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Thompson: This trick will help out in tight spaces
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If you ever need to paint in a tight area like behind a toilet or a radiator, this is the tip for you. Just glue a painting pad to a flat stir stick. Presto — instant thin painting brush!

Do you have debris stuck between the cracks of your wood deck? If so, here's the simplest solution I know for how to remove the stuff. Simply screw a large cup hook onto the end of a broom stick (you can get cup hooks at any hardware store). Run the cup hook through the crack to remove the debris. You can also use the hook to hang up your broom when you're finished with it.

Whether it's on a boat, a personal watercraft or a car, vinyl seats will fade over time. A lot of people don't know that you can actually buy vinyl spray paint - and it works amazingly well. The two main suppliers of it are Rust-Oleum and Duplicolor. Just check your local hardware, paint or auto store to see if they carry it. If not, you can easily find the color you're looking for online.

The key to putting this stuff on is to apply it in multiple, very light coats. Allow between 15 and 30 minutes for each coat to dry. Be extremely careful about over-spray. A friend of mine was recently spray painting the vinyl seat on her personal watercraft. She accidentally over-sprayed onto another piece of vinyl that had a different color. She tried to remove the excess paint with acetone. Big mistake. Acetone will actually remove the original color of the vinyl. What I had her do was use WD-40 instead. Yes, WD-40. It quickly and safely removed the excess paint and left a nice shine.

By the way, WD-40 also gets scuff marks off of linoleum floors.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.

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