Your radiator carries a heavy load all winter keeping you warm and toasty, and it deserves a little love too to keep it looking its best. Painting an old radiator is not the same as slapping on some wall paint. It requires the right prep and a special kind of paint that will stand up to the high temps your radiator creates.
In this post, I’ll show you the right steps and materials to get an attractive and lasting paint job on your old cast iron radiator. My friend Natalie over at Earth+Flax was kind enough to help me out with some great pics of the process! Also, keep in mind that the mechanics of your radiator (while simple) need some upkeep as well. If it’s mechanical issues you are looking to resolve, then check out my post How To: Bleed a Radiator.
How to Paint an Old Radiator
There are two ways you can go when it comes time to paint an old radiator. If you feel up to removing your radiator and you are certain you won’t be needing it for a while, you can bring it to a sandblasting company to have a very thorough cleaning of the surface, but most times I find that is unnecessary. If you don’t want to go the full monty, be sure to read up on how to safely disconnect your radiator from your heating system first.
If you are painting in place follow the steps below:
Step #1 Protect the Area
Some of the chemicals and paints you’ll be using can be extremely difficult to clean up if they spill and can ruin your floors, so you want good protection down. I prefer to lay down some 6 mil plastic sheeting on the floors and walls in the area you are working and then put a canvas drop cloth over that. For the walls, you can also use cardboard since that is easier to stand up than a drop cloth.
Make sure your radiator will not be heating up during the painting process because it could cause burns to you or damage to the coating before they are cured.
Step #2 Cleaning & Remove Paint
You don’t need to remove all the paint from your radiator, only the loose and flaking paint that is failing. I find that the best way to do this is with a stiff bristle metal brush and a bucket of TSP cleaner. Scrub the surfaces until all the loose paint and dirt is off and then dry off the surface with some rags.
Use the large metal brush for the easy to access areas and try a furnace boiler brush for some of the hard to reach nooks and crannies. Depending on the design of your radiator you may have to improvise what kind of brush you use but a metal bristle works best to really get that old paint off compared to a much softer nylon brush which really will accomplish very little.
Step #3 Treat the Rust
If you don’t treat the rust it will ruin your paint job in short order so don’t skip this step. Once the radiator is dry pick up a bottle of OSPHO and brush it across the surface using a chip brush or other disposable brush. Wear gloves for this since OSPHO is phosphoric acid and can cause burns after extended exposure. Make sure you hit all areas of rust thoroughly. The rusty areas will bubble and turn black if you’ve done it right. Let it dry overnight and then you’ll be ready for priming in the morning.
Nerd Alert Information: When applied to rusted surfaces, OSPHO causes iron oxide (rust) to chemically change to iron phosphate – an inert, hard substance that turns the metal black. Where rust is exceedingly heavy, two coats of OSPHO may be necessary to thoroughly penetrate and blacken the surface to be painted. A dry, powdery, grayish-white surface usually develops; this is normal – brush off any loose powder before paint application.
Step #4 Apply Primer
There are a few different products on the market and for DIY projects like radiators. I lean toward Rust-Oleum since they are easy to use and readily available. You have two options: spraying or brushing and we’ll talk about them in a sec. Which ever primer you choose make sure it is 2 things: oil-based and made for high-heat. My preference for spray primer is Rust-Oleum Engine Primer.
If you can get proper ventilation and protection of the surrounding walls and floors, then spraying is a better option for getting a smooth even coat and makes getting into the hard to reach areas a lot easier. Brushing may take longer and be a little more difficult, but sometimes you don’t have the right setup for spraying and that’s when brushing is best. For getting into tight spots, I recommend testing a few creative application options before you start.
Step #5 Time to Paint
Your primer is dry and it’s time to finish the project. Pick another high-heat, oil-based paint like Rust-Oleum Engine Enamel and you’re ready to go following the same process as your primer. Make sure you don’t paint any of the valves, as they may stick and be difficult to open. Give it ample time to dry and good ventilation before turning the heat back on and you’re good to go!
