December 1, 2011

There are so many different kinds of glass cleaners and I have tried quite a few; but Gel Gloss came out with a brand new one I believe works the best. One reason is that you can clean windows that are in direct sunlight and Gel Gloss guarantees No Streaks. I prefer the 19 oz. spray can because it is so easy to use. Gel Gloss made the first product that will clean fiberglass, acrylic, formica, and cultured marble. It will also seal it while leaving a shine. Fiberglass, acrylic, formica, and cultured marble all have a clear gel coat to protect their finish and most cleaners are too abrasive and will eat away at the clear gel coat. Both products will help make your job easier when it comes to the care of your Fiberglass, acrylic, formica, and cultured marble. This cleaner and polish will protect the surface so it stays shiny longer.

Question: What product would you suggest to use on faded front doors to make them look like new without sanding or stripping?
Answer:Sun Wax’s Sun Shield will work great as long as it is a wooden door. You will just apply it with a soft rag and it will keep your door looking great. No need for sanding or stripping.

Question: What is the best caulking available to use on a square tile shower so that it doesn’t mildew?
Answer: The product to use would be a product called (Sealant) Mildew Free Caulking. This is a 7 year caulking and it is the one that I use. First, you will need to clean the surface area with a hand held razor blade and just make sure to get all of the old caulking out. Once you have done this you can apply the Mildew Free Caulking. Another great thing about this product is that you can take your finger and wet it with liquid soap and slide your finger across the caulking to give it a smooth professional looking finish. You would not be able to do that with a silicone caulking it would just stick to your finger.

Question: I have areas of my wall paper that has come unglued is there a product that I can use that would be easy to use?
Answer: The product you will need is called Sure Grip. This product is so easy to use you will be shocked. You just need to apply this to to the areas that have come unglued, smooth flat and hold for about 10 seconds, and wipe off any excess that you might have with a damp cloth.

Question: What can we use to clean mineral deposits off of our shower tile? They use to be so beautiful and now they are a dingy yellow?
Answer: The perfect product for you would be Delete Germ. It is also great for cleaning the entire shower or the toilet. Just make sure that once you apply this product to glass to immediately rinse it right off. For the tiles, I want you to apply the product, leave it for a few minutes, and then scrub it with a stiff brush and rinse.

Question: I am having a terrible time of getting rid of pantry and closet moths. Anything that you would recommend?
Answer: The best product I know of to get rid of Moths in the closet or pantry would be a product called the Pantry Pest Trap made by Safer. This is specifically for moths and has brought me much success in getting rid of those pesky moths that tend to stick around.

Question: I am really in need of something that will really clean grout. I have tried all the local hardware store’s solutions, friend recommendations, and home remedies and nothing has worked. Please let me know what I can use?
Answer: When you are cleaning colored grout you will need a cleaner that has no bleach in it. Tech’s Grout Cleaner for Floors is a great cleaner for all colors of grout. It comes with a little brush to help you get those stains out and is just so easy to use. Another great thing is that this product has no harsh chemicals so there is no need for gloves and you wont have any fumes. I recommend with all products that you test in a small inconspicuous spot first to see how it does. But you will just spray the product on, scrub it with a stiff brush, and then mop/wipe away to get rid of the excess cleaner.

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (210) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

November 23, 2011

Last year I put together Vol 9 of “The Best of Johnnie Chuoke”. It was a compilation of great ideas from volume 1-8 and then all the new ideas and products for the last year. When we closed our stores in 2008, I really thought I had written the last of “The Best of Johnnie Chuoke”- ha! But since retirement was not for me, I opened a new store in San Antonio, and lucky for me you still wanted a article there in Houston. The book has 70 different categories- from adhesives to windows and is directed to the homeowner and Do It Yourselfer. My goal is to tell you exactly what you need to do a project, and how to do it right the first time. I like to tell people “everything is easy if you know how to do it!” Have you ever looked at something – and thought I can’t do that, but when you found out how it was done, you laughed at yourself and said, “well that is not rocket science!” That’s what the book is all about, show you how to do the project and then tell you the name of the product for you use.

No guess work. Then you can look back at your finished job and be proud of what you have done. I kept the book under $10 so everyone could afford it. The book is dedicated to Bob Chuoke, Jr. He was in the real estate business for many years, in the Houston area. He was a man’s man, who made you feel happy to be with him and bigger than you really were. He was a man that loved his Lord, and you knew it. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Now to the email….

