EP74: Van Raalte Farm, Hammers, and Fall Home Maintenance

A while back, Betsy got involved with the restoration of the Van Raalte Farm in Holland. She worked with Carolina Marquis to choose wallpaper and paint for the main level, as well as paint colors for the exterior. It is an ongoing project and a true labor of love for everyone involved.

In the first two segments we talk to Steve Zwiep, the City of Holland Parks Supervisor. He has overseen the ongoing restoration of the Van Raalte Farm. He gives us a brief history and walks us through the many projects a historic restoration takes.

In segment 3 we talk about hammers. Now, this may seem boring, but there is so much more to consider when buying a hammer than we ever knew! It’s time to find the one that’s PERFECT for you!

And finally, Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids has a great Fall Home Maintenance class. And we are getting a sneak peek!

Listen here:



This has been an amazing restoration project. Reproductions of historic wallpapers and historic paint colors now adorn the walls. The exterior has a fresh coat of paint and a new porch. It is a truly beautiful farm that is something you should really check out! CLICK HERE to see everything the farm has to offer!


Now we’ve talked about this non-profit a lot, but for good reason. They have so much to offer homeowners. Mike Zamarron from Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids stops by to give us a sneak peek of the FREE Fall Home Maintenance class they’re holding today. And if you can’t make it to this class, check out some of the other free “Fix-It School” classes they offer that are open to anyone; even if you live in the U.P. or out of state and are willing to make the drive!

EP73: Gilda’s Club, Building Your Inspiration, Finding Your Vision

Today’s a little different. We sit down with Jeff Larabel to talk about an event he’s organizing: The Second Annual Ruth Larabel Yahtzee Tournament! It takes place on September 8 and all the proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Grief Counseling Program at Gilda’s Club, a Grand Rapids organization that provides free emotional healthcare to children, adults, families, and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause. RepcoLite is happy to provide one of the prizes for the auction. More details about the event are below!

We also interview Faye Fredericks, a listener who wrote to us after a segment several weeks ago about Frank Lloyd Wright. Faye has a story about what it takes to get what you want when you tackle a building project, a remodel, or even a repaint! It is a great interview and Faye is a ton of fun! We’ve also got a little bonus story from Faye that didn’t fit into the show. Don’t miss out on that! It’s below in the notes for segments 2 and 3.

Finally, we end the show where we figured we should: giving you some ideas as to how you can create or discover your own vision. Faye makes a point that lots of us don’t know what we really want. How do we find out? We’ve got some tips. And we’ve got a “first-of-its-kind” event coming up this fall that will help you! More info in the notes for segment 4.

Listen here:



  • The Yahtzee tournament will be held at GILDA’S Clubhouse 1806 Bridge St. Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
  • It is open to the public there is seating for 120 participants. Raffle tickets will be sold and there will be a raffle after every other game, we will play six games.
  • Top four high scores will win prizes for their placement. Afterwards there will be a drawing for the auction prizes.
  • Snacks and refreshments will be provided for a goodwill offering.


We are so happy Faye and Jim Fredericks took time to share their story with us. Unfortunately, they shared a number of other stories that couldn’t make it into the show. Here are a couple of our favorites!
Listen here:


Finding your vision can sometimes be easier said that done. But we want to help! Coming up on September 7, at the Sunnybrook Country Club in Grandville, we are hosting an amazing color and design event! Benjamin Moore will unveil the new color of the year, we’ll talk about what it takes to create your vision, and you’ll have the opportunity to talk with experts in the flooring, furniture, design, and paint industry. On top of that, we’ll have some pretty amazing food and wine! CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

EP72: Common Carpet Spills Removed, Paint Brushes Restored, Tannin Stains Blocked!

Today we sit down and talk carpet cleaning with the experts at Fibercare Carpet and Rug Cleaning in Jenison. It’s a fun interview and they fill us in on how to clean wine, blood, urine and all kinds of other common spills out of our carpets! Formulas and cleaning instructions they discuss on air are included below in the notes!

Also, a stiff paint brush has almost no practical use at all! Fortunately, there’s often a way to restore an old brush to “like new” quality!

Finally, painting bare wood (and sometimes even varnished wood) can result in brown or yellow stains bleeding through your finish paint. It’s frustrating and often confusing. But we’ve got the answers here!

Listen here:



Information on Spot Cleaning

*Always start with blotting the excess liquid & use a rounded spoon to scrape up semi-solids, being careful not to rub the yarns.

Pet Urine, Feces, & Vomit

  • Apply several applications of water
  • Then apply a solution of one-part white vinegar & one-part water
  • Blot excess liquid & dry rapidly
  • If spot remains, apply a detergent solution & blot
  • Reapply the vinegar solution, leaving it on the spot for about 15 minutes
  • Blot excess liquid & dry rapidly

Red Wine & Blood

  • Apply a detergent solution
  • Rinse with several applications of water
  • Apply 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (Just be sure to test in an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no color loss in the carpet).


