Although you may be able to improvise on some jobs,
putting together a proper wallpapering kit is not expensive and worth the investment.
In addition to the tools described below, you will need a steel tape measure and
Plumb bob and line
A metal weight (plumb bob)
on the end of a string will mark a true vertical guideline for positioning the
first length of wallpaper on any wall (few walls are straight). More expensive
versions have a hollow plumb bob with retracting string, which is coated with
chalk every time it is withdrawn. Snapping the taut string against the wall leaves
a chalk line making positioning even easier.
To lay a length of wallpaper for pasting, a long flat surface is needed. A purpose-made
pasting table provides a convenient surface: higher than an average dining table
but only just wider than a standard roll of wallpaper, it avoids getting paste
on the worktop. It is light and easy to carry and folds flat for storage.
Use either a wide wall brush or a short-pile roller
to apply paste to the back of wall coverings. Use a bucket to mix the paste in
and tie a piece of string across the top of the bucket to give you somewhere to
rest the brush between pastes.
This is only necessary
for pre-pasted wall coverings, for wetting each length before hanging. They are
inexpensive and are often made of polystyrene.
Scissors with extra-long blades achieve a long, straight cut both at the
pasting table and when trimming wallpaper to length on the wall.
A wide soft-bristled brush for smoothing out air bubbles, creases
and excess paste. Also suitable for brushing the trimmed ends of wallpaper strips
- for example, against the skirting - once they are positioned on the wall.
Craft or trimming knife
A knife for trimming round light fittings
and switches, and for cutting vinyl wall coverings. The blade must be razor sharp,
so choose one with disposable blades or a continuous blade which snaps off in
short sections to leave a sharp, new edge.
hardwood or plastic roller for pressing down the seams between strips of wallpaper
once they have been smoothed into place. Not for use on embossed or relief wall
coverings since it will flatten the pattern.
a garden shed
A good shed can last twenty years or more, a bad one can
cause you a lot of problems. When shopping for a shed it is essential to buy the
best you can afford, the higher the quality of the materials used, the longer
you shed will serve you.
If you are considering
buying a timber shed check the timber carefully. Large knots can reduce the strength
of the framework, and can sometimes fall out, creating holes. Make sure, also,
that any metal fittings like nails, bolts and screws are galvanized to prevent
rust. Check display sheds for signs of wear and tear on fixtures and fittings.
Also check for poor workmanship irregular gaps between boards, protruding
nails or screw heads, and split timbers are all giveaways. Timber floors are not
always included in the price, so check before you buy.
When it comes to shed size the best advice is to buy the largest size
you can accommodate, it will provide much more scope for storage and could even
accommodate a bench too. Really think about what you will be using the shed for.
For example, if you want your shed to double up as a workshop make sure you choose
one with a large window. The standard shed sizes are 1.8 x 1.2m (6 x 8ft), 1.5
x 2.1m (5 x 7ft), 2.4 x 1.8m (8 x 6ft). Most sheds come with between one and three
fixed windows, if you particularly want an opening window ask a sales assistant,
as you may be able to order one at an extra cost. Check the available head room,
and also the width of the door. Remember you want the door to be wide enough to
wheel in gardening equipment, like wheelbarrows. If you are on a limited budget
or space is at a premium a Wallstore, typically measuring 0.9 x 0.6m may be your
Choosing a site
Try to visualize what the shed
will look like in the position selected. It is important that there is a solid
base for the shed to stand on concrete is ideal, although paving slabs
can also be used. Make sure that access will be adequate for the intended use
of the shed as once the base has been laid it is difficult to change the site.
A well-constructed shed is essential if you are
to avoid problems developing in a year or two, such as difficulties closing the
door, or leaning walls, especially if the walls are supporting heavy shelves.
Look out for thin floorboards as these are a sign of poor construction. A good
indication that a shed is well constructed is the number of upright timbers, a
large shed should have at least four uprights across the ends and five along each
side. Make sure the door should is of solid construction, ideally with three strap
hinges. To get a good idea of how strong the shed is jump up and down and lean
heavily against the walls.
A shed roof needs to be
strong with plenty of overhang. It should also be covered in heavy-duty, high-grade
roofing felt. Stand inside the shed and push upwards against the roof on one side,
if it flexes it may start to sag in time.
are planning to store expensive garden equipment in your shed choose a model that
comes with a sturdy lock or bolt that cannot be prized off.
For a luxury shed with great aesthetic appeal and extra character look
out for log cabin style shed that feature thick log cladding to give an Alpine
appearance. Chalet style sheds and summerhouses also make an attractive, if more
Although not as visually
appealing as timber sheds metal sheds are very rigid and are considered to have
a really solid construction. They are also rot, rust, rodent and fireproof and
tend to be fairly secure. One of their greatest advantages is that they are completely
maintenance free. Pre-fabricated timber bases are sold separately.
If you want to do your bit for the environment, look out for sheds
made from timber endorsed by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), an organization
that sets standards for improving forest conservation. The timber can be treated
to prevent rot and decay. If an untreated shed is purchased it should be treated
immediately to prevent decay. Methods of treatment application include pressure
treatment, dipping, brushing and spraying treatments.
It is possible to buy small plastic sheds. Easy to assemble and convenient
to use, plastic sheds have the advantage in that they will never rust or rot.
Feature: Erica Miller