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Super Handyman: Use magnets for an ‘attractive’ storage solution

Magnets are great for so many things. When using them in a busy workshop, we usually think of super storage ideas. You can glue strips of the magnets right to your shop wall and use them to hold on to metal screwdrivers, wrenches and other tools. But you can hold non-metal items on them, too, by just gluing a metal washer to the item and then sticking the metal washer on to the magnetic strip. It makes storage so much quicker and easier, and you easily can grab what you are looking for, too. You can find these magnetic strips at just about any hardware store or home center, and even some craft stores.


Q: I would like to know how to paint my old vinyl flooring. I’ve heard, if it’s in good shape, that you can do this and it will last a while. Can you tell me how to do it? – J.H.

A: The most time-consuming part of it is lightly sanding the whole surface to remove the gloss. This will allow the paint to stick better. You can try a chemical sander and see if that will work for you. Then use a primer and a couple of coats of paint. You might also want to add another layer of clear polyurethane to protect your paint finish and add some shine to the surface. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: I installed a couple of hanging paper towel racks above my workbench. I keep a roll of paper towels handy for quick cleanups. I also have all of my tape stored on the other paper towel roll holder. It’s the best way to store them all and they are easy to get to without having to take the rolls off the holder. You can mount these holders just about anywhere, and they even can hold other stuff, too. – H.M.


Dear Al: We have some trees overhanging our driveway that drop berries on the concrete. It makes horrible stains, which we are always fighting. We have found that if we cover the stain with powdered cleanser, like Comet for sinks, and let it stand on the stain overnight, it will wash off with the garden hose the next day. It works really well and is very easy to do. – S.B.


Dear Kelly: I bought a nice baker’s rack at a garage sale and put it in my guest room.

I thought it would be good to hold the TV and some other things for guests. It seemed a little rickety and I just felt like it wasn’t as sturdy as I wanted it to be. I had my husband cut two wooden shelves for it. He bolted them to the rack. That did the trick. – W.O.


Dear Carrells: I was having trouble getting the old silicone caulk off of the bathtub last weekend. I used WD-40 and a small putty knife and finally removed the old stuff. Once I got it started, it peeled right off. I think the WD-40 really helped. It also worked pretty well on the soap scum. Of course, then I had to clean the WD-40 off. The bathtub looks good now with the new caulk in place. – T.J.

A Super hint

If you have dated hardware, consider painting it instead of replacing it. Most spray paints come in a variety of finishes now that look just like the new, expensive hardware that everyone wants. It will be well worth the extra time involved in doing it.


Great Stuff, the expanding-foam-in-a-can folks, have just come out with some super Work Wipes. They come in a dispenser pack that seals back up after you take out a wipe. The wipes will clean up tough messes like silicone sealant, contact adhesive, uncured Great Stuff, paint, polyurethane, varnish, epoxy, grease, oil, tar and lots more. You can find them at your hardware store or home center and at

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