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Super Handyman: Protecting your painting supplies overnight

At the end of a day of painting, there are some things you need to do in order to protect your paint and brushes from being ruined overnight while you get some sleep. One way to cover a small can of paint without having to deal with a messy lid is to pull off your rubber glove (inside out) and stretch it over the top of the paint can to seal it up for the night.

If you get any paint on the glove, it’s OK, because it will be on the outside once you turn it right-side-out in order to finish your project.

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Q: I have a porch column that has some rot on the base. I have heard about a hardener that can be applied to the wood to rebuild it. Does this stuff work? Is there anything else I need to know about using it? – G.R.

A: It sounds like you might be referring to the wood epoxy that you mix and mold to a wooden surface. This stuff works pretty well and can be a lot easier than trying to repair something like a wooden column.

Just remove any wet, loose wood and follow the directions for mixing and applying the material. It can be sanded and painted to match the existing column and usually will look good and last a long time.

Tips from readers

I don’t mind masking around something before painting it. I have a nice dispenser that makes it a little easier. But I have finally found a better way to mask around things like wall sconces, doorknobs and other things you can’t remove and that don’t mask easily with tape. I use aluminum foil. It’s easy to mold around various things and stays put until you are finished painting. – W.J.

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I’ve hurt my back and have trouble doing some things that I used to find easy. One thing that I used to struggle with is pulling a heavy kitchen trash bag up and out of the trash can. I took my drill and drilled a few holes around the sides, near the bottom to allow air in. This prevents the suction that makes the bag so hard to pull out of the can. – B.D.

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I used to have a special rubber square that helped me unscrew jar lids. Unfortunately, I can’t find it, but I did come up with a good substitute. I use a thick rubber band to do the same thing. You can wrap the rubber band around the jar lid and it gives you more power to unscrew the lids. It works quite well. – R.D.

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I always tune up my lawnmower in the fall. The repair shops are never crowded at this time of the year, and they get it back to me quickly. I get the blade sharpened but keep it inside the house, well-greased, so it doesn’t rust over the winter in the garage. I pull the spark plug and mount it in the spring before I’m ready to start cutting the yard, and it’s always ready to go, while some of my neighbors are still trying to start theirs. – C.D.

A Super hint

A clogged drain can be a hassle to unclog, especially if the water isn’t draining. One way to start removing the water, and eventually, the clog, is to use your wet/dry shop vacuum. It works great!

Shoptalk

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to prep before painting, you can get some peeling. Peel Stop Clear Binding Sealer by Zinsser is a low-odor, water-based formula that will seal paint cracks, bind chalky residue and other imperfections like this. It will literally glue down peeling paint before you put your new paint on top. It can be brushed or rolled on, and will really give you more professional results. To find out more, visit www.rustoleum.com and search for the product line. It’s available at paint stores, home centers and hardware stores.