By Mary Beth Breckenridge
SPECIAL TO HOMES PLUS
Got a half-hour to kill?
Use it to spruce up your house.
Some fairly effortless undertak-
ings can make a big difference in
the appearance of your home.
Here are a few you can check off
your to-do list this weekend.
Take a tour. Its easy to get too
used to the little flaws in your
home and stop noticing them. So
its a good idea to periodically
walk through your house with a
note pad, looking critically at
each room and jotting down the
little fix-ups that need to be done
Are the light bulbs burned out?
The registers rusty? The floor-
boards scratched? Dont let the
task overwhelm you. You dont
need to address everything at
once. But by keeping your list
handy, you can pick off a chore or
two to tackle as you have time.
Revive your woodwork. Win-
dow frames, door casings, base-
boards and other wood surfaces
can become scarred over time,
but hiding those little scratches
and dings is easy.
I recently used Restor-A-Finish
from Howard Products Co. to
freshen my woodwork. You just
rub it on with fine steel wool, and
it softens the old finish just
enough to let the stain seep in to
hide all those little blemishes.
You can also disguise scratches in
wood with a wax touch-up stick, a
crayon or even a nut meat, but I
like the way the Restor-A-Finish
leaves a protective coating over
the repaired areas.
Best of all, its a fast process. I
had all the door casings and win-
dow frames on my first floor done
in probably 15 minutes.
Touch up the paint. Walls,
like woodwork, can take a beat-
ing. Little chips and scars appear
over time, making your painted
surfaces look dowdy.
Whenever I finish a paint job, I
like to save a cup or so of the left-
over paint in a plastic deli con-
tainer, just for touch-ups. The
paint stays fresher than it would
in a can, and its easier to store,
Make sure to choose a contain-
er with a tight-fitting lid, so you
can shake the paint to mix it
before you start to work. Then
just take a small artists paint-
brush and brush on a little paint
to hide the spots that have
Clean smudges. Look closely,
and youll probably notice lots of
smudges on your walls and doors,
particularly around light switch-
es, doorknobs and door edges.
A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes
those off in a snap. So does Scrub-
bing Bubbles spray cleaner, which
does a great job of removing all
kinds of dirt from hard surfaces.
Come to think of it, I dont think
Ive ever once used it to clean a
bathroom, but I use it all the time
on my walls.
A publication of the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise March 2012
C O N T E N T S
Tips to negotiate
Parade of Homes
can refresh your home
New exterior trim
will make home
Tweak your home
to suit aging needs
real estate agent
Simple ways to spruce up your home
See Spruce/Page 2