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Taking Care of Decorative Finishes

In San Antonio sits on top of an aquifer. This aquifer is surrounded by limestone, which makes our water very hard. Cleaning fixtures in the bath and kitchen can become a full-time job. If you have decorative finishes like brass, chrome, stainless steel, or oil-rubbed bronze you have to be careful about what you use because not all finishes are alike. You also have to take into consideration the material that your counter top is made from.

My grandfather built homes in San Antonio…a lot of homes. I remember he would always have a home in town (a home that he wasn’t ready to sell) with a huge garage. And in that garage would be a warehouse of appliances, flooring, and faucets. Think small Best Buy. And some of those faucets would be high end. Back then that was brass-colored swans with big wings ….I am smiling while I type this. And believe it or not ...I still see those in plumbing stores. Taking care of those faucets can be confusing. Especially if you are dealing with hard water stains.

If you have chrome, satin steel, brass, or copper use Hagerty 100, with R-22 tarnish preventative. It’s that R-22 that will keep you faucets looking great for a long time. Take a soft rag and apply Hagerty 100 in a circular motion to the fixture. Then take a soft towel and buff to a soft shine. This shine is going to provide you protection against hard water stains. And it’s so safe. It does have a slight odor from the ammonia and mineral spirits. But that dissipates quickly. Do not let Hagerty 100 dry before you start to buff. Polish then buff all in one session, one fixture at a time. Hagerty is highly concentrated. They have great information on the inside of the box explaining how to take care of hundreds of metals. If you have a copper sink, this product is excellent. There is only one stain that can’t be removed and that’s etching, No polish that I know of will restore a finish marred with etching,

Now if you have a gold or oiled-rubbed bronze finish on your fixtures you need to use Flitz Faucet Wax Plus. Oiled rubbed bronze and gold finishes are much softer finishes. Therefore, you need a more specialized polish. Using the wrong polish on those softer finishes will literally wipe off the finish, maybe not the first time you clean but in the long run you will be left with a ruined faucet. Apply with a soft rag, BUT...you let it haze dry, and then buff to a soft gloss.


If you are hanging pictures and you are short the saw tooth hangers...use a soda can pop top. Screw it into the frame and you are ready for hanging.

Now to the email….

Question: We had some water damage on a window sill in the bathroom. I repainted the sill and now it’s peeling again. Why?
Answer: You need a primer. Zinsser makes a primer called Peel Stop that is made for exactly your problem. Peel Stop is a flexible, clear, binding sealer designed for surfaces that are peeling and cracking. Brush off any peeling paint. Prime with Zinsser. Paint with your paint of choice. No more peeling.

Question: I have gnats in my kitchen area. Drives me nuts. I do have a lot of plants...is that where they are coming from?
Answer: Probably the water that lays in the plastic saucers. You can break up Mosquito Dunks and place them in the standing water. If that’s not the problem, it’s coming from the sink drain. Use Adios Drain Fly Killer. Pour it in every drain in the home and close the drains with the sink stopper. Let sit overnight. Adios is all natural and will not harm your drains. But you must treat every drain because if you just treat one drain, they will simply go to the next drain. They use your pipes like a highway.

Question: I water my grass with well water. I assume that the iron in the water is staining the edges of my sidewalks. What can I use to remove the stain, but not harm the grass.
Answer: Rust Remover by Goof Off. No scrubbing required.