DIY Decorating Tips
With mortgages becoming more and more difficult to get, leading to a shortage of properties coming onto the market, more and more people are deciding to re-decorate their homes rather than move home.
Follow our tips on decorating to help you to avoid a home improvement nightmare. By following our tips you can achieve real improvements, and save yourself both time and money in the process.
Plan your decorating
Planning may sound boring but it inevitably saves you time in the long run. It helps you think the job through, make your mind up over the colour scheme you want, and get together all the things you need before you start getting down to the hard work of decorating.
Have a budget
If you decide to redecorate a room, the first thing you must do is determine how far you’re going to go. Will you be repainting the walls, what about the ceiling and does the woodwork need a makeover? Maybe you’ll be putting up wallpaper for the first time, or choosing to replace the paper that’s already there? And what about the carpet and curtains, or even the upholstery and the lighting, do they need changing? What your budget is will largely determine what you will be able to do.
If you just wanted a quick room repaint, you could probably do it for under £50, but if you decide to wallpaper you will almost certainly be doubling the cost, even with the cheapest wallpaper. What is important is that you cost it out first. You don’t want to get halfway through a redecorating job and then find you’ve run out of money.
Start a scrapbook
Unless you are just going to have white rooms, you’ll be needing paint colour charts. If you’re going to be putting up wallpaper, you’ll need wallpaper samples, and to compliment the colours of the walls, you may even need fabric samples. You could even choose the fabric first and then match the colours of the walls to that. Either way, to keep all your samples organised, buy a scrapbook or cardboard pocket file from your local stationer to keep them all in.
- Pick up the relevant colour charts from the DIY stores
- Request samples of wallpaper and borders displayed in the stores
- Curtain shops and department stores will happily give you fabric samples
- Markets are an excellent source of value-for-money fabrics
- If you see some colours schemes or ideas you like in any of the many home improvement magazines, tear them out and add them to your file.
Plan when you will do the work
Even though there is no actual cost applied to the time it takes you to do your own redecorating, it is still important to work out how much time you will need to complete the job. It’s easy to underestimate how long things can take. Very often the preparation can take longer than the actual decorating. Stripping off old wallpaper, filling in holes used for picture hanging, clearing furniture, covering up the carpet and taking down the curtains. All these things take time and need to be factored in to the overall planning of the job.
Allow yourself at least one weekend for a straightforward repaint, and at least two if you’re going to hang paper. Laying a new floor and or tiling can take even longer. This might sound too much, but by setting yourself a realistic timetable you will feel much better and probably do a better job as you won’t feel you have to rush things. Nobody likes a job that takes longer than you first thought, especially if it means your home is cluttered and untidy for long periods.
Last but certainly not least, make sure you know exactly what is going to be involved in any DIY project you take on.
For example, a kitchen makeover could involve replacing all the old wall tiles, replacing the work surface, painting the ceiling and the window frames and putting down a new floor. You might even want to repair that dripping tap you’ve been meaning to do for years.
By doing this early on in the process, you’ll be able to plan in what order things need to be done and then organise your work plan and shopping around it.