Equipment Reviews

Painting of the Furniture

One of my favorite activities is trawling through yard sales at the weekend. In fact, barely a Saturday goes by when I’m not digging through other people’s rubbish and working out ways to incorporate it into my home! It really is true what they say – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

One of my favorite kinds of purchases is furniture. I’m just a sucker for old furnishings – whether it be chairs or tables, for outdoors or indoors – I just love it all. There is nothing more fun than taking somebody’s old, unwanted pieces and upcycling them to turn them into a much-loved piece for my own home. Anything that I can’t find a use for in my own home I either give to my friends as gifts or sell on to others. It’s a win-win situation.

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So a couple of weekends ago I found a great selection of second hand furniture at a yard sale near home. I was super-excited! There was a garden bench which I knew would look perfect on my decking, as well as a cute rocking chair and a little side table, both of which I knew would look beautiful on my porch.

I paid my money, squeezed them into my trailer and headed home. It was only once I got there that I realized the enormity of the project that I had just set myself. All three pieces needed a complete repaint. They had clearly been sitting in a garage for years and their original paint job was all peeling off. Not only that, but the rocking chair had been painted a hideous lime green which just had to go, and the garden bench was a rather unattractive deep blue.

The only problem was that painting all three pieces by hand was going to take ages. The idea of getting out my trusty old paintbrushes and embarking on such a long and tedious project really didn’t appeal to me. However, I thought I had the perfect solution. I would invest in a paint sprayer!

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Convenient, easy to use and much faster than painting by hand, a paint sprayer would make light work of my painting job so that I could start using my new furniture more quickly than ever. The only problem was how to choose one. I wanted a unit that wouldn’t be too loud so that I could avoid disturbing my neighbors and also one that wouldn’t leave me with a huge mess to clean up afterward. In the end, I shortlisted two models.

Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Paint Sprayer

This lightweight paint sprayer is incredibly flexible, enabling it to be used for a host of paint projects, including repainting my new furniture. With convenient storage features, it is the perfect solution for someone like me who is trying to save on space. With a precise and accurate control knob, it allows me the ability to apply the exact pressure setting I require from light up to medium coverage and can even be used for painting big areas such as interior and exterior walls, fencing and decking. As a user-friendly sprayer, it is simple and intuitive to set up and use and as it is lightweight to hold and features a swivel nozzle, it can point towards any direction for easy use. Quick at getting the job done, this is a useful and good value piece of equipment, however, it is important to cover all areas nearby as it is very messy to use. It may require outdoor use so as not to damage indoor flooring or furnishings.

Homeright C800879 Power-Flo Pro 2800

This powerful sprayer can cover a huge area very quickly. In fact, it is capable of covering up to 2000 square feet in just half an hour which is very impressive. Perfect for use on large areas indoors and outdoors, one of the best things about this model is that it never overspray too much, and it is user-friendly and very adjustable. Weighing just 19 lbs, it is easy and lightweight to control and can even be operated single handed. As it also comes with a 25-foot long hose, I can even paint any difficult to reach areas. On the downside, it does not work well with thick paints and this raises the problem of messy and inconvenient dilution.

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In the end, I chose the Homeright model as I thought the ease of cleaning up was well worth it. Now I can’t wait to get started on painting my furniture – my rocking chair is calling me!


What Tools Do I Need?

Many DIY projects can be carried out with only a handful of simple tools, so if you’re keen to repair items around your home, or improve its appearance, these are the basic tools you’ll need to get started.


If you shop carefully, you’ll be able to find all of these tools available for under $300, and you’ll save a lot more than that on just your first couple of projects.


Power Drill

All DIYers should invest in a high-quality power drill which can drive in bolts and screws and drill holes much more quickly than is possible using hand tools. A mid-price corded drill is a good choice for anyone who will use this tool only infrequently, however for anyone who is likely to make more use of their investment, a cordless drill is a better option. A 3/8” model which is supplied with 2 batteries or which recharges rapidly is what you should look for.


