Gransnet forums

House and home

Decorating - do you sometimes think you are too old to do this stuff!

(67 Posts)
Kali2 Fri 23-Jul-21 08:20:44

Finally plucked the courage to do the end guest bedroom. All is very old and so much sanding, sugard soaping, filling, etc required. Ceiling beams so hard to do on a ladder, and I have to lie down on cushions and shuffle around the room to do skirtings.

I know it will feel great when it is finished - I did 2 last Summer- but it is hard work.

Do you do the decorating? OH's has health problems and several crushed vertebrae in neck and used to work such long hours- so I have always been the decorator and gardener here.

GagaJo Fri 23-Jul-21 08:26:57

Me too. I am contemplating repainting my hall/stairs/landing and living room, plus the hall/stairs and landing of a flat I own.

It's HOURS of work. I don't really mind the actual painting, it's the preparation, moving furniture and having to juggle doing it with work and grandson that is a pain.

I usually listen to R4 while I'm doing it. I've listened to whole series at times when doing prolonged projects.

MawBe Fri 23-Jul-21 08:28:24

No - I leave it to the professionals along with car servicing, washing machine repair, electrical work, plumbing, hairdressing and dentistry!
I know there are people who genuinely enjoy it, but there is also DIY grief, not to say disasters .
My father had a theory that if everybody did everything themselves, small businesses and tradespeople would go under . He had a point - how hard is it to find a reliable plumber, electrician, builder etc these days who is not booked up for months?

Dottygran59 Fri 23-Jul-21 08:28:28

Yes Kali2, I do the decorating in this house, and blimey it gets harder as we get older, doesn't it? But we have loads of time and enough room to not have to inhabit the room that I'm decorating. Short bursts with breaks works for me, and long days at it. Detest painting ceilings though, have to wear a shower cap to protect against paint spray lol, and it kills my neck. And I ALWAYS miss a spot - usually near the light fitting that of course you only see when the paint has dried.

I know we could pay a professional to do it, probably better and no doubt in a fraction of the time, but it's satisfying to still do it ourselves while we can

GagaJo Fri 23-Jul-21 08:34:34

Not so sure about the professionals Dotty. I had my hall/stairs/landing done by a professional last time. I wasn't impressed with his work. I could've done a better job myself. He was very well recommended too and is highly rated by friends that've used him.

Kim19 Fri 23-Jul-21 08:36:47

Kali, I still do all my own paintwork and any small repairs that don't require huge expertise whilst redecorating. I totally agree with you about all the bodily contortions relating to awkward and difficult spaces. However, one big lesson I have learned is to pace myself. I used to bash on in spite of weariness in the interests of getting the job done. Nowadays I pace myself and at the first twinge I ease off. Result is a better finished job and a happier me. Admittedly it often takes longer (and I so hate the upheaval) but all round good thus far. I'm told balance deteriorates with age but so far I'm managing ladders with comparative ease. Garden approach is the same. Mix heavy jobs with light stuff. Not at all as weed free as it used to be but....hey ho.

Grandmabatty Fri 23-Jul-21 08:45:25

I did my own painting etc. I even tiled the kitchen myself of which I was very proud. 🙂 However when I downsized I got the entire bungalow painted and papered as I wasn't prepared to do it all. I will never go back to doing it myself. Life's too short.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 23-Jul-21 08:48:29

Decorating can be difficult and if you don't have the experience or the strength it seems like hard work. When I become a millionaire (ha, ha) I'll get a professional in while I stay in a hotel so I can avoid the disruption, noise and inconvenience.

My little house could certainly do with some work and while I've made a start with rubbing down and filling, I have little enthusiasm and I've run out of steam.

Septimia Fri 23-Jul-21 08:51:31

I've seen the so-called professional decorating in other people's homes and not been impressed. Often they don't do the preparation as thoroughly as they might and sometimes I wonder how much actual training they've had.

We've always done our own decorating, just like our parents. I wouldn't employ someone to do it, but I do hate the preparation part.

Having said that, there are some jobs that it's sensible to get a tradesman in to do - like plastering.

tanith Fri 23-Jul-21 08:52:26

I used to do it all with DH assisting but no help now and my eldest GS now runs his own decorating business with his young brother so they will come and do anything if I ask which is so nice. He’ll often say Grandma this or that is looking like it needs a lick of paint and he’ll schedule it in they are going to paint the outside of the house when they have time but I know he’s inundated with work at present.

MerylStreep Fri 23-Jul-21 08:52:59

I do all the decorating because I enjoy it 😄
People keep mentioning ladders. Do you not use a platform for ceilings and the ‘top’ of walls?

M0nica Fri 23-Jul-21 09:05:53

I am another like MerylStreep

I was out on the scaffolding surrounding our single storey extension at 6.00am this morning getting a coat of paint on the barge boards. DH is project manager and cannot be stopped from getting physically involved, so is installing all the guttering (plus some of the electrics, but that is another story), but first the bargeboards need to be painted.

