Easy home spruce-up tips

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Got a half-hour to kill?

Use it to spruce up your house.

Some fairly effortless under-takings 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. It’s easy to get too used to the little flaws in your home and  stop noticing them. So it’s 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 there.

Are the light bulbs burned out? The registers rusty? The floorboards  scratched?

Don’t let the task overwhelm you. You don’t 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. Window 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, it’s a fast process. I had all the door casings and window  frames on my first floor done in probably 15 minutes.

Touch up the paint. Walls, like woodwork, can take a beating. 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 leftover  paint in a plastic deli container, just for touch-ups. The paint stays fresher  than it would in a can, and it’s easier to store, too.

Make sure to choose a container with a tight-fitting lid, so you can shake  the paint to mix it before you start to work. Then just take a small artist’s  paintbrush and brush on a little paint to hide the spots that have become  scarred.

Clean smudges. Look closely, and you’ll probably notice lots of smudges on  your walls and doors, particularly around light switches, doorknobs and door  edges.

A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes those off in a snap. So does Scrubbing Bubbles  spray cleaner, which does a great job of removing all kinds of dirt from hard  surfaces. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever once used it to clean a  bathroom, but I use it all the time on my walls.

Clean light fixtures and fans. Have you looked at your dining room chandelier  lately? Chances are you haven’t, because we rarely look up.

Chandeliers are particularly prone to collecting dirt, because they have so  many surfaces. Giving yours a good dusting, including the light bulbs, will let  your light shine brighter.

While you’re at it, check the state of the globes over lighting fixtures, the  blades of ceiling fans and the plastic grates over bathroom exhaust fans. The  latter might benefit from removing the grate and giving the inner workings a  good vacuuming, but be sure to shut off the power first.

Vacuum crevices. Did you ever look at the spot where your car-pet meets the  baseboard? The vacuum cleaner doesn’t reach it well, so it’s a place where lint,  dust and other dirt collect.

That’s the kind of job a vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool is made for. It’s a  nozzle with a narrow end that fits into slender spaces, and it’s perfect for  grooming the edges of your carpet.

Dust high and low. Base-boards get dusty. Ceilings collect cobwebs. Grab your  long-handled duster and make a pass around the top of a room and then the lower  perimeter.

Now, doesn’t that look better?

Via Vancouver Sun.

For more design tips and tricks, visit our tips and tricks section on our blog.

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