Handy DIY tips from decorators just like you
Over the years DIYers have kindly sent in lots of tips and ideas to make
decorating easier. A selection of these are below for your education,
and in some cases, for your amusement. We hope you find these gems from
fellow decorators useful.
Please note that these tips have not been tested by Resene and are
included below as supplied to us.
If you have a handy tip of your own to share we'd love to hear from
you - submit your handy tip.
Make a little ‘testpot’ from the paint when you’re painting, so that if you need to do any touch-ups you can do them easily with your little testpot.
From: Lady Hermione
Put paint samples against a grey background to see what they’ll look like in ordinary light.
From: Lady Hermione
If your room feels too ‘hot’, cool it down with whites that have black or blue undertones. These sorts of colours go well with glass and metal for a modern look.
If your room is a bit chilly warm it up with creamy whites that have some yellow or ochre undertones. They’ll go great with other warm colours and any natural timber finishes that may be in the room and often tend to have a more traditional look. From: Emma
I've written the paint colours I have used in my house on the wall in the back of a bottom cupboard. I'll always know where to look to find them if I forget, and future owners will have a reference if they want to do some touch-ups too. From: Claire
If you need to stop painting for either a few minutes or even overnight
but can't be bothered with the trouble of washing up your brush or roller,
just wrap it in gladwrap film or put it in a plastic supermarket bag
and force out the air. This will stop it going hard and drying out.
Keep it in a cool place out of the sun. From:
Rosemary , Andrew, Allan, Jenny, Phil,
Vicky, Karen, Paula, Tracey, Gregg, Julia,
Donna, Sarndy, Kim, Barbara, Jo and
When trying to get a perfect finish with polyurethane, use a proper tack
cloth after all sanding. Have a cuppa between the last sanding and then
use the tack cloth. The smallest dust particles show up as really large
after a couple of coats of polyurethane. Also, don't wear a woollen
jumper when applying the product because even with you trying to be
careful, hairs of the jumper will fall on the work piece. Spread the
brush full outwards and lay it off as quick and as lightly as you can,
firstly across the grain and then even more lightly, with the grain.
Polyurethane has to be done quickly as its edges dry rapidly and that
makes a soft skin which is difficult to manage with the next brush full.
You can get finishes better than spraying with a lot of practice and it
lasts better than sprayed surfaces. From: Will
When staining a long/tall fence BUY A SPRAYER! The price of approx $160 for the sprayer I bought was saved on
day one when I sprayed a 6 foot fence that was 50 metres long in two
hours!!! I have since taken to buying second hand furniture, adding some
Resene colour to the sprayer, a $2 remnant from the fabric store and
voila new chairs. Everyone loves them.
Using an empty plastic pail, cut a hole in the lid large enough for the handle of the paint brush you are using, add a little water and the brushes will stay damp during breaks. From: Mike
Never give up half way or you will never
finish (note the word never). From: Dennis
If you are cutting in without using masking tape and still leave a trail of paint where you shouldn't, have a thin damp cloth (I like Chux) wrapped over the blade of a painting spatula and immediately run that along the offending spill. It neatly removes the paint. You can repeat the 'wipe' if it doesn't all come off in the first one. From: Ellen
Before painting window frames rub a little cooking oil on the glass. The paint will not stick to it and is easily cleaned off with soap and water once paint has dried. From Viola.
If you are going to store wet rollers and brushes in the freezer temporarily to stop them going hard - always double or triple-bag them
as food nearby will be tainted otherwise. Rock hard brushes can also be resurrected by coating them lavishly with paint stripper and working
at them gently after a few hours (always wear gloves for this). Store brushes, particularly good bristle ones, with the bristles damp with linseed oil or glycerine - and encase ends in rubber bands to keep the tips smooth. Write the paint formulas somewhere else other than only on
the tin - keep the references inside an instruction manuals box. Have a box for instruction manuals only - keep in the laundry in a handy
place. From: Louise
If you end up with a tiny mark on fabric curtains, sheets, etc. instead of soaking the whole article try soaking a cotton bud in bleach (or
other) and apply to the stain. From: Mary
Wear a shower cap when you are sanding. From: Mary
painting ceilings, wear a plastic shower cap to stop paint dripping
on your head. From: Lynda
When painting outside windows, place masking tape around the
already painted areas and the windows to
avoid unwanted paint splashes. Make sure you take the masking tape off
before the paint dries. From: Liz and Stu
When painting, empty the paint can so there is enough room for you to
tap the sides of the paint can with the paintbrush. This helps to remove
excess paint on your brush. Stir your paint thoroughly before putting
your brush in. From: William-John
When using a roller, use zigzag strokes, covering the surface in a 'w'shape.
Keep the roller on the surface at all times, as if you let it spin,
it will spray the paint around. Finish the rolling in one direction. From: Stan
If you own rental properties keep a 'Lists' folder on your computer -
one for if you are planning garden maintenance, one for paint jobs, one
for if tenants move out. I also keep one for 'kayaking trips' and for
years had a many-page list for camping holidays, one for your toilet bag
contents and one for your overseas trips. Saves reinventing the wheel.From: Mary
Ever wanted to know what order you should paint in? Work your way from the top to the bottom… paint the ceiling and complete that, undercoat walls, undercoat trim doors and windows, topcoat walls, topcoat trims, topcoat doors… then sit back and admire your handiwork!!
To get paint odour out of a room, cut a large onion in half, place in a
bowl, close the doors for a couple of days, and the paint odour will be
gone. Don't know how it works but it does and the room doesn't smell of
After lifting a carpet, I found that there was paper on the floor. To
remove it, I used a steam iron (old one) and a spray bottle to soak and
remove. Took about 10-15 minutes to remove approx half a metre. From: Susan
To remove glue from a wooden floor use a wallpaper remover that
gives off steam. We had tried everything else -even a spade to try to
scrape it off. After holding the steamer onto the glue for a couple
of minutes, we could scrape the glue off with just a paint scraper.
It saved us hours of work. Make sure you use a mask. From: Joanne
Plastic freezer containers from the supermarket or empty ice-cream
containers make great paint trays for speedbrushing. Clip the lid on
between coats to save paint wastage. From: Stephanie
If you have a bit of spot priming to do on your roof use a pop
top drink bottle to hold the paint. Just squirt a drop on the spot you
wish to prime and brush the primer out. The bottle is easy to seal and
can be put into your pocket and the brush slipped into a plastic bag.
No need to cart a can around. From: DG Mansell
Move your cars to a safe place when you are painting the roof.
A while ago we painted the roof on a warm day with a light breeze in
the air - once we got down off the roof we discovered our cars had little
spots of red paint all over them! True story - we learned an expensive
lesson. From: Karen
My husband and I had just finished stripping the wallpaper in
the family room of the house that we were redecorating and were in the
kitchen having dinner when we heard a whining noise from the family
room. When we raced in to see what it was, we found our dog Betsy lying
on the ground with wet wallpaper all matted in her fur! Tip: Close the
door when decorating with animals/children in the house! From: Roil
If you paint around windows but haven't masked them properly use the
ceramic cooktop razor cleaner to remove the dried paint from the glass.
