How to clean a paint brush

Clean a paint brush

To clean your paint brush is an easy task.

There are two types of paint, oil based and latex/acrylic. Oil based paint needs turpentine for brush clean up, whereas latex/acrylic paint is water based clean up.

Water based paint brush clean up

First scrape off as much paint as possible from the brush into the paint tin. A paint scraper or a 5 in 1 tool is a good tool for this. Then wipe your paint brush with some toilet paper, squeezing out any left over paint.

When you have got as much paint off the brush as you can, you then wash the paint brush. Warm soapy water in a bucket is the best method. Work any paint left in the bristles with your hands and a brush comb or wire brush.

Rinse your paint brush and check for any paint still present on the bristles. If the bristles are paint free, spin the paint brush between your hands. This will get rid of excess water.

Wrap your brush in the original wrapper if available, if not, wrap it in a paper towel and store flat.

Oil based paint clean up

As with latex/acrylic paint, scrape off excess paint from the brush. Then use toilet paper to wipe and squeeze excess paint from your brush. This may take several wipes to get as much paint out of the brush as possible.

Now put a small amount of turpentine into a glass or tin container about 1/2″ or 10mm and dip your brush into the turpentine. Swill the brush around in the turpentine and then use toilet paper to squeeze out the paint from the brush.

Empty the turpentine into another container and wipe out the brush container with toilet paper. Refill the container with another 1/2′ of turpentine and do as before, swilling the brush around in the fresh turpentine.

Again empty the turpentine into your other container and wipe it out with toilet paper.

Continue doing these steps until the turpentine you use in the first container is no longer becoming tainted with paint.

Give your paint brush a spin between your hands to remove excess turpentine and store the brush in it’s original container, or flat in a paper towel.

The turpentine in the second container that is full of paint should be left for a couple of days. After 2 or 3 days you can recycle the turpentine for future clean ups as the paint will have settled to the bottom of the container.

What type of paint to use for your project

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What type of paint to use for your project

What type of paint to use

The type of paint you need for your project depends on several factors.

Factors include whether you are painting inside or outside, if the area you are painting is high traffic or low traffic area and what type of finish you want.

You have the choice of oil based or latex (acrylic) paints.

Oil based paint

Oil based contain either linseed oil (natural) or alkyd oil (synthetic). Oil based paints are more durable than latex/acrylic paints, but take much longer to dry and require mineral turpentine for clean up.

Alkyd based paint is less expensive and tougher than linseed oil based.

Oil based paints are better for trims and doors because these take a lot more abuse than walls.

You cannot paint oil based paint over latex/acrylic without sealing the latex paint, however you can paint directly over latex/acrylic over oil based paint.

Latex/acrylic paint

Latex/acrylic paint is good for general wall and ceiling painting, being easier to use and clean up with water. Latex/acrylic paint dry much faster than oil based paints, but are as hardy as oil based paints.

Acrylic paint is less likely to yellow or fade than oil paints do.

You can paint latex/acrylic paint over oil based paint.

Paint finishes

There are several types of paint finish, flat, satin, semi gloss and gloss.

Flat paint has a high pigment ratio making it better for covering your project and helping camouflage any defects in the surface. However flat paint is the hardest to keep clean, so shouldn’t be used in high traffic areas.

Because flat paint is very porous and shouldn’t be used under satin or gloss finish paint, it may cause flashing (patches of different sheen).

Satin finish paint is the most popular to use for interior walls because it hides small imperfections and is easy to keep clean.

Semi glass and gloss paint is best for the bathroom and kitchen. Gloss is the easiest to keep clean but gloss does show up imperfections really well. Paint preparation is very important when using gloss.

Other factors

Painting new work requires a sealer coat to seal the material used. Sealers give the surface a better key for your paint to stick to. Use oil based sealers for oil based paint and latex/acrylic sealers for latex/acrylic paint.

Surface preparation is critical for getting the best paint finish. It may take a lot more time in preparation than actually painting your project. But the time spent on preparation is time well spent.

Is your project inside or outside. check out our post below.

How to paint your house exterior

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Drywall hole fix

Fixing a hole in drywall is a skill all handy people should develop. We’ll show you how to fix damage drywall from a small ding to a large hole.

