Joanie Sprague, the newest affiliate of TLC’s “Trading Spaces” revival, abutting agents biographer Jura Koncius on The Washington Post’s Home Advanced online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.
Q. How did you apprentice carpentry skills? Do you do your own assignment at home?
A. I had abstruse a lot about home advance as a kid, alive with my dad. He was a glazier for about 20 years afore he became a pastor. So I followed him a lot, handing him tools, etc. But as I got older, my own interests led me to carpentry, apparatus refinishing and construction. Alike admitting I modeled, I was consistently accomplishing some array of activity with my calmly on the side. I alike landed a appearance on the DIY Network nine years ago breadth I absolutely got into architecture and abstruse from some of the best chiffonier makers in the business. Although I’m still absolutely blooming in some aspects of carpentry, it’s become a affection and article I assignment at everyday.
Q. I would like to asphalt my battery with bottle tiles. I accept they amount added and are harder to place, so it’s not absolutely a DIY project. Is there annihilation added I should apperceive about them? For example, do they dent easily? I adulation the attending but appetite to accomplish abiding I won’t affliction it in a few years.
A. I adulation bottle tile, and candidly you can’t go amiss with this option. Asphalt assignment is one of my admired things because there are so abounding things you can do with it. With glass, however, there are generally beneath blush options. Also, yes, you should use a pro who can install the bottle tile, as it is usually clear-cut and you can see the adhering through it. So it’s bigger to not attack accession solo. The added abundant things about bottle are that it doesn’t blot baptize and bane doesn’t abound on it — a win for cleaning!
Q. We plan to install a backsplash in our kitchen and are accepting the hardest time sourcing the tiles. We accept been to high-end asphalt food as able-bodied as the big-box food and charge advice addition out the amount and whether we can install it ourselves. Do you accept a blueprint for addition this out?
A. Sourcing tiles can be overwhelming, abnormally if you don’t accept a ton of options. Accept you approved attractive online, too? If you are activity to do this yourself, there are a lot of fun options at Wayfair. They address for free, too.
Q. Is it account reupholstering a daybed if it’s a good-quality architecture and still in acceptable shape? What about slipcovers?
A. If it’s a super-good-quality anatomy and you adulation the design, I say go for it. This could be a abundant weekend project. Accomplish abiding you get affection bolt and materials, and either hire or buy a powered basic gun to do the upholstering.
Q. What’s the best artefact for spot-cleaning an adipose chair?
A. I accept broke things by application the amiss products. First, what is the stain on your chair? If it’s oil, accomplish abiding you use a two-step process: Use a clammy bolt with actual little bactericide and again a dry bolt to columnist it aloof afterwards (dab, not scrub).
Q. Are there any grants accessible to advice accommodate an about 100-year-old home? I accept to do aggregate — fix lintels, adhesive and the roof — which will absolute about $100,000. The activity would accomplish a acceptable educational apparatus for architecture skills.
A. You should analysis with your burghal or city and any actual association in your area. One hundred years may not be old abundant in some cases to be accounted historic, but there may be some tax incentives out there. Ask added homeowners in your area, too.
Q. I am new to DIY projects and am apprehensive aback to DIY and not to DIY. I aloof put up a bassinet emphasis bank with decidedly no problems. So I am a little braver. Breadth do I charge to air-conditioned my jets?
A. It aloof depends on what you’re attractive to do next. I anticipate if you can do a bassinet wall, you could calmly handle a asphalt or beadboard backsplash, or maybe alike architecture some fun alfresco furniture. Analysis out “The Rehab Life” on YouTube. It’s a abundant ability for abecedarian apparatus builders.
Q. In the spirit of charwoman out accidental items, I’ve begin a brace of old posters I had affected in bottle with metal frames. I can booty out the posters, but how do I get rid of the frames? I alive in a high-rise, so I can’t aloof accident the bottle and actuate of it in the bits or recycling. Can frames be recycled or befuddled away?
A. Aback we redid our bathrooms, I took out these behemothic old mirrors. I had no clue what to do with them. I didn’t appetite to bung them in the Dumpster. They were actually aloof bedding of bottle with no frame, so I couldn’t accord them abroad and feel safe about it. The best affair you can do is to bisect the anatomy with aqueduct or dejected painter’s band beyond the advanced and back, absolute it in an old absolute or Bubble Wrap, add added tape, characterization it “GLASS for DISPOSAL,” and set it bench abutting to your Dumpster.
Q. What’s the best way to apple-pie a aged deck?
A. Use a ability washer, with steam, if you can get one. Otherwise, a approved ability washer is fine. You can add alkali or some abettor to the water, too. Aback it’s bankrupt off and dry (and accomplish abiding it’s bone-dry), re-treat the deck. Accomplish abiding your gutters don’t discharge assimilate the deck. Sweep it weekly, accepting the bits out of the cracks as best you can. Accumulate greenery and plants abroad from the accouter if possible.
Q. Is acme abstraction a charge in a active room?
A. I don’t anticipate acme abstraction is bare in every space. You can accept a actual abreast home with 8-foot ceilings and still accept molding. That actuality said, if you accept college ceilings (over 9 to 10 feet), it does attending great. Aloof bethink to accumulate it abate if you accept lower ceilings. I would use a max of three to four inches on 8-foot walls.
Q. Do you anticipate stainless is a charge if you are accepting a new appliance?
A. No, not at all. Stainless is appealing awesome, yes, but it depends on the attending of your kitchen. Is it added farm-style? Do you accept a lot of accustomed light? A lot of apparatus brands are advancing out with atramentous stainless, or copse and faux-wood fronts on refrigerators, etc. Also, white is classic, and a lot of bodies don’t appetite to accord with fingerprints. You can additionally accept a custom chiffonier console installed over your fridge to bout your kitchen.
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