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HANDY MAC: End of a tough year

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Don says fatigue and shortage of money can lead to safety standards being compromised

We’re continuing with our painting tips. Having discussed stripping off the old paint on your interior and exterior walls, let’s have a go at your timberwork.

Particularly in older homes, you could find almost anything under the existing top coat. When we bought our home in Clanwilliam we found about four coats of old gloss paint in the most horrendous colours, which had been painted over beautiful Oregon pine. We started trying to strip it ourselves over holiday weekends, but eventually handed the job to a contractor.

Before wasting your time stripping, make sure you have no rotten wood. Anything that is soft needs to come out and be replaced. It is not always necessary to replace a whole window frame – a good carpenter can repair anything and save you money.

So, once you are sure that all your surfaces are solid you can get ready to start stripping. I will look at this in more detail next week as we go through the different possibilities. These include sandpaper, chemical strippers and heat-guns – all of which involve a lot of hard work as you really need an even surface to start painting on. So I’m giving you a week off to build up the necessary energy.

If you have a question for Don, send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 0824463859. 

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