Before you start your repair, determine what tools and products you will need to complete the repair.

Tools and products

Tools you will require for drywall repairs are Stanley knife, paint scraper, drywall saw, sanding block and painting equipment. These can be added to your basic tool kit, check out our post on basic tools a handyman needs below.

Products you will need for fixing your drywall are plaster or gap filler, drywall tape and paint.

Small hole fix

To fix small holes up to 20mm made by picture hooks or scratches, you’ll only need some filler and spatula plus a small brush and paint.

First sand the hole to remove any protruding edges, rub your hand over the hole to check. Then wipe with cloth to remove any dust prior to adding filler to hole.

Now put a small amount of filler on your spatula and apply the filler with the spatula at a 45 degree angle to the hole. Then hold the spatula at a 90 degree angle and scrap away excess filler. Leave for about half an hour to dry.

Lightly sand the repair once dry and wipe away any dust with a cloth. Apply a light coat of paint to the repair and feather the edges to the surrounding area. It’s better to apply multiple light coats of paint than a single heavy coat.

Quick Tip: 

For pin hole repairs all you need is a bar of soap. Rub the bar of soap over the hole and this will fill until next time your painting and you can use filler to fix before painting.

Medium hole fix

For holes between 30mm – 50mm caused by door handles or the like.

You’ll need a utility knife, sandpaper with sanding block, fiberglass drywall mesh, spatula, filler and painting equipment.

Use your utility knife to remove any torn paper or crumbly edges and the sand the area smooth. Wipe away any dust with a cloth.

Apply a piece of drywall mesh tape to the hole and push in slightly. You may need a more than 1 piece of tape.

Push filler into the mesh and hole with spatula until the hole is completely covered. Smooth filler to remove any excess filler and allow to dry. For deep holes, apply in multiple layers allowing each layer to dry. Feather out the filler 20mm out from the hole.

Using your sanding block smooth the filler and check for any low areas that may require more filler. When repair is flush with surrounding area, wipe away dust with a cloth and your ready to paint.

Apply 2 or 3 light coats of paint feathering out the edges to blend into the surrounding wall.

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Big hole fix

Big holes up to 120mm, you’ll need a piece of drywall, filler, joint tape, 120-grit sand paper, utility knife, drywall saw and paint scraper. Paint and a paint roller and tray.

Quick tip

To make small patches of drywall, use your utility knife to score 1 side of the drywall and then snap the board along the score mark.

Cut a piece of drywall slightly larger than the hole to be repaired, this will be the plug. Put the piece over the hole and make around the piece with a pen. Now saw diagonally into the corners from the hole. With your utility knife, bevel the edge of the square hole to allow room for filler. Check for any obstacles behind the drywall.

You’ll need another 2 pieces of drywall the width of the hole and twice as high as the hole as backing boards. Coat each of these pieces with filler and apply to the backside of the drywall hole each covering a 1/3 of the hole and allow to dry.

After an hour you can coat the drywall plug with filler and push onto the backing boards in the hole, wiping away any excess filler. Leave to dry for an hour. 

Now coat the drywall repair with filler and add tape to the repair, spreading the filler out around the repair. Scrap away any excess filler and allow to dry for an hour.

Once the filler is dried, sand the area with 120-grit sand paper, wipe away dust and paint the repair with a light coat of paint. 

For big hole repairs you are best off painting the whole wall to finish off the repair without a patchy finish.

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Hand Painted Santa Shoes

Hand painted Santa shoes

These hand painted Santa shoes are easy to make. Below is what you’ll need and how to paint your own Santa shoes.

What you’ll need

A pair of canvas shoes – These can be picked up for as little as $3.50 a pair.

Acrylic paint – Red, Black, White & Gold

Pencil – A “B” lead pencil makes it easy to draw the design on the shoes

Paint markers and Sharpie pens – to even out painted edges

Paint brushes

Masking tape – to mask off the soles of the shoes

Draw design on the shoes

Using a B lead pencil, draw the design you want on your shoes. I used a Santa belt and buckle design.

Santa Belt and Buckle design
Mask off the soles

As you can see in the photo above, the shoe soles have been masked off with masking tape. This makes painting the shoes a little easier. It takes a bit of time to mask off the soles. To follow the contour of the soles, I use small pieces of masking tape as seen here..

