Redecorating the study

Having recently moved, I’m back to the wonderful world of having lots of DIY to be getting on with. So much that is is hard to chose where to start! Ultimately our decision was to get my wife’s study sorted first. She works from home one day per week, so it is helpful to have it finished for her. Also it was one of the relatively unchallenging rooms, no major works, wall removals etc. Just a medium sized room to be completely redecorated.

Foolishly I forgot to take pictures of the room before I started, it had wallpaper with a repeating pattern of dots. a thick red carpet, some old scrapy shelves. that needed to be removed, and a fairly dated and yellowing light fitting.

We decided to strip the wallpaper off,  which sadly was hung behind the radiator, so I had to take the radiator off also. That wasn’t so bad, except that there was a thermostatic valve on it which requires you to swap it out for a shut-off cap to be sure the valve is shut. These caps are provided with the thermostatic valve kits, however of course this is an old house and I did not fit the valve, so I did not have the cap. I did some searching to see if I could buy one on its own, but ultimately bought a cheap thermostatic valve kit just to get the shut off cap it came with.

Zen and the art of wallpaper removal

Stripping wallpaper is a fairly horrible job. Even if it goes smoothly it is messy. but this room made me work for practically every inch of paper coming off. One wall was fairly amenable ot just peeling off, but the rest required me to scrub with a wire brush, and soak with a wall paper stripping solution, then scrape off in ribbons. It took me about 4 days to completely strip the room.


That was the hardest part, really, lifting the carpet was trivial enough, though it had been glued around the edges. My wife wanted laminate flooring down, so I made the decision to rip off the skirting board and replace it on top of the flooring. The exisitng skirting had been nailed to the walls with long masonry nails. This made life a little difficult getting it off, particularly behind the radiator pipes. Here I used my brand new bosh oscillating multi-tool to easily slice through the skirting just behind the pipes and allow me to pry it off in sections.


We gave the bare plaster 1 very diluted base coat, and about 3 other coats of basic white emulsion, followed by 2 coats of an extra reflective white paint top coat, except for the feature wall, which is a bold orange. It looks really good in the otherwise white room.

I replaced the light fitting with something a little more modern, always an interesting job, particularly when the instructions say ‘you will need an assistant’… pah! you just need something that can support the light fitting near the ceiling whilst you are wiring things in. I used one of the (plentiful) cardboard boxes in our house and balanced that on the step ladder to support the fitting. It worked fine.


The laminate floor went down pretty fast, it took most of a Sunday, but I got the whole floor down, and the new skirting fitted. I decided to use pre-finished skirting which really does save a lot of time and hasstle. That last day was pretty great, since the room goes from looking like a shell, to looking pretty finished very quickly. We moved the desk back in and I called that essentially ‘done’ for the decorating.


However, I know it isn’t really done until the shelving is up, and my wife wanted to go with wall hung shelves rather than the free-standing units she had when we were renting. So that work has just begin, brackets are up, but now I need to actually make the shelves to fit…

All in all its been a lot of hard work, but in truth I love it. It’s great to be back in a house which I own which I can improve as I see fit and change to meet our exact needs.

Total cost so far…~700GBP though in that I’m including some costs which have leftovers that will go into the next room (my study)