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The Grapevine (Sept. 1)

  • Published Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012, at 7:43 a.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012, at 7:51 a.m.

Repair or replace?

When the time comes to decide whether to repair or replace a household item, use Consumer Reports’ 50 percent rule: Replace a broken item if the repair will cost more than half the price of the new product. In some cases, you can avoid paying for a service call to make that decision. First, explain to a repair person on the phone or in an e-mail what you think is wrong with the item. He or she may be able to diagnose the problem, give you a ballpark price to repair it or suggest a DIY solution.

– Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)

Do-it-yourself websites

If you’d like to try to tackle a repair yourself, check out these sites:

• www.howstuffworks.com

• Homerepair.about.com (maintenance tips)

• Manualsonline.com (300,000 owners’ manuals)

• Repairclinic.com, Searspartsdirect.com, Partselect.com or Govacuum.com (for parts)

– Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)

Paint looks like hammered metal

Benjamin Moore’s new Molten Metallics paints let you give surfaces the look of hammered metal.

Molten Metallics are high-gloss alkyd paints that produce the texture and appearance of metal. They’re suitable for use indoors or out and inhibit rust on exterior surfaces. They come in six ready-mixed colors: gold, copper, bronze, gun smoke, silver and charcoal. Suggested retail prices: $16 for a pint, $23 for a quart. More information: www.benjaminmoore.com.

– Akron Beacon Journal

In bloom at Botanica

Cannas, including Canna Pretoria, blooming in the Margie Button Memorial Garden.

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