No matter how hard you try to avoid it when you’re sprucing up your home, decorating mistakes and accidents can happen. All is not lost though – you just need to know how to fix them!
As professional decorators, we know the processes and procedures to avoid the pitfalls of dodgy DIY. But if you’re going it alone, and you suffer a spill or a problem, here are our tips to fixing them quickly and effectively.
Our top tips for fixing decorating disasters!
Scrapes and gouges – been a little heavy handed with the wallpaper scraper? Don’t panic! Gouges and dents in the plaster can be easily fixed with some quick drying filler. Apply according to the instructions and then sand it down once dried to give you a smooth surface.
Colour me bad – if you’ve just applied a coat of paint and you’re not happy with the colour, first of all, you need to give it time! Bear in mind that the colour will change slightly once it dries. Also, when you’ve been staring at the same colour for hours, your perception can become a little skewed – so it’s worth waiting till the next day before you decide to cover it with a different colour. If you like the colour but find it’s still too dark after drying, you can always add some white paint to the pot and add another coat to lighten the effect.
Spilt paint – if it’s still wet, use some kitchen towel to soak up the excess. If it’s already dried, apply some warm water and a little washing up liquid with a cloth and let the paint soften – then gently scrape off the carpet with a palette knife. You may need to repeat the process a few times to get it all up. For hard surfaces, a credit card can remove the paint without damaging the surface, but be gentle! A little turpentine or white spirit can be used if the paint is a gloss rather than water-based.
Air bubbles – if you’ve hung some wallpaper and notice a bubble, you can fix it by making a small incision with a sharp blade, then gently smooth the air out from the sides before smoothing down with a cloth or seam roller. If there’s something trapped under the paper causing the bubble, a slightly larger X shaped cut will allow you to gently lift the paper and remove the offending article with some tweezers, before applying a little extra paste and smoothing it back down – always work from the outside in.
Lifted seams – this is usually caused by not using enough paste on the edges of the wallpaper when hanging. You can apply some extra paste using a thin, artist’s paintbrush, then smooth outwards with a damp cloth, before flattening the edge back down with a seam roller.
Torn paper – if you’ve torn a small piece of wallpaper as you’re trying to place it, you can often do a good enough repair by lifting either edge carefully, applying a small amount of additional paste and smoothing it back down. If it’s a bad tear, gently lift off the whole sheet while the paste is still wet, pulling on the direction away from the sheet next to it, then start again with a fresh sheet.
Measuring mishaps – if you’ve cut a piece of wallpaper too short, don’t throw it away! You’ll almost definitely have a requirement for a shorter piece somewhere in your room, such as above a doorway. Put it aside and use it elsewhere.
Of course if all else fails, you can always call in a professional decorator to help make good the mistake.