TODAY   |  September 26, 2013

Lou Manfredini shows how to handle simple repairs

Responding to viewer questions, TODAY contributor Lou Manfredini demonstrates how to install a dimmer switch and make simple household repairs.

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

>> today lou manfredini is here with us. tools to get you going, baby.

>> hey, lou .

>> i'm not going to make you any sandwiches.

>> all right. our first question is from brenna. is there a way to fix holes by a towel holder that pulled from the wall.

>> in the same spot. now we've got a hole there i can't put anything in. get a nice, clean, piece of wood. that is larger than her towel par.

>> okay.

>> then this brackets that hold this in place, she's going to mound that to the wood.

>> so it's going to be the wood now holding the towel thing. yes. then you can paint it.

>> you can paint it. you can either screw it onto the wall or this is a really cool glue called power grab that you can glue right onto the wall. it will stay right there.

>> take it and stick it.

>> i love that. all right.

>> debra wants to know how do you install a dimmer switch ?

>> i'm always a little leery about this topic, because electrical you need to have --

>> a license.

>> well, you don't need to be a licensed electrician in but you have to understand how electricity works.

>> yeah.

>> the most important thing is kill the power. this is the which you have now. go to the basement, the mechanical room and flip breakers until that light goes out. when that light is out, we know the power's out. this little panel comes out. the switch comes out. and these wires, there's a green, red, and white. you're going to take these terminals out. this is dead now. we can do this. but she wants to know. now, here's the new dimmer. and there's three wires.

>> and one of them isn't wiet.

>> the green goes with the green. the other two go there. put that back in.

>> oh, see, that would scare me.

>> i know. and it comes with really good instructions. the key is the power has to be off.

>> rachel wants to know what's the best clear coat that can endure weather for all outdoor furniture ?

>> there are some that do not deliver, aren't there?

>> the trick of the trade is a product called spar varnish . you can find it in different shades. here is the trick of the trade. this is mineral spirits . the first coat you're going to apply, you're going to thin it. and you're going to use that -- this has been thinned a bit. and you're going to apply it to the wood. look at the rich color that comes out.

>> this is filthy though. shouldn't you have a clean one first or does it not matter?

>> i sanded it.

>> say sand it, so we know.

>> she's yelling at lou .

>> and people are pointing fingers. then you apply that first coat, okay? just remember --

>> after you sand it.

>> -- i was on time.

>> but you haven't made us a sandwich.

>> i will. i'm good at that. that first one with the mineral spirits , draws it into the wood. then when it dries, you sand it --

>> again.

>> and then two full coats of spar varnish .

>> this is the last one. i cut a hole to install a dog door. and it didn't fit.

>> here's the picture. she got the dog for free and now it's costing her a fortune. she made the opening too big. again, with the piece of wood --

>> you're big with the wood thing.

>> you're going to picture frame the dog door. it's going to look nice. this can be painted, caulked and woof.

>> for even more money.

>> and thanks for bringing your wife. she is lovely.