May Bank Holiday is DIY Day

This coming weekend people across the UK will be celebrating the ancient rituals associated with the first bank holiday in May. No, we don’t mean dancing around maypoles, crowning May queens or watching Morris dancing. We don’t even mean attending the special events in Bristol such as meeting Postman Pat at Bristol Zoo on May 3rd or the Bristol harbour train rides on 1-3rd May, or even hands on toy time at the City museum on the 2nd. Whilst some people will undoubtedly be enjoying those pastimes, a far greater percentage of the population will be indulging in that now traditional beginning of May ritual, that of D.I.Y.

Yes, spring cleaning is over and with our homes feeling clean and fresh we now start noticing all those little jobs that we need to do to spruce the home up a bit. The May bank holiday may have started as a day’s holiday for farm workers to celebrate spring and the end of seed sowing but it has turned into the weekend when we spend more money in DIY shops and garden centres than at any other time.

With this in mind we thought we would give you a few tips on how to prepare for and clean up after your DIY efforts.

Let’s mainly concentrate on the most obvious DIY task; giving a room, door or skirting board a quick lick of paint. For this task, preparation is everything. First make sure that you clear furniture, paintings and any other objects from the area to be painted. Then cover up all nearby furniture with dust sheets. If you don’t have old sheets then take a quick trip to your nearest charity shop where you can find old sheets, curtains or duvet covers to use as dust sheets for a couple of pounds. Don’t forget to cover your floor as well and if you are painting skirting boards then make sure you cover carpets right up to the skirting.

Next check out what you’ll need to do to clear up any paint spills. This will vary depending on whether you are using water based, oil based or acrylic based paint. There will be instructions on the tin either on clearing up spills or how to clean brushes and you need to read these before you open the tin. Whatever method you use you will probably need lots of rags, old newspapers and kitchen roll so be prepared.

Finally, clear all pets and small children from the area and you are ready to start.

Many other DIY tasks are guaranteed to create quantities of dust, just what you need in your newly, spring cleaned home. As with the painting hints, cover as much of your furniture as possible with dust sheets and consider whether you need to take down curtains. For a quick job, you can wrap a dust sheet round your curtains and this will save you from taking them down.

Once you have finished your DIY, carry all dust sheets outside carefully. Make sure the wind isn’t blowing in the direction of your open windows or your neighbour’s house and carefully shake off as much dust as possible. If you have a washing line then hang the sheets outside for a day before folding them up for next time.

No matter how careful you have been a small amount of dust will have escaped into carpets and furniture so give them a really good clean before you use the room again. Air the room to remove any residual paint smells and relax in the knowledge of a good job well done.