DIY Frequently Asked Questions

By Martin Hart on Wed 29 July 2020

Undertaking some DIY in the home doesn’t have to be daunting. With countless videos online showing you exactly what to do, it has never been easier to take on some DIY projects to get those home improvements you’re looking for on a budget.



What Type of Nail Should I Use?


To choose the right nail you need to know that you're using the correct size, strength and design for the job at hand.

  • Material

Nails can be made from a variety of metals including steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium and copper. Most construction nails are steel with a surface coating. Nails for outdoor use are often galvanised with a coating of zinc for weather resistance.

  • Size

Nail sizes use a ‘d' suffix, such as 10d, 16d etc. It refers to the nail length with 2d being 1 inch long, and each increase in number represents a 1/4 inch increase in length. As a rule of thumb, choose a nail that is three times as long as the thickness of the material you are fastening.

  • Types

You can choose from a variety of nails depending on the application. Common nails are used for framing and structural work; box nails are suited to thinner wood materials; duplex head nails are for temporary construction like formwork for pouring concrete; annular ring nails are commonly used for subflooring; concrete nails are for fastening in concrete and mortar joints, and finish nails are often for exterior applications like trim boards and nailing door frames and trim.


How Do I Figure Out How Much Carpet I Need?


For laying carpet, you need a reliable method for working out how much you need so you don't end up with too little to cover the entirety of the floor. Start by measuring the room, including any indentations so you get the entire width. Don't forget to include the back of the door frame as the carpet will need to be fitted under the door threshold. Also measure down the centre of the room.

Multiply the width measurement by the length measurement for the total square metres required for the carpet.


How Do I Measure a Shelf?


If you want some new shelves to make the most of all your available space, here's how you can properly measure them. Look at the space where you want the shelves, decide whether you want a wall-hung shelf, multiple shelves for a bookcase or enclosed shelving like a cabinet. Use a tape measure where you want to install the shelf and place some masking tape over this length on the wall. Step back and make sure this size is right for the room.

Next, measure how much space you want between the shelves, so measure your tallest item and add a couple of inches to allow for clearance and write that measurement down. Measure the depth of the shelf; the shelf should extend at least an inch beyond the depth of the item on the shelf. Now you have your measurements for your shelf.


How Do I Remove Wallpaper?


Before you can give those walls a fresh coat of paint, you might need to get rid of that nasty old wallpaper. If you're not on a budget, you can buy a steam wallpaper stripper that allows you to strip the wallpaper with steam easily.

For a DIY budget, take a spray bottle of half fabric softener, half water and saturate the paper. Let it sit then peel the paper away with a putty knife.


How Do I Maintain Wooden Floors?


To take care of your new beautiful hardwood floor, make sure you clean up any spillages immediately with a damp cloth and sweep and dust regularly so that dust doesn't settle into the grain and between the floorboards. Every three to five years give your floor a refresh with a coat of wood floor finish to keep that glorious shine.


How Do I Grout Tile?


If you're doing up that bathroom or kitchen with some fantastic tiles, you'll need to know how to apply grout. Mix your grout and press it between the files using a trowel. 15 to 30 minutes later, wipe off any excess with water and a sponge. Repeat the process three hours later to ensure there isn't extra grout on the tile or outside of the tile line. Once this has been left to dry overnight you can use a dry towel to rub off any haze and sweep clean.


When Should I Bring in a Professional?


If you feel like you've bitten off more than you can chew with your DIY job, it might be time to bring in a professional. Consider the equipment and materials a job needs, do you have everything necessary to complete the task? Are you comfortable using all that equipment? Watch some online tutorials for the DIY job and see whether you feel more confused and overwhelmed rather than reassured. If that's the case, it might be time to hire a professional.


Should I Spray Instead of Using a Brush?


When painting, you can go with the classic paintbrush, or you can use a paint sprayer. Paint spray systems are much quicker to finish a job; they evenly disperse the paint and allow you to reach places that are not easily accessible. However, the machines are much more expensive than a brush and paint palette.


How Do I Clean Paint Brushes?


If you have been painting with lacquers or paints containing solvents, you will need solvents to clean the brushes. For water-based paints, simply rinsing with water is sufficient. Use warm water and washing up liquid to clean them easily, and an old toothbrush can be great for removing paint residues.

We hope that these questions and answers have made you feel more confident about tacking those home DIY projects. At Hart Wholesale, we can help you by providing everything you need for those projects, including Blum hingesBlum drawer runners and butt hinges. Contact us today to find out more.


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