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Thursday, April 25, 2019

How to respray a car

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How to respray a car

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How to Respray a Car in 5 Steps

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to attempt a respray on your car. Over time, we all get little dings and scratches that impact on the paintwork. A car respray is the easiest way to get a panel or even your whole vehicle back to looking in pristine condition.
You might be looking to add a little extra design to the bodywork to make it stand out from the crowd.
Or perhaps you just want to change the colour of your car or bring an old, vintage model back to life.
Maybe you’re planning to sell your car and want to give it a makeover.

What you should understand from the outset is that this is not a simple case of slapping on the colour and hoping for the best. Painting a car is not the same as painting a wall in your house. You are going to need the right equipment and preparation is vital if you want to create the right finish.
Getting it wrong can make your car look absolutely hideous.
  • In addition, you are NOT going to get the same professional finish that you would with a spray can that you would with the proper equipment such as a high quality spray gun and a filtered booth.
  • Car spray paint is considered harmful and carcinogenic and you should be wearing the right protective gear, even if you are just using a can.
  • You should also note that there might well be local regulations for using spray cans or professional gear (if you can get your hands on it) which you will need to adhere to.
That aside, if you’re still intent on respraying your own car, it pays to get your preparation right. Any car spray is about two thirds prep with the rest taken up by painting and then finishing off or polishing. The more attention you pay to the prep stage and the less you try to rush it, the better the finish you should expect.
The first thing you might want to get a handle on is what type of paint you are going to use.

A Quick Guide To Car Respray Paints

Not only are there different shades available but different finishes when it comes to car paints. If you are looking to match the colour of your existing car, there are plenty of different sites online that you can use to find the appropriate product – all you need to do is enter the model, year and colour and their online system comes up with a list of matches.
  • Solid Paint: This is what you find on most cars and the most common options are white, blue, black and red. It’s usually added as single coat with a lacquer layer for protection over the top before your car comes off the assembly line.

  • Metallic Paint: This is basically the same as solid paint but with a small amount of metallic powder added. It doesn’t cost that much more than solid paint though you can often get charged more at the garage because it needs multiple layers applying.

  • Pearlescent Paint: Instead of adding a little metallic powder, manufacturers put in ceramic crystals or mica which gives the finish a sparkle or refracted appearance that shimmers as you drive along.

  • Matte Finishes: Less common than other finishes, matte is often used for high end cars and can certainly add to the cost. It does have issues with maintenance, however, especially if you get a chip further down the line.

  • Special Paints: There are a growing number of specialist paints coming onto the market and there are effects which can be achieved by processes such as layering. If you’re doing a DIY paint job for your car, unless you’re an artist or highly skilled professional, it would be best to steer clear of these kinds of paints and techniques.

The 5 Steps to Respraying Your Car

Assuming you’ve decided not to take your car to the nearest respray garage, there are generally five clear steps to the work that you need to follow. The preparation phase is key. Get this wrong and what looked like a simple job can quickly become a big mess, no matter how good your spraying technique is.
The Big Safety Tip
Before you even think about spraying your car, there are some safety issues you need to focus on. Spray paint and professional spray equipment involve you releasing toxic substances into the air. Make sure that you have the right protective gear including mask and goggles and that the area you are painting in has good ventilation.
  1. Preparing Your Car
About 65% of the work you are going to do for a respray is preparation and you need to get this right.
The first step is to make sure any defects, bumps, dents and chips have been dealt with first before you start prepping the surface for painting. The amount of work is obviously going to depend on what damage there is. Even the smallest defect can be shown up once you start putting on a layer of paint.
The key is to take your time and review the area of the car you are painting. If you are spraying the whole vehicle then split it down into sections but the point is that you need to be very thorough.
If you are not stripping down the paint completely, then washing the area with a good car cleaning solution that does not contain wax is important for getting the surface clean. Washing up liquid actually works quite well but you need to ensure that you have cleaned the surface thoroughly and allowed it to dry properly. Any dust, wax or other surface material will effect how the paint adheres to the surface and the final finish.
There are several different methods that can be used for prepping the surface of car for painting, including:
  • Cutting: This relies on an abrasive substance to remove thin layers of paint. It’s not a job for the faint hearted, either and requires a decent amount of trial and error before you get it right. The cutting compound can be applied using a circular motion but be keep moving it around and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Sanding: The quickest way to remove the top layer of paint on your car, this is generally best done by using a good sander rather than doing it by hand. Take your time over this as a good finish is always important.
If you are sanding a whole car down to the metal and respraying from scratch, don’t underestimate the length of time this is going to take. Each panel is going to eat up at least a couple of hours of your time so make sure you pace yourself properly.
  1. Masking
Something that you need to take special car over is masking those parts of your car that you don’t want the paint to go over. This is well worth taking the extra effort with, even small mistakes can make the job look unprofessional. If you are just respraying a small area, then you simply need to cover everything that is likely to be touched by paint. A whole car respray will require the windows, door handles and headlights etc covering properly.
  1. Priming
If you are removing paint down to the metal, you are going to need to add a primer before you start doing the full respray. This essentially seals the surface and creates a protective barrier and you will probably need to add at least a couple of coats to ensure the area is covered properly.
  1. Spraying
This can often be the most daunting part of the job – get it wrong and you’ll have to start all over again. For small areas, it’s worth practicing your technique first before you get into your work. You shouldn’t be looking to cover the metal in one fell swoop but lay down a thin layer each time you make a pass. If you are painting the entire car, try to see it as a whole rather than a selection of panels. You should leave at least an hour for drying between each coat of paint.

