'Making It' for radical do-it-yourselfers
Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen are extreme do-it-yourselfers.
They're part of the radical homemaking movement, a return to a simpler, self-sufficient lifestyle that rejects materialism and emphasizes homemade goods. The two help others embrace that lifestyle in their new book, "Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World."
The book is filled with instructions for projects, from making tooth powder to growing vegetable gardens and even slaughtering chickens. Projects are arranged by how often they need to be done and how long they'll take, so readers can start with simple projects and develop the skills for more complex undertakings.
"Making It" is published by Rodale Books and sells for $19.99 in softcover.
Electrostatic painting may not be necessary
Q: I need to have my metal kitchen cupboards refinished. I have discovered that they need to be repainted like a car is -- i.e., to have an electric charge put through them, and then to be sprayed with a metallic paint. Do you have any leads on companies that do this work?
A: Metal cabinets don't necessarily need to be painted electrostatically, said Bob Cusumano, president of Coatings Consultants Inc. in Jupiter, Fla., and a consultant to the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America. He answers consumer questions through the organization's tech support line, 877-344-8594.
Cusumano said electrostatic painting is a very efficient method of spray-painting metal surfaces, because it creates an attraction that draws paint to metal. However, he said it doesn't necessarily make the paint adhere better.
Any painting contractor who specializes in residential painting and uses an air-assisted sprayer should be able to paint your cabinets, he said.
The cabinets probably have a hard, glossy factory finish, which needs to be sanded to dull it and help the new paint adhere, Cusumano said. Any bare or rusted spots should be sanded well and coated with a rust-inhibiting primer.
He said the painter should use the same kind of finish that is on the cabinets now, either an alkyd enamel or an epoxy finish. If you can, take a cabinet door to a paint store so the salesperson can recommend a primer and finish.
If you can't take off a door, Cusumano suggested sanding a small, inconspicuous spot on a cabinet, painting it with either type of paint and letting it cure a couple of days. Then stick a piece of adhesive tape onto the paint, rub it on well, and pull it off. If the paint comes off with the tape, it's the wrong kind, he said.
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