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decorator or do it myself?

(9 Posts)
mousie Sun 08-May-05 18:53:48

our hall desperately needs redecorating - horrid banisters, loads of old yukky paint work - doesnt' look like an easy job at all - but the price of decorators round here (Richmond in London) is horrific. Anyone think I would be stupid to have a go at doing it myself - or can recommend a cheap decorator who can do it instead?
I am not a great decorator - have done a bit in the past - but tend to lose heart at some point in the process - with two kids not sure how realistic doing it myself is..

unicorn Sun 08-May-05 19:13:21

I know the feeling!
We are absolute rubbish at DIY (in fact anything household related!!)and if we had the money would get some 'pro' in to do literally everything!
Because we have no spare dosh w have chickened out - so loads of stuff needs doing.
Personally I won't go there as it would look rubbish so we are just living with what we already have.

May be worth sticking a request in the tradesperson thread, someone may be able to point you in direction of cheapish decorator (although I truly wonder if there is any such thing in London!)

zebraX Sun 08-May-05 19:20:00

We can do DIY but we hate the idea of decorating, trying to pick out colour schemes & get everything to match and look "smart". How expensive is it to hire in a decorator? I would definitely hire some1 to do the decorating if I felt I could afford it...

Janh Sun 08-May-05 19:24:51

What are your banisters like? If they are twiddly with loads of paint on that in itself is a huge job (if you want to strip them I mean). Not stupid to try it yourself but chemicals and hot-air strippers don't fit well with little kids.

I did our hall/stairs/landing but it took me years (on and off!) and we don't even have banisters going up the stairs, just along the landing.

What is good - but expensive - is that Ronseal (?) product where you paint it on and leave it 30 mins or something and then it peels off in great chunks.

Or, what we have used a lot on paintwork is Nitromors varnish remover because you neutralise it with meths, not white spirit like the paint remover, so it dries cleaner and less greasy. Still a horrible job though.

Depends how desperate you are to have it done and how many hours it would take you to DIY.


QueenEagle Sun 08-May-05 19:39:34

I am currently contemplating my hall stairs and landing but with 5 kids in the house, it is not a job I look forward to at all! I would wait forever for dh to get off his lazy bum so am going to get quotes.

The other thing I have thought about doing if I decide to attempt it myself, is to identify an area per day or every other day to do. This way I wouldn't get bored half way through or be struggling to juggle the kids and the painting. The only downside of this of course is cleaning the brushes so often and getting all the stuff out and putting it all away again so often, but with little ones about, I'm not sure there's much alternative.

I keep trying to convince myself it will be worth paying someone to do it so I can get on with entertaining the kids and leave the dirty work to someone who really knows what they're doing!

mousie Sun 08-May-05 20:03:08

mmm, thanks for the product tips esp, our bannisters are fiddly - i think would need stripping ideally - but couldn't contemplate doing this with a blow torch ever - would have to be chemicals and i would have to do one a night for the next few weeks or something... i am thinking the only time i could do it would be evenings - would be good to stop me watching crap tv i suppose. i guess a decorator would be the sensible thing - though i think in the end the bannister is wobbly so we need a whole new bannister - god i know why I haven't got round to it once - like plastic surgery (I imagine) once you get started, where do you stop?!

Janh Sun 08-May-05 20:54:55

If your banisters are very wobbly then I would give serious consideration to replacing them - new ones not as nice as old ones but replacement quicker, neater and cheaper than stripping and faffing about.

Our old ones on the landing were square, no fancy shapes at all, a couple were missing and the newel posts had had chunks knocked out of them in order to board the whole thing in - PHILISTINES!!! - so we had them all taken out and replaced with new shaped balusters with a new handrail. (The old ones were lovely, pitch pine, but we would never have matched them.)

mousie Sun 08-May-05 21:23:49

would it be a carpenter who replaces bannisters then?

Janh Sun 08-May-05 21:28:53

Carpenter or joiner, mousie. You can buy all the parts quite easily from woodyard or DIY store - Richard Burbidge seem to have a monopoly - loads of different designs.

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