Quality products for your bedroom, home office, lounge and living room
The following articles provide useful DIY and home improvement tips, aimed at saving time and effort, together with improving the finished results when painting or decorating your home. The pages are designed to help those who are enthusiastic about DIY.
Please note, if you are ordering DIY Fitted Wardrobes from us, then you will be sent an installation guide. The following are simply useful DIY Tips for around your home.
TIP - Maximise space when entering the room
Often the door leading into a small room obstructs or takes up space. One way of maximising space within a small room, hallway and especially bathrooms and small kitchens, is to simply re-hang the door to the opposite swing. This can create more space.
TIP - Flat pack layout!
It is always a good idea to lay out all the parts to your flat pack before starting, so you can see more clearly how they will fit together. Always check you have all the parts including fittings before you start.
TIP - Levelling tip!
When levelling something using a spirit level, always check the level by testing your spirit level both way. This method avoids any discrepancy in the spirit level and ensures an accurate level especially on a long run.
TIP - Positioning brackets to a shelf
If you are looking to put up a wide shelf, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering a bow in the middle due to the brackets being too far apart. You can test whether your shelf may bow or sag by placing it on the floor, resting on some timber or bricks in same the position where you plan to space your brackets. Put the items you intend to display on the shelf when mounted, then place a straight edge along it. If it bows bring the bricks closer together until it is straight, then mark the shelf for your brackets. If the brackets can not be positioned that close, you may need to consider more brackets or thicker material for your shelf.
TIP - Door planing
When trimming off surplus from the top and bottom of doors, ensure you plane from both ends towards the middle, so as to avoid splitting the end grain.
TIP - Driving screws into awkward spaces
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to drive a screw into an awkward space and the screw falling to the floor before you get a grip. Those of you who happen not to have a magnetic tipped screw driver or times where the magnetic tipped screw driver becomes useless because you are using stainless steel or brass screws. Try placing a little blue tack on the screw head allowing the screw to remain attached to the end of your screwdriver while you position it and start screwing it into place.
TIP - Wallpaper!
If your rolls of wallpaper don’t have exactly the same batch code number on them, then there may possibly be slight differences in shade, as they will have been printed at different times. Buy your paper all from the same batch if at all possible. No harm to have a roll or two left over in case you need to do a repair.
TIP - Wallpapering behind radiators!
If you don’t want the hassle of doing it the professional way by removing the radiator, trying to wallpaper behind with the radiator in situ, is a fiddly job. To ensure a smooth finish, try using a clean dry radiator paint roller to guide, push and smooth the wallpaper into place. Remember to first vacuum out any dust or cobwebs.
TIP - Keeping wallpaper scissors clean!
Scissors can become less effective when clogged up with wallpaper paste. Simply place them in a jar of warm water between use, which will prevent build up of paste.
TIP - Removing Silicone!
If you are resealing your bath or the back of your work top, you can remove the majority of silicone by scoring carefully with a sharp craft knife. However the residue remains stubborn to get off. Try using nail varnish remover ! This is a strong solvent and is more effective than mentholated spirit which is typically used.
TIP - Mildew / Mould!
Remove mildew with a 50:50 mixture of bleach and warm water. Mildew needs moisture to survive, so identify and fix the moisture problem before redecorating. A common cause of mildew is insufficient ventilation, bad insulation and/or lack of heating. To prevent the mildew or mould coming back, just prime the effected area with a fungicidal paint primer to help prevent a return of the problem.
TIP - Is that wet wall damp or is it condensation?
Not sure if your wall is letting in damp or if it’s condensation? Cut out about 50 square cm of household cooking silver foil and tape it to the wall with good quality masking tape. If it’s damp coming in, the inside of the foil will gather drops of water after a time. If it’s condensation, it will remain dry on the inside.
TIP - Filler sanding!
If you apply too much filler, it makes the task harder, as much time may be spent sanding in order to attain a smooth finish. After applying filler, smooth it off with a damp sponge or wet brush to remove the sharp edges. Some powder fillers (Polyfilla for example) and most ready-mixed fillers dry very hard so apply as smoothly as possible and save yourself the grief.
TIP - Adhesion of fillers!
If you are mixing your filler from a powder, you could add a small amount of PVA glue to the mix. This gives you a smooth but sticky paste, especially useful where some fillers don’t adhere so well on bare surfaces.
TIP - Greasy walls and ceilings!
Painting kitchen areas can often be tricky due to all the greasy deposits on the walls and ceiling. Paint as we all know will not stick to that, and one good solution is to wash thoroughly with sugar soap & warm water and allow to dry prior to any painting.
TIP - Repairing wood - DIY wood filler
As a cheap and effective way of filling holes in wood, rather than using wood fillers where there is never a guarantee that the pre-mixed wood filler will be a perfect colour match, especially if the wood is to be waxed or varnished, Try making your own wood filler by using PVA glue (which dries hard and transparent) mixed with saw dust from the wood you are repairing. When dry, will be a perfect colour match.
Tip - To remove dents in bare wood!
Cover with a wet cloth and hold a warm iron on the dent. It’s remarkable how the dent disappears when the steam swells the fibres. Gently rub with fine sandpaper once dry.
NB. This method should not be used on finished wood i.e. polished or varnished surfaces.
The DIY tips and advice given on this website are provided in good faith. Use of any tip is entirely at your own risk and Refresh Interiors will not accept responsibility for any damage or personal injury caused regardless of circumstances.
If in doubt contact a professional.