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spring 2013 • FREE

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At Home

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15 Spring


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Lu Samu Color & Project Expert


Your Lawn

10 Steps

to a New Sink & Faucet


M. Marcus Moran, Jr. (left) and Bill Aubuchon III (right)

Dear Reader: Welcome to the premiere issue of Aubuchon At Home, Aubuchon Hardware’s newest how-to resource! You’ve always known Aubuchon as the go-to place for hardware and home project advice, so we’re excited to share our expertise with you in a format that you can actually enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Being a fourth generation family business focused on the neighborhoods we live and work in, we know that being a successful hardware store isn’t just about hammers and nails. It’s all about people — our customers and our employees, their families, their friends and their general interests that help

to define each neighborhood, and ultimately support the greater good of the community. The pages that follow will provide you with the type of advice you would expect to hear from the employees at any one of our store locations throughout the northeast, along with some interesting company information, product updates and savings. Each community that we have the pleasure of serving has different needs and focuses, as do our stores. We are not a big top-down corporation where each location is forced to offer the same products. Our stores grow from the community up with the wants and needs of our customers – they are literally home grown. With each edition of Aubuchon At

Home, you’ll find information and advice as varied as our stores, from spring gardening tips to how to install a sink and faucet, all offered in our trademark “neighbors helping neighbors” spirit. It is that very spirit which has helped Aubuchon Hardware thrive, through good times and bad, for 105 years now. Whether supporting local youth sports, school functions, town parades, fairs or charitable events, our stores and the dedicated staff employed there always have a finger on the pulse of their community. The addition of this magazine allows us yet another channel of communication and the ability to provide added value to our customers. We consider Aubuchon At Home as an extension of the great experience that you would encounter at our stores and we hope that it provides you with helpful tips and the inspiration to tackle your next home repair project. From all of us at Aubuchon Hardware, we sincerely thank you for your business and for inviting us into your home through this copy of Aubuchon At Home. Warmest regards,

M. Marcus Moran, Jr., CEO Bill Aubuchon, III, Chairman of the Board

Celebrating 105 years of service!

William E. Aubuchon, Sr. outside his offices on Rollstone Street in Fitchburg, MA in 1967

Life was not easy in the early 1900s. Many immigrants came to the United States in search of a better life. And so it was for young Canadian widow, Georgiana Aubuchon and her four children, who settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Through hard work and determination, her eldest son William established a hardware store there in 1908. Through the years, William and his company encountered both good times and trying times, but by providing his customers with “The Aubuchon Difference” ­— a neighborhood hardware store with just what you need, at prices you can afford and the help you would expect from a friend — they persevered. Today, with 118 stores located throughout the Northeast, we are extremely proud that the W.E. Aubuchon Co., Inc. has become a true American success story. We are especially grateful to all of the loyal customers whom we have had the distinct pleasure to know and serve over the years.

Contents spring 2013


Pages 2-4, 12, 14: Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.


In this issue! Scan this with your Smartphone to take this issue wherever you go!


2 Spring Forward: Landscaping Tips 4 from the Pros. Try these insider’s secrets for foolproof landscaping.

4 Quick & Easy Facelift: Install a

Sink & Faucet. Learn how to set up a new sink and faucet in 10 easy steps.

6 Painting Ideas: Painting It All! Aubuchon’s new painting pro shares her best tips.



Scott’s Lawn Care: Give Grass a Fresh Start for spring. Discover how to take your grass from tired to terrific.


Spring Cleaning: Your Home Exterior To-Do List. Take your home out of hibernation—and prepare it for the coming summer.


Spring Lawn Care: Northeast Backyard Basics. Jump-start your backyard with these springtime lawn-care tricks.


Minwax Restoration Projects: Wood Repair & Restoration. Get the secrets to reviving and restoring worn or damaged wood finishes.


New at Aubuchon: Plumbing Makeover! Preview the newly re-merchandised plumbing department. Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


spring garden guide

Spring Forward Get your landscape off to the best start using these hints and tips for the spring season

Pull Back Winter Mulch Early Spring

If you spread a layer of winter mulch to protect your plants from heaving, you’ll want to remove it when plants begin to grow and danger of extreme winter temperatures has passed. 8Gardening Tip: Keep mulch or some type of covering handy to protect your plants in the case of an unseasonably late arctic blast.

Prune Fruit Trees Late Winter or Early Spring

Most fruit trees, including apples, pears, cherries and peaches, benefit from being thinned out. This encourages an open habit that keeps the trees healthy and makes it easier to harvest the produce. The best time to prune is before new growth develops.

Prune Roses Early Spring

In most regions, you’ll want to prune your roses just as or before new growth emerges from the canes. Cutting your roses back encourages strong, healthy shoots that will produce lots of blooms. A trim also gives the plants a more open habit, which helps them resist diseases such as black spot. 2

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

Keep garden color strong all season long with heat-loving annuals, such as petunia, nasturtium and lantana.

Start Seeds Early Spring

Growing plants from seed is a great way to save money.You can gain a few extra weeks if you start them early indoors, or keep it simple by sprinkling seeds in moist, loosened soil outdoors. 8Gardening Tip: If you don’t use all the seeds you purchase this spring, you can store most varieties in your freezer for planting next spring.

