Questions about the aesthetics of, how-to and suggestions for designing and decorating a personal or commercial space.

1,800 Questions
Interior Design

What do you do with a wire garland to decorate a room?

In my time I have used garland over windows in place of valances; along banisters; on fireplace mantels, and to enhance the curve of an archway between my living room and dining room.

They can be lighted, or not,depending on your taste, and the availability of an outlet.

You can add silk flowers appropriate to the season or your whim, but don't stop there. I used sea shells, wired in to great success.

Personalize the garlands or use them as a base for seasonal decorations, the sky is the limit.

Home Improvement

Can wallpaper be placed over wood paneling?

Yes, but realize the grooves in the paneling will show thru.

If the panelling is true wood, there is usually a ridge or grove that can be treated, either by filling the area with drywall mud and then sannding or by covering the entire surface with an under layer of wallpaper.
Your wallpaper retailer will be able to advise you.
There are also textured wallpapers, call glyptic paper that will go over paneling or badly damaged walls and cover the imperfections.
This glyptic paper will need to be painted to finish it off, but is a great way to get from old dark paneling to something new and stylish.

Travel & Places

Cool things to put on posters?

pictures of your topic, stickers, cool lettering, writing has a background design, maps, diagrams, t-chart, real objects that relate to your topic example; leaf from outside glued on if topic is fall/autum

Painting and Staining
Units of Measure

How many pints are in a 5 gallon bucket of paint?

There are two pints in a quart. Four quarts in a gallon (a quart is a QUARTer gallon). You'd therefore have 40 pints in 5 gallons. In reality, a 5 gallon bucket of paint will usually contain a little more or a little less than 5 gallons of paint, but an estimate of 40 pints should be close enough for most purposes.


Who mfgrs silk vision flowers?

From what I can tell from your question it seems like you are asking who manufactures silk vision flowers. I don't know any 'Silk vision flowers' but I know that there are silk flowers and many companies produce these kinds of flowers.

Painting and Staining

Will Command decorating clips strip paint off wall?

If you pull the removal tabs fully, then they will not strip paint. However, you have to be sure to pull firmly with one hand and hold the clip in place with your other. Otherwise, you will pull paint off the wall. As long as you're not constantly pulling them off and putting them back up, you shouldn't have too much of a problem.

Home Improvement
Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning
Painting and Staining

How do you strip paint off marble fireplace surrounds?

Standard paint stripper will work. Apply and let sit as directed. Wipe off the film afterwords with a plastic scrapper (no metal) and a rag. Repeat as needed.

If you get stuff that wont come off, make sure it's dry and use 150 grit sand paper to lightly sand it off. Marble is soft, so it will scratch the surrounding, it's OK. After the paint is off, wet sand with a 220 grit sand paper then 400 if needed. It will blend with the old marble.

Make sure you collect the paint on a plastic tarp and wear appropriate mask if the paint may contain lead. See

Painting and Staining
Household Hints

What to do with air bubbles under newly painted interior walls?

Quick Fix:

If you only want to get rid of the look of the bubble you can use a needle to let the air out of the bubble and apply some kind of pressure on it to hopefully have it show a bit less... However this is really more of an aesthetic fix

How to properly fix a bubble:

There are 2 reasons why a bubble would show on a freshly painted wall.

1- If it's only the last layer of paint that's bubbling, the reason it's doing is because of a lack of adherence (grip). To properly fix this you need to scrape off the peeling paint, clean the surface (or sand), apply a bonding primer, apply a bit of drywall compound to repair the wall and repaint over.

2- It there are multiple layers forming the bubble (the way to find out is if you can see the bare wall once you remove the bubbling paint), this means that the original paint film did not properly adhere to the surface... and the more coats of paint you apply on top of it, the more it pulls on the original coat of paint. This happens more often on Plastered Walls either because it wasn't given enough drying time... or no primer was used. Either way, this is potentially a big problem and would be best to have a qualified painting contractor go over to asses.


What color will match the color salmon?

sky-blue, warm brown (match carefully using sample strips!)


What does landscaping consist of?