It has a handle and is easy to use without scratching the glass.
My best diy/decorating tip is to do one room at a time! From:
painting above your head with a brush, paint tends to drip down
the brush onto your hand. To avoid this, put a small hole in an ice-cream
container lid and place the handle of the brush through the hole. You
won't get any paint on your hand as it will go onto the lid. Once you
have finished the job you can clean and reuse the lid. From: Nicola
If you want something done, start on it yourself then leave it half
finished. This way your husband/wife will hate looking at it and finish
it off for you. This has been tried and tested by me. I wanted the garage
painted so started one wall and never quite finished it. When my husband
saw it, he couldn't bear to see it half done, so now I have my garage
painted! From: Veronica
Paint one wall of your house each year. Then the job seems a lot
smaller. From: Ron
If your husband says he is going to paint the house, rush out and pay
someone that week to do it! Sorry to all DIY hubbys. From: Adele
If you’re painting a door, always paint the edges first then the main face of the door.
When taking out or walling up a door or window, use the gap
to create an in-built bookshelf. This is very effective if you have
an arched door you no longer want. From: Andrea
Use a grinder to get melted clothing off an iron. From: Michelle
When putting up plasterboard on a ceiling and lacking people
to hold it up while you screw it in, tack a temporary ledge onto the
top of the walls that you can slot the edge of the plasterboard into
while you screw the other side to the ceiling. From: Shanny
We have had some odd shaped spaces in our home so decided to get creative with the paint colours. Here’s what we learned along the way… Paint the ceiling in a dark colour to lower it and make the room seem cosier. Or paint it in a light colour to make it seem higher and the room larger. If you have lots of shelves and you don’t want them to stand out, paint them the same colour as the walls and it will help to hide them. Or make a feature of them by painting them a contrasting colour and in a higher gloss. If you have an ornate ceiling paint it in a striking colour or to glam up a normal ceiling wallpaper it! From: Catherine
Prepare the surface before you start painting, and apply the paint as
per the manufacturer's written instructions! From: Samir
When taping around glass on windows and doors cut two large pieces of string. One to go through the handle of the scissors and one through the tape. Then hang them around your neck. This frees up your hands but means the tape is always within reach. From: Kerry
If you are a keen do it yourselfer and have a hands free phone, wrap
the phone in gladwrap. It will be kept clean even if you answer it with
your hands covered in paint. This is also a good idea if you have a
mobile phone. The film does not affect the phone and it does not reduce
the sound quality. From: Bob
you hire a ready mix truck to do your driveway, make sure you work
from the top of the drive to the road. If you don't, you will be stuck
with a truck full of concrete that will set if you don't keep it running
(which might cost a bit) unless you want to drive it back over your
nice new flat drive that took ages to do! From: Cassie
When painting a feature wall, use tape. Tape the sidewalls and the skirting
boards to protect against paint splashes. When you are cutting into
the ceiling, use a 'cutting in' brush. From: Katrina
To make a tile-like paint effect cut a pot scrubber (i.e. sponge and
pot scourer combined) into squares of whatever size you want, glue the
scouring side onto a stiff backing leaving space between each square
to represent grouting. Paint the squares in various colours or the same
colour and apply around dados or doors to get a Greek tile effect. From:
When painting with a roller, cover your glasses' lenses with gladwrap.
Then when you have finished painting, just peel off the gladwrap. From:
My Dad put in a watertank at the farm to collect drinking water
off the roof. He was up his aluminium extension ladder and had just
finished connecting the final piece of spouting from the guttering to
the watertank. He climbed down the ladder and as he was putting it away,
discovered that he couldn't - he'd put the spouting through the rungs
of the ladder. TIP: Always move your ladder before connecting the spouting!
Use old lampshades as funnels when pouring from one paint can to another.
Decorating tip for men: It is obvious that the wife will have ideas
on redecorating but will insist on your input, which will then be discarded
as either inane, insane or just plain dumb. However it is no use saying
'just do as you like dear' as that will be regarded as not participating
properly and will confirm her feelings that you are not really involved
with this project. So it is best to listen to her half carefully (as
apart from not at all) during proceeding weeks leading up to the decision,
and then when the question comes you can suggest some ideas along the
lines of those you know she has been thinking. It is even wise to browse
a couple of mags she has left lying around (this is not by accident).
This is really smart as it saves arguments, she will think you are brilliant
to be thinking the same as her and what's more she will come to the
idea you have a modicum of taste and may let you buy your own clothes
in future. From: Dave
New roller covers tend to leave unattractive fuzz behind on
the painted surface, even the ones that say lint free. To avoid this,
wrap masking tape several times around your hand sticky side up. Run
the roller over the tape several times before painting. From: L Hammond
Both my bathroom and toilet walls were painted a pale yellow.
To liven the rooms up I painted orange from the top corner of each window
down to the bottom corner of the door when entering. It now looks like
a ray of orange sunlight coming through the windows even on the dreariest
days. It is really effective without being overpowering. From: Debi
Use a 2L plastic milk carton for a paint and brush holder. Simply cut
away the side of the container (opposite side to the handle), starting
4-6 inches above the base up to just short of the neck. Pour in your paint
and use by holding the milk carton handle as normal and dip brush into
the paint via the cutaway side. Take the cap off so you have somewhere
for the handle of the brush. Once you have finished painting you can turn
the container upside down and drain through the cap hole. From: Paul
Everyone hates cleaning up after painting so here is a tip on
how to make this job easier. After emptying the tins that our baby formula
comes in I keep them for cleaning our paintbrushes. They have a plastic
lid on top, which means you can cut holes in it if you have a larger
than normal paintbrush handle and leave it sticking through. The lid
also seals in the fumes from your cleaning solution. From: Anon
To help keep your children's rooms tidy, paint old beer crates
in bright colours and use them to store clothes and toys. From: Jason
Tips on cleaning brushes:
Using enamel (oil) based paint: Half fill a jam jar with mineral turps and dip
your brush into it several times. Then rinse the brush clean using warm/hot water.
Repeat 2 - 3 times until the brush is clean. My husband scoffed at me when I started
using this method as he thought you shouldn't mix oil and water, however 5 years
on and I am still using the same brush. Needless to say he now cleans his brush
this way too.
