Try these DIY tips to make home renovation and decoration easier.
1. Don’t waste water by washing paintbrushes and rollers in between coats. Instead, wrap tightly in plastic cling film and they will stay moist – even overnight.
2. Teasing a thread free and then pulling completely out from cotton and linen fabrics will create a straight line that you can follow to cut.
3. Fix a squeaky door by sprinkling talcum powder on the hinges. This also works for squeaky floorboards.
4. Use baby oil to remove paint from your skin.
5. Add two teaspoons of vanilla essence to one-and-a-half litres of paint to reduce overbearing paint smells.
6. Make threading a needle easier by squirting the thread with hairspray to make it stiff.
7. To remove old paint stains, soften with linseed oil and then wipe off. For tough stains, use a razor blade and scrape off.
8. Use double-sided tape to stop rugs from slipping.
9. Dip scissors in boiling water to make it easier to cut through delicate fabrics.
10. Use dental floss to quiet a dripping tap until you can get it fixed. Tie one end of the floss around the tap and the other end of the dental floss down the drain. The drips travel along the thread instead of dripping into the sink.
11. To prevent paint dripping onto the floor, glue a paper plate to the bottom of the paint can. The plate should be five to eight centimetres wider than the can so it can catch drips.
12. To cover scratches on wood furniture or floorboards, make a thick paste of instant coffee and a little water. Rub it into the nicks and scratches. You may need to apply several layers before the scratch is covered. Allow to dry, and then apply a layer of furniture polish. Shoe polish is an excellent alternative and comes in a variety of colours.
13. To prevent screws from coming loose, put a drop or two of clear nail polish into the hole before you finish tightening the screw.
14. To remove small dents in unvarnished wood, wet the area with a small amount of water then cover with brown paper and apply a hot iron for a short period. The heat evaporates the water, while the steam expands the squashed wood fibres back to their original level.
15. To keep paint fresh, add four tablespoons of methylated spirits, seal and store. Do not stir until using paint again.