An Alternate Type of Paint
There is another type of paint you may want to consider for your old radiator, and that is linseed oil paint made by Allback. It is an old school type of paint that doesn’t require a primer (so that’s a time saver!), but it must be applied with a brush. Linseed oil paint is heat treated during it’s manufacturing process so it has no problems being applied to a radiator.
Linseed oil paint is a more natural paint with less solvents and all around a healthier option to paint with that some people seem to enjoy. You can find out more about Allback and their paints here.
One thing our house is seriously lacking, is decoration. And by that I mean walls that aren't completely bare or rooms that aren't sparsely filled with oddly placed furniture. None of our rooms have that cosy homely decorated feel to them. Renovating is one thing, but then turning a room into comfortable well-furnished, well-decorated and well-designed space is another thing. And that's something we definitely haven't achieved yet within our home.
There's two simple reasons for this really. 1 - Decorating and furnishing is expensive and 2 - our funds are always needed elsewhere (ie more plasterboard) so we never have the money anyway. This year however, I decided that I needed to get a bit more inventive. So, I have a few ideas lined up already and I thought I'd share one of them today. A wall ladder art thingymahbob. OK I don't know what the hell to call it - a ladder that's on the wall, used kind of as a shelf. A kind of feature art. Making sense? (How I decide on a title for this post, I don't know....)
I'd seen this idea on pinterest quite some time ago although the ladders I had seen were filled with books in a more practical kind of idea than what I had in mind. I wanted my ladder to be a kind of decorative piece of art. A prop to display more art and random eclectic bits. A ladder to add to the vintage vibe I'm trying to achieve within our home. Quirky, fun, budget and cool.
Step 1 - Find Bargain Ladder
I've been eyeing up some secondhand ladders on eBay for quite a while, but I wanted to find one at the right price. The term "vintage" adds value to an item - however when things are vintage, but not listed as vintage - well then you're winning. eBay (and other online marketplaces) is very much just a waiting game, and finnnaaally after a few months of waiting, a PAIR of vintage, (but not described as vintage) ladders came onto eBay local to us at just £7.50. Nobody wants to use wooden ladders as actual ladders nowadays (let's face it they're not the safest, most stable or most durable) so they weren't likely to be very sought after. And since they weren't listed as vintage, they were even doubly less likely to be searched for and I won both ladders - hurrah!
Step 2 - Fit Said Ladder into Tiny Car
I was chuffed to bits to win these ladders - only small problem, at over 3m in length they were never going to fit in the car. Well I'm not the kind of girl to let that stop me. So of course I turned up at said random eBay mans house with a handsaw ready to chop the ladders in half. I say *I* what I actually mean is, I explained to the poor man what would be happening and made Grant do the dirty work. And it wasn't quite cut in half either - more, just took the tips off. Needless to say though, the poor guy was slightly baffled and perhaps somewhat disappointed that we literally chopped up his ladder right before his eyes. BUT, it was all in the name of Art. And when he asked me "Are you artists?" Well obviously I said yes. Yes we are. Artists of the renovation game and how to get the most out of your tiny car.
Back home with two ladders and I instantly put one to use in a kind of practical way with our giant log stack. You might have seen this one already - but if not, here's where you can find out what I did with that one. And as for the other ladder...
Step 3 - Find Appropriate Brackets
I had grand plans that involved hanging the other ladder horizontally on the wall as a kind of decorative feature art/shelf. I just needed to find the right brackets first. *Normal* ladder brackets were too ugly, anything else for an actual shelf was too wide, but eventually however I stumbled on Bob. (Find Bob here: Bobs Brackets). He makes handmade metals brackets, ones specifically for ladders, to any size. Thank you Bob! At just £5 per bracket and an additional £5 postage, these were just as affordable as all the other brackets I had looked at, but these were about 1000x more stylish AND they're handmade too. I love supporting small businesses and this guy's stuff is right up my street. He does scaffold brackets too, so I highly recommend checking his site out!
Step 4 - Attach!
