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Decorating a bedroom :: Posted by: Admin on April 30th, 2014

Decorating a bedroom

I thought I would do a post about a recent job I did, it was decorating a bedroom of a local bungalow. The job entailed stripping the old wallpaper, painting the woodwork and then re-papering with two different papers above and below a dado rail.

Firstly I removed the old wallpaper and backing paper. I don’t use a wallpaper stripper and I have blogged about this in the past, you can read my post How to strip wallpaper for more information on how I do it.

Once the wallpaper was removed I could see any holes and cracks that needed repair before hanging the new wallpapers, you can read about how to fill cracks in my post about it, I have also written about the different types of filler.

When the filler was dry I rubbed it down with the remaining walls to ensure they were smooth and level, I also rubbed all the woodwork down including a window sill, a door, a door frame and architrave, the skirting boards and the dado rail. I then vacuumed the walls down to remove any dust, I also vacuumed up and dust that had fallen onto the ground. I always carry my own vacuum with me to clear up so I don’t have to use the clients.

Now that all the preparation work was done to the walls and woodwork I could start to paint, I start at the top and work down, so the first job is the ceiling and coving which I painted with two coats of brilliant matt white emulsion.

Once the ceiling was dried and I was happy it looked OK i moved onto the woodwork, firstly giving it a coat of undercoat. I use a water based undercoat for quickness of drying, once the undercoat was dry I could topcoat the woodwork, in this case everything was painted with brilliant white satin wood.

I varnished the window sill with a clear satin varnish with three coats to complete the woodwork.

Now that the woodwork was done I had to wait for it to fully dry overnight before I could start to hang the wallpaper, which I did the following day. I wallpapered above the dado rail first and then below it.

How long does it take to decorate a bedroom?

Well that is a hard question to answer, it depends on how much there is to do, whether there is just emulsion or wallpapering to do. On this job it took me around three days to complete. But each job varies.

Below is a photo of the completed bedroom, showing one wall, the wallpaper (that is still wet) and the dado rail.

bedroom wallpaper

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Using a heat gun to strip paint :: Posted by: Admin on March 24th, 2014

3 point triangle scraper

Using a heat gun to strip paint

Heat guns, hot air gun or hot-air strippers as they are sometimes called are a way of removing paint from woodwork by using hot air, they are a better way of stripping paint than using a naked flame such as a blowtorch. Heat guns come with nozzles that can direct, and protect areas you do not wish to remove the paint and also from overheating glass panels and cracking the glass.

Many heat guns have two heat settings to allow more control over the removal of paint. If you buy a heat gun you will normally get a scraper with the gun, depending on model and price of the gun the amount of accessories you get with it will vary. As a basic tool you should use a triangle three pointed scraper, this will allow you to do basic paint stripping from large areas and moulded areas, you can buy other scrapers with different profiles to them for more detailed work or even a scrapper that allows you to change the end for your needs.

Temperature control

A good heat gun will allow you to choose different heat settings, normally low or high, these different heat temperatures will allow the gun only to heat up to a certain temperature giving you more control on the heat required for a given situation.

Heat guns can range in temperatures from around 10 – 500 ℃ (50 – 1000 ℉) so caution should be used when using heat guns.

Safety First

When using any heat tool safety should be observed. You should always be aware of your surroundings when using a heat gun. You should wear gloves, safety goggles or glasses, cover bare skin by wearing overalls, wear sensible shoes or boots, move any flammable items out of the way (such as curtains, carpet), have a fire extinguisher beside you. Ensure you only strip paint in well ventilated areas. Don’t put any part of you body in front of the airflow of the gun as this will cause injury.

Be aware of how old the paint you are stripping is, does it contain lead? Even though the topcoat may be modern, subsequent layers may be pre 1960 and contain lead. You can find more information on wikipedia about lead paint in the UK.

When stripping paint, the paint will get hot and sticky, it may even burn, be aware of the paint falling to the floor, protect the floor and keep an eye on smouldering paint. The scraper will also get hot as you use it so do not touch the end.

Be aware that the end of the gun will remain extremely hot for a period of time so do not lay it down on flammable surfaces such as carpet or dust sheets. Look out for heat guns that come with a stand when buying one, this will allow you to stand the gun safely whilst it cools down.

Heat Gun

Using a heat gun

Firstly you should you follow the safety instruction that come with your heat gun.

Use the appropriate heat setting, nozzle or shield and scraper for the job you are doing. Gently heat the paint with the heat gun ensuring you keep it moving to avoid scorching or burning the wood. As the paint bubbles and blisters scrape it off with the scraper and if required go back over the area to remove further layers.

Be aware of any glass as heating the glass will cause it to crack or shatter.

Once the paint is removed you can sand the wood smooth with sandpaper and then paint or varnish as required.

