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I am Don D'Orazio President/CEO of Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services. We are a Local Business in the Durham Region Community. We specialize in the industry of Home Improvements. Please visit our website to view some of our work, testimonials or to find out more about our services today at: www.donofalltrafes.ca. You can reach our office at: 905-259-5249 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother’s Day Gift Bags Help Brighten the Holidays for Women in Shelters
Photos provided by Don of all Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services
In the month of motherhood festivities, thousands of mothers and mothers-to-be across the country will spend Mother’s Day in a domestic violence shelter.
Children staying in shelters may have little or no means to get a gift to their moms on Mother’s Day. Our Annual Helping Hands Mother’s Day Gift Bag Drive Project provides lovely assembled gift bags to give to children living in domestic violence shelters. The children in turn give the gift bags as their gift to mom on Mother’s Day.
The Project hopes to grow larger each year by inspiring other local businesses and members of the community to offer their own donated items from our Wish-List to be put into these gift bags as part of our Helping Hands Building Trees Of Hope Program.
Some moms in shelters may require additional tender loving care on Mother’s Day, especially if they are grieving a child’s death or miscarriage, have lost custody of their children or are unable to be with them for a variety of other reasons.
Mother’s Day celebrations may be emotionally triggering to these mothers, and shelter staff needs to be mindful and prepared to offer extra support and allow the time and space the survivor needs to cope with separation from or loss of her children.
Shelters do important work, but sadly, they are often underfunded and understaffed.
Here is a classic example that we are all familiar with. You’ve had that bookcase that no longer fits in your living area, or it may be damaged with perhaps some shelving that is in need of repair.
You may be thinking that its time to trash it by posting an ad on Kijiji, hauling it into the basement or maybe just placing it out on your curb in the hopes that it will disappear. Why not consider the option of repurposing it?
Repurposing is the process by which an object with one use value is transformed or redeployed as an object with an alternative use value.
E.g. Bedside storage is a necessity for books, electronic devices, boxes of tissues, and other essentials. Given such a long list of must-haves, the ample storage afforded by an old bookcase makes it ripe for repurposing into a nightstand.
Deck out an old bookcase (or a recent find) with a fresh coat of paint and some patterned contact paper, then attach a quartet of modern legs to add height and complete the transformation.
There’s countless ideas for repurposing your furniture pieces and other household good and bookcases are just the beginning! With hardly any effort and lot of imagination you can repurpose that unwanted bookcase and turn it into something beautiful!
Below is one of our own projects we completed by taking an older T.V. Entertainment Unit and repurposing the shelving that once upon a time, used to hold books, children’s dvd’s, vhs tapes and family photo albums now transformed into a new one of a kind storage space to now hold supplies for our new office coffee station with the addition of some personal touches. Hope this inspires you to try some of your own DIY Repurposing projects around your home or office. The possibilities are endless!
DIY Repurpose Bookcase Makeover
We gave these 2 book cases a quick inspection, looking for any damaged areas that needed repair and disassembled the shelving. Both pieces got a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt and grime built up from over the years. This would help ensure that paint will adhere properly.
We’re no strangers to Cottage Serenity Brand Paints. If you’ve read our previous blogs and viewed some of the other DIY projects we’ve completed in the past, you’ll see for yourself what a great product and premium paint this really is and here’s why:
When you’re not looking for that vintage look and simply want to paint your furniture to give it a fresh new appearance, Serenity is a mineral paint that goes on clean and evenly with no extra work. Simply prep your surface, then paint. No top coat is required.
Serenity is formulated with top quality acrylic and urethane resins that cure to become a very durable surface. Serenity is available in a soft silky-smooth finish or a velvety flat finish.
There is NO sanding and NO priming required if the surface is cleaned, sealed and sound. When painting with Serenity paint, the surface dries with a built-in sealer. There is no need to worry about any additional waxes or varnishes. It’s as easy as that.
We gave our shelving pieces 2 coats of Cottage Paint Serenity Brand in Charcoal Grey with dry time in between each coat and set them to the side.
Painting both inside and outside of these bookcases was shall we say… “interesting.” These units needed 2 coats of paint to cover the existing colour with dry time in between coats however, we loved the way these pieces were coming together!