Painting the shoes

I started painting the Santa shoes red. To get a good cover of red took 3 coats. Allow about an hour between coats.

Next I painted the belt black and once it was dry I painted the gold buckle.

When you’ve finished painting, get your paint makers and Sharpie pen and outline all the painted edges. The Black line on the scalloping was done with a Sharpie pen.

Check out how to build a cubby house on my blog here!

Protecting your Santa shoes

After painting and edge marking your Santa shoes, remove the masking tape. Use Beeswax to give your shoes a little bit of protection.

Scrub the Santa shoes with the Beeswax, giving it a good cover. Then heat the Beeswax with a hair dryer to melt the Beeswax into the shoes. this will give your shoes a natural coat of protection.

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TA DA! You have yourself a fun pair of Santa shoes

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Build a Cubby House

I will show how to build a cubby house. This will include a time line and photos of progress.

The cost of this cubby house was kept to a minimum using recycled pallet wood for the exterior cladding and flooring and wood that lying around. It took a couple of days to cut all the chamfer boards on a table saw. I have already posted the details of how to make weatherboards from pallet wood on my blog here.

Day 1 June 1

The first day of building a cubby house involved making the base and putting up the wall frame.

Black plastic was laid down and the sub floor was then built. Bearers were old hardwood fence rails and joists were 70x35mm pine offcuts. Wall frames are new 70x35mm treated pine. Flooring was plywood from pallets.

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Day 2 June 9th

Second day of building a cubby house was dedicated to finishing the wall frame and getting the roof structure up.

The ridge board is a piece of recycled pallet wood and the rafters were 70x35mm treated pine.


Day 3 & 4 June 15th-16th

Spent 2 days cutting recycled pallet wood into chamfer boards for the exterior cladding. 

Day 5 June 22nd

Started putting cladding on cubby house.

50x25mm boards are attached to each corner to frame the cladding. This give you a good line to finish your cladding to.

Edge boards outlined in red

Day 6 & 7 July 13th-July 14th

Finish putting cladding on the walls and get the roof on. Pine fence palings are used for the roof. The palings are cut to chamfer board profile.

Day 8 & 9 July 20th – July 21st

Finishing of the roof and getting the cubby house painted.

Day 10 August 4th

Had to lay recycled pallet wood for the flooring as the plywood was not solid. The pallet plywood was made of pieces of timber that were not laminated but sandwiched between to sheets.

A fancy fascia was also added to the cubby house. A old 20lt bucket was used for a template for the scalloped fascia.

Day 11 August 31st

We’ve added a side patio to the cubby house. It has clear roof sheeting and pine decking for the flooring.

Day 12 September 6th

Change of colour and the side patio is finished off.

Day 13 September 15th

The windows and door are installed. Windows were hand made from recycled pallet wood and 3mm perspex. Door was left over plywood from cubby house fascia.

Day 14 September 27th

Windows and door are painted. A heart has been added to the door with a perspex window.

Day 15 October 5th

Finally finished.

So, to build a cubby house like this will take about a fortnight if you have that much time to dedicate to the project. As you can see from the time line, this took me a bit over 4 months. This take into account such things as weather and other commitments like work and family time.

Tools used for this project include compound mitre saw, table saw, nail gun, air compressor, hammer, hand saw, chisels, cordless drill and circular saw.

How to choose a pressure washer

How to choose a pressure washer? We’ll show you which pressure washer is best for your job.

What is a pressure washer?

Pressure washers pumps water at an increased pressure and speed of water to clean many different surfaces. A typical pressure washer will deliver 50% more power and use 80% less water than a garden hose.

Water blasters can be electrical or petrol powered, and deliver cold or hot water. Most pressure washers come with accessories such as different nozzles, brushes and detergent pickups.

Water blasters are measured by their PSI (pounds per square inch).

1000 – 4000 PSI pressure washers are good for general domestic jobs. Such as washing cars or decks and washing down siding. Washers in this range are usually electrically powered. Being electrically powered means that you are restricted to places with electricity and the length of your electrical cord.

The next step up in power is around 2500 – 4000 PSI. To get this sort of power the washers are powered by petrol engines. Petrol powered pressure washers are much more versatile than electric models. With petrol engine washers you are able to use them almost anywhere.

