Tag Archives: DIY

How to Stop Blinking Christmas Lights (Easy Fix)

If you don’t like blinking Christmas lights but don’t want to replace the entire string, here’s an easy fix.

blinking Christmas lights

Last year, I ran into our local Big Lots and grabbed three boxes of icicle lights for outside decorating. I already had two sets of strings at home. I dragged out the ladder and went to work. Once the lights were hung, I realized the three new sets were blinking, but the old strings weren’t. I bought the wrong boxes. Ugh!

I did test the lights before I hung them to make they work, but the blinking doesn’t start for several minutes after lights are plugged in. Needles to say it looked weird and I was frustrated. No way I was going to take them down and restart. I was cold, tired and cranky after hanging lights for several hours. So I just let them be.

blinking Christmas lights

This year, however, I  wanted non-blinking lights on my house without replacing the three light sets I had bought the previous year. Blinking Christmas lights are not my thing. It is such an easy fix and I bet most of you already knew that. But, maybe, just maybe, there is one person out there who didn’t know… hey, I’m glad I could help.

blinking Christmas lights

The blinking light string has a few bulbs (mine had three) with a red or silver tip. These are the blinking bulbs. Find them, take them out and replace them with clear, steady bulbs (extra packet of bulbs is always included with the string of lights) that look like the rest on the string. This will stop them from blinking.

blinking Christmas lights

blinking Christmas lights

It’s all good this year. Nothing is blinking. These easy steps will help you transform a strand of lights that blink into a non-blinking strand of lights.

Important Tip: Make sure  your Christmas light strand is unplugged before you remove and replace any bulbs.

DIY Garage Floor Painting – 2 Years Later

How did my DIY garage floor painting hold up? Two years ago ( I think it was Labor Day weekend),  I made over my garage. I purged, organized, built storage and painted the floor. So much work, yet so worth it!

garage floor paint

DIY Garage Wall Storage

garage storage

garage storage

garage floor paint

garage floor painting

So how did the paint hold up? Actually, really great.

Garage Floor Painting

Garage Floor Painting

Garage Floor Painting

I purposely didn’t clean the floor for these photos. As you can see,  it’s been a while.  While I don’t park my car in the garage every day, I do park it inside during extreme hot or frigid temperatures.

I do laundry in my garage and I also store all my lawnmowers. I am impressed with how well the garage floor paint has held up. I don’t see any bubbles and barely any chipping. I just need to give it a good cleaning.

The success of the floor all depends on the prep work done before you paint. It’s tedious work but you want to get it done right.  Is it necessary to paint the garage floor? No, but it looks nicer and makes it easier to clean the floor since the paint seals the floor against stains and moisture.

Would I recommend DIY garage floor painting? Yes. It’s doable and cost is minimal. Besides, fresh paint makes the garage look clean and “not scary”.

3 Years Later – DIY Hardwood Floor Refinish

Three years ago, I decided to refinish our hardwood floors. Myself. It was a ton of work but I don’t regret it one bit. You can read about it  in my original post.

Over the years, I’ve received many emails and comments asking me how the floors are holding up, whether I would do it again, if I’m happy with my decision to skip staining them etc.

So I decided to answer some of the most popular questions I get.

small entryway

How much did it cost to refinish the floors?

I refinished around 650 square feet of flooring. I spent less than $300. My biggest cost were the drum sander rental and sanding belts from Home Depot (around $130 total). That said, DIYing it saved me $2,000+.

Do you regret skipping the stain?

Not at all. Our house measures only 1,050 square feet. I wanted floors that bring light and openness to our small home, which these floors do. I also love our floor’s different color tones.

Hardwood Floor Refinish DIY

small entryway

Are you happy with the satin polyurethane finish? How are the floors holding up?

I love the satin finish because I don’t care much for super shiny floors. I wanted mine to look natural but still have protection. The satin finish gives the floor a sheen without the high gloss. Although I have kids and dogs, the floor barely has any scratches and they don’t bother me at all. The floors are 48 years old and have that lived-in look that I really love. Minor imperfections just add to the character of these floors.

Did you really do ALL the work yourself?

Yep. From beginning to end. As soon as my kids left for Florida, I dove right into the work. Moving all the furniture from the bedrooms into the garage and kitchen was the hardest part. I couldn’t have done it without  furniture sliders.  Would highly recommend them. Refinishing hardwood floors entails lost of dust, a sore back and bruised knees.

I want to do this. Do you have any tips?

The most important tip: Keep moving and go slow with the drum sander! Do a lot of research beforehand and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t.

Hardwood Floor Refinish DIY

Would you do it again?

Absolutely! However, I would prefer refinishing the floors of a vacant house (no more pushing furniture). When you put so much physical work into your house, you can’t help but feel proud. You get very attached to it because you know how much sweat (and even blood) it took to make this house your home.