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ASK THE HANDYMAN / JOHN MORELL

Applying the 2nd Coat of Paint Is No Sweat

January 15, 1994|JOHN MORELL

Question: I've got three bedrooms I'll be painting soon, and I want to do them all within a weekend. I'd like to cover them with second coats a few hours after applying the first coats, but I've been told it's best to wait at least 24 hours. Is that true?

S.V.

Brea

Answer: "Here in Southern California, you don't need to follow those rules," says a representative of Tustin Paint Mart. "For areas with high humidity, you should wait at least overnight to allow the paint to dry. But here, lots of our days are warm and have low humidity, which allows you to re-coat after just four to six hours. I hope you have someone helping you to do the job."

Q: My 1984-built condo has a textured drywall throughout that I'd like to smooth and get rid of. I considered getting a belt sander but was told that this would damage the drywall. Any suggestions?

R.E.

San Clemente

A: "I agree, taking a belt sander to the walls will probably do more harm than good," says contractor Bob Walters of Santa Ana. "The walls are paper over gypsum, so by doing some hard sanding you could damage them. Rather than replacing the drywall, you could coat the walls with a plastering product that will give you the smoothness you're looking for."

Q: After a large tree was removed from our back yard, our bedroom has made a complete transformation. The large window that was heavily shaded by the tree now lets in lots of light. We like the new brightness, but I'm worried that my expensive linens and wallpaper will fade. Can film be applied to the window that cuts out some of the light to protect fabrics?

N.C.

Orange

A: "These glass films are available through hardware stores, but I'm not convinced that they're effective," says Richard Morales of Westminster Glass & Mirror. "They tend to shrivel and crack over time, leaving them ineffective. A better way to protect against fading is to use what's called Low-E glass. This is a replacement glass that has no tint, but it blocks the ultraviolet rays that cause fading. It's a more expensive alternative than the film, but if you're concerned about your expensive drapes and furniture, it may be a good choice to protect your investment."

Q: I had carpeting installed before Christmas, but during the holidays, with lots of people walking through the house, several spots turned up. I heard that you should wait at least a year before having a carpet cleaned. Is that true?

E.E.

Santa Ana

A: "No, you can have a carpet cleaned immediately after it's been installed," says Tom Nicholas of Linbrook Carpets in Anaheim. "It may be too early for your carpeting to have already developed 'paths' where people have walked. You may want to try a spot cleaner approved by the manufacturer. Most carpets today have some type of fabric protectant, and when it's new it's in better condition and can resist stains, so just a cursory cleaning should do the job as long as it hasn't been spotted with any serious dyes or greases."

Q: My 10-year-old disposal has a great, quiet motor, but I think the blades are losing it. It takes a while for the waste to be cut up. I'd like to try and remove the blades and sharpen them or get new ones. Is this a big job?

W.S.

Irvine

A: "It's probably more trouble than it's worth," says Manny Gwartz of B.J. Discount Plumbing and Heating Supply in Garden Grove. "When a disposal that old begins acting up, it's time to get a new one. You can fiddle with your unit and try to remove the blades, but there's probably another problem just waiting to happen. At today's prices, you can find a good quality disposal for under $100, and fixing your unit could cost the same amount."

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