Home Decorating Accents

Home Decorating Accents

Cleanliness

Cleanliness is important when applying any finish. When wet or tacky, surfaces can act like magnets to dust and dirt, which will spoil the final finish into which you have put so much effort. So even if you think your doors and windows are already clean, wipe them down again with either a clean cloth that is barely damp or a tack rag immediately before beginning decorating. Remove dust from the crevices of mouldings on doors and windows after sanding filler or paint. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment is useful for this.

To prevent dust and pieces of dried finish, especially paint, dropping into the can when you open it, clean the can before removing the lid, brushing loose bits out of the rim. If debris does fall in or if paint has formed lumps, strain the contents of the can through a piece of fine cotton muslin stretched over another clean container. Always remove the skin on paint, however thin; do not be tempted to work it into the paint in the hope that it will disappear.

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Cloths and neat rags without trailing threads are useful for wiping up spillages and drips but they must be clean to avoid transferring dirt onto fresh paintwork. Tack rags, for wiping surfaces clean, can be bought from DIY or decorating stores.

Protecting yourself and your furnishings

Lay protective sheeting everywhere, even where you think splashes will never reach. Fine plastic sheeting is impermeable but can be slippery and cannot be satisfactorily repaired if torn. Decorator’s fabric sheeting, used by professionals, is available in sheets of various sizes and weights.

It goes without saying that you should wear old clothes; they are going to get splashed with paint. Do not wear wool, as wet paint will pick up the fibres. To protect your hands during decorating work, it is worth using special protective handcream, available from decorator’s suppliers. This gets into creases and cuticles and is as effective a barrier as wearing gloves, but with none of the disadvantages. You simply wash it off when you have finished painting, leaving cuticles and creases clear and clean.

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