The 15 Best DIY Tips




1. To avoid getting paint on the floor, glue a paper plate to the bottom of the paint can. The plate should be five to eight centimeters wider than the can so it can catch drips.

2. To cover any 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, then apply a layer of furniture polish. Shoe polish is an excellent alternative and comes in a variety of colours. It works a treat.

3. Fix a squeaky door by sprinkling talcum powder on the hinges. This also works great for squeaky floorboards.

4. To keep paint fresh, all you need to do is add four tablespoons of methylated spirits, then seal and store. Do not stir until using paint again.

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.

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. To stop rugs from slipping, use double-sided tape.

9. Dip scissors in boiling water to make it easier to cut through delicate fabrics.

10. Reduce the overbearing paint smells by adding two teaspoons of vanilla essence to one-and-a-half litres of paint.

11. 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.

12. If you tease a thread free from material, and then pull it completely out from the cotton, it will create a straight line that you can follow to cut.

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 any 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. Use baby oil to remove paint from your skin.

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