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12 essential tools for your DIY decorating toolbox

Posted by Adrian
April 4th, 2011

Toolbox graphic

Tools you should have in your toolbox

The following is a basic list of tools you should consider having in your decorating toolbox, you may need more than those listed but these are really the twelve essentials to get you started. This list doesn’t include sundries such as sandpaper.

Dustsheet, heavy and light

Dustsheets are needed to cover over furniture and flooring, they can be heavy weight or lightweight or even plastic disposable ones depending on the job they are required for.


You may find having more than one scraper of use, a thin bladed one for things like opening cracks and a wider one for filling cracks, scraping walls and ceilings and removing wallpaper.


A selection of screwdrivers would be useful for removing things such as shelves, door furniture and electrical items* such as wall lights, ceiling lights, switches and sockets.

Sharp knife

This can be used to open tubes of decorators caulk, packets of filler and wallpaper paste and for cutting wallpaper, or even to sharpen your pencil !!

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How to fill cracks

Posted by Adrian
April 20th, 2010

Graphic of scraper

How to fill crack to walls and ceilings

As many of you know who have done decorating before, preparation is key. Filling holes and cracks, and finishing them well, gives a far better finish. This is a how to guide on filling cracks. These can be on interior or exterior walls or ceilings, the principle is the same.

To start, gather the equipment needed.

You will need:

  • Dustsheets – To cover floor and furniture
  • A scraper – To apply filler
  • Sand/Glass paper – To rub down dried filler
  • A dusting brush – This could be a 3 inch brush
  • Powder filler – To fill the crack
  • PVA sealer – Optional

A quick note before you get started, decorators caulk is not suitable for filling these type of cracks, decorators caulk cannot be rubbed down and is only meant for gaps such as those around skirting boards and door frames.

Firstly you need to open up the crack slightly to enable filler to be applied. Use the edge of the scraper and run it down the crack, your aim is to make a ‘V’ shape by opening both sides of the crack.

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How to solve problems with cracks around the ceiling

Posted by Adrian
March 24th, 2010

Photo of cracked ceiling line

Cracking ceiling

The problem

Movement in the ceiling or walls often causes cracks around the ceiling line as they expand and contract. Raking out the crack and filling can solve the problem as can applying decorator’s caulk to the crack. Both of these solutions may only be a short-term fix.

Houses are ‘living’ things and naturally expand and contract with the heat and cold, modern houses are often built with stud interior walls, in other words are made from timber and plasterboard, these naturally move over time.

Other causes of these types of cracks could be house settlement, especially on new builds or extensions. They are nothing to worry about.
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