If you’re new to the world of DIY and are just planning your first few projects, there are a few things you should know. The following advice could save you a lot of stress, prevent broken fingers, reduce wastage and lead to more successful projects.

Nail Those Nails

Struggling with nails? Keep hitting your fingers or bending the nails?

First, hold the nail in place with pliers instead of your fingers. Not only does it remove the risk of injury, but it’ll give you more confidence as a result, keeping that hammer straight and true.

Pay attention to the nails you use as well:

  • Roundheads contact better with the hammer but create a rougher finish
  • Flatheads are easier to drive and create less pulling

Finally, make sure you use a good hammer. Think about the shape and weight, find one that feels right. For most handymen, a 16 oz claw hammer works best and suits most jobs.

Stock Up On Glue

You can never have too much glue. Whether you’re using a good quality wood glue for a carpentry project, fixing something with super glue, or using a mild adhesive to secure nails and pins, this substance is an essential part of every handyman’s arsenal.

Here are some glue types and their uses:

  • Epoxy: Permanent, clear drying, good for ceramics, plastics, and metal.
  • Super Glue: Permanent and good for most materials, Super Glue is potent and versatile stuff.
  • Fabric Glue: Washable and used for fabrics.
  • Spray Adhesive: Non-permanent and used for fabrics.
  • Wood Glue: Good for wood, as the name suggests, but also used for leather, plastic, paper, and other materials.
  • White Glue: An all-purpose glue you probably used at school. Good for most things except glass and metal.

Master Chemicals

You will use a lot of chemicals as a handyman, from strippers and detergents to brush cleaners and more. They can be expensive, but many are unnecessary, and you can make your own.

Boil your paint brushes in vinegar to remove the stiff and ingrained paint; mix vinegar and baking soda for an effective all-purpose cleaner. Don’t mix random cleaning agents together without googling them first, as you could end up creating something highly toxic.

Use Tape and Vaseline for Cleaner Paint Jobs

Always use painter’s tape when painting. It doesn’t matter how steady and straight your hand is, use the tape! Line it up, double check, and then get started.

Use sheets to cover floors and anything else you don’t want to get covered in paint. Be sure to spread a little Vaseline on nearby hinges and door handles. If you drip paint on them, it will wipe away with a little tissue.

Organise and Maintain Your Tools

Always keep your tools properly organised and out of the way of kids and pets. Never leave them lying around on the floor and get into the habit of stowing them away when they are not in use.

Sharpen any cutting tools that you have on a regular basis, oil anything that needs to be oiled, and if your tools are greasy or dirty, clean them! Spending a little more time maintaining your tools will prevent breaks and malfunctions in the future and could save you a lot of money.

Protect Yourself

It doesn’t matter if a mask makes you a little uncomfortable, a hard hat doesn’t look cool, or your gloves aren’t in reach – you should always wear protective gear. A mask can protect your lungs when cutting wood and using chemicals, hard hats will guard against damage during construction jobs, googles keep dust and sparks out of your eyes, and gloves prevent burns and cuts.

They might not make a huge difference in the short term, but if you spend many years around noxious chemicals and dust without wearing a mask, you’ll feel the effects.

Summary: Improving Your Handyman Skills

We all like to think that we know what we’re doing and have everything figured out, but there’s always something you can learn. So, don’t just wing those DIY jobs – watch some videos. We have DIY videos on everything from building rustic shelves to weather-proofing your home.

And if there is an old-timer offering some tips on painting, woodworking, or anything else, listen to them. They have spent years acquiring knowledge through trial and error – paying attention could save you some errors of your own.

Image: Supplied.