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  • Previous Questions
    • I want my hallway to look bigger. Can I use colour to do this?

      Great question. I had to think back to my college days for this one! This is really a two part question. I normally ask my clients to choose colours from the cool end of the colour wheel.

      • Ideally, paint all surfaces the same colour.
      • If the above isn’t appropriate then keep flooring dark and walls light. The floor space will appear to expand.
      • A low ceiling will appear higher if painted a lighter shade than the walls. Consider putting some mouldings up and paint them a darker shade than the ceiling.
      • Always use the deepest tone of colour near to the floor, and the lightest shade on the ceiling. This will give the illusion of more space. Try it the other way around to see how a room can be made to look smaller.
      • Large pieces of furniture will appear smaller if they are a similar colour as the walls.

      Once decorated, there are 3 simple rules I use to ensure we don’t clutter the illusion of space we have created:

      1. Make the most of natural light. If there isn’t sufficient natural light, lighting is key is a key element in opening up a space. The lighter the room – the bigger it looks.
      2. Cut the clutter, think minimalist, and use clever design and furniture.
      3. Always remember that well placed mirrors can do wonders to create space!
    • Is wallpaper still in fashion?

      Taste is individual and subjective. What some love, others will detest.

      We can, however, draw some general patterns and trends. At the moment the trends I experience are open plan living, flat walls, and neutral colours. If you cant live with pure white, use feature walls to bring out the character of the space.

      Previously, feature walls were normally painted with emulsions, but moved towards paper around 6 years ago. Lately, we are frequently being asked to hang murals rather than normal wallpapers. The difference being that each piece can be different on a mural, where as wallpaper traditionally features a repeated pattern. Did you know, you can create murals from your iPhone now, for example using photos of your family!

      Here are examples of interesting paper murals that I have hung:

      Wallpaper Mural Examples
    • I have a bright red wall that I want to paint pale green, what paint should I use?

      Hi. Feature walls are still a big part of current fashions, however I am seeing a trend towards muter tones and more subtlety than 5 or 6 years ago. I am often faced with this situation and it can look daunting, however its not really that bad.

      I generally apply a coat of white vinyl matt to the wall on each coat I give the ceiling. That means by the time we come to paint the walls, we already have two coats of white on the previously bright colour. Two coats of emulsion will then cover it properly.

      If you email me a before and after photo and we’ll put it up with this question.

    • I have shiny woodchip wallpaper… how do I strip it?

      The bane of any decorators life is woodchip, but once its been coated with vinyl silk its a different beast. I have had sleepless nights knowing I had to strip woodchip wallpaper in the morning!

      The general rule for all wallpaper stripping is as follows:
      Strip what you can whilst dry. Use water to remove the rest. Use a steamer is a last resort – it’s slow, hot and messy, but sometimes it’s the only way.

      After proper protection of other surfaces, you will need to score the paper to allow the water you are going to apply to get between the plaster and the paper. Try the Zinger Paper Scorer for around £15 – £20 from B&Q. I then use a hand pump sprayer with a solution of water and Zinsser DIF to spray the whole room twice. I then work on a section at a time kepping the wall as wet as possible. If i can’t strip over 5m2 per hour, then I will have to get the steamer out!

      I hope this helps… good luck!

      Zinger Paper Tiger, DIF, and hand pump sprayer
    • I have artexed ceilings but want them flat. Should I steam it?

      No! This is very messy and doesn’t produce great results.

      The best thing to do is to is to plaster over it. This will create a beautiful flat finish. You will need two 2mm coats in order to not notice any loss of height in the room. This is a job best tackled by professionals, so feel free to use our get a quote page for a free no obligation quotation.

      Plaster over art ceiling
    • Can you strip my wallpaper and then paint the wall?

      Some decorators say you can, others know you cant!

      The adhesive that is used for hanging wallpaper and the coat of size that goes on prior to that is designed to penetrate deep into the plaster to ensure good adhesion. Whatever you do to the wall, you are still painting over adhesive. That means subsequent coatings are adhering to the paste and not the plaster. Often you will see paint that has crazed, and this is often because of this.

      Paint over wallpaper adhesive
    • I have pine staircase that I want painted… help

      Hi and thanks for the question. This is a common problem. As fashions change we need to ensure we’re using the correct products to ensure a beautiful and long lasting finish. I use Zinnser BIN Problem Solving Primer, then undercoat, then gloss or eggshell, as preferred by the client. As you can see in the example below, it can be a cost effective way of updating the look of your space.

      Paint your pine stair case
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