Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | August 6, 2022

Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | August 6, 2022

This week, learn how to clean old wallpaper and protect a wood-framed shower window from water damage. (Sandy Knollenburg/simplyzel, Getty Images)

Hour 1

In Hour 1, hear our suggestions for matching wood posts to vinyl, cleaning old wallpaper, and more.  

Matching Wood Posts to Vinyl

Split screen of an elevated porch
Matching these wooden support posts to the vinyl posts is as easy as applying a coat of paint. (Photos by Doug May)

Doug May has a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on his covered back porch. But, the view of his porch isn’t as pleasing.

“The upper part has vinyl sleeves over the top of the posts. Everything’s covered and it’s nice and smooth and white. But down below, it’s just pressure-treated wood, with all the cracks and gaps,” Doug says. 

He wants the wooden support posts on the ground to match the white vinyl posts on the porch above. What’s stopping him from covering the wood posts with vinyl is the diagonal wood braces. He’s worried about the hassle of connecting the many vinyl pieces on the diagonals and sealing them.

“What I want is the smooth look and feel of the vinyl on the posts below. Is there a way to do that?” Doug asks.  

Vinyl sleeves are expensive! If you want the posts to match, try this budget-friendly option: 

First, clean the wood posts and apply a coat of primer.

Then, use auto body filler (like Bondo) to skim out the cracks. Once that dries, lightly sand the posts. 

Then, caulk the areas where the diagonal braces meet the vertical posts. 

Finally, apply two coats of acrylic latex paint.

Once you do this, no one will know one set of posts is vinyl and the other set isn’t! The acrylic paint will give it a glossy look and seal the joints. 

If you decide you want to cover the posts with vinyl, remove one post at a time, including the diagonal supports, and attach the vinyl sleeves to each piece. 

Miter cut the ends of the sleeves to fit the diagonal brace posts, and thoroughly caulk each seam so water doesn’t get in.

Don’t caulk the bottom of the diagonal brace pieces where the wood meets the post. If water were to get inside the vinyl, you want it to be able to drain out and dry. 


Old wallpaper
Original wallpaper keeps an old home’s character true to its age. (Photo by Sandy Knollenburg)

How to Clean Old Wallpaper

Sandi Knollenburg bought a 100-year-old farmhouse in Bloomington, Ill., five years ago, and she’s been renovating it little by little.

Right now, she’s working on the stairwell area. The walls that extend from the first floor to the second are covered in wallpaper from the 1960s. She loves the pattern, and the wallpaper is still in pretty good shape! All it needs is a good cleaning.  

She asks, “What’s the best way to clean and preserve the wallpaper?”

Most modern wallpapers have an acrylic or latex coating that makes them washable and, in some cases, scrubbable. Older wallpaper is just plain paper, so you don’t want to get it wet. If you do, it will peel off the wall.

Try these options to remove the dirt and dust: 

  • Wipe the wallpaper with a large, dry sponge.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner.
  • Attach a microfiber cloth to a Swiffer-type mop for hard-to-reach spots.

To remove skids and scuffs, use a gum eraser. You can buy these at an art supply store. Another option is a dry Magic Eraser. If that doesn’t work, lightly dampen it.


Hour 2

In Hour 2, learn how to prevent wood rot in a shower window, remove sediment from water, and more.


Worried about water damaging a wood-framed shower window? Protect it with tile. (simplyzel, Getty Images)

Protecting a Wood Window Frame in a Shower

A caller needs advice on tiling around a window in his shower. The wood frame sticks out slightly, so he can’t tile over it. 

“What do you do to treat that to make it so that the water is not damaging that wood and causing wood rot, and more importantly that water is not getting behind that and causing damage to the shower?” he asks.

A lot of older houses have this problem. Typically, at one point in time, the bathroom had just a tub with a window above it. Then somewhere along the way, a shower was installed. 

I’ve seen a lot of homeowners put a shower curtain over the window but rarely does that last long.

To protect the wood frame from water damage, encapsulate the window frame with the tile. 

Before you lay the tile, be sure to caulk and paint the frame. Bring the tile up to the wood and then overlap extra tile over the window frame. This will protect the frame from the water and give it a nice, pronounced look. 

If water can still hit it directly, install a waterproof window.