In fact I will be doing all the decorating of the new extension, painting the brickwork outside, and all the internal decoration: walls and ceilings. Thankfully all the really fiddly bits like doors and windows come ready painted.

Nannylovesshopping Fri 23-Jul-21 09:15:23

Not everyone can afford to get the professionals in, I find it very satisfying to do most if it myself.

eazybee Fri 23-Jul-21 09:19:43

I have decorated my house throughout several times in the last thirty years, including outdoor paintwork. Windows are now replaced with plastic ones, which I don't particularly like, but are far more efficient.
I need to start redecorating but at present am suffering from a non-covid malaise, other wise known as indolence.

Jaxjacky Fri 23-Jul-21 09:21:55

We leave decorating, along with electrics and car servicing to the experts. Our l. room, hall, stairs and landing are being decorated when we’re away in September by a friend who we’ve used before.

timetogo2016 Fri 23-Jul-21 09:25:36

I have never hung wallpaper and never intend to,i do like painting though.

M0nica Fri 23-Jul-21 09:28:55

Its is actually not that difficult, particularly with modern wallpapers that can be ready-pasted or where you paste the wall and not the paper.

GagaJo Fri 23-Jul-21 09:39:38

No, not a fan of wall paper anyway. I really prefer paint. And I'm not a fan of feature walls or another other twiddly features fortunately!

I DID have a rag rolling phase in the 1980s and rag rolled a whole room. I'd shudder to see that much 'texture' now.

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 23-Jul-21 09:40:26

I used to do all the decorating: wallpaper, paint, curtains... OH moved the furniture for me. Then, the hall and landing needed to be done. I’m quite short and would have found it hard to reach everywhere! So we got a man and subsequently got him to do several other rooms. He is in fact coming on Monday to do the downstairs loo, which was last done about six years ago. I used to do all the gardening too, but now have a gardener. Ooh, and a cleaner. Surely it’s a good thing in these difficult times to provide work for others?

GrannySomerset Fri 23-Jul-21 09:45:25

As young marrieds, wanting to paint the sitting room in time for the christening of our first child, we discovered that we had completely opposite approaches - with a new baby I wanted everything out and back in three days, DH took a perfectionist approach with many breaks for coffee and a look at the paper and was prepared to spend his entire school summer holiday on the job.

We have never decorated since!

Franbern Fri 23-Jul-21 09:50:56

Financial necessity I used to do ALL the decorating. In the laarge Edwardian Family house I decorated and renwed every part of it on several occasions. Even taught myself to tile the bathroom. Loved wallpapering - even managed to take down and completely rebuild an old lathe and plaster wall between two bedrooms many years ago. Only task I found beyond me was trying to lay a fitted carpet in a small bedroom.

Last time I tried to do the stairs well, I had a bad fall which was nearly very much worse, but still involved eight stitches in my leg. Never tried that again. Before I moved had a man come in to do that whole area - and it was a lovely professional job, far better than I could every hope to achieve.

Since here I have managed to paint the spare bedroom and one wall in my bedroom. Took me so I could only do it in very short bursts with long rests between these. Think that is all I will do now. Feel that in my 80's anything else will go to professionals.

Hetty58 Fri 23-Jul-21 09:52:26

I used to clear a room, then clean and redecorate it, all in a day or two.

Now, no stamina, restricted movement, aches and pains, loss of balance (plus back, knee and shoulder problems) demand an entirely different approach.

Bit by bit, little by little (like the song) - just one wall or section of ceiling at a time, one or two hours maximum - then a day off - and I get there in the end (takes a month or so).

MayBee70 Fri 23-Jul-21 10:24:02

I used to love decorating. One Mother’s Day present from my ex was that he’d look after the children for the day while I decorated the bedroom. But I can’t do it now. I had a young lad that used to decorate for me. He had some sort of brush cleaning gadget which was wonderful as I always found cleaning the brushes afterwards the worst part of the job and I spent a fortune on brush cleaner and restorer. By the time he’d bought the paint etc cost price it hardly cost more to pay him to do the job than for me to do it myself.

henetha Fri 23-Jul-21 10:28:36

I used to love decorating and often did it myself.
Mainly painting, - I'm not brilliant at wall-papering.
But it's not so easy now I am ancient and have a bad back.
I might just do the kitchen cupboard doors in the autumn.

GagaJo Fri 23-Jul-21 10:29:16


I used to clear a room, then clean and redecorate it, all in a day or two.

Now, no stamina, restricted movement, aches and pains, loss of balance (plus back, knee and shoulder problems) demand an entirely different approach.

Bit by bit, little by little (like the song) - just one wall or section of ceiling at a time, one or two hours maximum - then a day off - and I get there in the end (takes a month or so).

Yes, with a cleared room it is a MUCH ncicer job.

I stripped paper and paint, dismantled built in wardrobes, took off tiles, plastered and painted my whole house before I moved in. An elderly man lived here before me and it was awful. His taste was truly vile. But it was LOVELY being able to decorate in bare rooms. SO much easier.

Now my DGS & his Mum live with me. When they leave, the whole thing will need doing again.