NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

March 21, 2013

Toolbox Checkbox

Stock up to tackle most any home project

Family Features
Newburyport Daily News

---- — The do-it-yourself movement in home improvement continually grows stronger as a way for people to update their homes while saving money. If you’re one of those DIYers ready to get to work, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job, no matter what that job is.

Painting Prep

Repainting a room is a quick, inexpensive home project that can make a dramatic difference.

It’s important to make repairs and clean and prime the walls before applying that first coat. Pre-gummed fiberglass repair tapes and premixed patching compounds allow you patch and paint in the same day. For an older home, wash walls with a trisodium phosphate solution and a sponge.

Traditional brushes and rollers are tried and true, but the newest technological innovation on the market can speed up the process, such as a cordless paint sprayer.

Organizing Your Life

Closet and garage organization systems increase the amount of usable storage space by using vertical space.

For working in tight spaces, a right-angle drill can be useful. The use of power tools with lithium-ion batteries, as opposed to traditional ni-cad batteries, can make the job easier — the tools are lighter, the batteries last four times longer, and the charge doesn’t fade so you have power for the entire job.

Cabinet Facelift

By updating cabinet doors and replacing or installing drawer pulls and other hardware, you can change the look of your kitchen without the time and expense of a complete remodel. Try using a cordless drill kit to spruce up your kitchen with ease.

Renewing the Deck

Old paint and stain should be scraped off the wood, and then the wood should be sanded. A stiff-bristle brush should be used to remove any flaking stain or dirt. For pressure-treated decks, an orbital sander can smooth out rough areas on deck boards, railings or stair treads.

Before cleaning and refinishing a deck, you need to check posts, supports and decking for loose, weak or damaged areas, then replace or repair as needed. To handle long or large screws and bolts, an impact driver.

Project Clean Up

For small post-project clean ups, keep household wipes handy - not only can you clean up any spills or smudges you made, you can clean up your hands, too. For bigger jobs, a wet/dry vacuum can do wonders. It can do all the traditional things a regular vacuum can, while also getting into hard-to-reach areas and cleaning spills and liquids.

Battery Buying Guide - Lithium-ion batteries produce a consistent charge throughout the life of the battery. Ni-cad batteries lose power as the battery runs. - Lithium-ion batteries can be charged many more times than ni-cad batteries, and are not damaged by leaving the charger on too long. - Lithium-ion batteries are lighter than ni-cad batteries, allowing for smaller, more powerful outdoor and power tools.