Before & After
Wow what a transformation already! Loving it!
We now have 2 brand new looking book shelves that were originally part of a 3 piece older TV Entertainment Unit from back in the day.
We gave these 2 older bookshelves a new purpose and meaning in our home office and decided to to put them to good use by incorporating both pieces as part of our office coffee station area. They both have a ton of useful storage space.
It’s really is a wonderful feeling to take something you already have in your home and transform that piece into something new and give a new purpose.
This was the fun part! By taking these two older bookcases and re-purposing them, we now have created something completely new with a great story to tell and we’ve don it ourselves! We have now created a home for our items that has a unique look like no other.
To finish this project off, we added some of our own personal touches by installing some curtain rods and sheers we already had around from a previous window treatment upgrade project. Silk orange sunflower heads with clips were added to each end of the curtain hold back hardware to help give these pieces just a little splash of colour and cheerfulness. Love the new look!
Good To Know Tips
Practice the 3- R- Rule–Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It’s the basic foundation that keeps more items out of the landfills.
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Every year I plant fresh herbs in my garden. Oregano, mint and chives are my “regulars” that keep coming back every year. This year I took the time to do some research and paid a visit to my local garden nursery. Every year I try to choose a new and exciting addition to add to my herb garden and these photos are just a few of this years selections. Keep in mind I have quite a large herb garden and I tend to dry and store them to be used all through the winter months. Below is a description along with some of their uses in cooking. There’s nothing more flavorful than cooking with fresh herbs and spices that you have grown in your garden. Fresh herbs just bring your meals to life. Bonne Appetite!
The African Basil Plant
Is one of a few types of basil that is perennial. The leaves of African blue basil start out purple when young, only growing green as the given leaf grows to its full size, and even then retaining purple veins. Goes well with pesto dishes.
The Bay Laurel Plant
The By Laurel Plant is a small Mediterranean evergreen tree with small blackish berries and glossy aromatic leaves used for flavoring in cooking; also used by ancient Greeks to crown victors The unique scent is also known for its bug repelling properties. The Bay Laurel is the perfect seasoning roasts, soups, and stews.
The Vietnamese Coriander Plant
The top of its leaf is dark green, with chestnut-colored spots while the leaf’s bottom is burgundy red. The stem is jointed at each leaf. This herb’s leaves are commonly eaten fresh in salads, soups, stews, fish and beef.
The Curry Plant
The Curry Plant is a compact pant with silver foliage and yellow blooms. Pick leaves at any time and use for seasoning salads, soups, meat dishes and more.
The Sage Plant
A perennial with hairy aromatic foliage and attractive edible blue flowers. Pick leaves at any time and use for seasoning fish, shrimp, pork, chicken, corn on the cob and chicken.
The Rosemary Plant
Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub with leaves that can be picked anytime and used for flavoring in foods such as stuffing and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey.
The Lavender Plant
The Lavender Plant beautiful purple-tone blooms atop foliage that oozes fragrance on a sunny afternoon. Pick and dry flowers for seasoning desserts, such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream, or use as an edible garnish on a salad or fresh berries. Lavender blends deliciously with mint and lemon to brew a refreshing tea.
The Dark Opal Basil Plant
The Dark Opal Basil Plant has purple leaves with pink flowers Opal Basil is a very high quality basil perfect for culinary use in any dish. It’s used in fresh or dried form and can be frozen for later use. It works particularly well in salads and stir fry.
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With regards to giving your home a face lift, the difference is all in the details. Paintingtired furniture is one of the quickest and most cost effective approaches to revive a room’s stylistic theme.
This bedroom needed some TLC and we wanted to give it a new fresh cleaner look. We had to first start by decluttering, organizing cleaning, prepping the walls and then painting the room.
Outdated window treatments were replaced along with the original large pine wood bed with with a newer sleeker basic iron headboard. New mattress and box spring were purchased as well. The only original bedroom furniture left in this room was the was the dresser.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with this dresser except cosmetically, it didn’t fit in with the planned updated decor and style we wanted to achieve in this room.
We decided to up-cycle this dresser and give it a face-lift with some chalk paint. And let me tell you….ARE WE EVER GLAD WE DID!