To completely eliminate any chance of rood rot, remove the window and replace it with a vinyl one.  


Sick of sediment in your water? It’s time for a new water filter. (pixelshot)

Sediment in Water

Pablo Sandoval in Willow Creek, Calif., is sick of sediment in his water. His home draws water from a deep well and all wastewater flows into a septic tank. 

“For most of the year, the water supply is good, but every summer we have a problem with sediment that clogs aerators at sinks and showerheads. Plus, the washing machine takes forever to fill with water. What can we do to alleviate these issues?” he asks.

Sediment problems are more frequent in the summer because water levels are usually lower. There’s less water but the same amount of sediment in the system, so it finds its way to the pump and into your house. 

You’ll need to have a well water contractor take a look at your pump. You might need a new screening. 

Also, here are two options to consider:

  • Have a water well contractor install a sand separator on your pump. This device uses centrifugal force to push dirt, sand and debris outward to the separator wall and downward in a spiral motion. The cleaned water then rises and returns back to your plumbing system. 
  • Install a sediment filter in your house. There are several different options available, but we recommend the Braukmann Reverse rinsing fine filter.

Best New Product

Chamberlain 3/4 HP LED Video Quiet Belt Drive Smart Garage Door Opener with Integrated Camera If your home’s primary entrance is in the garage, then you’ll want Chamberlain’s new garage door opener with an integrated camera. Learn More >>

Simple Solutions

This Simple Solution keeps you from constantly refilling your kitchen soap dispenser. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Improved Soap Dispenser — Kitchen-sink soap dispensers hold such a small amount of liquid soap that it requires you to constantly refill the reservoir bottle. Here’s a better option:

  • Lift off the hand pump from the dispenser, pull off the plastic fill tube, and replace it with a long flexible quarter-inch-diameter tubing.
  • Feed the opposite end of the tubing down through the hole in the sink deck and place it in a large jug of liquid soap.

Now you’ll never have to refill the dispenser; simply replace the soap jug once it’s empty. 

Watch: Soap Dispenser Filling Tip

Gutter on the corner of a house with vinyl siding
If you’re installing gutters on vinyl siding, run the drill in reverse for smooth holes. (Garrett Aitken, Getty Images)

Smooth Cut in Vinyl Siding — When using a hole saw to drill through vinyl siding, run the drill in reverse. That way, the hole saw will create a nice clean hole with no rough edges.

Once you cut through the siding, switch the drill to forward and bore through the wall sheathing.


Other Products & Links Mentioned

Further Reading


Radio Show & Podcast: Send us your question!

If you have a comment, general question about home improvement, or something we’ve featured on Today’s Homeowner, please fill in this form:

Beautiful Bold Botanical Wallpaper from North & Nether

Beautiful Bold Botanical Wallpaper from North & Nether

A deep purple botanical wallpaper with a purple carpet and purple pouffe in front. An image of a woman with a cat n her shoulder and a lizard ion her arm with flowers obscurring her face hangs on the wall.

Rouge from the Vintage Floral collection features dahlias in rich crimson adding drama to your most intimate of spaces.

Botanical wallpaper is having a moment right now thanks to the huge surge in popularity of biophilic design. As we all seek to bring the great outdoors into our homes with all its associated benefits for our mental health and physical wellbeing botanical wallpaper is a relatively cheap and easy way to invite nature in.

North & Nether is the creation of Yorkshire-based Mara Nieuwsma who has used her background in fine arts and graphic design to launch a collection of statement botanical wallpaper that bridges the gap between home decor and art.

A beautiful teal and orange botanical wallpaper in a room with wooden floors. An open door is on the right and a closed door is on the left behind an upholstered orange chair.

Paradise from the Folklore collection features a vivid pattern of birds that pairs beautifully with antique furniture for an eclectic mix.

The British-manufactured luxury wallpapers are digitally printed in the UK, supporting local manufacturing whilst also being more sustainable. Digital printing also means that North & Nether can launch new designs more regularly and can easily create bespoke designs for clients.

A washbasin with mirror above in a grey bathroom with wall panelling on the lower half of the wall and botanical wallpaper above.

Mori from the Japandi collection is named for the chrysanthemum.

