Removing Wet Mark From Wood Table / Repairing Small Holes From Hanging Pictures / Maintenance To Keep Ceramic Floors Looking Great

In Flooring, Miscellaneous, Q&A on July 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

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I had my nephew over and he set a glass on my wood table (without using a coaster) and it left a large white spot or ring. Do we need to refinish the whole table?


You’ve now experienced the age-old problem that people with wood furniture have all experienced. I just didn’t think furniture was made from wood anymore. I was beginning to think everything was plastic, acrylic or laminate. Nice to know wood is still around, and your nephew is gone!

To remove the stain, mix a small amount of toothpaste with some baking soda and lightly rub it onto the white stain. Rub with the grain using a damp, soft cotton rag. When it dries take a dry rag and wipe everything clean.

If the area you cleaned is now a different shade than the rest of the tabletop, don’t fret, gently do the rest of the table and when done, wipe with lemon oil instead of furniture wax.


The house I am trying to sell has some holes where I hung pictures. I want to repair them but don’t know where to start, can you help?


You know I think most of us have some minor nail pops, cracks or holes in at least one wall or ceiling, especially when you remove a shelf, picture, or even from small settling cracks.

I remember my first apartment. I filled the nail holes where I hung pictures with toothpaste to get my security deposit back.

Well, you don’t have to resort to such devious measures as long as there is easy-to-use, “ready-mixed” spackle or patching plaster available for under three dollars a quart. If you’re really trying to save money, buy the very inexpensive, five-pound box, you just mix it with water for about two dollars.

The only tools you’ll need will be a hammer, possibly a putty knife, a four-inch flat blade trowel and some sand paper. Tap in any protruding nails or remove them and replace them with drywall screws. Clean out and remove any loose pieces and fill the holes and cracks using the putty knife and the flat blade. Push the spackle as far into the crack as you can and then release pressure on the blade and as you get farther away from the crack or hole slowly apply more pressure to the blade. What that does is feather the new spackle down the existing wall. The smoother the finish the less sanding you’ll need to do.

So you see, spackling is also like getting plastered, but on a smaller scale and it’s even ok to drive the car afterward!


What kind of maintenance do I need to do to keep my ceramic floors looking great?


You should know that ceramic tiles are like men. If you take care of them in the short run, you can walk all over them for years and talking care of them means just mopping with a cleaner like Spic & Span, rinsing with water and letting it dry. Better yet, you can purchase the Bissell® Steam and Sweep™ at local home centers such as Target, Sears, Lowes and Meijer. It is chemical free and does a great job sweeping and cleaning.

Unglazed tiles should be sealed with a tile sealer (sold at tile stores) and sealed just about every other year. You don’t have to seal unglazed tile, but you should still clean and seal the grout periodically. Products like “Grout Revive” or “Tile Guard” are available at hardware and tile stores, which do the job nicely.

But if you have stains in the grout or in unglazed tiles that just won’t come out, and you’ve tried all the grout cleaners on the market, wearing rubber gloves, goggles, protective clothing and working in a well-ventilated area, you should be able to get the stains out using a diluted solution of Muriatic Acid mopped on and rinsed with water. If that doesn’t work, Phosphoric Acid will. You’ll also find them at hardware and tile stores. Finally, if you can’t get the grout clean, it can be cut out and replaced or even colored using a grout stain or colorant. Similar to what you use to cover your grey hair.


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