Landscapers are people who care for the lawn or the garden of a home. They cut the grass, they improve the irrigation system so that the lawn gets enough water, they help to get rid of common pests, and they work with the owner of the home to create a beautiful outdoors by selecting the right shrubs and flowers, and keeping the lawn looking nice.

Women's Clothing

What color matches with olive green paint best?

Aubergine and reds look good. Any Autumn color would coordinate well also.

Home Improvement
Painting and Staining
Interior Design

Why is the wall colour lighter than the cut in corners when the paint dries?

Because a brush leaves a thicker coat of paint. When you use a roller a common mistake is to spread the paint over too large area. Also you paint over the cut in bits of wall making the coat even thicker in those places. Its because of shadow. The open wall has little shadow, the corner has 2 other sides absorbing the light. Corners are always looking darker than the walls.

Home Improvement

What is the easiest way to remove old wallpaper?

Try scoring the wallpaper then spray equal parts vinegar and water on the wallpaper.

call a pro. do NOT score the paper without trying to remove the vinyl fronting first. then spray the paper backing with a chemical paste remover such as DIF and pray to the wallpaper gods that it isn't hung over bare drywall. if it is, refer to the first 3 words of this suggestion!---


I just wanted to add this on. The previous poster is right. It's hard, it's messy, and both times that I've done it, I've wanted not to. However, if you are still leaning towards doing it yourself, I saw some tips here that I wished I had 2 years ago. Good luck!

Painting and Staining
Interior Design

Should you paint the ceiling and trim the same but darker green color when painting the wall a light natural green?

Traditional decorating thought says you should not paint a ceiling anything but white.

Don't listen... but do be aware of what effect you will get.

1) If your walls are a light natural green and you paint the ceiling the same colour it will cause you to perceive the green as a bit darker. The light reflecting from the walls and ceiling will have that effect. Having the ceiling the same colour as the walls can on occasion cause the feeling of being "in a box" as the ceiling will seem a bit closer than if it were white.

2) A white ceiling will cause the room to seem a bit brighter and the ceiling itself will seem a bit higher.

3) A good compromise, if you want colour on your ceiling, is to use a lighter colour of the same green as your walls. I often add white paint to the wall paint to achieve this effect.

As for baseboards, window and door casings and other trim, there are three schools of thought here.

1) Paint all trim throughout the entire building one consistent colour. Often white or cream and sometimes natural wood, this gives you continuity throughout and eliminates the need to decide where to change colours as you go through a doorway.

2) Paint the trim the exact colour of the walls, frequently this is a "fast and dirty" fix in apartments etc where the cost of anther paint and the time required to be careful in applying it are factors in the choice. If you choose to use the same colour, please have a semi-gloss paint mixed to match as using "wall" paint on baseboards etc. leaves the areas more susceptible to scratching, chipping and damage. (Wall paint is not usually as hard as trim paint)

3) Paint the trim in another colour. Either a darker version of the wall colour, or a colour you find esthetically pleasing in combination with what you have in the room.

In all three cases I can not stress enough the importance of getting the paint mixed in a "trim" paint.


What is a deluxe room?

It is a type of hotel room that is luxurious and better then ordinary rooms.

Chevy Silverado
Painting and Staining

What color should you paint your truck?

red and black


Black and flames along the doors and a eagle on the bonnet.


What color curtains would go with aqua-ish light blue colored walls?

I would use white or cream colored drapes. It will soften the room, and allow the aqua color of the walls to be the main focus. Then I would use a second color like yellow or orange to use in the accessories.

Painting and Staining

What interior decorating style goes with faux-leather paint?

You could do a contemporary style or even go neo-classic. Decide how busy you want to get. For instance I did a leather finish for one of my clients in their great room (aka family room) but only in a section of it. It was his study/ cigar lounge with a fireplace, leather chair-n-a halves, large leather-topped coffee table and desk,etc.. I did the walls surrounding the lounge area near the fireplace a shade darker than his leather chairs.

This was contemporary mixed with a classic antique leather desk. Don't be afraid to combine just don't over do it.

Home Improvement
Painting and Staining

What is the best paint to use on exterior flake board?


History, Politics & Society
Bob Dylan

Why did the Navy use white face paint to cover their faces during World War 2?

It was not "Face Paint" it was anti-flash cream, to reduce the chance of skin burns from explosions. It is the same as zinc cream sold for skin protection at the beach.