  • Detergent Solution
    • Mix ¼ teaspoon of a clear (non-bleach, non-lanolin, no optical brighteners) dishwashing liquid with 1 cup warm water.
    • Allow the detergent solution to remain on the affected area for 10 to 15     minutes to lift the stain.
    • It may be necessary to rinse with warm     water several times to completely remove residues.

*Never use an automatic dishwasher detergent because many contain bleaching solutions that can destroy the carpet color & damage fibers.

*Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber.

  • Warm  Water Rinse
    • Warm water should be used in most cases for rinsing.
  • White Vinegar Solution
    • Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water.

*NOTE: All dry spills should be scraped up with a blunt object and then vacuumed to lift and remove as much of the remaining substance as possible. Pouring any liquid onto a dry spill can create additional problems.


  • Vinegar
    • Recommended that you heat it up, but don’t boil it!
    • Pour it into a disposable foil baking tray
    • Soak brush
    • May need to leave the brush overnight (as the vinegar becomes less effective as it cools).
    • Rinse well afterward with soap and water!
    • Wrap in a paper towel or the brush sleeve and store!
    • Works for ANY type of bristle
  • Roller and Brush Cleaner
    • Available for purchase at RepcoLite and Port City Paints
    • Pour solvent into a solvent-resistant container
    • Soak brush overnight
    • Rinse well afterward with soap and water
    • Wrap in a paper towel or the brush sleeve and store!
    • Works beautifully for China Bristle brushes (and nylons)
    • NOT for most synthetics!


  • When painting or priming bare wood, we ALWAYS recommend a stain blocking primer.
  • Here are some options:
    • White Pigmented Shellac
    • Prime-Lock Plus (from Insl-X)
    • Odorless Alkyd Primer (from Insl-X)
    • Fresh Start All Purpose Alkyd Primer (from Benjamin Moore)
  • When painting over stained and varnished wood, a stain blocking primer is usually not necessary.
  • We recommend:
    • STIX primer (from Insl-X)
  • However, when painting over Oak cabinets — even if they’ve been stained and varnished — we recommend using a stain blocker, just to be safe!
    • White Pigmented Shellac
    • Prime-Lock Plus (from Insl-X)

EP71: An American Picker, Avoiding Scams, Dan’s Brilliant Paint Tips

In this episode, we sit down the “Ultimate American Picker”, Steve Norris.  I’ve known Steve for years and while he calls himself a bit of a pack rat, there’s no denying that he has made some seriously brilliant finds at auctions, estate sales, and garage sales. How does he find these items? How does he know what’s worth picking up and what should be ignored? Common sense!

We also talk with Joel Ruiter from Home Repair Services in Kent County about how we can avoid scams. Summer is always a time for door-to-door contractors showing up, offering us the deal of the century. But is it a good deal?

Finally, it’s time for Dan’s new segment: Dan’s Audio Emporium of Brilliance. In this debut, we talk about how to (brilliantly) hire the right painting contractor, what to (brilliantly) do with all that leftover latex paint in your basement, and finally how to make paint cover and hide (brilliantly) without having to prime!

Listen here:

EP70: Drip Irrigation with Grapids, Surfactant Leaching, Peeling Decks, and Other Common Paint Problems

It’s largely been a dry summer. And while the landscaping at Dan’s house is doing remarkably well, the landscaping at Betsy’s is shriveling and dying. The difference? Drip irrigation! Today, we sit down with Aaron Katerberg from Grapids Irrigation to talk about some DIY solutions you can implement today!

We’ll also be talking with RepcoLite Sales Rep, Erick Lowing, about some common paint problems he runs into from day to day. In fact, the topics he plans to discuss are topics he’s dealt with multiple times just this week! That’s about as “common” as you can get! Tune in for the problems and most importantly, the fixes!

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EP65: Oak Cabinets, Paint Warranties, Safe Electrical Outlets

On today’s show we talk about painting Oak cabinets. It’s not a complicated project, but the big question always revolves around the open graining: what do you do about it so you can get a great look on your finished cabinets? We talk about that as well as the riveting topic of paint warranties. (And as boring as that may sound, it’s important to understand exactly what a warranty will cover. You’ll be surprised how little some warranties actually mean!) And finally, we wrap up the show with an interview with Brad Krause from Service Professor. Brad sits down with us and discusses a number of electrical safety concerns that are probably happening in your home right now!

Listen now:


Segment 2

Here’s the “homemade air conditioner” we talked about at the beginning of the second segment. Yes, we know this could be a “fake” YouTube video. Yes, we know it might not work as well as it’s shown. But we still think it looks like a ton of fun to try!