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It's Easier to Replace Wood Blinds

April 03, 1993|JOHN MORELL

Question: We recently bought a condo that has expensive two-inch wood blinds in the bedroom. They're great except for the color, peach, which clashes with the other colors in the room. How difficult would it be to paint them?

E.S.

Tustin

Answer: "Painting them isn't hard; it's taking them apart and putting them back together that's time-consuming," says Tim Hanneman of Window Shades East in Santa Ana. "In terms of the amount of time you spend, it may be cheaper just to buy new blinds in the color you want. Basically, you just have to hang them in the garage and undo the knots on the cord on the bottom rail and pull the cord out. Keep the bottom rail on and leave the webbing hanging so it won't tangle. You'll need to sand, prime and spray-paint all sides of the blinds, then reinsert them."

Q: Our house has really taken a beating this winter from all the rain, and we've had to make several roof repairs. There are brown spots in many parts of the acoustical ceiling, and my neighbor told me he got rid of his spots by mixing a little bleach and water in a spray bottle and spraying that on the ceiling. The spots have disappeared, but isn't it better to paint over them?

F.R.

Anaheim

A: "Bleach may make the stains fade out, but there's no guarantee that when you repaint the ceiling they won't reappear," says Andy Carter of Sinclair Paint in Costa Mesa. "Your best bet is to cover them with a pigmented sealer or shellac, which comes in spray cans and can be sprayed over the stain. This locks the stain in place, and when it dries you can repaint the ceiling with a good quality acoustic flat paint that effectively hides the water damage."

Q: I'd like to change the look of a few of my lamps with new shades, but I can't seem to find shades that are the right height; they're either too long or too short. Do special sizes have to be ordered from a manufacturer or can they be found locally?

R.B.

Lake Forest

A: "If your main problem is the height of the shades, you can make an adjustment to the lamp to make them fit," says appliance repairman Ed Crossley of Santa Ana. "The harp, which is the metal frame that the shade sits on, can be easily replaced by one that will suit the shade you're looking for. Basically, after unplugging the lamp, remove the two screws on either side next to the socket and pull it up. They're available at many hardware or lighting stores in a variety of sizes."

Q: I've seen these wireless stereo speakers in magazines, and I think it would be great to have something like that instead of going through all the work of laying speaker wire all through the house. Is the sound you get from them as good as you get from wired speakers?

D.Y.

Huntington Beach

A: "If your objective is to add a few speakers around the house to have music for a party or just general entertainment, you'll probably be pleased with the sound," says audio consultant Steve Monreal of La Palma.

"If you're a real stickler for high quality sound, though, you'll probably want wired speakers. Wireless systems operate much like a radio. A signal is sent from an attachment on the stereo to the remote speakers, which are like receivers. Because of that, they're subject to interference from electric motors, televisions, etc., and you may not get the perfect sound you're used to."

Q: We accidentally left some pine posts outside during a rainstorm and they got soaked. We're anxious to finish a rebuilding project on our patio, and I've left the lumber in the sun to dry. How long should we wait?

C.B.

Placentia

A: "They should be fine after a day or two," says contractor Ned Olsen of Garden Grove. "As long as they weren't floating in the water, I'd give them a couple of days and then put them in place. If they dry out too much in the sun they may become bowed."

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