How to Dispose of Leftover Paint in the Seattle Area

How to Dispose of Leftover Paint in the Seattle AreaIf you have ever repainted a room in your home, stained your outside deck or added a fresh coat of paint to your fence, you probably have some extra paint lying around. It seems like you never use it all, but you just don’t have anything else you can slap a coat of paint on. You haul it out to the garage and there it sits—for years. You probably know you can’t toss the half-empty can in the trash, so you just keep holding on to it. How can Seattle area residents get rid of the paint in the garage safely and legally? The folks at Greenwood Hardware have a couple of options for you to consider.

  1. Donate usable paint to a local organization that uses the paint to take care of jobs in affordable housing areas. Ask around your neighborhood if anybody could use the paint. There are plenty of crafty people out there that can take a small amount of paint and create a masterpiece!
  2. Consider using the paint to dress up an old wooden chair or paint the drawers of your dresser for a contrasting color. You only need a little paint to do this. You can save unused paint in your garage for future touch up jobs. Just make sure you seal it tight and keep it out of extreme temperatures.
  3. Latex paint, which is a very common type, can be disposed of by adding clay-based kitty litter to the remaining paint. Mix it together to form a solid mass and allow it to dry. Place it in a garbage bag and put into the trash. You can also find a product that is labeled a paint hardener at your local hardware store that will do the same thing.
  4. For oil-based paint, you will need to take your unused paint to Wastemobile or check here http://www.hazwastehelp.org/HHW/hhw.aspx for other places that accept paint. Old paint can be recycled and used as alternative fuels.

You can save yourself the trouble of dealing with the disposal of unused paint by purchasing eco-friendly paints (we have them in stock!) that are better for the environment. These paints are often made with recycled paint that would have ended up in a landfill somewhere. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up what you need for your next painting project. Come on in, or contact us today.

All About Planting Strawberries in Your Northwest Garden

All About Planting Strawberries in Your Northwest GardenStrawberry season is just around the corner! It is time to get your plants or tend your existing bed so you can enjoy delicious, sweet strawberries within the next few months. Strawberries are a hallmark of early summer and make an excellent midday snack, dessert or tossed in a salad to serve with dinner. Strawberries are super easy to grow, and even the most novice gardener can enjoy the bounty of a few strawberry plants. You will find everything you need to get your strawberry patch started or take care of your existing patch at Greenwood Hardware.

Choosing a Type of Strawberry

There are two main types of strawberries. Ever Bearing and June Bearing are the most common. June Bearing produce larger strawberries once during the growing season. The one crop is typically picked over a 2 to 3 week time and is quite hefty.

Ever Bearing will continue to produce crops throughout the growing season. The main crops will be in early spring and again in late summer and are about half the size of a single June Bearing crop. The berries tend to be smaller, but are very sweet. It is personal preference. If you are planting strawberries with the sole purpose of making jams, pies or freezing the berries, Ever Bearing are your best option. June Bearing are great for eating right off the vine. They can also be preserved in the ways mentioned above.

Starting a New Patch

Strawberries are an acid-loving plant. The first thing you will want to do is a soil test. Ideally, your strawberry patch should have a pH of about 5.5. Use a soil treatment to get the desired pH level. You can work the dirt with a spade or a cultivator. Fortunately, strawberry roots are very shallow. If you are dealing with rocky terrain, it will not be a problem for your berry plants.

If you are working with bare root plants, which probably don’t look like a plant at all and more of a hard chunk with a few roots stringing out the bottom, you will want to plan your rows. Despite the innocuous appearance of those small chunks of plant, they will grow and spread. You will want about 4 feet between rows and about 18 inches between each plant in a row. Soak the roots in water for a few hours before you put them in the ground. Plant the strawberries deep enough to cover the roots, but the crown (the hard part), should be above the ground.

Strawberries will survive cool weather and actually thrive in it. The strawberries should be planted in an area with soil that is easily drained and will not become over-saturated with spring rains. Raised beds are perfect for strawberries. You can also put strawberries in containers if you do not have a large enough space. A few containers should be enough for you to enjoy a high yield of strawberries.

Strawberries can be covered with a layer of straw in the early spring to protect against a late frost. The straw also acts as a moisture barrier and can reduce the amount of water your plants will need. You will need to do mild weeding throughout the growing season. The straw can help cut down on the need for weeding. It is important to note, the strawberries planted this spring will produce very little in the first year. However, next year, with your careful tending, the plants will give you a healthy crop of strawberries.

Strawberry season is just around the corner. It is time to get your soil ready and your plants in the ground. If your patch is already established, you are sure to enjoy a delicious crop of fresh strawberries in a few short months. Head into Greenwood Hardware to pick up your gardening tools to get your patch started. Come on in, or contact us today.

5 Home Maintenance Tasks to Do this Spring in Seattle

5 Home Maintenance Tasks to Do this Spring in SeattleSpring has sprung and we have our sights set on summer with great anticipation of the family cookouts, gatherings on the patio and even vacations! Spring is such an exciting time as we watch the flowers pop up and their blooms open. Trees are regaining their leaves, and the birds are singing. It is very tempting to spend all your time outdoors soaking up the sun, but there are some things you need to take care of in the house to ensure all is well. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has everything you need to complete your spring readiness checklist.

