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Inside & Out | A HELPING HAND

Who Knew What To-Do the Morning Dew Would Make?

November 16, 1996|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q. Last year I added metal gutters and downspouts to my home. When dew collects on the roof in the early morning and drips down the spout, it falls with such force that it wakes me up. Is there a way to muffle the sound without clogging the flow?

L.S.

Huntington Beach

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A. Metal gutters are very durable compared with plastic gutters; their downside is that they are noisier, says contractor Steve Alvarez of Santa Ana. This becomes especially annoying when the downspout is next to a bedroom window.

You might try cleaning the bottom of the gutter, then gluing a strip of vinyl to it. Also glue some vinyl to the bottom of the downspout.

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Q. I'm planning to paint my kitchen cabinets. I'll be using an alkyd-based enamel for durability, and I'd like to know if there's a way to save time by not removing the doors and hinges.

D.W.

Lake Forest

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A. Removing doors and hinges is time consuming, but it's the best way to do the job, says Rich Zelle of Hal's Paint & Decorating in Fullerton. Otherwise, it's easy to get paint on the hinges, which doesn't look good and which can make them stick.

If your cabinets are old, this may also be a good chance to get new hinges and update the look of your kitchen.

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Q. My dog has scratched up the tinted film, which had been applied at the factory, on our sliding glass doors. Is there a way to remove the scratches?

D.A.

Anaheim Hills

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A. You'll have to remove the film, which isn't easy, says Dee Watt of College Glass & Mirror in Anaheim. Tinted film is generally applied with some type of adhesive, and removing it tends to be difficult.

Unfortunately, you can't remove the door or window and let it soak in water to loosen the film. Spray a solution of warm water and soap on the door, then try scraping the film off with razor blades.

Stay away from chemicals to get the film off, because that could damage the glass. It's not easy removing old film, but the alternative is to replace the glass itself.

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Q. A tree in the corner of our front yard at certain times of the year drops berries onto the driveway and sidewalk. The crushed berries leave on the concrete horrible stains that scrubbing hasn't removed. Any ideas?

S.S.

Orange

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A. A product known as CLR is available at many hardware stores, says Gary Lillge of Crown Hardware in Newport Beach. It can be used to remove many types of stains from concrete, and it's probably worth a try.

If that doesn't work, try a weak muriatic acid solution. Make sure the tree is properly trimmed so that it's not leaning over the driveway and sidewalk, and be sure to sweep the fruit away often during the time it's falling.

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Helping Hand Note: E.W. of Huntington Beach wrote to explain how she improved the look of her old faux marble bathroom counter tops: "I wet sanded the surface with very fine wet/dry sandpaper. When the surface was clean and dry, I applied a paste wax. When this dried, I attached a buffer to my electric drill and buffed the counter tops until they shined."

Rich Haagsma of Faucets 'n Fixtures in Orange adds his advice: "Remember that the gel coat surface is very thin; it's only about the thickness of four or five postage stamps pressed together. Make sure you're careful when using the sandpaper and buffer so that you don't break through the surface."

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