Lighter skies are great because it means summer is on its way.
But they are not so great when they show up all the marks and wear and tear that rooms have accumulated since they were last decorated.
Apparently fewer people these days do DIY. But while it would be lovely to be able to get a decorator in to do the job many people really cannot afford this, especially in the financial climate of recent years so we have put together a few hints and tips to minimise the stress and help the redecorating go smoothly for the less experienced.
Declutter and store
It is always easier to decorate in a completely empty room and the job will be completed much more quickly, so it is worth considering putting the furniture into short-term self-storage. Check the minimum storage period with your local self-storage company and the cost. You may be surprised.
This would also be a good opportunity to get rid of any unwanted stuff – it is surprising how much we accumulate without really noticing. Decluttering as part of a decorating project also means you will need a smaller storage space and have fewer items to move.
Make a list of all the materials and equipment you will need for your redecorating. It should include dust sheets for the floor, especially if the room has fitted carpets, sandpaper, possibly filler for small holes in walls, paint brushes and/or a roller for painting walls depending on your preference, masking tape to protect window panes, light switches, sockets and anything else that needs protecting from paint. One tip – you will almost certainly need double the amount of masking tape that you think!
Wallpaper or paint, you will still need clean, smooth surfaces to apply them. Decorators always advise stripping old wallpaper rather than painting or papering over it. It’s a tedious job so hiring a steam wallpaper stripper will save hours of work. Sanding off any stray flakes is important for a smooth surface and then wiping down with a damp cloth to ensure the surface is dust free.
Ready to paper or paint?
When painting walls the first job is to do what decorators call “cutting in”. This is using a brush to paint a light layer of paint on the right angles of the wall, around window frames and above skirtings if using a roller on the rest.
Another tip from the professionals is to start at the top and work down, so paint the ceiling before starting on the walls. This applies whether the walls are to be painted or papered.
Usually, gloss on the woodwork is the last step if walls are being painted but if wallpapering it should be done before hanging the paper. However, you want to be sure the paper will stick to the wall properly at the edges, so it is a good idea to try to be as neat as possible along any edges where the two will meet.
Tips for wallpapering:
Work from the window outwards. It means you won’t get shadows if your edges overlap slightly. If the wallpaper is patterned, especially a large pattern hang the first strip in the middle of the focal point, such as above the fireplace so that the finished pattern will be central and symmetrical.
It’s easy when you know how!! Plus there’s the satisfaction of a job well done and a lovely fresh new room.