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Painting a kitchen :: Posted by: Admin on January 15th, 2014

Kitchen

Painting a kitchen

A kitchen tends to be the hub of any household, it’s where everyone seems to meet, eat and organise everything. So because this room is used so much and lived in a lot it may get dirty and grimey, especially with cooking fumes.

Ceilings can look yellowish, walls can get splashes of water, grease and food on them. So from time to time you may wish to freshen up the paintwork in your kitchen.

Before you begin painting

Before you start to paint you should remove and grease splashes on the surfaces you are going to paint, this may even include the ceiling! Sugar soap or a similar product is best for this job, don’t forget the woodwork also.

Also, if you have pets such as dogs, they often shake water off themselves when they have been outside, this goes everywhere, so it is worth wiping the walls over to remove the grime.

Paint choice

When it comes to choosing the paint, and by this I mean the finish rather than the colour. It is best to choose a hard wearing paint, one than can be wiped over if it gets dirty. You can by ‘Kitchen paint’ that is specially formulated to resist grease and grime, but this paint is normally more expensive that standard paints.

Some people prefer silk emulsion as this can be wiped off and due to its high vinyl content doesn’t rub off, like some matt emulsions can after time.

Once you have decided on the paint you wish to buy, you can use this paint calculator to work out how many litres you need to buy. All you need to know is the width and height of the area to paint, and how far a litre of the paint will go, often referred to as coverage, if the tin says how much for that tin, divide the amount by how many litres in the tin, so 5 litres that covers 65 sq m then divide 65 by 5 to give you how much 1 litre covers, in this example 13 sq m.

Painting the kitchen

Firstly you will need to cover the floor and kitchen units with dust sheets to prevent paint splashes, once you have done this you can begin to paint, start with the ceiling and any coving you may have, then once you have done two coats on the ceiling you can begin with the walls.

You should ‘cut in’ around kitchen units and use a roller to fill in. It maybe easier to remove the drawers and door closest to the wall to avoid getting paint on them, these are easily removed and replaced.

Once you have done two coats on the walls you can paint the woodwork, if you have any. Give the woodwork a light rub down, then an undercoat followed by a topcoat, such as gloss or satinwood.

Finishing off

Once you have finished painting and it has all dried, you can then put everything back into the kitchen and enjoy your newly decorated kitchen. You can add some artwork to your walls, maybe a new kettle or toaster could finish the transformation.

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How to prepare interior woodwork for painting :: Posted by: Admin on May 3rd, 2013

How to prepare interior woodwork for painting

Before you begin to paint any wood be it interior or exterior you need to prepare the wood first. Safety first, if your house was build before the mid-1960’s you may well have layers of paint containing lead in it, if this is the case take care, always use a mask. If you suspect you paintwork may contain lead, ask your local paint supplier for a leaflet or go online and download a guide from a paint manufacturer. Most likely it has been painted over now so is less of a problem. If you are stripping the wood back to bare wood, take safety measures. Modern paint does not contain lead.

Safety first

You should always think safety first, apart from the possible lead in paint as mentioned above, you should always wear a mask, you may also wear eye protection and gloves. You should also have good ventilation.

Interior Woodwork Painting

Preparing previously painted wood

It is a good idea to wash dirt and grime off of the woodwork using either warm soapy water or sugar soap. Once you have washed the woodwork down, allow to dry fully. You should then fill any holes and cracks with filler and rub or sand down so it is level and smooth. All woodwork should be rubbed down (abraded) to give the paint a ‘key’ to stick too. Rub down all the woodwork surfaces lightly. If the paint flakes off as you rub down, more than likely the paintwork was not prepared well the time before, you may need to remove this layer.

Once all the washing, filling and rubbing down has been done, remove all dust, this can be done with an old paint brush or ideally removed via a vacuum cleaner to keep the dust circulating to a minimum.

If the wood is to be painted and not stained, you should use a wood primer on any bare wood and filler to seal it, then apply a good coat of undercoat, once this has dried you can give it a light sand to remove any fluff, dirt or grit before top coating.

Finally, now you have prepared the wood you can finish it off with either a satinwood or gloss paint. If you are staining the wood, you wouldn’t use a primer or undercoat, just simply stain the wood until you get the finish you require, at least two coats is normal.

Preparing previously unpainted wood

If you are painting new, previously un-painted wood such a new door, which are widely available in large DIY stores or online from stores, you do not need to wash the wood down.

So for un-painted wood, fill and holes and gaps first and rub the filler down so it is level and smooth. Use a knotting solution to seal any knots in the wood. Allow the knotting solution to dry and then use a wood primer to seal the wood. Once the primer has dried, give it a light rub down to remove any debris. Next, undercoat the wood, you could give it two coats of undercoat to give a better coverage but leave to dry and rub down in between. Once you have rubbed the undercoat down you can finish off with a topcoat.

If you are staining the wood, fill holes with a wood coloured filler and rub it down flat and smooth, then stain the wood until you get the finish you require.

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