I have a marble fireplace, and over the years have been treating it with linseed oil which has now built up a coating. I was wondering what would be the best way to clean it off? 

Only recently I have come across a new product that will do this job. It is called Prepdeck. This stuff is made to remove many different types of old woodfinishes including acrylics, oils etc. Therefore, I believe it will work well on your fireplace, as it is a build up of oil. From what I gather, this product is not in many outlets yet, but you could ring the importers Igoe Ltd at  830 2226 or e-mail them on info@igoe.ie  for details. By the way, Prepdeck is ideal for removing all previous finishes from decks in particular. If you use it for that purpose, you will need to clean afterwards with Net-Trol to bring back the colour.


Five Top Painting Tips


(1) Here’s a new website you’ll find very useful if you do any sort of painting or maintenance around the home, or even if you are a professional painter, builder or architect, there’s surely something there for you too. www.igoe.ie, see the Problems section which lists a huge range of common or typical painting or maintenance related topics. Just click on the ‘problem’ and it will bring you direct to the answer. Very useful indeed., tell your DIY friends about it!


(2) If you are doing an emulsion paint job, and you’ve not finished the same day, wrap a polythene bag tightly around your brush or roller, and it will be ready for action the next day.


(3) When painting your ceilings and you’ve got big light fittings, as above, wrap a plastic bag all around the fitting and tape it . You may need to use two bags, or you may need to cut a slit up along the side for easy of application.


(4) If you are using a large tin of varnish etc, punch two holes in the lid at opposite ends. This will make pouring much easier.


(5) When you paint with any oil based paint like gloss, undercoat, eggshell, varnish etc, add a little Owatrol oil. This will allow you achieve a perfect, brushmark-free finish, increase opacity (hiding power), and adhesion.