Tips to dec­o­rat­ing your home

Lesotho Times - - Property -

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.

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