Fixing your floor

  •  Give scratched floors the boot

Light scratches in wooden floors can often be successfully camouflaged with shoe polish. Just be sure to shop around and find the best colour match for your floor. Apply the polish with a soft cloth, let it dry, and then buff with a slightly dampened rag for a quick and easy cover-up.

  •  Iron off a broken tile

To lift a damaged vinyl tile, cover it with a cloth, and then give it a rub-down with an iron on a medium setting. Use slow, even strokes. The heat from the iron will eventually loosen the adhesive and the tile, making it easy for you to prise it up with a filling knife. If you don't have an iron on hand, try using a hair dryer.

  •  Tiles on the move

Do you find that your carpet tiles have a tendency to move around and not stay put? Use double-sided adhesive tape to hold them in place. You don't need to stick down all the tiles — just a few key ones and they should hold the others in check.

  •  Repair carpet

If you have Berber carpet with a number of unsightly pulls, squeeze a bit of latex adhesive into the base of the loose stitch and push it back into place. If the pulled stitch is very long, trim it down with a sharp knife or scissors before gluing. With looped pile you may need to thread a toothpick through a loop to keep it free of adhesive.

  •  Renew a burned carpet

To remove slight burns and singes from carpet, use tweezers to lift the threads and then carefully slice off the charred tips with sharp scissors, a razor blade or utility knife. Trim the threads as little as possible to avoid leaving an indentation. The longer and denser the carpet material, the better your results are likely to be.

  •  Stone-cold clean

Tools covered with flooring adhesive can be really hard to clean. Instead of scrubbing, place them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, the glue will be rock solid and can easily be chipped off using a hammer and chisel. Always wear goggles to protect your eyes from any airborne shards.

Credit: Reader's Digest

Picture Credit: Google


Walls and ceilings

  •  White-out wall and ceiling flaws

A small bottle of white correction fluid such as Liquid Paper can be incredibly handy in more ways than one. What you may not know is that it's even more useful around the home for covering up small stains and blemishes on white walls, mouldings and ceilings. Simply dab it on the defect, and it's gone. When touching up glossy surfaces, coat the dried correction fluid with a little clear nail polish.

  •  Fix small cracks

Don't repaint a ceiling expecting to cover up a few small cracks. Hairline cracks need to be checked and repaired. Use a utility knife to open up the cracks, brushing away all dust. Fill with quality plaster filler and then smooth over the patch with 180-grit abrasive paper before sealing and painting.

  •  Wipe away wallpaper paste

Removing old wallpaper can be a pain, but what's even worse is contending with old wallpaper paste. A window squeegee can make the job a lot easier and neater. Dip the squeegee into a bucket of very hot water; add 1 cup (250ml) vinegar for extra-strength paste. Use the spongy side to apply the solution to the wall; then flip it over and use the blade to remove the glue. Then wipe the glue off the blade frequently with a damp rag.

  •  Cover nail holes without filler

If you run out of filler, take a look in your bathroom before heading off to a hardware shop. A little bit of plain white toothpaste should do the job. You can also fill small holes in plasterboard with a paste of equal parts of bicarbonate of soda and woodworking adhesive. Or you could mix 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons cornflour with just enough water to make stiff putty.

  •  Stick on a patch

Some people think that the lack of wall studs makes it far more difficult to patch a hole in plasterboard. But they're wrong. In fact, all that's needed is a couple of thin slats of timber about 25mm wide, manoeuvred through the hole and held in place against the back of the plasterboard by a combination of cornice adhesive and plasterboard screws. A piece of string tied through a hole in the middle will prevent you losing the timber slats down the wall. Once the slats are in place, a matching plasterboard patch can be stuck or screwed in place and damage made good with wall filler.

  •  Find a wall stud with a shaver

If you don't have an electronic stud finder, use an electric shaver instead. Switch on the shaver and place it flush against the wall. Move it slowly over the wall, and note the sound of its hum. When the shaver moves over a stud, the pitch of the buzz will rise.

  •  Secure a screw

A screw set into a wall without a plastic plug may work loose over time as the hole surrounding it expands. Take up the slack by cutting one or two twist ties into strips that are equal in length to the screw. Bunch them together in your fingers, stuff the hole and then reset the screw. If the hole has significantly widened, opt for oversized plastic plugs in masonry walls to match or toggle bolts in plasterboard walls.

  •  Banish ceiling stains

Get rid of ugly ceiling stains by putting on a pair of gloves and goggles, then aiming a long-handled sponge mop moistened with equal parts water and sugar soap at the ceiling. Simply scrub until the stains are gone.

  •  Match a patch

When repairing damaged textured coating on a section of ceiling, it's worth putting in the extra effort to do the job properly. Once the coating is level, try to match the texture of the surrounding ceiling. You can usually come pretty close by applying some gentle touches with a small scrubbing brush, a pocket comb or a dry abrasive sponge.

He told me that he hates me

My friend is studying in another class of the same school as I am. I teased him by spreading rumours for fun. Normally, he doesn’t take it seriously, but this time he did. I said sorry but he is not responding, and not listening to me. I gave him a letter to know if he wants to be my friend or not but he tore it up. He spoke to me using foul language and called me names. I was heart-broken when he told me that he hates me.

Spreading rumours means spreading false stories or lies about someone. And it can have very serious effects when you cross a limit, as you have seen with your friend. Unfortunately, you seem to be feeling more heart-broken that he hates you, rather than remorseful that you hurt him. Perhaps you thought it was not such a big deal, but for your friend it certainly was.

If you focus more on your friend’s feelings, you will realize that even though you said sorry, you have not really shown him that you truly feel bad about what you did. Giving him a letter asking him to ‘decide’ whether he wanted to be your friend is a ‘thinking’ thing that is pushing his feelings of hurt aside. It would have been better to have just apologized and shown him that you care about him and that you are truly sorry for your actions.

