In the past year, many Brits have made the most of lockdown by giving their old wooden furniture a lick of paint or adding Pinterest-worthy panelling to a feature wall in their home, amongst other DIY tasks.
In fact, 85% of homeowners have undertaken home improvements during lockdown – which naturally, had led to many Brits accumulating a whole range of DIY materials.
However, did you know that certain DIY materials can become a health hazard if not used for a while? Or even wreak havoc on your home when used in future DIY projects?
To delve into the full extent of the issue, MattressNextDay has highlighted the DIY items you need to ditch after not using for a year, and why.
Seven Unexpected DIY Items You Need to Ditch After a Year and Why
- Old paint can give inconsistent finish in the future
Painting is no doubt the most popular DIY project to tackle in the home. However, whilst it can be wise to save it for future touch up’s, did you know that paint comes with its own lifespan? To check whether your paint is still of use, open it up and see if it has separated. If it has, make sure to discard it as improperly mixed paint can give you an inconsistent colour and finish.
If you need to discard the tin, make sure to do so correctly. Liquid paint is banned from landfill and, therefore, can’t be accepted by the council. Instead, you’ll need to wait for the paint to harden before you take it to a local recycling centre. To speed up the hardening process, you can add some sawdust, soil or sand and leave it to solidify.
- Old wood can increase the chances of mould occurring
Are you holding onto some odd bits of wood in the hope of creating a future side-table top, or another wood-related DIY project? Or perhaps your garage is full of no-longer-needed bookcases, wardrobes or side tables?
If so, it may be worth checking it for mould. Wood likes to soak up water, and with that, can create mould – leading to more potential problems. In the future, make sure to store any wood off the ground and in a dry environment (if possible). Also, make sure to sell any wooden furniture as soon as possible when storing in the garage, to prevent mould from occurring.
- Hardened paintbrushes, or these can be recovered with fabric softener
If you left paint on your paintbrush in your last DIY project, then ideally you should throw it out as using a hardened paintbrush can lead to streaks or inconsistent colouring on your walls. However, if you’ve already started your paintwork and can’t get the shops, or want to save some cash, you can use fabric softener to give your brushes a new lease of life.
Firstly, remove the excess paint from the brush as much as you can. Next, fill a bowl with ¼ fabric softener, and the rest (¾) water. Begin swirling your paintbrush in the mixture until the paint starts to come off and sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Once clean, rinse off any remaining solution and leave the brushes to dry horizontally on a flat surface. Letting them dry upright causes water to seep into the handle and can damage the brush.
- Weakened painting tape, after improper storage
If you have painted an accent wall in your home, you’ll no doubt have become accustomed to painter’s tape. However, did you know that improper storage can impact the strength of your tape? If the room in which you store your tape, such as your garage, goes from hot to cold and back again, it lessens the strength of the seal of the tape – making it harder to get those crisp lines.
To help extend the lifetime of painting tape, make sure to store it in an airtight plastic bag and keep it in temperate conditions.
- Old tools, which aren’t serviced yearly
Whilst old tools can be nostalgic and remind you of a previous DIY project, or a parent passing them down to you, unfortunately, all tools have a limited lifespan, and can become dangerous towards the end
Some tell-tale signs of a tool to discard include fraying cords, loose fittings or rusting on a blade. However, a simple rule is that if it doesn’t look right, then don’t use it. You should also aim to have your tools checked and serviced at least once a year, and replace those that are no longer in use
- Storage jars full of screws
Many of us have storage jars filled to the brim with nails and screws, but do we really need them all? There can’t possibly be a need for every nut, bolt and screw, especially those that aren’t in good shape or rusty. Instead, consider throwing them out and replacing them when required, before placing them in a better storage system that works.
- Wallpaper paste that was mixed more than two weeks ago
When making wallpaper paste, make sure that you mix the amount that you need, and no more. Mixed wallpaper paste has a very limited shelf-life of just one to two weeks, and that’s only if it’s kept in an airtight container. To check that your wallpaper paste is of use, check that it’s not too runny, as this means it is no longer usable.
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