A lick of paint can transform exterior walls, but it’s not as simple as you might think.
n The perfect conditions for decorating the exterior of your home are dry, warm and overcast weather, as high temperatures can cause paint to blister.
n Use good quality paint suitable for exterior walls. Look for products with added extras, such as fungicide to inhibit mould growth, and that come with a guarantee. New rendering and masonry with a chalky feel should be sealed with a stabilising solution first. Before painting, fill any cracks and holes with exterior filler, clean off any mould and dirt, and use a scraper and sander/sandpaper on any flaking paint.
n Cover the garden adjoining the house with plastic dustsheets to protect it from paint splashes. You may also want to mask off the gutting and woodwork when painting the walls.
n Work across the building from left to right, or right to left, painting a section at a time. Do the top half and then the bottom half, repeating for each section of wall. Don’t stop painting in the middle of a section because the joins may show.
n If you’re using a ladder, don’t take any risks with your safety. Start by erecting the ladder correctly - for every 4m you extend it, it should be 1m away from the house, forming a 75-degree angle. The ladder should also sit on flat, firm and stable ground. Secure the ladder at both the top (to the house) and bottom (to the ground) as you work across the house. If you have to rest the top of the ladder against a window, fix a piece of wood across the window first to take the weight. Never lean across when working on a ladder - always move it so you can reach without stretching.
DIY news bulletin
n B&Q has made its website, www.diy.com, easier to use on mobile devices such as smartphones. The navigation and structure of the site were geared to browsing on a desktop computer, but not any more.
Smartphone customers can now browse and shop quickly, with minimum clicks, enjoying improved on-the-move access to everything on the site, including next-day delivery for around 15,000 products, and reserve and collect for in-store products.
n If you have repairs to do, check out Gorilla Glues, which come in handy for all sorts of jobs around the home and garden. Original Gorilla Glue can be used indoors and out on lots of different materials, including wood, metal, stone and glass.
It’s waterproof, resistant to hot and cold temperatures, and expands after application to go further. It can even be sanded, painted and stained when set. A great all-round glue.
Super glues can be unpleasant - and even dangerous - to use, but not Gorilla Super Glue. It contains unique rubber particles for a less brittle bond and has a clever anti-clog top with a metal pin, so you don’t have the hassle of unblocking it every time you use it.
It dries in 30 to 60 seconds (there’s no need for a clamp) and is a really good consistency, so application is easy.
For wood, there’s versatile Gorilla Wood Glue, which is suitable for hardwoods, softwoods and wood composites.
It’s nice to use because it’s water based and non-toxic, and only needs to be clamped for 20-30 minutes (leave it to cure for 24 hours).
For more information on Gorilla Glue, visit www.gorillaglue.com
Ask the expert...
Q: I moved into a new flat recently and after a week or so of using the shower, which is over the bath, a crack appeared along the top of the back wall of tiles and now some of them are buckling. What should I do?
A: If the tiles are buckling, you’ll have to remove them because water’s got behind them. Take off any that aren’t adhered properly and replace them, or remove the whole wall of tiles and start from scratch. To be on the safe side, silicone-seal along the top of all the tiles to stop this from happening again.
To clean grubby exterior walls before painting, use a pressure washer, such as the Cotech 90 Pressure Washer, Clas Ohlson. It comes with a detergent bottle and has a long turbo nozzle lance and power lead and a 5m pressure hose for flexibility. Just connect it to your garden hose and away you go - it has automatic start/stop and is simple to use.