Common Household Problems Fixed in a Flash

Common household problems – things like bumps and holes in the walls, scuffs on the walls from shoes being kicked off or even just drawers stuck on their runners – can be a real pain in the neck. But luckily, you don’t need to call a handy man in to fix all these little jobs. You can do it yourself far more easily than you might think, without any special “tools“.


  • If there are tiny little holes in the walls but you don’t have any caulk or filler, you can use toothpaste. Yep, really. If it’s a white wall, just smooth a little bit of toothpaste into the hole and even out with the tip of your finger. If your walls are painted, you can still use toothpaste – let it dry and then paint with a matching colour.
  • To clean rust – it might sound obvious – but you’ll need a rust cleaning powder. Sprinkle it around the effected area, dampen the rough side of a regular dish sponge and scrub gently to remove the rust in tiny little black flakes. Regular cleaning and regular use of a rust cleaning product should prevent it, too.
  • If you have scuffs on the wall due to kicked off shoes or furniture dragging where it shouldn’t, you can easily clean it off with a half and half solution of white vinegar and water, again, using the abrasive side of a regular dish sponge to buff away the marks. The place will smell vinegary for a while, but at least you won’t have to repaint!
  • Dressers that get stuck on runners are incredibly annoying – especially if you have to put up a fight with your chest of drawers every time you want to grab an item of clothing. You can either use something like WD40 to oil the runners so that they run smoothly, or if you don’t have any, just rub an unscented candle onto the runners to lubricate them.
  • Want a new loo seat? They’re easy to replace – just measure your existing toilet seat, unscrew the nuts on either side of the toilet seat, chuck the old one out, then put the new one in place and just use the same screws to fix it into position. Easy peasy.
  • If your sofa is sagging and the cushions practically sitting on the floor, you can easily sort it out without having to resort to a new sofa or re-upholstery. Buy some plywood, with a smooth side, measure it to the size of the cushion, then pop smooth side up underneath the cushion – it’ll give it extra support.

Source: The Nest

DIY Tips: How to Remove Plaster to Expose Brickwork

Architectural style – plenty of glass, stripped back walls, concrete or wooden floors and lots and lots of steel is fast becoming one of the most popular interior design trends out there. Unsurprisingly, really, as it’s easy to maintain and is pretty much effortless – just hang a few pieces of abstract art and you’re good to go. Exposed brickwork also looks stunning in period properties. So how do you go about removing plaster and exposing the brickwork underneath? This tutorial will show you how.

Things You’ll Need:

  • plastic sheets
  • acrylic sealant
  • gloves, goggles and mask
  • hammer
  • refuse sacks
  • strong wire brush
  • metal bolster
  • cold chisel


Finding Out if You Have Brickwork Beneath Your Plaster

It’s easy enough! If your house dates back to before the 1950s, there is probably brickwork beneath the plaster. If you don’t know, simply chisel a bit of plaster away in an inconspicuous area – underneath a radiator or behind a sofa. Keep in mind though that not all brickwork is pretty – in fact, some is downright ugly. As a rule of thumb, the older your house, the better quality the brick will be. Modern homes are often built with concrete breeze blocks which aren’t particularly pretty so you’ll need to check before you get started!

Preparing the Room

Exposing the brickwork isn’t particularly difficult, although it is pretty messy – so you’ll need to properly prepare the room. Box up and remove furniture and objects that you don’t need, then use plastic sheeting to cover anything you can’t remove. It’s also a good idea to tape up doors so that dust doesn’t end up blowing all the way through your house.

Getting Started

It’s much better to do this by hand rather than with a power tool – using a power tool means that you risk damaging the wall. If it’s 100 years old, you really need to try to preserve it!

First, create a hole in the top corner of the area of brickwork that you want to expose using your hammer and chisel. Work downwards, chipping away just a little bit at a time. It’s time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it. If the walls are particularly old, they’ll be rough and uneven which means that you will meet resistance as you go – so you might need to go at the brick in a couple of different directions.

Take a spirit level and mark a straight line – if you want to make a straight edge. Mark a sharp line in the plaster using the spirit level to make sure that it’s straight (use a scalpel for this), then chip up to that line using your chisel. If bits of plaster are sticking to the wall and you can’t get them off, spritz with water to soften and then try again.

