Every couple of years a room in our home will need decorating. Wise people realise they are making a rod for their own back by decorating the entire house in one go; it will all need decorating at the same time later on.
Decorate one room every year or two, and you can keep up. It is likely to be an expensive business too, for those who have never attempted to take on the project themselves, instead calling in a contractor to do the work. I dread to think how much I would have paid out over the years had I not done the work myself.
There is nothing to fear with decorating, what is the worst that can happen? It is a very therapeutic pastime that gives great surroundings for you to enjoy.
Here are my top tips that, if followed, will make your decorating project enjoyable and rewarding.
It’s all in the preparation. You’ve heard it said time again, and it is true. If you spend time providing a good surface for your new decor to be applied onto, you are halfway to a top quality finish.
Let’s start with the removal of old wallpaper….
Wallpaper steamers are the best invention since sliced bread. Years ago we were forced to score the wallpaper with a knife – which often damaged the plaster underneath – and then apply copious amounts of water in the hope that, over time, the paper would lose its grip. Then we would spend days scraping the paper off one tiny strip at a time. Now, with a ten second application of the steamer plate, we can remove large sections of wallpaper quickly and easily. Don’t hold the steam plate against the wall for too long as it can damage the plaster. You will soon be able to judge the optimum time on your wall. The paper will then scrape off easily.
Preparation is a great time to check for any signs of rising damp. If you suspect it is present, stop work until it is cured. You will find great quality damp proofing services for your home with an internet search. Trying to paint or paper over a damp part of the wall isn’t advisable.
Prepare For Paint
The woodwork in your room will need to be given a ’key’ to help the new paint stick. This isn’t as complicated as you may think. A quick rub over with a medium grade paper should do the job nicely. There is no need to remove the old paint usually. This may only be necessary where extra layers will stop a door closing, for example.
Fill the Gaps
Decorators caulk is a marvelous product. It is filler in a tube that can be applied around skirting boards (related: how to paint skirting boards), window frames, or anywhere else there is a gap. Smooth it over with a damp finger, and that task is done.
Walls are best painted with emulsion paint and a roller. There is a lot being said about paint pads these days, but they are hard work to use, slower than rollers, and in my opinion the finish is inferior. Woodwork should always have undercoat applied. The undercoat will help the gloss topcoat adhere better. If you are using white, the undercoat will probably result in only one topcoat being needed, and the gloss is far easier to apply too. Trying to gloss on gloss is a nightmare. Save time in the long run by undercoating.
Wallpapering is not covered with this article; you will have to look for my easy guide to wallpapering next week. I will say, however, that it is easier than you think and practice will make you an expert in no time.
If you have a room that is ready to be decorated, give it a go yourself. It’s easier than you think.