Painting the Bathroom
Painting a tiny bathroom makes for a challenge, especially when trying to paint around the sink, mirror and shower.
"Before painting, wash all the walls to remove any mildew with mildew remover or bleach and water," advises Joe Kowalski, training manager at Glidden.
And for your bathroom painting job, Kowalski adds these recommendations:
- For walls, use either a semi-gloss or eggshell finish; both provide dirt and moisture resistance.
- For the ceiling, paint with an eggshell finish is advised.
- Paint that includes primer provides extra adhesion over a glossy surface.
More Storage is Better
Whether you're sidestepping into your small studio rental or fortunate enough to be renting a place with enough closet space, tips for maximizing your rental's storage space always come in handy.
Janet Lee, author of Living In A Nutshell, shares these tips:
1. Place a removable, peel-and-stick wall decal on a bare surface (whether it's on a wall or the back of a door.)
2. Rub the surface of the sticker with a squeegee to ensure the decal lays smoothly against the wall.
3. Add a hook onto the decal and apply pressure to ensure damage-free hanging.
4. Wait one hour before hanging hats, jackets, backpacks and other apparel.
Hiding Your Lamp Cord
Cords can make your rental a cluttered mess as well as an eletrical hazard for children. Lee offers these easy steps for making the cord 'disappear:'
1. Use a hand drill to create a hole in the bottom of a metal gelatin mold.
2. Run a pre-wired pendant cord through the hole of the mold.
3. Insert a light bulb into the end of the cord.
4. Affix cords to wall in decorative loops using clear cord clips for damage-free hanging.
Installing Lights Under Your Cabinets
Renovating the kitchen is without a doubt a major expense and something that isn't appropriate for an apartment or house that you're renting. Adding some lighting under your cabinets is a classy and cheaper way to modernize your rental's kitchen.
Jocelyn Jane Cox of the website, thehometome.com, and author of The Homeowner's Guide to Greatness, offers these tips for installing lights to lite up your countertops:
1. Gather your materials: The lights (which are usually oblong and have holes in the back for hanging), a drill with screwdriver bit, nails, and screws of the correct size (often, these will come in the package of lights.)
2. Make sure you have electrical outlets near the cabinets and that the cords from the lights will reach. Unfortunately, solar-powered lights aren’t going to work in this situation.
3. Measure the distance between the holes in the back of the lights and place pencil marks under the cabinet at that same distance. This length does need to be exact since the lights are under the cabinet.
4. Hammer some small holes where you put your pencil marks, in order to get the screws started.
5. Once you have some moderate-sized holes in the wood, turn the screws with your hand until they stay. This is when you’ll have to get the drill out. You don't want to screw in the screws all the way, as you want some of the screw head hanging so the light can hook on.
6. Hang the lights. Because you won’t be able to see the screws or the holes that they fit into, it may take a few tries to match them up.
7. If the cords are hanging down, you can bundle them up in a knot and secure them to the bottom of the cabinets with packing tape. This will hold pretty well for anywhere from a six months to a year, and is easily re-applied, once the tape gives way.
If you're looking for a quick and cheap way to cover up any damage or imperfections in the wall, hanging a mirror over that spot is the answer.
"If you are putting up small block mirrors, use a special type of glue called mastic," Cox advises.
But if you're trying to hang a large mirror, you'll need more than just glue. "Many mirrors have wires across the back, just like paintings, but because mirrors can be very heavy (especially ones with frames), make sure you use screws with anchors instead of nails so they don’t fall," she explains.
Cox also cautions about the importance of measuring. "If your mirror comes with brackets on all four corners, which are usually inserted into the wall with screws or nails, take the time to do some measuring beforehand. Crooked mirrors can make your room look like a funhouse."