To tighten loose knobs on furniture, unscrew the knob and coat the screw with clear fingernail polish. Screw the knob back on while the polish is still wet, allowing it to harden inside the furniture.
Refinish small spots on a mirror where the backing has disappeared, spray them on the back with a silver metallic automobile paint. Apply several light coats, and seal it with a clear finish.
Damaged floor tiles can be removed easier if you first cover them with a cloth and iron them. The heat of the iron will melt the old glue so you can take out one or more tiles instead of replacing the entire floor.
To reseal loose edges on a vinyl floor, use a hot iron with a cloth between the iron and the vinyl. The heat will melt the old glue. Finish by adding heavy books to weigh down the area until the glue resets.
A crayon can fill gouges in wood furniture or floors. Find a crayon that matches and melt it in the microwave. Pour the wax into the gouges and let it dry. For a small job, you can melt the crayon over the floor or furniture with a match. A long fireplace match gives you more working time. Simply hold the crayon above the gouge and let the melted wax drip.
White correction fluid made for the office can be used to hide a small hole in a white floor.
Stop squeaky door hinges with a spray of PAM.
Loosen a rusted bolt with carbonated soda. Thoroughly wet a cloth in club soda or cola, and let it soak for several minutes.
To remove rust from bolts (and other metals), soak them in white vinegar.
Remove rust from metal fixtures with salt and lemon. Add lemon juice to salt to make a paste. Scrub with the paste, rinse, and dry.
To loosen a tight or rusted screw, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or lubricating oil on the screw. Let soak a few minutes.
f the slot in a screw has become enlarged, heat the tip of the screwdriver with a match or lighter to cause it to expand and fit more snugly.
A screw will go into wood easier if you first rub the screw with a bar of soap or a candle. A beeswax candle will not leave a stain.
Make a sliding glass door slide easier by rubbing the tracks with floor polish. Slide the door back and forth a few times to spread it well.
Keep a glue cap from sticking by rubbing Vaseline or oil inside the cap.
Keep nuts and screws from getting lost or out of order, lay a piece of double-sided tape on the table or workbench. Place each nut or screw on the tape in order of removal, and you can place them back in the opposite order.
For easy wallpaper removal, apply a mixture of white vinegar and hot water. A paint roller makes application quicker. Once the wallpaper is saturated, it should come right off.
Wallpaper can also be removed easily if you first add liquid fabric softener. Use a mixture of one part softener and two parts hot water, and spray this on with a spray bottle or use a paint roller. Let the wallpaper soak for 20 minutes after saturating it, then peel it off.
To hammer in a nail without chipping the wall, cover the area first with a small “x” of clear tape or masking tape. This will also prevent the wall from cracking or chipping when you remove the nail later.
To hammer a tiny nail and not your fingers, hold the nail in place with a comb.
A screw is less likely to cause damage to a wall or piece of furniture if you first hammer a nail in part way then remove it. This gives the screw a clean start.
To prevent splitting thin wood with a large nail, predrill the hole with a screw that is thinner than the nail.
After using a power drill to insert a screw, put the drill into reverse to remove the drill bit instead of pulling it out of the wood.
To remove a nail without having it crack the wall, place a small block of wood underneath the nail. This block protects the wall from the hammer, takes pressure off the nail, and allows the nail to be pulled straight instead of at an angle.
Clean scissors by wiping the blades with white vinegar. It will even remove glue.
Keep scissors sharp by cutting through sandpaper occasionally.
Using tools that are the right size for the job prevents injuries to you, damage to the item you’re working on, and damage to the tool.
Natural Wood Stains
Rusty nails left to soak in vinegar for two weeks, then strained, make a natural wood stain.
Walnut husks soaked for several days, then strained, stain wood darker than tea. If you don’t have a walnut tree in your area, you can get Black Walnut Hull Powder
Wood can also be stained with chewing tobacco mixed with half water and half ammonia left to set overnight, then strained.
Any stain should be tested on a scrap of wood or on the underside of a piece of furniture before staining.
Furniture color will darken with each coat of stain. Stop before it looks as dark as you want it to because the finish (shellac, lacquer, tung oil, varnish, etc.) will make the wood color even darker.
Instead of adding a color to furniture, you can enhance the wood’s own color through chemical reaction.
Ammonia fumes can stain new wood to look 100 years old, and in a matter of days. On small areas, ammonia can be brushed on directly. The ammonia reacts with the tannins in the wood.
Strong tea can be brushed onto light wood, with little tannin, to darken it with its own tannins. This can be darkened even further by following with an application of ammonia.
Oak, walnut and mahogany will get browner with ammonia and blackish brown from rusty nails. Pine, maple and birch will get browner with tea or tea followed by ammonia. Some stains will darken as they dry, so go a step at a time. Wood will also look even darker after a finish (lacquer, varnish, tung oil, or shellac) is applied.