Time to spruce up your deck for summer? Here are some tips from the Paint Quality Institute:
• Remove any old, loose paint or stain by scraping and sanding, or by using a commercial deck conditioner followed by careful power washing with plain water.
• Clean the surface with a commercial product or make your own by mixing a cup of household bleach and a splash of soap with a gallon of warm water. Rinse thoroughly using a garden hose.
• Pick your stain. Water-based stains are more resistant to weathering, dry more quickly, are relatively odor-free and clean up with plain soap and water.
Clear-wood finishes provide only limited protection from the sun’s UV rays, so they need to be reapplied every year; pigmented stains afford more UV protection, so they last longer.
“Semitransparent” coatings help protect the wood without hiding its grain or texture, but must be reapplied every 12 to 18 months; “solid-color” stains show texture but not the grain, and can last three to five years.
• Stains can be applied with spray equipment, a long-handled roller or by brush. Spray or roller applications should be brushed again anyway, to better penetrate the wood.
» Find more home and garden ideas in Sunday’s Today section.
Muscle atrophy in older people is a big problem, but a common blood pressure drug shows promise in regenerating muscle, and also in protecting against its wasting away from inactivity.
The drug, losartan, worked on geriatric mice muscle and tests on humans are in the works. The research was reported last month in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
» Find more health and fitness tips in Tuesday’s Today section.
It’s easy to overcook shrimp, but breading and baking them helps keep them juicy, firm and flavorful. For the recipe, see page C7.
» Find more recipes and restaurant news in Wednesday’s Food section.
Here’s what’s on the schedule for this week:
On CD (Tuesday)
Barry Manilow, “15 Minutes”
Jackie Evancho, “Dream With Me”
Neil Young, “A Treasure”
Madeleine Peyroux, “Standing on the Rooftop”
On DVD (Tuesday)
“Red Riding Hood”
“Battle: Los Angeles”
“Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son”
In theaters (Friday)
“Green Lantern” (action/adventure)
“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” (family comedy)
“Top Chef Masters”: The remaining contestants re-prepare their worst dish of the season in their final competition. (Wednesday, 10 p.m., Bravo)
“Falling Skies”: Mankind faces an alien invasion in the premiere of the sci-fi series from Steven Spielberg. (Sunday, 9 p.m., TNT)
“A Game of Thrones”: The medieval fanstasy series wraps up its first season. (Sunday, 9 p.m., HBO)
“The Killing”: The murderer is revealed in the finale of the Seattle-set cable mystery. (Sunday, 10 p.m., AMC)
Tommy Emmanuel: Tuesday, Bing Crosby Theater
BOBfest: Saturday, Riverfront Park
Tim McGraw: Saturday, The Gorge
“McManus In Love”: Sunday, Rockin’ B Ranch
Street Music Week: Monday-Friday, downtown Spokane
Stem & Stein: Friday, Northern Quest Casino
Car d’Lane: Friday-Saturday, downtown Coeur d’Alene
Founder’s Day: Saturday, Medical Lake
» Find a full arts and entertainment roundup in the Thursday and Friday Today sections.