Bigger and more powerful pressure washers are over 4000 PSI. Some of these models can also produce hot water to clean tougher stains and chemicals. Models over 4000 PSI are used by professionals for commercial cleaning jobs.

Which pressure washer is best for you?

Questions to ask yourself are:

How often will you use a pressure washer?  If your only going to use your pressure washer on the odd occasion, maybe hiring a pressure cleaner is your best option. You may want to regularly clean your car or a outdoor deck. Then a electrical powered pressure washer could be the best model for you. Are you going to be using your pressure washer on a daily or weekly basis. A petrol model will be the model for you as these are more suited to commercial applications.

How big a job do you want use the pressure washer for?  The size of the area or job will also help you determine which model is best for you. If your only going to clean your car or have a small deck area, a electrical 1000 – 2000 PSI model would be suitable. Petrol powered washers are better for large jobs such as driveways and trucks and tractors.

What is it that you are trying to clean?   Electrical pressure washers for backyard decks or patios and cars.  For ground in dirt or oily stains a petrol power washer is the way to go. Commercial cleaners will often have pressure washers that heat the water to around 90 degrees Celsius to clean difficult stains without using harsh chemicals.

Do you have access to electricity and water?   Access to water and electricity allows you to use a electrical pressure washer, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use a petrol powered washer. If the area that needs to be cleaned is out of reach of your power cord and or hose, use a petrol powered washer.

What’s the difference between PSI and GPM?

PSI is the pounds per square inch of pressure a washer puts out and is the usual method of rating pressure washers. Another measurement that helps determine the power of a pressure washer is GPM which stands for gallons of water used per minute. You get a deeper clean from a pressure washer with higher pressure and more water. Hence the best all round pressure cleaner has a high pressure output and uses more gallons per minute.

For example, you have a large driveway to clean. Using a pressure washer with a high PSI but low GPM will take a lot longer than using a high PSI and high GPM. A pressure washer with 3000 PSI and 4 GPM would be the ideal washer to clean your average driveway.

The PSI is what gets the dirt and grime off your surface, GPM is what washes the grime away.


Most pressure washers come with accessories such as different nozzles, brushes and scrubbers.

Interchangable nozzles allow you to apply different amount of pressure to your cleaning surface. Red and yellow nozzles are hard and fast cleaning. Green nozzles are not as hard and white nozzles offer the widest spray. Black nozzles are generally for applying detergent and very light pressure. Turbo nozzles operate in a spinning fashion and increase the cleaning efficiency.

Brushes are good for washing your car and usually have a spinning action.

Scrubbers are for cleaning large flat surfaces, such as decks, driveways and roofs.

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Pressure washer safety

Pressure washers exert high forces when in operation. Always use two hands, don’t point the lance at people or animals. Test surfaces to determine pressure required for the job. Don’t blast electrical wires or power points. Keep the nozzle moving to avoid cutting into the surface. Take extra precautions when using a ladder or on a roof.

Don’t use petrol or diesel powered pressure washers in enclosed areas.

Check out my post on How to set up a small workshop

Which pressure washer should you choose?

If you only have small, lightly soiled surfaces around the home, a electric pressure washer is for you. These are light and easy to handle.

You need a petrol powered pressure washer for your larger jobs. The PSI and GPM will depend on the type of jobs you want to carry out.

If you are going into the pressure washing business, you’ll need an industrial model.

I hope this has helped you choose a pressure washer for your specific needs.

DIY How to make a raised vegetable garden box from pallets

DIY How to make a raised vegetable garden box from pallets

Follow the steps in this post to DIY how to make a raised vegetable garden box.

What you will need

Follow the steps in this post to DIY how to make a raised vegetable garden box. You will need to get 2 pallets to dismantle and recycle to make a raised vegetable garden box. Make sure they are not chemically treated. You can determine if they are chemically treated by looking for the initials MB stamped on the pallet, somewhere.

Tools you’ll need include a wrecking bar, hammer, saw and power drill.

Check out our post on  basic tools handyfolk need here

Materials needed beside the pallets for timber, you’ll need galvanized screws, geo mesh or shade cloth and soil.

Dismantle pallets.