North & Nether launched earlier this year with five collections: Midnight Garden, Tropic, Folklore, Japandi, and Vintage Floral. Each luxury collection has four unique designs which are available in a single colourway. This brings the total to 20 luxury papers with another 10 planned for launch before the end of the year.

I wanted to design collections that would make a real statement on your walls – not blend into the background. The repurposing of found illustrations and objects, coupled with the inspiration of bygone eras and faraway lands, is at the heart of North & Nether designs. 

Mara Nieuwsma, Managing Director, North & Nether

A white free-standing bathtub on a marble floor with a green towel hanging over the side. A beautiful pink and blue floral wallpaper is on the walls

Robin from the Vintage Floral collection brings big, bold blooms in vibrant colours to your walls

The Midnight Garden collection was Nieuwsma’s original inspiration.

I wanted to pair elements together to create quirky designs that are a bit unexpected – such as Midnight Garden Thistle that has snakes twisting around the flower stems. Many of our designs lean towards darker colour palettes, which help to convey the theme of the collection.” 

Mara Nieuwsma, Managing Director, North & Nether

A utility room with black cabinetry and green floral wallpaper featuring bugs and butterflies.

Nightshade from the Midnight Garden collection has a lush bed of twisting vines and flowers being feasted on by beetles.

Now let’s be clear, these luxury botanical wallpapers make quite a statement. They are not for the faint-hearted or for lovers of the simplicity of minimalist interiors. These wallcoverings are for the bold and the brave. People who want to inject some personality into their home and let the walls make the biggest statement in the room.

A home office featuring aScandi-style oak desk and grey padded chair. Black botanical wallpaper on the wall featuring red and pink flowers and green leaves.

Opium from the Midnight Garden collection partners a grid of poppy species with honeybees.

They would be perfect for the 2022 trend of Joyous Maximalism that I wrote about late last year. This trend is an all-out explosion of colour, pattern and shape, particularly if it is playful and unexpected. Sounds like a perfect way to describe the botanical wallpaper by North & Nether.

A living room featuring a grey scalloped chair and a small black cabinet with table lamp on it. Black, green and pink botanical wallpaper is on the wall behind.

Palm from the Tropic collection showcases highly patterned butterflies against a linear palm print.

So if you are looking to spruce up your home and want to stand out from the crowd, consider choosing the wallpaper collections from North & Nether to add some Joyous Maximalism to the walls. If you’re not feeling brave enough to go all-in there is always the Japandi collection which is a little more understated and monochrome than the others.

Or alternatively, these beautiful botanical wallpapers would look fantastic framed in large antique frames hung on a wall painted in a colour of the same tonal hue as the paper. This would be a great option if you are renting and can’t personalise your space as much as you’d like. If you can’t even hang pictures, get a huge frame and stand it on the floor propped against the wall for added eclecticism.

So what do you think of the botanical wallpaper from North & Nether? Would you be keen to decorate with these unique statement wallpapers? Let me know in the comments below.

And don’t forget to pin this post for later.

Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | July 23, 2022

Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | July 23, 2022


Hour 1

In Hour 1 of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast, learn how to remove rusty bolts from concrete, get the most out of kitchen cabinet space and more.


Removing Rusty Bolts From Concrete

Rust can spread through concrete if you don’t eliminate or seal off the source. (Stolk, Getty Images Signature)

Cliff Dodd in Mobile, Ala., recently removed his pool diving board and pedestal base, but the severely rusty bolts are still embedded in the concrete.  

“When I took dive off, the bolts were three rusted mounds. I couldn’t differentiate between the nuts, bolts and washers,” he says.

He wants to know, is there a way to remove the bolts, and if not, what’s the best way to prevent these old bolts from rusting and having a rust stain on the concrete in the future?

Removing bolts from concrete can be tricky, because they were put there in the first place to stay put. To remove them, use a center punch tool to drill a hole in the middle of the bolt. Then, drill it out as much of the rusty bolt as you can. After that, use a hammer and cold chisel to crush what’s remaining of the bolt inward to get it below the surface. This way you’re not disturbing the concrete around it too much.

Another option is to grind the bolts down below the surface as much as you can. To do this, use a disc grinder, and make sure you wear safety gloves and glasses while doing it. Hone the grinder back and forth until the bolt is about a quarter-inch below the surface.

