Tips to decorating your home
Studies show that a lick of fresh paint can add thousands to the value of your home, so it’s well worth the effort if you’re thinking of selling. if your house is looking a bit tired, follow the tips below.
1. Plan, plan and plan some more if you wake up on Sunday morning and your first inclination is to get the paintbrushes out, stop! Sit down, have a cup of tea, grab a pen and paper and make a list.
Plan it properly and work out what you want to achieve, and the tools and materials you’re going to need. there’s an old saying in the building industry: if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
2. Start from the top Always begin at the top of the house and work your way down. if you start redecorating on the top floor, by the time you get to the ground floor you’ll be super efficient, and this is the floor people will see most.
if you live in a terraced house, always start home improvements at the back of the property. think about it logically: you don’t want to drag debris from the back garden through a lovely new kitchen.
3. Know your paint A gloss paint is fine if you’re putting it on smooth timber, but elsewhere it will amplify every mark and imperfection. eggshell normally looks much better because it has a semi-matt finish — it’s far more subtle.
Water-based paints are eco-friendly, but to achieve a deep and solid colour you’ll need more coats than if you use an oil-based one.
4. Brighten up your paintwork After a while, paintwork can start to look yellow — this is caused by the oil reacting to heat. if you don’t want to redecorate just yet, scrub the walls with sugar soap. this is a bit like exfoliating your house.
it takes a microscopic coat of paint off, so the fresh colour shows through. Put some on a scouring pad, rub it down, and rinse off with clean, cold water.
this is a great way of tidying up the place without the expense and hassle of having to paint, and it also prepares the walls nicely for the next time you do decide to decorate.
5. Look after your brushes Remember to always clean your paint brushes with white spirit, then wash them out with soapy water and let them dry completely.
if they get a bit stiff, get a wire brush, turn it upside down and run the paintbrushes back and forth across it until the bristles soften again. 6. Preparation is everything When painting wood, start by thoroughly sanding down the surface – you don’t need to strip off old paint. Always use two layers of undercoat and one of top coat.
For the perfect finish, rub down the surface with flour paper (a very fine sandpaper) in between each of the undercoats, and wipe off the residue with white spirit on a muslin cloth.
7. Wear a mask Be very careful when sanding down old furniture as the paint may contain lead. Once lead becomes airborne, breathing it in can be very harmful to your health.
Wear a specialist mask from a diy shop, or else use a sealant to contain the lead and then just paint over the top.
8. Keep nosy parkers at bay if you’ve had to take down the curtains while redecorating and don’t want the neighbours peering in, simply take a window cleaning product like Windowlene and rub it thickly all over the glass to get your privacy back. Once you’re finished, you can just polish it off and you’ve got nice clean windows.
9. Wear protection Always wear safety gloves — you don’t want to risk ruining your lovely nails! And safety glasses and a mask are also essential for many jobs.
if you’re painting, pop on a disposable paper suit to protect your clothes — these even come with hoods nowadays, so you won’t get paint in your hair when you’re painting the ceiling.
10. Get rid of mould Bathrooms and kitchens are prone to condensation black spots, meaning mould and fungus can grow in the corners. this is because houses have double glazing, insulation and carpets, and windows are kept closed most of the time.
to remove the mould, mix bleach with warm water and soap and scrub — but it will come back unless you improve the air flow in your house.
Always open the bathroom door and window after you shower, and leave internal doors open during the day to allow air to circulate.
11. Have spotless doors if you have wooden doors, you may notice a build-up of grime around the door handle. use brown vinegar on a sponge to cut through the grease and dirt, then rub on beeswax and buff it up — it’ll be like having a brand new door. — Mirror.
Always clean your paint brushes with white spirit, then wash them out with soapy water and let them dry completely.