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Things I wish I'd known- Doer Uppers and DIYers Topper Tippers

(22 Posts)
SpringHeeledJack Thu 01-Nov-12 11:38:49

We've been living in our new (old) house for over a year and there are a few things I'd do differently to save time, cash and a bit of the crying

here's a couple off the top of my head-

cracked, wallpapered and glossed ceilings (bane of my life)

first, get off as much as you can using one of these buggers -the standard ones are too flimsy

perforate the stubborn left on bits with one of these -then either spray or steam, and scrape off

then get a lovely plasterer to come and tart it up if necessary (badly cracked)

get the best taps you can afford.

Not necessarily the nicest looking. I bought a shit one from IKEA that looked fabby but sprayed the entire kitchen every time a child used it and a dp

This was a definite case of buy-cheap-buy-twice; have had to replace with Hansgrohe. Now I don't know myself - it's like a fairy's turning it on and off

now line up, DIY peeps- put your drills down, get the putty out of your nails and most importantly Wash Your Hands- and add your TTs to the list for benefit of OTHERS


Pootles2010 Thu 01-Nov-12 11:43:20

Right this is going to sound ridiculous, but these are essential. They have a little bit on the end for opening tins of paint, I can't tell you how happy this makes me.

SpringHeeledJack Thu 01-Nov-12 11:43:25

oh, and Fired Earth are robdogs, imo (I call em Fired Cunts)

tons of tiles are fab and do some of the same tiles at half the price

they deliver when they say they're going to, and are Very Nice (this is important)

Pootles2010 Thu 01-Nov-12 11:43:36

And yes i know my tip is shit compared to yours.

SpringHeeledJack Thu 01-Nov-12 11:45:05

that's a fab idea, pootles

I have ruined untold shit cutlery trying to get lids off Little Greene tins. No, really. I am that stupid


financialwizard Thu 01-Nov-12 12:40:44

Ok DIY guru's. I want to ask you a question. Is sugar soap truly the easiest thing to use to get wallpaper paste off of a wall once you have removed the wallpaper.

SpringHeeledJack Thu 01-Nov-12 15:08:16

I dunno, probly...

I just give it a bit of a wash with a scrubby thing in soapy water and paint over it

<sheepishly hands in DIY guru badge>

SpringHeeledJack Thu 01-Nov-12 15:10:30

which leads me on to my next point <coughs>

I find Little Greene Intelligent Matt hides a multitude of sins and is a GIFT to the lazy painter

it is also v matt and v spongeable which is great when you have Filthy Kids

don't buy off their website, though, it'll cost you hods

thetigerwhocametoteax Thu 01-Nov-12 20:53:52

Keep 'em coming - watching with interest as (finally) moving into our new house next week and LOTS of decorating to be done. I have been looking at Little Greene paints so glad to see you recommend them SpringHeeledJack - where did you find them cheaper to buy than the wesbite?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 01-Nov-12 21:06:40

Don't think that doing the bathroom is going to be fun.

PacificDogwood Thu 01-Nov-12 21:10:16

Get big strong men who Know What They Are Doing to do it all

<<runs away>>


PacificDogwood Thu 01-Nov-12 21:20:39

Sorry, I'll play nice <<sheepish>>; I have just done up one to many houses and will never, ever do it again.

So, FWIW, here goes:

Yy to decent taps. And buy good doors with decent door furniture. Fire doors are often much nicer to handle than ordinary cardboard doors.

Cheap white tiles can easily make a bathroom look fab when tarted up with fancy border of something more expensive ie glass tiles or mosaic.

Artex will Never Come Off. Just make your peace with it and get a good plasterer to skim over it for you. Before you have spent hours and hours and hours chipping away at it, giving yourself RSI, ruining your hands nails and your relationship with your DH <<weeps>> I think I have Artex PTSD. BTW DH and I are ok again - twas 16 years ago...

If on a budget (who isn't??) a cheap kitchen (<<cough>> IKEA) looks brilliant when fitted well. Another job where a good tradesmen is worth his weight in spanners. Straight lines, right angles and close gaps = expensive looking kitchen.

No idea about anything related to wallpaper <<shrugs>>

What is this Little Greene paint you are talking about?? Must google...

Stop doing whatever you are doing before tiredness makes you make mistakes or you fall of the ladder blush.