With such a large beastly ladder to hang, I roped Grant in to help. We positioned the ladder centrally on the wall and lined the brackets to be attached next to the second rung on either end of the ladder. We actually attached one bracket first and we were then able to check the ladder was spirit level straight before marking up the second bracket. To save our freshly painted walls from getting stained from brick dust as well, we also attached an envelope beneath the drill to collect the dust.
Step 5 - Decorate and Admire
Et voila! Once it was up, all that was left to do was to decorate. Well here's where I haven't *yet* finished, but so far we have a few bits in place. Which is mainly collected art prints from our travels, but there's also a tile we bought from Portugal, the giant antique keys I picked up at an antiques-fair years back, a random light-up star, vases and even a F&B colour card. I want it to be filled with an eclectic mix of random stuff, but stuff that also fits together. You'll notice there's something a little bit missing.... But as I say, it's certainly not finished. But I wanted to share it on here all the same - after all, if I wait until everything's perfect, well then I'll be posting this blog post about 10 months late. You'll get the idea anyway...
Things Left to Do:
So I'd love to know what you think. Would you re-create this in your own home?! And do you have any suggestions for items to display?
Single ladder - £3.75
Brackets - £15 incl. P&P
I thought it might be fun to take a break from all the DIYing and tutorials about how to do this or how to restore that and talk for one week about why we do all this work in the first place. Why does it even matter to restore something?
A lot of us might restore because we like working with our hands or appreciate the history these old buildings contain. These are both good reasons and I can relate to both. There are others of us that really dig the inevitable before and after satisfaction that comes from restoring something of worth.
What I’d like to do in the post is first tell you why I restore, why it matters to me, and then I really want to hear from you in the comments below why YOU restore. I think we can learn a lot of from each other and like Proverbs says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We can all be sharpened in our fight to preserve and restore. Sound good? I’ll go first!
Why I Restore
There are a lot of reasons that I could give depending on the project as to why I choose to restore rather than replace, but as I have thought about it there is only one guiding principle that forms the foundation of why I choose to restore.
Don’t ever forget that it is a choice. In my business, every day I am faced with the choice to restore or replace something. Sometimes it’s as simple as a piece of trim and other times it’s a large window, but the choice has to constantly be made and it sometimes seems like the path of least resistance always is to replace.
I want to restore, but then there is a little voice inside my head that tells me it would be easier to replace. Sometimes that voice wins, and sometimes it deserves to win, but I feel that its wins should be few and far between in my line of work.
So, why do I restore? I restore because when I find something of worth, I feel a responsibility to save it. Not everything is worth restoring. I wouldn’t restore a vinyl window or piece of cement board, but you bet I’ll restore a forged bronze sash lock. You better believe I’ll restore a hand-crafted wood window made from old-growth wood and hand-blown wavy glass!
If it’s something a craftsman put their blood, sweat, and tears into creating, it is worth restoring. If it was made with quality materials, it is worth restoring. And if it is both of the above statements, then it is definitely worth restoring.
What Don’t You Restore?
People keep asking me if my business will restore newer and newer buildings every year as time marches forward, and the answer is simple- it depends. Was that 1968 house handmade using quality materials? Maybe, and if it was, then in my mind it likely deserves to be restored. But what if it was a simple tract house made with cheap materials and disposable windows? Then no, I wouldn’t restore it.
Think of it in these simple terms: Why do you throw away a paper cup after one drink yet keep and reuse the glasses at your house? Technically by washing and reusing that glass, you are “restoring” it because it has some intrinsic value. It was made from a high-quality material compared to the paper cup and so you naturally restore it no matter how dirty it gets after each use.
If that glass hit the ground and broke you’d likely sweep the pieces and throw it away without much thought, but what if that glass was made of Swarovski crystal and it was handed down to you by your great-grandmother? You’d be more apt to try to put the pieces back together wouldn’t you? That glass has more value than the regular glass, and infinitely more value than the paper cup. That’s why I restore!