Start Out with Cool-Season Annuals Early or Mid-spring

Annual flowers fall into two categories: varieties that like it warm and varieties that like it cool. Most cool-season annuals, such as pansies and violas, nemesia, diascia, calendula, poppy, snapdragon and sweet alyssum, can take a little frost. Plant them in beds and borders or containers and gain a few early weeks of color.

Divide Overgrown Perennials Early or Mid-spring

Give older perennials new life by dividing them. Dig up and split apart varieties (such as Siberian iris, aster, coreopsis and many hostas) that form dense clumps. They’ll bloom better when they’re not crowded—and you’ll end up with more plants for your yard or to share with friends. 8Gardening Tip: You don’t need

Avoid planting trees and shrubs too deeply. The root flare (where root meets trunk) need only be just below soil level.

Cut Back Ornamental Grasses

Early or Mid-spring

Cut back ornamental grasses to about 4 inches tall before or just as they put out new growth. This is also the time to divide ornamental grasses, if you wish to do so.

While tomatoes, peppers and squash love hot summer weather, you can plant carrots, radishes, spinach and other cool-season varieties while there’s still a bit of frost in the air. They’ll withstand light freezes easily, but need to be covered if the temperature drops into the low 20s.

Early Spring

If any of your summer-blooming shrubs, such as butterfly bush, potentilla and summersweet, are getting out of hand, give them a haircut in early spring. This won’t affect their blooms because they make their flowers on new growth.

Get Your Potatoes Going Early Spring

Early spring is a great time to start spuds.You can get them in the ground earlier than you probably think—just wait until daytime temperatures have warmed to about 45 degrees F or so. Plant most potatoes about 6 inches deep and 8-10 inches apart. Early, Mid- or Late Spring

Spring’s cool, moist conditions make it the perfect time to add trees and shrubs to your yard. There are many reasons to grow trees and shrubs: They add value and beauty to your property; they can shade your home, reducing your summer energy bills; and if you select fruit-bearing varieties such as apples or blueberries, they supply food for your family.

Aubuchon Hardware offers 1,000+ supplies to help you care for your lawn and plants.

Grow Early Vegetables

Early Spring

Prune SummerFlowering Shrubs

Plant Trees and Shrubs

to worry about dividing peonies, bleeding hearts, baptisias, amsonias or hellebores; these varieties do just fine on their own. Splitting them can set the plants back.

Stop Weeds When They’re Small Early and Mid-spring

Weeding is usually voted gardening’s most arduous task, and as such, it’s often put off. But pull, hoe or otherwise remove weeds while they’re little, and you’ll make the job considerably easier. Small root systems are less work to pull, and if you get them before they go to seed, you’ll have fewer weeds in the future.

Make Records of Your Garden Early, Mid- and Late Spring

Fall is the time to plant springblooming bulbs. If you need to add color to fill in holes in your spring garden or include new plants to accent ones you already have, take pictures. That way you can refer back to them in autumn and know exactly where to plant.

Spread Mulch Mid-spring

When the soil has warmed up and dried out in spring, spread a 2-inchdeep layer of mulch (such as shredded wood, pine needles or compost) over the soil surface to discourage weeds in your planting beds and hold moisture once hot summer days arrive.

Prune SpringBlooming Shrubs Mid- or Late Spring

Once your forsythia, camellias and lilacs finish flowering for the season, they may need a haircut.They start making next year’s floral display just a few weeks after they finish blooming, so cut them back as flowers fade so Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


quick & easy facelift Step 6: Measure Countertop Opening

Word to Know: Escutcheon This is the plate that comes with your faucet to cover unused holes in the sink.

Check your new sink’s manual for the countertop opening size. If the openings are the same size, you can drop the new sink into the existing opening. If your new sink is larger than the old one, enlarge the opening in a laminate countertop by cutting it with a jigsaw. If you have a slab countertop, you will not be able to change the size of the opening. Step 7: Install Faucet on Sink

First lay a gasket on the sink, then set the faucet on top of the gasket with its tailpieces extending through the sink’s holes. Tighten the nut on the underside of the sink to secure the faucet to the sink. (Follow the installation instructions for your specific faucet.) Step 8: new STRAINERS

How to Install a Sink and Faucet In just 10 steps, you can give your kitchen or bathroom a quick and easy facelift

Find thousands of plumbing supplies and more at Aubuchon Hardware.

For this project, you’ll need: a sink, a faucet, a strainer set, a basin wrench, water pump pliers, a crescent wrench, a screwdriver, a putty knife, plumber’s putty, silicone sealant, a flashlight, a bucket and towels. Step 1: find the Perfect Fit

The width of the opening where your sink will be installed should measure four inches narrower than the base cabinet, to allow for mounting. Step 2: Shut off water & power

The copper lines that supply water to the sink often have shutoff valves under the sink. (If not, you may need to turn off water in the basement). After the water is off, turn the faucet on to let water and pressure drain out. If you have a garbage disposal, turn off the breaker panel switch that provides electricity to the kitchen and unplug the disposal’s power cord. Step 3: Disconnect existing sink & Faucet from plumbing

Use a crescent wrench (or a basin wrench if the nuts are difficult to reach) to disconnect the faucet from the supply lines. Then disconnect the 4

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

sink from the drainpipes using water pump pliers. Keep a bucket and towel handy for possible spills. Step 4: disconnect the disposal

To loosen the ring that attaches the disposal to the sink flange, insert a long screwdriver into the lugs on the ring and twist. When the disposal is loose, lift it off the drainpipe. Then remove the disposal’s mounting bracket from the bottom of the sink drain by prying the retaining clip off the drain flange and loosening the screws on the bracket. (Keep the bracket; you’ll need it to attach the disposal to the new sink.) Step 5: Remove Old Sink

Locate the clamps securing the sink under the countertop and loosen the screws. Insert a putty knife under the sink to loosen it and then lift out the sink. (You may need help!)

