If it is necessary to remove mould or algae from an outside wall, scrape it away with an old knife, then wipe the wall with a solution of equal parts bleach and water. Repeat next day. You will find that the mould becomes a thing of the past.
Avoid painting in the early morning or evening, even on a dry day. The reason for this is the effect of dew or mist. Any moisture on wood can cause blistering of paint later.
Always buy good quality paint brushes because cheap ones may shed hairs. Soak a new brush in linseed oil for 24 hours before using it for the first time. It will last longer and be easier to clean.
If a paint brush has become slightly hard, soften it by boiling it in vinegar for 10minutes. When the bristles are really hard, soak the brush in cellulose thinners in a glass jar overnight. Rinse well.
When filling the cracks in walls before decorating, mix the filler with some of the paint that is gong to be used on the walls; These repairs will dry out the same color and one more coat will make the repair invisible.
When painting a ceiling drips down the handle of your paint brush can always be a problem. Well a simple effective solution is as follows. Make a slit in the center of a large bath sponge and push the paint brush handle through it. This will prevent drips.
Before painting a door, rub a little petroleum jelly on the hinges and handles. This makes it easy to wipe off paint splashes. Do the same around window panes when painting frames. Or mould aluminum foil over door handles and fittings.
Slide a few sheets of newspaper under the door when painting to catch the drips. Or put newspaper behind pipes when painting them to avoid painting the wall.
Cover the paint tray with aluminum foil or a polythene bag when painting with a roller. This can be disposed of afterwards.
Messy painters should stand the paint pot on a paper plate to catch the drips.
Even when using one-coat paint for woodwork, apply a quick drying undercoat first. This removes the color of the old paint, fills blemishes and provides a matt surface for the final coat.
If there is only a small amount of paint left over, put it into a small container to prevent it drying up.
To stop a skin forming ó pour a little white spirit on top of the paint; lay a circle of foil or wax paper on the surface; stand the closed tin upside down.
Before storing used paint tins, make a paint line around the outside of the tin at the paint level. At a glance you can see the color and amount left. Keep the tins in a cool dry place.
When you need to touch up small areas of chipped paint, use a cotton bud. The great thing about this is there is no brush to clean.
Use typewriter correction fluid for knocks on enamel fridges, washing machines, or chips on white paintwork.
Dab some paint on a white card to use as a color guide a when shopping for new furnishings.
Use a small foam hair-roller slipped over the end of a large knitting needle to paint behind radiators or awkward places.
When painting stairs, paint every other tread and allow to dry completely before painting the alternate ones. This enables you to use the stairs all the time.
Start at a corner near the window when painting a ceiling. Work in strips parallel with the window. Leave a ragged edge to each strip and overlap well to avoid a hard straight line.
After a painting session, donít wash out the brushes if you are going to be using them the next day, instead put them in a polythene bag, tie tightly around the handles and stand the bristles downwards in cold water. Alternatively wrap tightly in aluminium foil.
Use paraffin for cleaning paint brushes. It will separate from the paint afterwards and can be drained off and re-used. Remove the brush from the paraffin and wash in soapy water. Dry well.
With expensive brush-cleaning liquids, allow the sediment to settle at the bottom of the jar, pour off the clear liquid and re-use.
Rinse washed paint brushes in a little fabric conditioner to make them soft and like new. Try combing them with an old comb.
After cleaning brushes, keep them in good shape by putting an elastic band around the tip of the bristles. Remove when dry.
Avoid getting paint on your hands when cleaning paint brushes ó put a spoonful of brush cleaner into an unperforated polythene bag, put the soiled brush in and work the cleanser into the bristles from the outside.
Cover your hands with plastic bags to avoid getting paint drips.
Window-cleaner will remove paint from your hands and isnít usually as smelly as white spirit. Another method is to spray the hands with furniture polish and wash off with washing-up liquid/ dish detergent.
Wipe up spilt emulsion/latex paint immediately with a damp cloth or it will harden and become permanent. Sponge with cold water and keep rinsing until most of it has disappeared. Finish with a dry-cleaning fluid.
To remove the smell of paint from a newly decorated room, cut an onion in half and leave in the room. The smell will disappear.