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Tips & Tricks: Paint, Decoration and Home Renovation


How to apply paint properly

Always stir the paint well. Only dilute when specified and with the indicated diluent.

Do not dip the paint brush or the paint roller into the drum entirely and wipe off excessive paint on the edge of the drum. With this right amount of paint, the paint will spread evenly and dripping will be avoided.

When using a paint roller, apply paint vertically first and horizontally afterwards. End with a vertical stroke from bottom to top. When using a paint brush, start at the top of the surface with the loaded brush and strike horizontally. Repeat this at the bottom of the surface. Then spread the paint in small vertical strips and repeat this as soon as possible horizontally. Finish by evening out the last layer from bottom to top.

How to store leftover paint

To store leftover paint, close the lid firmly and turn the paint drum upside down for a second. This will make the paint close the seam between drum and lid.

>How to estimate the right amount of paint

To judge the right amount of paint, first calculate the surface that needs painting by multiplying the height of the walls with the width. Add up all measurements and do not forget to deduct the surface of windows and doors.

How to obtain a matt glass effect

To get a matt glass effect treat the windows with matt varnish, not semi-mat. The best result is guaranteed by using a paint spray gun to apply the varnish. This will lead to a uniform matt effect.

How to paint flexible PVC

To revive flexible PVC upholstery, apply immediately a synthetic product like Fassilux Satin to a cleaned surface. Do not use latex or acrylic paint as the surface will remain sticky resulting in an undried effect.

How to paint tiles

In order to make the paint stick to tiles, on glass or on any other type of non-porous surface, dilute Noxyde (Mathys) with 25% of water or use products like Special Primer (Levis) and brush the well-degreased surface with a thin layer of one of these two products.

How to strip old paint

Stripping old paint can be done using a cold or hot method. The most widespread method is to use a hot air gun. Chemical paint removers are used on varnish, dispersion paint and oil based paint, and on difficult surfaces.

Solvent-based paint

Solvent-based paints are very easy to use. It is important to use brush and paint properly meaning spreading the paint thoroughly with the brush. One of the advantages of this type of painting is the paint’s strong mechanical resistance. Most solvent-based paints can be coated again after 24 hours.

Painting tools

Paint rollers and painting cushions are used for big surfaces and with an emulsion paint rather than with a solvent-based enamel paint.

Pencils and brushes are used for small and difficult to reach surfaces (e.g. window frames). There is a wide range of brushes, with different qualities and for all sorts of different usages.

How to fill up gaps and cracks

Cellulose or synthetic coatings are preferably used for wood surfaces and plaster for indoor works. Use a sanding machine to achieve a perfectly even surface.

Finishing touch : sponge painting

Nowadays there are products on the market that enable you to create a patina effect in a fast and easy way (Fair Décor, Effect, Fractalis, Lime Patina,…) . Contact us for more advice.

Wall coverings

How to avoid air bubbles and creases in wallpaper

Make sure that the soaking period is the same for each and every strip of wallpaper. If there is a difference in soaking time, the paper will bulge.

How to avoid wallpaper leftovers

To calculate the right amount of rolls of wallpaper, multiply the perimeter of the room to be wallpapered by its height. Do not forget to subtract the width of windows and doors from the room’s perimeter. Then divide this figure by the width of the roll and add one extra roll. The points of attachment between two connecting strips of patterned wallpaper vary in length, according to the design. This length is indicated at the back of the wallpaper. You have to take this into account when calculating the number of rolls of wallpaper, and add this length to the height of the room.

How to wallpaper corners

When the width of a strip overlaps a sharp angle, measure the interval between the edge of the last strip and the angle of the wall. Indicate this measurement at the back of the strip to be glued to the wall and cut it off. Position this strip and assure the designs are aligned.

How to wallpaper stairwells<

Start by wallpapering the longest strips. Then wallpaper the other parts of the stairwell. When measuring the strips, take into account the slope of the stairs. The length of the strips has to be sufficient so as to attain the skirting-board level.

How to wallpaper alcoves

Start by wallpapering the outer wall and fold over a three-centimetre wide strip against the inside of the alcove. Carve out small triangles out of the folded strip as to make the paper follow the curvature of the wall. Then fold back the lips around the edge.

How to wallpaper around windows

Cut the wallpaper to the right size and wallpaper the inner walls first. Leave a small margin on the vertical sides. Place the following strip and push the parts that are sticking out against the window opening. Cut the paper off at the edge of the window frame.

