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Device will make it easier to go with the grain

Graining tool will help make painting kitchen cupboards easier

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Hi Reena,
We’ve painted 1970s oak kitchen cabinets a bright white. The handles were in the middle, they were removed and the holes plugged, and wood putty applied and sanded to a smooth finish. We used first grade semi-gloss paint and a recommended primer. They’ve turned out well, but the wood grain shows through. That’s fine, we don’t mind that, but in the middle, where the wood putty patch is, there is no wood grain, so it shows through as a flat patch. Would you know of a solution to make this section blend in? Is there a paint that would cover the wood grain, at least in the middle panels? Thanks! Linda

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 therefore practice before trying it on the cabinet doors. With the help of 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,
I am asking on behalf of my mom: How does one clean an artificial white Christmas tree that has sat in storage for some time? I hope you can help. Thank-you in advance and the warmest peace for this wonderful time of year. Diana

Dear Diana,
Position the dust or upholstery attachment onto your vacuum. Gently vacuum each branch as well as the base of the tree, making sure that the suction is not overly powerful and damaging to the tree. Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap. Dampen a cloth and run it along the needles and trunk of the tree. Doing this removes additional dust and gives the tree a clean smell. If you want to take a faster approach (and you own a tree without pre-hung lights on it). Stand the tree inside of the bathtub. Gently spray the tree with water and let it drip dry.

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 them actually being expensive stained glass? I am very crafty and a talented artist, I am hoping to use my skills to transform the windows. Merry Christmas, Tammy

Hi 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 be perfect because not even authentic stained glass has perfectly clean lines. Leave to dry and enjoy.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Interested in grocery coupons? Check out my brand new blog and website at www.reena.ca. You can contact me by email at householdsolutions@mts.net.

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