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ASK THE HANDYMAN / JOHN MORELL

To Paint Paneling, Get in the Groove

August 15, 1992|JOHN MORELL

Question: I would like to paint and wallpaper over wood paneling in my mobile home, as well as over a plastic, textured wall covering that is used in the kitchen. How should I prepare the walls?

W. M.

Costa Mesa

Answer: "For the paneling, the first thing you'll need to do is spackle in the grooves," says Harold Brobst of Hal's Paint and Decorating in Fullerton. "You'll also have to clean the walls to make sure there's no wax or soap residue. From there you can use an oil-based primer, then you can paint or paper.

"In the kitchen, you may want to check to see if that's not some type of wall covering, in which case you'd just strip it off. If it's part of the wall, you can use a quick-drying primer on it, since they bond to nearly any surface, and apply your paper or paint."

Q: We have been having a problem locating spare parts for a 30-year-old Case 3000 wall-mounted one-piece toilet. We've been told the manufacturer is no longer in business. Any suggestions?

S. S.

Santa Ana

A: "You should try some plumbing supply houses that have been around for a while. I know we still have some parts, but there aren't many of these wall-mounted toilets around," says Manny Gwartz of B.J. Discount Plumbing Supply in Garden Grove. "It is installed in a 2-by-6 wall through a carrier built into the wall, leaving the floor open for easy cleaning. Now that most walls are built with 2-by-4, they're not strong enough for these types of fixtures."

Q: Our kitchen has a dark wood parquet floor, and we'd like to tear up the carpet in the adjacent family room and install the same parquet. The kitchen floor is about 10 years old. Is it possible to find a matching parquet pattern?

C. V.

Laguna Niguel

A: "Your parquet tiles can probably be found somewhere, and if not, they can be custom-made, which may not be prohibitively expensive," says Lisa Rector of American Hardwood Floors in Cerritos. "Where you may have a problem is in matching the stain that was used on it. Although you might know the color, over time and use the stain on the old floor has discolored, and you're not going to make a complete match.

"Probably the best solution would be to have the floor installed, then strip down the floor in the kitchen and resurface the new and old floors to a color you'd like."

Q: I like the idea of having a soap dispenser in my sink, but there are no extra outlets on the deck. Is there a way to drill through a porcelain/cast iron sink to create an outlet without damaging it?

W. R.

Irvine

A: "I wouldn't suggest drilling through a sink; too many things could go wrong, and you could very well end up needing a new sink," says Brian Rothstein of Familian Pipe and Supply in Costa Mesa. "If you have a dishwasher, you can remove the air gap and use that. Or check to see if your faucet is covering a third hole. If it is, you can get a smaller one that will let you use the extra space."

Q: Our 14-year-old central air-conditioning unit works great, except we've noticed an odd whistling noise from the intake. Is this an indication that we're in for a repair bill soon?

R. S.

Mission Viejo

A: "Often when that happens there's some obstruction in the filter," says Rod Albright of Albright Plumbing and Heating Supply in Los Alamitos. "When the filter gets dirty or hasn't been changed in a while, air is forced through small pockets and a whistling sound can be created. I'd try replacing the filter first before calling somebody out to look at it."

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