around trim at walls. Then use a roller to first finish the ceiling and then paint the walls.

How much paint will you need? This value can be easily determined by taking the wall height times the total length of walls (don’t discount windows and doors). Add the area of the ceiling and then divide by the square footage of coverage listed on the can. This can range from two to four hundred square feet per gallon on average.

If your painting project will last more than a day you can preserve your latex paint-laden roller by wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in the freezer over night. This will prevent it from drying out and once thawed will allow you to get right back to work.


6 Uses For Rubber Bands

The next time you have a home improvement project to work on, free the rubber bands from the junk drawer and put them to work!

  1. Mark paint levels: Whenever you are done with a painting project, it’s a good idea to hold on to the original can for touch-ups. Simply place a rubber band around the approximate paint level. This way you can quickly spot how much you have left.
  1. Remove stripped screws: Not being able to remove a screw because of a stripped head is frustrating. When this happens, simply place the flat side of a rubber band over the stripped screw head and place the tip of the screwdriver on top of the rubber band. The band’s grip will allow you to twist the screw out of place.
  1. Prevent paint drips: When painting directly from a paint can, place a rubber band underneath the can so that part of the band stretches across the can opening. After you dip your paint brush into the can, wipe it against the rubber band to remove excess paint.
  1. Avoid wall scratches when removing nails: Criss-cross a rubber band so that the “X” rests on top of the top of the hammer head. When you go to remove a stuck nail, the rubber band will protect the wall from hammer marks.
  1. Keep tools from sliding: When working with hand tools on a sloped surface, like a roof or driveway, keep them from sliding down by wrapping them with rubber bands. Place the bands over parts of the tool that won’t interfere with the functionality. You can even leave them on for future use.
  1. Erase wall measurements: Don’t worry if your pencil lacks an eraser. When it’s time to erase pencil markings on a wall, simply use your rubber band like you would an eraser.  In fact, some pros actually wind a rubber band around the end of a pencil so it’s always handy.


Things To Know About Hiring A Roofing Contractor

Before you can find the right roofer, you must understand the important things to look for.

License and Permits

Many state laws require roofing contractors to have state licenses to perform roofing work. When looking for a roofing contractor, ask to see his state license. Avoid hiring a contractor without one

References and Knowledge

A reputable roofing contractor can give you a list of references for work he has completed. Ask for names and addresses of the properties to check his quality of work.
Know the type of repairs you need for your roof before hiring a contractor. Contact several roofing companies to look at your home to assess the damage.

Estimate and Payment Terms

Ask whether the contractor provides written estimates. The estimate should include the nature of the work, materials needed, the project’s total cost and the estimated completion date. A written estimate can help protect you from erroneous charges.
Understand contractors’ payment terms when looking for someone to work on your roof. Avoid paying a contractor in cash or the total amount due upfront.

Insurance and Subcontractors

You need to know if the contractors you call have adequate insurance coverage. The insurance should protect you and the contractor in the case of damage or injuries. Ask for copies of a contractor’s insurance policy before hiring him.
Many roofing companies use subcontractors to complete jobs. Ask about the qualifications of all subcontractors the primary roofing contractor plans to hire. Subcontractors also need business insurance to cover any injuries or damage.

Contract and Warranty

Once you decide on a contractor, you should receive a contract outlining the terms of the roofing project. Check the contract to verify it contains the correct information. Ask the contractor to explain any parts of it you don’t understand and keep a copy for your records.
The specific coverage provided by contractor and manufacturer warranties varies. Some warranties cover certain aspects of material and work for a specified period of time. Read the warranties for details.


Tips For Tight Miters

Pro tricks for air-tight joints

Use a Sharp Saw Blade

You can’t cut perfect miters with a dull blade, one with too few teeth or one that’s designed for ripping. Check your blade for sharpness by cutting a 45-degree miter on a 1×3 or larger piece of oak or other hardwood. If the blade cuts smoothly with very little pressure and leaves a clean, almost shiny cut with no burn marks, it’s sharp enough to cut good miters. When you check your blade or shop for a new one, look for one labeled as a “trim” or “fine crosscutting” blade. A 10-in. blade should have at least 40 teeth, a 12-in. blade at least 60. If the blade is for a sliding miter saw, be sure the teeth have a hook angle of zero to negative five degrees. Teeth with a neutral or negative hook angle are less aggressive and safer for sliding miter saws. Expect to spend at least $50 for a carbide-tipped blade that’ll perform well and last.


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