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ASK THE HANDYMAN / JOHN MORELL

Spot-Check Your Paint to Get It Right

June 05, 1993

Question: I'm planning to paint my living room and bedrooms this summer, and in looking for the right color I'm wondering how true the paint chip colors are compared to the paint I'll be buying.

R.Y.

Fullerton

Answer: "I'm afraid there's no standard among paint manufacturers; some chips are very close to the paint you buy, while others are very different," says a representative of Tustin Paint Mart. "All color charts have a disclaimer that states that chips are affected by age, light, heat and coating processes. If you're doing several rooms and you're not sure about the color you're choosing, you might want to buy a quart of paint and try a few spots to see how it looks."

Q: We've moved into a new home, and we have been hanging pictures and plates on the walls. On some of the heavier pictures, we've been undecided whether to hang them with nails or use anchors. Are there any guidelines?

D.D.

San Juan Capistrano

A: "A good rule of thumb is if a picture needs to be held with two hands, you should use some type of anchor to secure it," says picture framer Rodger Edwards of Santa Ana. "Remember that we're in earthquake country, and you don't want a valuable picture to crash to the ground during a temblor. When anchoring into drywall, you can use a butterfly bolt or, if you're going into a stud, you can use a wood bolt."

Q: Our garbage disposal is only about 5 years old and, while it works fine, there's a burning smell when it runs for an extended period. What could be causing this?

G.C.

Fountain Valley

A: "Anytime you're getting a burning smell, it's a sign that there's a problem with the motor," says Joel Gwartz of B.J. Discount Plumbing & Heating in Garden Grove. "Make sure that while the disposal is on, you have plenty of water running from the faucet; never let the disposal run dry. You could have a professional take a look at it, but be prepared to replace the whole unit. That's sometimes cheaper than just replacing a part in the motor."

Q: Every year in our old house we had our gas furnace serviced, including filter changes and lubrication. Our new house has central air conditioning. Do we need some kind of regular service for it?

F.R.

Anaheim

A: "Most systems need to be recharged once a year," says Steve Johnson of Familian Pipe & Supply in Costa Mesa. "A professional can come in and recharge it with a new refrigerant, as well as do the cleaning needed and change the filter. If you rely on your air conditioner a lot, it's important to take care of it. Replacement of a motor or compressor can be very expensive, so what you pay for in yearly service is usually well worth it."

Q: In trying to redo our back yard, we're looking at patio furniture. We can't decide between iron and redwood furniture. Which will be more durable and look best over time?

H.N.

Los Alamitos

A: "Iron is going to be more durable, as long as it's well made," says landscape architect David Kellogg of Anaheim. "A good redwood set will also last a long time, but may be more susceptible to the weather. Whichever you select, I'd suggest getting covers to protect the chairs and table from the elements. This will increase their life and make them look better."

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