Home Improvement – Cutting Corners!

home improvement

It is often said that today, people have less time and even less money than previous generations. Relatively speaking that statement may have some merit; however, homeowners still want a home that looks like a magazine show-home. Therefore, it is heartwarming to know that significant money and time can be easily saved by the endeavours of a keen DIY novice. They will gain the added benefit of feeling great by decorating like a real professional. Read on and find out how the professional decorators cut corners every day. Don’t get the painters in!

The Kitchen

kitchen improvement

Always plan out what should be done first. It sounds simple, but this is very important. For example; does the existing kitchen need replacing or is there still life left in it for a few more years, even though it looks a little tired? Once the decision is made to keep or install a new kitchen then plans can be made accordingly.

If budget is an issue, then the new kitchen project is parked to one side, while the concept of just replacing the existing old handles with some new modern handles is considered. To replace the handles means taking one of the original handles to a door and handle specialist store. Life will be easier if you try to replace the old handles with new ones of the same size. New handles will make the existing kitchen look dramatically fresher and more stylish.

If it is decided that just replacing the handles will not be enough to change the overall effect, then consider step two: paint the kitchen cupboard doors. Once the handles are on order, concentrate on painting the cupboard doors. By performing a little DIY quite a lot of cash will be saved, with the added bonus of making a massive improvement to the kitchen and providing a sense of satisfaction.

Painting the Kitchen Cupboards Doors

Copy the professionals by following this easy plan:

  • Remove the doors from the cupboard wall – they are usually fitted with Phillips screws. Leave the hinges fitted to the door.
  • Place the doors flat on a suitable floor covering, (newspapers are ideal) in a well ventilated room, (use a garage or a room with the windows open).
  • Clean the door with a good kitchen cleaner. Use nice, but inexpensive gloss paint, (choose a modern, bold colour that makes a statement; I recommend British Pillar-box Red), use a cheap 12” roller and starting from the centre, in an up and down motion, paint the door. Use the paint sparingly as it may run. Let the coat dry and then re-apply with three more coats with the roller.
  • When dry, paint with a very fine 2” brush with two coats of clear gloss polyurethane.
  • When the cupboard door is dry, afix the new handles and then refit the cupboard doors to the cupboards. Depending on the type of hinge, some levelling adjustments may be required. This is relatively easy and a trial and error technique is used.
  • When all the doors are fitted just stand back, admire the professional job and smile!

This fix-up is easy and inexpensive, and will look a million dollars.

The Bathroom

bathroom improvement

Is the sealant around the bath or shower mouldy? If a professional decorator was employed they would remove all the sealant and replace with an expensive, off the shelf product. However, if this problem was in their own home they would follow the following technique first:

  • Wear a pair of rubber gloves.
  • Roll up a piece of kitchen paper and lay it straight on top of the sealant.
  • Pour a teaspoon at a time of mild bleach on the paper, leave for 10 minutes, remove the tissue paper and dispose of in a plastic bag.
  • Rinse the sealant with cold water.
  • Rub any remaining mould spots with a slice if lemon.

Sounds easy…it is! If in the future, the mould spots return just reach for the lemon juice again.

How to Make Paint Go Further

decorating projects

Mix it all up! After a few years of decorating projects, the amateur DIY practitioner will generally have collections of quarter-full tins of paint, stacked in paint lockers and on shelves in their garage or garden shed. Eventually the paint will dry up and have to be disposed of in an environmentally sympathetic manner. Remember the less air in a tin the less likely a thick paint skin will form on top of it, therefore pour remnants of paint into smaller tins.

Better still, follow what the professionals do, namely, they look for paint of the same type and mix it together to form a new colour. For example, collect all the gloss paint and mix, same for silk, eggshell and matte. Matte paints are water-based and gloss-oil based. Once the paint is mixed, pour into a clean tin with a good sealing lid, paint on a sample of the new colour (a stripe right around the tin), and use for the next project! If more paint is created than is needed and the paint job is completed then go around the house looking for more projects.

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