Dealing With Difficult Decorating Areas

Decorating a square room should not present too many problems for a first-time decorator, if you prepare the surfaces properly. Then decorate following the instructions using the right tools, paint and wallcoverings for the job. Just take it easy and work through the task step-by-step.

However, some areas are difficult to cope with and it is wise to wait until you have gained experience and confidence before you tackle them.

The stairs and hallway, even in small modern homes can be surprisingly large, and the wall of the stairwell very tall and difficult to cope with. You must have a safe working platform , and the right arrangement will depend on the style of your house and the way the stairs rise. You can hire special scaffolding and platforms for decorating steep stairs. Whenever possible, the angle of the ladder should oppose the angle of the stairs, but if this is not possible, fix the longer ladder securely by nailing a stout batten across the uncovered stair tread, and resting the foot of the ladder firmly against this. Where there is a half-landing, you will need to fix scaffold boards in an ‘L’ shape to reach the ceiling and top of the walls. This can be done by angling a tall ladder in the hallway, using a small step-ladder on the half-landing, and a stout box or ‘hop-up’ on the main landing. Always make sure that everything is sound and firm before starting to decorate- scaffold boards should be clamped together securely or fixed with a bolt through holes drilled in the boards.

The decorating sequence is the same as for any other room, but if you try to paper a long drop by yourself you will find that the paper will tear with the weight. A join in the wallcovering would be bound to show however, so get some help with the papering. A ‘mate’ can take the weight and unfold the paper for you as you work down the wall, brushing out with the paperhangers’ brush. Hang the longest piece of paper first and work outwards from there.

Above the bath can be a difficult area to reach, and it is not wise to stand in the bath or on the edge. Improvise a platform so that you can reach the ceiling and wall safely; put a plastic dust sheet over or 111 the bath to catch any trimmings or paint splashes. Paint and paper as described earlier in this section.

Round kitchen cupboards, particularly wall-mounted ones, can make decorating difficult. If you are decorating the wall from ceiling to counter top use the same technique as for papering round a door. One way round the problem is to make a ‘midway’ panel between the counter top and the bottom of the cupboard, which can double as a splash-back. You will only need to cope with a small amount of material if you do this. The panel can be of tiles; larhinate; self-adhesive plastic material; or otFcuts from your vinyl floor covering can be stuck to the wall with an impact adhesive, which gives the room a nice co-ordinated look at the same time. Alternatively, take the cupboards off the wall and rehang after decorating.

Papering behind radiators is another tricky job. Ideally the heating system should be switched off, the valves closed and the radiator emptied, then lifted offthe brackets , so that you can paper the wall down to the skirting and then re-hang the radiator. If you cannot do this, treat the radiator as though it was not there, cutting paper to skirting length. Let it drop in front of the radiator, while you ‘brush out’ the paper from the top to about half-way down the wall. Then carefully slide the lower half of the paper down behind the radiator – you can buy a special radiator brush or simply use a wire coat-hanger covered with cloth and firmly fastened to a cane handle. Always remove any excess wallpaper paste from the front of the radiator immediately; otherwise it can cause the paint to perish. 104

Dealing With Difficult Decorating Areas

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