Interior Design

Function of bathtub overflow drain?

Home buyers and new homeowners believe that bathtub overflows will prevent their bathtubs from overflowing due to an unattended filling operation.

This belief is also held by many building inspectors and building code officials.

This belief is a myth.

Here is how bathtub overflows came to be:

100 years ago manufacturing molds for cast iron bathtubs had a hole for mounting a tub spout inside the tub. In other words, the original purpose for the hole was as a mounting point for the tub filler spout. It was later learned that water from the tub could back siphon through the spout into the water supply. Plumbing codes made this installation illegal. With the tub spout moved up on the wall, manufacturers were left with a hole that had no purpose. The molds for the tubs were so expensive that the manufacturers could not afford to change the mold to remove the hole. Their first idea was a solid plate mounted in the hole with a chain attached to the plate and a rubber drain stopper at the other end. Second idea: A trip lever to move the tub stopper up and down. The lever is attached to a rod which went down the backside of the tub and then under the tub to the drain where it attaches to the stopper. This assembly required a housing to enclose the trip lever rod. Once this housing was in place some trip lever plate manufacturers cut a slot in the plate. The slot allowed a very small amount of water to flow down the housing when the water level in the tub reached it. People later dubbed this assembly an overflow even though it would not prevent a tub from overflowing due to an unattended filling operation. There was no intention at the time for this to be a real overflow and no code work (standards creation, engineering calculations, testing protocol, or listing) was ever done to make this setup a real overflow. Nothing has changed from then to now - we are still installing trip lever housings - not overflows.

If the trip lever itself is not used then you have a useless trip lever housing collecting and growing mold and bacteria. Although using a trip lever only makes it worse, since the trip lever rod and springs increases the collecting and growing area.

So why do so many bathtubs still have the hole punched in them?

• By the time it was economically feasible to remove the hole from the tub mold the history had been forgotten and people were used to it.

• A generation of people heard the word overflow from the previous generations and assumed that is what it really was.

• People have a tendency to keep doing what they have been doing - so they kept making tubs with holes.

According to PMI (Plumbing Manufacturers Institute) no manufacturer currently makes bathtub overflows, only trip lever assemblies are made.

Many years ago the legal environment was much less intense. The fact that people commonly called trip lever assemblies "overflows" (because they saw that a small amount of water could go down the slot at the bottom of the trip lever plate) even though they really were not, was not such a big deal. The problem is that this practice has created a generation of people who believe that these things really are overflows when they are not, and the legal environment is now very hostile to a product being sold with a name that misleads consumers as to its true function.

If you disagree then I challenge you to come up with the documentation that these so called overflows are a real plumbing product in the same sense as any other plumbing product being what it claims to be:

• Show that a standards specification exists with ASME, ANSI, NSF, IAPMO, or any other approved standards making group.

• Show the documentation for the engineering calculations that specify the flow rates the overflow should be capable of handling and how this relates to the overflow "protecting against accidental flooding resulting from an unattended filling operation".

• Show what listing agency is providing a listing for such a product and what testing protocol they are using to verify that the overflow is meeting the standard.

• Show what manufacturer makes an overflow that has such a listing and stands behind the product with a warranty that the product will "protect against accidental flooding resulting from an unattended filling operation" according to the standard to which it is listed.

You will find that none of this exists.

Bathtub overflows that "protect against accidental flooding resulting from an unattended filling operation" do not exist.

I have checked with the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute and all the manufacturers are against the idea of creating a requirement for a real overflow in the code. I have also talked with many of the manufacturers directly. There is no manufacturer that makes a real overflow, they are all making the same thing that has been made for the last 50 to 60 years - trip lever assemblies, trip lever holes, trip lever housings. The strange thing is that these same manufacturers continue to sell this obsolete hole and piping as an overflow even though they know that is not what it is.

Here are a few other problems with trip lever housings that have cropped up in the legal system:

• The foam rubber seal on the back of the tub has a tendency to dry out and shrink slightly over a period of years. This creates a small gap where water can leak unseen and unknown into the compartment behind the tub, which creates a mold forest which then leads to lawsuits and huge remediation bills. Leaking overflows are a real problem, especially in two story houses where it creates extensive mold damage in the walls below.

