EP154: Picking Colors from Home, Bacteria in the Kitchen, & the State of Real Estate

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Segment 1: The Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio App

We've seen a lot of apps for paints colors, but Benjamin Moore's new Color Portfolio app is one of the best! And it couldn't have come out at a better time. With this app, you can literally sit at home and scroll through all of the Benjamin Moore color decks! Better yet, you can upload photos of your room and digitally apply the paint to your walls! Best of all? It's free! The links are below:

Segment 2: The Bacteria Hiding in our Kitchens

In our conversation about bacteria hiding in the kitchen, we mentioned an excellent cleaner. We will do a full segment on it in the future, but for your reference, it's Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner, Degreaser, and Disinfectant.

Segments 3 & 4: The Current State of Real Estate

With the Governor's Stay Home order, there's a lot of concern and confusion. We sat down with Sue Prins and Ginger Herman from Sue Prins Group Five Star Real Estate Leaders to talk about the impact the shut down is having and will continue to have on the housing market. The good news is that they are seeing very positive signs!

 

Check out the interview for more info!

If you have more questions for Sue or Ginger, they'd love to talk to you: 616-723-2400.

AND a BONUS interview from Sue discussing the differences between what we're seeing now and the recession of 2008:

 

BONUS Segment 5: The Book We Need Right Now!

Everything is upside down right now it seems, so we decided to start adding a bonus segment to every show. For a while at least. And our goal is to talk about something fun and light. This week, we ring up Dan's cousin Ben Velderman to talk about a book that Ben made Dan read a long time ago. It's All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot and it's the perfect escape from the world. At least for a while! Check out the bonus segment and, as we mentioned, here's a link to book on Amazon! Happy Reading!

EP153: Seeing The World (From Home), Tools Explained, What To Do In A Roof Emergency, Quick Projects for the Self-Quarantined

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Segment 1: Seeing the World, Without Leaving Home

There are literally thousands of websites that have opened up the world to those of us isolated at home! Many of them are subscription based sites that have lifted their restrictions and are allowing free access. Betsy goes through just a few of them. Below, we've got our choices for some of the best locations to check out!

Segment 2: Tools Explained

Tools make our lives so much easier! But, from time to time (and sometimes more often), our use of them backfires! Here's a great article that highlights the humor/pain we all experience at least once in a while when we pick up that pliers or swing that hammer!

Segment 3: Dealing With Roof Emergencies

We sit down with Matt Williams and Jake Harmon from Sherriff Goslin Roofing to talk about what you need to do in a roof emergency! There's a lot of great info in the interview, but here are the details. If a tree falls on your roof (or something along those lines), here's what you need to do in the first 20 minutes:

  • Immediately call your insurance agent and let him/her know what happened.
  • Contact a professional company
    • Tree Removal
    • Roof Companies
    • Tarping Companies
  • Get someone on site to help you walk through the insurance claim

Check out the interview for more info!

If you have more questions for the experts from Sherriff Goslin, they'd love to talk to you: 231-798-7783. Or you can go to sherriffgoslinmuskegon.com

Segment 4: Quick Projects for the Self-Isolated!

We're living in crazy times and we don't know exactly how everything will shake out or when. But right now, lots of us are finally getting around to the projects that have piled up in our homes over the last few years. Here are a few of our favorites!

 

EP134: Jewelry Box Makeover, Service Professor History, All About Screws, and Hammertime!

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Segment 1: Jewelry Box Makeover

Paint is so remarkably transformative! With the right inspiration, your next project is just around the corner! We found the beautiful piece of furniture pictured below at an antique store. It was amazing, but WAY too expensive. Later we found a simple little jewelry box for $2. Much more in line with my pocket book! We snatched it up and with a little prep work, some taping, and some paint, we turned it into a miniature version of the furniture piece we loved so much. Whether or not the color and the piece is for you, the concept holds true for everyone: paint is incredibly transformative!

 

Segments 2: Service Professor History

Being a small business, we love to promote other small businesses! Service Professor has been featured on our show multiple times, but this time we sit down with President Brad Krause to talk about some history!

Segments 3 & 4: Screws and Hammertime

We dipped back into the archives for a couple of our favorite tool segments. Who’d have thought there’d be so much to learn about screws and hammers?

Lesson Three In Furniture Refinishing: There’s Always a Fix!

Now, the last post may have left you wondering whether our chemical stripping had ACTUALLY led to success. Were the very sweaty hands in heavy rubber gloves really worth it? Was it really worth the extra expense of buying a stripper?

The undeniable answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!!

As we slowly scraped away the chemical stripper with a plastic putty knife (yes, that is important because we didn’t want to risk scraping the wood) we saw that the paint on the top wasn’t hiding problems but amazing potential.

The legs and some of the decorative work needed a few extra coats of chemical stripper to get all the old paint off–mostly because it refused to give up its seat in all the little nooks and crannies–but eventually we saw our little desk for all that it was. And we were thrilled!

