Archive for the ‘Decorating’ Category
With the arrival of our first baby imminent, Sara finally decided she could cope with the bare floorboards no longer and ordered some carpet for the hallway. The carpet fitters, seeing her condition, promised they would try to get it fitted before baby’s arrival date of the 26th of June. As you can see from the shots below, they did this – well, sort of! They delivered and fitted the carpet on June 19th, but as some of you will know, the baby decided to make his way in to the world on June 14th! So it was quite hectic in our house on that day, as you can imagine. The finished result looks pretty good though, don’t you think? And it’s certainly a lot nicer to walk on, which is handy for all the walks up and down the stairs to change baby’s nappy!
We finally got round to putting the finishing touches to the lavatory this weekend. Having sanded all the rough plaster last weekend, we were able to paint the end of the room that was once hidden by the crappy cupboard the previous occupent had bodged. Once that was done, all that remained was the skirting board and beading (why do they call it beading?!). As you can see from the photos below, we managed to do a reasonable job of it and the bathroom finally looks presentable.
Having got back from a busy Christmas all over the country, Sara decided to take some initiative and rip up the kitchen floor! Parts of it have been peeling up intermitently for a while, but after we left the fridge defrosting while we were away a lot more of it had come up. So we both got down and dirty and ripped the rest of the (disgusting) old parke flooring up – parke flooring which had been glued to the old vinyl and then glued to the floor. Needless to say it was quite hard to get off…!
Then, today we finally got round to putting up the first of three bannisters that we need (both for fire regulations and pregnant ladies!!) on the stairs – we decided to do the main stairs first (the small stairs and the front steps both need bannisters as well!) and it worked out okay, as you can see below.
This is a bit of a work-in-progress job – sorting out the part of the toilet room that was previously behind a cupboard. Sadly, the previous owners decided not to bother plastering it properly when they installed the new boiler, and instead just stuck a load of cruddy posters and letters over the top. Obviously we wanted to take the photos off, but it wasn’t until we did that we quite realised how bad it was.
We attempted to patch over some of the holes with filler, but the right hand wall (the one you can see Henry scraping in the photo below) is so bad that it will probably need to be covered in plasterboard. Not quite sure when we will get round to doing that!
Sara’s mum gave us a new bendy curtain pole for a Christmas present to put up in the bedroom. So a nice relaxing Sunday was ruined by putting the pole up and then hanging the heavy curtains. Eventually we managed to get the whole thing sorted, but only after Henry had drilled 8 holes into the wall to attach the tiebacks. Only 2 were actually needed, so he’s now created another job of filling, sanding and painting the holes next weekend!
After putting it off for much longer than we needed to – mainly due to Henry not wanting to move all the furniture out of the way – we finally got around to redecorating our bedroom today. Henry took 2 days off work, and the bank holiday meant we had a good 3 or 4 days to get it all done in. Easy you say! Well no, not really, and it was once again due to the bloody woman who lived here before us…
Like in the spare bedroom, the plastering in this room has obviously been redone rather recently. However, rather than doing a layer of watered-down paint on top of the plaster like you’re supposed to, the previous occupent obviously realised she couldn’t be arsed with that and decided to paper over the whole lot instead. All well and good for her, but she has clearly got no skills in papering either, as they all overlapped each other by a good centimeter or so.
So we took the old paper off, which was a good days work in itself, and then started to chip away at the numerous layers of paint around the different walls. Once we’d done the best we could at that (it’s by no means perfect, but it’ll do) we did an undercoat, then the two layers of beigey-white paint, then Sara did the wood work to boot. Henry decided the carpet had to go, so we cut that in to tiny pieces as well (since we still had all the furniture in the middle) and eventually got rid of that too.
Another recent purchase from the magical land of Ikea was a new bookcase for the hallway (extra slim to fit in the small space available) and a new light, also for the upstairs hallway. Both have resulted in the hallway looking much brighter in general, and they were only slightly painful to put up! The bookcase is actually bolted to the wall to stop it falling over when we charge down the stairs, so hopefully it should stand steady for a good while yet.
The original plan for this weekend was to fix up a few odds and sods before May, when we’ve got almost zero free time to play with. Things like the skirting boards and woodwork in the hall, as well as getting the bookshelves out of the spare bedroom in preparation for decorating it at some point in the near future. But sadly all that went out the window when Sara made Henry take the computer apart, purely to "get to the wall". Well, that settled it – if we were going to be without the computer then we’d get that room decorated if it killed us!
So, without much further ado we set about moving everything out, filling in holes, masking off woodwork and preparing the walls and finally cleaning them. We came up against an unexpected hurdle when we realised that 2 of the walls had been wallpapered – I suspect this was due to the walls underneath being freshly plastered, and the previous owner having discovered that when you paint on fresh plaster, it blisters and comes off easily. So, having taken all of the wallpaper off, we wondered whether to take the paint underneath off too, but opted not to, instead filling in any holes with the damp-proof paint.
We would have achieved more from the day, but at that point we both had to go out for the evening – Sara to the opera and Henry to Keith’s to do some work.
Having come back from a week in sunny Portugal (to bloody cold Snow!), we were suitably refreshed to start work on the house again. But before we got on with any more interesting projects, one part of the Living Room remained unfinished – the dreaded Skirting Boards!
So, on a very cold and windy Saturday we set ourselves the aim of cutting and attaching them all, so that we can at least call one room ‘finished’. The task itself was just as difficult as you might imagine – even with a fancy angle-cutting thing-ummy-jig which we got from Wickes (I’m reliably informed by Sara that it’s called a Mitre saw), it was still very tough getting the angles right. I suspect this may be partly due to wonky walls, but even so it wasn’t until we did the very last corner that we’d got the darn thing down pat.
Having said this, the task would have been even harder without the kind help of Claire, and later on Dave. Braving the howling conditions for a trip down to Reading (though they did get paid in food!) they did a load of the gluing and measuring, heck, and the cutting too. Good work Hobbits!
The only thing we have left to do now in that room is fill in all the gaps with Builder Caulk, and then figure out a way to hang the mother of all mirrors, without taking the wall down with it…!