Five DIY tips for Easter

Why not get painting this Easter weekend? Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos
Why not get painting this Easter weekend? Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

1. Prep a room. A long weekend should be more than enough time to repaint a room, but when there’s prep involved, it can take much longer than you think.

If you want to paint walls that were wallpapered, it’s common to discover all kinds of problems once the wallpaper is removed, including damp and blown plaster. Filling and sanding can go a long way to improving less-than-perfect walls, but only if they’re not too bad.

For some walls, only replastering will do and sometimes it’s necessary to remove the plaster and start again, doing a waterproof render first if the brickwork is damp. When painting newly plastered walls, remember to seal the plaster before applying emulsion. A popular way to do this is with watered-down emulsion, although I prefer to use No Nonsense Trade Bare Plaster Paint (£16.79 for 10ltr, Screwfix) because it’s less drippy.

2. Paint a room. If you’ve already done the prep, or there’s not much prep to do, a long weekend is plenty of time to paint a room, although it does depend on whether you’re painting every surface or just some of them.

If you want to paint over a dark wall colour with a paler one, you’ll probably save time and effort by using a basecoat emulsion before the topcoat emulsion.

Basecoats are white and one of their main benefits is that they cover strong colours in fewer coats than standard emulsions. Some emulsions cover better than others - as a general rule, the cheapest ones don’t cover well, so while you don’t need to spend a lot to get a good paint, budget ranges can be a false economy.

3. Wallpaper a room. Wallpapering isn’t the easiest DIY job, but once you’ve mastered it, it’s a good way to transform a room in a weekend with colour and/or pattern. If the walls aren’t in the best condition, wallpaper should help to disguise it - textured wallpapers are ideal, but ones with a sheen should be avoided.

You can also, of course, use lining paper on walls to improve their appearance without replastering. To make a statement, do a wallpaper feature wall and paint the other walls a matching, tonal or contrasting colour.

4. Sand floorboards. Hiring an industrial floor sander and an edger (for sanding around the edges of the room) isn’t the most relaxing way to spend the Easter weekend, but you can create a stunning new floor by turning tatty old floorboards into beautiful sanded and varnished ones. It’s hot, hard and dusty work though, and sanders aren’t the easiest machines to use.

For a quicker way to transform floorboards, paint them. Providing the boards aren’t too rough, you can sand them with a hand sander - once they’re cleaned and primed, you’re ready to paint. Water-based floor paints dry quickly and so are ideal if you need to use the room again soon, although you’ll have to do several coats of white to avoid a patchy finish.

5. Freshen-up woodwork. Oil-based white wood paints tend to yellow over time, sometimes in no time at all in rooms with little or no natural light. For woodwork that stays white, use water-based versions, which are mostly available in satin and eggshell finishes.

Like floor paints, white water-based wood paints don’t cover particularly well (compared to oil-based ones), but because the paint dries quickly, you can do several coats in a day or two (other colours usually cover in two coats).

Old oil-based wood paints tend to need a sand to take the gloss off them. Painting them with a good wood primer-undercoat (see Products of the Week) also makes the surface more matt and helps subsequent coats of paint adhere better.

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes