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To deal with my floors before decorating walls?

(14 Posts)
Nishky Tue 02-Oct-12 08:54:21

My whole house needs decorating-think very little done in 10 years- but my floors downstairs bug me the most. They are wood and need to be revarnished. It will be months and months before all rooms done.

Would it be barking to make the floors look better and then start work on all the rooms, or is it askin for trouble.

SoleSource Tue 02-Oct-12 09:07:43

Walls first IMO smile

ANy professional decorator works downwards to floors last smile

Nishky Tue 02-Oct-12 09:10:39

bugger thank you ladies

cozietoesie Tue 02-Oct-12 09:12:33

Would they need to be sanded as well? If that's the case, I might just be tempted to do the floors first and buy dust sheets due to the sheer harrassment of - and dust from - sanding. If it's just re-varnishing, then top-down in my experience.

Nishky Tue 02-Oct-12 09:18:33

It is just re- varnishing - I may buy a couple of cheap rugs to disguise them for the next 7-8 months!

cozietoesie Tue 02-Oct-12 09:25:03

Well here's the thing. You're going to be inhibited for the next few months (by the weather and temperature) in doing the full range of decorating, including using paints or varnishes that give off fumes. No open windows etc.

Putting up paper or using water based emulsion, though, is fairly easy with windows closed. Make a virtue out of necessity so that all the walls and ceilings are done ready for the good weather to come next year - and then you're just on a quick scoot with the fumy stuff to finish off.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 02-Oct-12 09:40:43

"is it askin for trouble."

It's asking for splatters. The reason decorators work top down is that paint doesn't drip upwards. smile Having said that, if they're really bugging you and you do the floors first, make sure they are very, very well protected when you start on the walls a few months later & you could get away with it.

cozietoesie Tue 02-Oct-12 09:48:29

I have to say that my instinct would always be to do floors last though - furniture and family life permitting. Not only is varnishing the easiest job (body at a good angle, easy on the arms, no balance required, start at the windows and just work straight back to the doors with the radio playing etc) but there's something real satisfying about doing that last bit of flloorboard, closing the door and saying DONE! (Knowing that the next time you open the door, the room will be pristine and ready for furniture.)


Pomtastic Tue 02-Oct-12 09:54:28

We had same issue; had to live with carpets that hadn't been changed since circa 1960 (eye watering pattern & covered in cat wee & nicotine) whilst we saved up to damp-proof/replaster/etc.

A v. kind builder friend had an offcut of industrial carpet left over from doing an office & so gave it to us for free - we laid it down (v. approximately, more like a giant rug really) & it covered up the mankiness for 18 months or so!

Ebay sometimes have cheap offcuts, or a carpet shop might know of something?? It's horrible though isn't it, I do sympathise

Nishky Tue 02-Oct-12 10:09:38

I know you are all right! Will go down the rug route while I paint the walls smile

orangina Tue 02-Oct-12 10:19:37

If you are sanding, then you need to do floor first, let the dust settle, then walls.

If you are not sanding (only varnishing), then I would do walls, floors, then finally skirtings (just to make your life as complicated as possible!).


EdMcDunnough Tue 02-Oct-12 10:28:42

Why not do a room at a time - you don't needto do the entire house before you do one floor.

So start with worst downstairs room, do the walls, then the floor, job done - then move on to the next one. Leave upstairs till you have time.

DameFanny Tue 02-Oct-12 10:30:45

You can do floors first if it means getting it done more quickly. You can also get lots of low odour paints that you don't need to air - have a look at eco paint?

You just need to be more careful about painting - but if you brush instead if roll you can still get a good result doing one corner at a time as time permits, which can be easier than the full commitment of emptying the whole room and doing it all in one go.

Plus any splashes will wipe off fresh varnish much more easily than old.

But please don't blame me if it goes horribly wrong!

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