Tools & Techniques


If you have come across Sugru you’ll doubtless have been impressed with it’s versatility and the ability it gives you to repair otherwise irreparable items and replace irreplaceable items like missing rubber feet on appliances. Brilliant though it is, from my point of view it has three drawbacks :-

  1. 1.It comes in predetermined colours,

  2. 2.It comes in predetermined doses, and

  3. 3.It’s too expensive to contemplate anything really major like a moulding or construction job with.

The alternative I have been using is based on this recipe from instructables.

I couldn’t at first find the silicone caulk described, (Gives off vinegar smell when curing) and used the one shown in the picture as it was water based. I also couldn’t immediately get hold of linseed oil based paints to colour it, so used the pre-mixed children’s paint shown left in the blue bottle. Having later got some oil paints I can confirm they are better as you use less and they don’t wet your mixture too much. The other paint works fine though and produces a result just as strong, but takes longer to set.

In either case, it is not wise to handle the mixed product unless you are wearing gloves as it’s messy. I use the wooden spatulas I habitually steal from coffee shops for just such an eventuality for mixing, spreading and moulding.

I used cornflour for the “corn starch” in the recipe as I assume that its the same thing.

To date if have used it for :-

  1. 1.Repairing the lid of a plastic dustbin which had blown off and cracked so badly that there was a hole in it. This had been patched with gaffer tape for a year but looked really tatty. The only reason I hadn’t replaced it with a new one is the thought of trying to get rid of the old one afterwards. I patched the hole and repaired the broken catches with the mixture.

  2. 2.Repairing the leaky spout on a watering can.

  3. 3.Repairing the broken handle on a different watering can.

All have successfully stood up so far.

Mending Goo


A mixture of one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil is brilliant on butcher block table and counter tops and rustic, low lustre furniture. Definitely not for use on fine furniture as it will remove the patina but works well even on polished floors.

Use the cheapest olive oil you can find, it really doesn’t need to be EVOO.

I keep it in an old Grolsch bottle as it doesn’t emulsify so you need to give it a good shake before starting and at intervals whilst using it. It’s easier to do and undo the top single handed with a wire snap closure.

I find it good at cleaning and the lemon juice also seems to stop it darkening the wood over time. Just wipe over liberally, wait a minute or two, then wipe off any excess.

Smells nice too.