Sanding… and sanding… and sanding…

The painting is 3 weekends behind schedule because of the sanding that needed to be done to the hallway walls.  The finished paint job is only as good as the prepared surface, so as we aren’t planning on re-painting again any time soon, we wanted to make sure it was done right.

I made quite a few mistakes along the way with this one, so I figured I’d share a few lessons to save you the same pain!

To save money on the re-plastering costs, we opted to omit the skim coat on the hallway walls as they was recently plastered about 5 years ago and the plaster was generally smooth.  Lesson Number One –  Don’t shift away from what your gut is telling you is too difficult or awkward to do yourself. Even if someone tells you otherwise. In the end it will be a false economy.

‘All’ the walls needed, I was told, was a bit of hole filling, which I was assured would be an easy job.  Well, the reality is that it probably is an easy job – if you use the right filler. If however you don’t buy the right product (and to this day I am still kicking myself for not researching this properly like I tend to do with everything else), hours and hours of your life will be lost!   Lesson Number Two – always make sure you research the right product for the job. Instead of interior plaster filler, we accidentally bought interior/ exterior masonry filler. This stuff goes rock solid, and dries to a much harder surface than the plaster walls.

After spending a good 10 hours of sanding one weekend without much success, I opted for a very course grit sandpaper to make more progress. This worked to some extent, but ended up scratching the plaster and making it worse, which unfortunately I didn’t notice as I was working in the evening in a poorly it area until the following day. Lesson number three – always test a new product out in a small area, and if you make a mistake, test our your solution on one patch, rather than repeating throughout.  Lesson number four – don’t work in the dark. I have learnt the hard way that you should never paint in the evening or dark (you’ll just get a patchy job), so should have known better!

In any case, after three weekends of sanding (about 4-5 hours a day), its almost all done now (if you don’t look too closely).  We moved onto the wood work last weekend, and doing the mist coats,  just to have a change of scenery!

We are trying to give a bit more of a focused push now to finish Phase 1 by the first week in March… so stay tuned!

P.S. No, that is not a UFO outside our window, it is the light catching on all the dust in the air (and yes, we were wearing masks).


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