Circular Saw


If you are going to be cutting plywood or lumber, you should choose a 7 1/4” circular saw. Don’t buy a cheap model since it will lack the necessary power for some tasks. A 15 amp model which costs around $100 is the right choice.


A Level


Levels are used for determining level and plumb. There are many levels to choose from and they are available in all prices, sizes and shapes. You will probably find either a two or four-foot spirit level a good purchase, and if you are going to do plenty of remodeling of your home, both sizes are ideal. If you are looking for a model to store in a toolbox, a 9” torpedo level should suit.


Tape Measure


A 1” in width and 25 foot in length measuring tape will meet most of your measuring needs.


Stud Finder


Even a Zircon battery operated basic model is pretty reliable when it comes to ceilings and drywall.



Curved claw hammers are ideal for both driving and removing nails. Go for a tool which weighs over 16 oz and choose one with a fiberglass or steel handle.




The best screwdriver for common use is a multi-purpose model which allows for rapid switching between either a Phillips head or a straight slot model.


Utility Knife


A cheap too, but nevertheless very handy. Choose one that has a retracting blade for better safety and ensure that you regularly change your blades for the best results.



A pair of Channellock or slip-joint pliers are especially versatile and should be a key item in your toolkit.


Safety Glasses

If you are using hand tools with a high impact like hammers or any type of power tool, you should always wear eye protection.


Paint Spray Gun


If you are planning on carrying out a lot of DIY work, one item you may well want to invest in is a paint spray gun. These are the most convenient way to easily paint large furniture and will save you a lot of time as well as a lot of effort.


Shopping for a Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights are incredibly popular, but you can’t just go out and buy any old pendant light. All too often I see people who have chosen what they thought would be the perfect light simply because they liked the way it looked, but then when they got it home, they realized that it was actually completely wrong for their room – either too small, too big or just the wrong style.


The best thing about pendant lights is that they can either provide ambient lighting or direct light to a surface. This means that they are perfect for both tasks and for decorative purposes, and since they are available in both small and large sizes they will fit perfectly into any space.


If you’re looking for the right pendant light for you, this guide will help you to find the ideal type to suit your room.


Styles of Pendants

The majority of pendant lights are either traditional, transitional or contemporary.


Traditional pendants have an elegant and decorative design or are inspired by a classic style of décor.


Transitional pendants are more streamlined but have a touch of vintage style.


Contemporary pendants are minimal and streamlined, often consisting of just a light source and a cord.


Types of Pendant and Their Uses


Some of the best-known pendant light types include:


Drum pendants – this type of light has a shade with a drum shape, often made from metal, glass or fabric. While glass shades emit a lot of light, metal ones have a subdued glow and fabric creates a soft effect. There are often multiple bulbs in a drum pendant.


Bowl Pendants – these have an open top with a broad base which allows for better light radiation, ideal for big spaces. Bowl style pendants are perfect for kitchens and entryways.


Bell Pendants – these have a distinctive bell shape and are made from glass. Usually, they can be found over kitchen islands, in entryways and in foyers.


Mini Pendants – this type of pendant is slender and small and will often be found in clusters. They can be found in several styles, shapes and finishes. They can be used for many purposes including in bedrooms and bathrooms.


How to Size a Pendant

Finding the right size of the pendant for you depends on the place where you are planning on using the light.


If you plan to use a drum or ceiling pendant over a table, you should measure the diameter of your table and then take 12” away from the number in order to find the right limit for the diameter or width of the pendant. It is also important to remember that if you choose a busy or complex design for your pendant, it will appear larger.


If you are using a ceiling pendant for ambient lighting, you need to measure the width and length of your room and add the measurements together. This number should be the perfect width for your fixture when measured in inches.


A ceiling pendant is best if it hangs around 12” to 20” below a ceiling with a height of 8 feet. If your ceiling is higher, you should add 3” more for each extra foot. You should always take care to leave a minimum clearance space of a foot below the pendant.


If you are opting for several pendants in a row, you should place one at two-foot intervals.


Remember that proportion is key – a small pendant in a large space will look odd, and a large pendant in a small space will look overwhelming.