At present, it is best to leave your friend alone and respect his decision about whether he wants to be your friend or not. Going forward, it would be nice if you were more sensitive to and considerate about others’ feelings. Maintain healthy boundaries and you will enjoy mutual respect and love.


Picture Credit : Google

Delightful DIY door fixes

  •  Get the lead in

Forget about oil, which can do more harm than good to a stuck lock. The best lubricant for a lock's inner mechanism is graphite, and a good source of graphite is pencil lead. Rub a sharpened, soft lead pencil (B or HB) repeatedly against the matching key, then insert it several times into the lock. Perform this trick twice a year to keep locks in top working condition.

  •  Remove a broken key

It happens all the time: keys get old and bent and end up breaking off inside the lock. If you can't enter your house or flat through another door, go to a neighbour to borrow a couple of items before calling a locksmith. First, try removing the broken piece with tweezers. If that won't work, apply a tiny drop of Superglue to the end of the piece that's still on your key chain. Line it up with the part inside the lock, and carefully insert it. Hold it in place for 40-60 seconds and then slowly pull out the key.

  •  Light up your lock

To solve the problem of having to come home to a dark verandah, then feeling around for the lock on your front door, dab a few drops of luminous paint around the keyholes of your exterior locks using a cotton bud or small paintbrush. Do the same for any locking bolts on the inside of your house as well, which will make exiting much easier in the event of a power failure, fire or other emergency.

  •  Polish a loose doorknob

A wobbly doorknob is often the result of a loose setscrew (a tiny screw found on the doorknob shank), which keeps the knob firmly in place on the spindle. Everyday usage can cause setscrews to become loosened, but you can keep them in place by brushing a little clear nail polish onto each screw after you have tightened them.

  •  Pamper a noisy hinge

Is a squeaking door hinge making you feel unhinged? A few drops of baby oil applied around the pin should solve the problem. When you can't find any baby oil and you are out of WD-40, a bit of cooking spray, petroleum jelly or even shaving cream could also be used to silence a squeaky hinge.

  •  Re-fix a hinge screw

A loose hinge will cause a door to stick or become difficult to open or close. Tightening the hinge screws usually solves the problem, but if an undamaged screw won't grip, it means the hole has become worn.

To fix it, slide a magazine or two under the opened door to prop it up, if necessary, and then remove the screws from the loose side of the hinge so that it can be folded back. Loosely fill the screw hole with wooden toothpicks or matchsticks that have been dipped in some woodworking adhesive. Keep them flush with the frame by trimming off any protruding ends with a utility knife. When you screw back the hinge, the extra wood should hold the screw firmly in place.

  •  Pop goes the rusted bolt

Loosen a rusted bolt by rubbing it with a few tablespoons of a fizzy drink.

  •  Unstick a stuck door

If a door sticks because it rubs against the floor or threshold, try this simple fix. Gaffer-tape all four edges of a coarse sheet of sandpaper to the floor where the door rubs, then open and close the door back and forth over the sandpaper until it swings smoothly.

A door that is sticking in its frame (because of too much painting or because it has swollen) can be cured by using an electric plane, hand plane or belt sander to remove the high spots from the door where it is binding. Re-paint after removing the offending wood.

Window wizardry

  •  Rub out window scratches with toothpaste

Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto a soft cotton cloth and vigorously polish the scratch for a minute or two. Wipe off the excess with a damp rag and the scratch should be gone. Be sure to use plain white paste — no gels or striped varieties. You can also use an extra-whitening toothpaste or tooth powder; most have higher amounts of abrasive.

  •  Stop cracks in their tracks

You can buy yourself some time before replacing a cracked window by applying a couple of coats of clear nail polish over the crack on both sides of the window. Once dry, the polish should seal any holes in the glass and contain the damage.

  •  Stifle a rattle with a matchbook

A rattling sash window is bound to rattle your nerves, especially when you're trying to sleep. Silence the racket with a small folding book of matches. Slide the thin end of the matchbook in between the sash and the loose corner of the window frame. Wedge it in as far as you can, but leave at least a third of the matchbook exposed for easy removal. Then give the window a few light tugs to make sure it won't shake on blustery nights.

  •  Plug a draughty window leak

A draughty window is guaranteed to suck out precious heat from your home and raise your fuel bills. What can you do if it's winter and you don't have a sealant gun (or the one you have has dried up)? It's simple. Once you've located the source of the draught (it's often along the top of the lower sash or in a corner between the sash and window frame) take two paper towels, sandwich them together, and fold them up from the bottom 25mm at a time until you have a thick padded strip. Lay the pad over the air leak and secure it on all sides with masking tape.

  •  Straighten that sag

Hinged windows can sag when corner joints have weakened. A quick fix is to add flat L-shaped steel corner plates, which cost very little, with matching countersunk screws. From the outside, with the window closed, drive wooden wedges between the window and its frame to close up any loose joints (or to raise a dropped window), and simply screw the plates in place over the corners. Apply metal primer and topcoat to prevent the plate rusting.

  •  Removable secondary glazing

If you have single-glazed windows, you can halve the heat lost through them by fixing plastic-sheet double glazing. The plastic sheet can be ordered cut exactly to size and is held in place with a magnetic strip secured to the window and a matching metal strip secured to the frame. The strips need to be cut to length (with sharp scissors or a utility knife) and the backing paper peeled off as they are applied. Unlike film double glazing, sheet glazing can be applied just to the window (so it still opens) and it can be removed in summer when it's no longer needed.

Credit: Reader's Digest

Picture Credit: Google