GIVING CEILINGS A STIPPLED APPEARANCE

To create a stippled effect on ceilings, first paint the ceiling with a proprietary plastic compound. Then wrap a plastic bag tightly around a sponge and, while the compound is still wet, bounce the bag gently on the ceiling. On each bounce the bag pulls at the compound and leaves an attractive stippled effect.

Wards, make more chisel cuts every 3mm. Stop 3mm short of the end of the final cutting line. Reverse the chisel so that its bevelled edge is facing in towards the centre of the mortise and make similar cuts from the middle in the opposite direction, again stopping 3 mm short. Chop out the cuts with the bevelled edge of the chisel facing downwards, and continue as before with vertical cuts to the required depth. Finally, cut away the 3 mm of timber left at each end of the mortise.

REDUCING CONDENSATION ON WALLS AND CEILINGS

Fitting sheets of expanded polystyrene to walls and ceilings before papering helps reduce the effects of condensation that often occurs in kitchens and bathrooms. Use sheets of 2mm thickness polystyrene, and hang them in a similar way to wallpaper.

STORING VARNISHING BRUSHES IN FREQUENT USE

To avoid cleaning varnishing brushes that are in constant use. First drill a hole through the handles of the brushes. Then suspend them from a wooden or metal rod in equal parts of linseed oil and turpentine substitute.

The bristles of the brushes must be completely covered by the liquid without touching the bottom of the container. If the bristles rest on the bottom, they will pick up the residue of the varnish that settles there and will also become permanently curved. The mixture will need to be renewed every two to three weeks.

CUTTING LARGE CIRCULAR HOLES IN TILES

Because of the crumbly nature of ceramic tiles, it is impossible to cut a large circular hole without breaking the tile. The best way to overcome the problem is to first select a coin that is nearest to the size required, and, placing it in position on the glazed surface. Score round it with a tile cutter. Make a clean cut across the full width of the tile, bisecting the circle, and with a pair of pincers gnaw out each of the semicircles. Finally fit the tile in place, rejoining it along the cut line. Provided that the cut is clean, the join will hardly show.

DEALING WITH MOSS STAINS ON STONEWORK

Green moss stains on stonework can be removed with a wet scrubbing brush occasionally dipped in hydrated lime. Rinse off all traces of the lime afterwards.

LAYING PIPES AND CABLES UNDER FLOORS

When cutting notches in joists to take pipes or electric cables beneath floorboards, saw the notches so that they are centred in the middle of the floorboards. This means that the boards can be nailed each side of the notches. At the same time – provided that the position of the pipes or cables is noted – the procedure reduces the chance of the pipes or cables being pierced when nailing hardboard or a similar covering to the floor

SUPPORTING A LADDER ON CONCRETE SURFACES

If a ladder is being used on a concrete or a paved surface, try to position it so that it is in front of a window. Fit a batten across the inside of the opening and rope it to the ladder to anchor it in position. This makes the support secure. If the ladder is to be used in this position for any length of time, screw the batten to supports fitted to the wall inside the window for additional safety.

DECORATING BEHIND A WALL-MOUNTED RADIATOR

First turn off the central heating system and drain a radiator before moving it to gain access to the wall behind. Place rags under the retaining nuts on each side of the radiator as a safeguard against possible leakage, and loosen the nuts. Remove the radiator from the wall brackets and swing it down on to a wooden block. Tighten the retaining nuts.

When the decorating has been completed, fix the radiator back in position. Take care, however, not to tighten the nuts too much: otherwise the packing in the joints will be damaged and the radiator may start to leak.

MAKING IT EASIER TO LAY FLOOR TILES

When tiling a floor – or working on any job involving a considerable amount of kneeling – prevent the knees from becoming sore by tying protective pads around them. Make the pads from two pieces of thick foam rubber. Pierce holes in each corner and thread string through them. Tie the string behind the knees.

Length have been arrissed. Use a medium abrasive stone, again wetted, to start the grinding process. Work the stone backwards and forwards along the edge until all the shiny glass patches have disappeared. Finish off with a smooth stone to get a smooth finish.

If a polished edge is required. Rub the smoothed finish with a block of hardwood, about 150mm, 6 in long. 60 mm wide and 40mm thick. Alternatively. Squeeze a drop of oil on to a cloth and rub it along the smooth edge. This removes any loose and finely ground particles of glass and. At the same time, adds a brighter finish to the glass. However, it should be.noted that the polishing process requires a lot of time and patience, so it may be preferable to leave this final stage of polishing to glass merchants, who have special machines for the job.

COLOUR STAINING WOOD

Prepare the wood by using paint stripper, a scraper and glasspaper to get its surface as clean as possible. If the object is badly stained. Bleach it – preferably using genuine wood bleach. Bleaching is also useful when trying to match lighter with darker woods; it can be used as well to give added brightness to the dye.

Before applying the dye, clean the stripped surface with turpentine substitute. Also test for colour on a matching offcut first. As dyes can dry to ditt’erent shades.

On large objects use a soft, dry, clean, lint-free cloth; for crevices. Use a brush. Apply one even coat. Working quickly and with the grain. Wipe off any excess with a clean, dry cloth and then leave the surface to dry for at least six hours. Then apply further coats. Finish with coloured varnish or polyurethane wood sealer.