The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

Decorating

Floor Paints

Decorating Floor Paints

Concrete floor and garage paints and sealers to dustproof and protect surface. Floor paints are designed to seal the surface to prevent dust build up as well as provide a decorative finish. They are particularly durable so will cope with wear and will often also be resistant to chemicals and spillages. Choose floor paints that are suitable for the surface - concrete or wood.

Knives

Decorating Knives

Knives scrapers shave hooks and blades for decorating jobs and projects. Filling knives are far more flexible than standard paint scrapers which are stiffer. Shave hooks have several different patterns and are drawn towards you when working. The blade is held at right angles to the surface, shaving off a thin layer of paint or varnish. Retractable blade knives, or utility knives are made for a wide range of diy cutting jobs. The retractable blade is a safety feature meaning that the blade is guarded when not in use.

Masonry Paint

Decorating Masonry Paint

Masonry paint for protecting exterior walls. Specifically designed for application to external brick and rendered walls, masonry paints are durable, withstand weathering and should resist cracking and peeling. Many masonry paints will be guaranteed colourfast and some have a fine texture which assists with filling and disguising small hairline cracks

Metal Paints

Decorating Metal Paints

Quick drying enamel and hammered finish metal paints for protecting metalwork. Metal paints are generally suitable for interior and exterior application, and have anti corrosive properties to reduce rusting and oxidisation of metals. Some specialist metal paints produce a hammered metal effect and can be very hard wearing. Others require no priming and can be applied directly to rusty metal surfaces.

Paintbrushes

Decorating Paintbrushes

Decorators paint brushes and brush sets including angled and long reach brushes for oil and acrylic paints. Brush quality various and is normally reflected in the price. The thickness at the 'stock' (bristles nearest the handle) is often a sign of quality. Brushes may be designed for general paint application, rough work such as fencing and shed, or specialist paint. Man made fibres specially designed for applying and laying off acrylic primers have become more common. Angled and chisel edged brushes can made awkward areas far easier to paint.

Paperhanging tools

Decorating Paperhanging tools

Wallpaper sheers scissors brushes and tools for paper hanging including smoothing sponges squeegees and sponges. A good quality paperhanging brush will be large enough to smooth wallpaper efficiently and it's bristles should not damage delicate papers. Stainless steel shears will cut accurately and retain their blade sharpness. Paste brushes, plumb lines and wallpaper seam rollers will all be required for a professional wallpapering job.

Paste tables

Decorating Paste tables

Hardboard and heavy duty wallpaper paste table for paperhanging. Folding lightweight paste tables are essential for pasting up wallcoverings. They are not designed to support heavy weights. They are easy to carry and store and can also be useful for general decorating work. Look for tables with durable and strong legs and folding mechanisms.

Primers and Undercoats

Decorating Primers and Undercoats

Acrylic primer undercoat and alkali resisting primer and specialist paints. Primers are designed to seal and protect new or bare surfaces to be painted. They provide the ideal surface for subsequent layers. Undercoats are designed to build up opacity and be an ideal base for the application of finish paints such as gloss.

Rollers and Trays

Decorating Rollers and Trays

Long and short pile roller sleeves and roller frames for applying paint plus roller trays and sundries. Rollers can cover large areas quite quickly and are made with short, medium, and long pile sleeves. The long pile should be used on rough or textured surfaces such as external rendered walls. Short pile are suitable for finish paints on smooth surfaces. Mini rollers and radiator roller frames enable awkward areas to be painted. Trays have a reservoir for holding the paint and a ribbed section for distributing the paint on the roller. Larger 'scuttles' are square buckets and have a ridged section on the inside.

Specialist Paints

Decorating Specialist Paints

Kitchen and bathroom paint, tile paint plus brick, blackboard and specialist paint. This section includes a number of paints which have specific purpose and application. These include paints designed for decorating brick and tile as well as flexible paints and those with mould inhibitors for damp areas. There are anti graffiti, line marking as well as appliance paints and enamels. Specialist primers for melamine and mdf are also available.

Spray Paints

Decorating Spray Paints

Aerosol and spray paints including gloss radiator paint, primers and quick drying acrylic varnish. For small areas, spray paints can be used to deliver an even coating quickly. They are often quick drying and made for very specific purposes. Lacquers, enamels and stain sealers are all available in aerosol form. Ensure surrounding areas are masked adequately to avoid damage from overspray.

Sundries

Decorating Sundries

Painting and decorating sundries and accessories including cotton twill and polythene dust sheets. Decorators dust sheets are specially designed to protect floor areas and furniture when decorating. Look for absorbent cotton twill sheets for best protection. Disposable polythene sheets can be used to cover furnishings but should not be used on floors as they will be slippery.

Tiles and Accessories

Decorating Tiles and Accessories

Ceramic wall tiles adhesives and accessories including spacers trim and seals. Tiles provide a highly durable decorative finish to floors and walls. Coloured glazes are used to create the surface colouring and designs. Tiles are both waterproof and hard-wearing making them ideal for shower and bath areas as well as kitchen and bathroom floors. Some tiles are made from reconstituted marble and stone making them particularly hard wearing.

Trim Paints

Decorating Trim Paints

Gloss eggshell and satin wood trim paints - oil and water based acrylic. These 'top coat' paints are designed to give the final decorative finish to all manner of trims. These will include architraves and skirtings as well as door frames and windows. Gloss paints are more hardwearing than satin finish paints which have a more subtle sheen. Solvent based top coats have a tendency to yellow where there is no natural light so an acrylic alternative may be more suitable.

Varnish and Woodcare

Decorating Varnish and Woodcare

Wood and timber care coatings including varnish and decking stains plus wood dyes. Varnishes not only protect the timber but they also enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Varnishes may be clear or have a added colour. Stains are used to change the appearance prior to applying a protective coating. This section also includes coatings and finishes for specific outdoor applications such as fences, sheds and decking.

Wall and Ceiling Paints

Decorating Wall and Ceiling Paints

Interior emulsion and vinyl paint for walls and ceilings including kitchens and bathrooms. These water based paints are ideal for painting large plastered surfaces. Many different sheen levels are available from matt or dead flat through to silk or satin. They are suitable for interior use and may contain vinyl which makes them considerably more durable. Contract emulsions contain no vinyl and are best suited to new plaster work as they continue to allow the surface to breathe allowing residual moisture to escape.

Wallcoverings

Decorating Wallcoverings

Wallcoverings and wallpaper for walls and ceilings. Wallpapers are available in a huge range of designs and are a relatively quick way of changing the look of a room. Vinyl papers are more durable and may be washed down. Textured papers can hide uneven surfaces but thorough preparation should still be carried out. Lining papers are ideal for smoothing slightly uneven surfaces but also provide the ideal surface for hanging more expensive high quality papers. When buying paper ensure they all have the same 'batch' number to avoid variations in colour.

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