Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

DIY: things change colour

I wanted to put up shelves so naturally I started painting first.

There's lots of half-finished decorating in the flat, and a few completely unstarted areas - like the office, which is still the same off-pink it was when we moved in and used it as our bedroom. Never liked the colour, never had the opportunity to paint it. The bookcase next to my chair that's crammed with business papers and reference magazines and empty boxes that used to have tech in doesn't go all the way across the alcove it's in, and since I designed and (months later) built a new shelf unit for the kitchen to use the extra space where the olf boilder used to be there were two spare Ikea shelves (the kind with an upright bar that the shelf slots into) that are almost exactly the right size to fit in the gap. Instead of asking himself to put them up straight away I painted the visible corner (Craig & Ross Sung Green - a lovely jade/turquoise green that's very close to the colour I've always wanted to the room to be; think the room where Mr and Mrs Smith wake up in the first morning before they are Mr and Mrs, after he milks the goat). After the first coat I ran out of paint so we took a trip to B&Q (they carry the line, no longer have the right colour but we did return the box of travertine tiles that had arrived shattered and get two more), Homebase (they don't carry that line at all but had a box of travertine mosaics marked down to half price) and the big B&Q (success! and oh, another interesting colour of paint and more white paint; lucky as the silk white I had had - ewwww - gone mouldy in the pot; I didn't know paint went mouldy).

By that point it was time for dinner on the terrace, where I'd already laid out all the travertine tiles we had so we could put out a pot for the succulent cuttings I was given. There were still gaps and I thought two boxes would fill most of the space; after dinner I sat on the floor and did jigsaws, fitting in the new tiles and pulling the moaics off their backing - two mosaic tiles side by side are a quarter of one full tile so I used them to space out the full tiles for interest and to fit the full width of the roof. We still had gaps so today after gluing up the sheet of wallpaper hanging down at the top of the stairs with Ultra Extreme Stick Anything Without Nails (this stuff could glue you to a helicopter the way the wallpaper paste in the ads did and it's very hard to get off your fingers) and doing the second coat on the Sung Green and nearly falling downstairs priming the high corners on the way out to the roof terrace and making Simon cough with the paint (Craig & Ross eggshell hardly any fumes, pink to show where you've painted white silk evil fumes, silk white plenty fumes but less evil) we went out for yet more travertine and something cheaper to put under the barbecue. The DIY stores have gone back to shutting at 4, and I went out for a trolley to carry the marked down floor tiles (£7 for 8 big tiles) we found at 3.57 and had to get the manager's permission to bring the trolley back in! Then Simon hung the shelves and I painted the wall and the ceiling around the terrace door white and the skirting boards blue (originally I was using a Dulux tester I've painted over the name of but Farrow & Ball Blue Ground is close enough). Part of the wall looks leprous because I put the second coat on too soon and the first coat shifted but the shelf that used to be by the door will shift back by the wall so no-one will see it.

So, baby steps on the decorating but the nice thing is that my hips are in good shape; sometimes if I stoop and squat and bend and stretch doing cleaning or DIY one of the joints slips and I end up with one leg longer than the other (with pain ranging from excruciating to merely unberable). I've done all that several times since we got back and while I feel stiff afterwards, I haven't (touch wood) lost a joint. I'm using cushions or towels to kneel on or resting on the stepstool when I bend over and kneeling up on a chair when I wash out the brushes and I think that makes the difference - but the memory foam mattress topper and the memory foam knee spacer pillow might be part of it. Either way, it's letting me get a lot more done ;-)
Tags: diy, house, personal

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