Wednesday 9 July 2003

what, you mean television isn't real?

Here's my advice for those of you who are, like myself, new to the world of DIY. Don't believe all those programmes like Changing Rooms, House Invaders, and Trading Up. You cannot paint an entire room, floor, cabinets, tiles, and windows in one day. You know all those shows you've seen where they take 2 feet of MDF, a bucket of paint, and a couple of yards of fabric and transform a grotty bedsit into the Taj Mahal in an afternoon? It doesn't work that way in real life! I can't believe that television has lied to me. I feel so let down, and I felt it was my duty to pass this information along to you, my beloved readers. Excuse me while I go and throw Artex at Anna Ryder Richardson.

I'm here to talk about real life DIY; DIY done by real people who only have a slight clue about what they're doing, based on watching several hours of the Discovery Home and Leisure channel. For the next few weeks, I shall bore you all witless with endless stories about pulling down dado rails and stripping wallpaper. With pictures. Today's lesson is painting: why you can't slap a gallon of it on whatever surface you're trying to change and have it over with in an hour. I'm painting our beigy brown 80s kitchen cupboards and so far, I've sanded and put on the first coat of melamine primer. That's right, it's taken me 20 hours to put on one coat of primer. Why? Because I got back to the house after work, sanded and washed down all the cupboards, and by the time I got the primer on it was around 7pm. Since you have to wait 6 hours to apply the second coat, we thought it was a good idea to go back to Willingham and eat pizza and drink gin and tonics instead of hanging around the new house until 1am. Tonight: coat two and the painting of the kitchen tiles (no primer needed! Hurrah!).

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