Well, except for those back legs that were missing chunks because of rot…. And the drawers that were so broken that the slightest tug left you holding the front of the drawer while the rest of it fell to the ground in a clatter of old wood!

So, we’d discovered beauty beneath all the old paint. But we were also left with a number of problems that made us pause and consider our options. As we mentioned in the last post: furniture refinishing is ALL about rolling with the punches. It’s about being flexible. We had wanted to stain the entire desk, bringing out the beautiful wood we just “knew” was there. Turns out with the broken and rotted legs, staining was out of the question. We’d stain the top of the desk, but paint the rest. But that still left us with some problems: broken, crumbling drawers and the rotted legs.

Lesson Three: There’s Usually a Fix!

And that’s the next lesson: There’s usually a fix. Never forget that! And don’t zip by it tooquickly. Understand that even if you don’t know the answer to a problem, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer. At RepcoLite, we work with these types of projects all the time. We’ve helped with so many different situations, there’s a good chance we’ve seen what you’re working on. Also, there are many tools and products on the market of which homeowners are completely unaware.

So to go back to the desk example: those rotting legs needed repair. To help with that, we pulled a container of Min-Wax Epoxy Wood Filler from our shelves and mixed up a batch. It’s an incredibly tough wood filler that hardens chemically and, therefore, very quickly.

We mixed it up according to the directions and then built a sleeve out of cardboard to go around the legs that needed help. The sleeve helped us form the putty into the shape necessary and it held it long enough for it to harden and hold that particular form. Then we removed the cardboard and started sanding. It didn’t take long before the legs were once again solid and smooth. And best of all, the epoxy wood filler we used was durable and tough! These legs were basically better than new!

Then it was on to the drawers! And this was an easy fix. The dovetail joints holding the drawers together were already weakening. So all we did was carefully pull them apart the rest of the way, clean off any glue residue that remained, and then cut a new drawer bottom out of 1/4″ MDF. After that, it was just a quick matter of putting everything back together and regluing those joints! The end result, again, was better than new!

And that’s the big point here: you may tackle a project and run into a complication that leaves you frustrated or ready to give up. The rotted legs and the broken drawers didn’t do much for our attitudes regarding our desk, after all! But, before you call it quits on a particular project remember that there is usually a fix! You may need to ask some questions. You may need to learn about some new products. You may need to pick up a new repair skill. But the answers and the fixes are out there! Stop out at any RepcoLite or Port City Paints and ask. We’ll get you moving in the right direction.

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Lesson One In Furniture Refinishing: Pay Attention!

Who among us hasn’t seen those shows where they take some junky piece of furniture that seems destined for the trash heap and miraculously turn it into something incredible? Many of us WISH we could do that. They make it look so easy on TV!

Let the Treasure Hunt Begin!

Well, we decided to investigate how hard it really is to do something like that. So we began our search for the perfect piece to transform. And when we couldn’t find that perfect piece even remotely in our price range, we decided that any piece would do!

In the end, we found an old desk in a quiet (and dark) little secondhand shop. It looked perfect sitting in there, covered with assorted knick-knacks. The price was right and, quite honestly, someone else was eyeing it, so we snatched it up.

Riding back to our shop with the little desk in the back of the car, we were pleased with our find. And we talked about how we were going to trannsform this tired and dusty desk into a gloriously stained piece of fine furniture. We had big plans.

But, as they say, even the best laid plans…

See, it all started to fall apart when we actually looked at the piece in the light. We knew it was covered with peeling paint. But we hadn’t realized that the drawers would fall into a hundred pieces at the slightest tug and that huge chunks of the legs were missing from rot and water damage.

Lesson One: Pay Attention!

We had been in such a rush to find the perfect piece, we never took the time to inspect it as we should!

If you’re going to try your hand at furniture refinishing, the very first lesson to learn is not about the actual refinishing process at all. The first lesson is about the search!

Pay attention. Take your time. Look a piece over–even if it takes getting on the floor and looking at it from underneath. Check out the legs and the feet. Examine the hardware. Pull out the drawers. Do they slide easily? Are the joints tight? If not, will a little wood glue bring everything back together?

Look at the sides and inspect the veneer. Is it in good shape or are pieces missing?

Look for dings and dents in the wood. And don’t forget to look to see if the piece is truly made of wood at all! We’ve seen a number of people make this mistake, purchasing a laminated piece with the thoughts of stripping it and refinishing it. It’s an embarrassing mistake! Don’t make it.

All in all, take your time, pay attention, and examine the piece from top to bottom. You know your skill set. You know what you can fix and what you should leave for someone else. You don’t want to be surprised. Like we were!

Moving Forward

At any rate, surprised or not, there was only one direction for us to move: forward! After all, we’re stubborn. And we had paid good money for this thing. We weren’t quitting now. We were going to turn it into something cool if it killed us. But how? Check out the next post to find out!

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