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Super Handyman: Make painting your bathroom even easier

Painting a bathroom is usually an easy project – small room, nothing too complicated, pretty straightforward. But working around the fixtures can be a little challenging. After all, you usually can’t move a toilet or a sink to paint behind it. But you can attach your paintbrush to a longer handle like a paint stir stick, ruler or a dowel rod.

This will enable you, in most cases, to get a layer of paint onto the wall without making a big mess. Try it and see if it might do the trick for you!

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Sagging shelves could mean you have too much stuff sitting on them. Even when you remove things, they still might sag, because they have been overloaded for such a long time. Well, there’s an easy fix for this. If you can remove the shelf, just flip it upside down and slip it back into place. It might bow upward a little bit, but it should settle back into place in no time at all. It doesn’t seem like it could be that simple, but it really can be. Try it!

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Q: Our family room has a very boring fireplace. It has a plain, beige tile surface around the front opening, and I’m dying to change it up and make it look better. What can I do to give it a more modern look? Can I replace the tiles? Can I just cover them? – R.A.

A: Well, you can paint the tiles or replace the tiles. You can use mirror tiles or use rock over the tiles. It’s really up to you. You might also consider replacing your gas logs with special “glass logs.” Check your fireplace shop for some interesting ideas.

Tips from readers

I have a mop that has a twist-off head so I can throw it into the washing machine and clean it when it gets dirty. This works out to be pretty economical, except that it’s kind of a loose fit now. I fixed it, though, by wrapping a scrap of steel wool around the threads of the handle as I was twisting the head back on. This took up the slack and it fits tight now. – T.N.

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I try to make things easier, especially when it’s a hard chore. We took our patio furniture to the local drive-thru car wash instead of trying to wash it with a garden hose. We even used the spray-on wax to keep from rusting over during the winter. This is the way to go from now on! – B.T.

Super HandyMom tip

I would love to be able to use an over-the-door wreath hanger, but I’ve sealed my door up too tightly. What I did instead was install a long, wide strip of metal ribbon stapled to the inside of the door at the top so that it goes over the door from the inside and hangs down on the outside. I attached a hook to the end so I can hang different wreaths on it, for each season. Best of all, my door still is tightly sealed against the weather.