  1. Applying Lacquer
For a lot of paints you need to apply a final lacquer coat and this should be done with a couple of thin layers. You need to leave this at least a couple of days before you do a final quality wax.
There is a lot of work that goes into a car respray, even for small areas you simply want to touch up. Getting the right match of paint is one thing but ensuring you use the appropriate technique is something entirely different. If you get it wrong it can be an expensive mistake, so you should always weigh up the pros and cons of a DIY job compared to getting the work done by a professional.

Friday, April 12, 2019

How to replace a car battery

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How to replace a car battery

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Avoid getting stranded. Here's how to replace your car battery.

No matter how well you treat your vehicle, car batteries still wear out every few years and need to be replaced. It's just one of those regular maintenance items we deal with as car owners. Luckily, installing a new battery is a straightforward job, and one we'd recommend for all DIYers.
Do it yourself in the garage Saturday morning, and have confidence that your vehicle will start Monday morning—and every morning, even in the coldest weather. Here's how to disconnect a car battery and install a new battery.

Ignition, Charging, & Electrical Systems

This is a good project for new DIYers

1 hour

    When you're dealing with batteries always wear gloves and eye protection.
  1. 1
    Check your vehicle owner's manual for the your car battery’s location. Space under the hood is at a premium in many newer vehicles. Some batteries may be located in the trunk, under the floorboard or even tucked away out of sight behind a wheel well.
  2. 2
    Identify the positive and negative posts and the respective cables attached to each. The positive post may have a red plastic cover over it and/or the cable attached to it will be red. There should also be a "+" symbol stamped or printed on the battery, next to the positive post.
    The positive post may have a red plastic cover
  3. 3
    Using a wrench, loosen the nut or bolt that secures the negative terminal and cable to the negative battery post.
    Negative Battery Terminal
    Be careful not to allow any metal objects to touch both battery posts simultaneously, and don't let your wrench touch the positive terminal and the body or fender at the same time.
  5. 4
    Once you loosen the bolt or nut, first use the terminal puller to remove the cable and terminal from the negative battery post. Do the same with the positive terminal.
  6. 5
    Remove the clamp or retaining system holding the battery in place and set the parts and fasteners aside where to avoid spilling or misplacing them.
    Remove the battery clamp or retaining system
  7. 6
    Carefully lift the battery out without jostling it too much (be prepared, it is slightly heavy). If the posts are located on top of the battery, as opposed to on the side, you can use the battery carrying strap
    lift car battery out
  9. 7
    Examine the terminals attached to the ends of the battery cables to ensure they’re clean and corrosion-free. If they’re not, clean them using the terminal-cleaning tool. A special tool is available that fits over the post, with another brush that fits inside the clamp. Failing this, a stout wire brush can do the job. The cleaner your posts and clamps are, the better and more positive connection your battery will have.
    clean battery posts
  10. 8
    Position the battery so that the red, positive post will match up to the positive terminal and cable’s location.
    Positioning battery
  11. 9
    Insert the new battery. Then secure it with the clamp or retaining system removed earlier.
    Insert new battery
  12. securing car battery
  13. 10
    Remove the plastic caps that cover the battery posts and install the anti-corrosion washers over them.
    Install battery washers
  14. 11
    Apply a thin layer of grease to the battery posts and terminals before connecting the positive terminal to the positive post first. Special anti-corrosion grease is available to prevent deposits of fluffy greenish-white corrosion that can actually prevent the battery from charging. Failing that, ordinary Vaseline can work. Using the wrench, tighten the connector until it is snug. Then repeat for the negative post and terminal.
    anti-corrosion grease
  15. tighten connector with wrench
  16. 12
    Try to wiggle the battery. If it moves, tighten the clamp or retaining system. You're finished installing a car battery! Take pride in a job well done and drive confidently, knowing that you won’t be stranded because of a dead battery.

