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Removing Candle Stain From Pine

April 25, 1998|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q: My daughter made the mistake of setting a colored pillar candle on her pine furniture without a dish or stand underneath. There's no wax on the furniture, but there is a colored mark where it sat. What's the best way to remove this?

J.A., Laguna Niguel

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A:Take a sharp chisel or razor blade and lightly scrape against the surface of the stain to remove wax that might not be readily visible, says Henry Guttierez of Espeland Furniture Repair & Refinishing in Orange. From there, you'll have to see how deep the candle's dye has gone, whether it's just under the finish or down to the wood. Take some extra-fine steel wool and a little lacquer thinner and lightly rub the stain.

If it's under the finish, the lacquer thinner will dissolve it and make it easy to remove. If the stain has gone to the wood, you'll need to use a light sandpaper to rub it out. After removing the stain, refinish that area so that it blends in with the rest of the piece.

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Q: I have a 2-year-old cement shake roof that's designed to look like wood. Although it's kept my house dry, in some areas it's lost its color and has developed whitish spots. Can anything be done about this?

D.D., Laguna Hills

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A: This is a common problem on such roofs, and it's usually a result of water reacting with the limestone in the cement mixture, says Pete Gorman of Rancho Lumber in Westminster.

It can be fixed by pressure-washing the roof to remove the stains, then having a sealer like Water Block applied, which will close the pores to keep moisture from penetrating the tiles. This can be an expensive solution, though. The sealer alone costs about $10 per gallon, and it covers about 100 square feet. For even an average-size roof you'll need many gallons, plus the labor costs and the pressure-washing, so it could cost more than $1,000.

To reduce that, treat just those roof areas that are visible from the street.

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Q: I have an old orange tree that is near orchard-size, and it seems that it should be trimmed back. However, it's always flowering and producing fruit, so I never know when trimming should be done. Any ideas?

D.L.

Buena Park

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A: The best time to prune a citrus tree is in winter, says Mario Ramirez of Loma Vista Nursery in Fullerton.

You've missed the season now, but just get ready for next winter. Look for branches that seem top-heavy or areas where the branches seem to be causing the trunk to lean too far.

Trim away dead branches or those that appear ready to die, and be sure to rake up the leaves around the trunk.

If you have a question about your home or garden, Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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