Must Have Tool {and a giveaway!}

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNER is Judy D. who says: “Planning on starting a dyi kitchen project and have only a couple tools on hand. Great giveaway.” Congratulations, Judy!
As you know, we renovated an apartment over the summer. We had the opportunity to review a screwdriver. The timing was perfect and the Master Mechanic Swift Driver seriously rocks! If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t be writing this. Seriously, it’s the one tool that was always within reach and made a lot of our DIY projects easier.
Here’s the official description:

A new twist on an old tool. Master Mechanic dual-drive screwdriver employs a patented gear drive ratchet design that doubles your screwdriving efficiency. Drives the screw when you turn the handle clockwise AND counter-clockwise. 29-pc. set includes flexible shaft extension and multiple bit sizes for a variety of applications. Includes 7 phillips, 3 slotted, 4 hex, 3 square, 4 star, 6 SAE nut driver bits, and bit case. Ergonomic handle has a non-slip rubber grip and can store bits.

What I love. . .

  • No electric, no batteries required.
  • The dual ratcheting action was a lot easier on my hand and wrist! Every time I turned my wrist, it was working to get the job done, both left and right. It’s lightweight too.
  • I loved that I didn’t have to go searching for a specific type of screw driver since it has multiple interchangeable bit sizes (which can be stored in the handle) and since the bits are universal…I could grab one for the cordless drill when needed.
  • We ran into several tricky tight spots and the flexible shaft extension came in super handy (and even attached to the cordless drill).

Take a look at how I used it A LOT during the apartment renovation {still use it!}. From removing and re-attaching cabinet hardware to changing out doorknobs to installing shelving brackets to tightening vanity screws to hanging a mailbox to assembling furniture, this tool was super helpful.

Using the Master Mechanic Swift Driver

Example: When I’m re-attaching cabinet hardware and place the screw into the pre-drilled hole, I turn the screwdriver clockwise. Then, when I turn counter-clockwise, it’s turning the screw, pushing it further into place too. I love that! I don’t have to change my grip! Just keep winding right, left, right, left. Then with a push of a button, the same works in reverse to remove the screw. So cool!

So, if you are looking for a great gift idea for a DIY’er a non-DIY’er too or stocking stuffer OR you’re tired of sore palms or digging for the right screwdriver, I know this would be a HUGE hit. The recipient is not going to be disappointed, won’t ask for the gift receipt and WILL use it!

The Master Mechanic Swift Driver is available {and on sale!} at True Value Hardware.

$100 True Value gift card Giveaway

True Value gift card

Need a little help with Christmas shopping for a Master Mechanic Swift Driver? Want to grab one for yourself too? One lucky DIY Show Off reader will receive a $100 True Value gift card. Open to US residents 18+ only. Giveaway starts with the publishing of this post (TODAY! Monday, 11/26) and ends Friday, 11/30 at midnight EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after.

What is on your True Value Hardware wish list? Answer in the comment and check +1 on the rafflecopter widget. Follow True Value on Facebook and share the giveaway for additional entries (be sure to +1 on the widget!). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We were chosen by True Value to be one of the members of the 2012 DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been paid to publish positive comments and no one has twisted my arm to participate. 

 

Tips for painting a herringbone patterned accent wall

Apartment progress!

Herringbone Accent {on textured} Wall

I’ve shown sneak peeks of the apartment renovation progress and you’ve likely seen the herringbone-like accent wall in the kitchen area…

painted accent wall

Base paint color: True Value Easy Care – Baby Elephant (soft neutral gray) & Accent color: True Value Easy Care – Sweet Honey

Since we own this rental space, I was able to get a little creative in adding a fun accent wall as a backdrop behind some open shelving. Before paint…

apartment walls before

Yes…I have ‘plans’ for a DIY radiator cover but I must confess that I feel it’s a LOT ambitious and I’m scared. Working up the courage to give it a try sometime this month. Anyway, after paint {including painting kitchen cabinets and Rustoleum Countertop Transformations}:

find center of wall

The open wall space above the wainscoting was the perfect spot to display open shelving as a solution for more storage/organization in this tiny apartment. True Value’s Easy Care Platinum and FrogTape were all I needed to add some interest to a flat textured wall. The pattern also helps disguise the un-hidden pipes. I put together a quick tutorial video using my iphone {pardon the portrait orientation, poor quality…amateur videographer but working hard on getting better!} explaining how I achieved the herringbone pattern:

The wall was finished and I was so happy to be able to move forward on the renovation! Shelves are budget friendly Ekby shelving and brackets from IKEA… IKEA Ekby

{installation was super easy using the Master Mechanic Swift Driver!}

Woo hoo! painted accent wall And just when I felt super good about a little DIY success, something went wrong upstairs with the plumbing. The joys of DIY… upstairs plumbing leak I was just too exhausted and heartbroken to deal with it. My Mr. DIY fixed the plumbing issue in the bathroom above and Bri’s boyfriend, Steve, saved the day by patching the ceiling below. patching ceiling textured ceiling and I set about touching up the paint… touching up paint Now, all done for real… herringbone accent wall If you missed it yesterday, I shared the hardwood floors before/after refinishing:

staining hardwood floors

More apartment renovation, decorating and furnishing coming soon!

