Ever spent a weekend decorating a room, putting all your effort into getting everything from painting around skirting boards to cleaning behind drawers down to perfection, only to sit down after it’s all over an realise it doesn’t look quite as you’d hoped?
What about when you repaint a room, and you suddenly realise the light switch and plug sockets stick out like a sore thumb?
Or what about getting a new radiator and plumbing it in only to realise the faded white valve makes it look old?
If you’re like me and pay particular attention to the little things when decorating, you’ll know that you should leave no stone unturned when sprucing up a room, especially if you have stones in there for some reason. For anyone out there about to do a little weekend DIY or getting ready to redecorate anything from a box bedroom to the living room, here are some practical tips ahead of time to consider when planning.
Trust me; follow these, and you’ll be a hundred times happier when you’re done and can put your feet up.
Tip 1: The lights
Put your hand up if you’re like me and only pay attention to your lights when they stop working? Getting nice lights was something I never really considered, but they seem to be all the rage these days. Go out for a coffee or family meal, and there’s a good chance the café/ restaurant will have elaborate light fixtures and bulbs.
Many of us are guilty of hiding a bulb away in a cheap paper lampshade (you all know the one from IKEA I’m talking about) but getting new lights don’t cost an arm and a leg.
If you use your Amazon Alexa to organise everything in life, getting some of those fancy Phillips bulbs that change colour and turn off by voice command is great.
If you think you want a room to shine, then an ornate looking bulb needs to be bought. Bulbs with a dark filament inside and braided cables are very popular, with squirrel cage being the trendy one to look out for. I’ve seen multipacks on Amazon for less than £20, but the thought of someone delivering the delicate glass that way is a no-no for me.
Tip 2: The light switches and all those other bits
Having the lights on is only good if you have a nice switch there to do the job, but don’t overlook the possibility of updating some of the fixture and fittings around a room.
You might have a simple white light switch now, but it won’t look as good if you’re painting a room a vivid or dark colour. Replacement covers are incredibly cheap to get, but prices can swing wildly; something I discovered when Googling away to myself and ending up in a designer light switch rabbit hole (you’ll never believe how dear some are).
If you are going to replace any, or change your plug sockets, please remember to do so safely by switching everything off at the mains first. Also, if you are thinking of changing plug sockets that are high up on somewhere like the kitchen counter, see about getting one with a USB socket you can you charge your phone easily.
Tip 3: Painting around your radiators
I can’t stand it when you have to paint a room, and there’s a big radiator in the way. You could learn how to turn the radiator off, get in drained and try to lift it, but if you don’t know exactly what to do, you could end up with the room completely soaked.
If you don’t mind getting a little paint on the back of the radiator where no one will ever see, you can keep it hanging and use a 4-inch mini roller. You have to make sure it’s something over 4 inches long or else you’re going to leave yourself with a gap in the middle that just can’t be reached.
And if you get paint on the radiator pipes, don’t even worry about how it’s going to come off. You can be crafty and get a pair of radiator pipes sleeves to cover your mess. Trade Radiators have a selection of sleeves in all colours (remember what I said about fittings) to help match the room and not have paint splatter stick out like a sore thumb.
Tip 4: Hinging your hinges
Have you ever cleaned the hinges on your doors before? It is one thing you would never think of checking, (Yes it is something people do), but if you’re about to do a deep clean, go over and just run your finger down a hinge. Go do it, and I’ll wait for a second……
See how dirty it is! You might have a greasy, dusty or rusty hinge and there are different ways to clean each one, so get help from someone first and screw them off the door and wall.
If you have a dirty hinge that is catching dirt, soak it in warm water and washing up liquid for at least half an hour before giving them a good scrub with an old toothbrush. If it is rusty, clean the same way and then after drying off go over the hinge with a soft sandpaper to get this tricky marks removed. If it is sticky to the touch from oil, use baking soda instead of washing up liquid.
Once they’re dry and hung up again, you’ll be surprised how much better it looks.
Need some more DIY advice?
*This is a collaborative post*