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Playing the Match Game With Paint

March 28, 1992|JOHN MORELL

Question: A neighbor recently had a ceiling repainted professionally, and the painters were able to perfectly match the color of his walls. I'd like to paint a couple of rooms in my house, but I want to use the same beige color that's used throughout the house. How do I go about matching paint?

N.D.

Fountain Valley

Answer: "It's probably best if you could remove a good-sized chip of it," says Dick Horn of Ameritone Paint & Wallpaper Center in Costa Mesa. "Take it to a professional paint store, and even though there are computers that match colors of paint, an experienced dealer can mix together the right pigments to give you the exact match. It takes a good eye to know how to match paint, and if it's really important to get that same color, I wouldn't advise trying to match it on your own."

Q: When working with lumber, how do I figure out board feet and linear feet?

R.Y.

Buena Park

A: "Say you have a 6-foot board that's 6 inches wide, a linear foot would be measured every 12 inches along the 6-foot length," says Lou Provost of Barr Lumber in Costa Mesa. "For board feet, you take the width and length of the lumber, for example a 2-by-4, and multiply that, which is eight. Divide that by 12, and you have .6667, which would mean you have two-thirds of a board foot."

Q: I would like to paint over the paneling in my mobile home, but I've been told the finish will make it difficult. There are also numerous small holes in it that have to be patched. Can this be done?

G.G.

Huntington Beach

A: "Sure, first you have to scrub down the paneling with TSP and completely rinse," says Carol Walter of Alamitos Paint and Wallpaper in Los Alamitos. "To fill the holes, you can get a non-shrinking 'sandable' spackle that's easy to use, and sand the fills so they're flush with the wood. Then use an oil-based primer sealer, since you don't want stains or the dark color of the wood to bleed through the paint. From there use a good quality latex for the finish coat."

Q: Our 25-year-old concrete patio has some dark moss-colored areas and our concrete driveway has developed stains from motor oil, battery acid and rust from a leaking gutter. Any suggestions on how to remove these?

D.A.

Huntington Beach

A: "You might try a product called CLR, which is designed to remove concrete stains," says Joe Gomez of Crown Hardware in Corona del Mar. "If they're really serious, you can try muriatic acid, but that's difficult to work with. That will etch away the surface, which can affect the overall look of the concrete.

"Generally, your success at getting the stain off will depend on how long it's been on the surface. The longer it's had time to work itself in, the harder it's going to be to remove."

Q: I've seen these outdoor gas fire pits that have a layer of sand on top and the fire seems to magically rise up out of the sand. How do they work?

B.C.

Yorba Linda

A: "They're actually pretty simple," says Maria Rienzo of Fireplace & Patio Trends in Orange. "A fire ring is connected to the gas line and then covered with sand and/or lava rocks. When it's turned on, the sand diverts the flames so it appears as if the sand is on fire. As long as you have a gas connection outside, and you're able to build a masonry pit for them, they're relatively easy to install."

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