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Home jobs to tackle in November

Spruce your place up for summer with these quick and easy home maintenance jobs.

Summer is right around the corner and the weather is warming up, so make the most of the longer and (hopefully) drier days by doing those jobs you’ve been putting off around your home. It’s also a great time to get creative and adventurous with paint and make a simple yet high-impact change to your space. 

Maintenance is an essential part of keeping your property looking its best. It’s best to do DIY jobs regularly so you can stay on top of them. Outdoor areas take a particular beating during wet winters, so giving them a spruce up in November means that you’ll be able to enjoy hosting friends and having barbeques on a clean and clear deck or patio. 

Here’s a list of great ideas and projects that you can try this November – even if you just get a couple of these projects done, you’ll have a head start on your summer DIY list!

Clean outdoor concrete surfaces

Slippery paths, driveways and patios are unpleasant to look at and unsafe to walk on. Luckily, they can all be treated with Resene Deep Clean. This product breaks down contaminants all by itself – once you’ve applied it, nature does the hard work – and used twice a year, it will keep your concrete and timber surfaces looking good.

Dilute the concentrate with the right amount of water, then spray or scrub it on. You can also use the quick application trigger pack to get the job done faster – just attach to your hose and start applying it. Once applied, leave it alone. It will start to turn a reddish rust colour and it will keep working all by itself in the natural elements.

The beauty of Resene Deep Clean is that you only need to spray the area once, then nature does the rest of the work for you.

Paint your front door

Refreshing your front door is an ideal weekend project and can be completed in only a few hours. It’s also an easy way to transform and update the look of your home. As with any DIY project, a quality result comes down to prep work and using the right Resene paint products for the job. Resene Enamacryl gloss, Resene Super Gloss or Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss are recommended due to their durability, fast drying time and enhanced mould resistance. A gloss finish will help your fresh colour stand out, while a semi-gloss finish will help to hide imperfections in an older door.

Remove all hardware from the door, then mask out or remove anything you don’t want to get paint on, such as hinges, latches or glass. Give the door a light sand to remove the glossy sheen, then wipe off the sanding dust using a clean, damp cloth. Fill in any holes or defects with Contract filler and wait for it to set, then apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry primer and allow it to dry completely. Now it’s time for your paint colour – why not go bold with Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Aviator or Resene Bush? 

If you are painting the door jamb too, paint this before the main door. If your door has glass, use a cutting-in brush to cut in around the glass, or mask off the glass with masking tape before painting the door panels. Paint the horizontal panels followed by the vertical ones, making sure your brushstrokes follow the grain of the timber.

Door painted with Resene Lustacryl in Resene Bush.

Clean your interior walls

Anyone with kids and pets can confirm that interior walls take a real beating, especially in high-traffic areas like hallways, living rooms and bedrooms. Walls, like windows, will slowly accumulate dust, as well as finger marks and all kinds of swipes and stains. Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner won’t dull the colour of your paint and won’t form a film once the surface has been cleaned, meaning you don’t need to rinse it afterwards. It’s best to avoid strong household cleaners as these can damage your paint finish. 

Put on gloves and dilute Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner Concentrate following the instructions, or use the ready-to-use formula. Simply spray the product directly onto the surface that needs cleaning, then gently wipe the walls using the wet cloth. Rotate the cloth from time to time to make sure there is a clean edge and wipe away any excess solution. When the cloth gets too dirty, wring it into an empty bucket before dipping it into the solution again. Dry the surface using a lint-free cloth following the direction of the paint strokes – this will create an even finish. If you’re only cleaning part of the wall, feather off the cloth as you finish cleaning to help reduce a tide mark between the cleaned area and the uncleaned area.

Tackle the garden

Starting by weeding your garden thoroughly, as this will allow your plants to receive maximum nutrition. Plant summer edibles like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, sweetcorn, spring onion, watermelon, radishes, rocket and celery, so they’ll be ready for all your Christmas salads.  

Make sure your herb plants are well watered and check ventilation in your greenhouse (if you have one) as the days heat up. 

As for flowers, petunias, chrysanthemums, dahlias, gardenias and rhododendrons are perfect to plant in November and you can attract butterflies to your garden by planting swan plants. Fertilising is also very important this month as everything is growing with gusto. 

Normal household cleaners may damage the painted surface of your walls, so use Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner instead – it’s designed to remove marks and freshen the look of your paintwork.
This planter is stained with Resene Waterborne Woodsman in Resene Kwila, and the low raised bed behind it is stained with Resene Waterborne Woodsman in Resene Grey Green.

Check your appliances

If you were away for Labour Weekend when these jobs are usually done – or it’s simply slipped your mind – now is as good a time as any to do some maintenance on your home appliances. 

  • Check your home smoke alarms. Vacuum or dust them to remove any debris and press the test button to check the alarm is working. The sounds should be strong and continuous – if not, change the batteries and test it again, or buy a new unit if needed. Smoke alarms only have a limited-service life of 10 years, so do take the time to test each smoke alarm and replace the ones needed.
  • Vacuum out the filters of any heat pumps you may use for air conditioning over summer. Remove the dust and dirt that can build up in the mechanisms. 
  • Arrange an HRV or DVS service as these work hard during winter to keep the damp air out and the fresh, ventilated, clean air in. 
  • Go around to every powerpoint in your house and make sure they’re not overloaded. An overloaded outlet can cause damage to the item that’s plugged in or worse, cause a house fire. Also make sure all the cables and plugs are undamaged and in good working order.

Clean the barbecue

This is a must after winter! Turn the barbecue onto high for five minutes to burn any food residue to ash, then scrub down cooking surfaces with a wire brush to remove any solid debris. Wipe away any residue with paper towels, then wash cooking surfaces with a sponge, warm water and mild detergent. Dry the surfaces with paper towel, then coat with cooking oil for protection. 

If you haven’t used your barbecue for a few months, remove the burners and check the burner necks for spider webs or insect nests. Scrub them with soapy water, and brush with a wire brush to clean out the ports. Replace and dry by lighting each burner. As a final step, don’t forget to fill up the gas bottle!

If you have a timber barbecue stand that looks a little weathered and worn, treat any moss and mould with Resene Moss & Mould Killer. Leave for 48 hours, then clean it down with Resene Timber and Deck Wash, allow to dry, and stain with Resene Woodsman for a fresh new finish.

Check the filters in your heat pump and remove any dust that may have accumulated over winter. Walls painted in Resene Silver Chalice and Resene Nocturnal.
Get your barbecue ready for summer sizzling by giving it a good clean. If your timber trolley is looking a bit worse for wear like this one, consider giving it a fresh stain.

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