Questions from Our Readers
I am writing this article the old fashion way tonight…with pen and paper. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the power stays on until I hit the send button and my editor receives it on the other side tomorrow. Our store has been closed for three days, and I have tried answering your questions from my phone. And they are great questions, questions that will be included with the new book. You know your questions are what make this article more than just a document from me. They are the customized set of problems that are distinctively from your area. You keep me on my toes and digging for answers on problems that I never thought about. Next week I want to give you more information about the new Bio Zapp and why it’s a stronger version, for stronger odors. I am also going to introduce a new product from Gianni Granite. It’s a paint that looks like Carrera marble. The finish is tougher than their past finishes and really looks amazing……buts that’s next week.
Now to the email….
Question: We have two small bowls and a set of candle sticks that are made of pewter. I realize older pewter was approximately 70% tin and 30% lead. Newer pewter is 90% tin and 10 % lead. I don’t know exactly which era my pewter is from so how would you suggest that I clean?
Answer: Just like silver-plated pieces, pewter is not all created equal. But to safely polish your pieces use Hagerty 100. This polish is as close to the product we used to carry called All Gleam. Unfortunately, the All-Gleam formula was lost when the owner died. When I went to market last year, the Hagerty booth was showing the Hagerty 100 polish. I asked what was different about it, and the rep said it had a R22 preservative to keep what you were polishing staying bright and clean for much longer than just a regular polish. I mean why just polish when you can polish and protect from tarnishing in one easy step. Use a soft rag to apply Hagerty and then polish clean with a soft cloth.
Question: I always enjoy your articles. I was wondering what you would suggest for applying a finish to the garage floor. Would you use a paint or a stain? I want to use something that will not peel off because I think that looks worse than not painting at all.
Answer: I would use stain. I have not seen a DIY finish that didn’t eventually fail. I think the professional finishes do hold up well, but they are very expensive. But I am getting ahead of myself. Just like painting, prep work is the most important thing in a successful project. And to have a stain that will stick, you just make sure the concrete will accept your stain by opening the pores of the concrete. And you do that with muriatic acid; however, using regular muriatic acid is dangerous because of the fumes and risk of a burn if you get it on you. You always need to have a hose running just in case of emergency. Acid Magic is muriatic acid in every sense of the word except that it’s buffered. And that means there are 90% less fumes and it will not burn on contact. Acid Magic is much safer all the way around for the user. To ready the concrete for stain, sprinkle on Acid Magic in a three-foot area and let it foam up. Then scrub it with a plastic bristle brush and rinse. Once you have prepared the concrete, then you ready to stain. Rustoleum makes Rock Solid latex concrete stain. Latex stains are so much easier to use than the acid stains that professionals use. When applied correctly, it will hold up under hot Texas tires (ok that seems silly to write – considering the winter blast we have been under) and will not peel. And Rock Solid comes in 20 different colors. So your floor can look any way you like. You can roll on the stain and then finish up with a brush in the corners. Would love to see your final project, send me a picture and I will send you a handyman gift.