Share this article

print logo

The Super Handyman: Use junction boxes for storage

I’m definitely not an electrician, but I’ve replaced a few outlets and minor things like that. Over time, I have collected a few junction boxes of various sizes and types. A good thing you can do with these is install them on a pegboard wall - or any wall, for that matter. Placed with the open side facing upward, you can use them to hold tools, hardware and many other things. They are lightweight and have installation holes ready for use. Some even come with screws, and they are inexpensive should you want to buy them.


Dear Kelly: I found some great lamps for my family room at a thrift store. I thought they would look great, but the color was all wrong. I went to my paint store and bought the right color and just painted them. They do look perfect, and I’m sure I saved a bundle buying at a thrift store and then painting them to match. It was a lot of fun! – D.G.


Super hint

When you have a clogged drain, there are several ways to bust it. There’s the plunger, a plumbing snake and your shop vacuum. Yes, you can sometimes remove a clog with your shop vacuum!


Dear Ms. Carrell: I finally decided to replace my old ladder. It was starting to get a little wobbly, and I was afraid I would fall off of it. The new one is so much better. They have made a lot of improvements, like storage holes on the top step to keep tools stored so they won’t fall off. It also is much more stable, and weighs less. If you haven’t checked out the new ones, do so. You might decide to replace yours, even if it is still in pretty good shape. – N.C.


Q: I was thrilled to find a local tile importer and bought enough tiles for my sunroom. These are from Mexico and are handmade. They look great but are not sealed. What must I do to prepare them to look good and last a long time in our sunroom? – K.P.

A: It’s going to be best if you seal them before placing them on the subfloor. Use a penetrating sealer and just follow the package directions. This will protect them and bring out the color. If you can apply a second coat, it should last longer. Keep in mind that you may have to apply another sealer to the surface every few years to keep it protected.


Dear Super HandyMom: My office is more of a craft room these days. I took most of my old books to a resale store and bought some storage bins to hold more of my craft stuff. I went back to the resale store and asked them for some old, damaged books at a big discount. I took the books to a friend and had her cut the spines off the books, then glued them to the storage bins to make it look like a row of books. The room looks neat and has tons more storage. – T.B.


You need to see the Paint Handy to completely understand how it works. It’s a really innovative paint tool that completely eliminates spills while you are painting with a brush or small roller. It’s a flat basic tray that holds a good amount of paint. It has a protective shield over the top that allows you to carry your paint supply, even upside down, up a ladder while working. You have to see it to believe it, so go to and watch the video for yourself.

Got a question or a handy tip? Visit