DEAR SAM: You recommended using ground coconut hulls in polyurethane paint for non-slippery wood decks. Where does one go in the District of Columbia to obtain such an item? M.V.C.
ANSWER: Have you tried a fruit market? Take the coconut hulls to a paint dealer willing to grind the hulls and mix them in a gallon of paint. Use a fourth of a pound of grounds per gallon of paint.
DEAR SAM: A glue called "Magic" - which claims to hold a ton and be suitable for ceramics, metal, etc. - is impossible to use without setting the broken pieces together by hand. I tried it and my fingers were bonded in the process - and it can take the skin off the hand. The directions say to use nail polish to remove the glue from skin, but it didn't work for me. C.M.W.
ANSWER: Don't use it again, unless your hands are well protected. Notify the manufacturer of your dissatisfaction and send copies of your letter to the Federal Trade Commission and to your state office of consumer affairs.
DEAR SAM: My yellow bathroom basin is in very good and shiny condition but the porcelain was accidentally chipped on the surface, about the size of a nickel. Estimates for fixing it range from $10 to $25, with a one-year guarantee. Can I do the job myself? Mrs. S.S.
ANSWER: Accept the low bidder's offer. The repair can be good providing the orginal chipped piece is available and an epoxy glue is used to attach it. It would be most difficult, otherwise, to match the yellow coless condensation during the evenings. How can I get rid of it? Mrs. A.H.S.
ANSWER: Cover the floor with wall-to-wall fiber padding and carpeting. I trust the walls are insulated, but you should also have storm windows. Also, the ceiling should be checked for sufficient blanket insulation (R-19 or 7 inches for best results). Finally, block any humidity coming from the kitchen, bathroom or other wise.
Sam Fishlyn welcomes your questions on home improvements but can include only those of general interest. Write to him in care if this paper or to P.O. Box 62, Newton, Mass. 02159.