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The Super Handyman: A neat way to spray paint

Spray paint is the fastest way to paint. It goes on quickly and dries fast, too. About the only thing that we don’t like about spray painting is the overspray that tends to get on surrounding things, including US! But one surefire way to avoid getting that spray all over your hands and arms is to slip your hand inside a bread bag or a plastic grocery sack, like a glove, before using the spray paint. The bag won’t hinder your spraying ability, but will protect your arm from the overspray. When you are finished with your “art” project, just toss the bag or recycle it, if you can. Now spray painting is SUPER easy and neat to do!


Q: I am so tired of trying to balance the toilet paper roll on the holder. It just keeps falling off the wall. What is the best way to keep it in place on a Sheetrock wall? – B.N.

A: Use better wall anchors. There are several different kinds available at your hardware store. Some just screw in with screws, and other anchor-type devices install before the screws go in. Most are easy to use and inexpensive. Once they are in, you shouldn’t have to mess with it again for a long time. Good luck!


Q: I just cleaned my gutters and found a couple of places that need to be shored up a bit. I’m not sure how to best do this. What do you recommend? – K.P.

A: There are several different types of gutter hangers, so check your hardware store and see what it has available to you. Just choose one that can be added without having to take down a lot of your existing guttering. If the guttering just needs to be tightened or sealed better at the joints, use a little roofing repair caulk and some sheet-metal screws.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: Last year I bought a label maker. I thought it would be great to use in our home office. But I use it in my shop more than in my office. It’s great. The labels can be made quickly and easily on a variety of labels, and some are extra large and perfect for marking storage boxes or cabinets in my workshop. The labels are peel-and-stick, so they stay up, even in the winter. It’s a great new “tool” for my shop. – S.H.


Dear Al: I know I should have been more careful, but I spilled some camp fuel in the trunk of my car. I cleaned it quickly, but the smell still is very strong. My dad told me to use mineral-spirits paint thinner to wipe up the rest. Then, I covered the carpet with cat litter to absorb what was left. I let it sit on the spot overnight, and then vacuumed it up. You can barely smell it anymore, thank goodness! – J.R.


Dear Kelly: I sprayed for pests last year, but my peach tree is in need of more again this year. I read a blog about fruit trees that suggested I add some dishwashing soap to the spray to make it stick. It does seem to work. I sprayed the tree again, and this time it seems like more of the spray stayed on the leaves than before. I sure hope it worked. I love those peaches! – M.D.

Dear Al: My new gas can isn’t very helpful at hitting the gas tank on my mower without making a mess. So, I made a funnel from an old plastic, 2-liter soda bottle. I just cut the bottle in half and, with the top removed, it makes a great funnel when turned upside down. Sometimes I keep them, but usually I put them back in the bin and grab another one when I need to fill the mower again. – J.I.

A Super hint

Old window screens can be used as dryers for herbs and sweaters. Both need to be dried flat by air rather than heat.

You can find an old screen in front of your neighbor’s house after a storm, or talk to a window repairman to see if he’ll save one for you!