Smart thermostats have been around for a while now. In fact, Google Nest was actually one of the first companies to introduce the technology — now they have a new product.
By now, most of us know the value of a smart thermostat, even if we don’t have one yet. They can save energy by automatically turning the temperature up or down when we leave the house. In addition, they allow us to can control them from anywhere with our smartphones and other devices.
The new Google NestThermostat takes that a step further by offering voice control through the Google Home app so you can change the temperature without getting off the couch or out of bed. Just say, “Hey Google, turn up the heat” — I could really get used to that!
It also looks out for your heating and cooling system. If something doesn’t seem right, it can send an alert or it can send you helpful reminders when it’s time to change your filter.
In addition to Google, the Nest also works with Alexa on other smart devices and it’s easy to install yourself — usually in 30 minutes or less.
In this special episode of Today’s Homeowner Podcast, I’m talking to Trevor Stromquist, Sales Manager at 3M, about products that can make moving out less stressful.
Moving anywhere can be a stressful process. Whether it’s to a different country, a different state, or even just down the street — but planning the trip can take off lots of stress.
For instance, purging unwanted items and donating them or selling them can clear up space and leave you with less to pack.
When it comes to packing, you can find hundreds of 3M products at TheHome Depot to help make your move easy. Like painter’s tape, Scotch tape, packaging tape, products to fix your walls if they are damaged, and so much more!
Hang Things Without Damaging Your Walls
Beyond the task of packing, you may have to do some touch-ups to your home before moving. There might be some paint touch-ups here and there, or covering up nail holes left from pictures hung on the wall.
Instead of nails, Command Hooks are a great alternative that we absolutely love. The application and removal are easy and there’s no need to worry about damage.
There’s also a new product joining the Command Hook family for those heavier items you want to hang. The 3M Claw is heavy duty and can hang up to 50 pounds!
Using Packaging Tape That Won’t Fail
There’s nothing more frustrating about moving out than having the wrong-size box, or having a box that pops open during the trip.
3M has a full line of Scotch Packaging Tape to help with that. Scotch Box Lock Packaging Tape is heavy-duty and comes off the roll quietly. It sticks to any box and will keep your box closed so you don’t have to worry about your items falling out!
Want to quickly identify which box goes where? We all know about marking boxes with a permanent marker, but here’s a pro tip: Color-code your boxes for different rooms of your house.
That will make packing and unloading your boxes much more efficient!
To learn more about the trusted brands at 3M and tips to make your move less stressful, click here.
Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!
You can easily update your kitchen cabinets by painting them. However, a good paint job depends on a great prep job. Prepare the surface properly so the paint will adhere and not peel or chip over time.
While you can paint cabinets with a brush, a sprayer is faster and leaves a smoother surface.
Preparing the Surface
Before you can start painting the kitchen cabinets, you need to prepare the surface. Prepping usually is the longest part of the job, and it’s the most important part to ensure the finishing coats properly cover the cabinets.
1. Remove doors and drawers: Take the doors and hardware off the cabinet boxes and remove drawers and hardware from the cabinets. You will paint the doors and drawers separately.
2. Place the doors on sawhorses. Spreading the doors on two-by-fours stretched between sawhorses will allow you to prep and paint without moving the doors.
3.Clean the Cabinets: Clean all surfaces thoroughly with a household cleaner to remove any grease or grime.
4. Sand the Cabinets: Lightly sand all the surfaces. If the old finish is in good condition, you don’t have to sand it down to bare wood, just until it’s smooth and free of gloss.
A pad sander with 220-grit paper will make quick work of the flat areas and a sanding sponge is ideal for curved edges and recesses. The goal here is to rough up the surface enough to accept the primer.
If there is any greasy residue left after sanding, mineral spirits will remove it.
5. Remove the dust: Vacuum off any sanding dust, and then wipe the cabinets down with a clean, damp cloth.
Priming and Painting the Kitchen Cabinets
1. Prime the cabinets: Apply an oil-based, stain-blocking primer to the cabinets. Oil-based primers adhere and block stains better than latex primers.
We’re using a high-volume, low-pressure spray gun to apply both the primer and paint. These sprayers are inexpensive and user-friendly but the operator should be protected by a respirator.
When you spray paint, it’s important to keep the spray tip a consistent distance from the surface and make slow passes back and forth. Each pass should begin and end beyond the edge of the door so there’s no buildup of paint on the edges.
We’re using the same sprayer on the cabinet boxes inside since the floors are covered and the room is sealed.
In this case, we’re painting the inside of the cabinets to avoid overspray marks or the need to mask each opening of the cabinets.
2. Cover imperfections. After the primer dries, fill any holes or dents with a two-part auto body filler. After the filler has hardened, sand it smooth with the surface. You also may need to putty nail holes or caulk cracks and seams.
3. Paint the cabinets: Use a high-quality woodwork enamel paint on your kitchen cabinets. You can use oil or latex paints, though they each have their advantages and disadvantages:
Oil-based paint has a smoother surface and dries harder than latex; but it requires a solvent like mineral spirits for clean-up, has a strong odor, and slowly dries.
Latex paint cleans up easily with water, comes in low and no VOC (volatile organic compounds) formulas, and dries quickly; but it shows brush marks more, is softer, and tends to imprint, allowing items placed on shelves to stick unless shelf paper is applied.
I prefer a medium gloss (such as semigloss or eggshell) paint for kitchen cabinets, though high gloss holds up well. Avoid using flat paint on kitchen cabinets, since it doesn’t clean as well.
Apply the paint, sanding lightly between coats. Spraying the doors horizontally reduces the risk of drips, which can mar the finish.
Allow the two coats of finish paint to dry thoroughly before handling the doors and replacing the hardware.
If you’re changing hardware, consider buying new hinges with the same footprint as the old ones. This will simplify installation and hide any indentations left by the old hinges.