    Once you're done changing your car battery, bring your old one to an Advance Auto Parts store for free battery recycling.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How to get rid of scratches on phone screen

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How to get rid of scratches on phone screen

How to remove scratches from your phone

Whether it's from the car keys in your pocket or an accidental drop, our phones are bound to be victims of scratches and scuffs.

The best (and safest!) way to fix your scratched and scuffed-up iPhone, Android phone, or other mobile device is to replace the screen!
Apple for example only charges $29 to replace your screen if you have AppleCare. If your warranty is expired, it costs around $129-$149 for Apple to change out the screen. You can probably find reputable third-party local businesses who will replace your screen for even less. 
If you're looking for DIY methods, its never been easier to load up a how-to video online and companies like iFixIt will give you all the tools you need for $60.
But if even those repair options are out of reach, there are some quick DIY fixes that may help you remove some shallow scratches from your beloved gadget.
Here are nine remedies that have had various degrees of success when it comes to rescue phones from minor scratches. 
Before trying any of these methods out, make sure you power down your phone, remove the battery (if you can) and seal the ports of your phone with tape to prevent liquid damage. Again, these methods are for minor, annoying marks on your phone. If you have major scratches and cracks on your screen, you're going to need to go to the pros or completely replace the screen yourself.

1. Toothpaste

Look no further than your bathroom to cure small marks on your phone's screen. The key here is to use actual toothpaste, not a gel-based toothpaste. 

Here's how this method works:
  • Dab a small amount of toothpaste onto the end of a cotton swab or clean, soft cloth.
  • Gently rub the cotton swab or cloth in circular motions on the screen until you see the scratch go away.
  • After this, wipe your screen with a slightly dampened cloth to remove any excess toothpaste.

2. Sandpaper or drill grinders

Grinding stubborn phone scratches with sandpaper or a small drill grinder is a drastic solution, but has the ability to remove unwanted scuffs from your phone. We don't recommend using this one on your phone's screen. It’s best to use this method for smoothing out scratches on the back of your phone. 

When using fine sandpaper, it's important to use the least abrasive kind and to press gently onto your phone. As you grind the phone scratches, check often to make sure there is no damage on the screen.
Note: If you aren't careful, this method can end up causing more scratches and damage.

3. Magic Erasers

Magic Erasers, like the ones sold by Mr. Clean, are the perfect size to maneuver around your phone to get out small scratches. But magic erasers looks can be a bit deceiving. They're abrasive and work basically like wet sandpaper, so we urge the same caution as the method above.

4. Baking soda

Mix two parts baking soda and one part water in a bowl to create a thick paste that can help get rid of scratches of your phone.

Mix two parts baking soda and one part water in a bowl to create a thick paste that can help get rid of scratches of your phone.
Baking soda can serve as a handy phone scratch remover. Be careful with this method, you don't want to end up water damaging your phone too. Here's how this remedy works: 
  • Mix two parts baking soda and one part water in a bowl.
  • Stir until it forms a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste to a clean, soft cloth and gently rub in a circular motion on the phone's scratches.
  • After this, wipe your screen with a fresh, slightly dampened cloth to remove any excess.

5. Baby powder

Baby powder mixed with water creates a thick paste that can be used to remove scratches on your phone.

Baby powder mixed with water creates a thick paste that can be used to remove scratches on your phone.
Adding water to baby powder creates a paste that can take out the scratches on your phone. In the steps above, simply substitute baby powder for baking soda. And again, be careful not to water damage your phone.

6. Vegetable oil

For small, hidden scratches, vegetable oil is said to work well as a temporary solution. One tiny drop of vegetable oil on top of scratches can be a quick cosmetic fix.

7. Egg and potassium aluminum sulfate

Mixing egg whites and potassium aluminum sulfate can get rid of some small scratches. 
For this, you'll need a microfiber cloth, an egg, aluminum foil and alum (potassium aluminum sulfate, which can be purchased at your local drugstore).
  • Mix one egg white and one teaspoon of alum in a saucepan. Heat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Soak the microfiber cloth in the egg and alum mixture.
  • Put the cloth on aluminum foil, and then place it into a 300-degree oven until the cloth is completely dry.
  • Take the cloth out of the oven and rinse it in cold water for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the step above three times, and then let the cloth air-dry for 48 hours.
  • Now, use the cloth to remove scratches.

8. Car scratch removal creams

Car scratch removal creams such as Turtle Wax, 3M Scratch, and Swirl Remover can minimize and get rid of minor scratches. Simply apply the cream to a clean, soft cloth and wipe your screen in a gentle, swirling motion.

