Making the most of your DIY weekend

It is the little things that make the biggest difference. Barbara Chandler suggests weekend DIY projects and the advice centres that can give you help
Jazz up your junk - blue bench
Give old furniture a lick of paint

Jazz up your junk


Give old furniture a lick of paint; even rusty items are covered by Hammerite's Direct to Rust Paint (£6.49 for 250ml).
Help: a guide to painting furniture is on homesandproperty.co.uk; for tips on painting metal go to hammerite.co.uk.

Put up a pole


Replace a dreary old curtain track with a smart pole and buy some ready-made curtains. Tab tops or eyelets are cheapest, with no need to buy rings.
Help: find an excellent guide to fixing a curtain pole on polesandblinds.com.

Banish wall scuffs


You'll need to paint the whole wall to avoid a patchy look - apply two coats for a good finish. B&Q and Homebase have good own-brand colours at about £15 for 2.5 litres (enough for most rooms), though a big can of white emulsion is likely to be cheaper. A designer paint will cost £22-£25 (see farrow-ball.com or firedearth.com). To change a room's look add stencils or stickers.
Help: most painting info is on the can. Tips and a free iPhone app are at dulux. com; or call 08444 817 817. Crown also has a colour/painting app at crownpaint.co.uk. B&Q does interactive room design at diy.com. Stencil designs/tips are at hennydonovan.com and stencil-library.co.uk.

Red melamine painted cupbaord
Melamine paint gives kitchen units a facelift

Cupboard love


Give dreary kitchen units a facelift with a specially formulated paint for melamine. A new type by International gives a lacquer-like shine (six colours, £24.99 for a litre, right). There are also special paints for tiles and appliances. Help: there are painting videos and tips at international-paints.co.uk.

Date with a blind


The quickest way to change a window's look is with a new roller blind. Buy one for £10 to £20 at a DIY store, or pay from £30 to have one made to measure.
Help: video tips on measuring and fitting blinds are at web-blinds.com.

Board already


Hire a sander and sand your floors. Then, either add a couple of coats of lacquer, or simply paint them. International Quick Drying Floor Paint costs from £27.99 for 2.5 litres. Painted floors stand up to traffic amazingly well.
Help: for a step-by-step guide, go to hss.com, which has all the tools you need for hire. If you are painting, the tips are on the can.

Fill in the cracks - filler
The right filler makes fixing cracks easy

Fill in the cracks


Fixing chips and cracks is easy if you have the right filler. For example, Fine Surface Polyfilla erases hairline cracks and little chips. Flexi Gap tackles holes around door frames and skirtings. Liquid Sanding brushes on to grotty old paintwork making it all ready for paint.
Help: watch step-by-step videos on polycell.co.uk; or call the Polycell advice centre on 08444 817 817.

Hang it


New "paste the wall" wallpapers mean you don't need a table or messy glues. Prices start at around £20 a roll.
Help: for calculations, designs and video tips, download a free iPhone app from superfrescoeasy.com/index.

If you do need to call in a professional, visit www.homesandproperty.co.uk/tradesman.

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