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Sometimes multiple layers of paint or stain reach a point where the layers simply won't stay together. Give the history, the best approach is the completely strip all old stain/paint off the porch. Then, after it is thoroughly dry, apply an oil-based primer, and then two top coats of stain. I say use oil-based primer because it has the best adhesion.
Fresh lemon juice and salt takes the tarnish off pennies – not vinegar! Wet the penny with the lemon juice and then rub in salt. Sea salt or other big crystal works the best!
This was a favorite dinner table trick when traveling with my kids. They love to get those flat pennies when were on vacation and later that day I'd grab the lemon off an ice tea glass and the salt shaker, mix up a paste and polish 'til it was bright and shiny!
Jenna, assuming that this is a traditional brick wall of a real fireplace (as opposed to a fake brick wall on a manufactured fireplace!) there's no reason you can not attach the flat screen TV mounting bracket directly to the brick and have it provide a solid connection.
The best fastener to use for this is a "Tapcon" concrete screw. Tapcon screws are designed to grab into brick and concrete and come with a drill bit preciously sized for the screw you need to install. Just follow the instructions carefully and you should be good to go. The other option is to use a traditional lead shield and lag bolt combo to attach the mounting bracket. However, in my experience, the Tapcon will be strong enough. To be sure, check with the manufacturer of the TV mounting bracket and follow their recommendations before proceeding with the project.
tips in Decorate & Design It
Quick, easy decor and design tips and ideas to help you become the master of your own domain, one simple project at a time.
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product reviews in Decorate & Design It
The latest products in home improvement, decor and more with reviews by The Money Pit's band of serial home improvers.