Fitting a New Ceiling

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Gypsum board for ceilings comes in two thicknesses: 3/sin and 1/2in, the former being suitable for use where the joist spacing is no more than l8in and the latter where the joists are up to 2ft apart. The standard sheet sizes are 8 and 10 x 4ft. You may find the smaller sheets easier to handle and you can cut them in half to make them even more manageable. The edges should meet on the joist centerlines, so you will probably have to trim them slightly anyway.

The first job is to nail lengths of 2in sq or 2 x Sin wood along the walls parallel with the joists so that its lower edge is level with the undersides of the joists. Then fit more short lengths of wood to the walls between the ends of the joists to provide support for the edges of the boards.

The sheets of gypsum board must be fitted with their long edges at right-angles to the joists. Toe-nail more lengths of batten to act as bracing between the joists so that the inner edges of the sheets will fall on their center lines. A length of batten marked with the board width will help position them accurately.

Finally, mark the position of each joist on the walls as a guide for nailing the sheets in place.

To cut sheets to size, use a utility knife and steel straightedge. Cut down through one face of the board, snap back the waste against a batten and run the knife blade down the crease from the other side.

If you intend plastering the ceiling, fit the gypsum- board gray side down. For painting or papering directly over the top, leave the ivory side showing.

Holding large sheets of board against the ceiling for nailing can be difficult so nail lengths of 2 x lin batten together to foiiu T-shaped props with which a helper can support it while being nailed in place.

Nail the first board in place, working from the center outwards and spacing the nails at 6in intervals. Drive them home so that they just dimple the surface; to be filled later. Use 11/4in gypsum board nails for thinner sheets and 11/2in for thicker kinds.

Continue in this way, working across the ceiling. Keep any cut edges up against the wall, but if this is not possible make sure they meet on a joist with a slight gap in between for filling; stagger the joints.

When you have clad the entire ceiling, seal the joints between the sheets and, if you prefer, apply a thin skim coat of plaster.

Reglazing a Window

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

First you must line the rebate with putty. You can either take a ball of putty in the palm of your hand and squeeze it out between thumb and forefinger using your thumb to press it in; or you can roll the putty into finger- thick sausages and press these into place. Wet your hands before handling putty to prevent it sticking to your fingers. and knead it until it is pliable and any surface oils are thoroughly mixed in.

Next, press the pane into the puttied rebate with the palms of your hands, so that putty oozes out, around and behind the glass. Apply pressure around the edges rather than in the centre of the pane and check that, when you’ve finished. the glass is separated from the frame on the inside by a bed of putty which is 2mm to 3mm (up to ‘Vain) thick.

Now for the unnerving part — nailing the glass in place. It’s best to use glazing sprigs, but you could make do with 19mm (3/4in) panel pins that have had their heads nipped off with pliers. You’ll need at least two per side, spaced no more than 230mm (9in) apart, and you must be sure to drive them squarely into the wood so they don’t pinch and crack the glass. When you’ve finished, just over 6mm (1/4in) of pin should be showing.

The final stage is to fill the rest of the rebate with a triangular fillet of putty that neatly covers the pins. Apply the putty in the same way as when lining the rebate, and use a putty knife or an ordinary filling knife to do the shaping, mitring the corners of the fillet as neatly as possible. Wet the knife blade to prevent the putty sticking to it as you draw it over the fillet.

Clean off the excess putty — including any that oozed out inside the pane earlier — and allow to dry hard before painting.

When you need to reglaze a window that isn’t at ground level, you’ll have to jerk from a ladder. Obviously you’ll have to be organized when working at a height. Tap out most of the glass first from inside — and make sure there’s no one standing below as you do so. Put all the tools and equipment in a bucket which you can hang on a hook attached to the ladder at the top. Don’t try to carry the glass — it’s best to get someone to pass it through the window.

Home Repair Tips – Paint Safety

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Painting can be dangerous. The careless use and storage of paints and related materials can cause needless injuries. Safe painting has two aspects:

• Safety of the painter and other people

• Safety of property

Most important, of course, is personal safety. This includes using a ladder properly. First inspect the ladder. Never use a ladder that is cracked or broken. A ladder should never be painted because paint may cover a dangerous crack. Place the ladder on a firm base and at the proper slant

Personal safety also includes proper use of chemicals such as:


• Paints

▪ Thinners

Many of the cleansers used to prepare surfaces for painting are caustic. That means they will burn flesh and often ruin clothing. All dangerous cleansers have warning labels. Such labels warn against getting the cleanser on your skin, in your eyes, swallowing it, or using it without adequate ventilation. The labels will tell you what to do if one of these things happens. Read the entire warning label before you use the product.

Once the surface is ready, there are more labels to read. Paints and thinners also have directions and warning labels that must be read.

Use the correct thinner for the paint you are using. The wrong thinner can make your paint and brush as hard as concrete. Paint thinner, mineral spirits, or turpentine is used to thin and clean up oil based paints. Alcohol dissolves shellac. Lacquer thinner will cut lacquer.

All paint thinners have one thing in common: they evaporate fast. This means that thinner gets into the air where it is easy to breathe. Besides being dangerous to your health, thinner mixed with air is explosive. One spark can set it off.

Always ventilate the working area. Open at least two doors or windows, on opposite walls if possible. Leave them open until the paint has dried.

Fire is another threat. Under certain conditions some stored chemicals can explode into flames. This is called spontaneous combustion. All flammable materials should be kept in airtight containers to prevent spontaneous combustion.

Paints can also be dangerous. Lead based paint is poisonous, and most states have outlawed the use of lead in paints. Never use paint with lead in it.

Spraying is one of the best and one of the most dangerous ways to apply paint. Always wear a face mask when spray painting. Be especially careful where you use a spray gun. Sprayed paints can drift a long way, and it doesn’t take much to ruin the paint on a car or nearby house. Spray paint doesn’t just disappear into the air. Sooner or later it lands somewhere.

Whenever you paint indoors be sure to ventilate the room. Openings at opposite sides of the room are better than two openings in the same area.

Keep chemical containers closed tightly when not in use. Store them in fireproof cabinets. Place rags in fireproof metal containers. Dispose of chemical soaked rags as soon as possible.

Property is often damaged because painters forget how far sprayed paint can be carried by the wind.