Having lived in a flat before we moved to this house, we’d only ever embarked on fairly small painting and decorating jobs up until recently. We’d both helped out family at home when we were younger and done the odd bit of DIY here and there but we’d never tackled a room from start to finish before, and never together.
Considering we only moved into our new house in October, we’ve done quite a bit already to try and get it feeling more homely, and aside from some help from parents initially, most of the work we’ve tackled ourselves. Over the last month alone, we’ve re-wallpapered and painted two rooms, set up new furniture, upcycled old furniture and generally felt like proper house proud grown ups.
But, of course it hasn’t all been fun, and pitfalls along the way are inevitable so as a fun Friday post I thought I’d share a few of the things we learned from our first proper decorating mission as a couple…
What we learned from DIY decorating
Taking wallpaper off walls is all kinds of fun… putting wallpaper on walls? Not so much.
Having three different colours of wall in a room seems like a really good idea when you’re planning, until you start painting, have to wash brushes and rollers constantly and everything takes much longer than it would have if you’d just painted the whole room white.
It is however, totally worth it in the end when you see your colourful vision come together.
No matter how many tester pots you bought, and how many giant squares you applied to the wall, after that first coat of paint you hate the colour and spend a lot of time angry about the fact it looks nothing like it did in the tin.
Paint is magical and looks completely different when it dries. It also looks completely different after a second coat so you take note not to get angry too soon next time… until the next time you paint and the exact same scenario happens again.
Mundane tasks such as wallpapering (especially cutting around a fireplace), masking taping sections of walls and painting (especially when it comes to the edges and two different versions of what counts as ‘neat’) will test your relationship in ways nothing else ever has.
When 8 months pregnant at the time of decorating, chances are you won’t be able to do that much and will want a tea break every ten minutes so even though you came up with most of the grand plans (which your husband was already wary about) it will be him who ends up doing all the hard graft… and he’ll probably hate you for it.
When you gently point out to said husband that unfortunately, no, the job isn’t finished because you really feel it would look better if the woodwork was repainted too, the look on his face will make you sure divorce is imminent.
When someone (not you) leaves the rollers and paintbrushes in the room overnight without washing the paint off first, the next morning divorce will, once again, feel imminent.
Nothing in the room will make sense at all… until you put some curtains up.
No matter how much rigorous measuring you do, there is always ‘the fear’ when the furniture arrives and looks like it might not fit in.
Walls in old houses have minds of their own, and sometimes despite the measurements saying otherwise things just won’t fit… and you won’t be able to explain it.
Actual rosy cheeked life will be restored to your husband when all painting is done, furniture assembled and it’s ‘your turn’ to add the styling touches.
You can easily spend twice as long on the ‘faffing about with accessories until things look right’ phase as you did on the painting phase.
There is nothing at all like the sense of satisfaction that comes from doing up a room from scratch on your own. And once it’s finished you walk in every day and marvel at how clever you both were. And thankfully, you avoided divorce in the process…