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GET A GRIP ON SANDING

There you are, sanding along, and suddenly you get that sinking feeling that you've gone a little too far and you're about to sand right through the surface. Worry no longer. The Mouse palm-grip sander/polisher from Black & Decker shows a single green light to indicate a light sanding mode; a full green light when you're applying proper pressure; and a red light when you're pushing too hard. It comes with attachments for corners, curves, dowels, grooves and recesses. The Mouse will be in stores this fall for $39.99.

Where to recycle those used bulbs

Lots of people promote the use of compact fluorescent light bulbs, which last longer and use less energy than incandescents. When they do burn out, however, disposal is a problem because they contain small amounts of mercury. Here's a solution: Visit www.earth911.org/recycling. Type "CFL" and your ZIP code into the search boxes and you'll be directed to recycling centers near you that accept CFLs. (This Web site is worth a visit; it's a meaty source of environmental material.)

Apply paint just where you want it

Painting tips from Wagner, maker of painting equipment: If you're using a sprayer, cover entire windows and trim with plastic to avoid mists and spatters. Outdoors, use a fabric dropcloth to protect plants, not plastic, which can create a "greenhouse effect" that damages plants. Instead of masking tape to keep paint off windows, use a liquid masking solution such as Wagner's Glass Mask that repels paint and scrapes off later. Suggested retail: $6.98.

Compiled by Homes and Garden editor Judy Stark

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