Question: I read about a product that you spray on the roof and it cleans the roof without scrubbing! Could that be possible?
Answer: The product is called Spray and Forget. You just attach the applicator to the hose and start spraying. It will go up to 20 feet. Its is eco friendly, and biodegradable and will clean up to 600 sq ft. Keep the applicator and after just buy the refills. Good Luck.

Question: I have several rooms that have walls with vinyl fabric backed wallpaper on the walls. It was put directly on the sheet-rock. What is the best way to remove the paper- or should I just paint over it?
Answer: You will need to remove the paper, because it is fabric based. Use a Paper Tiger first to perforate the paper and then spray on the M-1 Wallpaper remover. Let the remover sit for a bit and then start removing the paper. After you remove all the paper, and the glue ( you might have to use the M-1 again) then you will want to prime the walls with Grip and Seal made by Coronado. You can even put texture in the paint and paint and texture at the same time.

Question: I have a rent house and the master bathtub needs some restoring. I am not ready to replace it. There are some nicks, and scratches. Is there a kit? Its a porcelain tub.
Answer: Hey that’s great that its porcelain, you can use a product called Porcelain Chip Fix for the nicks, and for the scratches use Porcelain Touch Up. These will work great until you are ready to replace the tub.

Question: My bathroom door will not stay open. I have tried adjusting the hinges but apparently I’m not doing something right.
Answer: Take the pin out of the lower hinge of the door and get two pair of pliers and rough when the pin where it is smooth. You might have to do the top hinge but usually you will only have to do one pin. This costs nothing!

Question: Hey Johnnie, I enjoy and look forward to reading your column every week. I have tons of articles that I save, however, I can not find the article on transforming my kitchen counter tops. I believe there is a product that can be used to make them look like granite.
Answer: Giani Granite is the product that you are looking for. It is easy to use and it is amazing how great it looks.

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (21) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

November 17, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I wrote to you about the Big Heat. And I found out about a new product (well new to me) that can make the Big Heat even better! If you have a home in the hill country, or lake house and its only a house that you go to occasionally and you want to make sure the house stays warm if it freezes- there is a product called a Thermo Cube. You just plug it into an outlet and then plug the Big Heat in and when the temperature drops in the house below 35 degrees- it will turn on the Big Heat. And when the temperature climbs back up to 45 degrees it shuts off. Just think how you could use that? A pump house that might freeze? I can’t tell you all the people that talked to me about that last winter when we had snow and freezing weather. Maybe have it come on when you are away so that when you come home – its not freezing. It will even work with heat tape, heat lamps, engine heaters- it is so versatile.

Now to the email…..

Question: I love your article and all of your helpful hints and products. Thank you for handling the everyday simple issues that I seem to face constantly. How do you clean old wooden kitchen cabinets with 30-40 years of Grandma’s cooking and everyday grime? I would love to re stain but will paint and antique if I can not get them clean looking.
Answer: Thanks for all the kind words- its why I write the article. First clean the cabinets with Holloway House Fine Wood Cleaner. Just put on a soft rag(t-shirt) and clean, turning the rag to keep a clean side on the cabinet door. Now add some beauty to the wood by using a product called Feed and Wax by Howards. You cabinets will take on a like new finish. I used this on 17 year old cabinets in the house. These cabinets were clean but dull. When I got through using these products it looked like a new set of cabinets. These products will work best with natural wood cabinets. All of this can be done in a matter of minutes.

Question: What is the name of the 7 year caulk that you talk about? I want to use it around my bathtub and shower.
Answer: The product you are talking about is called Mildew Free Sealant. They really mean it when they say Mildew Free – if it mildews within the 7 years- not only will they give you new product- they will send someone to replace it! Now that’s confidence!

Question: I have several relatively new bar stools that now have an annoying squeak when you pivot on the seat or lean forward. The turning mechanism uses fairly large ball bearings. Any reason not to try Tri-Flow with a ball bearing mechanism?
Answer: The Tri-Flow will work just fine. Tri-Flow is a Teflon based spray lubricant and doesn’t attract dust and dirt like other spray lubricants. Great thinking!

Question: My mother reads your column in the Woodlands Villager and suggested I contact you regarding an issue we are having with our dishwasher. We noticed that our dishes appeared to be scratched each time we took them out of the dishwasher. We realized that the coating on the prongs in the baskets was wearing off. Is there anything new we can use to re coat the prongs or is there a way we could get replacement baskets for the dishwasher?
Answer: Great question- the product I recommend you use would be Rerack. This is just a product with a little brush that you apply the product in the places that you need it. It will provide the soft rubber coating that your dishwasher comes with. Once you get all the edges re coated- then I would recommend that you clean the dishwasher with a product called Dishwasher Magic. It works better that any cleaner that I know of.

