Before you start fresh with a new layer of wallpaper, take the time and effort to remove the old one. (Tony Cenicola / The New York Times)
Q. What is the best way to remove a wallpaper border from drywall?
A. First, cover the floor with a drop cloth. Add hot water to wallpaper remover (which you can find at Home Depot or similar stores) as directed. Pierce the wallpaper with a perforation tool to create holes that will allow the remover solution to get behind the paper and soften the adhesive. Then apply the solution to the wall with a paint roller or sponge. Let it soak in (timing will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions). Once the paper has loosened, peel it using a wide wallboard knife. After the paper is removed, rinse the wall with clean water and let it dry thoroughly.
Cleaning costume jewelry
Q. Where can I take costume jewelry for a cleaning? Should I clean it myself?
A. Before attempting to clean the jewelry yourself, determine what each piece is made from. Costume pieces are crafted from a wide range of materials, including plated brass and steal, sterling silver, crystals and plastic, all of which respond differently to cleansers.
If you know you’re dealing with a plated metal, which will have a delicate surface, gently wipe away dirt with a soft cloth and buff until the piece is clean.
For raw materials like brass, copper, bronze, nickel, silver and sterling silver, use polishing pads, such as those from Ecology ($13 per pack of four, ecologypolishingpads.com), to bring back the luster. With sterling silver, you can also rub a mild tarnish remover on dull areas.
Apply a gentle, nonabrasive solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water to the surface of nonporous crystals, such as Swarovski, and imitation stones. Scrub gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush or soft cloth until clean.
Once the jewelry is clean, store it in a sealed plastic bag with a strip of anti-tarnish paper or a desiccant packet; either will prevent metals from tarnishing.
If you are unsure how to proceed, rely on a jeweler you trust to assess the problem, says David Feldman of New York City jewelry-supply store Metalliferous. Of course, if the piece is a vintage collectible — think 1950s Chanel — bring it to a professional to restore its sparkle.
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