Grout Removal

Probably the worst job and the hardest is removing old grout from ceramic tile. It takes so much time and you are on your hands and knees. Well the job is going to be easier because of a tool that I saw at the last hardware show. It's made by Hyde and is called a Regrout Tool. I got to see it in action at the last show and I couldn't believe how easy they made it look by using this tool. And it is fast! It will remove grout between the tiles at 1” of grout per second. So now instead of stressing out over bad looking grout – remove it with out damaging the tile. It creates little to no dust. The Regrout Tool has 3 speeds and 2 carbide tips. It cuts out grout up to 1/8” wide and costs less than $40. And it's a small unit that fits easy in your hand. This Regrout Tool from Hyde will be your next favorite toy!

Now to the email....

Question: I recently saw a article by you in the Woodlands Villager newspaper about products to freshen up cabinets. I wonder if you know of any products for leather furniture? I have recently bought a used couch, chair and ottoman in a camel colored smooth leather. It looks dusty and dry with little shine. What would you recommend that I use to refresh the leather?

Answer: I am so glad you asked. When we closed our stores in San Antonio about 5 years ago, I had NO intention of going back to work. Well 6 months later we were back in business with this wonderful little hardware store and I needed my chairs back from storage. I was shocked at how they looked just being in storage for 6 months. So I tried a product that we had received from a show called Leather Only and cleaned them up. Wow ...they looked great in my new office. Try some on your new to you furniture.

Question: Hi Johnnie! We have double wood doors on the front of the house that face West. So they get the afternoon sun. They are about 15 years old. They have a dark brown finish on them now, but they are looking weather -beaten and sort of faded. They have panels and molding. I would like to know what I do to refinish them without stripping and staining them all over again. Is that possible?

Answer: Absolutely! The product that you want to use is one we have been selling for about 3 years. It's called Sun Shield. It's a sister product to Feed and Wax. You know how great Feed and Wax can make your cabinets look inside the house.....Sun Shield does the same for your door. As long as the varnish is still intact ...just clean the doors with soap and water to get off all the dirt and grime. Then apply the Sun Shield with a soft rag and polish.

Question: I have followed your newspaper column for years an used your suggestions many times. I made the mistake of painting latex over oil on base boards and window sills. Is Soy Gel the only method you recommend for removing the chipped paint...or is there a primer that could be applied over the chipped paint to seal it so I can repaint the room and woodwork using latex based paint instead of stripping it with Soy Gel. I want to take the easy way...ha.

Answer: Just to let you know, and everyone else who reads the article. Painting the oil over the latex paint was not your problem. It was painting over a shiny surface. Paint won't stick to a shiny surface. So we sand or prime. A light sanding is all it takes, or prime with Grip and Seal. I like to prime, because there is no dust to clean up. But now there is a product that will seal the edges of your peeling paint and it's called Peel Stop. It will stop the peeling or chalking and is the primer that you need. After the Peel Stop use a good latex paint. I like Coronado.

Question: I have what they call crazy ants. Will Shoo Fly get rid of crazy ants too?

Answer: It sure will. It comes in a aerosol and when dry is safe around pets and small children. Shoo Fly gets rid of any crawling pests. It has a about a 90 day residual. Spray around the perimeter of the house both inside and out. Then spray around all the doors and window openings. I don't use a pest control service anymore since we have been buying Shoo Fly.