To prevent the rusted bolts from staining the concrete, spray or brush on two to three coats of metal primer over the rusted bolt. This will seal off the rust and keep it from spreading into the concrete. To keep the paint from getting onto the concrete surface, cut a hole that’s the same size as the bolt in a paper plate and place it over the bolt area.

Next, cover the holes with a concrete patch. The challenge when working with existing concrete is getting the patch to match. For a uniform look, apply a concrete resurfacer over the entire slab.


Getting the Most Out of Your Cabinet Space

Hand opening a kitchen cabinet
Pull-out shelves prevent an avalanche of Tupperware when you open cabinets. (sirawitt99, Getty Images)

Dorene in Pennsylvania needs some advice on her kitchen cabinet storage. 

She has pull-out shelves in her base cabinets, but half of them are broken. She’s ready to just remove them and install permanent half shelves. 

Our advice: Don’t install stationary shelves; repair or replace the pull-out shelves.

When you look at the cubic feet of storage in a cabinet, you’re only using about 50 percent of it with stationary half shelves. 

With a full pull-out shelf, you can use the most space and still have easy access to your items. 

Repairing the pull-out shelves could be as simple as replacing the slides. Purchase new slides through the manufacturer.  

To utilize even more cabinet space, consider installing a new pull-out shelf configuration. Home Depot offers many pull-out options, from corner cabinet pullouts to spice racks and more. 

Before buying, take careful measurements of the depth and width of a cabinet. Retrofitted pieces of hardware are only expandable to a certain degree. 


Hour 2

In Hour 2, we talk about the pros and cons of peel-and-stick wallpaper, the best paint for hardwood floors and more.


Pros and Cons of Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Roll of wallpaper sticking to wall
Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a temporary way to add style to a room. (asbe, Getty Images Signature)

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for renters or homeowners who like to change their interior design often.

Because the adhesive is already applied, you don’t have to worry about making a mess with paste.    

Before buying peel-and-stick wallpaper, consider the following:

Price: Prices for peel-and-stick wallpaper can vary. The cheaper it is, it will probably be more difficult to hang it smoothly. If you’re on a budget and going with the lowest price point, consider just using it for an accent wall. Also, keep in mind that the cheaper adhesive might damage your wall.

The higher in price you go, the easier the application and stronger the hold will be. Also, the more expensive types are easier to remove and leave behind less residue.

Location: Before putting up peel-and-stick wallpaper, take the room into consideration. A bathroom is very humid, so you need wallpaper with a strong adhesive. Otherwise, it might peel off by itself. 

Also, because peel-and-stick wallpaper is made from plastic, heat can melt it. Don’t install it near a stove or a fireplace. 

Our advice: Don’t buy the cheapest option. Buy mid-price peel-and-stick wallpaper and always check the reviews. If you find it costs the same as traditional wallpaper, you might as well hang regular wallpaper


Painting a Wood Floor

Paint roller on paint tray with white paint on wood floor
If you must paint a wood floor, be sure to prime it first. (mattjeacock, Getty Images)

Karen Pittman in Tennessee lives in an older home that needs new flooring. Her current floors are wood, but she says they’re not worth refinishing. 

“Until we can afford new flooring, is there a paint that will withstand the pitter patter of my 100-pound puppy’s little feet?” she asks.

We don’t often recommend painting a wood floor, but if it’s your only option, you need to use the right kind of paint. 

Behr Premium Low-Lustre Enamel Porch and Patio Floor Paint will hold up to the heavy foot traffic of that 100-pound “puppy.” An anti-slip option is also available. 

To paint the wood floors, prep it like you would any surface for painting and add a coat of primer. 

Read “Painting Wood Floors” for a detailed guide on how to do it. 


Red shade sail
A shade sail is a stylish way to seek shelter from the sun. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Around The Yard

This time of year we spend more and more time outside. But for many of us It’s just downright HOT in July. So finding some shade for our outdoor living spaces is a priority. If you don’t just happen to have a perfectly positioned tree over your deck or patio, here are some ideas that may give you some relief from the Summer sun. 

A pergola or arbor is the first thing many people think about when they want shade, but most of these structures don’t actually provide much of it on their own. Those vertically oriented boards across the top of them look really cool but they only block the sun at just the right angle. However, if you plant some climbing vines around the perimeter of the structure, in time they’ll create a canopy over the arbor that provides plenty of shade.

