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Home Decorating Tips and Tricks

Updated on February 8, 2013

Time To Decorate

Decorating Your home

Decorating your home can be an arduous, messy and sometimes dangerous task, paint dripping on to the floor, sawdust in the air getting into your hair and eyes, and up your nose making you sneeze, screws, nails and Tacks falling to the floor and embedding themselves into the weaving in your carpet, cuts bumps and bruises are also common place especially to the person who has never had the pleasure of decorating their own home before.

There is a plethora of home design and decoration shows on TV these days and through watching them more and more people are taking the plunge and doing the work in their own homes by themselves.

TV shows make home decorating look very easy and it is if you are a presenter and paint on camera for three seconds, when the scene changes though the presenter has stopped painting and a professional finishes of the job for them.

Decorating is a simple task when you have 25 professionals waiting in the wings to take over after the Presenters three seconds of footage have been filmed.

Decorating is not as easy as it looks, but anyone can do a good job of it if they put their minds to it, most decorating products, paint, wallpaper, flooring and furniture come supplied with a step by step instructions to guide the user of how to use or install them and there are pamphlets available in most Hardware stores that cover most aspects of the task at hand.

This article gives tips on how to work safely, how to cut down on mess and many other tips to make your home decorating run smoothly

Wall Paper

Planning To Decorate Your Home

It’s time for a change you are sick and tired of looking at the same old things day in and day out and you have decided that it’s time to decorate, out with the old and in with the new, the whole of the house every room is getting a facelift, but where do you start?

The biggest mistake that people make is to start different jobs in different rooms instead of sticking to one room at a time, prioritise where you would like done first pick one room or the hallways and stick to working in that one place until it is finished, before you move on to the next.

This way works best because by concentrating one room at a time means less disruption for you and your family you still have the use of the rest of your home, it saves time because you are not jumping from room to room and from job to job, and more importantly by decorating one room at a time your home will not be left in a half finished state until pay day if you run out of money.


Do it yourself cheaply on

A Kitchen Basin can Prevent Disaster

Painting with a Brush

Painting with a brush can be very sticky and very messy indeed, paint runs down your arm, or drips from the brush onto the floor or even onto uncovered furnature and if you stand on one of those drips of paint everyone will know exactly where you have been in the house as you walk from room to room leaving paint marks in all of your floors.

Dealing with Drips

There are two main types of paint, Emultion which is a water based paint and Gloss which is an oil based paint.

If water based paint drips it is easier to deal with than oil based paint all you need for water based paint is a wet cloth and a dry cloth if the paint drips wipe it off whilst it is still wet using the wet cloth and then wipe dry with your dry cloth.

Oil based paints are more difficult to remove when spilled but a cloth dipped in white spirits will work wonders when the paint is wet, but be sure that the white spirit will not ruin the material that the paint has dripped on.

Avoiding paint drips

When you dip your brush into the paint ensure that you remove any excess paint before removing the brush from the can, scrape the brush gently against the inside rim of the can from the metal band to the brush tip, if you use the outside of the can the paint will run down the can, as in the picture above, and drip onto the floor or other surfaces.

When painting ceilings or high on a wall the paint tends to run down the brush onto the handle and onto your hand or down your arm, to avoid this is easy, wrap a damp cloth around the brush handle and it will catch the paint before it gets to you.

Major Spillage

When painting the greatest fear is that you will spill the entire can of paint by accident ruining everything in its path, I learned this tip a few years ago from a friend who is a professional painter and decorator, and it is so simple that i don't know why I never thought of it myself.

Take a basin from the kitchen and place your paint can in the center that way if the paint spills it spills into the basin, not only does it prevent major damage but because the paint has spilled into the basin it can still be used.


Perfect for Cutting Wet Wallpaper

Paper Hanging Tips

You have your wallpaper picked out and you have mixed your adhesive paste and you are ready to hang it and change the look of the room forever, but how do you avoid those inevitable air bubbles? how do you deal with light switches and radiators? how do you cut those bits over hanging the skirting board? do you wait until the adhesive has dried or do you cut whilst the adhesive is still wet?