Apply plumber’s putty to the underside of each strainer flange and set the strainers into the holes. Step 9: Reattach plumbing

Attach the gaskets under the sink to the strainer flanges, then the drainpipes to the strainers; tighten the nuts. Reconnect the disposal to the sink flange, insert its drainpipe and plug the power cord in. Reconnect the faucet by reversing the steps taken to disconnect the water lines. Step 10: check for leaks

After you turn the water back on, keep an eye on the plumbing for small leaks. Be ready to tighten fittings and add sealant or putty as needed. n

TIP: One thing to consider when choosing a new sink and faucet is how many holes the faucet requires. Is it a single-handle unit or does it have separate handles for hot and cold water? Most drop-in sinks are available with a variety of options.

Join the Home Team! Aubuchon Hardware’s Home Team program brings customers even more value. Earn points with every dollar you spend, and receive a $5 Reward certificate every time you reach 250 points. We make the savings significant with extra points at sign-up. We make it useful because you can spend your rewards on anything in the store. We make it easy too, with no card to carry and plenty of time to use reward dollars. And we make it extra-valuable with special promotions every month, such as doublepoint weekends and vendor rewards.

• Free to join • No card to carry • Get 150 points for signing up • Earn points for every dollar you spend • Receive a $5 Reward when you reach 250 points • Members-only exclusive offers & savings • Get a 10% discount when you sign up with email


More savings on the stuff you need most!

March through May, there are hundreds of dollars in Rewards from great brands, like the ones shown below!

Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


Painting Ideas

Painting It All! The Good, the Bad and the Lovely.

An odd collection of well-worn thriftshop brass, SITTING ATOP A FRESHLY PAINTED VINTAGE DRUM TABLE, is made lovely again with a few good coats of semi-gloss white paint.

Intuition makes a perfect substitute for design expertise for those who want to fill a home with personality and beautiful things. Anything that can pass a safety check is worthy of repurposing with an unexpected or outlandish paint color. But when the color message isn’t quite coming through, rely on your intuition when deciding 6

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

whether the something or other you’ve happened upon is truly worth saving. Chances are if your discovery has nice lines, or sparks a classic reference in your imagination, it’s worthy of a few coats of paint. Here’s a roundup of castoffs, both good and bad, all turned lovely again with a quart of paint.

While this ladder started out better than some, it’s the contradiction of romantic pink meets oldschool utility that lends an artful extravagance to the mix. Playing up its age further, with a rather slapdash coat of Benjamin Moore’s Pink Blossom 2018-40, suddenly this ladder is just too magical to use as intended.


A habit of imagining the past life of my furniture finds leaves me to think this very high-quality Edwardian piece was made to languish beneath a collection of a grandmother’s prized African violets. The shadows of tiny saucers, meant for catching tea, reflect instead the telltale watermarks and delaminating marquetry inlay that only a lifetime of water, and more water, could create. Sometimes painting good old furniture is not only a good thing, it’s the only thing. And for this Jasper Yellow 2024-50 table, it’s the very best of everything.

I can’t say I set out to make a career as a decorative painter turned interior designer. I can’t claim, either, that I intended to write three books on design, color and paint. The renovation of thirteen houses wasn’t a planned adventure, exhilarating though it has been. Looking back on it now, I suppose the clear memory of days spent steadying my mother’s ladder or serving as the 9-year-old deadman beneath my father’s first go with drywall, should have been a clue. Painting, designing anything, renovating everything, gardening, home keeping, color planning and even writing and

blogging are all things I simply love to do. That some are willing to pay me to do it? Well, that’s just been my good fortune. For me, a self-proclaimed serial renovator, committed Benjamin Moore paint and color loyalist, and nonstop DIY enthusiast who likes to tell the tale of her creative adventures, being a part of the Aubuchon Hardware paint, color and DIY community is a life’s work come to call. I’m thrilled to be here with you, ready to share my years of DIY experience and insights, color expertise and more than a few interesting tips I’ve picked up over the years. Need to know how to hold up the sheetrock without your arms getting wobbly? Need the perfect white for the trim in your bathroom? Wondering why those pesky wire nuts are different colors? I can help, and I’m pretty handy with a paintbrush, too, but for today I’m busy wondering if maybe I did set out to be the Aubuchon Hardware color & DIY expert.

I’m ready for your next project whenever you are, so if you have any questions just use the hashtag #AskLu on Twitter or write to us on and I’ll help you out!

Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


Another high-quality table, only this time walnut, and this time the menace was something hot. Scorch marks can be sanded and bleached and painstakingly restored. A better secret weapon for salvage hunters than laborious refinishing is paint and well-chosen color. This demi-lune hall table stands just as lovely as ever now, painted and crackle-finished with a period-appropriate Adams Green 2027-40. The lovely lines of a shield-back chair make for an especially pleasing paint rescue. No intuition or instincts necessary—these chairs are always worth saving. Often found separated from their original dining sets, these chairs are a snap to reupholster and are very sturdy by design. As with most older furniture pieces, the chances are good someone took the time to wax a wood chair over the years. If you want your fresh paint to last, be sure to sand the surface well, and prime it, too, before you apply the finish coats of paint. 8

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

There was a time not too long ago when cane-backed barrel chairs were considered as ugly as ugly could be. And the crushed-velvet tufted seat? Well, that only sealed the fate of these chairs. But hang on to something long enough, or wait just a little while, and suddenly… those ugly cane-backed barrel chairs are the envy of the design community. Much sought after for the super-sturdy, wide and low seats they are famous for, this pair of faux walnut beauties are looking hip and chic in high-gloss white paint. For a truly dense and meticulous paint finish, sand lightly in between coats, and don’t stop at two coats. For an exquisitely modern and lustrous finish, as many as five coats of Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint creates spectacular white furniture results.

Tips Whether you’re planning to reinvent a utilitarian find or change the status of a good furniture find entirely with paint and color, follow these tips for a super-successful result. 1. Wash well with vinegar and water and dry thoroughly. 2. Sand any paintable surface well with a 220-grit sandpaper. 3. Prime previously waxed or painted pieces. 4. Stir your paint well before you begin and while working. 5. For super-high-quality, sand between your many coats of paint with a 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Enjoy the loveliness and stay colorful! —lu For more painting tips, questions or to share your project with us, visit


Consumer Color Seminars with Lu Samu Aubuchon Hardware launches free Color Seminars! Your home is your canvas. A fresh coat of paint is one of the most refreshing ways to revitalize

and transform your space. With just a few inspired changes of color in areas that make the most difference, you can give your home a distinct makeover that reflects your unique personality and sense of style. Aubuchon Hardware’s Color & Project Expert, Lucianna Samu, along with the trained Benjamin Moore Specialists at the Aubuchon Hardware locations listed below, will inspire you and provide you with all of the tools you’ll need to make your house a home. Each seminar includes free color and design advice, free refreshments and a complimentary gift bag. Space is limited, so sign up today! Go to aubuchonhardware. to sign up for the location nearest you. Spring 2013 Color Seminars

• March 7: South Sandwich, MA • March 14: Cohasset, MA • March 21: Falmouth, MA • April 4: Montpelier,VT • April 11: Shelburne,VT • April 18: Keene, NH • April 25: South Burlington,VT

Save the Date: May 18, 2013 Day of Color

On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Aubuchon Hardware is hosting a “Day of Color” in all of our stores! The event takes place all day long and will include the introduction of a unique Aubuchon Hardware Northeast Collections color palette – showcasing 30 unique colors, with representatives from the 6 states (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY,VT) that Aubuchon Hardware serves. This exclusive color collection was created by Aubuchon Hardware’s Color Expert, Lu Samu and is available only at Aubuchon Hardware! As a Benjamin Moore paint and color loyalist and non-stop DIY enthusiast, Lu knows that when it comes to painting, choosing just-the-right

color is the toughest challenge that most of us face. This is precisely why she created this unique palette that not only will look great in/on your home, but also capture the essence and distinctiveness of each state. It’s truly an exciting collection and all of us at Aubuchon Hardware are so excited to share it with you! So, stop into your local Aubuchon Hardware store on Saturday, May 18 for our “Day of Color” where you’ll be treated to the latest color trends and learn which products you’ll need to complete your painting projects, simply by asking our trained Paint Specialists. Plus, save money on all your favorite Benjamin Moore products! n

Happy Hour

Saturday, April 6th

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Bring your dog in for a free sample of GREENIES® Dental Chews Even Dogs Deserve a Happy Hour Mark your calendars for the 2013 Music For Life ~ Rock n’ Run, which will take place Saturday, May 11th at the Wachusett Village Inn in Westminster, MA. Sponsored in part by Aubuchon Hardware, Music For Life is an annual 5K road race and concert event, celebrating its 7th year with a mission to enhance the lives of those affected by life-threatening circumstances. We are proud to announce the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) as this year’s beneficiary of 100% of the net proceeds from the event. The 5K run/walk will begin at 2:30, followed by a concert in the courtyard from 4:00 – 9:30. There are three ways to participate: Just Run (or walk), Just Rock, or ROCK n’ RUN by completing the 5K and enjoying the concert afterwards! Visit for more information, and be sure to Like us on Facebook ( MusicForLifeRocks) to stay tuned for updates about the event as well as special contests. n

Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


lawn care

Give Grass a

Fresh Start This Spring Aubuchon Hardware carries both Scotts® EZ Seed® and Patchmaster® products to make your lawn repair a breeze!


rass is an extraordinary plant, the unsung hero of backyards every­ where. With proper care and feeding, grass can help clean the air, cool the ground, reduce erosion and provide one of the softest outdoor play surfaces. With all of these amazing benefits, it pays to start the spring season off right by giving grass a boost. The drought and heat of last summer, combined with uncharacteristic winter temperatures in many regions, may have taken a toll on the lawn, but getting it back on the road to recovery is easy. Moderate temperatures and increased precipitation in spring are perfect for repairing, seeding and feeding grass. Well-nourished grass withstands harsh conditions better, and provides a lush, durable place to play while squeezing out unwanted weeds by blocking access to sunlight. Follow these tips to take your grass from tired to terrific.