Below are some before and after photos of this dresser up cycling project including steps, tips and our experiences completing it. We hope that this article inspires you to create something new and unique as a DIY project for your home.
Step 1-Surface Preparation-Before You Paint
Photos courtesy of Don of all Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services
Remove any removable elements like hardware, shelves, drawers.
Run your hand across the piece to find any rough patches that might need sanding (but you do NOT need to sand the entire piece when using Chalk Paint–even if it’s varnished!).
Fill any holes with wood glue.
Even if your furniture piece appears to be clean, it will still be covered in oils from hands. So, make sure to give it a once over with some warm soapy water. we just used a mild dish-soap, followed up with a final pass of clear water, so we didn’t leave behind any soapy residue. Then, just allow ample dry time before applying your first coat of paint.
Edge off any sections that won’t be painted using painter’s tape (like the inside of drawers).
For this particular project, we purchased the Rust-Oleum Brand-Chalked Ultra Matt in Linen White. Ultra Matte Paint creates a matte finish that dries to a velvety smooth finish. It transforms and rejuvenates furniture and home décor, creating a unique one of a kind look.
Easy to use – No prepping or priming required
Use on wood, metal, ceramic, canvas and more
Water based for easy clean up
Step 3- Our Brush of Choice-The Nour Craft 1 ½ inch Premium Oval Brush
The 1.5 inch (37mm) Premium Oval Brush is a professional polyester brush for use with all paints and wax. This brush is ideal for spreading wax because of the density and firmness of the filaments and is best suited for application on medium-sized objects. In addition, the oval shape provides greater coverage.
Dyed, tipped and flagged polyester filaments
High density of filaments (increased paint pick-up & release)
Fine tips for smooth finish
Firm stiffness (excellent for wax application)
Good To Know Tip-How To Apply a Chalk Finish Paint
Practice painting a scrap board before tackling a project. When layering different paint colors for a distressed finish, apply a heavier base coat than top coat. Work quickly — chalk-finish paint dries fast and immediately remove any particles in the wet paint.
Good To Know Tip-When Chalk Paint Becomes Too Thick…
When applying the chalk paint, we found after time the paint got thick and we ran into problems with unevenness on how the paint laid down on the wood. This was a concern because this dresser got very streaked with brush lines and we were disappointed on how this project was turning out so far.
In this case we corrected this issue by using a damp sponge and carefully smoothed out the imperfections after a few hours.
We recommend separating a portion of the paint to be used and thinning the paint by simply adding a little water to it.
Note: When painting make sure room temperature is not to cold because it enhanced the streaking problem.
We then realized that it would most likely take two to three coats of chalk paint to finish this job.
It’s a really good product if you know what to expect……like all good things in life it takes a little time and effort but in the end you will have a beautiful piece of
Step 5-Adding a Protective Top Coat
Since this piece was still being used as a dresser, we chose the Rust-oleum Brand Chalked Protective Top Coat to add an extra protection against any possible spills or accidents.
Adds a protective, sealed clear topcoat to any chalked surface
Ultra-matte, smooth finish enhances color and durability
Goes on in 1 to 2 coats with no need to reapply
We found that this product worked like it said it would. This is a good sealer for the chalked paint. We also wanted to mention that this product does darken the colors a bit.
Well this DIY up-cycling dresser project was a lot of fun and and a great learning experience to complete. Ok, so it 4 coats of chalk paint and a little bit of patience to achieve the look we wanted but we are so happy we made the effort. We absolutely love the results and the new fresh clean look it adds to this bedroom. Best of all-it was an affordable alternative!
Three More Reasons Why You Should Consider Up Cycling
Number 1-Saves You Money
The number 1 reason for choosing to upcycle furniture is clearly that it saves you money. We live in a throw- away generation whereby individuals rush to simply throw away undesirable things; the perfect opportunity to get your hands on something to give a makeover!
Why purchase new when you can make something totally customized for your home? No one else will have the same and you can give your creative imagination and energy a chance to run wild.
Number 3-Good for the Environment
It’s good for the environment –Instead of trashing unwanted pieces consider recycling them as something else and turning them into something you love is the way to go. Landfills are wrecking havoc with our environment so next time you make a trip to dump, think “can I re-purpose this?”