9. Brasso, Silvo, or other polishes

Silvo and Brasso have been said to clean and repair scratches on phones.

Silvo and Brasso have been said to clean and repair scratches on phones.
A word of caution before you follow through with this method: Using polishes such as Brasso and Silvo can sometimes remove the screen coating and result in larger scratches. Try this at your own risk.
  • Pour polish into a bowl. It's a good idea to put a towel underneath the bowl so it does not spill.
  • Dip a soft cloth into the polish.
  • Rub the cloth up and down the scratch and in circular motions.
  • After this, wipe your screen with a fresh cloth to remove any excess.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How to cook steel cut oats

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How to cook steel cut oats

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Steel Cut Oats | How to Cook the Perfect Bowl

Maybe I have old-fashioned taste in breakfast, but if I could only have one morning meal for the rest of my life, it would be a bowl of steel cut oatmeal. Today, I’m going to be sharing how to cook steel cut oats that are creamy and perfect every time. They’re endlessly customizable, never mushy, and can be made ahead for healthy breakfasts all week. If you think oatmeal is bland, unappealing, or (as one reader expressed) you “just can’t get into it,” this foolproof steel cut oats recipe is worth another chance.
How to cook steel cut oats. The secret to making perfect steel cut oatmeal on the stovetop that turns out perfectly every time! Healthy and low calorie, this is the only oatmeal recipe you need. Simple, vegan, and high in fiber, steel cut oats keep you full all morning long.
Growing up, we always had a box of fruity-flavored oatmeal packets stuffed under the bottom shelf of our pantry. They were sugary (that part I didn’t mind) and microwaved up into a kind of slop that would change tints depending upon what flavor of fruit it was supposed to imitate. Strawberry was a dull, sad pink; blueberry was gray; peach was…well, we never did figure out what to call that color.
Then, I became older and wiser. I bought the oatmeal packets without the sugar. They tasted terrible. No wonder people thought oatmeal was terrible!
Then, at long last, I was in a cute cafe where I spotted something called “steel cut oats” at the top of the menu. Feeling somewhat magnanimous (but mostly curious) I decided to give this steel cut oatmeal business a chance.
SOUL MATES. In place of the bland, textureless muck that had been my prior bowls of oatmeal, steel cut oats were thick and creamy, pleasantly chewy and nutty, and left me feeling satisfied in a deep, wholesome way that I thought was reserved only for those who practice yoga.
Steel cut oats make a delicious, healthy breakfast.
The difference between steel cut oats and the instant oatmeal I had been eating is like comparing different foods.

Are Steel Cut Oats the Same as Rolled Oats or Instant Oatmeal?

In the sense that all come from the same grain, yes. How they are processed, however, is different, which is why making a bowl of oatmeal with each of the different types of oats yields different results.
  • Steel Cut Oats: The best bowl of oatmeal. The oats are left whole and cut into pieces with a steel mill. Steel cut oats are the least processed and therefore maintain the best texture when cooked. They also take the longest amount of time to cook (as you will see, it’s worth waiting).
  • Rolled Oats: A respectable though not otherworldly bowl of oatmeal. The oats are steamed and pressed flat. If you are in a big hurry and need breakfast in a few minutes, rolled oats are reliable option. They are also my favorite for baking (steel cut oats stay way too crunchy).
  • Instant Oats: Just say no to a bowl of instant oatmeal. These are rolled oats that are cut into small pieces. By the time you heat them, they lose all texture (hence, mushy). Instant oats work nicely in some recipes where you don’t want the oatmeal to maintain its complete texture, like these Healthy No Bake Cookies, but would not be a good choice for a tasty breakfast.
If you’d like to make overnight oats, I recommend this overnight steel cut oats recipe, which is served cold and one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts during the warmer months. If you are are cooking for a crowd, these slow cooker steel cut oats are another option.
For a cozy, everyday breakfast, however, a steaming, creamy bowl of classic stove top steel cut oatmeal is my forever love.
Easy Steel Cut Oatmeal. Top with berries, nuts, or nut butter to make your perfect bowl!

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats

STEP ONE: Pick Your Liquid.

  • For every 1 cup of steel cut oats, you’ll need 2 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid, depending upon how thick you’d like them to be (less liquid = thicker steel cut oatmeal).
  • I like to do a mix of water and milk to make the steel cut oats extra creamy. You can use any kind of milk you like. I typically opt for almond milk (perfect if you need vegan steel cut oats). If you are feeling indulgent (or are Ina Garten or the Pioneer Woman), whole milk is indisputably delicious.

