A worn wood floor may be able to be restored without sanding. (Stock Xchange)
While it is nice to buy new things for the home, sometimes it is more practical — and cost effective — to refresh an item rather than replace it. Obviously, we aren’t talking about an item that would cost more to repair than replace. But often there are things that can be inexpensively updated with the proper products and a little elbow grease or the use of a professional contractor.
Good examples are kitchen or bathroom cabinets. If they are structurally sound and just need to be refreshed, there are a couple of ways to inexpensively bring them back to life.
“New cabinets can be very expensive, so we have a lot of customers who want to give them a fresh look and save a lot of money by painting or restoring them,” said Brian Eisbrenner of Shelby Paint & Decorating, (586) 739-0240, www.shelbypaint.com.
Eisbrenner said it’s possible to paint cabinets for around $200. First use a deglosser to prepare the cabinets and then put on a bonding primer such as Stix from Insl-X (www.insl-x.com). Then use a waterborne alkyd paint like Benjamin Moore’s Advance (www.benjaminmoore.com).
“A waterborne alkyd dries hard and won’t show brush marks. It’s also low VOC and features easy cleanup with soap and water,” Eisbrenner said.
If the woodgrain cabinets are just dull, you can bring them back to life, Eisbrenner said you can use a product like Restore-A-Finish from Howard (www.howardproducts.com). Restore-A-Finish is also for reviving wood furniture and wood bannisters.
For vinyl or linoleum flooring that has lost its luster, a good deep-cleaning with Armstrong New Beginning (www.armstrong.com) vinyl floor stripper followed with a coat of Armstrong Shine Keeper will restore the gloss. Armstrong also makes its own linoleum cleaner and linoleum floor polish.
If hardwood floors are dull, use a quality hardwood floor cleaning system such as Bruce Hardwood and Laminate floor cleaner (www.bruce.com) or the Bona Pro Series Hardwood Refresher (www.bona.com) to restore the shine.
If you need to refinish your hardwood floors, try Rust-Oleum’s Varathane Renewal (www.rustoleum.com) that lets you refinish without stripping or sanding the old surface. You can also get professional hardwood cleaning products and advice on refinishing floors at Crandall Worthington, (800) 809-4171, www.crandallwc.com, in Ferndale.
A garage door is another item on the home that can be inexpensively updated with a fresh coat of paint. And even if it has some mechanical issues, it can often be repaired to extend the door’s life.
“Proper maintenance of the garage door spring along with periodic adjustments will help it last a long time without needing to be replaced,” said Scott Bailey, sales manager at Gallery of Doors in Shelby Township, (586) 739-6218, www.galleryofdoors.net. Bailey said that even includes the old one-piece doors.
Windows are another item in the home that you can repair and refresh to save you the cost of replacing them. Companies like H&R Window Repair, (248) 544-8282, www.hrwindowrepair.com; and Independent Window Repair, (586) 749-4449, www.iwrinc.com, can provide the parts and service to repair your windows to get them working properly. If your windows are sound but drafty, you can solve that problem this winter without replacing them by getting an interior storm window panel from EZ Storm Panels, (313) 469-9689, www.ezstormpanels.com. These panels fit on the inside of your windows to seal out drafts.
As your home ages, so do its parts. Even if you aren’t a do-it-yourself type, it can still be a more cost effective solution to hire a professional to repair or update something rather than buying a new one.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.