Column: All paint and no prep is not a good way to decorate...

It’s the prep that leaves you exhausted.

By Allan Crow
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 5:12 pm

Give me a paintbrush and a set of ladders and I’ll happily slap gallons of whitewash on walls until the place sparkles like a toothpaste advert.

But, the donkey work that comes before is a pain.

If there’s a business opportunity in 2021 it’s surely someone turning up and doing all the prep work for a set fee.

The joys of painting and decorating ...

Imagine walking into a newly emptied room, completely covered with papers sheets, paint poured and brushes ready to go … I’d pay for that service!

And, having just moved house, my other half and I have re-acquainted ourselves with those endless visits to B&Q for, well, stuff.

First it was paint brushes and rollers, then came the dust sheets, white spirit, and masking tape. Rolls and rolls of the stuff, so apologies to anyone else looking for it in Poundworld. We bought it up!

It’s all stuff we’ve bought many times over the decades but which, mysteriously, can’t be found when you go to get the rooms prepped before the removal van turns up and the bloke asks “which room guv?”

Prepping another room for decorating

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Days one and two saw us crawl around the skirting boards sticking bits of masking tape everywhere - round doors and lights just too high to reach, switches, plugs. If we had a cat it too would have been wrapped in masking tape for its own good - and that’s a lot easier than it sounds.

I did once have a cat that darted along a newly glossed wall. Trust me, moggies don’t take kindly to being dunked under a tap to clean the stuff off. Gloss white and red blood made for an interesting colour …

So, eight rolls of masking tape later, prep work done and signed off by my other half - she who wears the overalls is the gaffer - we then got the paint.

Big, muckle tins of the stuff. Memo to self: park close to the exit rather than entrance to B&Q. It saves a few swear words and sore hands carting the hefty tubs back to the car.

Lids prised off, we narrowly avoided the splatters everywhere which usually accompany unlocking the bloomin’ airtight containers, and we began.

Up a stepladder with a vague memory of what to do, we started at opposite ends of room one.

I soon recalled the splashback that comes with using a roller. Hair, skin and clothes were all covered.

Naturally the holy grail of home decor - the perfect one coat paint job - passed us by as the room dried to reveal just enough patchy bits to confirm we’d have to do it all over again.

And then we look up at the ceiling and figure that no matter how white it is, it’s not quite as white as the newly painted white walls.

And so we need a pole to stick a roller on … and back to B&Q we go.

Two rooms down, one almost finished and it’s looking good.

Next stop - the garden!

After more than two decades living in a flat, that’s going to be a steep learning curve!

Anyone got a lawn mower going spare …?

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