• When a tub starts draining the water level in the trip lever housing rises to the same level as the water level in the tub, and as it does this it pushes the air in the tube out into the bathtub area and into the bathers face if they are sill in the tub. Since the trip lever housing tube is not self cleaning it can hold a lot of "gunk" and can harbor mold. I am hearing reports of lawsuits being filed by people claiming that mold spores are being pushed into their face and is spread in the air throughout the house, making them sick (and that for a long time they did not know what was making them ill).

I had a meeting with a plumbing engineer and he brought up some interesting points about bathtub overflows.

There are three sets of manufacturers that are involved in bathtub overflows:

1. The manufactures of the bathtub.

2. The manufactures of the waste assemblies that attach to the back of the bathtub.

3. The Manufacturers of the tub and shower valves that fill the tub with water.

These three sets of manufacturers do not talk to each other about this issue and none of them know what combinations of products are being put together. They also do not know what flow rates are going into the tubs and there is no limit set by any plumbing code. There is also no limit on the number of filler valves that can be installed on a bathtub. Flow rates can range from 6 gallons per minute up to 24 gallons per minute or more depending on what is installed and what the water system pressure is.

In many cases a bathtub will overflow even if the drain is left open. The tub filling system is a valve under 50psi to 80psi of pressure while the tub draining system is 1 1/2" pipe that is removing water by gravity. The tub filler will win every time.

Here are letters from AB&A and Lasco Bathware on the overflow issue:

Recent International Code Committee decision on what the requirements are for a bathtub overflow:

I have studied the code interpretation made by the ICC officials and it appears that they did not research the issue but acted upon the myth of bathtub overflows. They believed that someone at some point in the past had done all the engineering and code work. This is a good example of the power of myth influencing those in positions of power and regulatory responsibility in such a way that it maintains and strengthens the myth.

This is a quote from an email I received from a member of the committee that rendered the decision (after I sent him information similar to what is posted here, although more extensive):

"Subject: RE: ICC Bathtub Overflow Requirement

Thanks for the info. It is quite thought provoking. I hope you will be attending the hearings in Baltimore next month to present your views to the IRC-PM committee.

To quote from Mark Twain:

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

PS: I was a member of the 'anonymous committee' that rendered that interpretation."

The Uniform Plumbing Code published by IAPMO does not require bathtub overflows. IAPMO recognizes that real bathtub overflows do not exist and therefore it would be pointless to require them.

Ward Gilbert

Apartments and Home Rentals
DIY Projects

Would fabric wall treatment work on bricks?

Lovely as this finish is, it is time consuming and quite expensive, not to mention not very easy to clean. I would not recommend doing this treatment in a hallway, kitchen, bathroom or any other high-traffic area... but it would lend a certain luxuriousness to a bedroom or even a formal living room.

In a rental property, because of the need for strapping etc. you should have the permission of the owners before you start. And be advised, if you will have to return the room(s) to their original condition when you move out, it will take a fair amount of work.

If however you are still keen to try here is a basic idea of how to do it:

The best fabric wall treatment to cover brick requires a framework of strapping at top, bottom and vertically at the point where the seams will be.

Then a layer of batting or thin Styrofoam set between the strapping with a heavy cloth cover over the whole area (Note, make sure your seams on the support layer do not correspond with the seams of the decorative fabric).

The fabric is then attached to the strapping (staples work well, but keep them close together) as close to the top and bottom as possible, and running down the center of the vertical strapping. (Note, be careful to keep your fabric snug and properly aligned, also be certain of your pattern match when adjoining additional panels)

The finishing will require something to cover the seams and any visible attachments. Most commonly a decorative cording or molding are used. A treatment of Scotch-guard or other fabric stain resistant spray is a good idea, as is monthly vacuuming to keep it clean.

Home Electricity

How do you fix Christmas lights when a whole row will not work?

== == most off the time it is the fuses. they are in the plug most have 2 slots that slid out where the fuse are located just replace the fuses and that should take care of your problem. however 90% of the time this is not the issue.

Home Electricity

What color is Florence Patina?

Florence Patina is a very light brown almost between khaki and light brown. See the link below.


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