A girls guide to stripping

Welcome once again to Rise of the Roost! – My fortnightly blog where you are kept informed and (hopefully) inspired on the our latest projects.

Are you ready for something really hot? well take off your winter jumpers because Rise of the roost is about to get steamy.

This time I have been stripping. Yes its time I moved out of the bedroom and into the hallway for the next project in the house. And where better to start than to strip the layers of paint of the hallway handrail and floorboards.

After sourcing some inspiration online I am aiming for a natural (but varnished) handrail with painted spindles. Something like this picture below. This should create a seamless flow as you descend the staircase towards the original hardwood floor at the bottom.

staircaseAspireToBe _20151011_144258stripped beforestripped after

Our hand rail is pine, so I’ll have to stain it to match the colour on the stair-treads. The stripping took me ages due to the awkwardness of the shape. But here’s a little tip – if you don’t have the right equipment to fit the curves then find something at home that will do. For example this handrail has a deep curve on both sides and nothing in my old toolbox would do except a teaspoon. I’m sure I don’t have to point out that you’ll need to use a metal handled one – unless you want to permanently wear a spoon to your palm for the rest of your days.

Meanwhile…downstairs Jason was busy as ever bagging up rubble and making endless trips to the dump and struggling to get his levels down for the foundations.

DSC_1154 DampproofingFoudaconcrtete

today’s photo (right)

By Tuesday we grew a little anxious as the buildings inspector arrived to check on Jason’s progress on the foundations. The inspector wasn’t pleased when he realized Jason had called him out a little too prematurely – but not knowing exactly the precise protocol for this it was hard to judge. He stormed off five seconds later saying he needed to see the sand whacker-plated down to a firm bed. Jason carried on getting a good layer of sand down, made it smooth and then made a start on welding the copper pipes to plumb in the dining area radiator.

Sand Layer Foundations foundationPreconcrt

nicepipework JaWeldingRad Pipes

Trickpipes2 trickycornerpipesI carried on stripping the banister rail and scrapping off the old paint on the hall way floor in between applying for numerous jobs online.

But by the afternoon it came as no surprise when I was mid way through an important pre-interview telephone conversation when the smoke alarm went off and wouldn’t stop. I had to abruptly end my call, Jason had gone out to the plumbing shop and I was left wafting his cement crusted work shorts to try to get the paint fumes away from the shrieking alarm. More annoyingly than anything the alarm consistently went off every ten minutes. Which left me no choice but to wildly try to stab the alarm button with the tip my pink Ikea umbrella to no avail. By the time Jason had returned every window was open, the alarm continued to screech and people at the bus stop were staring at us  “What have you done now?” were the first words that naturally escaped from Jason’s mouth.


After a call to our electrician Jason disconnected the smoke alarms and left them outside to chill-the-hell-out. It was possible they were just oversensitive to dust but I hated the things already.

Friday – as the weather was so good I took to pruning in the garden while more materials arrived on our driveway. Huge insulation foam board stacked up on the grass, ready and waiting for the next stage.



The following Wednesday another Building regs man to check on Jason’s foundations. Keen to inspect, the man leapt onto the sandy surface and seemed chuffed that his clean rigger boots made a dull thump as he landed. Declaring that Jason had done an outstanding job, he granted further permission to go onto the next stage, damp membrane, insulation, more membrane and then concrete. Jason had found that working on a big project like this was tough without clear guidance from the authorities’ website. So any hands-on advice the builds regs man put forward to us was always really helpful and put us in high spirits.

We moved into our guest room (the nautical one) so I could begin to strip the old wallpaper from the master bedroom. I began to feel as if this decorating process might never end.

stripMasterbedFastworkRoom Strip


InscripCloseUp Inscrpt2close

I soon got into the groove and a day and a half later had stripped half of the room back. While I was doing so I peeled back the paper and revealed something interesting, a little note by the last person who put so much of their effort into this room..

It reads, “papered By, H.I – 1950. L. May & P. Farr” and a loads of other scribbles I can’t quite make out. But cool huh?!

So now we have an exact date when this room was last done, and it was documented all along.

At the weekend, I managed to complete some finishing touches to the Nautical room…adding pictures to the wall, letters and I swooped by B&Q to pick up this lovely simple brushed standing silver light. The lamp comes with a foot-push-button but as it was on an awkward side of the bed I used a U nail to tack the switch to the outside of the bedframe for easy off/on functionality.


NauticalRoomComplete G&J letters


I went on to do a little more forward planning on the next room – the walk in wardrobe room that I’m very excited about – you hear me girls? its all about them, shoes, ’bout them shoes.

See you in a bit xxx

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