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About Don D’Orazio
Founder of Don of all Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services.
Donato has over 20 plus years of experience. His company has completed various projects for many clients. Donato’s philosophy is to always treat “YOUR HOME AS IF IT WERE HIS OWN”. His goal is to provide quality service at affordable prices without compromising the finished product.
Donato always ensures all his projects are completed with the highest standard of quality and craftsman ship. He also takes pride in knowing that he can take your ideas and turn them into reality….. Giving you the home you’ve always dreamed of having.
Donato D’Orazio, owner and founder of Don of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services, classifies his vision for home renovation projects with three important goals.
1. To come in on budget
2. To complete the project on-time.
3. To make the customer’s experience as stress-free as possible
It is these three goals that form the foundation for the Don of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services business model, which is unique from the way that other home improvement companies operate. Our clients have told us the benefits they’ve seen from our business model.
“Start living better and get peace of mind and the freedom in life to get back to the important things that matters most to you.”
Don Continues to Find Compassion Within Himself to Stay Attached to Values That are Linked to the Common Good
In 2013 Don and and his team created the Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope Program benefiting worthwhile causes and creating partnerships within our communities in Durham Region. The Tree of Hope is a symbol of commitment, inspiration and community. Every year Don’s goal is to add new Helping Hands to the Tree of Hope and have it completed by December 31st from generous donations collected from clients, friends, family and local businesses in the community from our Donation Wish-List. Don believes it’s important to give back and not only volunteers his time, he also funds and hosts a number events throughout the year to help Do Good and Give Back.
Here’s an important life lesson: no matter how tough you think your life is there’s always someone who has to face challenges that are tougher than yours.
Free-standing shower enclosures take the shower out of your bathtub and give it its own place in your bathroom. These enclosures can help you transform your shower into a separate oasis or even eliminate the bathtub altogether to free up space. Free-standing shower enclosures can be placed almost anywhere in the bathroom, but choosing your shower requires careful consideration to ensure the best possible fit and performance.
Our client had referenced that they were not content with their current shower stand in light of the fact that the entryway continued opening whenever they would use it alongside the reality they didn’t care for the yellowish shading and style.
When investigating the situation, we found that the entryway was opening on the grounds that the shower base was not level.
Our customer chose to move forward and update their bathroom with a more modern stand shower model.
The first step was to carefully dismantle and remove the the original shower unit.
Next, a bottom row of tiles and an area of drywall was carefully removed, replaced with new drywall, original tiles and grout.
The new acrylic shower base was installed. New tracks were installed and screwed into the walls. The doors were hung and adjusted. All seams were caulked. A test was done to ensure there were no holes, leaks or any other issues.
What a touch of elegance this newly installed Karina SlidingDoor RoundedShowerKit with AcrylicBase and Chrome finish adds to our client’s bathroom! This unit is the perfect solution for small spaces and did we mention it’s also easy to maintain?
Sending out a thank you to our client who called our team at Don of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services to install this unit for them.
Have a question about your current home improvement project? Get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!
Like so many home owners out there, there comes point in when you may be considering ways to add spark and life back in your home. Remodeling can help bring out the much-needed changes to your current living conditions. Learn more …
Have you ever turned on your bathroom exhaust fan to hear it suddenly make a strange squeaking sound or maybe even stop working completely? Chances are the motor to your unit may just need a simple cleaning. Learn more …
Caulk is used to create a seal in a tub where the tile and the tub join. Caulk prevents water from seeping up into the tiles and causing the tiles to separate from the wall and mildew to form. Learn more…
NEW: OUR MOTHER’S DAY GIFT BAG DRIVE FOR WOMEN IN SHELTERS IS OFFICIALLY ON!
Mother’s Day Gifts Bags Brighten Holidays For Women In Shelters
Help us celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday May 12, 2019 by donating items to put together into our 15 Gift Bags that will be donated to the women at Herizon House Women’s Shelter. A total of 15 Mother’s Day Gift Bags will be given away this year with the help of some wonderful angels who give from their heart. Learn more …
It’s amazing how some paint has completely changed the look of this entrance way, stairs and landing area. The original railing was in need of repair.
