Q:What’s the best way to match a popcorn-textured ceiling when making a repair?
A:Home centers will usually carry a Popcorn Texture Patch product to blend with the acoustic ceiling tex- ture when you need to disguise a repair. Some patching products are available in a spray can, but you might get better results from a brush-on product that comes in a tub. The advantage of a brush- on product is that you can move the aggregates around on the ceiling, which enables you to adjust the texture to more close- ly replicate the popcorn pattern that surrounds the problem area. The brush-on patch is a latex-based product which you can coat it with a shellac-based primer to prevent staining.
Q:I have a metal handrail that has some rust spots, including an area at the bottom of the hollow post where the metal has rusted a hole completely through steel. I tried patching it with JB Weld, but the epoxy keeps falling into the hole. Do you have any advice on how to fix this?
A:To fix a small hole in a hollow rail post, sand away the surrounding rust and use a metal file to enlarge the hole just large enough to fit the nozzle of a can of spray-foam insulation. Spray a little expand- ing foam into the hole. The foam will expand inside the hollow post and squirt out the hole. Once it has cured, use a razor blade to cut the stiff foam flush with the metal post surface. Then, use the epoxy to cover the foam-filled hole. If you plan to repaint the handrail, it's a good idea to scuff-sand the epoxy surface so it will more readily accept paint.