Q: I have a slate tabletop that has a stain on it. I set a plant down on it and it left a white ring where the pot was. I can’t get rid of the stain. What would you all recommend?—W.S.
A: The stain is probably due to mineral deposits in the water leaking through the pot. Try rubbing with a little warm vinegar on a rag and see if that works. If not, we’ve seen scratches taken from slate floors with a powdered abrasive. We’ve also seen spots hidden by a very thin coating of pure oil furniture polish. Wipe it on and the remove all the excess. This treatment gives slate a new shine, too.
Q: I found out the hard way that drilling into glass wasn’t easy. I knew it might break so I practiced first. Sure enough it did. Before I attempt the real table top, how would you recommend I do this?—L.V.
A: You will need to use a carbide tipped bit. You will also need lubrication. We have found a great way to add a little water for lubrication and keep it in place by building a little dam around the area with kids’ clay dough. Fill the dam with a few drops of water and start out at a slow drill speed. It takes time but you should get good results. Practice first.
Q: Our home has aluminum window frames. I would like to paint them. What type of paint should I use and what prep work is needed?—K.G.
A: Usually, you’ll need to scuff sand the surface as aluminum is shiny and doesn’t give the paint much to hold onto. You don’t state whether you are going to paint inside or out so tell your paint dealer so he can show you the best type of paint for the job.
Q: I have always covered my turbine vents for the winter but I asked my neighbor to help me this year and he said it’s a bad idea. Is he just putting me off or should I really not do it?—L.W.
A: In most cases, the attic needs ventilation in the winter as much or more than in the summer. The reason is that as humidity collects in the attic and when rafters and other parts get cold, the condensation will form on these cold surfaces. This moisture can cause damage to wood, metal, insulation in the attic and even stain the ceilings in the house below. So it’s best to leave the vents to do their job.