If early morning or late afternoon sun is a problem in your favorite spot, you may get some relief from a vertical hanging screen. The big decision here is whether you want to be able to move the screen when the sun isn’t intruding. Lattice panels are great for fixed screens but for a movable option, you might consider a rolling screen that works much like a window shade on a larger scale. I’ve even seen people make shade curtains from drop cloths with some success.

But by far the easiest and most popular way to produce shade is by hanging a fabric shade sail over the space. These are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors depending on your situation. The important thing to consider here is the tie-down locations. Be sure they’re sturdy enough to support the shade in the wind and allow some way to re-tension it since it will inevitably begin to sag over time. 

This Around The Yard segment is brought to you by Quikrete and Pavestone.


Best New Products

Temperature display on the Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill A smart grill takes the guesswork out of grilling. See why this new technology can make your barbecue better than ever. Learn more >>

Simple Solutions

Spray bottle spraying ammonia into outdoor trash can
Ammonia not only disinfects trash cans, but it also repels critters. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans — Fill a spray bottle with ammonia and spray the outside of your garbage cans to repel raccoons, dogs and other critters from knocking over and rummaging through your trash. Also, liberally spray the ammonia on the ground around the garbage cans. 

Watch: Tip for Disinfecting Outdoor Trash Can

DIY drywall pole sander made from a sponge mop
Converting a sponge mop into a pole sander can save you from stretching. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Improvised pole sander — A pole sander is great for sanding and smoothing lots of different surfaces, including walls, ceilings, decks and porches. However, if you don’t own a pole sander, you can make one from a sponge mop. Start by removing the sponge head from the mop and then wrap it in sandpaper. Screw the head back onto the mop and you’ve got a long-handled tool that’s ready for sanding.

Watch: Turn a Sponge Mop Into a Drywall Pole Sander


Other Products & Links Mentioned


Further Reading


Radio Show & Podcast: Send us your question!

If you have a comment, general question about home improvement, or something we’ve featured on Today’s Homeowner, please fill in this form:

The Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | July 23, 2022

The Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | July 23, 2022


Hour 1

In Hour 1 of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast, learn how to remove rusty bolts from concrete, get the most out of kitchen cabinet space and more.

Removing Rusty Bolts From Concrete

Rust can spread through concrete if you don’t eliminate or seal off the source. (Stolk, Getty Images Signature)

Cliff Dodd in Mobile, Ala., recently removed his pool diving board and pedestal base, but the severely rusty bolts are still embedded in the concrete.  

“When I took dive off, the bolts were three rusted mounds. I couldn’t differentiate between the nuts, bolts and washers,” he says.

He wants to know, is there a way to remove the bolts, and if not, what’s the best way to prevent these old bolts from rusting and having a rust stain on the concrete in the future?

Removing bolts from concrete can be tricky, because they were put there in the first place to stay put. To remove them, use a center punch tool to drill a hole in the middle of the bolt. Then, drill it out as much of the rusty bolt as you can. After that, use a hammer and cold chisel to crush what’s remaining of the bolt inward to get it below the surface. This way you’re not disturbing the concrete around it too much.

Another option is to grind the bolts down below the surface as much as you can. To do this, use a disc grinder, and make sure you wear safety gloves and glasses while doing it. Hone the grinder back and forth until the bolt is about a quarter-inch below the surface.

To prevent the rusted bolts from staining the concrete, spray or brush on two to three coats of metal primer over the rusted bolt. This will seal off the rust and keep it from spreading into the concrete. To keep the paint from getting onto the concrete surface, cut a hole that’s the same size as the bolt in a paper plate and place it over the bolt area.

Next, cover the holes with a concrete patch. The challenge when working with existing concrete is getting the patch to match. For a uniform look, apply a concrete resurfacer over the entire slab.


Getting the Most Out of Your Cabinet Space

Hand opening a kitchen cabinet
Pull-out shelves prevent an avalanche of Tupperware when you open cabinets. (sirawitt99, Getty Images)

Dorene in Pennsylvania needs some advice on her kitchen cabinet storage. 

She has pull-out shelves in her base cabinets, but half of them are broken. She’s ready to just remove them and install permanent half shelves. 

