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A HELPING HAND

INSIDE & OUT : Take Down Closet Door to Attach Big Mirror

June 17, 1995|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q. I'd like to put a full-length mirror on the inside of one of my closet doors, which is about 26 inches by 74 inches. What's the best way to attach it; do I have to take the door off?

B.B. Lake Forest

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A. A mirror that big is going to be heavy, so you'll probably want to use a number of mirror clips, says glass installer Dave McMayon of Anaheim. Remove the door from the hinges and lay it on the floor, because it will be easier to get the mirror on that way. Set the mirror on the door and attach at least three clips on the bottom and top, then attach a clip about every 18 inches on both of the long sides. It'll probably be a two-person job getting the door back onto the hinges because of the added weight.

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Q. We have some redwood patio furniture in our back yard that's about 10 years old. It's in good shape, but we'd like to paint it white. I've heard that painting redwood isn't easy; what should be done to it?

G.K. Buena Park

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A. Woods such as redwood and cedar are a little tricky to paint because of the high tannin content, says Jim Grant of Dutch Boy Home Decorating Center in Santa Ana. Tannin is a water-soluble stain that gives these woods their color; when it rains, it bleeds. If you were to paint it a dark color, the bleeding wouldn't be much of a problem, but painting it white is a different story because the bleeding is more visible.

There are oil- and water-based primers that will block tannin stains, but you'll probably need at least two coats before applying a finish coat. I'd recommend using an oil-based paint for your finish coat because of its durability.

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Q. On the floor along the wall in my living room are cables for the television and phone, and they look sloppy on the rug. I'd like to attach them to the wall at the base molding, but I'm afraid that staples or tacks might penetrate and damage the wires. Any other ideas?

C.N. Costa Mesa

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A. There's a little plastic clip that shoves down between the wallboard and the molding so you can run a cable along the wall, says Frank Eckert of Arrow True Value Hardware in Orange. There's also a horseshoe-shaped clip that has a small brad on one side; you snap the cable into the horseshoe and hammer it in place in the wall. You're right about being concerned over the use of staples or tacks to hold the wires; you could cause damage by hammering into them.

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Q. I was cutting some pine with a handsaw while helping my son with a school project, and the blade was continually sticking. I thought about putting oil on the blade, but I didn't want it to get on the pine, which we were going to stain. Any other ideas to make sawing go smoother?

D.E. Fullerton

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A. A little light lubricating oil isn't going to hurt the wood you're cutting, says woodworker Ed Scharf of Costa Mesa. Spray some on the saw, or rub it on with a cloth. Also, many people make the mistake of trying to saw a big piece of wood on a workbench and leave one end hanging off the edge. This closes the cut you're trying to make and makes sawing more difficult. Have someone hold the other end to give it some support while you're sawing.

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Q. I've heard that I can attach a device to my tub and shower faucets that will prevent scalding water from coming out, which would be great because we have small children. Is it easy to do?

R.I. Irvine

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A. It's not something that can be attached to your existing system, says Ron Albright of Albright Plumbing & Heating in Los Alamitos. You can buy a new tub/shower valve that has a scalding guard, remove the old one from behind the wall and replace it with this one. They simply restrict the amount of hot water coming through the valve. Most are single-handled valves, so if you have a two-handled faucet, you may need to do some remodeling.

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