Using waterbased paint: When cleaning your brush under the tap use wonder soap as well, especially when you have dry paint around the top of your brush head. From: Jane
I've recently painted my 3.5m stud Kauri ceiling with a brush, as the
roller didn't fit between the batons. Rather than walking up and down
the ladder with one brush full of paint, I found the best container
to carry the paint in was a cut down 2 litre milk container with the
handle intact. It held enough for one ladder's worth of painting and
had a large well balanced handle. From: Gretchen and Pauline
If you want to create a neat texture, use springs off a spiral notebook,
and swirl it all over the fresh paint. From: Anon
How to check your spirit level is level - Place your level on the floor. Mark the
position of each corner with a pen/pencil then note the position of
the bubble. Turn the level around and align it with the markings you
made on the floor. Check the position of the bubble. Now do the same
with the level upside down. If the readings of the bubbles match your
level is level, otherwise use the screws to adjust the vials and repeat
the checks until the readings match. From: Matthew
My tip: Don't let your husband attempt to DIY otherwise you may end up
- Fixed leak in roof, but now we have a hole that is growing with every drop
of rain and one day will collapse.
- Paint job, yes we (or I should say professionals) will now have to eventually
re-paint the roof as he thought he would include other areas not intended.
Also thought the carpet needed painting.
- Lining in pool - Hawke's Bay has had the best weather this summer and unfortunately,
even though we have a pool, we have been unable to use this due to his patchwork
and neighbours complaining that our pool is leaking in their gardens. It is
now empty again. From: Melanie
To remove old wallpaper, wipe over the wallpaper with water and dishwashing
liquid, leave about five minutes and it will just peel off. From:
Richard and Sandra
When stripping wallpaper, spray with fabric softener and a little water.
The fabric softener breaks down the surface tension of the wallpaper
and allows the water to soak in better. This will help the wallpaper
come off easier. From: Kathleen
If you own your own house and want to make exterior painting a little
easier, paint the house a standard colour, white is always good, and
paint one side of the house each year. This will cut the work down to
a more manageable size and keep the house well painted at the same time.
From: M Teal
You can make a paint tray by using an old box with shallow sides and
covering it with two white plastic shopping bags. When you stop between
coats or colours, just take the bags off and change them. From: Glenn
Apply petroleum jelly over door handles and hinges before painting
to stop the paint sticking to them. Alternatively, foil wrap door handles
and other hardware before painting to keep them splatter free. From:
Hate stripping wallpaper before you paint? You don't have to!
With this tip, you'll create walls of interest. Use a large porous sponge
and ready-made plaster. Dip the sponge into the plaster and 'hit' the
wall, making sure you make 'peaks' on the wall with the plaster. Let
the plaster semi-dry, but before it dries completely, trowel the plaster,
using consistent strokes (whatever stroke you chose). Once the plaster
dries completely, you can paint the newly textured wall in a variety
of exciting colours by Resene. To make the wall even more interesting
you can use a basecoat on the wall and then use a Chux cloth (or any
other material with an interesting texture) dipped in a contrasting
colour and 'hit the wall' with the Chux cloth. In the process of creating
a unique design, you'll also cover blemishes. From: Karin
My top 10 tips for landlords with multiple rental properties are:
- Buy Resene, anything else is an insult to your preparation efforts.
- Replace worn wallpaper in rentals with paint (after stopping to a paint
finish). It wears better and is quicker and cheaper to repair.
- Keep walls and exteriors all the same. You can buy your paint in bulk and
won't have numerous 1/2 pails sitting around. Maintain the individuality of
your houses by using different feature colours. Then write the name of the
house and where you used the paint (e.g. roof, trims, sills etc) on the can
- If you are replacing weatherboards, undercoat them before you put them
up. But don't stack them until they really are dry.
- The best thing to apply paint onto a roughcast house is a car cleaning brush.
Get one with a reasonable amount of bristles. Those big square bushes sold
in paint shops are good, but they're awfully heavy for a lady and too big
to dip into a paint pail.
- Learn to use a crockpot/cook casseroles. Put tea on and you'd be surprised
what you can get done if you do 1/2 hour to an hour most days. Or wait until
your little one is in bed and then do internal walls. Wrap your brush/roller
in gladwrap loaded with paint to keep it soft.
- Ladders are better exercise than any aerobic class.
- Learn to paint with both arms.
- Take your time to do a good job and enjoy it.
- Go to 'How To' evenings. You may learn something new. From: Michelle
To cover an old lounge suite and two chairs buy 1 x double fitted sheet
and 2 x single fitted sheets and some small velcro dots. Place sheets
over lounge suite and tuck in where needed, then use the velcro dots
to fasten down. With velcro dots you can just take off the covers and
throw them into the wash. From: Belinda
To create a weathered Mexican wall look, plaster outside concrete brick
walls with cement and plaster by hand to get an authentic look (great
way to get the kids involved as perfection is not required!). Paint
the wall in your chosen colour (terracotta looks great). Drop small
blobs of white paint into the roller tray, roll the roller through it
and then haphazardly paint over the original wall colour. This should
result in blurred streaks of white throughout the terracotta second
coat. Do not roll in a particular direction, just all over the wall.
When dry, the wall will look like weathered terracotta. From: Natasha
Make sure you don't pay for the complete job up front. I bought a house
in the north about 3 years ago and the guy that was moving my furniture
told me along the way that he was a builder, so I agreed he could help
me with my DIY plans. My very big mistake was trusting the jerk. He
quoted me about $6000, which like a fool I paid there and then. All
he had to do was to put in a wall as three already existed and put in
a wall divider. To cut the story short, I fired him after 4 days, as
the wall he put in to enclose the room didn't touch the ground! He had
charged up tools on my account, ripped me off on materials and not paid
some local suppliers. I waited for a few days and then thought I had
better get stuck in and finish the job. Two family members joined in
and helped and a fortnight later all was finished - YAY!!! From:
When decorating a room, paint a stick or small board with your chosen
colours to carry with you when choosing fabrics, accessories etc. From:
Two pairs of hands really do make light work. If you can rustle up someone to help, then get them to cut in around the edges with a brush while you follow with the roller. Make sure whoever is charge of the roller rolls as close to the edge as possible to get a good finish. And if you can rustle up two helpers you can get them to do the work while you sit back and offer helpful suggestions!
Use masking tape on the edges of your carpet, as you would windowpanes,
to prevent marks when painting skirting boards. From: Meg
For those painters out there who get paint all over their hands when
painting, a tip when using waterbased paints. Before you start painting
wash your hands with soap. Make sure there's plenty of lather on your
hands and then let them dry naturally - i.e. with the soap on. Then
when you get paint on your hands, you only need to wash them and the
paint will come off nice and easily. From: Barry
let your husband choose any decorating products unsupervised! My
hubby, love him as I do, has a wonderful habit of bringing home all
sorts of titbits that are really not needed for the task at hand. He
is a true boy and loves his toys. I don't have the heart to nag him
about it, so I simply go with him and steer him away from the little
treasures he drools over at the paint and hardware stores. From:
To make cleaning any paint off hands and forearms easy, apply some baby
oil or olive oil to hands and forearms prior to painting. You will find
that washing up at the end is a breeze. From: Paul
Tie a plastic shopping bag around your roller tray and pour the paint
onto it. When you've finished rollering you can just take the bag off
and throw it away. No cleaning your messy roller tray and you're all
ready for the next colour. From: Yvonne and Karen
Always do a sample and let it dry - don't think that the colour will
look the same dry as it does when it is wet. From: Tina
In older style homes where the walls might not be perfectly flat, put
up a dado around the walls to create a false impression of perfection.