The easiest way to pull your pallets apart is to start with the bottom side. This way allows you to get the most boards from the pallet without to much damage.

A good tip when pulling a pallet apart is to soak the pallet or wait until the pallet has been soaked by rain. The timber will swell and it allows the nails to loose some of their grip in the timber.

Use your wrecking bar to get the bottom deck boards off. When you have the 4 or so boards off the bottom of the pallet, the stringers are able to be levered off. I find hitting the stingers with a club hammer helps to loosen them. Because this gives you a small space to get your wrecking bar in between the stringer and deck boards.

From a good pallet, you should get around 10 deck boards and 3 or 4 stringers.

Plan for DIY raised vegetable garden box from pallets

The raised vegetable garden box should be a comfortable height for you. So that you don’t have to bend or reach to far. We make the length the same as the shortest deck board.

Here is a drawing of the raised vegetable garden box.

Need a woodworking app to calculate mm to inches CLICK HERE!

The length is 1000 mm allowing you to cut off split ends. Your stringers are cut to your comfortable height. We cut cross braces from the stringers and check them into the legs.

Sliding compound mitre saw

A deck board runs between the cross braces and forms the bottom of the garden box. You can have the sides go straight up & down or have them on an angle. Deck boards are used as diagonal braces and give you somewhere to screw rest of the deck boards. An example is the image below.

Putting it all together

Screw your legs and cross brace together with galvanized bugle screws. you’ll need 50 mm and 75 mm screws. Then connect the 2 sets of legs together with a deck board.

The rest of the raised vegetable garden box will use the deck boards from your pallets. Therefore use these for the top cross bars and diagonal braces for each end. Like so.

Once you have the diagonal braces at each end, you simply fill in the rest with deck boards. Then place some geo mat or shade cloth in the box before filling with soil because this helps contain the soil..

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That’s all there is to DIY how to make a raised vegetable garden bed from pallets. You just have to plant the vegetables that are in season. We made several of these which let us have vegetables all year round. Furthermore recycling pallets helps the environment.

How to make pallet wood weatherboards

In this post, I will show you how to make weatherboards from pallet wood.

Weatherboards made from pallet wood are a useful way to recycle old pallets. I have used these for garden sheds and playhouses for the grand kids.


You can find pallets all over the place for free. Pallets vary in size,they are usually 1165mm by 1165mm or 46″ x 46″. But, larger and smaller pallets can be found.

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A pallet may be heat or chemically treated, and you can figure this out by the ISPM-15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15) code you may find on a pallet. An example of the ISPM-15 code is below.

ISPM-15 code

The XX is the country code. YY shows the type of treament, heat treatment is HT, MB is for Methyl Bromide treatment and should not be used. 000 is the code number for the producer of the pallet.

However, a pallet is not treated if it does not have a ISPM-15 code.

Pallets may be hardwood or softwood. I prefer softwood pallet wood to make weatherboards.

How to demolish a pallet

There are several ways to pull a pallet apart. I use a crow bar and hammer to get the pallet deck boards off the stringers as I want to get the longest lengths possible. However many people are happy to saw the stringers off each side and then pry the deck boards off the center stringer.

Pallet terms

A tip – to get more deck boards off without damage, pull the pallet apart when it is soaking wet. The pallet wood is more pliable and comes apart much easier.

Once I have the pallet pulled apart, I remove all the nails so that they don’t damage my tools.

The wood you get from pallets is usually 100mm by 20mm or 4″ x 1″ for the deck boards and 100mm by 40mm 4″ x 1 1/2″ stingers. I use the deck boards for many different projects, however in this post I will show you how to make weatherboards from pallet wood.

Check out my post on building a playhouse for your kids HERE

Cutting the deck boards

I use a table saw to cut the deck boards into weatherboards. My weatherboards are a chamfer profile, which is to say they look like this.

The first cut is the diagonal face. Set the saw blade angle to 5 degrees to 10 degrees depending on the thickness of the board. Use a smaller angle on thin boards. The saw fence should be set to 5mm – 7mm. Cut the face on your boards, then I cut the rebate on the bottom of the board.

The rebate cut takes a bit of hit and miss to get right. I usually start with the saw fence about 10mm from the saw blade, and the saw blade height about 10mm and 0 degree angle. This should give you a neat step out that will take the top of another weatherboard.

