The cover and body of my barbecue are weathered and rusty after a few years of hard use. How can I make them look ship-shape? Can I paint them?"
This is when I call Mr. BBQ Guy, also known as Terry Witzel, president of Onward Manufacturing, a company that makes barbecues for Broil King, Broil-Mate and other big players in the field. He asks whether the lid and cart are cast aluminum, porcelain, painted or stainless. If they're cast, you can sand and paint them. If they're stainless, clean them with an oil-based stainless-steel cleanser or WD-40. If porcelain, use glass cleaner. Hopefully, the barbecue will state somewhere on its body what it's made of. (The other day at the cottage, I was asked to indicate whether my boat's engine was two- or four-stroke before it could be filled with gas. I had no idea. Fortunately, it was written on the engine hat.)
If all that sounds like too much work, he says, give the old one to your ex and buy yourself a new one and, when it arrives, start using a barbecue cover so you won't be in the same mess a few years down the road.
Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace appears on The Real Designing Women, which airs Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET on HGTV. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail email@example.com.