Fill in bare or thin spots with grass seed to encourage a thick lawn and help prevent weeds from invading your lawn by blocking access to sunlight. Use a high-quality seed appropriate for your region, like Scotts® EZ Seed® to fill in thin spots and thicken the lawn. To repair larger areas, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed with WaterSmartTM coating. 10

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013


Grass needs nutrients to develop strong, deep roots that can endure harsh conditions and to grow in thick to help block access to sunlight for weeds. If the lawn does not need reseeding, use a high-quality lawn food like Scotts® Turf Builder®.This lawn food can be used in any season on any grass type, and delivers balanced nutrients for strong, thick grass. Use a starter fertilizer when

planting new grass to promote root growth and seedling development. When seeding or feeding, use Scotts® DLX EdgeGuard® Broadcast Spreader for larger areas to direct lawn food only where desired—on the lawn and off hard surfaces—and out of storm sewers. This spreader combines the accuracy of a drop spreader with the speed of a rotary spreader.


Set your mower at the highest setting and leave grass clippings on the lawn. Mow frequently to avoid removing more than one third of the grass height, and do so when grass is dry to avoid damp clumps that could smother grass. Leaving clippings on the lawn recycles nutrients stored in the clippings, thereby keeping the soil cooler, encouraging deeper root growth and enriching the soil with organic material.

Keep these simple mowing tips in mind every time you head out to trim the grass: Mow your grass at the highest setting, keep grass clippings on the lawn and water only when needed.


Grass that is fed and kept at a taller height develops deep roots which are better able to conserve water and withstand periods of heat and drought. Rely on rainfall as the primary source of water. During periods of drought, the lawn can go without water for an extended time. Even though the lawn may look brown and wilted, it will recuperate after the rain returns. If you do choose to irrigate the lawn, water less frequently for a longer period of time rather than short frequent waterings.

#770842 Aubuchon Hardware carries Scotts® Lawn Pro® products, which have more essential nutrients than the These tips for a great lawn will provide standard Turf Builder® a foundation for a fun-filled summer products, often in your own backyard. For more found at many other information on seeding and feeding home-improvement this spring, visit n retailers.

The secrets to successful outdoor entertaining What makes an outdoor party great? That’s simple—guest comfort! When friends and family gather at your place for a party this summer, what will they remember most about your backyard? The lovely landscaping and delicious food you served or uncompromising weeds and stinging bugs? Make that lasting impression a positive one by creating an outdoor environment that’s both comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.


Comfort is most evident in the seating available at a party. Create comfy conversation areas in the shade and be sure to provide ample seating for all your

No pest zone

Nothing ruins a party faster or more thoroughly than unwanted stinging bugs or prickly weeds. Take the proactive route and un‐invite these pests from making an appearance at the party. Before the invitations are sent out, make a sweep of the yard and look for pesky weeds that could cause discomfort for guests. Keep unwanted plants like poison ivy, thistles or sand burrs from ruining the fun. In addition, it’s always a good idea to head off any annoying pests like wasps, mosquitoes, fleas and ticks to keep them from assaulting party guests. For more information on how to effectively deal with these uninvited guests visit www. Refreshments

An easy way to set the party mood is choosing a menu appealing to everyone. Casual or formal, food can be easy to prepare and enjoyable. Consider your guest list and the event that you may be celebrating. Be aware of common food allergens as well as any vegetarian or vegan friends. This is as simple as just providing guests with a little variety and relying on fresh produce. Locally grown fruits and veggies are abundant this time of year and are appealing to most people, even dieters. Use fresh fruits and veggies to make easy appetizers, salads, entrees, side dishes or even desserts. Drinks are essential to great outdoor entertaining as well. Whether you are entertaining children or adults, the drinks you choose can set the mood. A signature drink is always fun. Try refreshing lemonade for the kids or a festive sangria for adults. Also, be sure to provide lots of

ice‐cold water to prevent dehydration in the heat of summer. Offer herb cuttings for garnish or float edible flowers in pitchers.

guests. Pull out all your folding chairs, borrow outdoor chairs and tables from neighbors, rent extras if needed and get creative. Ottomans, large buckets, logs, straw bales or even coolers can make great seats. As long as the surfaces are clean and sturdy, a cushion can always be added for a little extra comfort. Make sure to dust off and spruce up existing seating for a fresh look as well. Lighting

Nothing sets the tone of a party better than lighting. This important element can make a world of difference. Candles or torches can do double duty by providing soft, illuminating light and helping to keep bugs at bay. Purchasing candles or oils with citronella discourages mosquitoes from making an appearance. In addition, solar lights or battery‐powered lanterns can bring some much‐needed illumination to dark corners of the yard. Strings of electric twinkle lights can make the lessremote areas sparkle for guests as well. In anticipation of a big event, you’ve compiled the guest list, pulled together a menu, made sure there was enough seating, set the mood with lighting and gotten rid of the uninvited pests. Now, let the partying begin! n

Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


spring cleaning

Spring Refresh: Exterior To-Dos These important tips will help you prepare your home for summer weather and heat

Spring Cleaning: Room-by-Room Power Wash

Having your home’s exterior and windows power-washed won’t just make your home look sharp, it will also prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on grime. If you’re not comfortable deciding whether your home’s exterior can handle the force that pressure-washing nozzles exert, hire a professional to do the work.

