QUESTION: Soon I will be painting three of the rooms in our house. In each case, the color is being changed. I seem to have heard a long time ago that the colored paint chips in paint stores are not the same when they are applied to walls. Is this so, and what should I look for?
ANSWER: Paint chips give the true color most of the time, but paint applied to a large surface takes on an intensity it did not have in a small area. Thus, if you select a yellow, it will appear more “yellowish” when it’s on the wall. This is true with any color. If a color is dark, it will seem darker when it covers a large surface. When you have made your selection, ask the advice of the dealer, especially if he has been in business for a considerable time. He should know instantly whether there will be any difference between the color of the chip and the color on the wall.
Carbide Bit Works Best for Drilling Concrete
Q: Years ago, I often worked on concrete. I’d drill holes into it with a star drill, hitting it with a hammer and then turning it slightly each time. I am sure there is now a better way to make holes in concrete. Can you help?
A: To make holes in concrete, such as those necessary to hold anchors for screws and bolts, you need a portable electric drill and a carbide-tipped bit. In making the hole, work carefully. The bit sometimes will jam in the hole. Remove it and take another crack at it. You may have to blow the dust and grit from the hole so it will not interfere with the whirling of the bit.
Wallpapering a Ceiling Tougher Than Painting
Q: We soon will be wallpapering four of the rooms in our house. We know how to handle the job, but would like to try something new--papering the ceilings of at least two of the rooms. Is this difficult and should we undertake it?
A: Yes, it’s difficult and you may regret it before you are finished. Some residences have beautifully papered ceilings but remember they have been done professionally. Go ahead if you wish, but be ready to tackle a job that is a lot more difficult than painting.
Use Paint, Not Varnish on Outdoor Furniture
Q: I plan to refinish a set of wooden patio furniture. Would varnish hold up better than paint?
A: Generally, paint withstands the elements better than varnish, even the outdoor type.
Put House Addition on Reinforced Slab
Q: I plan to set an addition to our house on a concrete slab. Will this be all right or is it necessary to use a foundation such as the house sets on?
A: Putting an addition on a concrete slab is the modern way of handling the job. Are you doing the work yourself? If so, remember the slab must be reinforced with mesh and the slabs should be from 4 to 6 inches deep. Be careful handling the construction of the slab. If you have limited knowledge, better hire a professional. No matter who does the job, be sure waterproof insulation is placed around the perimeter of the slab.
Use Double 2 by 4s to Hang New Door
Q: We are making a room in our basement to use as a laundry. I have had some experience at this kind of work, but I have never hung a door, which will be necessary. Is it all right to use 2 by 4s to frame the opening?
A: Yes, but use double 2 by 4s on both sides and at the top. In making a doorway, it’s always a good idea to buy the door first, then frame it to fit. When you buy the door, get pre-cut jambs. Be sure to use a level to make the sides plumb and the top horizontal. The width of the finished opening should be one-eighth inch more than the width of the door. The height of the opening should be equal to the height of the door plus any clearance for the threshold, header, floor tile, etc. See if your dealer has a Stanley do-it-yourself door book. It is an excellent guide to the hanging of doors, their repair and maintenance.
Buff Marble Surface With Gritty Polish
Q: I have a marble coffee table with several large stains. I have tried several things and cannot remove them. I hope you can help. I didn’t know marble stained that way.
A: The secret of polishing marble is to buff the surface with abrasive materials of successively finer grit sizes. The polishing usually will remove the stains. But it takes extensive effort and considerable time to achieve results. Your best bet is to go to a dealer who sells marble and buy a polishing compound or whatever poultice he recommends, being sure to get some kind of brochure or pamphlet that gives detailed instructions.
Tighten Shade Tension by Re-Rolling Shade
Q: How can I restore the spring tension on a window shade? It is now too loose. I know it has something to do with removing the shade and rerolling it, but I don’t know how. Can you help?
A: If you wish to tighten the spring tension on a shade, roll it down about 24 inches. Hold it at that point as you remove the shade from its brackets. Now roll up the shade while it is in your hands and put it back in the brackets. It should work properly. If it works most of the way, but not all the way, do the same thing a second time. That should do it.
Insulate Toilet Tank to Avoid Condensation
Q: Last summer the toilet tank in our bathroom continually sweated and caused puddles on the floor. How can I stop that from happening again?
A: The water that forms on the outside of the tank is condensation, caused when warm, moist air settles on a cold surface. Condensation of that kind can be stopped by insulating the inside of the tank so the outside does not get cold.
You can also have a plumber put in a mixing valve that will keep the water in the tank lukewarm. Sometimes condensation can be halted merely by putting an absorbent cover on the tank so the moist air doesn’t hit it, but you will also have to cover any other part of the fixture that gets cold.
The techniques of using varnish, shellac, lacquer, stain, sealer, bleach, remover, etc., are detailed in Andy Lang’s booklet, “Wood Finishing in the Home,” which can be obtained by sending $1 to Know-How, P.0. Box 477, Huntington, N.Y. 11743. Questions of general interest will be answered in the column.