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Q Every time we use our new multi-fuel burner the paint around the plasterboard, which was cut to install the pipe, cracks. We've tried filling the cracks but the problem persists. How do we stop this?

Anne Dunlop by email

A Stick self-adhesive joint tape over the cracks then apply a fine coat of a fast-set filler. When it has set, sand it down and apply another fine coat. Allow to dry, and sand again before painting.

Q We had our driveway laid with imprinted black cobbles about 10 years ago but it is now faded. Can you recommend a paint to smarten it up?

T J Burley by email

A The concrete must be dry and free of dirt and oil. Rust-Oleum EPOXY Shield Concrete floor paint, PS71.65 for 5L (, is a good starting point, as Epoxy is tougher than paint. A concrete stain will last longer but it's best done by a contractor.

Q Every winter when my mother switches on her heaters, a wallpaper seam bursts open. Can it be stuck back long-term? Rhonda Bruce by email

A The trick is to wet the paper, poke paste behind it with a small brush then press to the wall with a seam roller. Let it dry before putting heating on.

Donny's tip

When tiling a bathroom, start in the centre of the wall where the bath is. This is the wall that your eye will be drawn to, so you don't want any awkward cuts.

QI am in the process of decorating my bedroom with blue and white toile soft furnishings. I have antique pine bedside cabinets and chest of drawers and I would like to paint them white. My husband says they will look home-made. Any advice and tips? Reba Ireland by email

A It will look great. It's all in the preparation - you need to spend time removing the varnish or wax finish and then sand it down. The painting is simply a case of primer, undercoat and top coat. Once you break the job down into bite-size chunks - like setting the drawers aside to do separately - it's an enjoyable process. You can use emulsion plus a matt varnish to protect.

Q Do I have to use tile trim in my bathroom? The trim I have seen is quite imposing and I just want the edge of the tile as a finish. The tiles are the same colour all the way through, and not a glaze finish with an orange back.

Crawford Forsyth by email

A Of course you don't have to use trim - a lot of people don't like it. You can mitre tiles so no edge shows but it sounds like you have porcelain which is good as they are the same colour right through the tile.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2013
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