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S19 E20: Spring Projects: Paint, Prune, Spigots

Richard explains a variety of failure points in a hose spigot; Mauro demonstrates the how to paint vinyl siding; Jenn explains how and why to maintain pruners; Nathan builds a custom fence gate.

Previous episode: S19 E19 | Next episode: S19 E21

In this episode:

It’s officially spring and Ask This Old House is celebrating by tackling some springtime home improvement projects! Starting with plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrating a couple of ways to fix a leaky hose spigot.

Plumbing & Heating Expert Richard Trethewey explains that there are two places a spigot usually fails—the bonnet and the stem. He shows how to easily fix the problem to stop the leak to help extend the life of your spigot. Richard also shares that he doesn’t like traditional hose spigots for cold climates. With your average spigot, the washer sits on the outside of the house, which means that in the winter, water is prone to freezing if it is not shut off and drained. Instead, Richard advises using a frost-proof spigot. It has a longer stem that reaches inside the house, which means the washer end is far enough away from the outside. This will keep it safe from the cold and will prevent a frozen pipe.

Then, Paint Expert Mauro Henrique demonstrates how to paint vinyl siding. Many viewers have asked if their vinyl siding can be painted over and Mauro is happy to answer “yes, it can!” In fact, it can take paint really well. He explains what to do to prep and shares some helpful information about choosing your paint. Mauro shows Kevin how he paints on vinyl, sharing techniques and the tools he uses.

Next, Landscape Contractor Jenn Nawada shares some tips on how to maintain bypass pruners. She demonstrates the difference between dull and sharp blades by cutting a stem with each. Sharp pruners will leave a very clean, smooth cut, but dull pruners will leave a rough cut. Jenn stresses the importance of maintaining pruners because plants are living things, so when they’re pruned, you need to treat them like living things. Jenn goes over how to keep your pruners sharp and sterile to protect your plants from rot and disease.

Later, Carpenter Nathan Gilbert helps a homeowner install a custom fence gate. The house is home to two young children and the parents are worried they might run into the street. While the homeowners could buy a gate from a home center, the backyard has a wood fence with horizontal paneling. So, Nathan creates a custom wood gate with horizontal paneling to match the rest of the fence.

How to Replace a Spigot

Richard Trethewey explains a variety of failure points in a hose spigot and demonstrates how to replace one that is damaged beyond repair.

Where to find it?

Richard replaced the existing spigot with a ½” x 12” Brass MPT x SWT Heavy Duty Frost Free Anti-Siphon Outdoor Faucet Hydrant, which is manufactured by Prier Products and can be found at most home centers.

The other tools and materials Richard needed, both for soldering the new valve and repairing the old one, can all be found at home centers and plumbing supply stores.

How to Paint Vinyl Siding

Mauro Henrique demonstrates the correct way to paint exterior vinyl siding.

Where to find it?

Mauro painted the vinyl siding with Regal Select Acrylic Exterior Paint in the color “North Shore Green”, which is manufactured by Benjamin Moore.

To apply the paint, Mauro used a combination of a 3” flat paintbrush and a mini foam roller, which can both be found at home centers.

How to Maintain Bypass Pruners

Jenn Nawada explains everything that needs to be done in order to maintain a set of bypass pruners and why it matters.

Where to find it?

Jenn demonstrated a variety of ways to keep pruners sharp and sterile. For the examples, she used some of her own pruners, which are ARS pruning shears.

To clean the blades, Jenn used a combination of steel wool and Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner.

How to Build a Custom Fence Gate

Nathan Gilbert helps a homeowner build a custom fence gate to keep his kids safely in the backyard.

Where to find it?

Nathan custom-built the gate using all stock pressure treated lumber, including 4x4” posts, 1x4” boards for the panels, and 2x4” boards for the frames of the gates. All of this material can be found at home centers and lumberyards.

For the hardware, Nathan used a Black Slide Bolt for the lock and Black Heavy Duty Tee Hinges, which are both manufactured by Everbilt.

To cut the boards, Nathan used a sliding compound miter saw, which is manufactured by Dewalt. To secure the boards to the fence, Nathan used a siding nailer, which is manufactured by Bostitch.

Original Air Date: Apr 25, 2021 Season 19; Ep.20 23:42

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