Paint different colours top and bottom (like Resene Sisal on the top
and Resene Aubergine on the bottom). It will look fantastic and you'll
never know that the walls are not 100% flat. From: Hayley
My house is in desperate need of a repaint both inside and out. My husband
began the repainting job 2 years ago and then 20 months ago left me,
the family and the house with a mortgage and worst of all a white house
with grey undercoat spots all over it. He fervently promised he would
come over the summer and paint over the grey bits at least. Two summers
have now passed and he has not returned to the paint job but has gone
overseas instead. As I have been so busy working and trying to make
ends meet the painting has gone unattended!! My tip? Make sure your
husband paints the house before he leaves you! From: Diana
Use clear goggles when painting the ceiling, it stops the paint stinging
your eyes! From: Dave and Carl
It can be quite tricky to repaint skirting boards while the
room is carpeted without getting any paint on the carpet. I have found
it to be really easy if a long wide straight edge is placed between
the skirting board and the carpet (I use the metal straight edge also
used to trim wallpaper) and then the excess paint just goes onto the
straight edge. The straight edge can be moved along the wall without
needing to wait until the paint dries, and can be easily cleaned when
the job is finished. From: Ruth
To avoid paint drying up in the can, lay a piece of plastic wrap over
the paint can before replacing the lid. From: L Hammond
Liven up boring plain stained wooden doors with a small pot
of teak stain and a paintbrush. Paint on knots and lines (like you find
in trees) to give the doors a rich wood finish. Give them a rub down
with a good liquid wood polish and a cloth afterwards to get that lovely
wood smell. From: Margaret
My son has a lot of soft toys and we had nowhere to put them.
We bought one of the large boat shelves, painted it Resene Havelock
Blue, turned it horizontally, suspended it from the ceiling on chains
and put all the teddy bears inside. He loves it because it looks like
the bears are rowing the boat and we love it because there are no longer
soft toys all over the house. From: H Darwen
Stainless steel wool scourers (without soap) and turpentine
are a great way to finish off a paint stripping job on wooden furniture.
It's easier to get into the nooks and crannies with a scourer. Paint
also comes off wet wood easier than dry wood. From: Katy
To get your favourite picture on your child's wall to paint,
photocopy the picture onto a transparency and use an overhead projector
to transfer it on to the wall. If you can't get an overhead projector
and are drawing challenged, trace pictures on with carbon paper. Brightly
coloured testpots are ideal to paint in the picture. Use the leftover
paint to decorate shelves and drawers. From: Jo
My biggest tip in decorating/redecorating is DON'T LET YOUR
HUSBAND START IT! From: Cindy
When storing paint for a long period of time, put the lid on firmly
and store upside-down, this will prevent a film forming on the top of
the paint. It also makes it easier to stir the paint when you re-open
the can. From: Sam, Julie, Chris and Belinda
Use a weedsprayer to distribute sugar soap onto ceiling and
walls. It cuts application time right down. From: D Stevenson
If you want to decorate a room and can't afford a lot of extras, get
your children to paint pictures then frame them. They will look wonderful
in any room. From: Suzanne
painting skirting boards or other low areas, use a skateboard to
roll along while painting. From: Sue
Keep the insects at bay when you are working outside. Mix together
50% Baby Oil and 50% Savlon Liquid, then apply to your skin. It works
as well as any antiseptic cream and will save you some money that you
can put towards re-decorating your home. Every little bit counts. From:
Handy tip for those planning to wallpaper: The finished surface of paperfaced
plasterboard interiors is less critical when you are planning to use
wallpaper, tiles or a textured finish, as they will cover up most minor
surface irregularities that exist. Use a sealer prior to wallpapering
to help prevent the suction of the wallpaper to the surface - this will
make it easier to remove the wallpaper if you decide to redecorate later.
To get rid of oil from concrete, sprinkle it liberally with
lime. Sweep it up the next day and you'll find the lime will have absorbed
the oil. From: Brian
When painting drawer handles, take off the handles then put
the screws back in. Paint them holding the screws and hang to dry. This
ensures a nice even paint job and will save you time waiting for coats
to dry. From: Kirstie
If you have to paint the house - turn it into a big party -
invite your relatives, friends, etc and provide food, beer and music.
Make sure you invite a lot of people so you can tell them they only
have to come for half an hour or so. They will undoubtedly stay longer,
you'll have company and the project will get painted pronto. From:
To make cleaning your paint tray easy, line it with gladwrap
or a plastic bag. When you have finished painting you can take the gladwrap
or plastic bag off and discard it - thereby making the clean up process
easier. From: Charmaine, Tina and Victoria
When painting ceilings or even walls, take an old/new tennis
ball and cut in half. Make a hole on the round side of the ball and
insert your paintbrush through the hole. This will stop any drips etc
ending up on you while you are painting - unless you are really bad
at painting and then no amount of tennis balls will help. From: Sandra
My advice is when it comes to repainting your home's interior
and exterior, get expert help from your local Resene store. The amount
of trips and phone calls we've made have been numerous but worthwhile
as we have haven't wasted any paint. We never would have chosen the
colours we did without the advice of a local staff member who said 'trust
me'. We did and our home is looking really lovely. We have 'almost'
completed the interior but have gone to the exterior because of the
good weather we're having and yet again we've called on the help of
the Resene staff. So my advice is ask, ask, ask and don't be afraid
of thinking outside of the square! From: Kerri
painting window frames:
- Cut a cake of soap in a wedge
- Dampen the soap
- Rub the soap on the glass (around the edges)
- Allow to dry
- When the paint is dry, wash the window to get rid of the overpaint.
From: Len and Brian
For those of us that are DIY challenged, its a great idea to get together
with a few friends that are also in need of a bit of doing up about
their houses. Meet once a month at each other's homes to form a working
bee. Between everyone there is usually a bit of know-how and those that
are particularly DIY challenged can do the manual labour, keep the crew
supplied with cold drinks and fire up the barbecue. From: C. Ross
When you want to redecorate your room, invite your friends around
for the day, provide food, and go to it. I can assure you that it works
very well. From: Ruth
Sometimes the simplest tips can be the best. I own Backpacker
accommodation spread over three separate properties and also live in
a fourth next to my mother whose place brings the total number of properties
I look after to five. I always had trouble and wasted considerable amounts
of time a) finding the correct tool and b) finding the right screw to
repair an item with. I have saved hours of time by simply investing
in a large plastic t oolbox with screw compartments on the top. In addition
I only use fast self-tapping screws that are driven by a square driver.
