We’ve finally got started on renovating the second spare room which will, by the end of summer, become Iris’s own bedroom. Here’s how the room looked when we moved in (and it’s been pretty much untouched since). The damp on the wall above the fireplace was caused by the dodgy chimney stacks which we have had repointed and reinforced. No more water is getting into the room but now we need to redecorate and clean up the damage.

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Stage one involved removing the shutters, curtains and other hardware and stripping them of paint. The shutters have been repainted and we’ve installed extra beading around the windows to improve draught proofing. Matt has also overhauled the window in here to make it as draught-proof as possible. If anyone fancies the curtains, they are originals – ’50s or ’60s I reckon, but not our cup of tea. I have washed, folded and measured them!

Not quite the same angle as the before but this is the first of a series of pictures of the walls after stripping the paper and before filling and cleaning.

Not quite the same angle as the before but this is the first of a series of pictures of the walls after stripping the paper and before filling and cleaning.

Stage two was stripping the pink-painted lining paper from the walls and the flaking ceiling paint. Given I started this task in the middle of a heat wave, you can imagine it wasn’t much fun spending the evenings in a west-facing room with a big box of steam. Eventually, I wound up doing it wearing a water-drenched nightie to keep cool! Working most evenings, it took the best part of a week to remove all the paper. The ceiling paint pretty much fell off with only a little encouragement as it didn’t seem to like the steam too much.

Here's the most damaged area at the top of the wall. This wall and window are west facing.

Here’s the most damaged area at the top of the wall. This wall and window are west facing.

Stage three involved cleaning the damp patches with a mould remover and plastering the large holes, particularly where the water had come in and around the new plug sockets. We filled other hairline cracks, scuffs and scrapes with polyfiller.

After leaving this to set for a couple of days, we have now sanded down the filled areas and have used caulk in the corners and around the skirting and other woodwork for extra damp proofing and a more flexible fill.

The easy wall - adjoins the kids' current room. Just a little filling needed here.

The easy wall – adjoins the kids’ current room. Just a little filling needed here.

Tonight, while I attempted to work with the world’s worst internet connection, Matt finished the caulking and rehung the shutters. Tomorrow evening’s task will be to paint the remaining woodwork and then there’s a pause while we leave the plaster to completely dry out. We have a WWOOFer who will be using that room next week, so we’ll need to spend Sunday cleaning the room and preparing it for a guest who hopefully won’t mind the unpainted walls. To be honest, even with the patching I reckon it looks better than the peeling pink paper!

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We even removed the radiator - such pros!

We even removed the radiator – such pros!

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