Tools For The Decoration And Maintenance Of Your Walls

The main work done to walls is: painting, wallpapering, tiling or perhaps minor repairs of plaster-work. The tools for these would be: Painting A series of suitable brushes and, of course, supplies of brush-cleaning material. For rubbing down the surfaces in preparation for painting you will need sandpaper.

A useful tool for this is the flexible hand file called a Flex-file, manufactured by Rawlplug Limited.

A plastic bucket is useful for mixing emulsion paint. Oil paint is usually supplied ready-prepared by the manufacturers and can be put on direct from the tin. However, you will often find it convenient to pour the paint from its tin into a small metal container with a handle.

Don’t forget that you will need a supply of old cloths to wipe up the inevitable splashes! For any work to be done above arms reach, you must have some safe means of getting up to the work. A pair of stepladders may serve for a small job, but far better is some form of scaffolding. For example, the well-known makers of KeeKlamps produce ready-to-erect small scale scaffoldings specially for use in the home. If you intend to do any large amount of home decoration these are a very good investment. They consist of steel tube frames which clamp together to form scaffolds of various heights. Some can be used out of doors to reach the upstairs windows and gutters. Others are much smaller and are only used indoors.

An excellent piece of equipment that we have used is the aluminium folding ladder supplied by Messrs. Knight Limited which converts readily from a normal, full length ladder to a tall pair of steps or a flat-top scaffold platform. This is a very useful piece of home equipment.

Wallpapering

Tools are quite simple, especially since the edges of wallpaper are now usually ready-trimmed. A long-bladed pair of scissors is useful for trimming off. Also get a broad (minimum 4 ins.) brush for applying the paste. It is a great help to have a flexible, soft-bristled broad brush to help to press the paper flat to the wall. A small sponge is handy at times.

Although you can do satisfactory work without it, a small hand roller for squeezing down the edges of paper will make this job much simpler and easier.

All wallpapers must be pasted and you will need a pasting table. Downstairs, one may make use of the kitchen table, but it is not usually convenient to carry this upstairs! There, the simplest solution is to buy a cheap, 6 ft. x3 ft. sheet of hardboard which will be very inexpensive. This is placed on the bed (which has been previously covered with newspaper) and will give a perfectly adequate surface on which to paste.

For a more permanent job, also portable, you can make a collapsible pasting table.

One tool which you can buy for a few pounds eliminates the need for a pasting table entirely. This is a pasting machine. These are extraordinarily efficient and certainly speed up the work enormously. They cost several pounds but this amount is a very worthwhile outlay, especially if you intend, as many of us do, to change your wallpaper fairly often. It can tackle the pasting of very light and very heavy papers equally effectively.

You will find a trimming guide and cutter useful. These are a stainless steel strip of L shaped section and a hardened steel roller-cutter. They will cut the wallpaper strips off perfectly straight and at the correct position, as we show in our pictures. Although not so useful as the pasting machine, this pair of tools is none the less handy.

Just as for painting, you will need means of getting up to the work.

Tiling

Requires tools for preparing the surface, such as sandpaper or the flexible file and some form of scraper with notched edges with which to apply the adhesive. This last can easily be improvised using a strip of hardboard with in. square notches cut in the edge. A special tile cutter with a carbide tip only costs a few pence and is a good investment. Although you can cut tiles with an ordinary glass cutter, these clog with tile dust which may make them useless for later work on glass.

Plastering

We do not recommend that an amateur tackle this job on a large scale but for the small patches you will find a broad trowel useful. For best results, a rectangular steel float trowel, as used by a professional plasterer, is essential. This tool can also be used for concreting, both indoors and out.

Finally, for special jobs such as applying hardboard sheet to walls you may need the routine woodworker’s tools: screwdriver, hammer and a suitable drill for fixing plugs into walls.

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