From painting a room to hanging a shelf – homes expert Julia Kendell offers helpful advice for fixing up your home on a budget
Is your home in need of a little TLC? Perhaps it could do with a fresh lick of paint or wallpapering? Maybe your furniture needs sprucing up, or your walls lack a few shelves?
Forget the flat-pack; an unloved item of old furniture can be transformed with just a lick of paint
Julia Kendell, from DIY SOS, ITV1’s Daybreak, and spokesperson for The National Home Improvement Show, offers tips and advice for beginners to experts to help with your quest for your dream home.
She says: “In my experience, DIY is about having the right tools and clear instructions or guidance. Small improvements around the home can do wonders for its overall appearance and women can get involved at all levels to give rooms a new lease of life!”
Painting is a fast and inexpensive way to transform a room and it gives instant results.
1. Prepare the walls first by using a caulking gun to fill gaps between skirting boards or architraves and walls with flexible filler. Use a tube of ready-mixed filler and palette knife or old store card to fill small cracks and holes in the walls.
2. Paint ceilings first using a medium pile roller and wear protective glasses. Paint woodwork with an easy to apply acrylic wood paint.
3. When dry use ‘Frogtape’ to mask around room. When using a roller, load well with paint and remove excess on tray. Use steady motions and go over each section with a very light roller action for a smooth finish.
Bold wallpaper patterns are very popular and add perspective to a room.
1. Before wallpapering, sand walls back and fill any cracks.
2. ‘Size’ walls using thinned down paste and leave to dry.
3. Measure 52cm from the corner and either use a ‘plumb line’ or a long level to enable a pencil line to be drawn. Hang the first strip of paper to this line. Starting at the top, work down using a damp sponge to smooth wallpaper and push bubbles out to the edges.
4. Trim the top and bottom edges with a sharp blade or scissors. Pattern match to the edge of the first strip allowing a couple of inches top and bottom.
Hanging a shelf
First be sure what you are fixing onto. A solid wall requires a power drill to drill into.
1. Work out the first fixing point and holding the drill at 90° to the wall, start slowly and apply firm pressure as you drill.
2. Taping an open envelope under the hole will catch brick-dust as the drill bit penetrates. Drill only as deep as the depth of the screw.
3. Tap a wall plug into the hole and fix the bracket firmly. Position the shelf on the bracket and, using a level, determine where the next fixing point should be drilled. In a stud wall, screw a plasterboard fixing into the wall then screw the bracket in place as before.
Sealing around a bath or basin
It is important to replace the sealant behind a bath or basin if cracked, as water will splash behind and mould growth will occur.
1. Remove the existing sealant using a sharp blade. Clean and dry the area thoroughly.
2. Cut the nozzle of a tube of specialist bathroom flexible sealant at an angle, and apply in one sweep. Use masking tape to ensure a clean straight edge.
3. Using a round-ended tool, smooth the sealant and leave to dry. Remember to fill the bath with water before you start so that the sealant doesn’t crack again.
Forget the flat-pack; an unloved item of old furniture can be transformed with just a lick of paint.
1. Use a vibrant colour to rework the inside of an old dresser and provide a backdrop to contemporary dressings.
2. Chairs can be sprayed with paint to provide a smooth surface, or use strips of fabric to make a patchwork look, then lacquer to give a durable finish.
3. Carefully sand edges back to give a vintage feel to painted furniture.
Julia Kendell will be at The National Home Improvement Show (28 September – 30 September 2012) at Olympia, London to provide visitors with advice on interiors and DIY tips. For more information on the show, exhibitors, seminar schedules and tickets visit www.improveyourhomeshow.co.uk
We also have 100 pairs of tickets to the show to give away. To be in with a chance of winning a pair, enter online here.