D.I.Y. and Tips Corner:

Removing Mildew (Courtesy of www.homedepot.com)
Mildew stains often make an appearance in damp locations, such as bathrooms and basements. Before painting, you'll need to eliminate this black, speckled growth to make sure new coats of paint adhere well.


Skill Scale: Easy

Time Required: Sanding out mildew stains takes only a few minutes, but you might have to repair the sanded spot with spackling compound.

Tools: Sponge, Bucket, Sandpaper, Rubber gloves, Eye protection, Drop cloth.

Materials: TSP solution, Bleach solution

Removing Mildew

Test the stains by washing with some warm water and mild detergent. Ordinary stains will wash out, but mildew won't. If the stains don't wash out, gently sand them out with 150-grit sandpaper.


Removing Mildew

Put on some rubber gloves and eye protection before you wash walls with bleach, which will kill the mildew spores. After the bleach treatment, wash mildew away with some TSP solution or a phosphate-free substitute, then rinse the area with clear water. Allow the wall to completely dry.



Preparing Woodwork for Painting (Courtesy of www.homedepot.com)
Prepping woodwork for painting isn't difficult, but wood trim and other details can have lots of little hills and valleys. You'll need to clean, patch and sand the woodwork before you can paint it, so a little patience is needed to make sure the job comes out looking great. Liquid deglossers work well for prepping glossy surfaces such as enamel paints, but pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions - the deglossers can't be left on too long. To renew varnished wood, clean it with mineral spirits, patch any holes, then apply new coats of varnish.


Skill Scale: Easy

Time Required: Prepping all the trim in a single room could take three or four hours.

Tools: 150-grit sandpaper, Putty knife, Tapered sash brush, Finishing sander or sanding block, Drop cloth

Materials: Latex wood patch, TSP solution, Clean cloth, Tack cloth

Prepping wood To start, wash the woodwork with TSP solution or a phosphate-free substitute, and then rinse it thoroughly. Be sure to wear protective gloves and safety gear when using harsh cleaners and chemicals. Scrape away any peeling or loose paint. If your woodwork is badly chipped, it's probably best to remove the old finish entirely by sanding it or stripping it.
Prepping Wood Use a putty knife to press some latex wood patch or spackling compound into any nail holes, dents or other scratches. Colored wood patch material also can be used. Let the putty dry thoroughly.
Prepping Wood Sand the surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper until they are smooth to the touch. Wipe the woodwork with a tack cloth before priming and painting.


External Resources:

Owens Corning