10 tips to help you with your Bank Holiday DIY

10 tips to help you with your Bank Holiday DIY

Posted 2nd May by Peter Byrne

The arrival of the May Bank Holiday is the start of 'DIY season' - however, our attempts at home improvement can have mixed results...

A study from eBay.co.uk has actually revealed that two in five Brits (43 per cent) are messing up their DIY, whether it's because they're rushing to get things done or because they don't know what they're doing.

There's also a large number of Brits who are not doing the simple jobs, including failing to sand or prepare a surface for painting or varnishing, along with using the wrong screws, nails and rawl plugs simply so something can be put up. 

The 11 top DIY Botches are:

1. Failing to sand or prepare surfaces for painting or varnishing
2. Using incorrect screws, nails or rawl plugs to put something up
3. Using glue rather than nails to fix or put something up
4. Filling in a hole with whatever's to hand rather than the right material
5. Using duct tape or Sellotape rather than sealant, glue or nails
6. Using Blue Tac or soft adhesive to put a picture or mirror on a wall
7. Using the wrong paint on a surface
8. Flipping an old door on its side and using it as a dining table
9. Using tape to put up wallpaper
10. Using a bucket as a replacement sink or toilet
11. Using cardboard or paper to fix a broken window

To give you a helping hand with dealing with your DIY tasks this weekend, eBay.co.uk has partnered with home improvement expert and TV presenter Jo Behari, to set you on your way to getting your decorating done...

1. Prepare to succeed

Make sure you have every job carefully planned in advance. This means knowing you have what you need and also taking the time to prep what you're working on so you end up familiar with every surface.

2. Cap time

Think about wearing a shower cap - it's an excellent head protector that ensures your hair doesn't end up covered in dust or plaster - trust us, it can be a nightmare to get out.

3. Shelve it

The majority of DIY errors occur when we're putting shelves up - it's subsequently crucial to know whether you're fixing something to a hollow wall (this is plasterboard and requires a fixing that grips onto the back of the wall) or solid wall (this is brick or masonry and requires a bullet shaped fixing). It's crucial to avoid shortcutting this - otherwise you face the added fun of having to fix a hole as well.

4. Flat-pack

When flat-packing or building new units, you can fix any dents in the wood by laying a damp cloth over it - then, give the cloth an iron. The steam that ensues will mean the dent springs out.

5. Glue

When you're dealing with smaller items, strong glue is a good alternative to a drill - just make sure you wear gloves. Trade glues are strong and you don't particularly want to end up with your fingers stuck together, after all...

6. Tool trade

Know what you're using - this particularly applies to power tools as they could require different handling to what you expect. It's worth practicing on something that can just be thrown away prior to using them on a real job.

7. Fresh approach

When you're freshening up paintwork, there's no need to wash your brushes and rollers out if they're going to be used the next day. Instead, wrap them in cling film to keep them fresh. On the flip side, if you wash them, they may not dry in time, leaving you with watery paint the next day.

8. Online approach

There are some great ways to research a job when you begin - it's helpful to see how it's done in real-time, and ensures you can watch a step-by-step guide as you work.

9. Sharp tools

Make sure your tools are all sharp - a blunt chisel or Stanley knife blade is likely to slip and could result in you cutting yourself.

10. Ask for help

No one's perfect - if you do get stuck or something goes wrong, don't be afraid to ask for a hand from a friend or expert. It's also okay to make a mistake - just know when to stop if you make one.

DIY expert, and TV presenter Jo Behari said: "With three in five Brits putting off or feeling apprehensive about DIY, it’s not surprising to hear that those who do pluck up the courage often leave the job botched. However, DIY needn’t be ‘scary’ – instead embrace the challenge and follow my top tips on how to complete tasks quickly and effectively. After all, your home is your greatest investments".

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