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Decorating Tips

Tips and Advice

Feel free to check out our tips and advice to help you with your decorating at home. Click on one of the boxes to expand it:

How to decorate new woodwork

These are the stages necessary to decorate new woodwork:

1) Give it all a quick sand with 80 grade paper to remove all the worst rough edges. Also sand all of the 90 degree angles because paint will not hold to them.

2) Apply knotting solution to all knots, preferably 2 coats. it dries in 20 minutes so can be done pretty quickly.

3) Fill all larger holes (ie screw holes) using a 2 part filler – known in the business as 2-pac. After 30 minutes this can be sanded flat.

4) All of the smaller holes (nail holes) can be filled with any ordinary filler. These can be sanded after 2 hours or so.

4) Apply 1 coat of high quality water based primer. Probably the best stuff to use is the Blue Zinsser primer.

5) Caulk all gaps (top of skirting boards , check for any further sanding required. Reprime any remaining bare wood.

6) Apply 2 coats of your finishing coat. If you are glossing apply an oil based undercoat first.

Repairing exterior woodwork

There are quite a few shortcuts to repairing exterior wood. If anyone is using anything other than a two part woodfiller they are probably doing it on the cheap. However, although it is a good product the 2-pac (as it is known) is not really that brilliant a solution. It sets hard and doesn’t flex with the movement of the wood so you always seem to get cracks appearing and then after a couple of years the water starts getting in and rotting the wood.

The best solution is to use repaircare products. They dry like a fibreglass finish and stick permanently to the wood. They are an expensive solution (the stuff costs £35 a tube and you have to buy the adhesive with it which also costs a lot) but if it’s done properly you should get a solution that is guaranteed for 10 years.

The best exterior filler

The very best exterior filler is Toupret Murex. It isn’t used a lot by decorators because it is expensive and because it is very hard to sand. So once applied you need to leave it for half an hour or so and then wash it down with a wet sponge. But it’s an incredibly hard and long lasting product.

How to decorate outsides

5 Rules for outside decorating:

1. Use an angle grinder to open up all cracks before filling. The filler will last much longer. But make sure you always use protective glasses with them.

2. Use Toupret exterior masonry filler as your filler. It is what anyone who knows what they are doing will use.

3. If wood is very rotten have it replaced. Filling large sections of wood will never last.

4. Use the Dulux Weathershield system to decorate wood. Got to their website to read up on it.

5. I don’t really believe that it matters so much which masonry paint you use. I usually use Dulux Weathershield masonry paint but I’m sure that Sandtex know what they are doing.

6. Use Hammerite on metal. it doesn’t come out quite as shiny as using a gloss but it protects the metal better.

7. If you are going to paint plastic paint it with masonry paint not gloss. Most instructions will say use gloss but masonry paint is far less likely to peel and crack.

Painting ceilings white

White is the hardest paint to get onto walls and often requires more than the two coats that other colours would require. There is no hard and fast solution to this problem but I recommend that you use Dulux Fast Matt. This covers better than any other paint and is ideal for ceilings. It is not really suitable for walls since it has no vinyl in it (therefore much harder to clean) although you can use it on walls as a first coat.

Looking after paint

If you use some paint and then want to keep the rest for a future date then you should do the following: When you first open the paint wipe the lid as dry as possible. Then it is best to decant the paint into another vessel while you use it. this prevents the build up of paint on the rim of the tin (as you wipe your brush on it) and also on the lid. After your paint has been in storage for a year or two and is then opened it won’t have gathered chunks of dried paint which then fall into the paint making it difficult to use.

Shop in decorator’s shops

The reason that decorators shop in decorator’s shops is because you are getting much better quality products than you get in B&Q and Homebase. In the DIY shops everything is geared towards price. Just to give one example the paint that you buy off the shelf in the DIY stores is cheaper because it is watered down. That means that you will have to apply more coats and therefore end up spending more money on more paint and then it takes more time to do the job. The Decorator’s shops (Brewers, Dulux or Johnstone Leyland for example) all compete hard against each other on price so actually offer better value. So it’s why we go there. And I’m sure the same applies to electrical shops and plumber’s merchants and so on.

Covering damp

On walls and ceilings if you have had damp coming through if you just paint over that damp it will keep coming through. This doesn’t mean that there is still damp, but it needs to be treated. The best product to use is Zinsser Bin30 which is available in all specialist decorator’s shops as well as B&Q the last time I was there. Use an old disposable brush as it is very hard to clean off brushes and apply 2 coats of Zinsser. it only takes an hour to dry in between coats. Decorate as normal afterwards.

Colour inspiration

If you are looking for a neutral colour with a bit of yellow in it but not too much, try Jasmine White. It looks very classy in my opinion.

Looking for a plumber?

An excellent plumber has just moved to Brighton. See him at www.gorillaplumbing.co.uk.

Need a tiler?

If you are looking for an excellent tiler go to www.brightontiler.co.uk. Ogi is brilliant.

If you need a decorator in London

I can recommend www.curzondecor.com.

A good carpenter

James Wright is an excellent carpenter based in Lewes. If you need a chippy please go to www.carpenterinlewes.co.uk.

Excellent cleaning company

I have started using a cleaning company where we need proper hardcore equipment to get things clean and I can highly recommend them. They can be found at www.carpet-doctors.co.uk.

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