Gutter Maintenance

When you consider that your roof ’s drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water a year from your house’s exterior and foundation walls, you can see why it merits a semiannual inspection. Clean and repair gutters and downspouts every spring before heavy rains begin and late in autumn after leaves have fallen.

#103101 Jomax House Cleaner & Mildew Killer is a convenient concentrate that makes 5 gallons. Just spray and rinse off.

Refresh the Bedrooms

 Rotate and flip mattresses.  Wash blankets and comforters, or take them to be cleaned.  Wash mattress pads and bed skirts.  Have pillows professionally cleaned, hang them outside in the fresh air or freshen them with the air (no heat) cycle of your clothes dryer.  Wash or dry-clean rugs. Clean Your Bathrooms

#649067 Krylon Fusion Spray Paint bonds to plastic and does not require sanding or priming. See Coupon Section to Save!

Exterior Paint

Spring is the perfect time to freshen the face of your home with a new paint job. An updated color scheme can take your house from forgettable to trafficstopping.The average exterior paint job lasts 10 years, so make sure it’s done right. If your house doesn’t require a full paint makeover, consider a touchup, which can prolong the life of your siding and trim. 12

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Outdoor Furniture

Clean and repair furniture for your deck, porch or patio. Use outdoor spray enamel to touch up any chips. More Tips

Say goodbye to shovels, salt, scrapers and other winter gear, and bring out garden tools and potting supplies. Also consider servicing your snowblower before storing it for the season. n

 You may scrub your bathroom every week, but now it’s time to battle clutter and refresh old products.  Go through your medicine cabinets and safely discard any outdated products.  Replace worn bath mats, shower curtains and liners, or wash and dry shower curtains and liners. Clear the Kitchen

 Take time to clean out your pantry, kitchen cabinets and drawers.  Wipe them out and install fresh shelf paper.  Store or donate equipment you don’t use, such as small appliances or cookware.  Discard stale spices or dated items such as baking powder.  Clean the refrigerator and freezer.  Vacuum the cooling coils under or behind your refrigerator.

spring lawn care

How to Care for Spring Bulbs Even when they’re not blooming, bulbs need a little TLC so that they’ll flower better next time around. Remove spent flowers of largeflowered bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, as soon as they fade. The plants’ energy is then channeled into forming large bulbs and offsets rather than into setting seeds. Allow smaller bulbs (muscari and puschkinia, for example) to set seed, so they self-sow and form ever-larger drifts. Resist the temptation to remove bulb foliage while it is green; the green leaves nourish the bulb and next year’s flower buds, which form during summer. Cut or pull off leaves only after they yellow. Also, don’t braid leaves to get them out of the way. Braiding reduces the amount of sunlight the leaves get and hinders growth. It is safe to mow the green leaves of crocuses and snowdrops naturalized in a lawn if you wait at least six weeks after blooming.

Northeast Lawn-Care Basics Get the season off on the right track with our tips for grooming the lawn of your dreams Getting your mower ready: Start the lawn-care season by taking care of your mower. Bring your mower in for service in early spring to beat the rush, and so your mower is in tip-top shape right when you need to use it. Be sure to sharpen the blade at least once a year. Starting a new lawn from seed: Though fall is the ideal time to start a new lawn from seed, you can also do it in spring. Don’t wait until late spring, though: Give your lawn a chance to grow in and get established before summer temperatures arrive. Attacking crabgrass: Because crabgrass and other annual weeds need to sprout from seeds each year, a welltimed application of pre-emergence herbicide can do wonders for keeping these pests at bay. Spread the preemergence herbicide as forsythia blooms in your area start to drop. 14

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

Aerating: If your lawn doesn’t grow well due to compacted soil, springtime­—when grass is in active growth—is the time to aerate. This loosens the soil, allowing grass roots to reach deeper and the soil to absorb moisture better. Mowing: Start mowing once your grass is about 3 inches tall. It’s best keep most turf types at least 2 inches tall to help the grass ward off weeds and withstand summer drought.

Fertilizer is key in the spring for both your lawn and bulbs.

