Essential Decorators Sundries

There are a few decorators sundries that are essential to see you through most decorating tasks.

Masking tape has many uses from tacking down dust sheets to it’s intended use of block paint from skirtings, architraves and dado rails.

Gaps and holes can be eliminated with filler. There are two types you should keep available, solid plaster like filler, available in powdered or ready mixed form, and flexible filler, or decorators caulk.

For filling small to medium holes in plastered wall powdered non flexible filler is preferable to the ready mixed variety as you can adjust the consistency according to the job. I find it is usually best to use the bare minimum of water to minimise shrinkage when filling holes in walls to get a nice level finish. If you mix the powder with too much water then it tends to shrink back when dry and you end up having to top up the filler again to achieve a level surface. Should you over fill, or fail to achieve a flat finish, the excess filler can be sanded down to achieve the desired result.

Gaps between woodwork like skirting boards and architrave are best filled with a flexible filler as movement is likely occur over the coming weeks as paint and filler cures which would cause a non-flexible filler to crack slightly.

Before painting either previously painted woodwork or walls it is essential to wash down with sugar soap to remove all traces of grease which would prevent the new paint from adhering properly. At best painting over a slightly greasy surface would end up giving you an orange peel like finish to your paint work, at worse the grease and possibly nicotine if people have previously smoked in the room could eventually bleed through. Sugar soap is a available as a liquid in convenient to use spray bottles or in powder form. If you have a lot of surfaces to wash down the powder is probably the best bet, mix with water according to manufacturers directions and apply with a large sponge.

A selection of sandpaper sheets, ranging from the barely there flour paper to a coarse grade is one of the staple decorators sundries. Work your way through the grades always finishing the the lightest, don’t be tempted to just stay with one grade, in all aspects of decorating, preparation is the key.

White spirit and turpentine should be on hand to clean brushes after using oil based paints, and a roll of the kitchen favourite, cling film is handy to ensure brushes don’t dry out during tea and lunch breaks.

Wallpaper paste is again available ready mixed or in powder form. Again I would recommend the powdered stuff, as long as you follow the instructions when mixing you should get excellent results. It is worth noting however that instructions differ according to the wallpaper you will be hanging, the heavier the paper the thick the paste mix required, the instructions both on the wallpaper it’s self and the paste packet should make it quite clear what the ratio of paste to water should be. Before hanging paper you should size the walls with a heavily diluted mix of paste, again refer to the paste packet for instructions.