Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Office Make-Over - Part 1

We have had a little shuffle round in the house and decided to move the office out of the guest bedroom, and into it's very own room, which used to be the spare guest room with a single bed in it.

We gave it a quick lick of magnolia paint when we moved in two years ago, but other than that, it was left as it was, and to be honest, it became a bit of a dumping ground.

I also gave the hubby (almost) free reign to pick a colour of his choice, as it would be his office after all.  He had taken the mickey so much out of my Farrow and Ball colour cards, that when he picked a colour I think he was just being flippant.  But to show him I'm not a wimp, and I really can paint our house in a colour other than magnolia, I went through with it.

The colour he chose was Farrow & Ball Sudbury Yellow.

I've never used F&B paint before, and it was eye wateringly expensive - but I wanted to give it a go.  With it being a tiny room, I would only need one 2.5L tin, so there was some damage limitation. (But still, £40!)

Prepping for plastering by removing the skirting board (yes it was screwed on...)
One bit of prep that I wasn't bargaining on was removing this little bugger of a piece of skirting board:

After wrestling with it for quite some time, I realised the reason I could not extract it from the wall, was in fact because it continued THROUGH the wall, (yes, that's correct, through the wall), and into the master bedroom on the other side!  I'm not often lost for words, but that really left me speechless!  I mean, really?!  There is no way this was ever a two bedroom house, there are no other signs that the two rooms used to be one (that and all the neighbour houses are the same as ours) - so why on earth would someone think this was a good idea?! 

They really was no way it was coming off by pulling it, so out came my trusty hammer and chisel, and I chiseled the little bugger off.

And then plastered over him like he never existed...

So next up was, plastering.

I cleared everything out of the room, and put some scrim tape across the minor cracks on the ceiling.  No idea if that's a good idea or not, but I thought I would give it a go.  I also split the ceiling into two halves using scrim tape (which I would peel off after doing the first half) to give me a nice clean edge to work off for the second half.

Half of the ceiling plastered - scrim tape removed to leave clean(ish) join

It took me 7 sessions (each about 3 hours) to get the whole room done.  The room is approx 2.4 x 2m.  Plastering is all about time management, and making sure you have the right amount of time to go back and do the second coat, just when the first coat is at it's sweet spot.  It's all about good prep, setting up all your equipment ready, and making sure the surface to be plastered is clean and has sufficient coating of diluted PVA glue - this is to stop the wall prematurely sucking all the moisture out of the fresh plaster, making it unworkable too quickly.

I found a great solution for plastering around light switches and sockets.  What I did was that I turned the electrics off first, and then detached the front plates of the sockets from the wires behind.  I then cut out some small pieces of cardboard to cover the remaining hole and protect the wires.  I then plastered straight over the top as if it wasn't there, and cut the cardboard out after I had finished all my 'wets' (last finishing trowels). Simple, and so clean looking when it's done - something our plasterer who came in after the re-wire could have taken a lesson in!

Some progress shots:

Prepped (left) and after (right) shot.  The paint on the left is where I had sampled the colour before buying.

The hardest bit for me was around the window as there were so many fiddly bits like the valves for the radiator, and the narrow edges down each side of the window.  It really does look a bit pants, but the radiator does cover most of the worst spots, so I'm not too concerned.

Let's just say my plastering isn't perfect, and when it was all done, I did need to rub over the walls in some places with some really fine sandpaper.  But it's not horrendous!  After sanding I then wiped the walls with a wet cloth to get rid of any surface dust before painting.

I did two coats of a watered down white emulsion and then one coat of full strength white emulsion.  I love Johnstone's premium contract matt - it goes on so well and the coverage is excellent.  That and the paint shop at the end of the road sells it which is very convenient.

Look how huge it is now it's all white and clean looking!

Due to time off work, it was at this point that I decided to sand the floor back.  The carpet in here was the original carpet that the owners before it had left, and for some god awful reason (in terms of god awful points the previous owners have racked up quite a few on this room!) they had decided to fit it in two halves. As the room was so small, I just hired one of the edging sanders to get the room done, and it only took a couple of hours.  Not bad! (Absolutely killed my back mind. Will I ever learn?!)

Halfway through

And done!  Ignore the dodgy plumbing in the back of the shot.  This will get sorted out when we next drain the system down, but as we had just put some inhibitor in the system, it seemed like a bit of a waste to do it there and then.

And covered up with a plastic dust sheet to protect whilst painting commenced.

This is where I will leave you with part one. Join me shortly for Part 2 - the paint!


  1. Great work.I am very impressed by the work.loving ur ideas.Thanks for the post

  2. Extraordinary work.I am exceptionally inspired by the work.loving ur ideas.Thanks for the post

  3. Great work.I am very impressed by the work.loving ur ideas.Thanks for the post