Step by step decorating living room : How to prepare your walls , interior woodwork

Step by step decorating living room

Not everyone is the ‘Do It Yourself’ expert they claim to be, but you can pretend to be the next Nick Knowles (star of DIY SOS if you’re not a lover of DIY programmes either) with our fool-proof and discreetly downloadable guide to how to decorate. We’ll take you through the basics so you can make mincemeat of dowdy wallpaper, polish dull wooden floors to perfection or professionally hang those pictures you’ve been meaning to put up since you moved in.

We understand that in these difficult economic times, not everyone can afford to hire a professional decorator but with our guide, you can at least attempt to do it yourself.

How to prepare your walls

You will need :

– Brush or vacuum cleaner

– Sugar soap or homemade alternative of warm water and detergent

– Sponge

– Bleach

– Sandpaper

– High quality primer

As with most DIY projects, preparation is everything! When decorating your home, conducting great prep is the difference between a super smooth finish and a sloppy one.

Start off by dusting the surface of your walls with a towel, brush or vacuum cleaner. Next wash down your walls with warm water and a high quality detergent, use a weak solution consisting of 3 teaspoons of household detergent to one bucket of warm water. Alternatively, you can use sugar soap to remove any stubborn stains like grease, soot or smoke damage. Whether you are using sugar soap or a homemade cleaning mixture, use a damp sponge to apply the solution, which should be regularly rinsed.

Don’t be afraid to cover old ground either, clean the wall area at least 2 to 3 times to remove excess dirt. You may encounter mould when preparing your walls for painting and it is important to remove this before applying a fresh coat of paint. These troublesome grey-green speckles could spread across the entire room if left untreated. Invest in a quality mould and mildew remover or create your own solution for a cost effective alternative that works just as well. Mix one part bleach with three parts ammonia-free detergent for a mould 1 a 3 removing potion.

Apply the solution to the problem area and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse away the solution. When cleaning your walls ensure that they are thoroughly dry before you move onto the next stage of preparation. Now it’s time to remove any imperfections on your walls such as chips, cracks and blisters.

Use a scraper to remove any flaking paint, and smooth away any lumps and bumps with some high quality sandpaper. There are a number of abrasive papers you can utilise to get the smooth finish you are looking for. As well as wet and dry sanding papers, the latest product is Polycell Liquid Sander, the solution is painted or brushed onto the surface of your walls and left to dry to reveal a surface perfect for painting.

Walls that have had gloss paint applied to them previously need some extra attention during preparation. Glossy surfaces don’t have the same adhesion when painting over them so the new coat will find it hard to stick. Use sandpaper to roughen the surface as well as remove any imperfections. Whether you are preparing a glossy or matte surface, fill any cracks and chips with filler then smooth with sandpaper for a ready to paint surface.

The final stage of preparation is applying primer, also known as the professional painter’s ‘secret weapon’. Using the preparation methods mentioned above, applying a high quality primer is the final stage of hiding away imperfections. Attention must be paid however to which primer is best for your wall. For water and smoke damaged walls use an oil-based primer, whilst new drywalls should be treated with a water-based alternative.

Whether you’re freshening up a room or going for a complete design overhaul, preparation is an essential part of a long lasting and beautiful finish. Take a few hours out of your weekend to prepare like a pro .

How to prepare interior woodwork

You will need

– Wood filler

– Knotting compound

– Sugar soap

– Electric sander

– Filler knife

– Fine sandpaper

– Cloth

– White spirit

– Wood primer (quick drying and water-based) reparing your woodwork should always be a part of your home decoration preparation, after all prep is the key to a complete and professionally finished result. Messy woodwork can be the fine line between a beautiful home interior and a ‘not so beautiful’ one so prepare your woodwork today with a few tips straight from the experts.

Cracks and holes in your woodwork are unsightly to say the least so repair these with a good quality wood filler. Large knots can be off putting too so use a knotting compound to seal these.

If you are working with a painted surface and wish to spruce it up with a fresh coat, wash the surface down with sugar soap before you commence work. The sugar soap will remove any dirt, grime and dust that can go unnoticed to the naked eye but creates a poor result once the new coat of paint has dried.

For a professional finish, prepare your woodwork with an electric sander and remove any flaking paint with a filler knife. Finish by sanding down the whole surface with a fine sheet of sandpaper, paying particular attention to the areas where the newly applied filler has dried.

Give the surface a quick wipe down with a cloth dampened in white spirit to remove any fine dust, then seal the surface with a water-based and quick drying wood primer. This sanded and sealed surface is now ready to be painted; the sanding will not only smooth the rough surface but also provide extra adhesion for the new paint to stick to. When repainting start with vertical strokes and brush out the paint horizontally to get right into the grain of the wooden surface. Finish the first coat using light strokes, painting in the direction of the grain.

Allow the first coat to dry before you apply the topcoat. Painting over woodwork in a different colour takes patience and a lot of paint. But the trick to a beautiful finish is to do multiple coats rather than cover the surface in one thick layer of paint. Why not spend some extra time preparing the wood for painting? It may take a couple of extra hours to sand down the painted surface to bare wood but the end result will be second-to-none.

Read also :

Guide to Concreting : building a retaining wall , pergola or patio, Footpaths , Slab Pouring , Extensions , Carport & Garage Floors , Formed Concrete Benchtops , Driveways, Pool Surrounds , Besser Block Walls

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