Cleaning the Bricks

Vacuum the bricks to get rid of dirt, then wash using soap, salt and a wire brush. Be gentle – you don’t want to damage the brick. Wash with water then dry with a towel.

If that all sounds like too much hard work, not to worry – you can now buy “fake brick” that looks surprisingly realistic – not at all like the fake brick wallpaper that was popular in the 70s.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: How to Apply Wall Stickers

Wall stickers are cool, creative and quirky, too. They’re easy to apply and are a really simple to update the look of your room in an instant, plus, they’re really inexpensive too, making them a great alternative to wallpapers. Learn how to apply them with these tips and take a look at this link for wall covering supplies.


Things You’ll Need:

  • wall stickers of choice
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • soft cloth

Prepare the Wall

Prepare the wall by giving it a good wash. Make sure that it’s completely clean and free of dust and debris before you apply the sticker. The wall should also be completely dry, too. If you want to paint, do so before applying the wall sticker and ensure that it is completely clean and dry before you get started.

Mark Out the Placement

Decide exactly where you want the wall sticker to go. Before unpeeling the backing, put the wall sticker on the wall, make sure that it is straight using a spirit level and then mark the placement of it on the wall using a soft pencil that you can rub out or blobs of tack. Once you’re happy with the placement, you can get sticking!

Apply the Sticker

Carefully peel the backing off of the sticker. Get someone to help you if it is particularly large so that you don’t get tangled. Following the guidemarks that you made earlier, put the wall sticker into place. Smooth it out using a clean cloth. Again, get someone to help you, if you can, so that the sticker is firmly in place on the wall.

Removing the sticker is fairly simple. Use a hairdryer to blast warm air onto the wall to warm the sticker. Once warmed, it should just peel away from the wall with ease. If it gets stuck or if there are pieces of adhesive left behind, warm them too and scrape them off gently with a palette knife. Try to get as much of the sticker off in one go so that you don’t have to do this – scraping the wall with a palette knife could cause scratches in the wall and so you may need to fill and repaint to cover up the marks.

Where Can I Put Wall Stickers?

You can put wall stickers anywhere you like. They often look lovely when positioned from the skirting board upwards, like a tree or flower growing towards the sky. They can also look cool and quirky when positioned next to windows and doors. They also make a great focal point above beds and sofas, and you can use them anywhere that you’d use statement wallpaper. They work best on plain, painted walls.


DIY Tips: How to Stencil

For a unique, cool and fun look that’s much cheaper than patterned wallpaper, try stencilling. Stencils are an easy and fun way to create a bespoke look and they’re a great crafting activity to do with children. Learn how to stencil with these tips and take a look at this link for paint and wall covering supplies.


Things You’ll Need:

  • water-based acrylic paint in white and in one or two colours
  • paint roller and paint tray
  • small paint roller or small paintbrush
  • measuring tape and pencil
  • spirit level
  • stencil
  • stencil mount

Prepare the Wall

If necessary, strip the wall of paper and replaster. Otherwise, fill gaps in the wall with filler, smooth and leave to dry, then sand until you achieve a smooth finish. Paint the wall white, one or two times, to completely cover up any existing colour or to create an even base for the stencil colours. If you want to use two colours, at this stage, paint the base colour onto the wall and leave to dry. Apply additional layers of paint as needed until you have a base colour you’re happy with.

Mark Out the Stencil

The easiest way to use a stencil is to mark it out all over the wall before you apply the paint. Work out how many times the stencil needs to be repeated across the wall and adjust so that there is a neat finish along the edges of the wall, along the ceiling and along the floorline. Mark the position of the stencil with pencil, then use the measuring tape and spirit level to mark where the stencil should sit, each time, making sure that the stencil is completely straight.

Paint the Stencil

Next, it’s time to paint the stencils. Apply stencil mount to the back of the stencil. Apply the stencil to the wall, using the guide marks that you made, making sure that it is stuck firmly to the wall with no ripples or bumps in the stencil. Pour the coloured paint into a small roller tray and use a small roller to apply it inside of the stencil. If you’re working with a very intricate design, use a small stencil brush instead. Pull the stencil off the wall, leave the paint to dry, then repeat until the stencil is complete, always following the guidelines so that the pattern is straight and even. If you’re working with a particularly complex stencil that requires a few colours, make sure that the paint is totally dry before reapplying the stencil and adding the next colour.

Source: 4Homes