The screws rarely if ever need guide holes, and because of the square
driving never burr, saving loads of time. I simply carry a selection
of these screws in the top of my toolbox so they are always at my fingertips.
We had our front concrete wall covered in graffiti, so went down to
Resene to get something to cover it. We covered it with an enamel undercoat
to stop it from bleeding. We then chose the colour Tuscany in a waterbased
paint to give our wall a new look of terracotta! Bad start but a great
finish!!! From: Roy
I definitely found that it is in your best interest to put a
wedge in the (only) door to the house when changing the door handles...
it makes for entertaining viewing for the neighbours watching you climb
in and out of the bathroom window (lucky that was open) trying desperately
to get the door to open!!! From: Rachel
Reducing the amount of turps you use in cleaning up brushes is easy.
Pour a small amount of turps into a jar for the initial clean. Tip this
into a soak hole then put some warm water in the jar with Amway LOC.
This really loosens up residual paint. Tip the suds into the soak hole
and repeat once more. By now your brush will be clean. Spin it out by
rolling the handle back and forth between your palms. Wet your palms
and make the bristles lie flat and then leave in the sun to dry. From:
We bought our house 2 years ago and it needed a lot of work.
The hot water cylinder was in the kitchen. We had enough room under
the house, so we moved the cylinder under the house and rebuilt our
old hot water cupboard into a corner pantry with homemade rimu tongue
and groove paneling pantry doors. It looks lovely and we are very happy
with the outcome of our complete new kitchen. From: Taurua Family
When you want a painting to hang on the wall use the testpots
of your colour scheme to create a masterpiece that goes with your decor.
Original artwork at a great price! From: Wendy
My best tip would be to talk to the experts at Resene! During
the Christmas break I decided I would paint the kitchen cupboards from
the Buttermilk colour they were to a more vibrant colour. I initially
went for green, decided after a day of painting the cupboards that the
colour was too bright and went with nothing, so it was back to Resene
for a different shade of green. Having finished painting with that shade
I was mortified to find that it too looked horrible and didn't blend
in with the dining room in our little open plan house. My family agreed
(boy, did they agree) so it was back the following day to Resene to
get the gold metallic which I was sure would look nice - it didn't!
In desperation and after the complaints from the family they were painted
back to the original buttermilk colour again. On a good note, having
visited Resene Rotorua 4 times in one week I feel I know them well and
yes I have been back again - twice - but not for the paint for the kitchen
cupboards - this time for paint for the lounge and hall - much to my
husband's horror. He thinks I should abandon the idea of painting and
stick to gardening. P.S. These rooms only needed doing just the once
- with 1/2 Spanish Cream - I really couldn't go wrong!!! Could I? From:
I have been there, done it all! My best tips are:
- Be WELL prepared before you start, with everything purchased in advance,
even everything you need for the clean up.
- Put your wet brush into a plastic bag/breadbag while you rescue your child,
get a cuppa, etc.
- I have to admit, I have TWICE put my foot into a paint bucket while coming
down off a ladder. Make sure you have a nail/hook three quarters of the way
up the ladder, near the top. Pour the paint you are working with into a smaller
pot and hang it onto the ladder's hook.
- Have a long rag available tucked into your pocket (so when you wipe your
face, or make a mess somewhere, it can be quickly and easily wiped away with
no evidence!) From: Caroline
Our fridge was old, ugly and had severely yellowed and stained.
It looked totally out of place in our nice kitchen. We gave it a new
look by first painting it with a forest green house paint, then sponging
over it with copper craft paint (available cheaply at most stationary
shops). Now the fridge looks fabulous and is noticed by everyone who
comes into our house! A very cheap and easy way of turning your old
fridge into something creative that you can be proud of -it even has
a resale value now! Total cost for materials was about $20. From:
Get to know your neighbours while cleaning up the neighbourhood
by renting a large skip between several houses for a weekend. It saves
money and gets everyone motivated to clear up at the same time. Finish
off with a street barbecue if you want to get to know them even better.
From: C. Sullivan
As our family was stripping down the old wallpaper, with one part of
vinegar and ten parts of water, my partner decided to wipe the fly marks
off the ceiling. It came up so white, that we wiped the whole ceiling.
Now it looks as good as new! From: Satherley Family
My three best DIY tips:
1: The plastic scoops that you get in boxes of laundry powder make ideal scoops
paint from big pots to little pots. Plus drill a hole in the scoop handle and suspend it over the pot so that the
paint can drain off.
2: Old thermal drape curtains make ideal dropcloths. The curtain's rubber backing
stops paint from seeping through onto protected surfaces.
3: Old venetian blind strips are good carpet
protectors when painting skirting boards. From: Pam
When you spill paint on glass, wait until the paint dries then peel it off. However if you spill it onto aluminium window joinery make sure you clean it off while it is still wet.
Always make sure to buy testpots first, before buying the actual paint.
What looks good in a book or on the colour charts may not look right
in the room and you can save yourself a lot of wasted expense and paint
by using testpots to check your colour first. I myself have learnt this
lesson - I decided to paint a toilet area and saw a great colour combination
with a feature wall in a picture of a lounge. As the colours went on
they were in such a small room that they screamed at each other -there
was not the open space like the lounge picture I had seen. I needed
to then go and buy more paint... now I have 2 spare tins sitting in
the garage and am quite a few dollars poorer by not testing the colour
scheme on the area first. From: Nicola
painting, wear rubber gloves. Fold the bottom up to create a lip
that will catch any stray drops and prevent paint running down your
arm. From: Matt
When cleaning up the windows for painting the outside of your
house (and if necessary for washing down after sanding) use a garden
sprayer to wash down and rinse those annoying dirty bits on the inside
edges of the windows. It is easy to control so you don't end up spraying
water all over the inside of the room. From: Marian
Old wallpaper is a curse for DIY enthusiasts - especially for those
of us who have already bought our paint and would rather be playing
with that than spending hours stripping paper. My tip is mix a couple
of capfuls of fabric softener in a bucket of hot water. Apply to the
paper using a spray bottle to minimise mess. Wait a few minutes and
then start to peel off the paper straight into a plastic rubbish bag.
Respray as necessary. From: Kim
When using testpots paint onto polystyrene cut from boxes obtainable from the fish department of your local supermarket. The tops and bottoms are a good size to show the colour. From: Marie
I have 3 DIY hints to help home decorators:
- When using oil based paints, eliminate the smell in the house by leaving a saucer
of vinegar in the room that is being painted. It really helps to neutralise
- Rather than trying to carry heavy tins of paint around, adapt the larger size
milk containers by cutting away part of the top half but leave the handle
area intact with the whole of the bottom half. This makes a really handy paint
container that is much lighter to carry up a ladder and can be discarded at
the end of the job.
- I have found that a new brush works much better if left to soak in clean water
overnight prior to use. Aside from these more well known hints, let me just
say that if you are married it really pays to consider whether your relationship
is strong enough to handle the wonderful (?) experience of home decorating.
