Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | December 17, 2022

split image of hands using an oscillating multi-tool and a close up of pressure-treated boards
This week, hear why Joe thinks an oscillating tool is a great gift for a DIYer. And: learn how long you should wait until you paint pressure-treated boards. (3 Echoes Content Studio/mannphoto, Getty Images Signature)

Hour 1

Hear Joe’s gift ideas for DIYers, how to fix a malfunctioning tub faucet, and more.


6 Great Gift Ideas for DIYers

An oscillating tool is great for getting into tight spaces, and it comes with a variety of attachments for different applications. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

If you’re looking for great gift ideas for DIYers, there are plenty of options. Here are Joe’s personal favorites. 

  1. BUCKET BOSS Tool Organizer: This is great for organizing and storing your tools, as it is designed to fit most 5-gallon buckets and is made from tough and durable ripstop poly fabric. It has multiple pockets and compartments to keep your tools organized and secure, as well as a reinforced bottom to ensure the bag stands up to heavy use. It also has a hook-and-loop closure, so it can be easily opened and closed.
  2. WORX folding worktable: The Worx Pegasus Multi-Function Work Table and Sawhorse is a versatile and handy tool for any home or workspace. It features a 32-by-25-inch work surface and four quick clamps to securely hold materials. It also includes two durable pegs that can hold up to 200 pounds each, allowing you to use the surface for multiple tasks, such as sawing, sanding, painting, and more. With its lightweight and easy-to-store design, this work table and sawhorse is the perfect solution for any workshop.
  3. Telescoping magnetic pick-up tool: This simple hand tool extends out like an old radio antenna. It has a magnet on the end to pick up metal parts. It’s also the perfect tool to use when you drop your keys between your car seat and console!
  4. Right angle attachment for a drill driver: This is essential for those hard-to-reach areas that require drilling. For example, it’s difficult to drill a hole in the corner of a room without the right angle attachment. It also allows you to drill at awkward angles and in tight spaces. The right-angle attachment also greatly reduces fatigue and makes drilling easier and more efficient.
  5. Laser distance measurer: If you want quick measurements for the square footage of a room or the length of a wall, this is the tool for you. This one has a range of up to 100 feet, a backlit display for easy viewing in low-light conditions, and a memory feature for recording up to five measurements. 
  6. Oscillating multi-tool: An oscillating multi-tool is great to have in your toolbox. It’s helpful for cutting and sanding through a variety of materials. It also gets into tight spaces and can easily be adapted to fit different attachments.

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Fix for a Malfunctioning Tub Faucet

Water dripping from a showerhead
If water is coming out of a showerhead when the lever isn’t engaged, there’s a problem with the valve stem. (TRAVELARIUM via Canva)

A homeowner says his tub faucet isn’t doing its job — because water is coming from the shower head even without him engaging the faucet’s lever.

“Actually, it’s more like an irritating drip, and when I do engage the lever to direct water to the shower head, it immediately bursts from the head and it is cold water — brrr! Do I need a new tub faucet?” he asks.

Most of the time, a malfunctioning showerhead results from the spout having some debris in it, or it’s wearing out. 

To fix this, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to the shower, then remove the faucet’s valve stem. Once the stem is removed, you’ll be able to inspect the washer for damage. 

If it’s worn out, you can replace it with a new one. To do that, unscrew the spout, take it to The Home Depot, and they’ll have a replacement for it that will more than likely match it.

With older faucets that have a third handle in the middle, you’ll need to take the stem assembly out and put a backup seal on it as well as a new washer. This can get complicated, so I’d suggest calling a plumber.


Hour 2

Learn how long to wait to paint pressure-treated wood, how to remove rust stains from vinyl flooring and more.


When to Paint Pressure-Treated Wood

Looking down on the edge of a pressure-treated wood deck
Pressure-treated wood needs to thoroughly dry before it’s painted or stained. (cmannphoto, Getty Images Signature)

A homeowner is building a porch with pressure-treated wood, and her daughter told her she needs to wait a year to paint it. 

However, she’s skeptical for a number of reasons. She asks, “Do I have to wait a year to paint? I don’t like the look of fresh wood.”

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to wait a year to paint the porch, but you can’t paint it immediately.

There’s no magic waiting period. The ideal length of time to wait will vary depending on the type of pressure-treated wood you are using.

Treated wood is sold in a variety of conditions. Some wood is stored inside and, as a result, has fewer moisture problems. If it’s stored outside, however, there’ll be strong moisture problems. 

