Does anyone have the phone number for DIY SOS?


Painting. In the hands of a creative genius, I daresay the process is enjoyable and the result a delight. In the hands of an impatient incompetent, it’s a different story.

So, I have a new house which needs work, and three days to paint three rooms – and with the third day now drawing to a close, on reflection I’m thinking this may have been an optimistic target.

I like the idea of painting, it’s just the practicalities that get in the way. Here’s how shit went down this week:

Preparation – lose the will to live as you apply masking tape to get smooth lines everywhere and then realise that the corners aren’t proper corners and the ceiling isn’t at a true 90 degree angle with the wall. Attempt to fling to the floor the (many) bits of masking tape that have curled in on themselves and now seem to be sticker than No More Sodding Nails. With the room now doused in masking tape move on to step two…

Application – find something to open the paint tin with. Realise that you no longer own a toolbox and the house is empty so ask a loved one if they have a suitable implement. Repeat the process several times for; something to stir the paint with, something to protect the floor with and (my particular favourite) something to get paint off the 0.01% of the room that isn’t covered in masking tape and you don’t actually know how paint even got there maybe it’s because Professional Widow by Tori Amos came on the radio and you were flailing your arms about pretending to be 18 again. This process is now referred to as ‘irritating the crap out of your nearest and dearest due to thinking that preparation is just putting masking tape around a room’. Moving on…

Application, part two – get started with a roller. Or debate the merits of paint rollers with your dad who is a BRUSH PUREST and will then spend the next four hours telling you why as you both paint the walls using your preferred method. Get paint in hair, on socks, on the floor (because you didn’t realise it was on your socks…) and start to wonder if you could get away with just doing the one coat.

Admire your work – survey your handiwork while drinking a nice cup of tea. Casually attempt to take off some of the masking tape, and forgetting its earlier No More Nails show of strength, wonder why it has taken half the wall away with it.

Now I get why there are unfinished DIY projects in homes across the land. The initial enthusiasm dies off as the reality of rectifying mistakes and the realisation sets in that it’s unlikely the project will be completed by the time Corrie’s on (‘Yep,’ says Bob – the builder, obvs – as he surveys another DIY bodge job: ‘Trouble is, that wall you’ve just tried to take out is an RSJ…’).

My vision was for different colours, a dado rail (which, the Brush Purest insists is not a true dado rail as it’s not protecting furniture… what should I call it then? Wall feature?!!!), one wall of wallpaper and some clouds on the ceiling of the boy’s room. What I have actually achieved is two half done rooms. How has this taken three days? I worked ALL day! I can’t even look at the third room now without breaking out into a sweat.

So I’m now making this shameless plea to DIY SOS. I’ll finish off the two half painted rooms, if you take on the third. Aaaaaaaaaand… the back garden needs some turf and the smallest bathroom in the world needs replacing. Oh, and it needs to be done by next week. Sounds good, yeah?!




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