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Using a heat gun to strip paint :: Posted by: Admin on March 24th, 2014

3 point triangle scraper

Using a heat gun to strip paint

Heat guns, hot air gun or hot-air strippers as they are sometimes called are a way of removing paint from woodwork by using hot air, they are a better way of stripping paint than using a naked flame such as a blowtorch. Heat guns come with nozzles that can direct, and protect areas you do not wish to remove the paint and also from overheating glass panels and cracking the glass.

Many heat guns have two heat settings to allow more control over the removal of paint. If you buy a heat gun you will normally get a scraper with the gun, depending on model and price of the gun the amount of accessories you get with it will vary. As a basic tool you should use a triangle three pointed scraper, this will allow you to do basic paint stripping from large areas and moulded areas, you can buy other scrapers with different profiles to them for more detailed work or even a scrapper that allows you to change the end for your needs.

Temperature control

A good heat gun will allow you to choose different heat settings, normally low or high, these different heat temperatures will allow the gun only to heat up to a certain temperature giving you more control on the heat required for a given situation.

Heat guns can range in temperatures from around 10 – 500 ℃ (50 – 1000 ℉) so caution should be used when using heat guns.

Safety First

When using any heat tool safety should be observed. You should always be aware of your surroundings when using a heat gun. You should wear gloves, safety goggles or glasses, cover bare skin by wearing overalls, wear sensible shoes or boots, move any flammable items out of the way (such as curtains, carpet), have a fire extinguisher beside you. Ensure you only strip paint in well ventilated areas. Don’t put any part of you body in front of the airflow of the gun as this will cause injury.

Be aware of how old the paint you are stripping is, does it contain lead? Even though the topcoat may be modern, subsequent layers may be pre 1960 and contain lead. You can find more information on wikipedia about lead paint in the UK.

When stripping paint, the paint will get hot and sticky, it may even burn, be aware of the paint falling to the floor, protect the floor and keep an eye on smouldering paint. The scraper will also get hot as you use it so do not touch the end.

Be aware that the end of the gun will remain extremely hot for a period of time so do not lay it down on flammable surfaces such as carpet or dust sheets. Look out for heat guns that come with a stand when buying one, this will allow you to stand the gun safely whilst it cools down.

Heat Gun

Using a heat gun

Firstly you should you follow the safety instruction that come with your heat gun.

Use the appropriate heat setting, nozzle or shield and scraper for the job you are doing. Gently heat the paint with the heat gun ensuring you keep it moving to avoid scorching or burning the wood. As the paint bubbles and blisters scrape it off with the scraper and if required go back over the area to remove further layers.

Be aware of any glass as heating the glass will cause it to crack or shatter.

Once the paint is removed you can sand the wood smooth with sandpaper and then paint or varnish as required.

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Painting a kitchen :: Posted by: Admin on January 15th, 2014

Kitchen

Painting a kitchen

A kitchen tends to be the hub of any household, it’s where everyone seems to meet, eat and organise everything. So because this room is used so much and lived in a lot it may get dirty and grimey, especially with cooking fumes.

Ceilings can look yellowish, walls can get splashes of water, grease and food on them. So from time to time you may wish to freshen up the paintwork in your kitchen.

Before you begin painting

Before you start to paint you should remove and grease splashes on the surfaces you are going to paint, this may even include the ceiling! Sugar soap or a similar product is best for this job, don’t forget the woodwork also.

Also, if you have pets such as dogs, they often shake water off themselves when they have been outside, this goes everywhere, so it is worth wiping the walls over to remove the grime.

Paint choice

When it comes to choosing the paint, and by this I mean the finish rather than the colour. It is best to choose a hard wearing paint, one than can be wiped over if it gets dirty. You can by ‘Kitchen paint’ that is specially formulated to resist grease and grime, but this paint is normally more expensive that standard paints.

Some people prefer silk emulsion as this can be wiped off and due to its high vinyl content doesn’t rub off, like some matt emulsions can after time.

Once you have decided on the paint you wish to buy, you can use this paint calculator to work out how many litres you need to buy. All you need to know is the width and height of the area to paint, and how far a litre of the paint will go, often referred to as coverage, if the tin says how much for that tin, divide the amount by how many litres in the tin, so 5 litres that covers 65 sq m then divide 65 by 5 to give you how much 1 litre covers, in this example 13 sq m.

Painting the kitchen

Firstly you will need to cover the floor and kitchen units with dust sheets to prevent paint splashes, once you have done this you can begin to paint, start with the ceiling and any coving you may have, then once you have done two coats on the ceiling you can begin with the walls.

You should ‘cut in’ around kitchen units and use a roller to fill in. It maybe easier to remove the drawers and door closest to the wall to avoid getting paint on them, these are easily removed and replaced.

Once you have done two coats on the walls you can paint the woodwork, if you have any. Give the woodwork a light rub down, then an undercoat followed by a topcoat, such as gloss or satinwood.

Finishing off

Once you have finished painting and it has all dried, you can then put everything back into the kitchen and enjoy your newly decorated kitchen. You can add some artwork to your walls, maybe a new kettle or toaster could finish the transformation.

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How to make a dark room lighter :: Posted by: Admin on November 27th, 2013

How to make a dark room lighter

room pictures
With the clocks going back in the last couple of weeks here in the UK, the nights will draw in and with the long grey winter ahead the thought of a dull dark room for the next few months could be too much! Well you can make a dark room lighter, the following quick tips could be all you need to bring a little light back into your life for this winter.

