2015-11-16 / Columns

The Super Handyman

Hanging Baskets Can Pull Double Duty
by Kelly Carrell

Those hanging baskets that were full of flowers during the summer months are all but gone now. But you still can use the baskets to hold your tools when you are up on your ladder working. The fact is, the baskets have hooks on top and can hold quite a few hand tools that you might need when painting, cleaning your gutters or hanging holiday lights. Fill the basket with what you need and climb on up. Hang the basket from the top of the ladder, and it will keep your tools within easy reach while you do the chores. You can refill them with flowers in a few months, I promise!

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Dear Ms. Carrell: I learned the hard way not to put hot dishes on my countertops. But with the holidays coming, I needed more space for storing food, so I made my own trivets. I just took a few extra floor tiles and glued some felt pads to the back side. Then I set them on the counter and table to shield the counter and tabletop from the hot dishes. They will be fine for the holidays. Since I used tiles that match my kitchen, they look pretty good, too. -- S.C.

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A SUPER HINT – For cleaning up cat and dog hair, lint rollers are the best option. You can make one by just rolling tape, sticky side out, around your hand and sticking the edge back onto itself to form a roll. Duct tape works the best, and you can get most of the hair up off the average sofa in just one pass.

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Dear Kelly: We have a cedar-lined closet and hadn’t opened it until this month. It seemed like the smell was gone. I mentioned it to my husband, and he asked me to remove all of the coats. Then he went in with his power sander and sanded down the surfaces. It smells really cedary again. He said the pores of the wood get clogged up over time and the sanding opens them up again. -- R.T.

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Q: We had cabinets put in this summer. They look pretty good, but the one on the end looks a little crooked to me. Is there a way to fix this, or do I just need to find a way to live with it? -- L.J.

A: If you have some muscle to help, you might be able to fix it. Take everything out of it and locate the screws holding it on the wall. Remove them and take it down. Now, hold the cabinet up in place and use a level to reinstall the screws so that it will be straight. Hopefully the rest of your cabinets are straight. If you have a gap between it and the rest of the run, try to cover it with a piece of trim. Good luck.

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Dear Super HandyMom: We have an exposed brick wall in our kitchen. It’s OK, but after painting the cabinets and the rest of the walls, the brick looked kind of dark, so I “antiqued” it with a sponge and some white paint. I just blotted the paint on the bricks to lighten the overall look. Mission accomplished. It looks much better now. -- M.R.

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SHOPTALK – If you spring a leak in your basement and need to plug it fast, you need a product called Fast Plug, of course. It’s made by Drylok, so you know you can trust it. Fast Plug is made for sealing cracks and holes in masonry when you are in a hurry – even under pressure – and it sets in only five minutes. You can find it at your hardware store or home center. For more information, just go to www.drylok.com.

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Got a question or a handy tip? Visit our website at www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.

(c) 2015 Cowles Syndicate Inc.

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