With the “Passage started“, and the doors, doorframes and daedo rail glossed, all other decorating apart from the passage was put on hold (baring emergencies), especially so because there was one big part of the decorating which I wasn’t looking forward to and I know all too well that if I started something else, I would put off finishing the rest of the passage indefinitely.
Since we moved in, the floorboards on the landing and passage floors have been bouncing, and radiator pipes have been making creaking noises. In normal conditions, even I can’t justify taking up any old carpet just to see what’s underneath so I was looking forward to the excuse to poke around and have a good look at what was under the floorboards before we get new carpet. I dangled this treat like a carrot in front of my lack of enthusiasm to paint the top half of the walls and the ceilings and once I got started, I was fine, there’s something quite satisfying about watching the pollyfiller dissappear behind the paint as you roller over it.
Underneath the carpet was the very welcome view of good underlay. Hubby has enjoyed enormously the directions I added to help put the underlay back down in the right place, narrating his travels and following my directions expertly as he went “up” and “down” the stairs, and in and out of the “bathroom”. The house had been rented out for seven years before we bought it and the carpets had been quite badly treated by the “Tenant’s cats“, however, the carpets must have been laid by professional carpet fitters because the fitting showed none of the signs of “dodgy D. I. Y” found throuout the rest of the house … including the plumbing for the heating and radiators underfoot.
To be fair, the original pipes for the heating look like a professional job, done by the sort of professional who would poke little slithers of wood between any pipes which were touching and were likely to cause a creaking noise once the heating went on. The adjustments to said heating is where the shoddy workmanship came into play.
I’m guessing the heating pipe’s positions were discovered by a bit of trial and error as some of the floorboards were cut into tiny lengths, whilst some others were just broken as they were crowbarred up from the joists. All’s well that ends well, I cut some new lengths of floorboards to replace short or broken pieces, and packed the pipes with heatproof felt before putting them in place with screws for easier future access if needed. Then I went to play downstairs in the passage.
Again the welcome sight of good underlay will help the budget no end when choosing the new carpet. I’m glad we hadn’t already changed the carpet when we had the new radiators fitted, you can see the water marks on the floorboards downstairs from where the radiator plumber left pools of water on the carpet. Needless to say we haven’t invited said plumber to return…..
With the pipes separated with the felt, I secured the wobbly floorboard pieces and replaced the underlay ready to paint the skirting. I did however, enjoy the peek underneath the floor down to the foundations… Do you want a peep? …
Just one little bit more exploring to do before the painting the skirting… The vinyl tiles behind the front door… They’re more than a bit yuk… But look at what’s been hiding underneath. …..
The red tiles are going to need a lot of tlc to bring them back to life… But I’ve scratched off the layers of red, black and white paint from the sides, and given them a bit of a scrub. I’ll finish the rest of the passage and then look deeper into restoring them to their former glory.
Meanwhile, back upstairs …
I put the underlay back in place and set about the remaining banister spindles and skirting board with my little scraper and a paintbrush. Scraping and painting, painting and scraping, until I was happy with the quality of the foundation I had laid. Then after one last check, I hoovered up as many dust particles as possible and got out the gloss paint.
Since the main symptom my body uses to tell me anything is wrong is a headache, it’s no surprise really that I get one while painting. Undercoat isn’t too bad, but gloss fumes, without precautions… Bang… Migraine. Learning by previous mistakes has taught me that lighting a candle or two while painting burns away the fumes, and drinking milk coats the stomach enough to stop an icky feeling while the candle gets to work.
I almost followed the advice I gave to Middle Daughter during her latest D. I. Y venture… coffee is almost milk.
Painting woodwork is not even bottom of my list of things I enjoy doing, it’s somewhere about six feet under it, but the finish it gives to the decorating, to me, is worth the woodwork painting. That nice white frame seems to set off the whole picture beautifully.
I’m so close now… The floorboards no longer bounce, the heating pipes haven’t stopped creaking completely, but are way better than they were. The pollyfiller has worked its magic, and the white paint on the walls above the daedo rail and ceiling looks almost good. I have a dark grey carpet in mind but Hubby’s a bit worried it will make the whole passage look too dark so next I’ll add my trump card… A nice bright splash of colour on the bottom of the walls. The brighter I paint the walls… The darker I can have the carpet. All we have to do then is wait for the carpet shop to open up again after lockdown.
More from before : “Finishing and fixing“.