As something of worth gets older, its value only increases. It is more rare now because time has lost many of its contemporaries and it stands alone as a reminder of another time. A time when things were well-made as a rule rather than the exception.
That’s why I restore. That’s the foundation for my company and career. Now, it’s your turn. Why do YOU restore?
Just before Christmas I shared the reveal of our new dining room - it still had some finishing and styling left to do, but by the most part it was done. I shared the unveiling of our gorgeous victorian cupboard doors which had been locked away behind a giant white glossy board (oh so stylish!), but if you noticed - the inside was horrendously hideous. Half of it filled to the brim with rubbish, it dusty and bleh. I wanted to do something a bit fun to the inside of the cupboard, I wanted to add a good splash of colour. Something that popped against the grey. I wanted it to go full-blown YELLOW.
Here's the cupboard as it was after it had been cleared out. Well, the top half at least! The inside of the doors still needed a second coat of paint and the whole thing just looked tired and lifeless. Bit of a stupid thing to say about a cupboard - but you know what I mean, right?!
After a good clear out and clean up, it was ready for paint. The shelves in here are 100% retro with this original (presumably) vintage wallpaper, surprisingly in really good condition. It's not my usual kind of design however I really like the idea of keeping a part of the previous owner in the house, and especially a previous owner that lived here for almost sixty years!! Edna clearly loved this house, it had been well looked after (in every way, including this wallpaper!) and so I felt like it would be a true shame to go ripping it out. I did however ask Instagram how they felt about this design and it 60/40 on the Hate V Love. So I'm definitely going against the opinion on Instagram for this one. (Possibly a first?!)
So as I say, those are staying! As for the walls, my initial intention was to buy some yellow paint and gradually add some white paint to it, to create different shades between each section/shelf. I think this would have looked awesome and I totally plan on doing this idea elsewhere in the house some other time, but I actually realised a more cost-effective idea was to use up some sample paints I had leftover. We have quite a lot of them now and I was pretty sure one tester would be more than enough to do each section.
So whilst I say "use up" I actually only had two of these testers and then I bought an additional two to have a full set of four different yellows. One for each section. From left to right there's Citron, Yellow Ground, Barbouche and Sudbury Yellow (my personal fave!).
I sampled each one on a bit of paper to decide how exactly I should order them. And to be honest, some of the shades are reeaaaally similar, so it was pretty tricky.
You see what I mean?! I still wanted to go dark to light, but with shades so similar it wasn't quite what I had imagined. After a first coat in the top couple of sections I was somewhat worried my yellow idea was in fact, a bad shout. Let's just say, it was looking a little weak and definitely not the dark to light gradient idea I had in mind...
However I perserveed with the idea (no going back really, is there?!) and after two coats it was all beginning to come together. That 'pop' I wanted was totally there! It looked jazzy, fun and fresh. It looked awesome.
Is it calling to you yet? Well if not, here's the finished cupboard in all its yellow-y goodness. I absolutely love love love (one more time... love!) it and the retro wallpaper with the yellow totally works as well. The design of it isn't my usual cup of tea at all but somehow I really think it goes. It doesn't look dated or retro, it just adds to the fun and looks right at home.
Colour from Top to Bottom: Sudbury Yellow, Barbouche, Citron, Yellow Ground. (All Farrow and Ball)
The pink flowers are definitely making me feel like the cupboard needs a splash of pink in there too. Oh and if you're wondering 'what about the bottom bit of cupboard' well, all I can say is - it's still filled with stuff and it's more than likely going to stay that way for quite a while. It's all DIY-related stuff in there that we're going to be needing fairly soon, so until then - no yellow down there I'm afraid!
The plan for the top yellow-y bit is to use the top two shelves for paper storage (they're way too high to reach anyway!) which will be neatly stored in vintage stackable suitcases. We'll then add a plug socket to the cupboard, store the printer, our laptops and all the home hub type stuff too, like the router and the home telephone etc. So right now I'm on the search for some vintage suitcases, some wire baskets and other quirky ways of storing a whole load of boring important documents. I'll have to keep you updated on all that later, as eBay is very much just a waiting game. But for now, I've already begun organising and here's how it's looking so far...
