Beeswax polish protects unvarnished wood furniture and internal doors from splits and cracks, often caused by exposure to central heating. Proper application also helps build up protection against spills and stains and gives a pleasing mellow shine that can last for months.


Natural creamed beeswax polish is easier to apply than solid wax polish. Use a soft, clean cloth to apply it, rubbing with the grain of the wood as you work it over small areas at a time. Shine by rubbing with a separate clean cloth.

Resist buying spray polishes: these are silicone-based to give shine but they don’t nourish the wood and can even cause it to dry out. Once silicone has been applied it is practically impossible to remove it without stripping off the whole surface of the wood and it can produce a milky look as it builds – rather like bloom on old chocolate.


If you’re not a DIY aficionado by the end of this section, at least your ‘how-to-fix-it’ knowledge will be ahead of the pack.


DIY SAFETY WARNING: Before taking any sort of tool to a wall, or making a hole in it, check what’s behind the surface by scanning the area with a multi-purpose digital detector: this will indicate if there are any pipes, cables or studs where you’re about to work. Either try to borrow one, as they are expensive to buy, or download an app to your phone.

A common mistake is to hang artwork too high. The centre of the picture, or group of pictures, should be at eye level when you stand and look at it – but of course this depends how tall you are! Art galleries measure 145 centimetres from the floor as standard.

1 Consider where you want your picture, gauging its relationship to doors and furniture and the length of the wall space. Have someone else hold the picture in place while you stand back and check the position. Use a tape measure to be accurate in positioning its distance from other adjacent artwork and objects.

2 Also test that the picture hook will be concealed by the picture by suspending the hanging wire on the hook and letting it take the weight (see image on adjacent page). Mark your chosen position in pencil on the wall. Thread the nail through the eyelet of the hook and hammer it into the wall at a 45 degree angle.

3 A single hook is fine for small, lightweight pictures. For a bigger picture choose a double picture hook. For a heavy one, you will need a screw and a standard wall plug to anchor the screw (see image below). You’ll also need a power drill to make any impression on a masonry wall. Drill a hole big enough to take the wall plug. Fit the plug into the hole, making sure it is tightly embedded and flush with the wall. Choose the type of screw that has a head to hang the picture on and insert it.

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