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diy tips

From Habitat magazine - issue 06

Over the years DIYers have kindly sent in lots of tips and ideas to make decorating easier. A selection of these is presented 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 Habitat and are included below as supplied to us.

When decorating a room, paint a stick or small board with your chosen colours to carry with you when choosing fabrics, accessories etc. From: Meg Tyre

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. From: Belinda Welch

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 Wilson

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.

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 Gunn

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 Wijohn

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 Richards

When painting ceilings, wear a plastic shower cap to stop paint dripping on your head. From: Lynda Voyle

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: R Brooks

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

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