Q: I need to paint my living room ceiling, which has become shabby, but it’s white on white so how will I know where I’ve painted and where I haven’t?
A: Simply use the clever emulsions that paint on pink but dry white. These are designed for just this purpose and are widely available from DIY stores. They’re also ideal if the light conditions are poor and should help you get even coverage with the new paint.
Late spring is a good time to give your central heating system the once-over, rather than leaving it until you want to use it again in the autumn. You can bleed the radiators yourself but you will need a Corgi-registered engineer to service or replace your boiler – DIYers should never do anything with gas.
TOP TIPS FOR… Tiling walls
:: Before you begin tiling, it’s important to plan the layout of your tiles as accurately as possible. This means ensuring that they’re straight and not just hugging the line of the bath, for example, which may be wonky. You should also plan to use whole tiles in most prominent places and cut ones where they’ll be less noticeable.
:: Make sure you start tiling in an inconspicuous place. That way, you have time to get into the swing of it before tackling the really important areas. Make your mistakes where it doesn’t matter.
:: Buy more tiles than you need to cover wastage, mistakes and future damage to tiles. It’s also a good idea to have spare tiles in case you need to practice cutting. Cutting tiles can be tricky and is easiest on a water-cooled diamond wheel cutter, which you can buy or hire relatively cheaply. Glass tiles are particularly difficult to cut without splintering. If you get your tiles from a specialist tile shop, they may have damaged tiles that they’ll give you or sell you at a discount and you can use these to practice on.
:: Safety is a priority when cutting tiles because splinters can fly off into your eyes, particularly when using a water-cooled diamond wheel cutter, which works at high speeds. Make sure you wear goggles whenever cutting tiles. And when chiselling off old tiles from around a bath, for example, ensure you wear sturdy shoes and long trousers to prevent injury to your feet and legs.
:: It’s common for little holes to appear in grout lines after you’ve grouted. Once the grout has been allowed to dry for 24 hours, inspect for these holes, and other imperfections, and fill them where necessary.