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Super Handyman: Damaged veneer? Here’s an easy way to patch it up

A veneer finish is not much more than a very thin sheet of decorative wood glued on top of another, less-expensive, plain wood. It is just as popular today as it was years ago. But if you have a veneer surface that is damaged, just use a sharp utility knife to cut out the damaged area, and then glue in a similar-looking patch of veneer. Check out the iron-on veneers for super easy repairs. You can use stain to disguise it once the glue has set completely.

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We all make mistakes, and I’m no different. Just yesterday I dropped a jar of tacks on the floor and they scattered all over the place. But I didn’t panic. I just grabbed a bar magnet that I had in the garage and used it – in one swipe, I might add – to pick all of the tacks up off the floor. Then I held the magnet over the open jar and swept them all in. The whole scene was over with in just a couple of minutes. Just don’t tell anyone, OK?

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Q: I was in a hurry and didn’t get some of the tools put away after the last time I worked on the bathroom. I just found my caulking gun leaking an uncapped tube of caulk all over our garage floor. Now what? Is there any way to get this stuff off the garage floor? – B.C.

A: Use a utility knife and a putty knife to try to cut and scrape off the largest pieces of it. A paint scraper will do the rest of it. Paint stripper could be used on the remnants, but it probably won’t be necessary.

Tips from readers

We created a really nice family theater room in our old playroom. We bought some plush chairs – six of them, all alike. We put curtains on the walls to dampen the sound, too. Before putting in the carpeting, we learned that you could put a layer of cork on the floor under the padding and carpet to further dampen the sound. It seems to have worked, and we have “Family Movie Night” every other week! – P.L.

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My daughter is going to culinary school, and I noticed that she had wrapped some leopard duct tape around the handles of all her kitchen tools. She said it would keep her tools separate from her classmates’ tools. Great idea, I thought. So I did something similar to my hand tools. But I marked some with orange tape to store in the garage and blue tape to store in the house. Hopefully this will help the whole family keep the tools where they are supposed to be stored. – C.R.

Super HandyMom tip

If you want to get some old wallpaper off your walls, just try to get it started in a corner, and then slowly pull it off. You should be able to get most of it off this way. You can help loosen the old glue with a spray bottle filled half and half with liquid fabric softener and hot water. Spray the wall and give it a few minutes to soak in and loosen the glue. A wide-blade drywall knife can be used scrape some more off.

A Super hint

I love woodworking, but house cleaning … not so much. I clean my microwave the easy way. I just fill a bowl with water and nuke it on High for about 5 minutes. When it’s done, I leave it in the microwave for 15 minutes to let the steam soften the food particles, and then just wipe it out.

Got a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.