By Penny Johnson
How Much Paint or Wallpaper To Buy?
For carpets and flooring, it is best to have the professional fitters come to measure up your room. For paper or paint, you need to start by working out the area of your room. Do this by measuring the width of each wall and adding all the widths together. Multiply this by the height of the room, to give the total area. Strictly, you should then work out the area of each window and door, and take these areas off your wall area. However most stores will give you a refund if you take back any unused rolls of wallpaper or unopened tins of paint – so by not subtracting the areas of the windows and doors you make sure you have plenty of paint or paper for the job.
Take a note of this area and a calculator with you when you go to look for paper or paint. Divide the area of your walls by the area covered by each roll of paper or tin of paint (see the label!) to find out how many you need to buy. It is best to buy all you need at the same time, and if you are buying wallpaper make sure that they all carry the same batch number, as different batches may have slight differences in colour.
Which Order to Do The Work?
The big things in a room makeover are decorating the walls and ceiling, and having new flooring. Anything else can be done bit by bit, but for those big tasks you need to empty the room. If you are doing all the work yourself, then a sensible order of work is as follows.
1) Empty the room as far as you can. For painting and papering, you can get away with stacking any big items of furniture in the middle of the room and covering them in plastic or old sheets, but you will need to move them out when flooring is being fitted.
2) Strip old paper off the walls. This is easier if you hire a wallpaper stripper, which steams the paper off. This will be messy, with bits of damp paper all over the floor, so if you are not replacing your flooring, make sure it is covered up well.
3) Fill any holes or cracks in the wall with filler. Sand it down when it is dry.
4) After you have finished sanding and filling, clean the room and vacuum up as much dust as you can. Now it is time for putting the gloss paint on skirting boards, window and door frames, and doors. Each coat of gloss takes around 16 hours before it can be recoated. If you are just refreshing white paint, you may only need one coat, but if you are changing the colour you may need two or more coats, particularly if you are putting a light coloured paint over a dark surface.
5) Paint the ceiling. You can use a long-handled roller for this, or use a couple of step ladders with a plank. You will need to use a brush to get paint into the edges and corners.
6) Paint or paper the walls. If you are painting, put masking tape over your newly-painted skirting and frames. The emulsion paint used for walls dries much faster than gloss paint, so you might manage two coats in a day.
7) Get the flooring down. Now your room looks like a new place!
You might have other things to do, like new putting up new curtains or shelves, or buying new furniture, but all that can be planned once you have sorted out the basics. Planning your room makeover helps the process go more smoothly and ensures you know exactly what needs to be achieved from the start.
Plan carefully, complete the work and then enjoy your new room!