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How to secure outbuildings and sheds :: Posted by: Admin on November 5th, 2015

CCTV and padlock

How to secure outbuildings and sheds

We all struggle for storage spaces and often fill our sheds, garages, summerhouses and outbuildings with ‘stuff’, now whether we need it or not or simply store it until we go to the local dump with it the problem is all the same.

Sometimes we may have a man cave where we go and organise our tools and tinker on the latest product, or maybe we have turned our shed into our office? Whatever we use the buildings for we need to make sure they are secure as they can often be easy pickings for thieves.

Keeping it secure

The simplest way and cheapest way is to fit a padlock onto the door using a hasp and staple. However, you can go further and install alarms and CCTV but this choice comes down to what you keep stored away.

The very least should be a lock of some kind, this will deter the opportunist thief. Adding locks is far cheaper than replacing stolen belongings such as bikes, lawn mowers etc. Once you have a lock fitted, always lock up when you are finished.

If your outbuilding has windows you could put bars over the window to stop easy access through the window, if the windows are lockable, lock them.

Lights, CCTV, Alarm

If you have more valuable stuff stored away such as bikes or your outbuilding is a home office you may wish to consider adding a little more security than just a padlock. An exterior light fitted with a PIR (passive infrared sensor) that comes on when movement is detected is a good idea and could scare off would be thieves.

If you want to keep an eye on what is going on you can install a simple CCTV system, these have come down in price in recent years and will allow you to see what is going on and who maybe lurking around. There are many systems to choose from, many are self install and can be connected to a PC or TV for viewing.

An alarm could also be fitted, these can be self install and don’t have to cost a lot of money for a basic system. A simple PIR (passive infrared sensor) and one or two door / window magnetic sensors should come in under £100.00.

Securing other items

Some people may have extension ladders that do not fit into a shed, garage or outbuilding and simply leave these lying on the garage roof or just in the back garden, well these can be used to gain access to yours on someone else’s property, securing these is simple and cheap, ladder clamps that allow ladders to be securely hung on a wall, or a simple heavy duty chain and padlock secured to a permanent fixture will prevent them being used.

Other items such as screwdrivers, hammers etc. shouldn’t ne left around in the garden for example as these can aid a burglars access to a property or outbuilding.

In conclusion

We all have to store things and most often this is done in outbuildings, simple steps such as those listed above could prevent items being taken or use to gain access to a property.
They don’t have to cost a lot and it is up to you how far you want to go, beit a simple padlock or more secure with locks, lights CCTV and alarms, this will mainly come down to the area you live in and the value of items stored.

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Cleaning a paint brush :: Posted by: Admin on September 27th, 2015

Paint Brush

Cleaning a paint brush

Whether you are a professional painter and decorator, a hobbyist or DIYer you will need to clean paint brushes at some point. Brushes range hugely in prices depending on size and quality from just a few pence to several pounds. You may prefer to simply throw them out when you are done, but is that really cost effective? If you spend the best part of £20 on a brush do you really want to throw it away after just one use?

You could store them in a storage product, but this is OK if you intend to use the brush again in the short term and in the same colour. If you are not going to use a brush say within 3-6 months and use a different colour your best bet is to clean out the brush and store it correctly, this way your brush will last for far longer and be in tip top condition giving a good finish every time you use it.

Cleaning and storing your paint brush

Before you clean or store your paint brushes you need to be aware of the type of paint you have been using, either water or oil based, as this will determine how you clean or store your brushes.

Whichever type of paint you have used, remove as much paint from your brush as possible.

Cleaning brushes – water based paints

Run the brush under a running tap, have the bristles facing downwards to prevent washing paint further in the brush where it could dry and go hard. Wash it out until the water runs clear, you can use some mild soap to help remove colour from the bristles and a brush comb to remove any stubborn paint.

Once all the paint has been removed, store in the original package or sleeve or wrapped in kitchen towel or paper to prevent the bristles from splaying out.

Cleaning brushes – Oil based paints

Oil based paint requires a slightly different approach to cleaning than water based paints. Oil based paints need a solvent to break down to oils in the paint allowing it to come out of the brush, unlike water based paints that can simply be removed with water.

To clean oil based paints from brushes, remove as much paint from the brush as possible by wiping it on the edge of the paint can. Then you will need to use white spirit or a brush cleaner to wash the brush in, this will dissolve the paint within the brush. You may have to do this a couple of times with clean white spirit or brush cleaner to get the paint out. Once the paint is removed you can use a brush comb to remove any hardened paint from the bristles, then wash in warm soapy water and once all the white spirit or brush cleaner has been washed out you should store the brush in its original packaging or paper towel to keep the bristles straight and in good condition, ready for it’s next use.

