Paint roller with blue paint on it, resting on an open paint bucket
If you’re thinking of painting your home’s exterior during self-isolation from COVID-19, we’ve got expert advice to make it successful.

Self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic has driven up demand for building materials as more and more homeowners tackle do-it-yourself projects.

But there are the projects you plan to work on, and then there are those that surprise you and you’re not sure what to do about them.

Maybe you suddenly took a good look at your concrete steps and noticed they’re worn and chipped. You know that fixing them doesn’t require replacing all of the concrete, but you’re also not certain about the best solution.

Or self-isolation has you spending more time on the porch swing, and you noticed how worse it looks for the wear after constant exposure to the sun. But, how to restore it is a mystery.

Perhaps you’re ready to paint or stain a project, but you want to do it right this time and need to know about the kinds of additives you’ll need. (There are some that prevent mildew, insects and even brush strokes from compromising the project.)

If you’re thinking of one of these projects during self-isolation, we’ve got expert advice to make it successful.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for these and more home improvement tips!

  • [skipto time=2:22][ 2:22][/skipto] ‘My porch swing has been exposed to the hot afternoon sun. I need to refinish it, but which varnish should I use?’
  • [skipto time=6:13][ 6:13][/skipto] ‘How do you replace expansion joints in a driveway?’
  • [skipto time=9:43][ 9:43][/skipto] Discussing paint and stain additives such as mildewcides, insecticides and brush-stroke eliminators
  • [skipto time=13:46][ 13:46][/skipto] ‘I have a sulfur smell in the water heater. What can I do about it?’
  • [skipto time=15:25][ 15:25][/skipto] ‘What can I do to remove scuff marks on my composite kitchen floor?’
  • [skipto time=16:48][ 16:48][/skipto] How to cut the bottoms off mason jars for crafting
  • [skipto time=18:08][ 18:08][/skipto] Best New Products: Samsung High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer
  • [skipto time=19:54][ 19:54][/skipto] ‘The rubber backing from my throw rugs is stuck to the ceramic tile floor — how can I remove it?’
  • [skipto time=21:33][ 21:33][/skipto] ‘What is the best product to clean the outside of the gutters?’
  • [skipto time=24:21][ 24:21][/skipto] ‘The wood siding on my home is dirty and turning green. What’s the best cleanser to use to wash my siding?’
  • [skipto time=26:10][ 26:10][/skipto] ‘My concrete steps have some chunks and chips missing. What can I do about them?’
  • [skipto time=28:44][ 28:44][/skipto] Simple Solution: A great way to store driver bits using a fishing accessory
  • [skipto time=30:32][ 30:32][/skipto] Question of the Week: ‘How can I keep squirrels off my bird feeders?’

Simple Solutions

Gravel Entry — Traffic in and out of a shed will often trample down and wear out the ground near the entrance. As a result, the area will become sunken, and turn into a soggy, muddy mess after a rainstorm.
To prevent further erosion, make a simple landing pad out of a few 2x4s and some gravel. Build a rectangular frame out of pressure-treated 2x4s and set it on the ground in front of the entrance.
Use a shovel to cut down into the ground around the outside of the frame. Move the frame out of the way and dig out about 3 inches of dirt.
Line the bottom of the excavated hole with landscaping fabric, then set the frame into place and fill it with gravel. Compact the gravel with a hand tamper or long 4×4.
Finally, add more gravel to completely fill the 2×4 frame.

Storage for Driver Bits — Keep all your screw-driving bits neatly organized with a plastic container intended for fishing tackle.
These clear containers are surprisingly durable, have hinged lids that snap closed, and feature customizable dividers for separating bits by type and size.
And the containers are super-affordable: one that’s about 2 x 9 x 14 inches costs $12 and can be divided into as many as 28 compartments.

Question of the Week

Q: Evelyn in Michigan asks, “How can I keep the squirrels off my bird feeders?”

A: Buy a squirrel-proof bird feeder, particularly one with a wire baffle that surrounds the outside, preventing squirrels’ entry. Some bird-feeders also have squirrel-proof doors that close upon detecting a squirrel’s weight.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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