Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Painting walls, not pictures

We've been in this house ten months now and it's time to start tarting the old girl up.  We have jokingly given the house a name - Turd Hall (or Tird Hall for posher spelling) as with two cats and a dog there is a lot of shit to pick up! Also as I get the shits with work quite a lot it's appropriate. But I digress…

So the tarting has commenced.

Firstly I had a painter - delectable Daniel, so cute I could almost eat him - do the outside woodwork around the windows.

Inspired by Daniel, who made the woodwork absolutely sing, I decided to paint the inside window trim in the living room and re-lacquer the windowsills because it looked so bloody disgusting compared to the outside woodwork. It took me a weekend and got me back into the swing of painting. I realise I am going about this upside down as the ceilings should come first, then the walls, then the trim, but oh well!!
Ready to go!


I also repainted the inside front door jamb after spending a couple of weeks mucking around with Plastic Wood and sandpaper restoring a section which had been thoroughly chewed by a friend's dog (hate to think of the splinters the poor dog must have got in her mouth!). It's not absolutely perfect - which is annoying to this perfectionist - but on first glance you wouldn't know there had ever been damage. It's not like it was a square piece either, there was a little recessed bit I had to match. I am considering becoming a sculptor using Plastic Wood as my medium!
Job done  - just have to pull the tape off.

After the delectable smell of oil enamel and turps had faded, I got withdrawal symptoms and wanted another nice task. By that stage I'd amassed around 50 colour swatches for the hall, living room and main bedroom. I bought a few sample tins and did some sections here and there on various walls. For a few days there were parts of the hall which looked positively patchwork as I tried them out!

Tird Hall is double brick and the interior walls are cement rendered, so it's a rough surface and interesting, if a bit labour-intensive, to paint over. The nice thing is that because of the surface you can be a bit slapdash with the roller and it won't show in which direction you've rolled.

The hall was originally yellow and while I wasn't enamoured of it, plenty of farting around with colours brought me back to yellow, but a lighter and more citron shade. The hall is pretty dark so needed a light and warm colour. I don't do cream. I did try with some cream sample paint but I rebelled against it. It's just not me.

I dithered about waiting until we'd had the ceiling painted, but then I thought: I'm a mucky pup when it comes to painting around cornices. I'll be really cross if I get paint from the walls on newly-painted cornices. I can easily touch up the wall for any paint spatters from the ceiling.

Before. The paint looked tired, it had worn away around the light switch, it had scuff marks that wouldn't shift and it was plainly dingy.

So I got the blue painter's tape out and got taping around door jambs, cupboards and skirting in the hall. It took me a roll and a half to do the job properly - it's a big t-shaped hall. I thought, "It's not a huge painting job - there are plenty of cupboards taking up space." Well. The first coat and a bit of the second to use up the paint in the roller tray took me eight straight hours. I didn't even stop for lunch as I was getting a bit tired by then and thought if I stopped, I'd STOP.  My arms were a bit sore at the end of the day and I was getting blisters from the roller handle.
After. You can see there's a slight citron tinge to the yellow.

Nonetheless, it looked great. And the good news is it only took me four hours to complete the second coat the next day. I was on a roller - er, roll - by then.  When I peeled away the tape there was very little paint where there shouldn't have been paint and the carpets didn't get a single drop on them. Phew.
My paint job was very neat - but my clothes weren't by the end of it!
Last weekend's project was the woodwork around the exterior of the front door - undercoat and two coats of glossy white enamel. The paint was original, i.e. 1960 vintage! And it looked it. It was peeling here and there where it hadn't yellowed. Now it's all shiny white again. Have to figure out how to repair the door sill though; it's falling apart.

What's next? Paint the screen door at the front its old original glossy black, as well as the matching grilles which go in front of the windows on either side. I've sanded the grilles ready for undercoat but have to sand and rustproof the front door.  I won't get the opportunity to pick up a brush this weekend though, dammit!!! We have too many social activities planned. Hmmph!!

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