Sunday, July 31, 2005

Not quite what I was expecting

So as a new home owner I expected to spend my first weekend wandering around the grounds gazing proudly at our new purchase. However, Ali suggested that we might want to consider decorating the downstairs loo. Given that the wallpaper is so bad it would make Barbara Cartland think it was a little bit too pink, I foolishly agreed. Now as I have been living in rented accommodation for the last 15 years you have to understand that I haven't done any decorating since I was 14 and painted my bedroom black gloss. Incidentally, my old bedroom is now my dad's office and it is still black gloss.

"So anyway" I thought, "whip off a bit of wall paper and tosh up a splosh of paint. How hard can that be?". In short, very. The wall paper appeared to have been attached to the wall using molten lead. It took me seven hours to get the wall stripped. I was sweating like a scouser in a spelling test. "Still", I reasoned, "just need to slap on the paint and the jobs done". But I hadn't taken account of the other things I find I have to do. I need to wash the walls and then rinse them. Then I need to fill in any imperfections with Polyfiller. I didn't think there would be any imperfections but now I understand where the phrase "papering over the cracks" comes from. At this point I have to sand the bloody walls. Then I have to paint them in primer before I can eventually get round to putting the paint on. I'm just glad it is only the smallest room.


Anonymous said...

Agh how I well remember the day I 1st got my own house, well actually an apartment. But had the same set of problem.

About 15 years ago I left the UK and end up living and working in Thailand. Think Oh well never own a house here (Foreigners cannot own land in Thailand), Well 5 years ago my, Thai, wife and I brought our own house about 45 KM north of the centre of BKK, Nice estate with 2 golf coursers, International school and University. Paid the equilivant of 56,000 Quid for a 4 Bedroom 4 Bathroom house in large detached garden and open views to the front.

No the point of the story is that doing the smallest job here is a major exercise, for a start you sweet like its going out of style, temp in the 36-42 range with a Humidity of around 80% to 85%, So just lifting the cordless screwdriver cause you to sweet more than you would in a sauna. The next problem is getting things that you would consider normal in a B&Q. Yes we have the equilivant of B&Q, but they do not have stock of 50% of what you want. So a job that would take 10 mins in the UK take 3 hours here.

The only good think is that Labour here is so cheep its not worth done any major job as its better to get locals to do it you will get a labour for about 35 Quid a week.

And the best news of all is that B & Q are opening here and only a few Km from my house.

Tony C said...

Welcome the strange world of home ownership and DIY.

When we moved into our first house I was forced to start on the main bedroom as it too was Barbara Cartland pink. So I got out my newly purchased wall paper stripper and started steaming. I was hoping to quickly strip off the paper, prep the wall and paint, a weekends work tops or so I thought. Well three weekends later I'm still there filling in all the holes left by all the blown plaster that fell off.

DIY always takes three times longer than you think, it takes three times the effort and costs three times as much. It's the law!

Anonymous said...


Polycell Basecoat is the tops when it comes to covering up inperfections in walls. I should have shares in it, the amount I've used over the last few months.