I love your column. Some time back you wrote about how to avoid streaks in paint and you recommended two brands of mixture. As I’ve mislaid the article could you please let me know what they were and where I might be able to pick them up?

 (Jim Keohane Raheny).

Thanks for your kind comments. We’ve had many requests like this, so here’s a useful tip if you are into the DIY thing. If you find these articles useful, or any other similar articles for that matter, just cut them out as soon as possible, and pop them into a folder marked DIY or Home Improvement Tips etc. Keep the folder in a safe place, like your garden shed hanging up on a nail and it will always be there when you need it. Great also for essential home maintenance phone numbers, web sites etc.  

The products I mentioned were called Owatrol Oil and Floetrol. They used to be known only by the professional painter fraternity but the secret is getting out fast and lots of us ordinary people are now getting very familiar with the stuff.

Any  time you are using oil based paint such as household gloss, undercoat, satinwood, varnish, eggshell etc, when the paint gets a bit tight and the brush starts to drag a lot, add a few teaspoonfuls of the Owatrol oil. Just enough to make it flow easily. It will give you an enviable finish every time. 

You will also find that you can even paint in very low temperatures using this method, and still get a great finish, that is assuming you don’t mind the cold!

Any time you are using emulsions, either indoor or outdoor and the paint starts to dry too quickly etc, add about 10% Floetrol and stir in. This will result in a much easier application and a streak-free finish. It is especially useful in deep colours and low hide colours like yellows and reds etc. Great also for rag rolling, colour washing, sponging etc. If you are doing indoor work like rolling ceilings etc and the rads are on making the paint dry too quickly, causing roller streaks and so on, pop in some Floetrol and you will have great comfort!

Actually, you can pick up a lot of very useful information on the distributor’s very useful website www.igoe.ie