Dear Linda: You will need to purchase a graining tool — large paint stores typically carry them. It is almost like a stamp that will allow you to achieve the appearance of wood on your cabinets. The length of the grains will depend on how you use the tool, so practise before trying it on the cabinet doors.
With a rag, wipe on a thin coat of rich wood stain (or in your case, thinned down white paint) and while it is still wet, place the grain tool onto the wood. Using a rocking motion, draw the, tool towards you.
This creates an amazing wood-grain pattern on the cabinet. If you happen to make a mistake, simply wipe off, apply another thin coat of paint and try again.
When you are happy with the look, let it dry. If this were wood stain, you would apply a thin coat of stain over top of the grain and let dry 24 hours and then protect the doors with a thin coat of clear polyurethane. However these steps are not necessary since you are using paint.
Dear Reena: We have a two-year-old bench made out of wrought iron. It is in good shape and we would like to prevent rust from forming. What is the best way to clean and care for wrought iron?
Dear Betty: Either spray the bench with a garden hose or use a pressure washer to get rid of dust, spider webs and dirt. Using dish soap and water, scrub the bench and rinse with vinegar or water. If the surface is very dirty, use an abrasive cloth to tackle those areas.
Once the bench is clean, in a ventilated area, spray the bench with WD-40 to prevent rust from forming. Use a cloth to make sure that WD-40 hits each part of the bench.
Dear Reena: I live in an old house with old windows, and I would like to liven up the windows by adding some colour to them. Is there any way to make my windows look like they are stained glass without my having to go out and buy expensive stained glass?
I am very crafty and a talented artist, and I am hoping to use my skills to transform the windows.
Dear Tammy: Begin by cleaning your windows to make sure that you are working on a smooth surface.
Choose the design that you would like to draw onto the windows. You can create your own design or print an image that you want. Place the picture behind the glass and trace the image using a black dry-erase marker.
Next, colour in the picture using glass paints; make sure to use a variety of brush techniques to achieve a textured look. You will want some areas to appear solid and others transparent. Sponges and crumbled up plastic bags are great tools for developing texture. When the colour is complete, pour black liquid leading glass paint into a sealable bag. Snip the corner to make a small hole. Pipe an outline (just as you would pipe icing onto a cake) around every part of the drawing. This does not need to perfect because not even authentic stained glass has perfectly clean lines.
Leave to dry and enjoy.
Dear Reena: I want to offer input into the discussion of where to put your napkin when you temporarily excuse yourself from the table.
I think in this day of improved scientific knowledge, we should remember the theory about the spread of germs. How many bottoms may have sat on that very chair? Where had they sat before? Movie house seats? On a floor somewhere? A seat in the emergency room? A park bench or even on the grass? A bar stool or a bus seat? Who had sat there before them? What might get transferred from one chair to another?
I think you get my drift. I think the tabletop is a much healthier spot to place a napkin should you need to excuse yourself from the table.
Lots of “rules” have changed through the years. Manners — consideration for others — may not have changed that much, but some of the “etiquette rules” could improve.
n I recently read an article about rabbits in the yard eating things we do not want them to eat. I found an excellent, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy solution. Grate Irish Spring bar soap just like cheese and sprinkle it around problem areas (or around perimeter of property) to keep rabbits away.
n To keep your extension cords from getting tangled, insert them into an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube or to store.
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