And on it went…

If you’re reading this in order (which you needn’t but it would make me ever so happy) you’ll notice that I mentioned we started working on our first room in March. By July we were still working on said room and I was working on not pulling my hair out!

We had employed an incredibly skilled tradesman to build the shelves and our new wardrobe and being a jack of all trades, he helped us with the other changes to the room. While he is a master of his craft, I was left with the impression that he preferred having a chat over a cup of tea to really progressing the work and so a project that should have taken a month max limped along (and our budget ballooned).

In addition to building elements of the room, he provided a sounding board for what we wanted to achieve and set us to work. Diligently we were out back using a heat gun, which looked like the scariest hair dryer I had ever seen, to scrape 80 years worth of paint off skirting and doors. This process, while gratifying was also incredibly labour intensive and I wouldn’t do it again or recommend others spend the time to complete this task. Yes, you get a sense for the amount of work that goes into a project, but there is a skill associated with the work and as I chipped the wood I wondered if there were other ways we could have removed the paint? Well there are…

  1. Dip, baby. Dip. First, and I will say we are trying this option this time around, you can have your wood “dipped”. As our house is older, the quality of the wood is fine – our doors and skirting are lovely in fact. But rather than take care of these objects, previous owners have piled layer after layer on top of each other, without thought. So we are curious to see how dipping works.
  2. Hit the cash point. Another more simple option is to purchase new skirting, picture rails etc. I’m not as comfortable going down this route as I’m keen to avoid additional costs and it seems a shame to waste good materials, but every situation is different.
  3. Avoid at all costs. Pain strippers. We tried several brands (from cheap to supposedly high quality) and we ended up creating a mess as a result. It may be that we applied it wrong and a professional would have better results. But I read the instructions, followed them to a T and still ended up with ruined picture rails.
  4. Go nude. If its skirting boards you’re working on, ask yourself whether you need them in the first place. Increasingly, in modern properties, owners are choosing to forego traditional details like skirting and picture rails. This looks especially clean if you’re considering concrete or stone floors.

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