Q: Help! I’m hosting Christmas this year, and I feel like our home could do with a little smartening up. I don’t have time to redecorate, so what areas should I focus on to make everything look fresh? Caitlyn, London
A: Ah, Christmas. ‘Tis the season to have a full household, so if you’re hosting this year, it's wise to make sure your home is looking its best before the in-laws, parents and next-door neighbours arrive. Here’s my top four ways to get your home looking orderly in a flash.
1. Paint your front door
The first thing your guests (and the carol singers) will see as they arrive is the portal to your home, the front door. Show off your wreath and door decs with a freshly painted, coordinated backdrop and give your door a lick of paint. Follow this step-by-step video to find out how to paint your front door or check out the range of Weathershield wood colours to match your festive decorations.
You will need: Masking tape Paint brush 2” & 4” Sandpaper Paint tray Dusting brush Weathershield undercoat Weathersheild colour of your choice
Prepare you door - remove any “furniture” that you can (i.e. handles, knockers, door numbers, letterbox/plate…) Use masking tape to protect other items which cannot be removed. Use a dust sheet to protect the floor under the door. Thoroughly clean the surface with a mild detergent solution to remove any dirt, grease, grime. Rinse off any deposits with clean water. Sand the surface to remove any shine (particularly if it is a gloss finish). Also note, If there is any unsound coating, then additional preparation will be necessary!
Brush off any dust. Wipe off any deposits with a damp cloth. Allow to dry thoroughly. Apply Weathershield undercoat.
When fully dry apply chosen Weathershield exterior gloss/satin finish Apply second coat
Follow instructions on can regarding drying and overcoat times. Always stir the contents of the can thoroughly before use. Use a good quality brush. Always use a synthetic bristle brush with water-based coatings.
2. Fill in those cracks
It might sound daunting, but it’s actually very simple to fill in cracks on your wall. And it makes a huge difference to your room’s appearance. You will have to make cracks along walls a little worse before you fill them to make sure that the filler gets a good grip and is easy to sand smooth without falling out.
You will need:
Use an angled scraper and rake along the crack to create a shallow groove.
Brush away any dust and use a filling knife to apply ready-mixed filler smoothly into the gap. Deep cracks may need two coats of filler.
Sand smooth once dry with fine surface sandpaper.
For cracks along the edges of a room where the wall meets the ceiling or the walls meet any woodwork use decorators chalk, an easy to use flexible filler that you apply with a mastic gun. Fill and remove the excess before it drys with a damp cloth.
3. Paint furniture to match
Extra guests means extra seating, so if like most people, you’ve found yourself with an odd assortment of old chairs borrowed from other rooms and/or the attic, there’s a neat way to make them look coherent. Paint them, of course! Give all your chairs a revamp in the same shade and you’ll have a stylish Christmas dining table scheme that looks eclectic yet effortlessly coordinated. To find out how to paint your furniture, watch our How-to video.
4. Refresh your woodwork
A small detail this maybe, but don’t underestimate how much more polished freshly painted skirting, window ledges or banisters can make a space feel. Watch our step-by-step video to find out How to paint your skirting board.
You will need:
Paint brush 2"
Top coat in a colour of your choice