7 DIY tips from our experts

At Leyland SDM, our goal is simple: to make the decorating and DIY products used by professionals more accessible and available to all. But we’ve got a lot more to offer than that…

In this blog post we’ve collected some of our favourite DIY tips and tricks, straight from our greatest resource – our teams of experts. Let’s have a look…

Keep your brushes fresh overnight – Michael, Store Manager

“Nobody’s going to judge you for taking a few days to paint a room – some things take time to get right. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

“I do, however, cringe a little when I see people washing their brushes each and every night to keep them fresh. You can save yourself time (and paint!) by wrapping up your brushes and sticking them in the fridge. I use clingfilm but a plastic bag works just as well – anything that seals up tight. It even works for your rollers. Also, check out our ‘Brush Mate’ range which offers further alternatives to keeping your brushes fresh”

Brilliant advice from Michael. Next time you’re doing a DIY job that will last a couple of days, do yourself a favour and store your brushes in the fridge!

Nail removal done right – Stuart, Store Manager

“If I had a penny for every time I’ve seen people leave dents, scrapes and scuffs behind while trying to remove a nail with a claw hammer…

“For the sake of your wood and your walls, put a sponge behind your claw hammer before you start yanking out nails. This will create a simple yet effective barrier and leave your surfaces free of any unsightly scuffs.

Don’t have a hammer in your tool box? Did you not read our blog post on essential toolbox tools?!

No drill? No problem! – Christina, Store Manager

“If you’re having a tough time driving your nails into hardwood, we’d normally recommend pre-drilling the holes first. But what if you don’t have access to a drill?

“This tip is as simple as it is strange; rub the nail over a bar of soap first. This will reduce the friction, making it easier to hammer in the nail, and also reduce the chances of the wood splitting.”

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that hardwood is exactly that – hard wood. But don’t worry, Christina has got your back. This will also work when using a screwdriver and screws.

Our solution for strong paint smells – Ian, Store Manager

“Paint fumes can create a strong odour that isn’t always the most pleasant, especially when working in confined spaces with little ventilation. Here’s a trick that can be put in to place before you’ve even touched a brush…

“Mix vanilla extract into your paint then stir well. 3-5 drops per litre of paint usually does the trick. The vanilla will neutralize most, if not all, of the paint fumes, removing them from the room before you’ve even started painting.”

We love this top tip from Ian – so much better than leaving a plate of chopped onions out!

 Painting like a pro – Flavia, Assistant Manager

“My top tip would be something a customer taught me when I first started working at Leyland SDM. The guy was a professional tradesman and was asking if we had any Vaseline for a job he was working on.

“Apparently, he would use it to protect fixings, keyholes and light switches by covering them with a thin coat before painting. Once the paint was dried, you just wipe off the Vaseline and everything is perfect and untouched. I can’t remember his name but I’ve never forgotten his advice.”

This unnamed customer made a lasting impression on our Flavia, but that doesn’t mean your paint has to on your fixings. A small coating of Vaseline can go a long way.

Stop spoiling your paintbrushes – Will, Sales Assistant

“Almost everyone makes this mistake. Leaving your paintbrushes to soak vertically in water (or any kind of cleaning solvent) will cause the bristles to bend, changing their form forever.

What’s more, the water can also get into the base of the brush and loosen the glue holding the bristles in place. This causes the bristles to fall out and get stuck in the paint, rendering your brushes useless and spoiling your hard work.”

Never soak your brushes vertically, and never soak them for too long – got it!

A quick tip for paint drips – James, Store Manager

“No matter how careful you try to be, there’ll always be a sneaky drip or two that snakes its way down the side of the paint tin.

Now, hopefully you’ve already covered your surfaces to protect them from splashes, but do yourself a favour and attach a paper plate to the bottom of the paint tin to catch any drips. Once you’re finished, you can reuse the plate or replace it at little cost. Alternatively, if you buy a paint kettle, the lid will also do this job for you!”

Reduce the clean-up time for your next DIY project by catching those troublesome drips and slips.

Need some specific advice on painting, decorating or DIY?

If you’ve got a DIY project on the cards and need some direction, swing by your local Leyland SDM store today. As a trusted retailer of some of the biggest and best-known UK DIY brands, we take pride in being there to answer all your questions.

See you soon!