TODAY   |  July 30, 2013

Lou Manfredini reveals how to get paint off wood

The handyman and host of the TV show “House Smarts” advises you can get rid of sugar ants with products like Raid and Combat and says the best way to clean paint off wood is to sand it off.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back and it is time to ask lou about all those pesky problems around the house you wish you could take care of yourself.

>> today lou manfredini is host of "house smart," and he has the quick fix for all your home repairs. we always learn something from you.

>> we have a question from nikki -- how do i get rid of sugar ants ?

>> so you bait them because it is all about getting rid of the queen. so a lot of people go to these traps which are kind of nice and they have bait inside these as well. one of my favorites, whether it is combat or this terro, these little bait stations -- remind me of the cheese and crackers you used to send the kids off with? sort of reminds me of those. take your scissors and snip off a little bit here. this little station, once you do that, you place it down in here. it is like a little buffet for the ants.

>> oh!

>> and they all come to this thing and they all say everybody, there's a buffet!

>> par-tay.

>> you'll see a ton of ants first, that will freak you out a little bit. then they go back to the colony and say hey, queen, i brought you some food. whether it is sugar ants , regular ants, you name it, this kind of baiting works and it will eliminate the ant problem. it takes about two weeks. everybody thinks it is going to happen in a day but it takes about two weeks, then it is done.

>> what about the children? you don't want to leave those around so children can get to those.

>> obviously you don't want kids drinking that kind of stuff. it is not going --

>> it won't kill them.

>> same with pets. if you have a cat or dog --

>> yeah. be careful.

>> you can put it under a milk crate with something over the top because the ants can still get there.

>> that's very attractive, too.

>>> rachel wants to know how to get oil-based paint off of wood floors.

>> if you haven't had any luck with any of the removers, here is a sample of a wood floor . we put latex paint on this for the sake of demonstration. wrap the area with blue painter's tape over the floor and take a little sanding block and lightly sand it. this takes a little bit of time. what we are trying to avoid is getting down to that wood to ruin the finish. then once you get most of this off, you're going to take a little plastic putty knife , a scotchbrite pad and a little mineral spirit on to the wood and gently go with the grain and remove that paint.

>> we'll have to take your word on that one.

>> vickie says she replaced old toilets. last time the plumber came he replaced the inside works with the newer model stuff and when i flush the toilets i have to reach inside the tank around put the flapper down manually.

>> oh, my gosh!

>> first of all, get your money back from the plumber. if all the parts are new and just can't work, the trick will cost you 25 cents . take a quarter or some fender washers. take a little silicone caulk. this will be a little difficult to see but squirt a little of the silicone caulking on to the quarter. then on top of that flapper, place this inside and stick it on there.

>> so it weighs it down?

>> it weighs it down. this needs to be dry. take the water out and let it dry. do you this 24 hours later. that little added weight of 25 cents -- done.

>> but lou , what about those deep found stains that we get in toilets?

>> that was the extra word you were supposed to eliminate. okay. if it is a white toilet, if it is a white sink and you have a deep down stain, this is a product out of a little company out of iowa called wink that is the stain remover. i have nothing to do with this company whatsoever but you squirt this inside there. wink rust stain remover. that's exactly what it says. if this does not get the stain out, you need a new toilet. you wear some rubber gloves .

>> i knew where he was going with that.

>> and you take a scotch brite pad. white toilet, white sink, guaranteed to work.

>> buy a black one the