DIY TIPS

How to make cement

Cement is a perfect material for any task at home: building a wall, tiling ... Prepare it is easy, just cement, river sand and water, products that can be easily found is any DIY center. To make the mixture, if the quantity needed is not too much, you can use a rubber bucket. If not, it is better to use a mixer.

The measures usually used to make cement are two measures of cement and three measures of river sand. Water is added later. This mixture is useful for laying bricks or stones, and to cover cracks or holes.

For the mixture to be good and consistent enough, first put the cement and the river sand and then gradually add the water slowly, while stirring, to get the right mixture, neither too thin nor too thick. The result is optimal if, when adding the mass on a trowel and turning it aside the mix does not fall but is not too hard.

If the cement is going to be used for roof tiles, we will use one measure of cement and three river sand measures for preparing the mixture.

How to cover holes in a plaster ceiling

When repairing leaks, replacing lamps or halogens from the ceiling, holes may be left in the plaster. Those can be easily repaired.

Small areas

If the holes in the roof are not big, you can choose to directly cover them with a piece of plaster. We must cut the piece so that it fits in the hole and then fill it with more plaster once mixed with water. When gets dry, any imperfections left can be corrected with sandpaper. To finish, it would be advisable to paint the ceiling.

Another option is to try with glue plaster, putting it slowly over the hole and let it dry. Sometimes with a first layer is not enough to completely close the hole and you have to wait for it to dry to continue the process.

Big areas

If the hole to cover is large you can choose to put, slowly, polyurethane foam once the hole and the inside part are moistened. When the zone has been well covered, wait for it to dry and level. Finally, we must finish our work with powder plaster and painting.

Alternatively, take esparto and mix it with plaster powder to cover the hole. Then finish the work with foam or plaster. Finally, it should be levelled with the ceiling, and once dried sanded and painted.

How to make a wall with glass tiles

The glass tile (glass block) walls can be used in many parts of your house, such as a hall where the light of the living room reaches, in the bathroom or the stairs.

To make a glass block wall, the following materials and tools are needed:

If you have not yet decided the extension of the wall, you can make a test without adhering any block, with a vertical or separator, up to the height or width you want. Remember to shorten one centimeter when cutting the horizontal.

Measure the horizontal and cut it with the bow saw. Attach the horizontal to the wall with three screws, one in the upper part, one below and one in the middle. Attention, make sure it is level. We also put a horizontal in the floor by placing first one of the clicks in the corner, making sure it is straight.

Next step is to make the first row of glass blocks. Put filler in the floor horizontal and wall vertical and stick the first glass block with a silicone gun. Place one of the separators on the free side with filler. Place filler on the other side of the separator and paste the next glass block. Continue doing so until the first row is finished.

Repeat the same process for the next rows.

Let it dry for 24 hours and then apply mortar to joints.

How to render a wall

Rendering a wall is like plastering a wall, but applying cement instead of plaster.

First, we must get a plasterer´s trowel, a brush, a spatula, a shovel, a bucket to make the mix, a ruler, strips and battens.

Place the battens on the wall to be used as guidelines for applying the plaster zone by zone.

Clean the surface (with the brush), make the mixture of cement and moisten the wall for better grip of the cement. First we apply a layer of mortar or mixture with the trowel and we level it with a strip going from left to right and top to bottom, or slowly with the plasterer´s trowel.

When the zone is finished battens are removed and the gaps left are filled. You have to let it dry for a few days.

How to cover a wall with stone

To cover a wall with stone, for a 10 m2 area, we will need 10 bags of cement and 1m3 of river sand. Regarding the tools we will need a rubber hammer, a float, a chisel, a sledge hammer and a brush.

We have to prepare the mixture with cement and river sand (3 measures of river sand and 1 measure of cement for a homogeneous and strong enough mixture) and jab the wall to remove the plaster that may have.

Get the wall wet and put mortar with the trowel on the bottom of the wall and also on the stone that will be placed. The stone is placed at the bottom and after hit with the rubber mallet to get pressed down. Continue until the first row is finished. You have to let the mixture harden for 5 or 6 hours. Then you can continue placing the other rows until it is finished. The joints of the stones also are filled with mixture.

How to plaster a wall

Plastering a wall is to apply one or more layers of material on it so that the wall is smooth and it has not a brick or concrete look. You may need to apply two or three coats of plaster to make the perfect wall. The tools needed are a plasterer´s trowel, a trowel, a bucket and rabbets.

When the surface is prepared and very clean, you can start to plaster the wall.

We have to prepare the first layer with plaster and water in a bucket, as indicated on the package (also can be done with mortar). Rabbets, approximately 1 cm thick, are placed every meter and we begin to put the plaster on the higher areas. Get the wall wet and throw mass on the wall, to finish smoothing all with the plasterer´s trowel.

How to remove stippled paint from a wall

There are several ways to remove stippled paint from a wall. One is to cover the gaps between the plaster and the other one, to remove it from the wall. For any of them, you should be prepared by cleaning the wall and protecting plugs and other sensitive areas with masking tape.

If we want to fill the spaces between the plaster, we will need a special filler to make the wall smooth.

If we want to remove the paint, we have to soften the stippled paint with a specific chemical and remove it with a plasterer´s trowel. You could also remove the stippled paint with a sander or a spatula.

How to repair leaks through cracks in the roof

If you think there are leaks through the roof, you should look for filtrations. You have to check for broken or displaced tiles.

Once you have found the crack, it must be covered. The roof should be dried with a dry cloth, and then, you cover the crack in the roof with a special paste for leaks.

If the crack is too large or deep, it is likely that cement is needed, so you have to prepare a mixture of cement, where we will add a waterproofing product. Extend the mixture along the crack with a spatula leaving the surface smooth, before putting back missing tiles.

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