Our advice: Don’t install stationary shelves; repair or replace the pull-out shelves.

When you look at the cubic feet of storage in a cabinet, you’re only using about 50 percent of it with stationary half shelves. 

With a full pull-out shelf, you can use the most space and still have easy access to your items. 

Repairing the pull-out shelves could be as simple as replacing the slides. Purchase new slides through the manufacturer.  

To utilize even more cabinet space, consider installing a new pull-out shelf configuration. Home Depot offers many pull-out options, from corner cabinet pullouts to spice racks and more. 

Before buying, take careful measurements of the depth and width of a cabinet. Retrofitted pieces of hardware are only expandable to a certain degree. 


Hour 2

In Hour 2, we talk about the pros and cons of peel-and-stick wallpaper, the best paint for hardwood floors and more.


Pros and Cons of Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Roll of wallpaper sticking to wall
Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a temporary way to add style to a room. (asbe, Getty Images Signature)

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for renters or homeowners who like to change their interior design often.

Because the adhesive is already applied, you don’t have to worry about making a mess with paste.    

Before buying peel-and-stick wallpaper, consider the following:

Price: Prices for peel-and-stick wallpaper can vary. The cheaper it is, it will probably be more difficult to hang it smoothly. If you’re on a budget and going with the lowest price point, consider just using it for an accent wall. Also, keep in mind that the cheaper adhesive might damage your wall.

The higher in price you go, the easier the application and stronger the hold will be. Also, the more expensive types are easier to remove and leave behind less residue.

Location: Before putting up peel-and-stick wallpaper, take the room into consideration. A bathroom is very humid, so you need wallpaper with a strong adhesive. Otherwise, it might peel off by itself. 

Also, because peel-and-stick wallpaper is made from plastic, heat can melt it. Don’t install it near a stove or a fireplace. 

Our advice: Don’t buy the cheapest option. Buy mid-price peel-and-stick wallpaper and always check the reviews. If you find it costs the same as traditional wallpaper, you might as well hang regular wallpaper


Painting a Wood Floor

Paint roller on paint tray with white paint on wood floor
If you must paint a wood floor, be sure to prime it first. (mattjeacock, Getty Images)

Karen Pittman in Tennessee lives in an older home that needs new flooring. Her current floors are wood, but she says they’re not worth refinishing. 

“Until we can afford new flooring, is there a paint that will withstand the pitter patter of my 100-pound puppy’s little feet?” she asks.

We don’t often recommend painting a wood floor, but if it’s your only option, you need to use the right kind of paint. 

Behr Premium Low-Lustre Enamel Porch and Patio Floor Paint will hold up to the heavy foot traffic of that 100-pound “puppy.” An anti-slip option is also available. 

To paint the wood floors, prep it like you would any surface for painting and add a coat of primer. 

Read “Painting Wood Floors” for a detailed guide on how to do it. 


Red shade sail
A shade sail is a stylish way to seek shelter from the sun. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Around The Yard

This time of year we spend more and more time outside. But for many of us It’s just downright HOT in July. So finding some shade for our outdoor living spaces is a priority. If you don’t just happen to have a perfectly positioned tree over your deck or patio, here are some ideas that may give you some relief from the Summer sun. 

A pergola or arbor is the first thing many people think about when they want shade, but most of these structures don’t actually provide much of it on their own. Those vertically oriented boards across the top of them look really cool but they only block the sun at just the right angle. However, if you plant some climbing vines around the perimeter of the structure, in time they’ll create a canopy over the arbor that provides plenty of shade.

If early morning or late afternoon sun is a problem in your favorite spot, you may get some relief from a vertical hanging screen. The big decision here is whether you want to be able to move the screen when the sun isn’t intruding. Lattice panels are great for fixed screens but for a movable option, you might consider a rolling screen that works much like a window shade on a larger scale. I’ve even seen people make shade curtains from drop cloths with some success.

But by far the easiest and most popular way to produce shade is by hanging a fabric shade sail over the space. These are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors depending on your situation. The important thing to consider here is the tie-down locations. Be sure they’re sturdy enough to support the shade in the wind and allow some way to re-tension it since it will inevitably begin to sag over time. 

This Around The Yard segment is brought to you by Quikrete and Pavestone.


