The Washington Post

Gaithersburg do-it-yourself pro breaks into television with “Lip Gloss and a Sander”

Bridget Edell helps select a tabletop at Thomas Marble & Granite in Gaithersburg while taping her county cable TV show, “Lip Gloss and a Sander.” (Bill Ryan/The Gazette)

Some girls cite a flat iron or a trendy pair of heels are the tools they can’t live without. For Bridget Edell, it’s her favorite tube of lipstick and a great sander.

Edell is the host of “Lip Gloss and a Sander,” which first aired on Montgomery County’s public access television station in June. The show follows Gaithersburg’s Edell as she takes on refinishing, painting and sanding projects step by step.

The title comes from two instruments that are essential for her handyman hobbies and everyday life.

“In my garage, I can do anything with a sander,” she said.

Growing up, Edell would spend time with her father in his workshop. She didn’t share her siblings’ interests in sports at the time. She learned how to strip furniture of its polish and refinish pieces to make them look new.

Edell hosted Montgomery County Media’s production staff at her home July 27 to film the fifth episode of “Lip Gloss and a Sander.”

In that episode, she showed viewers how to create a pub table out of a whiskey barrel. Edell, an executive assistant at Shady Grove Hospital, said the idea came from a friend who wanted to update the wet bar in his basement.

Edell often takes guests on the show to garage sales and flea markets to find affordable furniture that can be updated or refinished.

The host said she hopes the show will encourage more women to take on home improvement projects.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a man in the garage,” she said.

Edell’s husband, Gary, encouraged her to take the leap into show business and put her Pennsylvania State University communications degree to good use.

“Back when I was in college and graduating . . . there weren’t a whole lot of job opportunities for women” in broadcast journalism, she said.

Edell pitched her idea for a television show to Montgomery County Media, which approved her for a series.

Merlyn Reineke, executive director of Montgomery County Media, said the station helps county residents and producers work in television. The number of episodes Edell will film is up to her, he said.

Reineke said Edell’s show is “a very creative concept” and might inspire other county residents to start shows of their own.

“Lip Gloss and a Sander” airs on Montgomery Channel 21 at 10 p.m. Wednesdays and 5:30 p.m. Sundays.

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