Wednesday, November 08, 2006

MatchPot Land.

In an effort to distract myself from the noisy mayhem outside, I`ve been creating a little mayhem of my own inside. In our very long hall, to be precise.

When we moved in to this house eight years ago the hall, to our complete mystification as to why, was "panelled" in rush matting up to shoulder height. Yup, you heard me right, rush matting. Of the type used to floor conservatories and such. Wierd or what? But it turned out to be very, very useful with two boys of four and two riccocheting around as it acted as a sort of padded cell for them. And over the years we sort of got used to it, even though it shed all over the carpet and bits fell off occasionally. After all, it could be changed "after the major work gets done outside".

Eight long years pass........

......and the kittens arrive. They really liked the rush matting. They could climb it. Trouble was, both the matting and the glue holding it to the walls (always a bit dodgy, that glue) was getting old. The matting began to fall off the walls in ernest, leaving yet another legacy of the previous owners taste behind. Glue. They loved glue. They must have used gallons of yellow tinged lumpy contact adhesive all over the wallpaper beneath just to hold the matting on. ("Why"??? I repeat? Why matting????)

So I`ve been faced with stripping, repapering and repainting our thirty foot long hall. With ten doorways to work round, five interior corners and an exterior corner. (Hall is L-shaped.) I can paper, but my dodgy ankle was going to be a bit of a handicap on top of a ladder reaching to our fifteen foot high ceilings. Big job. Too big. Can`t afford a decorator to do it. Quick fix is needed.

The solution has arrived in the form of our big wall sander, unused and forgotten since our last major bout of DIY twelve years and two houses ago. The adhesive is literally getting sanded off the walls. The paper beneath is don`t ask me why, but I can reduce the glue to the level of the random texture and when you paint over voila! Not perfect, but not at all bad. And painting the hall with a couple of coats of emulsion is do-able.

Which leads me to the MatchPots. Little pots of sample paint colours, for the American readers. You can paint a couple of square feet of your possible colour onto the wall and see how it looks. Because of course, the colours look nothing like the charts or names might suggest.

"Honeygold"......bright synthetic orange.

"Natural Calico".....dirty grey-white.

"Barley White".....dirty brown-white.

"Havana Intense".....sixty ciggies a day smoked underneath for the last ten years. "Nicotine Intense" would have been better.

"Natural Teraccotta".....dirty bricks.

"Natural Straw" poo.

And so it goes on. I may go with the Magnolia yet, lol. 99% of British homes have, or have had, a room painted in Magnolia sometime in their history. You know where you are with Magnolia. (Just about anywhere, really.....)

"Magnolia".....scientifically proven to be the most inoffensive colour on the planet. A sort of pale cream.

Magnolia it is, then.


rho said...

a friend of ours learned the hard way to do the samples - in fact do them on a piece of board and move it around the room at all different times of the day -- he ended up with a blue that looked wonderful in one part of his house but hideous in the part that had the least cabinets etc. on the wall. Reed matts huh? They probably paid a decorator a fortune for that advice. I've been living in Spackle for the past 10 years (it never gets smooth enough for hubbo to paint) .... I'm thinking about the Spackle the whole wall roughly then paint over it look for a stucco type of look at this point.

The Knit Nurse said...

We did our hall recently and we used B&Q's 'Rice Pudding' which was like off-magnolia. We just bought it because it sounded tasty. Looks OK though and technically it's not magnolia. Good luck with the tedium of doorways.

Spinningfishwife said...

Doors are stripped. Lucky me!

"Rice Pudding", mmm? Worth a MatchPot just to see that, methinks?

Zippianna said...

What a job to get wall smooth enough to paint. Texturing the wall board here saves sanity, though the newest look is to make it look as smooth as plaster with lots of goop hardened on it. What joy.

I'm sitting up with a very sick little doggie tonight. So it's very nice to have your remodeling and yarn garnering to entertain my brain. Thank You!

KathyR said...

Wooo...15 foot stud? And here was me thinking our 12 foot stud was daunting! Rush matting is a new one. Someone, in their infinite wisdom, stripped our hallway up to the dado rail above the doorways back to the rough boards covering the studs and covered it with plain paper. They then roughly (and I mean roughly) plastered then painted this. Not very pleasant to brush up against, I can tell you. One day I may get around to stripping this all off. but not today!

I am really enjoying your renovation saga and wish you well as you continue.

Woolly Wormhead said...

Now, I'm not overly offended by the rush matting and have issues with magnolia (too many memories of rented accomodation).... probably best not to listen to my decor advice. Especially as my most wanted home has big wheels and an engine....