DIYers shouldn’t tackle electrical work, and with DOT-it lights they don’t have to. These self-adhesive mini lights (6.5cm in diameter) have three LED bulbs per light, can be stuck up in seconds and come with batteries that should last 100 hours.
The lights are perfect for places like sheds, cupboards, wardrobes and under the stairs, where you need more light but don’t want to employ an electrician to get it. They cost £6.84 each from www.lakeland.co.uk.
If your New Year DIY project is to lay a laminate floor, check out Quick-Step’s stylish and rather unusual Grey Teak Shipdeck laminate from its Lagune range. This comes in two colours – Grey Brushed Teak and Grey Teak – and is even suitable for bathrooms.
Grey Brushed Teak is available as a plank in Eligna and Perspective designs, which are perfect for traditional interiors, and also as narrow Linesse boards, which are ideal for contemporary living.
Quick-Step Lagune Grey Teak costs from £36.99 per square metre, while Grey Brushed Teak costs from £20.99 per square metre in Eligna, £29.99 in Perspective and £25.99 in Linesse. To find out more, visit www.quick-step.com.
ASK THE EXPERT…
Q: I’m thinking of laying a real stone floor – should it be sealed before or after fitting?
A: As a general rule, it’s easier to seal stone tiles first to avoid all the hard work of having to clean off the excess tile adhesive and grout, which tends to trap in the nooks and crannies on the surface of the stone. However, the stage at which you should seal stone differs from stone to stone, so check with the retailer of the stone or a good DIY book or website first.
If you’re looking for a nice creative DIY project to do over the festive season, why not customise a wooden ottoman or bookshelf with wallpaper? You simply cut a wallpaper of your choice to fit and then paste it inside the shelves (vertically) or ottoman, fixing it with wood glue to produce a lovely bespoke piece of furniture.
TOP TIPS FOR… glazing wooden doors and windows
When working with glass, wear goggles, thick gloves and a strong pair of shoes or boots. Consider binding your wrists in case the glass cuts them and if a pane of glass breaks, don’t attempt to catch it as it falls. If you have to use a ladder, take full safety precautions when positioning and working up it.
Before you can fit a new piece of glass, you have to clean out the rebate (the opening). Wearing goggles and thick gloves, remove the old piece of glass very carefully with a hammer and chisel, then scrape out the putty with a hacking knife and pull out the panel pins with pliers. Finally, dust out the rebate with a brush.
If your putty is very oily, wrap it in newspaper to soak up the oil. Don’t apply putty to bare wood because the wood will suck the oil out, so use wood primer (a quick-drying one will speed up the process considerably) first. When you’re ready to use the putty, knead it into a workable condition by squeezing it for a few minutes. Apply the putty on the inside, pushing it roughly into the rebate with your finger and thumb.
Put the piece of glass in the rebate and very carefully press it into place around the edges. Secure with panel pins, tapping them in gently with a hammer until they’re flush with the glass.
Fill the rebate on the outside with putty, applying it as before. Use a putty knife to smooth it off (keep dipping the knife in water for ease of use) and form neat joins at the corners. Remove any excess putty with the knife, then brush down with a dry brush. The putty should be allowed to dry before you decorate, so leave it at least a week, or longer at this time of year. When you do decorate, allow the paint to overlap onto the glass slightly to form a protective seal.