Sherry Bourque - RE/MAX Main Street Associates



Posted by Sherry Bourque on 7/26/2020

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Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

One of the benefits of hardwood floors is their durability. When they start to look worn, refinishing takes time, but is much less of a hassle than replacement. Yet sometimes, stains won't simply buff out of the surface of your hardwoods. If you’re dealing with tough stains, like juice or wine spills or ink stains, and need to prep your hardwoods for new finish, bleaching is the answer. Whether you bleach the entire floor and refinish it or simply bleach the area with the stain, this process is not difficult and can restore the look of your beautiful floors. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1 – Prep the Floor

Sand the floor to remove the finish, using a chemical stripper if necessary. You need to remove all of the finish for the bleach to soak in well.

Step 2 – Mix the Bleach

Oxalic acid crystals, which you can purchase at a hardware store, are the best material to use for bleaching hardwood. Mix these crystals into water until no more crystals dissolve. This will take some trial and error, and hot water works best. Be sure to use gloves to protect your skin.

Step 3 – Apply the Bleach

Use rubber gloves, safety goggles and a respirator mask, then grab a sponge and apply the solution on to the stain. Allow it to dry completely. Apply a second application if needed to completely eliminate the stain. Wash off all of the bleach crystals that remain with clean water.

Step 4 – Neutralize

Make a solution by mixing two heaping tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of water. Apply this to the wood to neutralize the bleaching solution, and allow the area to dry.

Step 5 – Refinish

Once you are sure the stain is gone and the wood is dry, refinish the floors as you see fit. If you only bleached part of your floor, take some sandpaper and sand the area, fading the edges of the repaired area to the edges of the rest of the floor. Then, find a matching stain and refinish the area you treated.

Whether you are getting a house ready to stage for sale, have purchased a home and discovered hardwoods under the carpet that need a little TLC, or simply want your existing home to look its best, bleaching the hardwoods is often the best way to get rid of stubborn stains. Before you assume that your stained hardwoods have to be replaced, consider trying this easy DIY solution.




Tags: DIY   Bleach   Hardwood Flooring   Stains  
Categories: diy  


Posted by Sherry Bourque on 6/21/2020

Photo by kelsey roenau on Unsplash

As the focal point of your living space, your fireplace needs to look its best or it could bring down the rest of your décor. But how can you restore the look and feel of that key design element without breaking the bank? There are actually many different ways to rekindle your old fireplace and none of them have to cost a ton of money or effort. Here’s a look at several low-cost, minimal effort ways to beautify the design of your fireplace.

Revise the Mantlepiece

If your fireplace does not have a mantle, adding one is a quick and easy way to transform its look. Hardware stores carry inexpensive mantle kits that are simple to install and still look like a million bucks. Just follow the included directions and you will restore your fireplace design in an instant. If you want to go the extra mile, slap on a coat of paint to jazz up the piece even more.

Reface the Exterior Surface

By refacing the exterior of your fireplace, you can make it look all new without spending a lot of money. All you have to do is add interlocking tiles that mimic the look of real stone over the existing exterior surface. These tiles not only look great, but their lightweight construction and simple installation techniques will not damage the underlying materials. If you ever want to remove them, you can do so without worry about what you will find underneath.   

Add Glass Doors

Although open fireplaces look great on their own, installing glass doors makes the whole design look a little more sophisticated. You can find doors in many different designs, giving you the ability to match them to your existing décor. Their installation only requires basic tools and a little bit of know-how, which allows you to complete this project in one afternoon.

Restore the Bricks & Mortar

If you want to leave the rest of the fireplace as-is, but still want it to look a little nicer, consider repairing the brick along the inside. The brick and mortar joints inside the fireplace can start to look a little rundown after years of exposure to open flames, after all.

To restore its appearance, start by cleaning the brick with a stiff bristle brush and a vinegar-water solution. Rinse with warm water, and then focus on scraping the loose mortar with a scoring tool.  Then, mix up new mortar and spray the joints with a little bit of plain water. Pack the joints with your mortar mixture and smooth out to complete this restoration project.

By completing any, or all, of these improvements, you can rekindle your fireplace design, elevating the beauty of this key focal point. Your visitors will delight in the changes and reward all your hard work with their praise and accolades. Even more rewarding, perhaps, is the confidence you will gain from completing your home improvement projects without breaking the bank.




