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Repair/patching tools and materials.


Wall scrapers are used to scrape old wallpaper off walls and peeling paint from work surfaces, to tape joints and to patch plaster.

Most do-it-yourselfers prefer 3", 4", 5" and 6" sizes. Professionals generally use 10" and 12" taping knives.

Quality wall scrapers have flexible, high-carbon steel blades that are hardened, tempered and individually ground. Another mark of quality is a design that allows for a single piece of steel, which runs from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle. Handles are made of shatter-proof plastic or wood.

* Drywall joint knives come in larger sizes, ranging from 5" to 16". The most popular size is 6". Signs of quality are similar to those of wall scrapers.

Less expensive wall scrapers or joint knives are manufactured from high-carbon steel, with blades securely fastened into a seamless, shatterproof handle, frequently wood.

A corner tool is used to apply tape and joint compounds when a perfect corner job is desired. It is available in 3" or 4" sizes.

The process of installing drywall and gypsum wallboard is relatively simple, but completing the project requires skill and drywall finishing tools. To achieve a smooth-looking surface, the taping process covers the joints between the wallboard panels. Joint cement is then applied in thin layers and sanded to create an even surface.

A corner roughing knife, a corner finishing knife, a broad knife (usually about 10" wide) and a utility knife are the basic tools used in this project. The corner knife embeds the tape on both sides of a corner. A point on the knife pushes the tape into the corner joint.

The corner finishing knife feathers the joint compound over the edges of the tape and leaves a smooth, sharp corner. The broad knife feathers and smoothes joint compound over flat joints. The utility knife is used to smooth spackling compound over nail holes, cracks and other rough areas.

* Sponge rollers are also available for both corners and flat areas to pick up and roll out joint compound.


A paint and varnish scraper (also called a "wood scraper") removes old finishes and smoothes the surface with its sharp cutting blade. When using chemical removers, consumers should know to use a chemical-resistant scraper. Plastic, chemical-resistant scrapers tend to be gentler on wood than metal scrapers.

Sizes range from the 1" blade--primarily used for small, hard-to-reach areas--to a 5" blade. Most blades are made from tempered, high-carbon steel and can be sharpened with a file.

Razor-blade scrapers are used to scrape excess paint off windows. They hold either single- or double-edge razor blades. The most popular type has a retractable blade that slides in or out of the handle.


Putty knives range from 1" to 2-1/2". Generally, the greatest demand is for 1-1/4" and 1-1/2".

The finest quality putty knife blades are made from mirror-finished, high-carbon steel and are hardened, tempered and individually ground.

The way the blade is attached to the handle is a means of determining quality. Top-quality models have blades running from the tip of the blade through to the end of the handle.

Putty knives are used for scraping paint, chipping out old putty, scraping oft accumulated grease and scraping old finishes off furniture.


An electric paint remover, which contains a heating element similar to an electric appliance, is placed on the coated surface and pulled along slowly. Users should follow along with a scraper to remove the softened paint. (However, this method is not recommended on latex).

The tool should be kept in motion to prevent burnt wood. Although a relatively safe method of paint removal, an electric paint remover still must be handled carefully.


Hot air guns produce heat up to 1,000[degrees] F to melt paint and remove it easily. Some guns have variable heat settings. Unlike electric strippers, the guns are held above the painted surface (usually 2" to 4"), and a putty knife or scraper then removes the paint.

Hot air guns can be used to remove varnish and paint, as well as to soften and remove putty, laminate or dry paint and wood finishes.


Masking tape is a general-purpose, pressure-sensitive tape. A quality masking tape unwinds easily without splitting. It has excellent ability to stick immediately and securely to nearly all surfaces, yet pulls away without damaging the surface.

* Pressure-sensitive tape is also available for securing carpeting, underlay and rugs. This is a double-faced tape that adheres securely to fabric and flooring, forming a bond that prevents creeping, bulging and overlapping.

A pressure-sensitive tape is also available for padding and absorbing shock. It is suggested for covering bottoms of lamps, ashtrays and bookends and is more durable than felt.

* A multi-purpose tape consisting of asphalt adhesive with aluminum facing makes general repairs in roofing, guttering, leaking pipes and hoses in addition to sealing cracks.

* All-purpose tapes are increasingly being replaced by tapes designed for specific tasks such as for use on baseboards and trim, glass, hard-to-stick surfaces, lacquer surfaces, brick and tile, and delicate surfaces, as well as two-sided tape for holding up drop cloth and solvent-resistant tape designed for spray painting projects.

