You’ve chosen a first home or a second home that needs a few renovations, a few loving touches, you’ve signed all the documents, exchanged the keys and have moved in. Now you’ve decided to start on repairs and refurbishments. Whether it is something as small as adding a few homely touches in the form of trinkets and furnishings, or it needs a few extra things doing to it before it becomes fully habitable, it is important that you make sure you have the budget for any and all amendments before you start any project.
Some renovations will need you to ask a professional for help, whereas others are ideal for DIY solutions if you are willing to get a little dirty in the name of making your home the dream home you’ve always wanted it to be. One thing you can do yourself is repair a wall, whether you are re-painting it, wallpapering it or just filling in some small faults.
What You’ll Need
As with any DIY project or construction projects, you’ll need to have access to, and know how to use certain tools. For cosmetic arrangements, tools such as a seam roller, fine brush, paint brush, stripping knife and sanding block are all essential. For repairs, you’ll also want a razor blade, a hot air gun, a filling knife, a sponge and a damp cloth. Of course you may not need all these tools at once, but it is better to have them to hand.
Materials you will need include paint, both white and your colour of choice, sugar soap, medium and fine grade abrasive sandpaper, filler and plaster – where needed and wallpaper paste and wallpaper patch. Obviously you may not need wallpaper paste and patch depending on whether or not you are wallpapering your wall.
When thinking about wallpapering a house, it is important to make sure that you get a nice smooth surface to reduce the chance of bubbles occurring. Wallpapering can be a long and arduous process, so patience is important. We have some tips to help you with any issues that may arise.
Bubbles – Don’t worry about smaller bubbles as these should disappear once the wallpaper dries. If your paper was not left to soak for long enough, it may expand once placed on the wall, causing and creating air bubbles. To get rid of these, cut a slit in the paper using a razor blade and then fill the bubble with wallpaper paste, smoothing it down and wiping off the excess paste with a rag.
Torn Parts – There is a trick to this. Remove all damaged paper, leaving only firmly attached paper behind. Then tear out a new section of wallpaper that matches the pattern, fitting it over the empty space so that the pattern aligns and paste it over. Smooth it down with a sponge. The torn paper will blend far easier than a simple square cut block.
Trouble with Lifting Seams – Lift the seam a little more with a round bladed knife so that you can apply fresh wallpaper paste into the seam. Apply with a fine brush and then run down the seam with a seam roller in order to press the edges together. Wipe off the excess with a damp rag.
Painting is often considered to be a far simpler version of decorating, but it can come with its own series of troubles. Take a look at our helpful hints.
Blisters – Blisters can sometimes appear on painted woodwork. If you prick the blister and water is released, this basically means that the surface is damp. Strip the paint with a hot air gun and make sure the wood is dry before you prime and repaint it to prevent blisters from reoccurring.
Paint Running – If you apply too much paint too quickly to a wall, the paint will run. To remove runs out of wet paint, simply brush it away. For dry paint, rub it with fine abrasive paper until smooth then dust and wipe down, finally applying a top coat.
Flaking – If a surface is already flaky, then the paint is likely to flake off as well. Strip the paint using a stripping knife and then sand the wall down with medium grade abrasive paper and a sanding block. Wash with sugar soap and water and then repaint your wall.
Taking Care of Damp – This is more of a professional issue, so make sure you request the assistance of a professional contractor when addressing damp. Once the damp has been sorted out, you will need to apply a specially formulated damp sealant, or an oil based undercoat over the stain before starting your renovations.
Smoothing Cracks and Filling Holes – Various different type of wall fillers can be used to fill in holes and smooth out cracks. If an area of plaster has been seriously damaged or is coming away from the wall, repairing it with plaster is recommended.
So there you have it. A number of helpful hints on repairing or refurbishing an old wall to make it look spick and span. Whether you want to wallpaper a wall or simply give it a fresh coat of paint, renovating your home can be fun and fulfilling if you make sure you have everything you need before you start!
Southdown Surveyors, a firm of professional, independent Chartered Surveyors based in Eastbourne, East Sussex.