A new stair newelpost, new top rail and mounting hardware was installed.
Instead of replacing the stairs with new ones, broken steps were repaired, finished grade plywood was installed to eliminate creaking and to help add more strength to the steps.
Steps were painted with 2 coats of a charcoal shade and finished off with 2 coats of water based varnish satin coat with Serenity Brand Cottage Paint which was purchased at the Benjamin Moore Whitby Shores Decor Centre.
Although making the decision of trying something completely different by painting these steps a dark color was a difficult one, this client was extremely pleased at how they came out.
Walls were patched and sanded. Even the front hallway closest got fresh coat of paint inside and out. Walls were painted in a shade of grey, all ceilings and trim were painted in a white.
All this area needs now is some personal touches like adding picture frames and new lighting fixtures to complete the look of this space.
Have a question about your improvement project? Get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you! Call us at 905-259-5249 or visit our website at: http://www.donofalltrades.ca to book your free in home consultation in Durham Region today.
Have a question about your home improvement project? Get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!
When remodeling a kitchen consider a Back Splash as part of your upgrades. Back splashes are a durable wall covering that protects your walls from water resulting in stains and molds. A kitchen is a high traffic area where most food preparation is made and is most likely to come into contact with water and greasy foods spatters.
You can enhance any floor or wall installation with these exquisite 12×14 mesh mounted marble mosaics with the immanent natural shading of these classic stones.
Manufactures Recommended Applications:
Shower floors and walls
Appropriate for all residential floor and wall applications
This is a natural stone product. The shade and colours will vary within cartons.
Handy Tip Number2
Mix tiles from different cases to ensure optimal blending and install with mortar thin-set or tile adhesive.
Handy Tip Number 3
When installing natural marble keep in mind that the stone is very soft and when you cut the stone be mindful that at the end of the cut you have the possibility of breaking the stone. We recommend using a scrap piece of stone tile behind the tile that is being cut to stabilize the cutting blade and reduce tile breakage.
Handy Tip Number 4
When installing 12×12 sheet tile it is very important to use the proper v-notch trowel when applying the tile adhesive. By applying too much adhesive and you will run into all sorts of problems with tile slippage and the adhesive squeezing out of the grout joints. Always follow manufactures recommendation on trowel size.
Handy Tip Number 5
When installing natural stone marble keep in mind that this type of stone is very heavy and you will need to use the proper mastic. All tile adhesive are not created equal. You will want to find a tile adhesive that is specified for use on natural stone. One that has a high bond strength and that will not sag is recommended. Ask your supplier what they carry and what’s best for your application.
Handy Tip Number 6
All natural stone needs to be sealed prior to grouting. Natural stone is very pores and will absorb the grout colour and hide the natural features of the stone. Not to mention it could ruin the job by giving an undesired look. A premium penetrating sealer that can enhance the features of the natural stone is recommended.
Handy Tip Number 7
When picking a grout try to find one that complements all the colours that are in your natural stone. Typically when installing natural stone you want to use a non sanded grout.
Reasons for choosing non sanded are as follows:
Natural stone scratches very easily and you don’t want to damage the finish on the stone with the sand.
The second reason is these grout joints were less than 3 millimeters and it would be difficult to put sanded grout in such small joints.
Handy Tip Number 8
Maintenance and care. Wipe sealed stone with a damp cloth. Only use cleaners specifically designed for natural stone.
Once you kitchen back splash project is complete, natural stone will give beauty and durability and should last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
Kinds words from our client…
Don did a fantastic job on our backsplash. He came to our home and provided a quote and was able to do the backsplash the following week. He pays great attention to details. He was willing to come on multiple days in order to ensure that our stone was properly sealed, and grouted. The finished product is more than I could have even expected. He was very professional and just a wonderful person to do business with. We will certainly contact Don again when we do future renovations!
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Don Of All Trades is giving back to our community. Please donate to our Helping Hands Program benefiting women and children.
Every gift is a gift of hope. Your donations make a difference in the lives of women and children who are survivors of violence and abuse that are provided with a place of safety, support and hope at Herizon House women’s shelter.