Sunday, 7 March 2010

Back to Black

Firstly may I apologise for the delay in posts, as warned by many house doer-uppers, the doing leaves very little time for anything else (eating, sleeping) let alone writing!

It has been a big week in the world of the house. Having left the world of full time employment I envisaged, relaxing lunches, trips to galleries, personal admin and obviously a couple of hours of painting here and there. Oh no, no, no.... Only now do I really understand the meaning of hard work.

After daily 12 hour stints I have hands tattooed with a combination of wax and expanding foam (gloves Sarah gloves!), repetitive strain injury from excessive roller usage and the smell of varnish permanently imprinted on my nasal passages (mask Sarah mask). I no longer have a social life and even when I have met friends for a brief hello I have no brain capacity to make conversation, unless it is about the best method for filling cracks in floor boards or some such!
But there has been progress... real progress. Having battled with the scarlet red carpet, floral lino and brown paint in the main bedroom we discovered some floor boards in pretty good nick. After warning of the perils of sanding and knowing I wanted to paint them we took the CRAZY step of deciding not to sand (I hear your gasps of horror, bare floorboards, unsanded, are you mad?!). Yes mad I tell you, mad. Step 1 undercoat, step 2 second layer of undercoat, step 3 paint mat black (realise that step 3 was an error, basically left with a dust magnet blackboard for a floor), step 4 paint gooey think satin wood black. Result beautiful shiny floor boards.

The bathroom tiles were finished, but as that well known Sarah saying goes, every silver lining has a cloud and the tiles (my foreseen pride and joy) were no exception. Everyone knows the key to a metro tile is their uniformity and straight lines. As we have built the bathroom from scratch we have new walls - straight, new skirting - straight, existing floor - wonky. Hence we are left with an uneven finish at the top of the walls. We have discussed many solutions and well, there aren't any. So we are left with only one option, we will all turn a blind eye and whenever any of you visit you will tell me very convincingly that you really can't notice.

This week I have trapsed London for over 6 house straight with Miro the builder and his van from one merchants to the next to source plaster board, skirting's, doors and windows. I have painted 2 rooms a bright sparkling white, and one bathroom a deep rich grey, I have sanded and waxed, I have scraped, rolled and varnished, bled and removed radiators, stripped 4 doors and one banister. I have consumed Yorkshire tea and digestives as though my life depended on it.

I now declare myself to be full time builders mate!


  1. well done ellison! very proud - looking forward to seeing the transformation soon xx

  2. you can't notice the iffy bit at the top of the tiles, only if you look for it and/or have read this blog ;o)
    you're doing so well - just think how satisfying it will be when you have finished......!! keep up the good work, and thanks for bringing the boy back! Of course I would say that, boys boys boys ha ha ha ha