It can be very trying on couples! From: L Wensor
To get rid of lumps in paint that has been stored, strain old paint
through pantyhose - simply put a knot in the hose and pour paint down
the leg and squeeze through. From: Glen
If you're like me and indecisive with paint colours, you can use your
collection of testpots to get really creative painting terracotta pots.
They make good presents. From: Charlie
Fold or roll drapes or curtains into clean rubbish bags and tie at the
top. This will keep the drapes clean without taking them down. From:
I always write with permanent marker pen the colour and colour
code of my paint as it lasts much longer than the sticker that is put
on the tin at time of purchasing. From: Jacqui
When painting skirting boards, place a thin aluminium baking tray beneath
the area to be painted. This prevents any paint staining the carpet,
gives a nice clean line and is easily moved and cleaned. From: Cherry
Cover door handles with gladwrap while painting to save a lot of hard
work cleaning. From: John
For paintbrushes that have gone hard and are no longer pliable, soak
in neat Jayes fluid for a day or two and then rinse in cool water. From:
When renovating old houses you often find layers of very old paper and
paint. I have found the best way to strip off the old paper is as follows:
- Use a tool to scour the paper
- Purchase a wall stripper product and mix up with warm water. (You can also
mix hot water with 2 tsp of vinegar, although this is not quite as good).
- Paint this over the paper, working on one strip at a time. Make sure you
wet the paper really well. Leave this for 5 minutes and repeat. Leave this
for another five minutes and scrape off with a scraper. You will need to repeat
this on each layer if it is very old paper as the chances are it was not prepared
properly before being papered. With this method you can get the walls completely
free of all old paper with minimal damage. Plaster, sand and seal and it will
be prepared to a paint finish standard. To remove old paint we found that
it was easy with the right tool. We purchased a scraper that holds a metal
blade. Just pull it back across the painted surface firmly and it removes
paint easily. We have managed to remove all traces of several layers of paint,
right back to the wooden boards. Then give a light sand and seal with Satin
Polyurethane. It looks stunning. From: Kerry
When painting corrugated iron, use a fine bristled broom instead of
a roller. It saves a lot of time and does the job just as well. From:
Dad had been planning for the last 10 years to build onto a room
at our house by knocking out a wall. My sister and I got impatient and
took to the wall with a sledgehammer. At first he was angry but it has
been temporarily mended now and he plans to start the extension next
week! From: Stubbie
My tip is to not have too much paint on the brush/roller if
you are painting the ceiling!! From: Lynda
Having just bought our first house, (we are not youngsters)
I have found that the easiest way to DIY is to get a professional in
to do it.... it works out cheaper in the long run. From: Maureen
Don't, under any circumstances, let your husband anywhere near anything
remotely DIY or it will either 'turn to custard' or 12 months on it
still won't be done! From: Marina
The best way to clean rollers is to soak them in a bucket of cold water
for a minimum of 2 hours so that the majority of paint is diluted out
of the roller. You can even leave the sleeves in the bucket overnight.
It is then a simple case of putting your sleeve on an extension pole
and turning the garden hose on it for approximately 10 min to get the
rest of the paint from it. The centrifugal force of the hose water also
aids in drying the sleeve quicker. From: Marlene
I have two great DIY tips: Tip 1: We moved into our newly built
house in June. As we needed headboards for the spare room and my daughter's
room I headed to the local Refuse Recycling Centre. I picked up a worn
queen sized headboard for 50 cents and a lovely headboard for my daughter
for $2. A quick trip to the Resene ColorShop and I got some paint to
match our doors, jambs and skirting. I painted the headboards and they
came up like new.
I also painted the computer desk in the same colour. In fact, I have
had so many comments about how fabulous they look and how clever I was
to get everything to match.
Tip 2: If painting and you are going to continue another day, place
the roller or brush in a plastic bag and squeeze out the air. From: Diane
Recreate the inviting feel of a garden by bringing in some of your outdoor
elements, such as a bench or potted plants. The entry also can be the
perfect setting to focus on a water-filled birdbath holding beautiful
stones - on special occasions, add the glow of candlelight by floating
votives in the water. From: Debra
Don’t be fooled into buying cheap paint. A cheap paint will generally contain less volume solids and use poorer tinters than a quality product, so not only will you generally need to apply more coats to get the colour to cover well, but the paint will also not wear as well. The biggest part of any paint job is the labour, so whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone to do the work for you, it makes sense to choose a paint that covers well so you can save time applying it.
The best way to remove old (60 year old) wallpaper, is to invest in
a garden weed sprayer, fill it with hot tap water, and spray a light
coat of water over the wall. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, respray and
then scrape off using a standard scraper. Using the weed sprayer saves
having to refill smaller spray bottles every 2 minutes... This is the
best method for people who, like me, react badly to chemical strippers
etc. From: Samantha
Always carry lipstick in your toolbox. Whenever you need to drill a
hole in a sheet - e.g. where a pipe is going to stick through
- you simply put the lipstick on the end of the protruding object
(e.g. the pipe), then put the sheet in its place so that the pipe 'kisses'the
sheet's backside. Voila! Your sheet is marked with the place to drill
the hole for the pipe. From: Duncan and Hilary
When stencilling a wall, it is handy to lightly spray the back of the
stencil with spray adhesive so the stencil becomes self adhesive and
you have your hands free to do a perfect job. From: Hanne and Matthijs
While painting there is always paint drying on the paintbrush at the
level you dip your brush in the paint. To clean, rinse with cold water
and soft soap. Comb the paintbrush with an ordinary plastic haircomb
to get rid of the dried paint-residue and dry the brush in the shade.
The paintbrush will look like new and will last longer. From: Angela
A good idea to brighten up your garden is to paint terracotta pots in
your favorite colour. You can paint the pots all in one colour to create
impact or different colours to brighten up the garden without plants.
Testpots or leftover paint can be perfect for the job. From: Janet
When DIY'ing don't get mad or irritated. Take things nice and slow -
don't rush. Enjoy what you are doing and have fun because the worst
thing you can do is get mad and wreck things. Don't be too shy to ask
for help. From: Jesse
easier stirring and better mixing of paint, drill a few holes -
say 6mm holes - in your stirring paddle (wooden spoon). From: Ruth
Resene Paint Effects medium is a brilliant alternative to
wallpapering and gets noticed by your visitors. I have found that along
with using a sponge, you can use a variety of applicators. A good one
for a teenager's room is to use an old pair of ripped up denim jeans.
The effect of the diagonal weave plus the ribbed seams pressed over
the paint effect medium, creates a really unique style. You must be
careful to press the fabric lightly and quickly, and not to rub the
surface. It's best to use smaller pieces - 30 cm square at the most.
