Quick Tips

DIY Tips Collection #2 – June 2015

DIY Tips

Last Updated


  1. Use water-based primer on new drywall, oil-based primer for surfaces that have water stains or smoke damage.
  2. Use a synthetic-bristle brush for latex paint and a natural-bristle for oil-based paints.
  3. Dip your brush 1/3rd of the bristle length for water-based paint, 1/4th of the bristle length for oil-based.


  1. Help wood glide across your table saw by waxing the table. Or go with GlideCote, a wax alternative.
  2. Hook a shop-vac to your power sander to save sandpaper. This prevents your resanding of the wood dust.
  3. We at AmateurDIY love pocket hole joinery. We just couldn’t pass up this chance to pass along a quick tip to fix wood splits.
  4. When sawing wood, use a marking knife to scribe a shallow cut for the saw to follow. The marking knife edge cuts through wood fibers more accurately than a saw blade.
  5. To bend wood, make a series of cuts, close together, on the side of the wood that won’t be visible.
  6. Prevent wood splits & save time with a counterbit. Combine this technique with the wood screws for a clean & tight joint.why wood screws

  7. Sharpen new cutting tools before you use them. Many edges come with corrosion-resistant coatings that should be removed.


  1. Improve water pressure by soaking your shower head spray plate in descaling solution (often used on coffee makers).
  2. Before sweating, remove all water from the lines with a shop-vac or hold a piece of bread in the pipe to absorb the water.
  3. When winterizing, use an air compressor to blow excess water from your lines.


  1. If you need to replace roof shingles, do it in cooler weather when the old shingles will be easier to remove.
  2. Soap and baking soda is a safer alternative for removing mold than bleach.
  3. Spray vinegar regularly on an area that is mold-prone to reduce the changes that mold will strike again.
  4. Spacers aren’t just for tile. Keep them handy after a tile job. For example, they can be used to maintain the alignment of glass block installations as well.
  5. Here’s a fun one. If you’re lacking a level, you can use a marble in it’s place. If the marble stays in place, you’re pretty close to level.

Table saw image by Patrick Fitzgerald (originally posted to Flickr as spinning wheel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons



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