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ASK THE HANDYMAN / JOHN MORELL

Picture-Perfect Spots Are Left by Removal

March 05, 1994|JOHN MORELL

Question: I've moved some pictures around my house and have patched and repaired the walls where I've taken down pictures. Where I painted the spots I've worked on, there's a significant difference in color between the patched area and the rest of the wall, even though I used the same paint. What's wrong?

M.F.

San Clemente

Answer: "Over time, you'll find that the paint on a wall will oxidize and change slightly in tone," says a representative of Tustin Paint Mart.

"This can be due just to aging, or it can also be affected by smoking, steam, etc. Also, many people don't store their extra paint correctly. You should clean the rim on the can and the lid and secure it tightly. Otherwise, the inside of the can could get rusty, which will affect the paint color. When painting over a spot, you'll almost always see a difference between the new and old paint. The only way to prevent that is to paint the entire wall as well."

Q: We bought an old house that has a porch with a wood-plank floor. The floor has been painted numerous times over the years, and I'd love to strip it down and stain the flooring. What would be involved?

E.E.

Santa Ana

A: "You're looking at a very involved job," says Jim Craig of Decratrend Paints in Anaheim. "First, you'll have to remove the old coats of paint with a sander, some type of solvent or a combination of both. This is the hardest job, since the floor is likely to be a large surface area, and it's tough work getting every bit of old paint off.

"Once that's done, the floor must be repaired and sanded, and you'll have to use a type of patch that will mix with the new stain."

Q: We have a 29-year-old gas furnace with a pilot light that frequently goes out, even though it's operating perfectly fine otherwise. Any ideas?

P.D.

Huntington Beach

A: "This is often a symptom of a crack in the furnace firebox," says Joel Gwartz of B.J. Discount Plumbing & Heating Supply in Garden Grove.

"It could also mean that the vent cap on the roof may be off, allowing drafts inside that extinguish the pilot. Also, some brands are poorly designed and the pilots regularly go out on them. If you can see that the vent cap is in place, it may be time to bring a repairman in to locate the cause."

Q: Our gas barbecue has some horrible grease stains on the cover that have burned in place. Is there any way to get rid of them?

A.S.

Placentia

A: "You could try a degreaser that's similar to an oven cleaner," says metal polisher Steve Garum. "They're available at most barbecue stores; you just spray it on and wipe it off.

"You should also try using a solution of vinegar and water and wash the barbecue down with a sponge. This will remove any hard deposits that may have built up around the joints and make the lid easier to open and close."

Q: I'm planning on putting mini-blinds in all of my windows, and I'm not sure how to measure for them. Do I have to allow for the size of the hardware?

W.D.

Irvine

A: "Use a tape measure and a helper if they're large windows," says installer Dave Brown of Anaheim.

"Get the exact measurement, both horizontally and vertically, of the frame. Measure it at different points to see if there's a slant to the frame. The manufacturer takes into account the size of the hardware, and they will make a blind to fit according to your measurements."

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