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Cleaning a paint brush

Posted by admin
October 17th, 2019

Paint Brush

Cleaning a paint brush

Whether you are a professional painter and decorator, a hobbyist or DIYer you will need to clean paint brushes at some point. Brushes range hugely in prices depending on size and quality from just a few pence to several pounds. You may prefer to simply throw them out when you are done, but is that really cost effective? If you spend the best part of £20 on a brush do you really want to throw it away after just one use?

You could store them in a storage product, but this is OK if you intend to use the brush again in the short term and in the same colour. If you are not going to use a brush say within 3-6 months and use a different colour your best bet is to clean out the brush and store it correctly, this way your brush will last for far longer and be in tip top condition giving a good finish every time you use it.

Cleaning and storing your paint brush

Before you clean or store your paint brushes you need to be aware of the type of paint you have been using, either water or oil based, as this will determine how you clean or store your brushes.

Whichever type of paint you have used, remove as much paint from your brush as possible.

Cleaning brushes – water based paints

Run the brush under a running tap, have the bristles facing downwards to prevent washing paint further in the brush where it could dry and go hard. Wash it out until the water runs clear, you can use some mild soap to help remove colour from the bristles and a brush comb to remove any stubborn paint.

Once all the paint has been removed, store in the original package or sleeve or wrapped in kitchen towel or paper to prevent the bristles from splaying out.

Cleaning brushes – Oil based paints

Oil based paint requires a slightly different approach to cleaning than water based paints. Oil based paints need a solvent to break down to oils in the paint allowing it to come out of the brush, unlike water based paints that can simply be removed with water.

To clean oil based paints from brushes, remove as much paint from the brush as possible by wiping it on the edge of the paint can. Then you will need to use white spirit or a brush cleaner to wash the brush in, this will dissolve the paint within the brush. You may have to do this a couple of times with clean white spirit or brush cleaner to get the paint out. Once the paint is removed you can use a brush comb to remove any hardened paint from the bristles, then wash in warm soapy water and once all the white spirit or brush cleaner has been washed out you should store the brush in its original packaging or paper towel to keep the bristles straight and in good condition, ready for it’s next use.

Paint brush and paint brush in cover

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Latest Interior Design Trends

Posted by admin
September 24th, 2019

Latest Interior Design Trends

Design trends come and go in the housing market, making it challenging to know what’s in and what’s already on the way out. This year has been no different in interior design crazes across the entire spectrum of home types and sizes, regardless of whether a dwelling is owned or let. Several design fads of the recent past have moved down the list of desirable looks within the home. Minimalism has departed as the go-to trend, as have all-white kitchens and baths. Instead, homeowners and letters are focused on bigger, bolder designs that showcase personality in every way possible.

Maximalism

Over the last several months, a clear shift away from the minimalist culture in home interior design has taken place. Instead of keeping décor to a minimum and colors muted and calming, buyers and renters are turning their attention toward personalisation in their design choices. At its core, maximalism involves the inclusion of lots of colours, either through painted walls, artwork, decorations, or a combination of all three. Additionally, the maximalist trend encompasses more of what one wants in a home, not less. This craze is all about bringing personality and some degree of noise into the home, all while keeping it classy and organised within a space.

Bolder, Bigger Kitchens and Baths

As a nod to the maximalist trend, bigger, bolder kitchens and baths are making a comeback. This can be seen clearly in recent property listings, such as though showcased by letting agent Mayfair in London. Higher-end homes are focused on opulence in these all-important spaces, included design trends such as a showpiece bathtub or grand fixtures. Adding to the bolder feel, some kitchens and baths are leaning toward darker cabinetry. It is not uncommon to see all black furnishings in these spaces, complemented with bright tiles on the floors and backsplashes. Kitchens and baths are also growing in size, with some homes now pushing the limits on how much space can be used for these rooms.

interior kitchen photo

Patterned Walls and Décor

Another interior design trend making its way onto the list for this year is patterned walls and décor. Although wallpaper has made a slow and deliberate comeback over the last decade, it has done so in an interesting way. Instead of the floral and pastel design choices of 20 years ago, wallpaper selections now include more geometrical features and bolder patterns.
The colours are also getting brighter, and in some cases, darker, highlighting the now necessary personalisation factor in design movements. Home décor is following suit, leaning more toward patterns in accent pieces like pillows, throws, and artwork.

