DIY lessons from Alex

1. White Spirits is flammable. I nearly found this out the hard way but a good friend stopped me from putting out my cigarette in it just in time.

2. Painting is a bit like make-up; cheap brushes shed hairs so are a false economy, a good primer is essential, and the more densely pigmented a product is, the less you need to use.

3. Never ever EVER get anything made from MDF that you then have to paint. Life is too short. It goes like this: sand, sand again, two coats of primer, three coats of paint, coma.

4. My favourite task so far has been Polyfilla-ing the holes in my woodwork – it’s strangely therapeutic. My least favourite task has been painting ceilings – even with an extension roller it’s back-breaking work when one is 5’3″.

5. Not strictly speaking DIY, but the bargains to be had in the homewares section of TK Maxx are phenomenal. Great quality bedlinen, towels, knives and kitchen stuff at ludicrously cheap prices. Plus I got a jumbo bottle of Frederick Fekkai conditioner for only €15!

The jeans I’ve used for painting for years – they got destroyed this time

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