There are three essential tools that I always have on hand when hanging wallpaper, 1 A towel. 2 A long bladed sharp knife. 3 A double sided razor blade.

Most people that I know will use a wallpapering brush to smooth out the air bubbles and avoid wrinkles in the finished job, But I prefer to use a towel for this job, using a towel folded in half with your hand in between lets you feel the bits of excess paste and air bubbles in the paper as you wipe it down with the palm of your hand.

Rather than use scissors to cut wall paper a long bladed knife gives a straighter cut, fold the paper to where you need to cut it, line up bot edges exactly then smooth down the paper to leave a hard edge and run your knife along the inside of the edge for a perfect cut every time, scissors tend to leave rough edges.

I prefer to cut the excess wallpaper overhanging skirting boards whilst the adhesive is still wet, simply because, it can be a difficult task to remove the paper from the skirting when it is dry and it can lead to damage to your new paint work, wet wallpaper can be difficult to cut though and that is why I use a double sided razor blade which cuts like a hot knife through butter.

Dealing with light switches and Sockets

Why go to the expense of hiring an electrician to remove your sockets and light switches to help you decorate easier when you can just work around them.

There are safety caps that you can buy to stop children stiking their fingers or any other items into the socket, these are ideal to use with this method to stop the adhesive paste getting into your sockets and eraze the risk of electrical shock. 

Smooth you wall paper as normal until it reaches the light switch or socket then cut a small air hole into the paper in the centre of the socket or switch using your Razor blade, smooth the paper around the socket or switch and then again using your razor blade, cut a diagonal cross from the centre of the switch to the four corners of the switch this should leave you with four triangular over hangs of paper over the switch, using the razor cut them off trying to get as flush to the wall and the switch as possible.

the same method can be used around windows and doors for perfect results every time

Dealing with Radiators

There is no need to hire a plumber to remove your radiators to allow you to decorate behind them, just smooth the paper down the wall until you reach the radiator, then bring the paper over the radiator and cut the paper at around the halfway point of the radiator, then take the paper that is over the radiator and tuck it in behind the radiator, to smooth it down behind the radiator use the palm of hand with towel  and the finised job will look perfect especially if your skirting boards overlap your radiator at the back.


5 Quick Tips

1) A magnet is a great tool, when using nails, screws or tacks put them on a magnet, and stick it to your ladder that way you will always know where they are and they will be less likely to fall on the floor.

2) Petrolium jelly or Vaseline as it is better known is great for catching dust when drilling holes, smear some over the area that you want to drill and the vaseline will pick up the dust as you drill, wipe off with a dry cloth when done.

3) Stripping off old wallpaper, can be time consuming and difficult, to make it a whole lot easier use a bucket of lukewarm soapy water and soak it into the old paper start stripping before it dries.

4) Old Newspaper if you dont have a filler for holes in the wall that you find under the old wallpaper a simple tip is to dip some news paper into your adhesive paste and fill the hole when the newspaper dries it becomes solid, if you remember making an easter egg at school with paper soaked in paste and then stiking it on an inflated balloon you will know how ssolid the paper gets, smooth with sandpaper before you hang the wallpaper.

5) You can create interesting effects on standard doors by installing mouldings that will give them volume and depth. A stroke of the paintbrush will complete the job and change an ordinary door into one with style.

A magnet to hold nails and screws


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    Post Comment

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 

      8 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

      These are great tips. I find that rollers are easier for painting the wide part of ceilings and brushes do corners

    • profile image

      Marcy Moore 

      8 years ago

      Is wallpaper still a popular way to decorate? It has been a while since I've seen anyone hand wallpaper in their home. Or perhaps there is a resurgence for this decorating technique.

    • Starscream14 profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a very useful Hub. Thanks, jimmy! I think I will start to put some Wall Paper in my room ;)

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      10 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Patty, Much appreciated.....jimmy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Great information! Dugg it.


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