5 DIY tasks to tick off right now
If you’re one of the 33% of Brits who doesn’t know where to start, DIY can be easier said than done. Luckily, for those who don’t know their flatheads from their Philips, the experts at Victorian Plumbing have put together a handy guide to the five simplest DIY tasks you can take on right now.
1. Reseal your bath
If unsightly sealant is ruining your bathtime bliss, it might be time to reseal. Sealant rots over time, which aside from looking unpleasant, can cause problematic leaks. Luckily, replacing sealant is easy – though you’ll need a cartridge gun! Firstly, use a Stanley knife to remove the old sealant, slicing through the top and bottom edges at one end before gently pulling the sealant from the wall. It should come out easily, but make sure to scrape off any excess.
Fill your bath before resealing so the gaps between bath and tile are at their largest. Then with the cartridge gun, simply fill the gap in one smooth, consistent motion. Leave to dry for a day before you use the tub again.
Expert tip: practise using the cartridge gun following a line on a piece of paper before you take on the tub.
2. Hang pictures
Hanging pictures is very straightforward, and requires very few tools – all you’ll need is a hammer and a nail. In fact, this is one of the easiest DIY skills to master so it’s great for beginners. The trick is to know exactly where you’ll be putting the nail before you even pick up the hammer. Have a friend or family member hold the picture frame where you want it, and lightly mark the top centre edge, then use a ruler to work down from there.
Expert tip: catch falling dust by using a folded over sticky-note as little trough.
3. Repaint wooden furniture
If you were looking to start experimenting with upscaling, repainting an old table is a great way to start. You’ll save money too, and painting is one of the most soothing DIY tasks you can take on.
Start by laying down a cloth to catch any excess paint – you’ll be surprised how many people forget to do this – and then sand down the table using a flexible foam sanding sponge or thick sanding paper.
Seal the wood with a primer once you’ve finished sanding, but make sure you leave it to dry for an hour. Then paint in your colour of choice. You’ll need two coats. Repainting or even refinishing wooden furniture is a fantastic way to revitalise tired pieces and a great alternative to buying replacements.
Expert tip: between coats, put your paintbrush in a plastic bag and stash it in the fridge. It’ll stay moist for the next day.
4. Tackle leaky taps
The problem here is usually the rubber washer. To test if yours is at fault, you’ll need to attach a different tap and see if the problem persists. Look on Youtube to see how to remove your model of tap – usually, the screw you’ll need is under the hot and cold caps or behind the sink.
If the problem persists, you’ll need to order a new washer online, but these are relatively cheap. Plus, getting to grips with taps is one of the easiest ways to broaden your plumbing horizons – you’ll be replacing showers in no time!
Expert tip: always remember to shut off the water before you start plumbing jobs!
5. Fix cracks
Fixing cracks is one of the easiest DIY tasks, and an easy way to spruce a room. It’s best to fill these cracks with something called caulk, which you can get pretty cheap online. Once you’ve got the caulk, filling cracks couldn’t be easier – just make sure to smooth off any excess. Cracks in walls will only get bigger if left, especially around doorframes and windows – so get the problem sorted early.
Expert tip: if you’ve got a really big hole in the wall, don’t be afraid to pad it with newspaper before filling with caulk. The newspaper gives the filler something to grab onto!
Featured image: A lesson in how to make the most of a small bathroom by Zoe of @the_pink_door_terrace using a classic black and white combo. Design highlights include the matt black brassware from @victorianplumbinguk.
Want more? Don’t miss our other blogs on improving your home using paint.