Friday, January 30, 2015


Honestly, I just meant to scrape off a patch of this yucky blistering paint, sand it and slap on a bit of touch-up paint. 


How was I supposed to know the paint would scrape off in queen-size sheets? 

Well ok: this part of the house is about a hundred years old-yes perhaps I should have factored that into my timeline.

This is a serious lesson in What NOT to start before your guests arrive.

I haven’t been this ‘nesty’ since I was pregnant, but I am a little prone to using visitors as an excuse to jump-start the odd renovation.

This time it was bugging me that I didn’t get the damp peeling paint fixed in the guest room so the minute my friends popped out for a quick road-trip, I found hunting for drop sheets.

Whilst cooking breakfast: ‘I’ll just pour out this one, then run out to the shed..’

'La-de-da; A woman's work is never done': flipping apricot pancakes between running to the shed to retrieve drop- sheets.  I can’t honestly recommend making Apricot cinnamon jam and pancakes and renovating simultaneously.

<Gaaah I only have one drop sheet left>. 

For starters, if you’re filling plaster holes you may find out the hard way, that cornice cement (THE absolute best thing for filling damp walls) looks remarkably like pancake batter. 

Pancake batter is runnier actually.
Or it should be; my first batch of cornice cement oozes out of the hole and down the wall.  Maybe that was the pancake batter after all…

After my ‘little scrape at the bubbling paint...

...turned into two walls looking like those of a rustic (read, falling down) Tuscan villa;  I realised I was past the point of no return. 

With house guests returning in just twelve hours, I have bare odd coloured, damp walls surrounding  their bed. In fact one of them is, inexplicably, green. ?? 

(I later read online that the green is a type of ancient plaster/render/stuff walls used to be coated in)

I’m sort of hoping if I don’t manage to clear up this mess, maybe excellent freshly made Jam and pancake batter will compensate my returning friends for the diminished state of their accommodation?  ‘Damn- the jam is ready to go into a jar & the only spatula I can find is attached to a Selley's Spakfilla tub :0/There are filler-free spatulas in here somewhere..’

There ARE spatulas in this drawer, I know it.
 After I finish making my darling girl breakfast and depositing the jam and batter (pretty sure it’s the pancake batter) into the fridge (in separate, appropriate clean containers)  I go back to clearing the guest room and laying drop sheets. During this process, I notice that the guest room curtains are very dusty: ‘I must wash them immediately!’

I’m poking a screw driver into what WAS a filled hole in the wall, now it’s oozing wet filler like puss from a giant pimple and like any pimple squeezed, it’s growing larger and angrier by the minute.
So I call my big brother – an expert on painting and decorating and all things oozing and he gives me, in his soothing and chuckling manner, a shopping list for the hardware store.

After filling scraping and sanding as if my life depended on it – not to mention hanging curtains on the line, I start painting on a product called Zinsser Watertight.   
I read product reviews on-line while I was waiting for the cornice adheasive to set in the holes; this product can be painted on wet basement brickwork and still stop the water coming through! Ok, so what’s a bit of rising damp and blistering paint to a product like that?
Come back and ask me in a year.

With the first coat of waterproofing paint on (I need two) apparently I can’t re-coat for another four hours - they’re arriving in about six hours. Even I'm not that crazy..

There's a smile under that mask :0)

At least the room looks decent, sort of, but considering I need another coat of water proofer and then normal interior paint, this will be a work in progress for sure. 

I think I might try and finish it before someone else books the room.

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