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gness | 15:26 Wed 18th Apr 2012 | Home & Garden
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One of the few DIY jobs I have never tried is putting up coving. I`m decorating a small cloakroom and have decided to try it there.
Will this be a fairly simple one-woman job? Any tips will be welcome before I set off to take advantage of B&Q`s Diamond Card.


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There is coving and coving. Polystyrene is light and easy to glue up, plaster is heavier and unable to flex over curved walls. I've put up both on my own, but relied on tacks in the wall to support the plaster variety while the glue dried. Use a good adhesive, you don't want to be doing the equivalent of keeping all the plates spinning, whilst the thing sticks.
Question Author
Thank you OG. The rest of the house has deep heavy coving but think I will try a lighter one as it is a small room. Will heed your advice on adhesive.
the trouble with polystyrene coving is it only comes in small lengths and its almost impossible to disguise the joints. Duropolymer coving is a new concept and gives all the benefits of plaster coving but without the added weight.
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Thank you Marden. Heaven`s opened here so will give B&Q a miss and do more research. Hate to see joins in wallpaper so coving joins would annoy me too. Existing coving by previous owner is really well done and I want this to look good.
When you buy the coving, Nessie, ask if they have a mitre box suitable for coving. It makes the corner cuts a lot easier :o)
oh and when you do get the mitre box and you've studied the careful, you'll probably get the first couple of attempts the wrong way ;)
Instead of mitreing (sp) the corners I put a block of polystyrene in the corner so that the coving butted up to it and then it was a straight cut. It looked good. I'm a woman and did a good job with the joins etc. Once painted it looked professional. Have a go.
Often you can get special corner pieces to avoid having to cut the near 45º angles.

Or if you are feeling flush you could invest in one of these.
Old Geezer it is much cheaper to make your own out of polystyrene packing pieces that come in the post.
If you opt for polystyrene ;-)
Question Author
Thank you all for your help. I`ll have a look at the corners to purchase but think i will invest in a mitre box. The magicmitre looks interesting. I love DIY tools much to the bewilderment of my friends.
Polystyrene is easy and you can get the joins really smooth if you slightly over fill them and sand them back with very fine sand paper Im a girl too and love power tools and gadgets
Being a traditionalist, I'd go for oak or other appropriate 'real' wood.

There are several tricks of the trade to get a good corner joint, but first of all you need to invest in and become best of friends with a 'coping saw' ( seen here:

Problem is, if the coving is curved or other wise decorated, a simple 45 degree cut using a mitre saw doesn't give a good fit. The coping saw, once mastered, can fix that problem for you. I have coving I've installed after being taught by one of the local Norwegian masters and (after much practice) the seams can hardly be seen. ()I'm in the U.S.).

It's either that or buying a can of 'wood putty'...

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