Question: We store some antique crystal goblets in our kitchen cabinet and we're always very careful with them. They're kept upside down on a felt pad, and we keep some space between them and other things in the cabinet. However, I'm concerned that during an earthquake, they'll really be bounced around and they'll break. What's a more secure way to store them?
Answer: "Probably one of the best ideas can be taken from the way bars store glasses," says Russ Crosby of Austin Hardwoods in Santa Ana. "They have glasses hanging from racks suspended from the ceiling. You can install a similar system in the top of the cabinet. This would keep them safe as well as free up space below the cabinet for extra storage.
"You can buy rabbited molding to create the rack and install it very easily. Make sure though that the molding you buy will fit the base of your goblets, since sizes and thickness of glasses can vary."
Q: When painting an interior wall, do I get better coverage applying one thick coat or two or more thinner coats?
A: "When you figure the labor involved when painting, and let's say you pay yourself $5 per hour, it's usually much more expensive than the cost of the paint," says John Walters of Los Alamitos Paint and Wallpaper. "So if you're going to go through the motions, try to get the best paint you can afford and do it with one coat. Sometimes you may have to use two if you need to make a drastic color change. You're saving dollars if you buy a cheap paint, but if your time is worth anything, you're really not getting any savings. A cheaper paint also won't wear as well."
Q: We have a bedroom door that always closes on its own, even when all the windows are closed, which rules out drafts. We have a doorstop in front of it now, but I'd like to see about fixing it for good. What could be causing it?
A: "It may be that the jamb isn't level," says Phil Marshall of Orange Coast Hardware & Lumber in Santa Ana. "You could use a level and put it on the jamb to see if it's out of square, or you can remove the top hinge, insert a piece of cardboard behind it and reattach it to see if that makes a difference. If not, try it on the bottom hinge."
Q: "We're having a problem with the draperies in our living room. Whenever they're pulled back, two or three of the hooks pop out of the plastic guides. Is there some way to secure them for good?
A: "It sounds as though the hooks have become stretched out," says Pat Strobel of Hollypark National Custom Draperies in Cypress. "You can probably just take pliers or use your fingers and pinch them back together, not so they're closed, but just so that they're a little tighter. Make sure the glides are secure in the rod. If those are coming out, you may need a new rod."
Q: We have wallpaper in our kitchen that's only about a year old that has developed hand stains near the electrical switches. Is there anything that works well enough to remove these?
A: "Your strategy is going to depend on the type of wall covering it is," says paperhanger Matt Wilsley of Costa Mesa. "If it has some vinyl or plastic, you have a good chance of getting stains out, but if it's really made of just paper, you may just have to forget it.
"If it does have vinyl or plastic, try rubbing the stain lightly with an old-fashioned gum eraser. Then try wiping it with a light detergent and water. If the stains are still there, you may have to try some kind of solvent, but before using it, apply it to some inconspicuous place on the wall to see if it changes the paper's color or affects it negatively in some way."