So, there you go, never again. The interior of our house was painted 5 years ago, I have 4 boys 9 and younger, and I will not do a single decorative thing to this house until they are out of the house older.

Good luck to you all smile!

discrete Thu 01-Nov-12 21:35:26

Never, ever buy cheap power tools. They will a. make the job impossible to do and b. break as soon as you try to use them in earnest.

Seeing as you are buying expensive tools, maintain them properly. Specifically, make sure to air blow them clean after every use.

Agree with good taps, except in places where it doesn't matter if they are splashy. If you have a million bathrooms to do (because ensuites seemed like such a good idea at the time), then don't beggar yourself for them. Everything looks good if it is limescale-free and shiny, and even the most expensive taps look crap when they are covered in limescale. Definitely good taps in the kitchen, though.

Never make compromises you are not completely happy with. It will bug you forever more, and every time it does you will be bitter that you compromised.

I have a million more, but will stop boring you senseless for the time being.

wendybird77 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:58:24

yy to good tools. Also get good drill bits - it does make a difference!

SpringHeeledJack Fri 02-Nov-12 08:04:10

Little Greene are expensive (in the F&B bracket) but imo Worth It

I had never heard of them till someone on here recommended them

a little goes a long way, VOCs (or something) are low, coverage and finish are fab

if you go on their website they've got a thingy which tells you your nearest dealer- you can prob find a trade shop

the posher DIY places (eg Brewers) are more expensive, but I've found LGs website the most expensive

Caerlaverock Fri 02-Nov-12 08:08:27

Sometimes it is cheaper in the long run to get a professional in.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Fri 02-Nov-12 08:18:48

Pacific, I was going to say "If you can, stick around for the Big Strong Men bits!" [hgrin]. Our kitchen fitters did a great job in the end but I'm glad I was there with them most days - avoided a few booboos like that. Plus any queries they had got sorted on the spot rather than a day of back and forth.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Fri 02-Nov-12 08:19:20

Oh no, no [hgrin] any more! sad

SecondhandRose Fri 02-Nov-12 08:20:13

After 16 years of doing up houses we bought a new one. Never been so warm and cosy. I can even take my clothes off in the winter! I am a convert.

Back2Two Fri 02-Nov-12 08:31:55

Have just started on our house.
My new favourite phrase is "oh, you live and learn......."

So far I've learnt...
1) asbestos isn't the end of the world but it's not fun either (this point will be expanded upon in the coming months years when we have to remove it room by room.
2) never buy Dulux or other white paint from B&Q, get trade. It costs loads more but why do 6 coats for a crap result when you can do 2 for lovely result and hard wearing paint.
3) don't buy a crap roller from B&Q. Needs to be sheep/ lambs wool. Well worth the money.

I say the phrase "a good workman always has really expensive, quality tools" is the way forward.

Next up...brick acid on an interior exposed brick wall hmm

HairySpidersInYourUnderwear Fri 02-Nov-12 18:56:43

Agree on the good tools, disagree somewhat on the expensive taps. Ikea kitchen tap was shite, I agree, but a mid-price one has been brill.

What I do like to do is spend more money on stuff that is expensive and a pain in the neck to replace so I bought expensive toilets and shower valves (now behind big chunk of concrete) and bought cheap towel hooks and bathroom taps that could be easily replaced and bought cheaper tile (that I still liked a lot but was considerably less money than the other ones I liked).

Wish I had bought the toilets with the non-stick sort of coating. Prefer the one piece toilets to the two piece. Easier to clean.

Ovens without self-clean are for the birds. Would rather do without something else than spray lye around and wear rubber gloves.

Low VOC paint does not give anyone in the house headaches. Great paint goes on easier and lasts longer.

IKEA lighting has been really crap for us. Hot, plastic burned, transformers gone. DH has banned me from buying it now.

We had a niche fitted in the shower which is great, but too small, should have got a his and hers fitted. Love love love having a regular shower head and a handheld. We put in two shower heads in our shower because it is the size of a bathtub (we took the bathtub out) so on mornings that we oversleep DH and DS can shower together and save time.

SpringHeeledJack Thu 08-Nov-12 14:42:59

these are great


someone's nan (?) said on facebook "I only decorate in an Olympic Year"



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