Either way, after the wood is installed, we suggest waiting three to six months to paint or stain, depending on the weathering it gets. 

Still need more help?

Try this test: Pour a cup of water into a small area of the wood and watch it. If it beads up and doesn’t soak in, you need to wait a little longer to paint the wood. If the water soaks in right away or after a short while, it’s ready to be stained. 

That’s the keyword, too: stained.

We don’t recommend painting because it just won’t hold up. It’s always best to use a semi-transparent stain, or if you want a solid color, use a solid color stain. 


Removing Rust Stains from Vinyl Flooring

Rust ring on black and white vinyl floor
Rust stains can be hard to remove from vinyl flooring, but there are options to get rid of them. (Photo illustration: Design & Beyond/gerenme, Gett Images Signature)

A homeowner discovered that the toilet-brush holder in her bathroom was rusting on the bottom.

The holder still looked fine unless you tipped it over and inspected it, but it left rust spots on the vinyl floor. And they’re wreaking havoc that, up until now, she hasn’t been able to solve.

“I’ve scrubbed with various household cleaners, but the stain is still there. Do you have any suggestions?” she asks.

Rust stains can be hard to remove from vinyl flooring. You don’t want to use anything too abrasive on this type of flooring because it has a clear wear layer on top.

Instead, here are some tips: 

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it on the rust stain. Scrub lightly and then rinse with warm water.
  • Make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide and spread it on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub lightly. Rinse with warm water.
  • Use a white vinegar and water solution and scrub the stain. Rinse with warm water after scrubbing.
  • Use a commercial rust remover and follow the instructions on the package.

Holiday Decorating Stats 

Close up of Christmas garland and lights on a victorian style home
The Home Depot surveyed 1,000 Americans on holiday decorating — 79 percent of participants agree that decorating early in the season gets them in the holiday spirit. (bauhaus1000, Getty Images Signature)

In partnership with Wakefield Research, The Home Depot surveyed 1,000 Americans and discovered that 79 percent of participants agree that decorating early in the season gets them in the holiday spirit.

In addition, 1 in 5 Americans respond to early-decorating shaming by upping the ante and actually adding more decorations.

Also, 55 percent of those surveyed deem it acceptable to start decorating for the winter holidays before Thanksgiving. 

Here are more holiday decorating stats:

  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree: Of the 92 percent of Americans who put up holiday decorations, 60 percent usually begin with indoor décor such as tabletop trees, and nearly as many (59 percent) begin with the main tree. 
  • Brightest House on the Block: 57 percent of Americans reach for outdoor décor first, including string lights, lighted displays or inflatables.  
  • Spread Holiday Cheer: Nearly 4 in 5 (79 percent) Americans agree decorating early helps get them in the holiday spirit. Millennials (90 percent) and Gen Z (87 percent) are the most ardent supporters of this idea. Additionally, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of Americans say they decorate earlier now than they did five years ago.  
  • No Grinches Allowed: 1 in 5 Americans respond to early-decorating shaming by upping the ante and actually adding more decorations. Dads in particular would double down, as more than a third go all in on early holiday decorating. 

The Home Depot has everything you need to get in the holiday spirit. Plus, they offer free shipping on over 1 million items, providing flexibility with in-store pickup or home delivery options. 

Find what you need now at homedepot.com.


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Simple Solutions

This wooden handle makes chopping kindling easier and safer. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Safer Kindling Chopping — Cutting kindling with an axe can be dangerous because you have to hold the board or log with one hand while chopping it with the other. Here’s a much safer solution:

  • Take a 12- to 16-inch-long 1-by-2, or a similar narrow board, and drive a drywall screw through one end.
  • Set the screw point onto the top of the board or log you plan to chop and tap the screw head with the flat end of the axe, just to drive in the screw point a little bit.

Now, you can safely chop the kindling while holding the end of the stick with your hand well away from the danger zone. 

Watch: How to Safely Chop Kindling

An old pallet can easily be transformed into a minimalist Christmas tree. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Pallet Christmas Tree — Here’s how to transform an old wooden pallet into a decorative Christmas tree for the holidays:

  • Start by marking two diagonal lines from the top of the pallet down at an angle to the second to the last slat on each side.
  • Use a circular saw to cut along the lines.
  • Pry off the slats from the back of the pallet.
  • Cut four pieces of wood to make a simple base to hold the tree upright.
  • Paint it green and decorate it with lights, garland, and Christmas ornaments.

Watch: How to Make a DIY Christmas Tree from an Old Wooden Pallet


Further Reading

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