Nipping those DIY disasters in the bud

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Decorating is really easy, isn’t it? It’s just a matter of slapping a bit of paint on, isn’t it? Anyone can do that, can’t they? What could possibly go wrong?

Look, even me – the self-confessed Mr Bean of DIY, or indeed of anything involving practical skills around the home (motto: If There’s A Way It Can Go Wrong, I’ll Find It) – even I reckon I’m a dab hand with a paintbrush.

OK, perhaps “dab hand” doesn’t really do justice to the level of finesse required. It’s true, after all, that when I sold my last house, there were just a few wild brush strokes splayed across the bedroom wall, as if particularly naughty children had been let loose in there for a five-minute paint attack.

Er, no – that was me. See, at the end of a hard day of DIY-ing, I’d decided to “make a start” on the spare bedroom ... but quickly became either too tired, or too bored, and gave up (perhaps there was the prospect of cake on the horizon, and decorating just completely went out of my mind).

Obviously I did intend to finish – at some point – but, well, you know how it is. Things happen, and you get distracted, don’t you? The next thing I knew, my neighbour heard I was going to be moving, and made an offer on the house.

Naturally, I offered to finish decorating the bedroom. “No, no, no,” he said quickly, his face turning whiter than a can of Dulux emulsion. “That’s all right. Really.”

Things sometime just don’t go to plan, though, do they? Many years ago in another life, The Better Half and her ex were in the process of decorating their home, when mum-in-law offered to give them a hand with one of the rooms.

So they moved all the furniture to the middle of the room, and went off to work to leave her to it. When they got home, they found she’d done a beautiful job ... with the next room!

“But Mum,” they said, “didn’t you notice all the furniture moved out of the way for you?” “Well yes,” she said, “of course I did. But I thought you must just be having a clean-up in there!”

It wouldn’t have been so bad ... but they’d already done the room she’d just decorated!

So the time came earlier this year when The Better Half told me: “The external woodwork on the house really does need doing, you know.”

Actually, in truth, the time probably came several years ago. It really was in a state. Have you ever seen varnish curl? Seriously – the front of our house catches the sun quite badly, and the varnish had not only started to peel, but curl up in little spirals. I tried to pass it off as a work of art at first, but it was getting embarrassing.

So do you know what I did? That’s right ... I called in a professional painter and decorator.

For that and, er, a surprisingly long list of other decorating jobs that somehow seem to have stacked up in the meantime.

Well, there’s one way to nip DIY disasters in the bud, you know – hire someone who really knows what they’re doing to do it in the first place!