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Friday, 19 September 2014

And . . . relax

Another Friday has arrived, and a chap takes a moment to review the highs and lows of the preceding week.  In a fit of pique, I actually did review my week yesterday, so no need to bore you further.

This weekend, we have a fairly normal weekend.  Clubs Saturday morning, Maggot 2 second week at Fishbourne football, and Maggot 1 at tennis later.  In the evening, we are at a party, attended also by David and Samantha, A&E and R&R, with David and Samantha's eldest Maggot baby-sitting for us.

Otherwise, a normal weekend, when I hope to carry on with my tasks for outside, which is now reduced to:
  • laying weed-supressing membrane under the stones up the right-hand side of the house, which means actually the tedious task of clearing back the stones, clearing the weeds, and laying down the stones back on top of the membrane once laid
  • fitting the handle and associated bits to the gate
  • cleaning the paint and dirt from the front path.
If I can do all that this weekend, then it will have been a good weekend, and I can say, probably, that I will then have finished everything outside for this year.  The only bit that I may still do, if we get some work booked in to deal with the shady end of the garden, is a final bit of garden tidying up, and perhaps treating all the wooden fences and the shed in a single darkish colour.  Then that will be it outside.  Absolutely.  Definitely.  No more tasks.

Once I have done the outside, I will then need to turn to the inside, where I need to finish the wallpaper stripping of the upper hall, before painting the whole hall, stairs and landing with a matt paint (as part of my experiment on trying to stop damp retention in walls), plus doing the same in Maggot 2's bedroom, both of which have had bare plaster for most of the Summer, drying out the walls and, frankly, being overtaken by more urgent outside work.

Now, anyone who has done any decorating knows that the phrase "hall, stairs and landing" strikes terror in any decorator's heart.  Firstly, there is the vast expanse of wall to cover, not least the bit from the bottom of the stairs to the ceiling upstairs - needs a ladder and plank setup to reach - and also, even more time-consuming, the large number of doors and other woodwork that will need painting.  In our case, this is five doors, a loft hatch and hundreds of feet* of skirting, architrave and door frame.  All this is slightly harder this time round because we are moving back from eggshell to old-fashioned, but infinitely tougher and better looking undercoat and gloss, which is, as any self-respecting decorator will know, rather trickier to apply.

As part of our return to gloss, I have invested in tack cloths, sometimes called tack rags and other similar names, which are impregnated with something that is sticky but does not leave a residue, used for the final wipe of the undercoated and sanded surface prior to the final gloss application.  This is definitely filed under "anal retentive" but does ensure a much smoother finish, as I can testify by the window sills I did in our bedroom a couple of weeks ago.  They simply remove that final layer of fine dust that other methods leave behind, and they seem to work very well.  If you are still reading, that suggests you are mildly interested, in which case, I would definitely recommend them, if you can be bothered.

Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

* I may be exaggerating slightly, but believe me when I say, there is a lot

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