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No Easy Way to Clean Up After Painting

ALSO: * Door problems; * Gutter sealant


Question: I enjoy painting my house, but I don't like the cleanup. I especially don't like spending an hour or more trying to wash the paint out of the rollers and brushes, then finding them dried out and stiff from the paint the next day. Is there an easy way to clean rollers and brushes?


Santa Ana

Answer: The best way to clean a roller and brush is the hard way--lots of hot water, soap and scrubbing, says painting consultant Charlie Kaczorowski of Tustin.

However, if you don't do a lot of painting and you want to make it easy on yourself, buy roller covers for about $2.50 each and then throw them away after you use them. Brushes are easier to clean and reuse.

It also makes sense to use plastic tray covers and paper buckets, which can be thrown out after painting.


Q We're having a problem with one of our bathroom doors. When the door is closed, it becomes difficult to open from the inside. Even when the lock button isn't pushed down, you turn the knob and the door stays latched and has to be opened from the outside. Can this be fixed easily or does the lock need replacing?




A Spray a dry, graphite-type lubricant into the lock mechanism to see whether that makes a difference, says Gary Lillge of Crown Ace Hardware in Newport Beach.

However, it's more than likely the mechanism has worn out. Fortunately, these are relatively inexpensive, about $10, and are easy for the homeowner to install.


Q During the winter, I noticed my 10-year-old vinyl gutters leak in spots. A few cracks are causing the leaks, and some water is spilling from the seams where the pieces join. Is there a patch that can stop the problem?


Costa Mesa


A You may want to check with a hardware store for a product known as Goop, says Frank Eckert of Arrow True Value Hardware in Orange.

This is a silicone sealant that's available for different applications. You spread it on a clean surface and it creates a flexible seal that should stop minor water leaks. Look for the type of Goop designed for plumbing use.

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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