Doing up a house is hard work man. Sometimes I wish we had enough pennies to ‘get a man in’ to do everything and that we’d come from work and it would all be done to a high quality standard that Sarah Beany would be proud of, however we don’t so no point day dreaming when there’s work to be done.
It’s funny how quickly you get used to having paint splattered skin and don’t bat an eyelid when you pull your favourite jumper out of the wardrobe to find there is gloss paint on the back of it. How you find yourself looking forward to going to Claus Olsen instead of Accessorize….kind of, I haven’t changed that much.
Each month when my subscription of Ideal Home Magazine arrives, I sit and read the stories of other people’s projects and it’s easy to forget the hard slog that took place before the ‘look at my beautiful kitchen now’ photo and the smiley faces of happy people who are excited that they are in a magazine. But now I know why they look so happy..it’s relief that they have finished and get to have shiny apples in bowls and vases of flowers out on the work top rather than dust sheets for carpet and know that they have done some if not most of the work themselves.
Right, enough of that, back to the house.
Plastering, as you know has now been finished so we then had to paint the walls and ceilings with watered down emulsion. This was a satisfying job and didn’t take ages as you don’t have to be really neat as it’s just to stop the plaster sucking up all of the colour you’re going to put on next. It also builds up your arm muscles when you paint the ceiling which is a reason not to have to go to the gym which is always a bonus isn’t it.
I haven’t mentioned painting the woodwork – suffice to say you get a sore back from crawling around so you can sand, fill in pesky holes and then finally paint. Then you have to wait what feels like an eternity for it to be completely dry. Not touch dry, which you only discover it is when you leave a finger print on the skirting board while gingerly seeing if it is ready. Which it never is.
Choosing the colours for the walls was much harder than we thought it would be. As we already had our wallpaper for our ‘feature wall’ we needed to choose what colour the other walls would be. This means an evening spent in B&Q staring a paint charts for quite some time until we settled on various shades of beige for the downstairs and our bedroom and a grey for the second bedroom. Who knew choosing muted, un offensive colours would take so long!
The feature walls are in our bedroom, dining room and sitting room. I decided to give wallpapering ago, after the horrendous lining paper experience, how much worse could it get? With newly plastered walls it was much much easier, although it took much longer than I thought (as most DIY thing do) but I was reasonably pleased with how it looked. My partner in crime, thankfully wanted to do the other rooms and I was more than happy to oblige.
Things I learnt during the decorating phase.
1) Always, always wear your decorating clothes. If you don’t you will get paint on your ‘non- decorating’ clothes.
2) Masking off light switches and the completely dry skirting boards is important. If you don’t you will get paint on them.
3) Paint the ceiling first. If you don’t you will splatter the walls you have just painted with white ceiling paint.
4) It is almost impossible, when painting that bit right at the top if the wall where it reaches the ceiling to get a perfect straight line. You will always look up at the ceiling when you lie in bed and notice the little wiggly line. FACT.
5) Your new neighbours will knock at the door in the middle of all this when you look a complete state to say hello. Most times they see you for the first month or so, you will look like this.
6) Putting up wallpaper is best left to someone taller than you, who is much more patient and doesn’t measure pieces wrong on several occasions.