The launch issue focuses on quick, colorful makeovers for maximum impact around the home and features familiar HGTV network stars such as Sabrina Soto, Emily Henderson and Chip Wade. Plus, editors demonstrate how to salvage unique yard-sale finds, paint like a pro, create a stylish outdoor room on a budget and more. Readers also get a sneak peek at the contestants from season seven of HGTV Design Star, premiering tonight at 9 pm EST on HGTV.
When was the last time you cleaned…
The popular column is back, this time discussing often overlooked household items that may need sprucing up around your home.
…your toilet brush?
How often: Once a month is enough to keep it in fighting shape.
How to: Dunk the brush in a bucket filled with 10 cups hot water, 1 cup bleach, and a squirt of dish soap. Let it soak for an hour as you knock out some other chores, then air-dry. If toilet-brush cleaning doesn’t set your heart on fire, use the disposable kind, which have single-use brushes that pop off into the trash.
How often: If you wear them a lot (to the gym, for yard work), that may mean weekly cleaning. Less frequent users can go a month or two.
How to: Wax and dirt buildup block the speaker output and muffle sound, but few people clean earbuds correctly. If the silicone caps are removable, pop them off and gently wipe with a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol. Never saturate or submerge the earbuds. If the covers don’t come off, use a premoistened wipe designed for cleaning hearing aids- the towelettes won’t damage the parts.
…your tabletop fan?
How often: Rinse the grille and blades every few weeks. Any longer and you’re probably blowing dust into the air.
How to: Unplug the fan. Detach the front grille, then unscrew the blade cap and slide the fan blades off. Resist the desire to leave them on; they’re a lot harder to clean when spinning! Unscrew the nut that secures the back grille to the motor, then immerge the grilles and blades in warm water with mild detergent. While they soak, wipe the base with a damp cloth. Thoroughly dry all the pieces before reassembling to avoid getting the motor wet, which could damage it.
So you think you can paint
No matter how many times you’ve rolled a fresh coat of color on the wall, there are always more cool tricks to learn. Touch up your brush skills with this goof-proof guide.
USE PRIMER WHEN…
- You’re painting a surface that’s never been painted before, like drywall or raw wood, says Kimberly Lacy, a project manager on Curb Appeal
- You’re painting a wall with greasy spots, such as errant crayon swipes. If the rest of the wall’s clean, you can prime over just the offending areas.
- You’re painting a light color over a dark one. You’ll save time and paint.
- You’re using a supersaturated color, like cherry red. “At the paint store, ask to have the primer tinted close to the paint color to avoid doing lots of coats,” says Lacy
CHEAT SHEET: PAINT A ROOM IN THIS ORDER:
- Molding, trim, and baseboards
- Cut in around trim
- Second coat on walls
- Order pizza
- Clean up
- Eat pizza
THE BEST TAPE TECHNIQUES:
If you have a steady hand and lots of painting experience, you can save time by freehanding your straight lines. For the rest of us, there’s the magic of painter’s tape.
- “Tape is great for making crisp, clean edges along molding, doors, and windows, and for painting stripes,” says Cortney Novogratz, host of Home By Novogratz.
- To make sure paint doesn’t bleed, press tape on the wall really firmly- scrape along the edge with your thumbnail or an old credit card after you press it down with your finger.
- Also use tape to cover hardware, such as door hinges or lock plates. Remove switch plates completely, but tape over switches.
- Wait for paint to dry all the way, then remove tape very slowly.
How well do you know your kitchen?
1) Which of these objects is dishwasher safe?
b. Copper pots
c. Wooden spoons
2) What’s the best time to run your dishwasher if you want to save money?
a. Before 9 am
b. Around noon
c. After 7 pm
d. It doesn’t matter
3) How long does a microwave typically last?
a. 5-7 years
b. 8-10 years
c. 11-13 years
d. 14-15 years
4) You should always keep the oven door open when you use the broiler.
5) What’s the best way to keep your house from smelling like fish while you’re cooking it?
a. Cover the pan
b. Boil water with a drop of vanilla extract
c. Keep a small bowl of white vinegar by the stove
d. Open the front door and the kitchen window
6) What does the grate underneath your refrigerator do?
a. Protects the condenser coils and allows airflow into the refrigerator for cooling
b. Allows heat to exhaust, keeping your food cold
c. Prevents dust and other debris from getting in and becoming a fire hazard
Answers: 1) A; 2) D; 3) B; 4) B; 5) C; 6) A
All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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