Bulbs need fertilizer, but at the proper times. Work a high-phosphorus plant food, such as rock phosphate or superphosphate, into the bottom of the holes when you plant. Do not apply bonemeal where digging animals are a problem; its scent attracts animals. Thereafter the bulbs need nitrogen. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in early spring when the shoots emerge and again after flowering to fuel foliage and bulb growth for next year’s flowers. Or, apply bulb booster (a slow-release formula) to plantings in fall. n

Fertilizing: Applying lawn food in early spring will help give your lawn a great start. Keep it light, and use a slow-release or organic fertilizer. Wait to fertilize until your lawn needs mowing for the first time. Watering: If your lawn is dry, water early in the morning once or twice a week, long enough to wet the soil several inches down. n

Meet Paisley! Paisley lives in Leominster, Mass., with her parents, Jim and Becky. She loves hiking up Wachusett Mountain and chasing squirrels up trees. Have your pet featured in the next issue of Aubuchon At Home. Visit our Facebook page (

and post a photo of your pet on our wall. All pets are eligible… not just cats and dogs! Every month we will choose a photo to be Pet of the Month. The winner will receive an Aubuchon Hardware gift card and be eligible to win the featured spot in the next Aubuchon At Home magazine. n

in y! Jo da To

Earn FREE Food!

Frequent Buyer Program

Get a FREE bag of food after purchasing the required number of bags from Nutro or Merrick* Get automatic enrollment into our Home Team Program: Earn Rewards to use on future purchases at Aubuchon Hardware (See store for more details.)

See the difference in your pets’ health after feeding them Nutro or Merrick * See store for Frequent Buyer Program Guidelines. Please note that Nutro and Merrick are not offered at all locations.

Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home




The most appropriate protective finish recommended by museum curators and collectors is a durable wax such as Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax, which can be hand-buffed to a handsome protective sheen.


Beautify. Restore. Maintain. Minwax® expert Bruce Johnson on reviving and repairing worn and damaged finishes

Aubuchon Hardware & Hardware carry hundreds of quality Minwax® products.



e all wish that every piece of wood in our home could stay as fresh and beautiful as the day it was first finished, but that simply isn’t possible. Each day the wood around us, from floors and woodwork to furniture and fine antiques, is subjected to sunlight, grit, dust, moisture and dry air. Fortunately, all it takes is a few minutes—plus the right Minwax® products—to both roll back time and protect your wood for years to come. Before starting, keep in mind that not all clear finishes are alike. They have different chemical components that aren’t always compatible with one another. For example, no finish will adhere to paste wax. If you suspect a piece you are about to restore has been waxed, remove the wax with a soft cloth dipped in mineral spirits. The three finishes you are most likely to encounter—shellac, lacquer and polyurethane—can be identified by simple tests on an inconspicuous spot on the piece. If a cotton ball dipped in denatured alcohol softens the finish, it is shellac. If lacquer thinner softens the finish, it is lacquer.

Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

If neither solvent affects the finish, it is polyurethane. One other piece of advice: Before applying a fresh coat of finish over an existing one, test their compatibility on a small, hidden spot, such as the inside of a cabinet door. If the new finish dries, hardens and adheres to the old one, it’s safe to topcoat the rest of the piece.


Whether it is a 100-year-old picture frame or your grandfather’s tool chest, antiques deserve special attention. Many are plagued by loose joints and dried-out wood, but you must always take great care to preserve and protect their valuable original finishes. Antiques should only be stripped if paint has been applied over the original clear finish and they should never be dipped in a vat of stripper. For antiques with original finishes intact, carefully clean off any dirt and grime with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits, then make any color touchups with Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Markers, which come in a variety of Wood Finish™ colors.

Whether they’re in the kitchen or bathroom, excessive moisture and cooking oils can take their toll on cabinet finishes if we don’t lend a hand. Keep a trigger-spray bottle of Minwax® Wood Cleaner beneath every sink in the house and use it whenever you detect water spots or grease buildup on the cabinets. Excessive moisture, such as what we find around the dishwasher or sink, can eventually weaken even the strongest of finishes. If the finish around your dishwasher is polyurethane and if it has turned white or is starting to disappear, the solution is easy. Dip a piece of 320-grit or finer sandpaper in a shallow bowl of Minwax® Wipe-On Poly, then gently sand the damaged area. The key to this wet-sanding technique is keeping your sandpaper loaded with Wipe-On Poly so it won’t leave scratches. Allow the Wipe-On Poly to penetrate for about five minutes before removing any excess with a clean, lint-free cloth.


The grit we track in with the soles of our shoes acts just like sandpaper, gradually wearing away the floor finish. Strategically placed doormats and throw rugs will help, but regular vacuuming and cleaning with Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner will remove the grit before it harms the surface. Hardwood Floor Cleaner will also remove stubborn dirt and grease without leaving any residue.


Nearly all wood furniture has a layer of stain that’s protected by two or more coats of finish. Over time, normal wear and tear can leave nicks and scratches in both the stain and the finish, but the fix is easy with Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Markers. Available in eight popular colors, their precision felt tips give you a quick and easy way to touch up minor blemishes without resorting to costly refinishing.

Top Ten Tips 1. Safety First!

With a greater variety of products come changes in application, tools and drying times, so first take a moment to read the instructions—and always play it safe: Wear protective gloves and safety glasses, and provide plenty of fresh air when working with oil-based products. 2. Know the characteristics of your wood

Particleboard absorbs too much stain, veneers sometimes not enough; “paint grade” woods are lower quality than “stain grade” woods and while a stain can change the color of a board, it can’t change the grain pattern. In short, ask questions and learn what to expect from any wood you buy.

4. Use pre-stain wood conditioner

8. Don’t work in the dark

Wood pores are irregular and only Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner can reduce the likelihood of blotchiness when these irregular pores absorb the stain you apply.

