Wizard of ‘Ahs’ for Do-It-Yourselfers

If you’re laboring over a do-it-yourself project that is eating away at your life, you may want to pay a visit to the Wizard. Log on to his Web site ( and you will find clues to make your work easier and more effective, with suggestions that range from the clever to the mysterious.

Among the clever: The Wizard suggests that painters punch nail holes in the grooved edge around the rim of a paint can to allow excess paint to drip back into the can rather than collect in the groove.

The mysterious: He suggests furniture refinishers use something called naphtha. (This is a volatile petroleum distillate used as a solvent.)

Though the Wizard claims he has been refinishing furniture for more than 30 years, he admits he is still learning the finer points--especially grammatical ones. (Proofreading and spelling are not his strong points.) Calling himself a “master student” rather than a “master craftsman,” he is nonetheless eager to help visitors solve their problems, even if his earnest, down-home, folksy manner sometimes only muddies the explanatory waters.