Paint brush and paint brush in cover

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Types of wallpaper paste :: Posted by: Admin on April 5th, 2015

Types of wallpaper paste

There are many types of wallpaper paste and choosing the correct one can be confusing. Hopefully this post will help you decide the appropriate paste for the paper you are hanging.

The first place to look is on the hanging instructions themselves, this may come as a leaflet that came with the paper of a leaflet in the roll itself. If you are at all unsure ask your supplier or the wallpaper manufacturer directly.

Cold water paste

This is the type of paste that you mix yourself, you mix it with cold water. The amount of water depends on the type of paper being hung, you can find out how many litres of water to use on the paste sachet or box it comes in.

Getting it mixed correctly is the important part so it is strong enough to hold the paper. It is the easiest paste to remove as it is water soluble. This type of paste is starch based.

Here is a short video of how to mix the perfect wallpaper paste up:

All purpose

This paste is made for the majority of wallpapers from lining papers, to embossed and vinyl papers, but you should always check before using paste, especially on specialised papers.

Heavy duty

As the name suggests, this paste is for heavy duty or heavy weight papers, giving stronger adhesion than standard adhesives. It is however harder to remove when redecorating and if you get paste on the front of the paper, so care should be taken not to mark or damage the front of the paper and remove any excess paste as soon as possible.

Extra strong

This type of paste can be in the form of a powder paste or ready mixed, it is ideal for medium weight papers such as lining paper, embossed and anaglypta papers.

Paste the wall

As the name suggest, paste the wall adhesives mean you apply the paste direct to wall and not the back of the paper. This paste is only used for paste the wall papers as the paper has been designed that way and pasting the paper isn’t required.

Ready mixed

Ready mixed pastes come in tubs and are formulated and are vinyl based and do not dry out until they are exposed to air, such as when applied hung wallpaper. Some wallpapers recommend using a ready mixed paste whereas some wallpaper manufacturers may recommend their own ready mixed paste to ensure good adhesion to the surface the paper is being applied to.
The ready mixed pastes do tend to be more expensive than say cold water mixed pastes,

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Lining paper, what is it? :: Posted by: Admin on February 4th, 2015

Lining paper, what is it?

Lining paper has been traditionally used to produce a good, sound, smooth surface for wallpapering over, however it is now more popular to hang lining paper and emulsion over it.

Lining paper is used to remove any small imperfections on a wall or ceiling, it is not however a miracle cure, so preparation should always be done before hanging lining paper. It isn’t a substitute for plastering either.

Once all the holes and cracks have been filled, the walls or ceiling should be properly rubbed down and any filler should be sanded smooth and level. One this is done dust down the walls to remove any loose debris. You can seal any filler by either using a ‘size’ such as watered down wallpaper paste, or you can emulsion over the filler to help seal it off.

Lining paper rolls

What thickness lining paper

Lining paper comes in different thicknesses, guages or grades, this refers to their weight. they start at 800 guage and go up to 2000 guage, it all depends on how thick you want it to be. Lining paper does offer some insulation qualities but there are also specialist papers for this.

A good mid-range lining paper to go for is 1200 or 1400 guage, they aren’t too thin and not to thick to be hard to work with.

Can I paint lining paper

As mentioned above, lining paper is meant to produce a smooth background for wallpapering over, but yes you can paint over the lining paper once it is fully dried.

Cross lining, what’s that?

Cross-lining is where the lining paper is hung horizontally rather the vertically like traditional wallpapers, normally if you are going to be emulsioning over the lining paper you could hang it as you would wallpaper, vertically.

Once you have hung the lining paper you need to allow it to fully dry before you emulsion over it, this will take normally between 12 – 24 hours depending on drying conditions.

How to measure for lining paper

Before you buy lining paper or order wallpaper you need to know how much to buy, I have written an article on how to measure a room for wallpaper that explains how you need to do it. I have also written a wallpaper calculator so you can work out how many rolls of wallpaper you need to buy.

Cost of lining paper

With everyone having to tighten their belts these days, cost is a real factor when it comes to decorating, wallpaper can be very expensive if you plan to wallpaper the entire room, a way around this is to only do one wall, or a feature wall as it is known.
If however you wish to change the look of a room every couple of years, or you have pets or children that makes wallpaper not a viable option, lining paper and emulsion maybe the answer.

Once lining paper has been put up it can painted over and over again, saving costs in the long run as all that is required is a fresh new coat of emulsion. Also, if you then decide to wallpaper at a later date, you can do so over the emulsioned lining paper.

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