Categories: diy  


Posted by Sherry Bourque on 12/22/2019

Photo by Allison Gillett via Pixabay
 

You can create a stunning outdoor kitchen using basic components and pulling things together over time. Entertaining outdoors has become so popular that supplies and materials for cooking are easy to come by in a variety of price points. Follow the steps below to make the most of the process. 

Foolproof Steps to Creating an Outdoor Kitchen you'll Love

Determine what you need. A kitchen showroom can be overwhelming -- but you may not need everything you see. If you love the look of the striking pizza ovens, but no one in the family eats pizza, you may get little use from this purchase, and miss out on the space you've used later. What do you like to cook, what do you like to serve and what components matter most to you? These should go to the top of your list. 

Where will people sit?: The best part of an outdoor kitchen is the entertaining you can do in the space. You should think about how many people you like to host at a time, where they'll sit and what you envision for the space. An outdoor kitchen that is designed for the family and a guest or two may need to seat six people, but if you entertian large groups, then you'll need to allot more space to seating -- 12 to 16 people is an ideal start. 

Where will you keep the food? Do you want to prep inside and cook outside? Or do  you prefer having everything together? If you need the food on hand, a fridge should be included in your plans. If you want to keep the food inside, consider adding a wine or beer fridge instead; it will take up less room and get regular use. 

What will you cook? A grill is a great starting point, since you can cook a variety of foods. Determine if you want to buy a freestanding piece or have something built in -- this will likely be the largest and most expensive component. Once this is in place, decide what else you need; other cook surfaces, a sink or specialty surface could be next on your list. 

Begin with your largest pieces, like your grill and table, then add items as you need too. Your pillows, textiles and accessories can be chosen last, then added and used as needed to create a space that is uniquely yours. 

Your outdoor kitchen can be a work in progress; you don't have to complete it all at once. Adding something new each season or year allows you to spread out the cost of your new kitchen and add components as you need them. 




Categories: diy  


Posted by Sherry Bourque on 7/22/2018

Remodeling your home is something you’ve likely considered for a long time and have carefully planned. However, if you’re not an expert carpenter designer it can be easy to make novice mistakes. Learning by your mistakes is fine, but when those mistakes are an eyesore or cost hundreds of dollars, you’re better off doing your homework in advance.

Whether you’re doing a remodel yourself to save money, or just because you have a do-it-yourself spirit and like new challenges, these tips will spare you many headaches and save you a lot of money along the way.

1. Inaccurate measurements

Unless you’re a carpenter or engineer, odds are you don’t use measuring tools on a daily basis. To ensure that you get the most accurate measurements, draw plans for your remodeling project to ensure that everything will fit in the space that you have. This includes measuring for the spaces you’ll be putting appliances, cabinets, and other items. If you’re installing drawers or doors, ensure that they will be able to open fully.

2. Using the cheapest materials

Sometimes you can find high-quality materials in the bargain bin. But most of the time it’s there for a reason. Working with quality materials will not only usually give you the most aesthetically positive results, but will also likely outlast the cheaper alternatives.

3. Underestimating costs

If you’re planning a remodeling project always be prepared to spend a bit more than your original calculations. There are several unexpected expenses that could arise during the remodeling process, including damaging materials by mistake, buying the wrong materials, having to purchase specialized tools, or needing more than you initially thought.

4. Not taking appropriate safety measures

If you’re a novice remodeler, safety needs to be one of your top priorities. You may be unfamiliar with some of the tools you’re using and likely don’t know some of the common safety hazards on the job. When it comes to electrical work, there are many projects that required a licensed electrician to perform. If you’re up on a ladder, be sure the legs are fully opened and secure. And if you’re on the roof, make sure you’re wearing non-slip boots and not carrying heavy items up and down by yourself.

5. Ignoring design and style

In today’s world of quickly fading trends and online inspiration blogs it’s easy to want your home to be several things that it isn’t. When planning your interiors, try to take into account the architectural style of the house. Similarly, if you’re remodeling one room think about how it will look against the backdrop of the rest of your home. Consistency is a too-often undervalued characteristic of interior design.


Those are five of the most common home remodeling mistakes to avoid if you’re planning a renovation for your home. However, there are many more. So if you take away anything from this article, let it be this: you have to look at your home every day, so be sure to take the time to do your research and plan properly so that your home comes out just the way you want it.




Tags: home remodeling   mistakes   DIY  
Categories: mistakes   diy   home remodeling  




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