Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Great Outdoors, part two

I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but I am like a determined dog when I get an idea in my head. Having seen how much we managed to achieve in just one afternoon on the roof, I quickly booked some time off work to continue the project in earnest (and make the most of the good weather). Unfortunately, Mr F was unable to join me in my pursuit of blisters as he's got a new job so I was on my own with just the radio for company.

First thing was first: a trip to Homebase. As a child, I hated being dragged around various home improvement meccas but something weird happens when you get on the property ladder. Suddenly, I am perfectly content to wile away an afternoon poking around various aisles of Homebase or B&Q, examing hooks, spanners and all manner of exciting things. I mean, seriously, I think I might have a problem; I put more time into choosing our light switches than was strictly healthy.

Anyway, a half hour dawdle in the paint aisles later and I was back on the roof, armed with my tools:


I chose Weathercoat Smooth in Brilliant White, £27.99 (buy one, get one half price) as I was after a paint that would reflect the sun and really zing. Plus, it was buy one get one half price - a good thing when you're on a budget like we are. The masonry roller, paint brushes and tray were all from the Homebase Basics range, which did the trick nicely.

But before I could start painting, there was a small matter of the cracks in the wall to take of, so I'd bought some ready mixed Polyfilla. Now, the closest I'd come to filling cracks before this was tackling my crow's feet with Benefit's Porefessional so it took a little trial and error but eventually, I got there:


Although admittedly, I probably ended up with more on me than the actual wall. I left it to dry while I started at the other end of the terrace with my other tools. And so I painted. And painted. And painted some more. For six hours straight, bar one 10 minute break for a hotdog.

At this point, I learnt a very valuable lesson. Never, ever, under any circumstances paint in dungarees and a bikini top without a hell of a lot of sunblock. Not only did I have relatively bad sunburn by the end of the day but I also had the perfect outline of dungaree straps singed onto my back. Nice one.

However, we did also have a roof that looked distinctly nicer than it had a few hours before:


Here, you can see a three step comparison - even with the first thin coat it was looking much better. On the first day of painting, I made it about two thirds of the way round before collapsing, exhausted and with an empty can of paint, to nurse my sunburn, blisters and the extraordinary hand cramp from gripping rollers and brushes for six hours straight.

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