And to give you a bit more perspective - here's how it looks with the whole room. The plan isn't to keep the cupboard open 24/7 but it's one of those things that ends up getting left open, so when that happens - now it'll add something to the room, rather than taking away from it and just look *cluttered*.
I'd love to know what you think? Does the pop of yellow work for you? Or is it a little too bold?
It's January. The month where we're all paying off those credit cards from Christmas and wishing we hadn't spent so much on food when half of it ended up as waste. Bank accounts are empty and for one reason or another, money is always tight in January.
When renovating you can't exactly commit to "no spend" months, and cutting down on spending in general is easier said than done. If you need plasterboard, you need plasterboard. A renovation will cost money and there's no getting around that. You basically need to always be in supply of cash. But, there are still ways you can save and even make money on a home renovation project. So I thought I would share some of the ways you can make your money go further.
REUSE, REPURPOSE, UPCYCLE
This is probably the most obvious trick in the book, but I couldn't not mention it, could I? Making a few updates and changes to old items can really bring a new lease of life to them. In a renovation, people often have a tendency to remove and get rid of absolutely everything. From old built-ins to floorboards and even bigger stuff like entire bathrooms. Whilst this stuff may not be to your taste, you can in fact reuse and repurpose items from your renovation, turning them into something else. Floorboards for example are great for shelving or they could even be turned into a bespoke top for a dining table. You can also transform existing fixtures and fittings too. If you have ugly built-in wardrobes lacking a bit of 'something'; instead of completely ripping them out, consider adding some new mouldings, handles and a lick of paint. You'd be surprised what a few alterations can actually achieve! Check out our DIY painted floor as an example - who knew concrete could look so good?
Upcycling and repurposing can even become a business venture, just take a browse on Etsy and you'll find all kinds of upcycled ingenuities. Buying handmade items is back in fashion and the web is literally full of amazing inspiration for how to reuse and repurpose. Bathtub as a planter, anyone?! Before you chuck stuff away or think it's time to "get rid" I recommend a quick google of alternative ideas and you may well soon change your mind.
BUILDERS BAY - RENOVATE FOR LESS
DIY and renovation waste is massive in the UK. As I already mentioned, so many people literally throw away everything whilst renovating. Skirting boards, old kitchens or even bathtubs - it all goes into a skip. And what about those leftover sheets of plasterboard, extra roll of underlay or pack of tiles? Yep, usually not worth keeping and gets chucked right into a skip. It makes us, as renovators massively wasteful and causing a heck lot of waste head to landfill. But that doesn't have to be the case. Builders Bay is an online marketplace specifically designed for the buying and selling of DIY materials in order to tackle this massive DIY/Renovation waste problem. The idea is that instead of chucking away perfectly decent re-usable DIY waste, it can be listed online and reused instead. That means not only can you sell leftover or unwanted materials and make money(!!) but you can find materials at great prices too.
Builders Bay has a whole catalogue of items which you can search through and organise to see what's nearest to you. All these items however, are specific for DIY and Renovations. Things like windows (often just made to the wrong size), to ex-display kitchens and bathrooms, unused tiles, secondhand doors, fences, tools and more. It even has a 'salvage' section (my personal fave!) for vintage/reclamation lovers as well. Basically anything and everything you might use within a home renovation project for a lot less than the cost of buying it brand new from a retailer.
But it's not just the 'finishing items' for sale. As I say, you can sell and buy leftover materials like cement, skirting and plasterboard too. You might be thinking "no one wants to buy this kind of stuff" but you'd be really really surprised. People love buying scrap wood to turn into kindling, small sheets of plasterboard, (perfect for a small shed renovation!) and even just odd bags of concrete or paving slabs to build a log shed on-top of. Everything can be reused and even if you think it's waste, someone out there may not. It helps to reduce waste, help the environment and of course you get a bit of extra cash at the same time. If something can be reused, it should be!
