Decorating mission – new curtains

Decorating part 4

Our new colour scheme meant that most of the walls were painted with white, with teal on one wall in each room. As we had reduced the colour on the walls I was keen to get some lovely curtains to make a feature of them and to bring more colour to the rooms. As I mentioned in the last post we have unusually sized windows, so ready-made curtains always need altering to fit. I headed to the local material shops and priced up some fabric I liked, I made a note of the name of it too and when I got home I did a search on the internet to see if I could find it anywhere else for cheaper. It worked out around £10 a metre and we needed a lot! It was quickly adding up to well over £100 and this was before I even started making them and buying lining material.

Whilst I was out and about I kept an eye out for curtains and spotted some on sale in Tasker. I checked the measurements and the largest curtains would fit, they would just need taking up as they would be too long and cover the radiator. I couldn’t believe our luck as they were reduced to £20 a pair and matched our colour scheme.

Curtains before being taken up
Curtains before being taken up

 

They needed taking up about 15-20cm on both sets of windows, I even hand stitched the new hem using an invisible stitch whereas normally I would use the machine – I was feeling like I should for the best finish and I had plenty of time as I didn’t have to make them from scratch, plus my mum always says I should!

When picking out curtains it is worth checking both ready-made and material prices. Depending on what colour and material type you want, if you can find some ready-made it is always worth comparing prices.

We also needed a new pair of curtains for the middle of our rooms, as we have the option of closing the curtains in between our lounge and dining room, which then makes the lounge cosier. We needed new curtains in the right colour as I had taken the old ones down as they were red. This time it worked out cheaper to buy the material and make them as I picked up material that was perfect and was only £3 per metre and they didn’t need a lining.

Middle curtains

I did do some research into dying curtains, however with the original curtains being quite a deep red, to get them to dye teal or grey we would need to colour strip them first and then dye them. Even after that there were still warnings about colour matching and the difficulty of dying something that is already a dark colour.

 

 

Decorating mission – transforming blinds

So after an amazing Holiday and being away for a whole month, its time to pick up where we left off with –

Decorating part 3

When we moved into our house, all the front windows had matching wooden slat blinds. We need them as our house opens up straight onto the pavement, and without the blinds people would be able to see straight into our lounge and dining room. We have the same blinds upstairs and downstairs, so across all of the seven front windows the blinds give a neat and matching finish. One of the reasons for decorating downstairs was to try and make the rooms lighter, as with the blinds in place it restricts the amount of natural light we get. I explored a few different options, most of them involved the cost of new blinds in different styles which wasn’t part of our budget. The decision was made to paint them and I set to researching how to do this on the internet. All the sites I came across presented similar steps – take the blinds down, take them apart, clean them up, give them a light sand, paint them and then put them back together.

And so mission paint the blinds commenced and it nearly finished me off!!decoration mission 2015 (8)

Each blind had over 100 slats and both sides of the slats needed painting. We used white wood paint for the job and set up an area in the lounge using a pasting table and any other surface that was free. I painted one side of the slat, along with one edge and left it to dry. I then returned and painted the other side and edge. Each slat needed two coats. I am guessing you can already see what a lengthy process this became!!

painting slats

 

We had four blinds to do, two from the lounge and two from the dining room, which meant nearly 500 slats needed painting on both sides and with two coats. What seemed like such a good idea became a massive mission!! We also needed to replace the cord in the blinds used to raise them and open and close them. I bought cord from Dunelm Mill as they had a fab selection of colours and thicknesses.

decoration mission 2015 (5)

When the slats were all finally painted, we put the blinds back together using the new white cord we had bought and then put the blinds back up in the windows. I am glad to report that we were really happy with the finished look and it definitely helped make the room lighter.   It had been worth all the effort and had cost around £30.00 for the paint and the cord.

Finished blinds from brown to white

Would I recommend this process to anyone?…… yes I would but please be fully aware of the mission you are taking on! Helpful tips if you are venturing into the world of painting blinds.

  1. – When taking the blinds apart ensure you know exactly how they come apart and therefore how they will go back together.
  2. – Set up a good drying area when you have started painting. Ideally you need a large flat surface with a couple of raised platforms to rest the slats on.
  3. – When buying the new cord, buy extra as it can be difficult to tell how much cord you will need.
  4. – When taking the cord out, again remember how it was thread through the blind as you will need to replicate this with the new cord.
  5. – If working with more than one blind, keep the slats for each blind separate.
  6. – Allow plenty of time for this task.

This is an amazing money saving task as new blinds are not cheap, especially if like us you have unusual window sizes so any blind has to be specially made.

 

If I were to do this again I would explore the option of spray paint to see if that would give them a good coat without having to take them apart – you never know!!