Q I have a lampshade that goes perfectly with one of my lamps, but unfortunately, the three metal prongs that connect to the shade have broken off. Is it safe to simply glue the pieces together or does it have to be soldered or welded? I’m worried about the heat generated when the bulb is lighted.
A The heat shouldn’t damage two glued joints, says Frank Eckert of Arrow True Value Hardware in Orange.
You’re better off using a strong, two-part epoxy, such as J.B. Weld, rather than a simple cement, he says. You could also choose to solder the pieces together as long as they’re clean. Welding probably isn’t necessary because it’s unlikely that the metal frame is supporting a great deal of weight.
Q Our home is about 15 years old and we’re planning on painting the interior. Although we’ve painted the walls before, we’ve never painted the acoustic, cottage-cheese ceilings. Is it recommended to paint the ceilings along with the walls, or can we leave it be if they look OK? Because of the work and mess, I’d rather not paint them.
A Whether you need to paint the ceilings is going to depend on how faded they’ve become, says painting consultant Charlie Kaczorowski of Tustin.
After 15 years, the ceilings have surely faded, and if you paint the walls in a bright white, you’ll probably notice that the ceilings are grayer than the walls, which wouldn’t look good.
However, if you’re painting the walls in a darker tone, you might not notice a contrast. If you decide to paint the ceiling, first clean off any spider webs or dust with a broom. For older homes, it’s not a bad idea to have your acoustic ceiling tested for asbestos to prevent stirring up any health hazard.
For any holes, there are patches available at most hardware outlets to fill them and there’s also a texture available in a spray can to cover flat spots. When it comes time to paint, be sure to use an acoustic roller, which is thicker and is able to get into the crevices of an acoustic ceiling.
Q We used a white grout colorant on the floor tile in our bathroom and the result looked great. It makes the tile look new. We’d like to do the same to our tile on the kitchen counters, however, I wonder if that would work because the counter tile gets heavier use and is cleaned by cleansers and other chemicals. Can we use a colorant there?
A If the grout is prepared well, you can use a colorant successfully on your kitchen tile, says tile installer Steve Rammon of Huntington Beach.
You need to clean it out with brush and a solution of TSP and water. After waiting a few days for it to fully dry, apply the colorant to the grout then remove the excess from the tile. Make sure you give the colorant at least a day to dry before using the counters. I’d also stop using harsh cleansers on the counters and clean them with mild soap instead.
If you have a question about your home or garden, A 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.