15 DIY Tips for Everyone

Sometimes the best fixes are the simplest. We’ve put together a list of 15 everyday D.I.Y. tips from our instore experts.

1. Measure twice and cut once

This may sound like an obvious one, but it’s a surprisingly common mistake. It always pays to double-check your measurements to make sure they are accurate before you cut.

2. Rub the edge of your saw with soap

Make your sawing easier and smoother by rubbing soap on the cutting edge of your saw. You can also rub soap on the head of your screws to make them easier to screw in.

3. Always unwind extension cords

It pays to not take any risks with electricity; coiled cables get hot and can cause fires. Be careful where you run your cords. It’s a good idea to run them along a wall or tape them down to avoid tripping over them.

4. Avoid washing paintbrushes between coats

Instead wrap them tightly in cling film or plastic bags, this will keep them moist until the next coat.

5. Stop your tools from rusting

Store a piece of blackboard chalk in each compartment of your tool box that contains a metal tool. The chalk will absorb the moisture and reduce the chances of rust forming.

6. Always wear proper safety glasses

No matter what D.I.Y. you’re doing around the home, if it involves any kind of sawdust or flying particles, be sure to wear safety glasses. When selecting them, make sure they’re tight fitting and fit the contours of your face.

7. Protect chrome plumbing fittings from tool marks

If you need to tighten chrome shower or tap fittings, wrap the chrome in duct or electrical tape first to stop your wrench leaving marks.

8. Replacing a missing glue cap

If your glue cap goes missing during a job, simply find a screw that’s about the same size as the nozzle and screw it in.

9. Removing painted over screws

Using a pair of pliers, heat a small piece of wire with a lighter or match, and then use it to melt the paint out of the screw head.

10. Screwing into stripped out holes

If a hole is too big for a screw, fill it with a couple of matches or toothpicks first. Then gently place in your screw and tighten it with a screwdriver.

11. Smooth caulk

When sealing joints or seams with caulking, simply run your finger along it for a smooth finish. For latex caulk, wet your fingertip with water then run it along the bead. For silicone caulk, use a pair of tight fitting rubber gloves and wet the tip of your finger with methylated spirits.

12. Protecting paint while removing nails

When using a claw hammer to remove a nail, criss-cross a couple of rubber bands across the claw to protect the finish of the surface you’re removing the nail from.

13. Cleaning grout

Use a steam cleaner to bring grout stains to the surface where they can be easily wiped away.

14. Re-using paint thinner

Clean oil based paint from brushes by placing it in a jar filled with paint thinner. Once the brush is clean, cover the jar and wait for the paint and thinner to separate. Once it has, scoop out the clarified thinner into another jar then seal. Leave the dirty jar open to dry out, and then dispose of responsibly.

15. Get free advice

If you’re ever not sure of what to do with a job, the best thing to do is get some advice from someone with experience. You can find a lot of Home Improvement, Home Decor or DIY advices on our website. For example, for Flooring How-To, you can go here: How To Flooring