Share this article

print logo

The Super Handyman: A neater way to do grout

Grouting a small area, such as what you would have with a tile replacement, doesn’t have to be a messy project. One way to keep things neat and tidy, and to get the grout right where you want it, is to put it into a squeeze bottle for easier dispensing. The top should be about as wide as you want your grout joint to be. Just put some ready-to-use grout into the container and slowly squeeze it right into the joints you need to fill. Smooth it off for a nice finish, and you’re done. Less mess and perfect results!


Dear Kelly: I renovated my closet and added some built-in storage. I love it! I had been using over-the-door shoe organizers that I moved out to the garage. The new cubicles for my shoes are like a slice of heaven. But I knew I could find a good use for these old shoe holders in the shop. And sure enough, I did. I hung them right on the garage wall, and have filled the pockets with all sorts of shop things, including tools, paint and a lot of other items that I like to use for household repairs. – G.M.

A super hint

If you want to give your bathroom an upgrade without breaking the bank, add some granite. You can buy remnants of granite for not much money, and even have them cut to fit your bathroom vanity and sink. This looks great, and can give your bathroom a great look for less money than you might think. Check it out for yourself.


Dear Ms. Carrell: Years ago, I bought a garden cart. It’s seen better days. This summer, the wheels started to deteriorate, and I thought about throwing it away. But I shopped at my hardware store and found some really great heavy-duty wheels that I could use to replace the old plastic ones. These are wonderful and look like they will last for a long time. As an added bonus, these don’t scratch the deck like the old ones used to. I guess I should have done this a long time ago. – H.Z.


Q: We have a standard built-in fireplace in our family room. We are going to change the look of the room, and plan to brighten it up. Is there a way to paint the fireplace white or beige? It’s black right now and just sticks out too much in the room. Can we match it to the walls? - D.G.

A: You need to use a high-temperature paint that is made just for fireplaces. Talk to a paint dealer and see if he has something that you like. He also might be able to match your wall color, in some cases.


The Little Red Cap is one of the coolest products I’ve come across in a while. It falls under the “Why didn’t I think of that?” category. These reusable caps are flexible, sort of like a rolled-up balloon, and will roll onto a lot of different containers in order to seal them up, preserving what is inside the bottle. In the workshop, they are perfect for caulking tubes and several types of glue bottles. You also can use them on felt markers, electrical connections, pneumatic tool inlets, screwdriver tips and plier teeth, grease-gun tips and lots of other things. Check them out at your favorite hardware store or home center. You can find out more at

Got a question or a handy tip? Visit