Question: I have a tub that had a coating put on about 15 years ago. It has been peeling now for a couple of years. Is there some product that can help me get the rest of the coating off? It chips and then goes down the drain.
Answer: The only product I know of is one called Soy Gel. It has no odor, biodegradable, and is super easy to use. Just paint it on with a throw away brush, (¼ of inch) and then go to the movie, dinner and when you come home- rub your finger across and see if you go to thru the coating on the tub. Then just wipe it off- if there is another coating still underneath- put on the product again- waiting again the 3-4 hours.

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (21) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

November 11, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I wrote to you about the Big Heat. And I found out about a new product (well new to me) that can make the Big Heat even better! If you have a home in the hill country, or lake house and its only a house that you go to occasionally and you want to make sure the house stays warm if it freezes- there is a product called a Thermo Cube. You just plug it into an outlet and then plug the Big Heat in and when the temperature drops in the house below 35 degrees- it will turn on the Big Heat. And when the temperature climbs back up to 45 degrees it shuts off. Just think how you could use that? A pump house that might freeze? I can’t tell you all the people that talked to me about that last winter when we had snow and freezing weather. Maybe have it come on when you are away so that when you come home – its not freezing. It will even work with heat tape, heat lamps, engine heaters- it is so versatile.

Now to the email…..

Question: I love your article and all of your helpful hints and products. Thank you for handling the everyday simple issues that I seem to face constantly. How do you clean old wooden kitchen cabinets with 30-40 years of Grandma’s cooking and everyday grime? I would love to re stain but will paint and antique if I can not get them clean looking.
Answer: Thanks for all the kind words- its why I write the article. First clean the cabinets with Holloway House Fine Wood Cleaner. Just put on a soft rag(t-shirt) and clean, turning the rag to keep a clean side on the cabinet door. Now add some beauty to the wood by using a product called Feed and Wax by Howards. You cabinets will take on a like new finish. I used this on 17 year old cabinets in the house. These cabinets were clean but dull. When I got through using these products it looked like a new set of cabinets. These products will work best with natural wood cabinets. All of this can be done in a matter of minutes.

Question: What is the name of the 7 year caulk that you talk about? I want to use it around my bathtub and shower.
Answer: The product you are talking about is called Mildew Free Sealant. They really mean it when they say Mildew Free – if it mildews within the 7 years- not only will they give you new product- they will send someone to replace it! Now that’s confidence!

Question: I have several relatively new bar stools that now have an annoying squeak when you pivot on the seat or lean forward. The turning mechanism uses fairly large ball bearings. Any reason not to try Tri-Flow with a ball bearing mechanism?
Answer: The Tri-Flow will work just fine. Tri-Flow is a Teflon based spray lubricant and doesn’t attract dust and dirt like other spray lubricants. Great thinking!

Question: My mother reads your column in the Woodlands Villager and suggested I contact you regarding an issue we are having with our dishwasher. We noticed that our dishes appeared to be scratched each time we took them out of the dishwasher. We realized that the coating on the prongs in the baskets was wearing off. Is there anything new we can use to re coat the prongs or is there a way we could get replacement baskets for the dishwasher?
Answer: Great question- the product I recommend you use would be Rerack. This is just a product with a little brush that you apply the product in the places that you need it. It will provide the soft rubber coating that your dishwasher comes with. Once you get all the edges re coated- then I would recommend that you clean the dishwasher with a product called Dishwasher Magic. It works better that any cleaner that I know of.

Question: I have a tub that had a coating put on about 15 years ago. It has been peeling now for a couple of years. Is there some product that can help me get the rest of the coating off? It chips and then goes down the drain.
Answer: The only product I know of is one called Soy Gel. It has no odor, biodegradable, and is super easy to use. Just paint it on with a throw away brush, (¼ of inch) and then go to the movie, dinner and when you come home- rub your finger across and see if you go to thru the coating on the tub. Then just wipe it off- if there is another coating still underneath- put on the product again- waiting again the 3-4 hours.

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (21) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

November 2, 2011

I love this time of year- they are the months that I look forward to each year. We start doing all the things that maybe we have put off – and now since we might be having company – we decide now is the time! Do you have a chair that when someone sits down on it – it does the hula? We have this display that is a child’s chair and it moves all around – swiveling back and forth. The product that is for a product that is called “Tite Chair” and it can take a chair that is not strong and reinforces all the joints. “Tite Chairs” is a glue that has a tiny dropper that can get into all the tiny areas of the chair. Drop a little in all areas that are loose and that’s it. No clamping for even a little while. No taking the chair apart and having to put it all back together. Now I am talking about a chair- but it works on all wooden joints like stair rungs. I used it once on a sweeping staircase. It did a great job.