Practical wallpapering tips

Remove the imperfections and treat the shiny surfaces so as to achieve an even surface by smoothing out or treating the surface with a suitable filler.

What if the wallpaper comes loose

Concerning strippable wallpaper, remember that a longer soaking period is needed (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).

Floor coverings

How to lay two strips of carpet in the same direction

When aligning two strips of carpet, it is important to lay them in the same direction. Verify the direction by placing an A-4 sized paper on the carpet. Then take a ballpoint and rub it over the paper. This will make the paper move in the direction the carpet is laid.

How to clean carpets properly: frequent maintenance

In our opinion, it is necessary to vacuum the carpet parts that are used frequently twice a week and the entire carpet once a week. Please maintain the carpet from the first day. Never pull out any threads but cut them off with a pair of scissors. Treat the deformed parts with steam and use a hard brush to straighten the piles. Moreover, it is preferable to roll a carpet rather than folding it.

Thorough carpet cleaning : dry cleaning method

A solvent is injected under pressure into the carpet. This solution penetrates the pile thanks to a rotating nylon brush. Afterwards, the carpet is treated with a cotton cloth which removes the stains and this cleaning process ends with vacuuming.

Advantages : short drying period and thorough cleaning thanks to the cotton cloth treatment.

Thorough carpet cleaning : injecting and extracting method

By spraying hot water under pressure into the carpet, stains will soak off. This water is immediately extracted by a powerful vacuum cleaner.

Advantages : effective method, especially recommended for long pile textile.

Disadvantages : longer drying period and shrinking risk.

Thorough carpet cleaning : dry shampoo method

A compact mousse with a minimum level of moisture is applied by means of a roller or a rotating brush machine before massaging it into the pile and vacuuming.

Advantage : short drying period.

Disadvantages : it only cleans the surface and is not suitable for all types of carpets.

Thorough carpet cleaning : wet shampoo method

A machine with disks is used to spread the shampoo on fast rotating cylinder-shaped brushes. This leads to the foaming of the product and the soaking of the piles.

Advantage : effective cleaning.

Disadvantages : shrinking risk. It is important to respect the entire drying period.

How to remove carpet stains

Act immediately on the carpet by removing the largest part of any stain with a spoon or a knife. Afterwards dab up or massage gently with an absorbing tissue to remove the liquids. Lukewarm water or shampooing generally suffices to remove a recent stain. After applying a product that moistens, respect the entire drying period before moving on to the next step.

Materials & miscellaneous

How to restore antique furniture

Furniture always evokes memories, even more so when they are antique. Maintenance is important and necessary, restoration is vital. Tips to carry out the following delicate procedures :

  1. Cleaning : Gently rub off previous layers of wax and grease stains with steel wool drenched in grease and wax remover. Afterwards, wipe off with a dry cloth. If necessary strip leftovers.
  2. Stripping : Apply the paint stripper with a pencil. Let the paint stripper soak in for a couple of minutes and remove the varnish with steel wool. Finish by brushing the surface with steel wool drenched in grease and wax remover.
  3. Treatment : The naked wood is now ready for treatment. Apply an insecticide on the interior and exterior surfaces with a pencil. Using a syringe, inject the same product into all cracks and joints. Treat the seriously mouldered parts with the insecticide for an hour. Leave to dry.
  4. Filling up : Apply liquid wood to a filling knife. To reconstruct imperfect parts remove all parts of decayed wood, sandpaper and refill afterwards. Let the wood dry, then sandpaper again in order to achieve a smooth and even surface.
  5. Staining : On the treated wood apply an acrylic or solvent-based paint with a sponge, cloth or pencil depending on the wood grain pattern. Let the wood dry for at least 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Pore filling : Use a product to fix the stain. This will result in the filling of the pores of the wood and will profound the grains. Furthermore, it enables a waxed or varnished finish.
  7. Varnishing : Use a pencil to apply a layer of satin or brilliant shine varnish on the treated wood.
  8. Waxing : Apply thin layers of wax using either a dry cloth or a very soft grade of steel wool. Leave to dry for 10 to 20 minutes. In case the furniture is decorated with ornaments, polish these using a cloth of wool or a soft brush.

Cleaning tools

Wire brushes allow you to remove rust from metals, damaged layers of paint from brickwork and impurities from façades.

Filling knifes allow you to fill up gaps, creases, joints, etc.

Scrapers allow you to remove old layers of non-adherent paint or solidified residues (e.g. cement and other plasterwork).

High pressure cleaners are used mainly for thorough cleaning (roofing, façades, gutters and floors).