Make it a DIY weekend

THESE five projects can all be done in a long weekend, so why not give one or two of them a go?

THESE five projects can all be done in a long weekend, so why not give one or two of them a go?

n Decorate a room. Some rooms are easier to decorate than others, so whether you can do this job from start to finish in four days will depend on how much decorating and preparation you need to do (and how well you do it), as well as how big the room is. The important thing to remember is to work from the ceiling down so you don’t ruin anything you’ve already done. Emulsion dries pretty quickly and if you’re painting the woodwork, make sure you use quick-drying wood paint.

n Sand a wooden floor. Your local tool-hire shop may not be open on bank holidays, so if it isn’t, make sure you pick up the equipment you need - an industrial floor sander and edger - the day before. If your floorboards are really black, you may not be able to finish this job in a long weekend, but otherwise it’s perfectly possible, providing you put your back into it and use quick-drying floor varnish. Check the instructions on the tin because it may be several days before you can put your furniture on the varnished floor.

n Tile a bathroom. The problem with removing old tiles is that you can take the plaster off with them, leaving a wall that needs a lot of filling and sanding, or even replastering. If your walls are in a good state, or you’re tiling over the existing tiles, tiling a bathroom can certainly be done in four days (use quick-drying adhesive/grout if you’re doing the floor). The trickiest bit of tiling is cutting the tiles, so invest in a suitable diamond-wheel tile cutter, which will chew through them quickly and easily.

n Paint a wooden floor. While wooden floorboards you’re going to paint don’t have to be sanded to the same degree as ones you’re going to varnish, it is best to sand them first (with sandpaper or a hand sander, if you don’t want to hire a floor sander) so the paint adheres better. Painted floorboards are prone to chipping, so reduce the risk of this by applying a number of coats of quick-drying wood primer and undercoat, or a combined product, diluting the first coat with a little white spirit so it sinks in better. Your floor paint should also be quick drying - refer to the instructions on the tin to see how long it takes to reach full hardness.

n Lay a patio. Providing you’ve already got your paving material, planned your design and done the groundwork, four days should be enough to lay your patio, as long as it’s not too large. Lay the base (such as compacted hardcore) for the patio first, then the paving material and, at least two days later, finish off by pointing the joints.

Ask the expert...

Q: How can I give my old metal garden planters a new look?

A: If they’re made of copper, brass or galvanised metal, try Hammerite Direct to Galvanised Metal Paint. It comes in six colours - no primer needed.

Seasonal task...

Spruce up your shed this bank holiday weekend and enter it in Cuprinol’s National Shed of the Year competition for a potentially money-making project.