Now to the email…..

Question: I have a brick wall and I want to hang some pictures but I don’t want to put holes in the wall. Is there another way?
Answer: Anchor makes a brick hanger that will hold 30lbs – and you don’t have to make a hole. Call me if you need any help.

Question: I have a small leak in one of my drain lines. I want to fix it but really don’t want to take the pipe out.
Answer: Extreme tape or Magic Wrap is a permanent fix for leaks just like that. Every inch will expand to 3 inches and provide a leak free fix. I always keep some in my truck because it will fix hoses in the car if they leak.

Question: I know you have answered this question before but what causes white rings on a table top and how do you get rid of them. Will I have to have the table re-finished?
Answer: Water gets in between the layers of varnish and if you don’t get it out it will turn the wood black. The fix is called White Ring Remover. It will also take care of minor surface scratches.

Question: I am getting small holes in some of my clothes hanging in my bedroom closet. I guess they are moths. Is there a cedar product, which would help me or something else?????
Answer: There is a moth trap that should take care of your problem. It is called The Pantry Pest Trap. And its made by Safer. It traps all sorts of moths and you can use them anywhere inside the house. Its under $9 and should do the trick.

Question: I have a outside brass fixture that I have to polish all the time. I love this light, but I am real tired of cleaning and polishing. You always have something up your sleeve to fix things- how about this?
Answer: I do have something that does just this. The polish is called All Gleam. I like this one because it will do almost all metals. That way you don’t have to have a bunch of polishes. Then use a product called Superior Shield. It’s a spray that will keep your piece looking great for a long time. And Superior Shield can handle the UV rays outside. So if you have brass pieces like a door knocker on the door or the handle set. Its great for that too.

Question: I have a guest bedroom in my house and the wallpaper is coming loose on one little area. I want to stick it down now- before that area grows. I didn’t hang the wallpaper, so I don’t have any idea on how to do this.
Answer: There is a product called Stick EZ. And its just a small tube of a very sticky wallpaper glue and will work great. You are smart to catch the small area now.

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (21) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

October 27, 2011

After 112 degree weather in San Antonio this summer its hard to believe I might need a heater this winter. But I know that with that first little cold front that will take the temperatures down below 60 I will be looking for my favorite little heater. The “Big Heat” has been around for 15 years and I still have one that was from back then. Its a great little heater that can warm up a room fast. You can delay turning on that central unit a little longer just having “Big Heat” on in the room. Do you have some rooms that even when you turn on your central unit, that room still feels chilly? Well the “Big Heat” works great for that. Do you have a office where it never warms up, and your feet freeze? “Big Heat” to the rescue. It is small, made of steel and has a handle on top to you can carry it to any room. Its got an instant shutoff so that if its tipped over it shuts off. It has a selector control for high, low, or just fan. Its has a built in thermostat control and a full 1500 watts for that fast warm up on chilly days. It also has a 1200 watt economy setting. Now the best part- its retails for less than $50.00

Now to the email…..

Question: The joint between the slabs of concrete has just about rotted out. What is a easy way to fix it?
Answer: First take out all of the material so that you can replace it with sand and except for about 3/8” at the top. Next put a couple of pieces of cardboard or wood on each side of the driveway or sidewalk. The caulk made by Quikcrete is self leveling and you don’t want it to run out on the sides. Its a polyurethane has great flexibility and will last a long time. Each tube will have about 12 feet worth of caulk. You need to get to work on this project because the last thing you need is water underneath the the driveway or sidewalk slab. Once the water gets underneath the slab-it pushes it up and then its too late.

Question: I have steel casement windows in my home. And I want to replace some broken glass but I can’t get out the putty- it is rock hard. What do it do- I have even tried a chisel.
Answer: The product that works to get hard putty out of wood or metal is one that goes on the end of na ¼ or 3/8 drill. It has a solid carbide cutter and handle to make the job easy. Its called the “Putty Chaser”. It costs less than $20.

Question: I remember seeing a article about a product you hook up to your garden hose and clean your windows but I can’t remember the name.
Answer: The product is called Rinse EZ. Fill the applicator with warm water then add the soap powder. Hook up your hose to the applicator and start washing the windows from the top and go down. Always remember to wash the windows in the cool of the morning. And right now that should not be hard. I can do my whole house in less than 30 minutes.

