Archive for the ‘eco remodeling’ Category

Tips for Eco-Friendly Furniture Refinishing

This is a guest post by Eric Munoz

Eric Munoz owns a wood furniture design company in Houston that can custom build pieces from scratch or duplicate existing pieces. He has over 10 years of experience working with his hands. Visit his site at

Refinishing can be great way to give old pieces of furniture a new life and maybe save yourself a couple of bucks in the process. However, in order to make this a safe, enjoyable, and eco-friendly process, there are certain things of which you should be aware. Here are four areas of the eco-friendly furniture refinishing process that you should consider before getting into a project.

Beware of Toxins and Pests

Refinishing can be a lengthy process, and you might not be sure of exactly what you are stripping or sanding off of some pieces of furniture. There could be dangerous toxins in the dust that comes off while sanding wood furniture or in the fumes that accompany stripping paint or varnish off a piece. It can therefore be important to wear items such as gloves, a face mask, and protective eyewear.

It is also important to note that while picking up old furniture from unknown sources such as a garage sale, someone’s trash, or wherever, might be an eco-friendly way to reuse these items, there may be unexpected and dangerous surprises involved. With the sudden re-emergence of bed-bugs, you’ll need to be on the lookout for these tiny pests, and keep an eye open for hornets’ nests, other bugs, rodent droppings, and even the rodents themselves. While you might have the best of intentions at heart with your eco-friendly purposes, at times there can be some unintended and unexpected consequences — so be prepared!

A Proper Location

Finding the proper location to work on refinishing your furniture can be important to a safe and eco-friendly process. A well-vented place like a garage, outbuilding or other typically uninhabited space can make for a better spot to work than inside the home. This way, you can give your furniture time to sit and ensure it is devoid of pests, and have a safe place to remove dirt, debris and possibly dangerous and eco-unfriendly material.

Excess Materials

When removing what might be hazardous or toxic material from furniture, whether it is dust, old paint, stain or similar material, using a tarp or clean, hard surface on which to collect this material can keep it from escaping out into the environment. A vacuum may also be handy to sweep up dust.

To dispose of such material, it’s important to remember not to just throw it in the garbage where it will end up in a landfill. Instead, check the phone book or Internet for a local drop off facility for hazardous material. And remember, when working with furniture that might be padded such as chairs or sofas, there may be metal springs that could be recycled, fabric that could be reused or turned into rags, and foam or other padding that might be reused either as packing material or in the refinishing of the furniture itself.

Go Natural

When you have your piece of furniture prepped and ready to be refinished, look for natural finishes that could work for your purposes. Consider leaving the wood in its natural state. Maybe an all natural wood wax or oil would work, or an organic, cotton cover for a cushioned chair or sofa.

If you decide that a finish of some type is needed such as a lacquer, stain, or paint, look for products that are non-toxic and eco-friendly in nature. A quick search of the Internet should provide you with numerous options in this area as well as where such items might be found.

Eric Munoz owns a wood furniture design company in Houston that can custom build pieces from scratch or duplicate existing pieces. He has over 10 years of experience working with his hands. Visit his site at

Curb Appeal: The Block: Car Crash Catastrophe

Three years prior to airing this segment of the Curb Appeal: The Block, the Tates experienced a Car Crash Catastrophe. Their beautiful home became “that house” to many neighbors. With a $20,000 transformation, “that house” became “the house” of the block. When making a dramatic change the value of the whole neighborhood goes up along with the house. This is very beneficial for all.

Larry and Hillary Tate’s home has been the eyesore for years. Their home has a leaning fence, a deep driveway that is sunken underground, a front door with no personality, and grass growing through the cracks. The host to Curb Appeal speaks to the home owners to go over their desires. Hillary Tate has a long list of ideas and the host now has something to work with.

The crew gets started with their long overhaul. The fence is taken down; the garage door is taken down as well. The driveway is then completely demolished to make the garage into a basement adding dirt to make a leveled driveway. The neighbor complains in hopes to save her red maple trees from having little room to grow. Curb Appeal makes big changes, curving the driveway which adds value to the home. All is pleased once again. Finally the roofing NJ is complete, and it’s time to paint. Once all is done, the home looks beautiful and all the Tate’s neighbors are ecstatic.

Curb Appeal: The Block, right? The block gets added help. Other homes on the street need some help too. Melissa needed a new porch floors, and explains this she plans to fix soon. The host recommends she use composite board for her new deck renovations. I would recommend deck lighting NJ as well. The crew helps by adding planters, flower baskets and even fixed her quant swing, all within a budget of $500 dollars. A job well done and the equity of the homes are higher. This works out great for all.

Using Green materials in remodeling

There are many benefits in using green materials in remodeling your home with companies that are going green in this day and age. Using green materials in remodeling your home can help you save money, helps mother earth, and makes you feel better as a whole because your would be doing the right thing. Besides the great benefits in using green materials to remodel your home there are many green materials to chose from.

Are you interested in new flooring for your home? If new flooring is your next project there are many options in going green today. Bamboo requires no fertilizers or pesticides and that alone is a big deal, also, using bamboo as a flooring option is great because there are different types and finishes to choose from. Cork is a great alternative in flooring your home. Cork is 100% recyclable because it comes from the production of wine corks, imagine that. Cork is a great option because it is fire and stain resistant as well.

What about your homes electrical needs? There are electrical companies that want to help you reduce your carbon footprint. Indoor and outdoor lighting, fire alarms, doorbells, ceiling fan, appliance wiring, outdoor speakers, home theatre, lamp replacement… you name it, there is way to help you save cost and reduce your carbon footprint in your electric needs.

Don’t just stop there; there are other ways to use green materials and service. Do your research and do your best in going green. There are many options available when it comes to remodeling your home and going green. No matter the task, just ask if your next remodeling project could be a project in saving our earth in any way, shape or form. How will you be going green today, please share by commenting below.