  1. Vacuum the dryer vent. This is easy enough to do with the extender on your vacuum. Getting the lint that has built up over the past few months out of the vent reduces the risk of fire.
  2. Replace all of the batteries in your smoke detectors. Test each of your smoke detectors to make sure they are working. Considering adding more smoke detectors to your house. The garage, kitchen, upstairs hallway and downstairs areas should all have one. Adding a detector to each bedroom is also a good idea.
  3. Replace the water filters in your home. If you have a filter in your refrigerator, change that out. Filters that are dirty are ineffective and can contain mold and bacteria that you would not want your family to encounter.
  4. Flip your mattress, vacuum it and let it air out. Flipping your mattress will help extend the life, and you will be amazed at how much better the “new” side feels!
  5. Change out the filters in your air conditioner. If you don’t have one, pull out the fans from storage and give them a good cleaning. The back portion typically pulls off so that you can wash it and get it ready for another summer season.

It is nice to set up a routine for these minor maintenance issues that can easily be forgotten. Keeping up on these things ensures your home is being carefully maintained, and you won’t have to try and remember when the last time was that you changed the batteries or the filter in the fridge. Head into Greenwood Hardware for everything you need! Come on in, or contact us today.

How To Get your Deck Ready for Spring in Seattle

How To Get your Deck Ready for Spring in Seattle

It is time to pull out the barbecue and get ready to enjoy what appears to be an early spring for us in the Pacific Northwest! Before you unpack the deck furniture and fire up the grill for the first time, you will want to perform an inspection of your deck. It can likely use a little facelift along with some repairs. Now is the time to do it before you start using your deck on a regular basis. Our team at Greenwood Hardware knows you are excited to use your deck again and is ready to help you find what you need to revitalize your deck after our long winter.

  1. Start with the flooring. Sweep off leaves, pine needles and other debris. Check for any nails that have lifted and need to be pounded back down. If there are any warped boards, it is time to replace them. Boards that are broken or weak should also be replaced. Use a solution of soap and water to clean the wood.
  2. If the paint or stain is faded, consider adding a fresh coat to help protect the wood. A newly stained deck can make it look brand new again. Before you add the new stain, feel along the hand rails for any areas that need sanding. You don’t want to get slivers!
  3. Once the stain has dried, it is time to start unpacking the deck furniture. Wipe everything down and check it out for any damages. If there are loose screws or nails popping up on wood furniture, take care of them before anybody snags their clothing on them. Fix wobbly tables to prevent plates from sliding off. Consider repainting metal or wood deck furniture to help liven the place up.
  4. Dress up your revitalized deck with some potted flowers. Adding a patio heater can help keep you warm on those cool nights out on the deck.

Your deck is a place for you to treasure and make lasting memories! Make yours safe and gorgeous by heading into Greenwood Hardware today and picking up everything you need to get your deck ready for another season of outdoor cooking and gatherings. Come on in, or contact us today.

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Your Garage

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Your Garage - Greenwood HardwareIt is time to do some spring cleaning indoors while we wait for the Seattle rainy season to let up enough for us to get outside and start taking care of the landscaping needs. One area that could probably use some attention is your garage or that old shed or barn out back. Those places tend to become catch-alls as you put things away for the winter to protect them from the elements. It doesn’t take long before the space to become a bit of a cluttered mess. Our team at Greenwood Hardware can help you find exactly what you need to transform that cluttered space into one that is functional and tidy.

Here are some of the things you can do to make your garage a little more organized, which will make finding things a real breeze!

  1. Invest in some pegboards. These handy tools can keep all your tools, gardening tools and the little things organized and in plain sight. Hang peg boards on the wall next to the door and hang flashlights, the broom and other items you need on a regular basis. Hang another pegboard with your hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches and other typical tools over your workbench. Pegboards are inexpensive, but oh so effective.
  2. As you noticed with the pegboards, you will want to create sections in your garage. Household stuff in one area, car repair stuff in another and outdoor toys or tools in another. This will help you keep like things together. You won’t be throwing things into the garage without a thought. When it comes time to find a specific item, you will know right where to start looking.
  3. Invest in large hooks to hang things like the bikes and skis. These items can take up a lot of space. Utilize all that open area on the walls or the ceiling.
  4. Shelves that are nice and high are another way to take advantage of the extra height in a garage. Place items you rarely use, like seasonal decorations, on the top shelves. Hang your ladder on the end of a shelf or on the wall and use it to access those items when it is time.
  5. Consider investing in some of the rubber garage tiles to place in front of your work bench. This will make standing in the garage for any length of time much more comfortable. The padding will take some of the pressure off your lower back and feet as well.

Your garage doesn’t have to be something you are embarrassed by. These handy tricks make it easy to get organized and stay that way. You won’t have to check around to see if anybody is looking when you open the garage door. Head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up what you need today. Come on in, or contact us today.