Best New Products

Temperature display on the Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill A smart grill takes the guesswork out of grilling. See why this new technology can make your barbecue better than ever. Learn more >>

Simple Solutions

Spray bottle spraying ammonia into outdoor trash can
Ammonia not only disinfects trash cans, but it also repels critters. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans — Fill a spray bottle with ammonia and spray the outside of your garbage cans to repel raccoons, dogs and other critters from knocking over and rummaging through your trash. Also, liberally spray the ammonia on the ground around the garbage cans. 

Watch: Tip for Disinfecting Outdoor Trash Can

DIY drywall pole sander made from a sponge mop
Converting a sponge mop into a pole sander can save you from stretching. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Improvised pole sander — A pole sander is great for sanding and smoothing lots of different surfaces, including walls, ceilings, decks and porches. However, if you don’t own a pole sander, you can make one from a sponge mop. Start by removing the sponge head from the mop and then wrap it in sandpaper. Screw the head back onto the mop and you’ve got a long-handled tool that’s ready for sanding.

Watch: Turn a Sponge Mop Into a Drywall Pole Sander


Other Products & Links Mentioned


Further Reading


Radio Show & Podcast: Send us your question!

If you have a comment, general question about home improvement, or something we’ve featured on Today’s Homeowner, please fill in this form:

How to Hang Wallpaper

How to Hang Wallpaper

Want to incorporate a creative pattern to a room? Hang wallpaper!

Pick a bold pattern for an accent wall or encase a whole room for an almost instant transformation.

There are two types of wallpaper: Pre-pasted and unpasted. 

Pre-pasted wallpaper has adhesive applied to the back of it. To activate, simply wet the back and begin to apply the wallpaper to the wall once it’s sticky. 

Unpasted wallpaper requires you to add the adhesive to the back in order to paper to the wall (or in this case the wall) in order for the wallpaper to stick.

Here’s how to hang wallpaper. 


Tools for hanging wallpaper: Tape measure, ruler, wallpaper
You don’t need special tools to hang wallpaper. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Materials


This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Steps to Hang Wallpaper

Chelsea Lipford Wolf makes a plumb line on a wall using a level
The plumb line is where two sheets of wallpaper meet. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

1. Establish a Plumb Line

Before you begin hanging wallpaper you’ll want to establish a plumb line adjacent to a corner. This straight, vertical line marks where the ends of two pieces of wallpaper will meet. Mark this line in an inconspicuous spot so the transition from one sheet of paper to the next is not as noticeable.  


Scissors cutting through wallpaper
Cutting wallpaper is much like cutting gift wrap. You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

2. Prep Wallpaper

Cut the paper itself an inch or so longer than the vertical dimension so it can be cut top and bottom. 

Tip: Roll the paper backward before you hang it so it lays more flat on the wall.


Roman wallpaper and border adhesive in a paint tray and a paint roller
A paint roller ensures an even coat of wallpaper adhesive. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

3. Apply Glue

Some wallpaper has self-adhesion and others require you to put the glue on the paper or wall while installing. This wallpaper specifies for the glue to be applied to the wall, rather than the paper, before hanging. 

Use a paint roller to roll the glue onto the wall, and apply the first sheet of wallpaper.


A smoother runs against wallpaper
A smoother removes air bubbles and keeps the wallpaper surface even. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

4. Remove Bubbles

To remove air bubbles while you’re hanging the wallpaper, use a smoothing tool. 


Matching a pattern on wallpaper
Pay close attention to the pattern so you’ll have a seamless transition from one sheet to the next. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. Match Pattern

Because there’s a pattern on this paper, we have to match up the pattern for each new piece. We line it up and mark the point where the top meets the ceiling so we can cut it to the proper length. 


Overlapping the seams of a patterned wallpaper
A slight overlap will accommodate any shrinkage after the glue dries. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

6. Overlap Seams

Overlap the seams by a little less than an eighth of an inch. This will eliminate any gaps if the wallpaper shrinks as the glue dries. 


Using a smoother and utility knife to trim wallpaper
A sharp utility knife creates a clean cut. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

7. Trim Excess Paper

To trim any excess wallpaper, use the smoothing tool as a straight edge along the top and bottom of each piece. This gives the paper a clean, sharp look to complete the installation.


Further Reading