Had I not learned the art of decorating, I dread to think how much would have been spent over the years paying other people to do it for me. It must run into many thousands of pounds. Ok, it may take a little longer to get a high quality finish, and I may have to take a few pieces of wallpaper down and redo them, but it is all worth it in the end.
If you are thinking of taking up decorating yourself, read on. There are no great secrets to it, and everyone should try it for themselves if they have time. I will address the basics here that should leave you happy with your first project. All tools and new hardware for the project can be found at www.gotstock.com.au as well as other shops online.
Firstly, you need to make sure you have all of the tools you need. This will include the basics like sandpaper, paintbrushes and rollers, but also things like a wallpaper stripper, screwdrivers, dustsheets, a stepladder/stool, a workbench, saw, spirit level and a bench vice. Depending on the age of your house, you might also find you need other things when you come across the unexpected, such as an uneven wall or a corner that isn’t 90 degrees. Masking tape can help to keep lines straight, whilst a hoover and brush is always useful when tidying up!
You have probably heard it said before, but preparation really is everything. Strip off any old wallpaper with a steamer. To use the steamer, let the water boil and then hold the steam plate against the wall for ten seconds. The paper underneath will come away from the wall easily. Use filler to repair any holes in the walls and sandpaper it smooth. It is a good idea to rub the walls over quickly with a medium grade sandpaper just to remove any little bits of paper that may be left behind.
Rub skirting boards, architraves, and doors with sandpaper to give a key for the new paint.
Wallpaper is easy to hang with practice. Use a plumb line to mark a vertical line on the wall for the first piece.
Cut the first piece of wallpaper to length.
Using wallpaper paste mixed to the manufacturers instructions, work from the centre of the paper out to the edges with a pasting brush. Fold the wallpaper almost in half, when it has been pasted, to help with handling.
Let the paper soak for the amount of time recommended on its instruction slip.
Take the top edge of the folded paper and apply it to the wall. When the top is in place, unfold the paper so that it can be aligned with the line you marked earlier.
Using a smoothing brush, work outwards from the center again, removing any bubbles.
When the paper is smooth and bubble free, trim the top and bottom edges with a craft knife.
Emulsion should be applied to the walls with a paint roller. The paint does tend to spatter so make sure furniture and carpets are well covered. People may recommend that you use a paint pad instead of a roller. Well, this may work for you but I have always found them to be hard work and do not give good coverage. Try them, if you like, and find out for yourself.
Woodwork should always have undercoat applied. Don’t try to skip this or you will not get a superior finish to your project. The undercoat covers the faded woodwork well and gives a good quality clean base on which to apply the gloss. The gloss is far easier to apply onto this surface and painting becomes a pleasure rather than a chore.
So as you can see, there is nothing to be anxious about when decorating for yourself. After all, what is the worst that can happen? Give it a try, and you might just save yourself a small fortune over the years. Good Luck.