A dark blue, with a metallic paint over looks great, as does black and
white. Other items to use are; scrunched up plastic bags, bubble wrap,
corrugated cardboard, dried leaves, interesting footwear with designs
on the soles, terry towelling, candlewick... the list is endless, especially
if you use more than two colours ! I am also an artist and make very
good use of Resene testpots - far better than the other specialist art
paints. From: Ursula
To keep your brushes in tip top condition and stop them from
being water logged and getting bent tips, drill a hole in the brush
handle approximately 2-3 cm up from the end of the brush. Use a small
metal rod long enough to fit across the top of the paint tin and put
the rod through the hole in the brush. This will keep the brush in just
the right amount of water and will stop the hairs from going in all
directions and touching the bottom of the tin. You should be able to
get at least 5 brushes on in one go (depending on their size) in the
same pot. Instead of the brushes lying on their tips they are supported
and will last longer. From: Nicola
Make sure that you check your batch numbers when ordering large quantities
of wallpaper or you may end up with different shades of the same wallpaper
on your newly decorated walls. From: Nicky
I recently painted the inside of a shower stall in my home that
was quite dark making it difficult to see whether the paint had gone
on consistently or evenly. I removed the lampshade off an old lamp stand
and placed that inside with a 100 watt bulb in it. I soon saw all my
'flaws' and where I needed to pay more attention. Tip: Make sure you
have enough light when painting so you can see what you are doing -
otherwise you may end up doing it twice. From: Leisa
My tip is to let the wife choose the paint colours - saves on arguments
and she'll be keener to apply the paint herself. From: Steve
If you have been a DIYer in the past but now all your paintbrushes are
hard and crusty, soften hard paintbrushes by putting them in an old
tin with vinegar and a little soap powder. Bring to the boil, then rinse
thoroughly in warm water. Your paintbrushes will be ready to use again.
My tip is to invest in a colour consultant. In our case one
that was very familiar with Resene paints. They are well worth the cost
and can save you lots by not choosing wrong colours. They also choose
colours that you would not necessarily have thought of, which is great.
Don't let hubby loose to DIY, unless you're sure he can finish the job
in a reasonable time period (not ten years)! From: Debi
Here's my tips for all those with spouses who are unwilling to join
in the colour decisions: 1) Sacrifice the colour scheme of your toilet
for the greater good. 2) Paint one metre square samples at eye level,
and name them with a felt tip. 3) Faint in amazement as within a week
he'll be telling you he prefers Resene Fuego for the kitchen and would
rather see Resene China Ivory in the hallway. From: Rachel
You can revitalise old concrete or clay flower pots and planters.
Clean them up and get a testpot of Tuscany. You'll end up with lovely
new terracotta coloured pots and planters. They look a treat, with very
little effort. From: Roy
With vast experience in this, I can honestly say never never never do
it yourself, always get a trained professional. If you are going to
paint a room that is wallpapered, always strip the wallpaper first.
You never know what cracks will appear from under the wallpaper after
you have painted it and no matter how much plaster you use after the
fact nothing works. From: Nicola
When redecorating your house, or purchasing/building a new home,
keep paint samples, interior and exterior, on hand at all times. Fold
an old cardboard box into a fan and paint a wide strip of each paint
colour on a single fold. Write on the card what the colour is, and whereabouts
you have used it - i.e. interior/kitchen cupboards/ gold, exterior/brick
terracotta red. This will give you a decent size sample to take with
you when making other purchases for your house i.e. curtains, plant
pots, tiles, outdoor paving/bricks, paint, wallpaper, frames, furniture
fabric, rugs etc. Make sure you allow each paint sample to dry properly
before folding. Fold it, store it away from the sun, and it takes up
virtually no space, an instance reference for you to use when making
those 'much later' additions to your home! From: A Cootes
When attempting 'painting for the non-painter', it is a good idea to
put suntan lotion on your hands before starting. It makes it a lot easier
when you have finished (or given up!) to wash any excess paint off your
hands. From: Lesley and Neville
To avoid headaches while painting indoors, have a resealable water bottle
on hand - it helps prevent the dehydration caused by the chemicals and
you can drink while you're painting. From: Glyn
When painting a steel garage door with lots of grooves and smooth sections,
put an old fridge magnet the row above where you are painting so you
don't lose your place. From: Gaynor
My tip for painting outside is to get your spray painting equipment
ready to go, find your best overalls and a pair of gloves, then get
your wife on the job!!! Hey works every time, she loves it. From:
We have a 'New Denim Blue' coloured iron fence around our BBQ area.
I could only purchase green coloured hanging baskets to hang on the
iron fence, so I purchased some New Denim Blue paint from the local
Resene ColorShop and painted the hanging baskets to match the fence.
They look awesome and it was very, very easy with a small brush. In
fact, when I took them back to the garden shop to get plants for the
baskets, the shop suggested I could paint some for sale in the shop
as so many people ask for different coloured hanging baskets. From:
Don't forget the good old shower cap when two painters (i.e.
Poppa and grandson) are painting. The one working at the lower level
can wear the cap thus stopping the paint getting in their hair. From:
If repainting a previously painted surface, use a common kitchen scourer
to both clean and roughen the surface. In many situations it will save
you needing to sand before painting, and quite a bit of elbow grease.
While you may be tempted to put it off, the ideal time to repaint is when the current paintwork is chalky looking but still sound. Wait too long and you’ll have to spend ages removing the paint altogether before you can repaint.
Store paint tins upside down (check the lid is on tightly!) to prevent
a skin forming on the paint surface. From: Stephanie
Always cover everything in the room you are working in. Never think
when sanding that because the TV and video are on the other side of
room that you don't need to cover them, as the dust will find its way
to them and may ruin them. From: Adele
Good tip - never marry a DIY husband. From: Krissie
Leave unopened tins of enamel out in the sun for a short while prior
to use. This will warm the paint and make it easier to apply. From:
painting inside walls, place half an onion on a windowsill to absorb
most of the paint fumes. From: Alysha, Sharon and Elisa
After hours struggling with screws in tight spots I learnt a
simple but effective method to make the job less energy intensive. Simply
rub the thread of the screw on ordinary soap. This lubricates it allowing
it to screw in easier, easing both frustration and ebbing enthusiasm.
When revarnishing wooden window frames, DO NOT JUST SAND DOWN AND APPLY
VARNISH. You will be sorely disappointed, as we were, when after sanding
and varnishing from 10am until 6pm, eating dinner and falling asleep,
we awoke to find the varnish had turned into huge white bubbles and
lumps. Always apply a special wood undercoat first to stop sap seeping
through and ruining a weekend's work. Yes, we applied it again and the
same thing happened until, third time lucky, we asked for advice! Actually,
that can be my second tip... when in doubt, always ask for advice from
a professional!! From: Amanda and Scott
My Dad once told me 'If all else fails, read the instructions.' From:
For bigger jobs use a planning sheet to plan the project. Label each major
job with a priority number and list the smaller jobs related to each major job.