Careful consideration and adding a combination of the following ideas could completely change a room, and a once unloved dark (and maybe unused room) room could be a enjoyable space in your property to be used and enjoyed.

Decorating

Once of the easiest ways to lighten a room is to decorate the space with light airy colours, colours that help reflect light, that doesn’t mean you have to paint everything white, although you could if you are going for an uncluttered clean look. Light natural colours with just a hint of colour work well. You can even buy paint that says to have light reflecting particles in it.

Soft Furnishings

Soft furnishings such as curtains, carpets, cushions and throws in light colours can all help to reflect light. For example loose cushions on a sofa can give the appearance of a dark coloured sofa being lighter than it really is.

Curtains that are plain rather than highly patterned again can help reflect light and give the appearance of a lighter window area. Tiebacks allow you to pull the curtain off of the window, maximising the window area and letting more natural light flood in.

Furniture

Most furniture can be painted, so if you are bored with your old dining table and chairs, how about painting them a light colour, the same goes for an old kitchen. Kitchen units can be painted in bright colours to cover over dark wood. It is far quicker and cheaper to paint old kitchen units than have them all replaced. This is only really an option if your units are in good condition and the units are not falling apart or have heat or water damage.

If the furniture is painted correctly you should get plenty more years out of them and enjoy the new lighter colour, just simply painting furniture, dining sets and kitchens can really make a difference to a room brightness.

Lights

Adding extra light into a dark space can improve a dark area, but his cost money, especially if you need to run the lights during the daylight hours. You could consider adding a sun pipe, this is a device that has a pipe from the roof into a dark room or space, it captures daylight and bounces it down the pipe and increasing the intensity of the light on it’s way, then natural light can fill the dark area.

An alternative to sun pipes or light tubes as they are sometimes known is a roof light, by this I mean a window in the roof, this will not only allow natural light in but has the added benefit of the window opening allowing in fresh air.

The other option is to install new lights, but you could use freestanding lamps, uplighters and desk lamp to add more light in certain areas of a room.

Flooring

If you have bare wood floorboards you could paint the floor with floor paint a bright colour, such as white to help reflect light. If your floors are varnished, using gloss rather than satin or matt varnish will help reflect the light better.

Windows and doors

IF your windows or doors overlook a brick wall, a fence or a shed then painting them in a light bright colour will help push natural light into any room, but just make sure they are yours to paint before getting out your paint brushes!

If your windows are painted or stained dark, lighten them up by painting them a light colour.

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Tips for changing the colour of emulsion :: Posted by: Admin on July 18th, 2013

Tips for changing the colour of emulsion

From time to time you may wish to change the colour of the emulsion on your walls, this is normally a straight forward job, however, if you are changing the colour of the emulsion there are things to consider.

We all get bored with the same colour on our walls, sometimes we make a mistake a pick the wrong colour just because it is in fashion or ‘on trend’ but when we get it on the walls we don’t like it or maybe it doesn’t really go with the sofa or carpet.

Sometimes the colour doesn’t look exactly the same as it it on the sample card so you want to change it. Or perhaps the walls have just got dirty.

Whatever the reason for changing the wall colours depending on what colour they are now will depend on how you re-paint them now.

Painting over weak or light colours

If you are painting over a weak or light colour, say a cream or white, and you are going to paint with a strong or dark colour such as red or dark green then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, you will naturally need to fill any holes and cracks and rub them down smooth and level and prepare the walls as normal.

To paint the wall you will need two coats, this means two coats of cutting in and two coats emulsion on the main part of the wall.

Graphic of a roller

Painting over strong or dark colours

If you are painting over strong or dark colours such as blue or red then you will find it easier to apply a obliterating coat first, a matt white emulsion is the best job for this. Matt emulsion is better than say silk emulsion for coverage, but if you have some lying around you could use it but make sure you let it dry between coats and be aware it could slightly increase drying times with the new emulsion as the vinyl in it will ‘hold it back’.

You may need to apply two or three good coats of white emulsion to obliterate strong or dark colours and give yourself a good base to work on.

You should prepare the walls as you normally would, fill cracks and holes and sand them down smooth and level and then apply the matt white emulsion to obliterate the strong or dark colour, leaving each coat to dry fully in between.

Then once the obliterating coat is done you can apply two good coats of final emulsion colour. You could give the walls a light rub down to remove and rough areas or debris before apply the final emulsion colour.

Do I need to undercoat the walls first

I have been asked in the past if you need to undercoat the walls first, on this occasion it was because the white wall were a bit grimy and dirty, I replied saying, “No, you don’t need to. A wipe over with sugar soap or warm water and washing up liquid would suffice”. Which is what I did before painting the walls a cream colour.

How do I work out how much paint I need to buy

To work out how much paint you need to buy, you need to do some quick measurements, so you will need a tape measure, and a pen and paper.

You need to know the wall or walls width, the hight of the room and how many coats you plan to do (2 is recommended for emulsion), also you need to know how far a litre of paint goes, you can find this out either on the tin of paint, in the paint manufactures literature or from the paint supplier.

Once you have these simple measurements and figures head over and use this great paint calculator and input your figures to find out how many litres of paint you are going to need, you can also use this calculator to work out how many litres of matt white emulsion you need to block out a strong colour.

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