We were chosen by True Value to be one of the members of the 2012 DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been paid to publish positive comments and no one has twisted my arm to participate.  This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience.  FrogTape Blog Squad

Family Room – sneak peek {repurposed headboard to door pediment}

The family room makeover has been on hold while we’re renovating the apartment but I wanted to share a little repurposed headboard project I finished up a couple of weeks ago.

Using an old headboard {a gift from Amber – thanks, Amber!}, Gorilla Wood Glue, Bessy ESZ Clamps (Rockler), TransTint Dye, vinyl stencil (created using Silhouette Cameo) and craft paint, I gave an old headboad a new purpose.

Here’s a little of what’s going on in the family room:

family room design

{see more about operation family room here}

The headboard was in very poor condition, broken and falling apart. I removed the legs and repaired the main wooden part of the headboard and added a stencil.

Before…{pardon the mess, it’s a work in progress!}
So easy! The space above the family room door just needed something, ya know? {French door color is Benjamin Moore Pacific Ocean Blue with a dark glaze}.
Much better, don’t you think?
Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend!
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Apartment Progress ~ floors are sanded!

It’s been a mega DIY couple of weeks here folks! Where I challenge myself to see just how much DIY I can squeeze into a tight deadline (6 wks.) in the apartment renovation. Sounds like work to most people I know but for me, I say “let the fun begin!”. This rental is my life sized mini-doll house! Here’s an update:

how-to-sand-hardwood-floors

{graphic courtesy of Fox Hollow Cottage}

Apartment Progress!

I rented an orbital sander and I enlisted the help from my 19 year old nephew, Kaleb. {muscles, people – I don’t have them!}

orbital sander

HOW TO SAND HARDWOOD FLOORS

{How we did it.}

  1. Floors were cleaned.
  2. Floors were sanded (24 grit) with the orbital sander. Thank goodness my nephew helped because I seriously doubt I could have carried that thing up the stairs and from the looks of it, once the power was turned on, that thing had a mind of it’s own and took off! I know my limitations. And orbital sander wrangling ain’t one of them. Paying a nephew was a wise choice. Much better for Kaleb to restrain the monster sander than me being spun around in circles and crashing through walls, gouging the floor as I go. (It really wasn’t that bad…I’m just little and wimpy but most people would control the orbital sander without difficulty.)
  3. I swept up the dust.
  4. Then he sanded again (60 grit).
  5. Then swept.
  6. Then sanded again (120 grit).
  7. Then swept again!
  8. I used my Dremel Multi-Max and a palm sander where needed in corners, under radiators and around the edges where floor met baseboards. My little muscles could handle those guys. I did the edging with the 3 levels of sandpaper.

{Please don’t mistake these legs for mine…they’re Kaleb’s!}

how to sand hardwood floors

I really don’t know anything about the previous renter/owner. Perhaps their situation wasn’t so easy, but they definitely were not clean and did some damage.

hardwood floors before

So, floors are now sanded!

sanding hardwood floor

There’s a method to my out-of-order renovating madness. I sanded the floors first before painting the walls because I didn’t want to have to scrub the walls twice (1 – the grime before and 2 – after sanding due to the fine layer of saw dust after sanding floors). Next up is covering the floors and painting the ceiling, walls then trim because I don’t want to lose the weekend waiting for the floor stain to dry.

As you’re reading this, I’m probably at the rental DIY’ing! More to come!

Oh! Hoping for better pictures in the near future. I always have trouble making what I’ve learned ‘stick’ and resort to shooting in auto but I sat in on the Photography session at the Haven Conference and Josh and Kevin really had a way with making it more interesting.  I’m all signed up for Photography 101 to learn how to use my DSLR and to finally learn the skills to take better pictures…

ShootFlyShoot.com

I’m also giving their affiliate program a try and invite you to join me in learning! DIY Show Off - FacebookDIY Show Off - TwitterDIY Show Off - PinterestDIY Show Off - Feed

DIY Project Parade and patching holes

Mr. DIY installed recess lighting in our kitchen and one of the holes was put in the wrong spot.  No biggy.  Patching drywall is easier than it sounds. Please ignore the fingerprints. I always joke with Mr. DIY that he would not make it in a life of crime…he leave his prints everywhere!  Our ceiling is plaster and lathe.  We patch using drywall.

How to patch a hole:
1.  Insert a scrap piece of wood into the hole (for new drywall to attach to). If you’re patching a hole in the wall, you’ll need to add support or cut around the hole to a stud so that there is a way to support and attach a new piece.

2.  Screw the wood block into place.
3.  To get an idea of the shape/size of the hole, use a piece of paper to do a rough trace and cut small matching piece out of drywall (we have a lot of scraps).
4.  Secure the drywall into open hole using screws into the wood.
5.  Thanks to our friends at True Value, we used a drywall patch kit which consists of aluminum sticky mesh tape to help the drywall mud adhere.  
6.  Smooth on drywall mud (joint compound) in two even layers, allowing time to dry in between skim coats.
7.  Once dry, sand smooth.
8.  Apply a coat of primer and clean fingerprints if necessary. 
9.  Paint.
Can you tell where the mistaken hole was?  We can’t!
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I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
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Once again…thank you for sharing our sorrow and comforting words for us during our loss of our doxie, Niski.  It means SO much to us!