Tips for success when decorating

decorating_paint_brushesAre you looking around your living room thinking it could do with a lick of paint? Perhaps you’ve got a room that was used as a dumping ground that you now want to use again or are simply bored with your current colour schemes.

Whilst many people wait until the spring time to think about sprucing things up or decorating, for some the dark wet winter evenings are the ideal time to get some sorting out done. After all, once the warmer, dryer weather comes around wouldn’t you rather be enjoying your time outside? Gardening or going for a good walk and watching things around spring back into life seems more inviting than climbing a ladder and painting the ceiling!

If you are one of those people who wants to tackle those decorating projects in the winter evenings here are some tips to help ensure things run smoothly.

Plan
It cannot be stressed enough that taking time to consider what you want to do and how you’re going to do it will save time (and maybe money or heartache) in the longer term. Look around at the scale of the job that needs to be done and be realistic about how long it will take you. Can you really get home from work and shut yourself away undisturbed by anyone for hours? Will you want to – really? If you’re working in the evenings, you’ll need to split the work down into bite sized chunks.

Prepare
Free up as much space as possible to allow you to work freely and easily. If you’re trying to manoeuvre around a room full of furniture, it’s likely to take twice as long if you have to keep moving things around. Worse still, if you can’t move furniture out and haven’t protected it properly, it may end up getting damaged. Definitely remove any fragile items like glassware, paintings or photographs completely before you start slopping that paint around. Often people prop them up against or lie them flat on top of larger pieces of furniture and then cover everything with one big sheet. It’s so easy to trip over the corner of a dust sheet and knock things or to forget that the big sturdy cupboard you can see and is just within reach of your paint pot, has actually got some very sentimental things lying on top of it. If you haven’t got a spare room, short term self storage is an ideal solution here. For a small cost, you can clear a whole room for a week or two while you decorate. Your furniture and all your belongings will be safe from harm’s way and secure. prepare your surfaces properly; clean, sand and fill before you start painting.

Materials
Before you start your decorating job, make sure you have all the tools necessary for the job. Scrapers, fillers, paint brushes and rollers, decorators tape etc. It will take twice as long and cost twice as much is you have to keep nipping to the local DIY store because you haven’t got the right sized brush or scraper. If you clean them up and look after them they will be used again and again. Paint and paper; you will need to measure up your room to work out how much you will need and don’t be tempted to try and ‘make things stretch’ too thinly. It’s better to have one roll or tin too many than run out and find you can’t get another item of the same colour. This is important if using wallpaper. Rolls of paper have batch numbers and different batch numbers can be ever so subtly different in colour which may not be that noticeable when picking up the roll, but once unrolled and put on the wall can become very evident. If you keep your receipt and have an unopened roll or tin, most DIY stores will allow you to return it.

Safety
It goes without saying that safety should always be of paramount consideration. If you’re using chemical strippers or thinners use gloves, goggles and a mask. The same applies when sanding; it’s surprising how much damage can be done when grit gets in your eye. Use sharp things like knives very carefully and always retract their blades (if possible) when not in use. If you can’t quite reach that space at the top of the wall, don’t be tempted to stack a few books on a chair and stand on them – they will move! Always use appropriate equipment. An old kitchen chair may be perfectly fine for doing some areas but make sure it’s sturdy enough to take your weight and never over-stretch. A good step ladder is probably better, especially if the chair has to go back around the kitchen table!

Space Centre Self Storage have units of all sizes in Gloucester, Stroud and Bristol and we are happy to rent our units on a short term basis. If you need to clear a room for decoration, give us ring to discuss your needs.

Image: RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist