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Wood

Q: Help me, Tim! I’m so darned frustrated! The paint on the outside of my home and shed keeps peeling. Both have wood siding. Every few years I’m out there scraping and starting over. What am I doing wrong? I follow the directions on the label of the paint can to the letter. Is it the paint? Is it something I’m doing wrong? Is it just the weather where I live? I’m beginning to think an evil hex was cast upon my house by an enemy of a former owner. Please help me because I don’t want to put up vinyl siding to eliminate the paint issue. —Debbie S., Waterloo, Iowa

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Kids’ outdoor furniture like playhouses should be cleaned and inspected before it’s time to play. Plastic playhouses and furniture can be hosed down with water, or you can use a pressure washer. For wood playhouses, you may need to use a wood-safe solvent and a soft brush. If you’re concerned about critters finding their way into the playhouse, ward them off by planting mint around it.

Q: The grout line between my kitchen granite countertop and the tile backsplash has cracked for the umpteenth time. Each winter the crack appears, and each year I re-grout it hoping it will be the final time. Am I using the wrong grout? How would you repair this, and why does the crack disappear on its own in the summer? I have the same issue with other cracks around my home that mysteriously open and close depending on the time of year. --Gary K., Columbus, Oio

Q: Tim, I’ve got a challenge for you. I live in a 100-year-old Craftsman house with gorgeous wood trim around the windows and doors. The trim is wide, and there’s a stunning head piece across the top of all windows and doors.

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On one hand, rustic painted wood looks at home in farmhouse decor. But on the other hand, painted wood furniture is also a feature of farmhouse style. So try to balance the two. If you have any wooden furniture that has an unfashionably dark stain or that you just don’t like the look of as it is now, consider painting it. Chalk paint, such as The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint, is excellent to get started with if you’ve never painted furniture before.

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Reclaimed wood is a big part of rustic farmhouse style. Or if you can’t find any pieces you like made from genuine reclaimed wood, you could opt for furniture that looks as though it’s made from reclaimed wood. We love the UMBUZÖ Reclaimed Wood Dining Table, made from solid reclaimed pine and fir lumber.

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The constant traffic up and down wooden stairs in a busy household makes for heavy wear and tear on them which can translate to different forms of abuse like a worn or dull finish, loose spindles or a wobbly baluster. The longer you ignore the warning signs the worse the damage can become so find a downtime when traffic is light to remedy the wrongs and make the repairs. The work can be divided into repairing the stairs and finishing the wood doing it in that order.

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A beautiful wood coffee, side, or dinner table can be a big investment, and keeping your furniture protected from food spills and water stains can add an extra dose of style to your home. Here are 4 stylish options to keep your tables looking as great as the day you bought them.

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A high and dry basement is often called a bonus room because it’s untapped space under roof and is often heated. The majority of work – finishing the walls, ceiling and floor – is what’s needed to reclaim the space as a home office, family room or for whatever space you need.

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With essential oils that include juniper berry, ho wood and frankincense resin, this treatment (blended with kelp and green algae) removes toxins and relieves muscle tension with aromatherapy. $20, pursoma.com

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Q: Howdy, Tim. I really need your advice. I’m thinking of residing my house, and it’s time to bite the bullet about repairing a structural issue that’s been getting worse each year. The floor in my living room has sagged 2 inches! The cause has been traced to a support column in between my two garage doors. I’m terrified about what this might cost to repair, and I have no idea what’s involved. Have you ever had to do a similar repair? Who is best suited to correct the problem? What kind of column would you install so it never happens again? — Stephen L., Worcester, Mass.

Leaves are falling and gardeners will soon have an abundance of organic matter. Why not put these materials to good use this fall and start a home compost pile? Composting is easier than you think, and the finished compost is an excellent soil amendment to improve the growth and health of your garden or landscape plants.

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Q: Mr. Tim, last week I wasted all sorts of time and got frustrated trying to dig a simple hole in my yard. A neighbor looked over the fence and suggested I change shovels. Anyway, I figured you’ve used lots of shovels in your career and might help me start a decent collection so I won’t be frustrated ever again. Tell me all about the shovels I’d see if I came over to your house or stopped by one of your job sites. How do you store them? —Barry K., Tulsa, Okla.

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