If the saw blade doesn’t cut through the deck board on the diagonal cut you need to increase the angle of the face cut.

What can you do with the weatherboards

These photos are an example of the pallet wood weatherboards I have made and used to construct a cubby house. You can use the weatherboards for any small shed. Other uses of the pallet wood weatherboards could be as planters and wooden chests.

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Here’s a video on how to pull apart a pallet

Although making pallet wood weatherboards is time consuming, you can save lots by using recycled pallet wood and your even helping the environment by reducing the number of pallets going into landfill.

How to paint your house exterior

Painting your house exterior is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your home and add value.

Painting your house exterior yourself will save you mega bucks. Labor is the expensive part of painting.

A professional painter will charge around $50.00 per hour for labor, and the average total for a exterior paint job starts around $2500.

You can do many of the painting preparation work yourself, saving a lot of money. And if you have done all the preparation, why not finish the job and paint the house yourself.

It is a huge job to paint your home, but breaking it down into smaller steps is the way to go.

Follow the steps below and you will be able to paint your home with confidence.

preparation – clean & inspect your home exterior

Clean the exterior of your house with a pressure washer and inspect for any damage that needs repairing.

Remove and replace any rotten or decaying timber. Fill any holes or cracks with an exterior grade filler.

Remove any loose or flaking paint and sand any timber that has been exposed to the weather.

Tip – Get a power sander, we found it cheaper to buy a sander than to hire one, and have used it for other projects since buying it.

Different materials used on your exterior require different preparation.

Timber exteriors

As above, clean exterior and remove any loose or flaking paint. Repair any rotten timber or holes and cracks. Then give it a good sand with a power sander and clean off sanding dust.

Render, stucco and concrete exteriors

Render or concrete exteriors always require preparation before painting. New render or concrete must be allowed to cure for a minimum of 28 days before painting. Previous finishes on old render or concrete will need to be removed and sometimes special primers or sealants applied before you can paint. Fill and fix any holes, cracks or chips

Metal exteriors

Rust or damaged areas are the main concern when prepping metal exteriors for painting. After cleaning and repairing any damage give the metal a light sand to provide a key for the paint to bind to. A metal primer is required for any bare or new metal prior to painting. Never apply oil based paint directly to bare metal as the finish won’t last very long.

Vinyl cladding

Plastic or vinyl cladding is usually easy to clean with a sugar of soap and water. Once it is cleaned and any repairs made vinyl cladding can be painted.

Previously painted exteriors

If you’re freshening up your exterior or just changing the color to something more appealing, you should test the current paint finish. Scour the paint finish in several places with a sharp knife and apply adhesive tape to the cut. Remove the tape quickly and if any paint comes away the paint will need to be stripped or sanded back to  a solid paint finish.

Flaking or peeling paint

Paint that is flaking or peeling can be caused by several reasons. Moisture may be getting in behind the painted surface through cracks or condensation. If condensation is a problem, install vents to improve the air flow.

Or the paint may be exposed to the elements  for long periods of sunlight or heat. Dark colors are also more likely to flake or peel as they retain more heat from the sunlight.

When you have determined the cause of the flaking paint and repaired the cause. Remove any flaking or peeling paint with a scraper and heat gun and sand edges down to a smooth surface.


Mould can be removed from your exterior with a solution of 1 part bleach with 3 parts water. Apply the mixture to the surface with a scourer pad and leave for 15 minutes, then rinse off with water. It may take several applications to remove the mould.

Which paint is best, water based or oil based

For exteriors a water based paint is the preferred paint these days.

Water based paint retain their color better and last longer as oil based paints yellow and become brittle when they age.

Cleaning up brushes and rollers is much easier when using water based paints.

how much paint will you need for the exterior of your home

A gallon of paint will cover approx. 300 sq ft.

To work out your sq ft, measure the length and times it by the height.

For example a wall that is 10 ft high by 30 ft wide will equal 300 sq ft and will use a gallon of paint to cover this area.

Allow an extra 10% to 20% extra to insure you have enough paint for the job.

tools required to spruce up your home exterior

Painting your house exterior doesn’t require many tools, brushes and rollers, scraper and ladder are the bare essentials. Better quality tools do help make your painting job easier.