* Masking tools are available to make the taping process go quicker. Some types offer automatic tape alignment for applying masking tape on trim and mouldings.


Spackling compound is excellent for patching cracked plaster, filling nail holes, repairing wall tile and smoothing surface imperfections on unprimed wood.

Most companies make spackling compound in paste form. This is harder to work with, especially in larger holes. Lightweight spackling is the easiest to use--it will not shrink, crack or sag and requires little or no sanding. The compound can be painted almost immediately. Patches with lightweight spackling, however, are not as sturdy as those made with powder-mix compounds.

One type of spackling changes color when optimum drying time is achieved. It goes on pink and turns white when dry.

* Exterior spackling paste is for repairing minor cracks, breaks and holes in wood and masonry. It dries quickly, sands easily, is resistant to mildew and weathering and is ready to paint in minutes.

* Wallboard joint compound comes pre-mixed in quarts, gallons and five-gallon pails for easy application to cover and finish gypsum wallboard joints. Add a little water and mix for at least one minute. It should be smooth before using. Wallboard joint tape is used with joint compound to help reinforce gypsum panel joints.

* Stucco patch repairs large cracks and holes in both interior and exterior stucco. It matches texture of the original stucco and is durable and permanent.


Tile grout is a white powder (also available in paste form) that becomes a strong patching agent when mixed with water. It is effective in areas subject to moisture and strain. Frequently used to fill cracks between bathtubs and walls, it can also be used to repair cracks around kitchen sinks, towel racks, soap dishes and wash basins and for filling breaks between floor and wall tile. It dries white, unless tinted with a dry color.

* Also available are a wide range of colored tile grouts (sanded and non-sanded) that can be used with all types of tile, marble, slate and granite. Grout colorant renews or changes grout color. It seals grout joints and evens colors.

* Grout sealer offers invisible protection from grease, oil, stains, dirt, mold and mildew for tile, grout and masonry. It can be used on all sanded and non-sanded grout colors, indoors or outdoors.

* Grout cleaner is a non-abrasive cleaner that's strong enough to cut through grease, stains, mold and mildew but will not erode grout.


Glazing compound is a long-lasting material used for glazing wood or metal sash. It remains semi-elastic under a smooth, firm, wrinkle-free film that forms when the material sets. It does not dry rock-hard and is easier to remove when reglazing.

It resists cold, heat and moisture and is used for patching or sealing small openings or cracks. Glazing can be tinted with oil color.


Available in either dry or pliable form, putty repairs cracks, dents, breaks and holes in furniture, wood and concrete floors, woodwork, metal and other interior surfaces.

* In dry farm (known as water putty because water must be added), it dries to the shade of new wood but can be tinted with dry color. It sets rapidly, cannot be reworked, dries hard and can be sanded, tooled and finished like wood.

* Pliable putty (also known as wood putty because it is made from hardwood) is rubbed on wood surfaces before painting to close pores in certain woods such as oak, mahogany, walnut, chestnut, elm, butternut, hickory, ash, rosewood and satinwood. It is not synonymous with patching materials, which fill holes or cracks in finished or unfinished surfaces.

Most wood putties come in paste form and must be thinned; the container label tells which thinner to use. Putty is brushed on, rubbed, sanded and sealed before finishing.

Wood putties are available in water-based form, allowing greater safety, rapid drying and less shrinkage. All wood putty patches must be sanded flush with the old surface. Patches can be stained, painted or varnished.


Epoxy menders have excellent adhesive qualities and are effective in repairing auto bodies, appliances, plumbing, rain gutters, playground equipment and garden tools.

Epoxy is a two-part resin and hardener. These menders usually are white or metallic color. Surfaces must be free of all foreign materials, including paint, for epoxy menders to work effectively.

The two must be mixed together before the adhesive is effective. Once mixed, the material will set permanently in a specific length of time--from a few minutes to 24 hours, depending on the room temperature.

The bond formed is waterproof and permanent and will withstand attack by practically all common solvents when final curing is complete.

Because epoxy adhesives harden into solid mass when mixed, they can also be used as a patching or filling material for repair jobs. They can be used to make permanent repairs on cracked pipes or radiators or on rotted wooden or metal gutters.
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Title Annotation:Paint & Decorating
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Previous Article:Household adhesives.
Next Article:Caulks and sealants.

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