Natural and Sustainable Trends

Aside from colours, patterns, and personalisation in décor, design trends these days are also rushing toward natural and sustainable textures and features. For instance, many properties listed for sale in middle to high-end markets are showcasing natural light throughout bedrooms, kitchens, and baths alike. The inclusion of the outdoors inside is also becoming widely popular, as plants that promote air purity are increasingly seen inside the home.
Some designers are also encompassing nature into interior décor, bringing features such as vertical gardens inside the house.

While interior design trends do not always last for years on end, it seems the longstanding minimalist movement is on the way out. Homeowners and letters are more focused on maximising their space in a way that proves personality and boldness in many different ways. From brighter colours to exciting artwork and patterned décor, the current home interior design movements focused on maximalism may be here to stay for some time.

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How to fix squeaky floorboards

Posted by admin
September 23rd, 2019

How to fix squeaky and creaking floorboards

You know how it is, you creep home late at night and head up to bed trying not to wake the family, then squeak the floorboards make a noise like the floor is falling through and wakes the family, not a good scenario but one fairly common I would guess.
Floorboards with support on joist

If you suffer from squeaky and creaking floorboards it can not only wake the family as I jokingly mentioned above it can just be annoying. Well thankfully it isn’t too much of a problem to fix them for any handyman or DIY enthusiast.
Floorboards not on a joist

What causes squeaky floorboards

Squeaky floorboards are caused mainly by badly fitting boards. If the boards are taken up to run electrical cables or pipework and are not put back properly, or the boards nailed back using the old nails in the old nail holes which means the nails don’t have a tight fit on the board and allow for them to move and squeak. Sometimes the end of the boards are not sitting on a joist and can move rubbing against the floorboards next to it.

Another reason for squeaky floorboards is simply that the boards have dried out and the nails are no longer holding the board down tight enough or the boards have moved and are rubbing together, whatever the reason you should be able to fix the problem.

How to fix squeaky floorboards

The first thing to do is to remove the floor covering, or part of it if you can’t fully clear the room. Once the floor covering has been removed you need to tread the boards, walk around and identify the squeaks and creaks and mark the boards where the noise is with a pencil. Do this over the entire floor.

Now go back and look at each mark you have made and identify what the problem is, for just boards that are rubbing together, you can either remove a board and plane a little off the edge, or try adding some talcum powder or chalk dust between the two rubbing boards to help movement between the two boards.

If the boards seem to be moving around the nails at the end of the boards, you need to screw these down. Don’t just put a screw in though as you may go through an electrical cable or a pipe, you may have to lift the board to see what is underneath first. Remove the nails and drill pilot holes next too the old nail holes so not to split the wood and then put a screw in making sure it pulls the board down tight.

If the board is split at the end, you may have to replace that board, or you may be able to lift it and turn it round so the other end is under the skirting board.

If the end of the board isn’t supported on a joist you will have to lift the board and put in a support. This can be done by lifting the unsupported board and fitting a length of 2×1 (50mm x 25mm) under the boards, ideally fixing it to a joist with screws. If a joist isn’t near, screw through the floorboards under either side of the unsupported one fixing the support to the underside of the boards, then re-fix the previously unsupported board and screw this board into the timber support you have fitted.

Do I need a new floor

Depending on how the floorboards have been lifted and cut will depend on if you need to replace boards or not, as mentioned above you may be able to lift a board and turn it around so the damaged end goes under the skirting, or even under furniture that doesn’t move. On the whole squeaky and creaking floorboards can be rectified.

Floorboards screwed down

How to lift floorboards

To lift floorboards you can use a club hammer and a wide bladed chisel such as a cold chisel or by using a crowbar. Prise the board up from one side then the other, be careful not to split the board, once you have the board slightly lifted up lay a piece of timber underneath to hold the end up and continue working along the board and moving the timber support as you go. If the floorboards are tongue and groove, you will need to cut the tongue off first in order not to damage the grove on the board next to it.

Safety First

Always remember to check under the floorboards for pipework and electrical cables before nailing or screwing down the floorboards, this will avoid driving a nail or screw through them. It is always a good idea to mark on the floorboards where the cables and pipes run under the floor, you can do this by using a pencil or better still a permanent marker pen. By marking the floor you will know where the cables and pipes run if you remove the floor covering or wish to run new pipework or cables in the future.

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