ASK THE EXPERT…
Q: We’ve removed some shelves from a wall and now it’s full of holes filled with Rawlplugs. What’s the best way to deal with them?
A: Getting Rawlplugs out can be tricky (you’ll need some long-nosed pliers) and sometimes you remove a fair bit of the wall with them, but this will ensure a good finish, providing you fill and sand properly afterwards (filler designed for deep repairs is often required). If you can’t get the Rawlplugs out, push them in. At the end of the day, you need a flat surface for a good finish so they have to go in or out.
Check your home’s pointing (the mortar in the external brickwork). If it’s in need of repair, you can repoint it yourself or you may prefer to get a professional in because repointing done in the wrong way can cause long-term damage. Often, patch pointing is all that’s required, which is easier for DIYers to do.
TOP TIPS FOR… painting stripes
If you want a feature wall but your wallpapering skills aren’t great, painting stripes is a fairly easy way to create a unique look. Be sure of the kind of stripes you want before you begin and have something to copy if it’s a complicated design.
If the wall is painted a strong colour and you don’t want that colour in the finished design, paint over it with as many coats of another colour as it takes to cover it, or use a (white) base coat paint, which is designed to cover strong colours quickly and easily. Don’t continue with your stripes until this is completely dry.
Mark out your stripes using a tape measure/ruler and pencil and then stand back to check that the stripes are uniform and that you like the look you’ve created. Use a spirit level to ensure they’re straight. Vertical stripes will make the ceiling appear higher, while horizontal ones will make the wall seem wider.
Use masking tape along the relevant pencil lines when you’re ready to paint the first colour. Low-tack tape is a good idea because it’s less likely to pull off the paint underneath when you remove it.
If you’re using a roller, work from top to bottom and don’t overload it with paint, as this may bleed under the masking tape. If you’re using a paintbrush, paint over the tape inwards into the stripe when doing the edges to try and prevent the paint bleeding underneath. Peel the tape off very carefully but do be prepared to do some touching up. Painting in this kind of exact way can be frustrating and time-consuming.