Brick pavers are just wonderful. Whether you are doing a walkway, patio or even a driveway, if done correctly, they will look great for many years with little trouble. Even the problems that you might have are easy to fix. Here are solutions to those issues and how you easily can take care of them yourself:
• If you have weeds that pop up between the bricks, just use a herbicide to take them out.
• If your paver surface has loose sand between the joints, keep in mind that the sand will settle over time. Apply a new layer of sand to the surface and sweep it into the cracks. This adds stability to the pavers and helps them withstand slight movement.
• If a brick or two settle or sink a little, you can use a scrap of heavy-duty wire to lift them out. The wire needs to have a small hook on the bottom to grab the bottom of the brick to lift it up.
Other tools you might try are a trowel, pry bar or hacksaw blade. Once up, you can add a handful of sand to the base, smooth it out and carefully set the brick back down. Use a rubber mallet to tamp it back into place.
• If you end up with a cracked brick, you can use the “wire trick” to lift the pieces out and then you can put a new brick into place. Hopefully you have extras. If not, take a brick from a discreet spot and use it to fill the open area.
Then, put another brick into the semi-hidden area.
• If you have several bricks that have sunk, remove them all and fill the area with sand so that you have a level base, and replace the bricks. Once you get the first brick up, the others will be much easier to get out.
There are a variety of stone and brick cleaners and sealers that you may want to use, should you have stains on your bricks. Once you use the cleaner, you can apply a sealer that will protect your bricks for a long time.
There is even a line of “wet look” sealers that will really bring out the color in the pavers. Shop your hardware store or home center to see what it has.
As you can see, just a little light maintenance really is all that is ever required so your hard work will look good for many years to come.
Q: I want to know what I can use to paint an old bed frame. It’s metal, and I was hoping I could make it look like brass. What can you recommend? – J.A.
A: You can buy brass paint. It’s not real brass, but it does look amazingly like the real thing and it comes in a spray and brush-on. There’s a little prep involved, but you should like the results.
Bead board is a great look, but it can be a little labor-intensive and also can get costly. But Brewster makes a line of heavily textured wallpaper that looks just like bead board. It comes in several widths and finishes and goes up just like wallpaper. That means you don’t have to have a truck and a bunch of other tools like you would for the real paneling to get the look in your home. It costs a lot less, too. You can do walls, wainscoting and even do a ceiling with this stuff and, once painted, nobody will be able to tell it’s paper, not wood! You can get it at your Home Depot store. Check it out online at www.homedepot.com and see it for yourself.