Entrepreneurs

Perspective | The trick you’ll need to know to install your TV over a window


A: First and foremost, you’re not going to attach anything to the glass. You’re going to build a simple box using three-quarter-inch plywood and 1-by-2s that the flat-screen TV bracket or French cleats will attach to. This little box will be attached securely to the flat window frame material that extends in toward the room.

The most important thing to do is to read the installation instructions that come with both TVs. In almost all cases they provide clear instructions about which hardware and fasteners to use. Don’t deviate from the instructions. Some even provide online videos to give you the courage to do the job.

The TV in the bedroom should not be an issue at all. You’ll probably just need a handy stud finder to locate the wall studs. You want the fasteners for the TV brackets to attach to the wood studs. Don’t try to use wall anchors in hopes that they’ll stand the test of time. There may be wall anchors that will work, but you can’t go wrong fastening the brackets to solid wood.

The box that needs to be made for the fireplace TV is simple. You can get all you need at a local home center. The 1-by-2s are common lumber, and you’ll build a box that’s about four inches taller than the TV bracket. You ideally want this box to hide behind the TV since it’s so wide. Your goal is to create an illusion that your TV is floating in space.

You’ll fasten the 1-by-2s together using 1 5/8-inch drywall screws, or similar. Once you’ve determined the height of the TV above the floor (refer to the instructions), you’ll attach this frame to the inside of the window at that height.

Be sure to use the same screws to attach the box to the window frame that you used to create the box. Space them about four inches apart. You’ll cut the plywood the same size as this box and screw it to the frame using the same screws. Space those screws every eight inches.

The three-quarter-inch thick plywood is very strong. When you use the recommended bolts to attach the TV bracket, trust me, the TV is going to resist the force of gravity for a very long time.

Q: Tim, I’ve got decades-old wallpaper in my kitchen I want to paint. It’s in great shape with only two small tears. Can I paint over the wallpaper, or must I remove the wallpaper before painting? The paper was applied directly onto the drywall. — Frank H., Yorktown, Va.

A: A few years ago, a ham radio friend of mine taught me an interesting thing. He said, “The power is always in the question.” This is a great example of it: I know what Frank wants to know, but it might have been better if he had asked, “Tim, is it a good idea to paint directly over wallpaper and if so, is there a special paint?”

The truth is, you can put paint on just about anything. It’s similar to putting lipstick on a pig, and many people paint to disguise not-so-good-looking things. But the issue here is that most paints now are water-based. Water-based paints can often wreak havoc with some wallpaper.

Some wallpaper has an ultra-thin plastic coating that resists water penetration. This is why some wallpapers are scrubbable and washable. That’s a good thing.

But some wallpaper, especially older paper, doesn’t have this clear coating. It’s just paper. You probably know if you get most paper wet, the water soaks right through. When this happens with non-coated wallpaper, you can get ugly blisters in the wallpaper minutes after painting it with a water-based paint.

Oil paints don’t create these blisters. This is why I recommend painting wallpaper with an oil primer or some other product like shellac. Just be sure that the primer doesn’t contain water. Once the oil primer dries, you can paint the wall with whatever you want, including blacktop sealer, although I don’t really feel that would be a good look or smell.

Subscribe to Tim’s free newsletter and listen to his new podcasts. Go to: AsktheBuilder.com.

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