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The Super Handyman: Use old shelves in the garage

We recently upgraded one of our closets by adding better shelving and more closet racks. I took the old ones out to the garage to use for storage out there. I have to say, the closet looks great, and we have so much more storage space in there now. I decided to put the old shelf brackets on the long wall down the side. I added a shelf to the setup for some great storage in the garage. But that’s not all: I had a stack of leftover pipe piled up in the corner that I had used for another project. I placed it under the shelf in the little triangles created by the shelf bracket. This turned out to be a super storage space for this material, and got it up off the floor and out of my way. It also would work well for molding, trim, dowels and other long materials.


Dear HandyMom: I use an old paper-towel holder for all of my tape in the workshop. The paper-towel holder is a metal rod that fits onto a base. I just slip the rolls of tape down onto the rod. I can stack several rolls on it, and they are all right where I can find them when I need some tape. It’s so much handier to store them this way rather than in a box. – V.R.


Dear Kelly: I cleaned out one of my cabinets and sorted through my old vases. I found several that I could donate to a thrift store and several that I wanted to give to friends. I really needed to get them clean before doing anything, and I could tell it was going to be hard to get something inside the vases to scrub with. I sprayed some foamy shower cleaner inside and let it work. It did a great job, and most of them came out looking new again. – H.N.


Q: I have always been told that you should paint wood with glossy paint and walls with matte. Why is that, and can I use a glossy paint on my kitchen walls? – D.L.

A: Paint has come a long way since these were hard-and-fast rules. The reason that people used a glossy paint on woodwork was so it could be more easily cleaned. The reason for the matte finish on walls was to disguise bumps and other imperfections on those walls. But today’s paints are easier to clean, so you can use whatever paint you want, wherever you want it.


A tip from the Super HandyMom: I have a couple of toolboxes, but rarely use them outside of the garage. They are just too heavy to lug along. But I do use my ice chest as a tool carrier. It’s lightweight, and best of all, it has wheels! Maybe that’s why some of the newer toolboxes come with wheels already on them. Well, I’m sticking with my ice chest for now.

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