Depending on the size of your house will determine what size ladder you’ll need, a single storey house on level ground will only require a 12 ft ladder.

For cutting in around windows and doors a 2″ sash brush is required. A 4″ brush for larger areas and a 12″ roller and roller pan for the smoother wider areas. An extension pole for your roller is always handy for high areas.

Extra paint tins or buckets.

Tools for preparation include a scraper, heat gun, sander, chalking gun and a pressure washer.

Tip – Keep 2 brushes when painting in the summer, keep one in a bucket of water while using the other one. Swap them over to prevent paint drying in the brush.

Check out my post on basic tools for handymen and women HERE

Plan your painting job

Always paint from the high areas down, large areas then smaller detail areas. Windows and doors should be painted in the morning, giving them time to dry before having to close them for the night.

Avoid painting in direct sunlight, as it may cause lap marks or blistering paint. When painting in direct sunlight, paint smaller sections to keep a wet edge and avoid lap marks.

Windy days can cause pint to dry to quick and may blow dirt into fresh paint and don’t paint if there is a chance of rain.

Cover areas you don’t want paint on with cover sheets.

How to paint

All paint needs to be stirred to mix the color through completely.

When the paint has been mixed, decant a small amount into a easy to handle paint pot. Fill about 2″ of paint into the paint pot for cutting in.

Dip your brush into the paint and tap the brush on the side of the paint pot to remove excess paint then lay on paint to the surface. The aim is to get the paint on the surface as quickly as possible, then smooth the paint out once you have a good covering. Only paint an area big enough that you have time to smooth it out and continue to lay on paint along the wet edge.

If you don’t follow the wet edge, you’ll end up with lap marks.

To get a smooth finish use long sweeping strokes, working toward the painted area and lifting the brush while finishing the paint stroke over the wet edge.

Use doors, windows and natural breaks like siding lines to break large areas into manageable sections. When painting siding boards, paint 3 or 4 boards at a time from one end to the other,

Learning to paint with either hand will help with fatigue and will extend your reach when on a ladder.

Check out this video on painting the exterior of your home HERE


If you have prepped your surface well and used the techniques outlined in this post, your freshly painted house exterior shouldn’t need painting for about 10 years. Annual maintenance of your exterior will also help prolong your paint job.

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Top 3 cordless drill for the handyman

Cordless Drill Review

We have 3 of the best cordless drills below that we recommend for handymen. These top 3 cordless drills for the handyman will cover any project you wish to complete.

Tips for buying a cordless drill

Number 3
Bosch DDB181-02-18V

The third place goes to the Bosch DDB181-02-18V.  It is the most compact and lightweight cordless drill weighing only 3 lbs. The Bosch provides 350 lbs of torque for powerful fastening and efficient drilling. A LED light illuminates dark spaces you may have to need to work in. With a variable 2 speed transmission for heavy duty projects or for speed.

This drill is easy to handle and is reasonably priced. Comes with a battery and charger.

Check out the current price of the Bosch DDB181-02-18V HERE

Tips for buying a cordless drill

number 2
Black & Decker LDX120C 20V MAX

In second place is the Black & Decker LDX120C 20V MAX. The Black & Decker is our choice for those on a budget. The value for the price is excellent, giving you a competent  cordless drill for any task around the home.

Features of the Black & Decker LDX120C 20V MAX include variable speed, keyless chuck, 11 clutch positions and lithium ion power. It comes with a battery charger and 1.5AH battery and LED light.

For those on a budget this is your cordless drill.

Check out the current price of the Black & Decker LDX120C 20V MAX HERE

Tips for buying a cordless drill

number 1

Our favorite cordless drill is the Makita XFD131 18V LXT.  This drill has a brushless motor allowing for a longer battery life, up to 50% longer per charge. The brushless motor also lets the drill run cooler and more efficiently for a longer life.

There is a 2 speed transmission  and the motor delivers 440 lbs of torque. A 3 AH battery will last longer than the other drills we have mentioned above per charge.

The Makita XFD131 18V LXT is a heavy duty cordless drill that will last many heavy duty projects that you may undertake.

Check out the current price of the Makita XFD131 18V LXT HERE

These are the top 3  cordless drills available currently for the handyman.

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Tips for buying a cordless drill