BORROW BEFORE YOU BUY!
Borrowing tools is a brilliant way to save money. Buying (or even hiring!) tools can be so freaking expensive and you'd be surprised how many people, even non-DIYers(!) have random tools stashed away in a shed or garage. If you're in need of a specific tool, just ask friends, colleagues or neighbours if they have one first. After all - if you don't ask, you don't get! We've borrowed wet tile cutters, circular saws and angle grinders saving us heaps on hire and buying costs. And we've also leant a few tools out too :) Sharing is caring, after all.
But borrowing tools now goes further than that. With sites like Rent My Items you can find normal local folk lending out their tools for considerably less than tool hire companies. It's a great way to hire out tools cheaply and of course you can lend your own tools out too. Yep you read that right - you can hire out your own tools and make money! I mean if 'Borrow My Doggy' is an actual thing, then why wouldn't there be one for tools too? In fact, I'm kind of wondering why I didn't think of this business venture myself!!
TAKE DIY COURSES
Do you need a full re-plaster job throughout your home? Or how about you're updating the bathroom and the pipes are now in all the wrong locations? Or perhaps you're even looking to re-tile the hall? The cost of a tradesman does not come cheap and you can often pay to learn new skills yourself for less than it costs to employ an already skilled trades-guy. Yes, seriously.
Learning to DIY can really save you so much money, especially if your home needs a lot of work in that particular skill. Of course, you need to be prepared to practise lots and accept that your skills may not quite match up to those of a professional. You may have to add a bit of filler to your plastered wall and it may well take double the time to do. But, for the money you'll save, I personally think it's so worth it. And of course, the more you do it - the better you'll get. And who knows, you could discover your true calling in life and your skills may well be a complete match for that of a skilled tradesperson.
You'll also be surprised how many friends and family will be after your services as well, and even potentially offering up a bit of cash (or even just a good pint of beer!) as reward for your hard work. It's a great way to make a bit of money on the side and you could even begin to sell your services as a part-time job. We personally invested on taking a DIY plastering course, which has already been very useful and saved us a massive wad!
DO NON-SKILLED WORK YOURSELF
So maybe the serious DIY stuff isn't for you - that's totally okay and you can still save money in other ways with doing the non-skilled DIY stuff too. What am I talking about? Well you can still save money by just paying for half a job and doing the other half yourself. Jobs like pulling up carpets, removing skirting boards or taking down ceilings are a good example of this. There's absolutely no skill in these kind of jobs and whilst some of them may not save you a fortune (removing carpets!) others will actually save you quite a lot. Pulling a ceiling down for example is quite a time-consuming mucky job and will easily save you a whole day of labour cost.
The same goes for stripping wallpaper, removing plaster, pulling old tiles off the walls and basically doing any kind of demolition work yourself. Obviously it'll be dirty and horrible work - but no pain, no gain right? You may even find it strangely therapeutic. I mean, Kirsty Allsopp doesn't love the Sledgehammer just for opening up room space, does she?! ;)
AVOID DELIVERIES (LIKE THE PLAGUE!)
Some delivery costs are just ridiculous. Wickes will charge you a small fortune for ordering even just a few bags of mortar, or just one single length of plasterboard. Other companies only offer free delivery with orders over 3-digit figures and if you're not careful you can end up spending those 3-figures on just a few deliveries. That's money that could go back into your renovation and pay for some serious stuff. Extortionate delivery costs are usually the main thing that puts me off buying from a certain shop/retailer, but luckily there is still a way around it.
If you can, I highly recommend hiring out a van and going to collect the materials yourself. This only really pays off if you're buying from multiple stores at once and it's not too long distance. But better still - another alternative it to try and squish it into your own car. There's very little we haven't been able to fit into our car during our renovation (and our car is actually tiny) and you'll find most things are sold different sizes. Whilst typically you see plasterboard as giant size pieces of board they do come in smaller sizes too. And if you don't want to destroy your nice new car, consider purchasing a super cheap 'DIY car'. Ours cost just £350 and we have none of the guilt from ruining the interior. It's saved us an actual fortune in the long run and it's been so so useful - and surprisingly rather reliable too!
