So why have I been a bit quiet on the blog recently? Well, I’ve been getting handy with a paint brush as we try to get the downstairs of our house sorted out. It feels a bit of a never-ending project at the moment, but hopefully I’ve now turned a corner. I wrote at the beginning of the year of my plans for our downstairs, and what I’d planned to have already started.
In October last year I finally convinced Daddy P to remove the hideous stone fireplace that I’ve loathed from the moment I set eyes on it years ago. We had someone out to demolish it, oh boy did I love watching that happen. Then someone else came to recess the gas pipe into the wall, before everything was plastered over.
This left us with two issues, firstly a large fireplace shaped hole in the carpet, and secondly a fireplace shaped hole that was missing skirting board. We thought the skirting board issue would be a quick fix, find a match piece and slot it into place. Wrong. We have a rather intricate design on our skirting board, its wooden, and goes back to the early 1990’s. We looked online, in the DIY shops and around our local timber merchants. Nothing that was an exact match. Someone suggested we try a reclamation yard, but to be honest I couldn’t see anyone salvaging skirting boards from our housing estate. So after discussing the situation with the family carpenter, he came to investigate and we all agreed the best course of action would be to rip out the two ends of existing skirting board on that wall, and replace it with as near a match as possible. So two weeks before Christmas we had a wall with new MDF primed skirting board, and to be honest, I’ve already forgotten it’s not an exact match, so hopefully no one will notice.
The thought of decorating before Christmas didn’t appeal, so I decided that a new year would see me getting handy with a paint brush. One problem resolved.
We’d also need to deal with the hole in the carpet.
The living room carpet was well past it’s best before we removed the fireplace, so it’s time to replace it. We also want to change the flooring in the hallway and get rid of the carpet in the cloakroom. So last week, we ripped the hallway and cloakroom carpets up so I could make a start with the painting before any new flooring is laid.
It seemed such an easy idea, just whack some gloss on the skirting boards and jobs a good ‘un. Uum. No. Then you realise that if you paint the skirting boards, you need to paint the door frames. Then you realise that the doors which you thought were a perfectly acceptable white, are yellow, and no, we don’t smoke.
Then you turn to look at the staircase. We have a dark stained wooden staircase, that would need tackling too. I’ve always wanted to have it all white, so this was my perfect opportunity to force the issue with Daddy P, a man who doesn’t like to change, anything. It had taken 9 years to get rid of the fireplace after all. But I think he saw that I was right about the staircase.
So off I went to the local DIY store, and returned with sandpaper and block, one coat (if only) white gloss, methylated spirit and some new paint brushes. I already had white spirit and our family chippy had given me a tin of undercoat/primer to tackle the stairs. I was ready to go.
Cloakroom was the easiest to deal with, all the gloss work (except the door) has been done, and it’s currently being used as a dumping ground for all my decorating materials. I’ll need to paint the radiator, door and walls before it’s finished, but I’m leaving the rest of that room til last.
The stairs. Oh boy has this been a love hate relationship over the last week. It’s all needed painting with the undercoat/primer, left to dry and then glossed, twice. There are some really tricky parts to cover which have involved Daddy P holding a mirror against the wall so I can see what/where needs painting. But finally, yesterday I finished the staircase, and I love it. I’ve even managed to avoiding wrecking the stair carpet which we can’t afford to change just yet. At times it’s been quite soul-destroying, knowing you’ve got to paint the same thing three times. But it’s done. The front door frame was also stained, and this has now been glossed along with the door itself. The hallway walls have been given a new coat of magnolia emulsion (I’ve got zero chance of Daddy P agreeing to ‘colour’ anywhere!!). I’ve just got to paint the wall going up the stairs, but I don’t do ladders so Daddy P is going to have to find some time to help with that part.
We haven’t taken the living room carpet up as yet. I think that would be a step too far for Daddy P. So instead I’ve pulled the carpet back from one wall, glossed that, let it dry and pushed the carpet back, before moving on to the next wall. It’s meant emptying a book-case and clearing a lot of Monkey’s toys away. I have a large floor to ceiling display case. I’ve had to empty all the breakables, wrap them and store them in boxes, so we could move the cabinet away from the wall to paint the skirting board. I’m leaving the glassware in boxes until we have new flooring put down as it seems silly to do this all twice. So the skirting boards in the living room are painted and I’m going to emulsion the walls and paint the door and radiator.
Then we’re ready for the new flooring and carpet to be laid. I did want wooden flooring throughout, but Daddy P is adamant he wants carpet in the living room. So at the moment, we’ve had the carpet fitters out to measure up and I’m waiting for a quote on wooden flooring throughout, and flooring in the hallway and cloakroom with carpet in the living room. Might as well cover both bases right?
I’d normally be at Toy Fair today, meeting up with brands and PR’s but I need to be here this year. That also means another day of painting. But I’ll be one day nearer to the end of it. I’m shutting my mind to ceilings and upstairs! They don’t exist, right?! So think of me as I start another day getting handy with a paint brush. Someone bring me a cuppa.