Question: I am going to paint my home now that the weather is cooler. What is the product to clean the house with first? I know I can’t paint a dirty house.
Answer: The product is called JoMax. There are others but they are always more expensive. Just put a pint of Jomax with 3 pints of clorox in a 2 or 3 gallon pump up sprayer filled with water and start cleaning from the top down. Then you want to rinse with clear water. Sometimes if you have used a really good paint like Coronado after cleaning the house you realize- the paint still looks great and all you needed to do was clean.

Question: Since there was not much water this summer I always made sure that I put out bird feeders and water. But those ants were always in the feeders. Do you know of anything that I can use to keep them out of the feeder.
Answer: There is a product called Bye Bye Birdie- and one day I saw a customer with a tube of it and asked her if birds where making a mess on her driveway- she said no, it was for the birdfeeders and that she would put the Bye Bye Birdie on the wire that held the feeder and the ants would get stuck – so no more ants!

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (21) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

October 20, 2011

Christmas is just around the corner- 8 weeks- can you believe that? I mean we just were having 106 degree weather in San Antonio 3 weeks ago. But now the weather has cooled and before you know it – Christmas will be here. We lived in a little suburb when the kids were little and the whole subdivision decorated for Christmas. We had cars by the 1000s that went through the area. So you always had to decorate for Christmas. And it was always a hassle. You would have to use a ladder and all types of hardware to get it to fasten to the house. And then there was the “yard art”- always difficult. So when I came across this new lighting for Christmas – I just laughed. Then I bought. Now I am going to share. I found string of lights that goes on the house or in the yard that is magnetic. There is a strong little magnet on the back of each light bulb so that all you have to do is lay it against the metal edging on your house. And then it stays there no matter if its windy or stormy. They are called Lite-Netics. And it was patented right in Texas outside of Austin. Its consists of C9 or C7 bulb strands that have that patented socket that provides a magnetic connection at each light bulb. No more shingle tabs, clips, glues or any other things we use to hang the lights with. And no more dangling lights that have fallen down- Lite-Netics stick right where you put them. Lite-Netics comes in a roll and you just cut you the length that you need and add the ends to connect to the electricity. No more buying more than you need- just the right length to do the job. And if you want to line the driveway – you attach them to gutter spikes – and that holds them up for a real finished look. And if you are a business and own a metal building there is no limit to what you can do. Now here is the fun part- when its time to take it down- just give it a little tug and then roll them up for next year. You don’t even have to get on a ladder. And it cost about $1 a foot. I wish I had this 30 years ago. Hey I just may hang lights this year!

Now to the email…..

Question: Last spring I replaced the fence in my backyard and installed a sprinkler system. Since them the water had made marks on the fence. Is there anything I can do to remedy this? I enjoy reading your column weekly.
Answer: The best wood cleaner that I have found and tested is made by Duckback. Its called Exterior Wood Cleaner. First you spray the fence with water and then spray with the Exterior Wood Cleaner- wait about 15-20 minutes – then rinse with clear water. The container covers about 200 to 400 sq ft.

Question: What is the best cleaner for my natural birch wood cabinets and what should I put over them to keep them looking good?
Answer: The best cleaner and the easiest to use is called Fine Wood Cleaner. Its made by Holloway House. After cleaning the cabinets then use a product called Feed and Wax to protect.

Question: A few months ago you described a product that can seep through a clear coat an color the wood to re-stain wood. I have a 7ft diameter circle dining table that need help. The table is beautiful but has endured our kids art projects and abuse. It has some superficial scratches that I would prefer to re-stain rather sanding and starting all over. The current color is dark walnut. Do you recall the product you described awhile back.
Answer: The product that you want is called Restore A Finish. It goes through the varnish and colors the wood underneath. Just apply it with a soft rag, let dry and then apply the Feed and Wax to protect.

Question: I have a wooden desk that my cousin tried to iron a shirt on and the end result is the surface turned white. I have tried furniture polish and it doesn’t work. Do you have any ideas?
Answer: Use a product called White Ring Remover. What your problem is that moisture has been caught between the coats of varnish and now looks terrible. And you want to take care of it now because if moisture sits on the desk for a long time, it will turn dark and then you have a whole different problem.

Got a question for Johnnie? Tune in to Johnnie’s radio show Saturday mornings on KKYX from 11-12 or call (21) 341-1573. Reach him on the web at www.happyhandyman.com.

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