DITCH THE SKIP
Skips are so expensive. Another 3-digit figure you can totally live without. Ditch the skip and move your renovation waste yourself! It's the only way we personally handle our waste and obviously that DIY car is very useful here too! If you commit to do a bit every night, it'll soon be gone and you could maybe even rope in a few friends to help. Dealing with your own waste not only saves you a heck of money but it also makes you seriously consider what you're chucking away. Could it be resold on Builders Bay? Or even potentially listed to be given away for free?
We've personally used this approach to get rid of hundreds of bricks. No skip required, no trips to the recycling yard - We just listed them as freebies and soon enough people were rolling up to bag themselves a few. One man's rubbish, is another man's treasure as they say! Sadly rubble isn't so easy to get rid of, even as a freebie - but you can buy giant buckets to fill up and take to the recycling yard this way. Again, this is something we've always done and is saving us an absolute fortune. When it's so free to do, why wouldn't you?!
Do bare in mind that recycling centres aren't really meant to take trade waste, so if you do have a builder on site, strictly speaking you do need a skip (and I'm pretty sure he wont want to be working under a foot of rubbish!) but if you can do it this way, then I thoroughly recommend you do!
Community RePaint is a brilliant way to save money and get yourself free paint. Sadly not every county operates one of these schemes and all counties have different rules, but for us in Nottinghamshire it works pretty simply. Basically, people dispose of their half-used paint at the recycling centre and instead of the recycling centre disposing of all this paint, its re-distributed back out into the community. Most of it goes to schools, public groups and charities, and then every few months "public paint days" are held, so you can also get your hands on free paint too.
It's ingenious! It's so much better for the environment and it promotes the environmentally friendly idea of reusing and recycling. You might be envisioning tins of dried up manky paint that's potentially separated into four different shades, but you'd be SO surprised at what people chuck away. Even unopened paint ends up there! OK so you might get a few bad eggs but by the majority, most of it is just fine! In the past we've used fence paint, decking paint and standard white paint from the Community Repaint scheme. And it's all free! An absolutely great way to save money. I've written more about this scheme in detail which you can read here - but I absolutely recommend it to everyone.
Continuing on the freebie wagon - look out for them, they're everywhere! From freebies being offered up on facebook to signs up outside houses, or even potentially fishing out freebies from local skips (always ask permission first!!). You can find all kinds of amazing stuff all over the place. Last year I saved FOUR Victorian fireplaces from entering a skip, just by total chance of being in the right place at the right time. I was really lucky, but this kind of stuff is sadly chucked away all the time. If you look out for it, you'll find it.
If you don't consider yourself to be lucky enough to simply stumble across a few freebies, then I totally recommend checking out Freecycle to find stuff near you. People who don't want the hassle of selling or disposing of stuff will often give away items for free. Our old neighbour who decided to move and downside gave away a whole load of stuff via our local group. From old dishwashers to tables, books and a whole lot more. Definitely a place to keep a regular check up on!
CLAIM CASHBACK AND SAVE £££
I never really understood how these cashback sites worked a few years back, but ever since I've gotten into it, I'm addicted. Renovating a home means we're constantly buying stuff. By the hundreds! Cashback is just incredible. For every penny you spend, you get a certain amount back. It's a brilliant way to save and make money. I personally use Quidco which works with Wickes, Screwfix, B&Q and a few other DIY/Trade places too. But of course it also works with stuff like supermarkets, high street clothing, interior shops and even electrical places too. The way it works is simple. Instead of heading to google to find the shop you're after - head to Quidco. By clicking on the link through the Quidco website (as opposed to Google) you'll automatically gain cash back. If you commit to entering websites via the cashback platform religiously, you can really save a heck load of money. I've been using it for about a year and I've already gained £150 worth of money that can be paid straight back into my bank account. If you're a tad forgetful (yes that's me too!) well don't worry because you can install an add-on to your PC/Laptop which will notify you every time you're on a website that allows you to gain Cashback. It'll prompt you to head over to Quidco and re-enter the website, allowing you to gain that cash back. The more you buy, the more you save - and we all know renovations is all about spending money somewhere or other!