For best results, face the strongest light in your work area so that you’ll immediately spot any runs, drips or missed areas while you are staining and finishing. And be sure to work in a well-ventilated room.

5. Test first to avoid surprises

9. Clean, dry and scuffed

Wood is unpredictable, so test your stain color on an inconspicuous spot before you start staining the most visible parts of your project.

Before recoating an existing finish, make sure the old finish has been cleaned of any oils and wax, is completely dry and has been scuffed lightly with fine 220-grit sandpaper so that the new finish has something to grip.

6. Stirred, not shaken

Some ingredients in both stains and finishes settle over time, but shaking will only add unwanted bubbles—and may not mix the ingredients thoroughly. Always stir until all settlement is evenly dispersed.

10. Eliminate dust!

3. Don’t skip the sanding

7. Foam brushes finish last

Dust is the enemy of a smooth finish. To eliminate dust, vacuum it off your project and workbench rather than brushing or blowing it into the air. Also, be sure to use a damp cloth as a final cleanup on the wood before staining or topcoating. n

Sanding isn’t always fun, but scratches and nicks absorb more stain and finish than does smooth wood, hence they stand out more, not less, when stained.

Foam brushes are fine for applying Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and any Minwax® stains, but they don’t lay down a smooth final topcoat finish like quality bristle brushes do.

© 2013 Minwax Company. Reproduced under license. For more information, visit

For deeper scratches that need filling, reach for a Minwax® Blend-Fil® Pencil. Also available in eight popular colors, a Blend-Fil® Pencil fills scratches and holes while at the same time restoring the wood’s original color.

to the most popular Minwax® Wood Finish™ colors. Simply press a small amount of it into the hole, wipe off the excess with a soft cloth, and you’re done.

Gouges and Large Holes

Water is wood’s enemy. Given enough time, water will soften and eventually cause decay in even the toughest hardwoods. Periodically check your window sills, doors and door jambs, along with any wood in contact with masonry. If you discover any softened wood, use a screwdriver to carefully remove the rotted wood fibers. Allow the area to dry (a fan or hair dryer speeds the process), then brush on a liberal coat of Minwax® Wood Hardener. Allow it to penetrate, dry and harden inside the wood fibers, then fill the cavity with Minwax® High Performance Wood Filler.

Unfinished furniture and woodwork with larger defects, such as splits, deep gouges and screw holes, require a filler that is easily sanded and stainable. Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler passes both tests with flying colors. Available in convenient squeeze tubes and 16-ounce containers, Stainable Wood Filler hardens as it dries, enabling you to sand it level with the surrounding wood. Just as important, after sanding it will accept all Minwax® penetrating stains and can be finished with any Minwax® protective topcoat.

Nail Holes

Whether they’re in furniture or trimwork, open nail holes are just plain unsightly, but closing them up is easy with Minwax® Wood Putty, a premixed material color-matched

Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Markers #168955

Rotting Wood

Interior Window Sills

Window sills inside the house have a tough job: They have to look as good as interior trim, but they have to act like exterior trim, withstanding

the effects of sunlight and moisture. If your existing urethane finish needs extra protection but not a total refinishing, you can re-coat it with Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane, provided you follow the three rules for re-coating: clean, dry and scuff. First, clean off any wax and dirt with a cloth dipped in mineral spirits. Second, let the wood dry completely. Then, lightly scuff the surface with 220-grit sandpaper or a synthetic sanding pad. Following these three steps will ensure that the Helmsman® you apply will adhere to and protect both the old finish and the underlying wood. Wherever some of the old finish has disappeared and the wood has become water-stained, start by sanding off whatever remains of the old finish with 120-grit sandpaper. Then apply the Minwax® stain that best matches the surrounding trim. Finally, protect both stain and wood with two coats of Helmsman® Spar Urethane. n © 2013 Minwax Company. Reproduced under license. For more information, visit

Minwax® Blend-Fil Pencil #261859

Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler #108691

Minwax® Helmsman Spar Urethane #262121

Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


Coupon Savings

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Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013

2 OFFToilet Bowl Cleaner, 2 pk.

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Ultralite Kneeling Cushion

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Spring 2013 • Aubuchon at home


NEW AT Aubuchon

Plumbing Makeover! Introducing Aubuchon Hardware’s newly re-merchandised Plumbing Department n Developed

with input from some of our best Pro Plumbers, Store Managers and Plumbing Vendors n 500 new items n 24 feet added to the department n More product offerings in Flex Drain, Push & Pex Fittings and Bath Decor n Delta (all stores) & Moen (many stores & online) Faucets n A new partnership with the F.W. Webb Company, the Northeast’s

largest regional distributor of plumbing, heating and air conditioning products n Contractor discounts through our Home Team PRO program n Convenient contractor credit options through Blue Tarp Financial Come in and see all of the great new products that we have to offer. When it comes to your next plumbing project, trust Aubuchon Hardware to fix you right up!

Join Aubuchon’s Home Team PRO! Get up to 15% off storewide!

2% year-end reward Easy contractor financing at a competitive rate


Aubuchon at home • Spring 2013








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Aubuchon At Home - Spring 2013  
Aubuchon At Home - Spring 2013  

Spring cleaning tips, DIY paint color advice and over $45 worth of coupons inside!