How to remove stubborn screws

4 Guaranteed Tricks To Remove Stubborn Screws

Last week I talked about how to remove paint from hardware so in keeping with that theme I wanted to discuss some tips to remove stubborn screws. After all, you can’t restore old hardware unless you can first get it off the door or window it’s attached to. Old flat head screws that have been [...] Read on →

How to remove paint from hardware

How To: Remove Paint From Hardware

Old hardware is just like everything else in an old house, covered with decades of paint. Antique hardware can be some very attractive and beautifully crafted pieces of art that is well worth restoring. To restore that hardware you don’t want to just start scraping the paint off with an old screw driver. You’ll gouge [...] Read on →

Invisible Repairs Hardwood Floor

Invisible Repairs For a Hardwood Floor

My company is featured in the April/May 2014 edition of Fine Homebuilding Magazine for the unique way we repair historic hardwood floors. Here is a large portion of the article available for free only to The Craftsman Blog family. Enjoy! Other than refinishing hardwood floors, the most common repair my restoration company gets called to do [...] Read on →

Living in the Past Book

My New eBook is Now Available!

Today is a big day at The Craftsman Blog! For the past year and a half, I have been toiling to write my first full-length book about historic homes. Today that book goes from idea to reality! I’m doing a HUGE one week only sale for all my readers and their friends. If you have [...] Read on →

Wood Finishes

Selecting The Right Wood Finish

You could fill a library with the different ways of finishing wood. There are oils and lacquers, urethanes and stains, sealers and varnishes. Some are wiped on, some are sprayed, while still others are brushed on. I could fill a book on just this subject alone so this post will be more of a primer to [...] Read on →

Old Window

How To: Paint a Wood Window Sash

After all the hard work is done restoring a wood window there is one final step, painting your window sash. Painting a window is by far the most important part of the process because it protects all the work underneath. It keeps sun, rain, dirt, insects, air and anything else from harming your window. Without [...] Read on →

Silent Paint Remover

The Best Paint Stripping Tools

Being in the business of restoring old houses I do a lot of paint stripping. And much of that paint is lead paint so I have to be extra careful to make sure we keep our dust under control. Here are the best paint stripping tools I have used over the years. Some work better [...] Read on →

Polyurethane Heart Pine

All About Polyurethane

If you have hardwood floors in your old house the chances are good that they are coated with a protective layer of polyurethane. Today, polyurethane is by far the most popular finish choice for wood floors. Here’s what you need to know. Polyurethane, while not revered by woodworkers and furniture makers, is usually the best [...] Read on →

Alligatoring Paint

4 Common Paint Problems & How to Fix Them

If you own an old house you have paint problems…somewhere. It may be from a poor paint job at some point or a paint job that is just too old. Keeping your house painted properly, especially the exterior, is imperative to the long term care of your house. Exterior elements deteriorate quickly without a protective [...] Read on →

Water Putty

The 7 Best Products to Patch Wood

Sometimes it’s nail holes and sometimes it’s rotten wood, but your projects will often require you to patch wood. In this post I’ll help you determine the best materials (and there are tons available!) to use when the time comes to patch wood projects. The type of material you should use will depend on what [...] Read on →

The finished product of the bedroom. Paint, floors and radiator (Not bad for a first try!)

My First “Restoration”

In 2001 I had just returned to New York City from a year in Tokyo performing for Walt Disney. It was a fantastic experience living in a such a different culture and country, but I was happy to be back home in America. The lease had run out on my old apartment and I was [...] Read on →

How To Care For Hardwood Floors

How To: Care For Hardwood Floors

We do a lot of hardwood floor refinishing at Austin Home Restorations and I often get asked by clients how they should care for their newly refinished wood floors. There is a specific timeline of how to treat and care for a wood floor after it was just refinished. In this post I’ll outline what [...] Read on →

Image credit: nuttakit / 123RF Stock Photo

How To: Restore an Antique Door

This is a Guest Post by Mike Zook. Mike has been writing about home improvement topics for many years. Click here to find out more about door retrofitting. As anyone who’s ever owned or loved an antique home knows, their beauty and uniqueness are only exceeded by one thing – the number of problems that [...] Read on →

How To Repair Hardwood Floors

How To: Repair Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are synonymous with old homes. It’s almost impossible to find an old home without them. And yet they are disappearing because people don’t realize how resilient and long-lasting they are. Unknowing homeowners and contractors rip out or cover up these amazing floors when they could be saved and used for another 100+ years! [...] Read on →