This will help you break large projects into manageable chunks of work. From:
We have 'done up' a few older houses with hard to remove wallpaper and
we are now in the process of doing up our own home, which was initially
wallpapered in the 1950's and has had subsequent layers added. To remove
the wallpaper we use a pump action weed sprayer filled with warm water.
Spray a large area top to bottom (having laid down newspapers to catch
the drips) until the paper is very wet, wait 10 minutes and using a
fish slice peel off the wallpaper. Works great. From: Garry
The small plastic pails (which were bought at Christmas filled with
cookies) make ideal paint containers and are easier to carry up and
down ladders with small amounts of paint than full cans of paint. From:
After having browsed for ages and trying out numerous paint
chips and testpots, I decided I wanted faster results. I scanned a few
photos of our house into our computer, printed them out on white thick
paper and got a stanley knife to cut out all the white walls around
the windows. We took the three sheets to our local Kapiti Resene ColorShop
and overlaid the photos over the different paint samples in the books.
You could instantly see what the effect was. Within 15 minutes we had
the perfect colour, and it looks awesome on our house! From: Jenny
To avoid a messy paint-can, punch a series of holes in the rim
groove of the paint-can so that the paint that collects there will drain
back into the can. Tape or glue a drip catching paper plate to the can's
bottom so that paint won't collect underneath the can. From: Ruth and Graeme
When painting an iron roof, test the temperature with the back of your
hand. If you can't place your hand on the roof then it is too hot for
painting. From: Sara
Check your windowsills very carefully when buying a new home.
When I had to replace some windows shortly after shifting in, it was
discovered that the previous owners had restored the outside windowsills
by scooping out the inside, and filling it full of medium sized flat
stones and plastic bags. This caused quite a laugh among the builders
who were preparing my windows. I did find it funny... later! From:
Paintbrushes that have become hard can sometimes be saved by
boiling in vinegar for 10 minutes. If the bristles are really hard,
place the brush in a glass jar overnight and soak in cellulose thinners
overnight. Rinse well before use.
To avoid paint dripping down your arm when painting a ceiling
cut a slit in a large sponge and push the brush through. The sponge
will catch the drips.
Rub petroleum jelly on door and window hinges and handles before
painting - it makes them easier to clean. Or cover them with aluminium
Place newspaper under the door and behind pipes when painting
to avoid getting paint in the wrong place.
Make cleaning up your paint tray easy by lining it with a polyethylene
bag before you pour the paint in. When the work is done you can easily
Place the paint container or paint pot onto a paper plate to
catch any drips.
Before closing the paint container, draw a line around the outside
of the container at the same level as the paint. You can then see how
much paint you have left without having to open the can.
Ever wondered what was the difference between a primer, sealer and topcoat? A primer is designed to be the first coat. They’re very important because if they don’t stick anything else you apply afterwards won’t stick either. They also help seal and protect the surface. Sealers do very similar jobs but tend to be used when binding or sealing the surface, when you need to block stains or when you are painting over a smooth surface that normal paints would find it hard to stick to. Topcoats are basically the last layers, often coloured, which help to protect all the coats underneath them against the weather.
Touch up very small areas of paint using a cotton bud.
Hide knocks on white enamel fridges, washing machines or chips
on white paintwork with typewriter correction fluid.
When painting stairs paint every second step and allow to dry
completely before painting the remaining steps. This will allow you
to keep using the stairs while you are decorating.
Professional painters and decorators also have handy tips to share:
Problems in drying weather with paint build up on the top of your paint bristles? Wind 50mm of carton tape around the brush so it comes down approx 20-25mm over the top of bristles. This helps retain moisture at the top of the brush, makes cleaning the brush easy and helps to keep rough bristles in place. It only takes a few seconds to put on and remove and works well. From: Rob
When applying paint over silicon causing sissing, wipe the silicon areas with vinegar to allow the paint to adhere - this will stop sissing.
If using mid to dark base paints always use a tinter sealer or primer/undercoat as this will increase the life of the paintwork by years. Always tint to a slightly lighter colour to make it easier when applying topcoats.
Add a cap of Umber, Sienna and Ochre tinters (MPS stainers) to 4L polyurethane when varnishing Rimu – it brings back the colour and brightens up the wood.
Add a cap of Umber, Sienna and Ochre tinters (MPS stainers) to 4L polyurethane when varnishing Rimu – it brings back the colour and brightens up the wood. From: Russell If using acrylic paint, drips, minor spills and blemishes can be cleaned off other surfaces using meths instead of water when still fresh. From: Norm
To keep your hands clean delegate the work to someone else!
In hot weather and high humidity thin your acrylic paint with Resene Hot Weather Additive – you’ll find it will flow better and leave fewer brush marks. From: Stephen
Apply a layer of varnish over old marks (i.e. pencil, pen, pen marker, paint) on wood, then while it is wet sand it off and you’ll find the marks come off too. From: Emere
When you visit a Chinese restaurant never refuse the chopsticks. They make excellent stirrers for small cans of paint. From: Anon
To avoid neck strain when painting ceilings fit 2 small mirrors at 45° to perpendicular into a pair of glasses (safety or sunglasses) using masking tape. You can then paint the ceiling without bending your neck. From: Dave
When painting on a hot day and you stop for lunch. Leave a damp rag over the top of your paint tin with the brush in it – will save it skinning up. From: Stephen
When you have cleaned out acrylic rollers and put them in a 10L bucket put in 1/4 cup of Janola with the water – it stops the water going rotten. From: Robert
Spray spraygun with CRC before spraying and when finished, wash with the hose and all paint falls off. From Dave
If wallpapering, get a Resene Testpot in the same colour, or as close as possible to the wallpaper background colour and paint each possible joint on the wall before papering, and let dry. Size wall as usual, then hang paper. If the seams split, as can sometimes happen, the fault will be almost invisible as it reveals the same colour behind the gap in the paper... You can also paint that background colour around tricky obstacles, such as profiled windowframes, old powerpoints, dodgy skirtings etc, and if the subsequent cuts in the wallpaper are not 100% accurate, small gaps, misses or faulty cutting will almost be unnoticeable. From: Hart
When using a paint roller place the paint tray in a plastic bag and tape firmly. Throw away when job complete and tray stays clean.
I had clients that had great trouble with cluster flies landing on their roof at dusk. As the night came the flies would come into the ceiling cavity and come down through the downlights of the house. The problem had been going on since the house was built 5 years ago. They had a pest control firm spray different chemicals to try to stop the flies - without any success. Sitting down in front of their computer my clients found out that cluster flies liked theRecreate the inviting feel of a gar coolness of light coloured roofs. We came in and sprayed two coats of Hi-Glo house and roof paint in Resene High Tide and had immediate success. As soon as the roof was painted the darker colour the flies disappeared, So if you have a problem with cluster flies, check the colour of your roof before spending time on pest control. From: Ian
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