5 DIY Don’ts When Self-Isolating

May 1, 2020

Right now it might be happening to you. In the last few weeks, it has certainly happened to me.

Millions of us across the world have had enough. We’ve got bored of being on our phones all the time. There’s pretty much nothing new to stream, and there’s all this free time that we don’t want to go to waste.

So what are millions of us doing that could land us in trouble? Three letters: DIY.

Admit it. You’ve probably found yourself getting bored and becoming fixated on a wobbly chair leg, scratch on a wall, bit of wallpaper peeling off. The list is endless.

Before you start on a new project with gusto, please don’t fall foul of becoming a DIY nightmare. Here are 5 DIY don’ts you should follow when isolating at home.

Don’t work on your electrics

Bar changing a light bulb, you won’t want to mess around with wiring and fixing electrical problems unless you know 100% what to do. Even something like replacing a dodgy light switch will require you to know about where the wires go, where your fuses are, which should be turned off while working, and how to avoid blowing fuses out.

And make sure you have replacement fuses handy, or else you could be spending the evenings sitting the dark.

Don’t paint objects that you can’t

You may see pictures online of people painting chairs, tables, cabinets (more on that next) and pretty much anything at home which needs a new lease of life. A solid rule of thumb for painting; if you’re unsure how to paint an object, don’t do it.

Case in point; your radiators. White radiators tend to look a little musty and off-white as the years go by, but it doesn’t mean you can paint over them. Many radiators will have special paint or gloss on the top, which helps stop the paint from chipping and cracking under heat. If you were to take some spare paint and pop it on your radiators, you’d end up with a mess on your hands.

If you are toying with having colourful radiators at home, I suggest visiting where you’ll be able to pick from glossy finishes, custom colours (literally any you can imagine) and polished chrome radiators.

Don’t just start painting kitchen cabinets

Unlike most bits of furniture around the house, you can’t merely attack a kitchen cabinet with a brush and apply paint liberally. Unlike other cabinets in your home, there’s an invisible problem you won’t notice that can turn a simple paint job into a nightmare: oil and grease.

If you have a splashback behind your cooker or sink, you’ll often notice little specks of oil, grease and water on there. The same happens with cabinets in your kitchen; only the liquids tend to seep in and go unnoticed until you paint over.

To avoid any problems, you’ll want to prep your cabinets fully, so get to scraping paint off or use some sandpaper to get through a layer of two and know you’ll have a clean layer to start. You’ll want to apply primer before painting, and make sure you use an acrylic-based paint, as that’s the easiest to wipe stains off.

Don’t become an amateur plumber

Unless you know how to fix a leak or know what to with a dripping tap, don’t play about with your fittings. Trying to change taps, fix showerheads and clear out the U-bend in your sink will only work when you have done it many times before.

Ask yourself if you want to get a professional over to fix a problem, or run the risk of flooding your bathroom in the middle of the night? I know which I would choose.

Don’t start jobs after 5 pm

There’s a reason why workers down tools at five, bar the obvious of getting to go home. Keep DIY projects for the daytime. When it comes to things like painting, you never want to find yourself staying up after midnight to get the first coat of emulsion finished. You’ll end up in a crabby mood which will put you off finishing the job the next day.

Fancy some more tips now that you have the DIY bug?

Whether you’re in the middle of redecorating a room, painting up a storm in the hallway, or want some ways to brighten up your home, you can find dozens of helpful articles in the Home Décor section. Have a look and see what DIY project will inspire you next.

5 DIY Don’ts When Self-Isolating was last modified: by

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