Top 10 DIY tips


For our October meeting, we invited Wayne Perrey from the DIY Doers and the Great Interior Design Challenge along to help us brush up on our DIY skills. Our knowledge in the group ranged from those with little experience to DIY experts – including building stud walls!

However, Wayne gave us some great advice and he’s shared his Top 10 DIY tips with us.

  1. Find your stop cock mains water tap and turn it every 6 months to ensure it works. Now you know you can shut off the water, giving you peace of mind if an emergency occurs. Turn the tap righty tighty to close it and lefty loosey to open it. Never have your stopcock/tap fully open to the left as this can encourage it to seize up.
  1. When doing any DIY jobs, especially plumbing, have the tools you need right next to you to avoid the tool you need being on the other side of the room! A few seconds of can make all the difference in an emergency. Also, keep a couple of speed fit stop ends in different pipe sizes in case you need to close a pipe off quickly.
  1. Switched on DIYers do their shopping during the week, or in the evening, as the stores are much quieter and you don’t have to waste your precious weekend project doing time in an overcrowded store or queue.
  1. For tile adhesive or grout mixed in a bucket: put a damp towel over the bucket to gain more time to work with it before if goes off (or too hard). This is a must for warm weather or summer time tiling projects.
  1. If you are doing some painting, avoid your brush or roller from drying out in between coats by wrapping your tools in cling film/shrink wrap or even a good plastic bag to keep the air out. Simply unwrap and continue painting when ready.
  1. At the end of painting, you can save and use all the excess paint in your roller by using a spatula (or just a blunt kitchen knife) and holding the roller over the paint pot. Gently run the spatula down the edges and see how much paint pours back into your pot. A real time saver before washing it too!
  1. Before drilling, use a centre punch or an old nail to gently tap a small dent on the wall where you want to drill. Rest the drill in this dent to make the hole without fear of the drill bit slipping.
  1. Smoothing sealant with a small amount of washing up liquid rubbed on your finger will ensure a lovely crease free line. Smooth it in one motion, then wipe your finger clean with a damp cloth, then add a bit more washing up liquid and repeat all the way along.
  1. Drilling tip. Get on a level with your drill so that you aren’t having to stretch or drill higher than your head. Important for safety but also this will make it easier to make sure your drill bit goes in absolutely straight.
  1. Get a big elastic band and put it around the middle of your paint can. It needs to be fairly tight. Use it to wipe your brushes as you paint to avoid the outer edges of the can getting clogged up with paint. Your lid will fit beautifully every time.

To find out more about Wayne and the DIY Doers, and for more great help and tips visit You can also join our Facebook group the diy doers club.

Our online course “Discover DIY The Must have Guide to Tools and How to Use them” is currently on offer to all WI members to buy for themselves or as a gift at a discounted price of £60.00 (RRP £147).


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