At this time of the year most of us yearn for something fresh and new as the days become warmer and spring is looming.
Spending most my free time indoors during the winter months I saw the things that need attention in my home. It only feels like yesterday that I painted all the window frames, but time and weather has taken its toll and now the time has come to repeat the exercise. Paint is the cheapest way to make a huge difference in the appearance of your home.
Friedrich Nietzsche said “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” BUT there is nothing wrong to get advice and assistance to get the job done easier!
Don’t wait to make changes until your overseas visitors are virtually on your doorstep – do it now, so that you can enjoy the change!
Where should you start or do you feel uncomfortable about making decisions?
- Walk through your home with a notebook and pen.
- Make notes of everything that needs attention from broken windows to dirty fingerprints on the wall and how you will deal with it.
- Be very honest about what you love, need and the changes you would like to make.
- List everything room by room. Leave space to add notes for suppliers, materials and prices at a later stage.
Create a story board
This will help you to determine your own style, colour preferences and help you visualise the end result.
- Cut out pictures of flooring, furniture, window treatments, lighting, accessories, layout, textures and colours from magazines or brochures.
- These cut-outs will give you an idea of your style preferences and what you love.
- Look for paint strips, fabric swatches and flooring samples to compliment what you have collected.
- Still not sure about your colour choices? Get small quantities of paint, this might sound wasteful, but is a better option than having to live with the wrong choice for a couple of years. Paint A2 boards with your most favourite colours. Leave it to dry. Put it on the wall and inspect it at different times of the day, to see which one you like the most. Hold the samples for furniture, curtaining and flooring against the colour boards.
- The different paint houses have fantastic advisory services. You take digital images of the rooms you want to change and they can put the colour of your choice onto the image and you can see the effect at a click of a button.
- Play around with these until you have found the perfect combination you love.
- Glue your choices onto the board.
- Add details like codes, suppliers and prices for all the materials.
- Measure up, do footprints of the furniture and plan your layout.
- Draw up a budget – usually it costs more than one anticipates.
- Get prices for supplies if you are going to do it yourself or get quotations from reputable service providers.
- Draw up a schedule, stick to it.
- List the materials necessary. Purchase what you need so that you do not have to rush out and buy something.
- Dress appropriately for the job. Ensure good ventilation when working with chemicals. Wear gloves to protect your hands.
- Tackle room by room. Finishing one at a time. This will give you immediate results and motivate you to carry on, rather than having to deal with total chaos of furniture standing around everywhere and unfinished rooms.
Good groundwork will ensure a quality final finish.
- Remove pictures and most of the furniture or cover it up with dust/plastic sheets.
- Protect the floor with plastic sheeting.
- For radical redecorating – think from bottom layer to outside layer, e.g. underfloor heating, floorcover of tiles, carpets, laminate flooring, skirting.
- Consider the dust factor. If new carpets are to be fitted, remove them before starting to paint. Dust will stick to wet paint and damage the new surface.
- Remove any picture pins, plugs, nails.
- Prep walls and ceilings. Blemishes will show up even more with a new finish. Rake out and fill cracks and holes.
- Seal areas where the wall butts ceilings and frames with paintable acrylic sealer for a neat flexible finish.
- Sand down all filled areas.
- Wipe surfaces with sugar soap solution to rid them of dirt and grease. Sand surfaces lightly for better adhesion of new paint. Wipe with a clean damp cloth to remove dust.
- Use appropriate undercoat or primers before painting, otherwise you will be left with dull patches where you filled cracks and holes. Check their compatibility to the chosen finish.
- Order of work – Start from the top down. First the ceilings, then the walls, windows, doors, then skirtings and floors.
- Use the correct tools for the job.
- Allow for drying time in between layers to ensure a good finish.
Now after the groundwork is done you can start on a new canvas by decorating your dream room according to your storyboard.
- Put down the flooring.
- Put back the furniture.
- Hang the window treatment.
- Add the finishing touches with paintings, canvasses and accessories.
Sit down and enjoy your creation. You did it – one step at a time and created a beautiful new face for your space.
Heidi Meyer Professional Organiser
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