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Renovation & Design

SOLUTIONS: Paint-stain problem requires elbow grease

QUESTION: I have a problem for which I have not seen a solution. I hired professional painters for a not-too-large room in my home. They arrived with a stack of drop-cloths but I think they were not careful in using them. As a result, I have paint splatters in five different spots and one stain that looks like someone dropped a paint brush and then stepped on it. Unfortunately, I didn't double-check the work immediately and they took the money and ran.

I managed to remove the simple splatters by trimming the surface nap of the carpet. The larger stain is another story; I tried soap and water, and some commercial cleaners and, while it is a bit better, it's still very obvious.

It's been a week since they were here and I waited for them to come back to address the issue. In spite of repeated promises to return, of course it didn't happen. So the stain has had a week to set. Help! Marjorey, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Your best bet is to soak the area with paint thinner and water. Leave for 30 mins. and scrub with a brush, repeat until stain is gone. Be sure to test the paint thinner on carpet first to confirm that the dye is not affected. Your chances of getting rid of the stain are good. Complete the process by scrubbing with dish soap and water, rinse and let dry.

QUESTION: I bought a pair of fleece lined jeans and am finding the dye is coming off on my hands when I wear them. I have washed them inside out in cold water and also washed them with 1 cup of vinegar in cold water and they are still making my hands navy from the dye. Is there another way of washing them to get rid of this dye! Bev, Winnipeg

ANSWER: This may be the result of defective dye but most likely will cure itself over time by getting rid of the excess dye. Here are a few hints to help speed up the process of making your jeans colorfast. Soak the jeans for a few hours in plain old straight white vinegar. Next wash them in the hottest water possible (you can use cold water but the color setting process will take longer). If the dye is still not colorfast, bring the jeans to the store and explain the situation.

Fabulous Tips of the Week

-- Get rid of a squeaky car door by rubbing the hinges with petroleum jelly.

-- Make a tool wrap with the help of an old pair of jeans. Cut off a 10-inch section of one pant leg, measured from the bottom hem. Rip the inseam out but leave it attached at the hem. Place the fabric on a flat surface, inside facing out. Put tools on fabric, fold closed, roll up, and tie with the inseam.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a column? Can't remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my brand new blog/website: reena.ca!

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