decorating supplies

“Where have you been?” I hear you cry. Well since my last post some six or seven weeks ago, decorating has taken over my life – or at least my weekends, punctuated by a lovely break to Scotland a month ago.

I’m struggling to get into any kind of blog routine at present. Days seem to go in the blink of an eye. I’ve had a long weekend this weekend but it’s already Monday and I don’t feel like I’ve had a weekend.

So decorating…it’s much harder and more time consuming than it looks. The room I’m currently doing isn’t very big – 2m x 2.5m approx but it’s taken me 4 weekends to get to the point where I’m ready to paper. I naively thought I could get it done in one, but as it got to the first Sunday afternoon and I’d only stripped two of the walls I began to rethink it. So for anyone who’s never decorated, here’s a little rundown…

Wallpaper Stripping
Hard. Time consuming. Mind-numbingly dull. Trying to get paper off a stud wall? almost impossible. Wallpaper stripper and a steamer are your best friends.

Filling
If like me you bought a house with ‘character’ rather than a new build (not dissing new builds, just not for me) then they come with a whole host of problems. Namely the plaster is usually a bit crap unless it’s reskimmed. So I’ve been filling in holes and cracks on the walls with some polyfilla and a filing knife.
Put plenty on the hole you’re filling (as filler shrinks as it dries), but not too much and try to neaten the edges. You may think why make it neat, well you will be saving yourself a lot of bother with the next task…

Sanding
Not quite as dull as stripping wallpaper but a rather arduous task nonetheless. It’s dusty sweaty work and if you’ve been overzealous with your filling then it’ll take a long time and a lot of elbow grease to sand it down to flat. Trust me on this one. Also don’t be tempted to use a machine sander, you could probably take out half your plaster.

Filling in some more
It’s so easy to miss any little holes and cracks especially if the light isn’t brilliant so you might have to fill and sand a couple more times.

Washing
You might not need to wash the walls, some people skip this step, but my walls were covered in glue, wallpaper stripper and plaster and filler dust so yesterday I got out the sugar soap and washed down my walls. My right hand is now peeling so perhaps wear gloves when doing this job.

So it’s not really a quick job to do. I’m ready to paint and paper now. You might think god that’s a lot of prep but I guess if you think of it like applying makeup. If you don’t prep your skin (exfoliate, moisturise, use a primer) your foundation ends up looking a bit naff, so you have to put the time and effort in to get the best end result. Well it’s the same with decorating. I cannot wait to show you the finished room. Hopefully it won’t take another four weeks…