DIY projects for the Bank Holiday Weekend


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There's only one thing more inevitable than rain on a bank holiday weekend, and that's a huge queue in B&Q! If the weather is a wash out, here are four DIY projects guaranteed to brighten up your home.

How to paint kitchen cupboards
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for drab kitchen cupboards. Be brave and choose a vibrant colour for a strong, contemporary look. If your painted cupboards are peeling it's worth getting out the rubber gloves and paint stripper. A putty knife will help you get into tricky corners and mouldings.

If your kitchen cupboards are in pretty good shape, you won't need to strip off the old paint. Simply clean them thoroughly with sugar soap and sand down using a sandpaper block. Paint on an undercoat and let this dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. Shiny new handles will complete the transformation.

How to install a radiator cabinet
Why bother painting an ugly radiator when you can buy a stylish cabinet instead? Leading DIY stores offer cabinets in traditional and contemporary designs that come painted or ready-to-paint for half the cost. They are easy to assemble, will cut down on heat loss and provide an extra shelf to show off your prized possessions. What more could you want?

You'll need to measure the height, width and depth of your radiator, making allowance for any valves or thermostats. Then add 25mm to the height, 50 mm to the width (25mm for each side) and 25mm to the depth. This is to ensure enough space for airflow. Double check you have room for the cabinet as well as windows, doors and furniture before you get to work on the instructions. Note that cabinets should not be used with convector or storage heaters.

How to construct garden decking
Decking lasts about 25 years and is relatively straightforward to construct. Pay extra for a ready-prepared decking kit and the job becomes even easier. DIY stores and timber yards stock boards in hardwood or softwood that's been pressure treated with preservative to prevent rotting. Boards should have rounded edges to improve drainage and protect the feet.

First, remove all vegetation from the area and level and compact the ground, leaving a gentle slope away from the house to allow for drainage. Next, lay a weed-suppressing membrane and cover with gravel. You'll then need to construct a timber frame made up of horizontal joists attached to vertical posts, which you then attach the decking boards to. If you need to secure the frame to the house wall, use 100 mm masonry bolts. Step-by-step pamphlets and DVDs are available from larger DIY stores.

How to tile your bathroom
First, remove old wall coverings, paint and adhesive and ensure you have a clean, dry and flat surface. Tiles should be fixed to the wall working from the centre outwards, using a spirit level and baton as a guide. Insert tile spacers between the tiles to ensure an equal placement. When the adhesive is dry (about 24 hours later) you can begin grouting.

Mix the grout following the manufacturer's instructions and apply with a grouting tool. Push the grout into the joint diagonally across each tile, ensuring you've filled the gap. Use the grouting tool to remove any excess, finish with a wet sponge and polish with a clean, dry cloth. Don't grout corner tiles or those adjacent to the sink or bath. These should be filled with flexible silicone sealant.

Are you transformed your home with a simple DIY project? Leave a comment below...

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