Memorandum Monday (as devised by the lovely Sian)brought a very welcome new thing into our lives this weekend. But first you need some background information ... Our house is about 30 years old, the outside of it is a 'mock tudor' style. In a couple of areas inside, the builders incorporated a few fake dark wood beam details. Over the years that we've lived here we've made a few changes, replaced wood doors with white panelled ones, removed the oversized and very red bricked fireplace and dark mantelpiece with a white marble one, and removed the beams from the ceiling of the kitchen. The only place that still has dark wood is the hall and landing. It's been on my 'to do' list for a while. It's also been on my husband's 'try to put off as long as possible' list. You see, apparently, getting rid of those dark wood bannister rails will be a horrendous job. Rubbing down the stain, priming, undercoating, two coats of paint at least to cover the darkness. I've always had my doubts.
A friend of ours bought a little house in France a few years ago. It was ridiculously cheap but had not been lived in for a long time and needed lots of work done. They happily browsed markets and boot sales for things they could upcycle for their holiday home. And she kept saying how she had found this wonderful paint. It was amazing. No preparation needed, one coat covered well and you could adapt the colours by just adding a bit of your own left over paint. My ears heard 'this would be perfect for the hallway', my husband's heard 'If this is true, this could be trouble'.
Fast forward to last week when I realise that there is a little vintage shop in town which stocks the paint! I drag a very dubious husband down the town, up the hill, into the shop and as he loiters in the doorway, the owner appears and asks if she can help. One of us mutters 'just browsing' and the other points to a display and says 'What can you tell me about that paint?'
My husband knows when he is beaten. 'It's amazing' she says, 'the only preparation you need to do is a quick wipe down and dust, then paint straight on. No sandpaper needed at all' 'It's going over very dark brown wood stain' says the dubious one in hopeful anticipation that she will retract her comment and say that it probably wouldn't be any good but no, 'not a problem, you may need a second coat but I promise you it will cover it.'
So the thing that was learnt over here this weekend is that there is a paint which goes over anything, that needs no preparation and gives a lovely chalky finish. Annie Sloan Chalk paint. If you have a project in mind that you are putting off because it all seems a bit too much like hard work, this could be the answer. And those dark, mahogany wood balustrades?
Gone for good.
The only problem is ... now the downstairs looks nice and bright and airy, we really need to tackle the ones that run along the length of the landing upstairs. One weekend at a time my friends, one weekend at a time ...