STEP TWO: Place the Liquid, Oats, and SALT in a Saucepan.

  • Note the emphasis on salt above. Add a good pinch for each cup of steel cut oats.
  • I always recommend kosher salt, which has a clean taste. Also, because the grains are larger, you’ll more easily avoid over salting your food.
  • Salt won’t make the oats taste salty. Rather, it wakes up their flavor and helps ensure the oats are not at all bland.

STEP THREE: Bring to a Boil, Reduce to a Simmer.

  • Let the oats simmer for about 20 minutes to start. You don’t need to babysit them. Simply stir the oats every now and then to make sure they aren’t sticking to the bottom and to remind yourself how delicious this bowl of steel cut oatmeal is going to be.
Classic stove top steel cut oatmeal is a healthy breakfast that is endlessly customizable.

STEP FOUR: Choose Your Texture.

  • Once the oats have been simmering 20 minutes, they’ll need about 5 to 10 minutes of additional simmering to reach their ideal texture.
  • “Ideal” is defined by YOU, the oatmeal chef! Like your oats more chewy? Stop cooking them sooner. Softer, thicker, and creamier is more your style? Let them go the full half hour. Thirty minutes is my personal steel cut oatmeal sweet spot.
  • The steel cut oats will continue to thicken as they cool, so don’t panic if they seem too thin.

STEP FIVE: Top ’Em Off!

  • This is the fun part. Steel cut oats are a healthy blank canvas for any of your favorite toppings and mix-ins. Fresh fruit, nuts, peanut butter or almond butter, and chia seeds are some of my go-tos.
This steel cut oats recipe will change your breakfast forever! An easy step by step recipe with lots of ideas for topping.

How to Store Steel Cut Oats

Since steel cut oatmeal takes longer to make than I typically have time for on an average weekday morning, I like to make a double batch on weekends and store it for healthy breakfasts all week long.
  • To refrigerate: If you are super organized or want to be able easily grab a single serving, portion the oatmeal into individual containers. You can also just put it all into one giant container, then scoop your desired amount into a bowl the morning you heat it up. Steel cut oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • To freeze: Portion your desired amount of the cooked steel cut oats into your container of choice. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

How to Reheat Steel Cut Oats

  • Place the steel cut oatmeal in a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan. Add a good splash of milk or water. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, stirring a few times throughout and adding more liquid as needed to keep it from drying out.
  • Note on portions: Oatmeal quadruples when it’s reheated. OK, don’t quote me on that exact math, but I find that by the time the oats absorb the extra liquid, I end up with a much larger serving than it appeared when I first scooped it into my bowl.
Questions? Thoughts? Confessions of oatmeal love (or hate!)? LET ME KNOW!
I’d love to hear what you think about steel cut oats, along with any of your favorite toppings.

Steel Cut Oats | How to Cook the Perfect Bowl


prep time:


cook time:


total time:

How to cook steel cut oats. The secret to making perfect steel cut oatmeal on the stovetop that turns out delicious and creamy every time! Healthy and low calorie, this is the only oatmeal recipe you need. Simple, vegan, and high in fiber, steel cut oats keep you full all morning long. Easy to make ahead and you can add any of your favorite toppings.


  •  2 1/2 cups water — plus additional as needed
  •  1 cup milk — any kind you like (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  •  1 cup  steel cut oats
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt — do not omit this!
  •  Toppings and mix-ins of choice — see blog post above for suggestions


  1. Place 2 1/2 cups water and milk in a medium/large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. As soon as the liquid boils, stir in the oats and salt. Return the mixture to a steady boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low so that the oats are at a gentle simmer. Don’t walk away from the pot at this point, as oats sometimes like to boil over. If your oats start to foam up and you are concerned, lift the pan right off the heat and let it settle down a bit before returning the pan to the heat to finish cooking.
  3. Let the oats gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping along the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. At this point, judge how chewy or creamy you’d like your oatmeal. For softer, creamier oats, continue cooking for 5 to 10 additional minutes, stirring every few minutes until the oatmeal is as tender as you like. If the oatmeal becomes thicker than you’d like, splash in a little extra water or milk to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  4. Remove the oatmeal from the heat and let sit a few minutes to finish thickening. Enjoy hot with any of your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

  • Leftover steel cut oatmeal is a meal-pepper’s dream! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, either as one large batch or in individual portions. Oatmeal will thicken as it chills. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove with an extra splash of liquid to thin it back out.
  • Steel cut oats are also very freezer friendly. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
course: BREAKFAST 
cuisine: AMERICAN


Amount per serving (1 (of 4), about 1 cup) — Calories: 158, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 5g

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