I'd love to know any tips you have to share? We're constantly learning new ways to save and make money with our renovation and I'd love to hear if you have any other tips for us!
I know it’s cold outside and we all want to stay warm inside, so what can be done about the cold drafts? I’ve heard a lot of talk about how drafts are just a part of living in an old house. Well excuse me, but that is a lot of bull-you-know-what. Just because your house is old, doesn’t mean it has to be drafty.
I’m not talking about the super expensive solutions that everyone is so quick to mention like window replacement or spray foam. I talked last week about how adding spray foam to an old house is a dangerous proposition that can cause more damage than good. And if you don’t know the truth about how ineffective and a waste of money replacement windows are read this post as well.
I’m talking about tried and tested ways to tighten up your drafty old house, most of which have been used for hundreds of years. Don’t believe for one minute that people a century ago just threw up their hands and dealt with cold, drafty houses. They had solutions, and those solutions still work phenomenally well, you just may not know about them. But I’ll show you what they are below.
6 Simple Ways to Weatherstrip
Air sealing an old house to stop drafts doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are simple ways to weatherstrip that are incredibly DIY friendly that you can do on a weekend with basic tools. And they can save you boat loads of money, not to mention making every winter day a lot more comfortable. Here are the simple techniques I use on clients’ homes every time winter approaches.
Probably the easiest and cheapest way to weatherstrip an old window; rope caulk is a great seasonal weatherstripping option. You simply unroll it and and press it in place for the winter. When the weather warms up in the spring, simply peel it away and throw it in the trash. For under $5 you have almost completely sealed an old window. The only down side is that the window isn’t operable while the rope caulk is installed. You can find rope caulk on Amazon.
This a simple and attractive product that allows your window to still be operable while sealing the biggest problem spot on double-hung windows. The meeting rail is notorious drafty because it needs a certain open space to allow the window to operate.
StopGap is a brass escutcheon with a felt liner that seals this gap perfectly and still allows the window to operate. Put one on each side of the meeting rail and you’ll have a draft proof meeting rail you’ll never have to mess with again. You can buy StopGap in our store here.
It’s not just your windows you need to worry about, it’s your doors too. For weatherstripping doors, spring bronze is the best product I’ve found. Easy to install, very effective, and extremely long-lasting, spring bronze will seal up the inevitable gaps around any door.
Unroll it to the length you need, cut with tin snips, and nail it in place with coppered nails. It’s not only effective, but also very attractive. What other weatherstripping can say that? Check out this easy tutorial for installing spring bronze on doors. You can buy spring bronze in our store here.
There are several products on the market that fit this description but my favorite is made by Red Devil and is called Zip-A-Way. It is a removable caulk that you use on the interior of your windows. This is a seasonal weatherstripping that you apply in winter to seal your windows until you are ready to open them again in the spring.
You basically caulk all the gaps on the window, sealing it shut with this clear caulk and it renders your window immovable until you peel the caulk away in the spring. It is a special caulk that is easily removable within 6 months and won’t peel your paint during removal. I like how well this product works, but will admit the smell is pretty intense for the first couple hours after application. This is the least visible option of any of these and works pretty darn well. You can find this on Amazon.
Window Insulator Kit
Probably one of the cheapest and most effective ways to seal up your window for the winter, this product is my favorite wintertime insulator because it is by far the most effective. Like rope caulk, this is a seasonal product that you put on during winter and remove when spring comes. The kit comes complete with adhesive tape and plastic sheeting that you cut to the size of your window.
After you have it in place you take a hair dryer and heat the film up so it pulls tight resulting in a relatively invisible seal around window giving you near double-paned efficiency. At around $3 per window there is no cheaper and more effective seasonal form of sealing windows. You can find these kits on Amazon.
Spring bronze may work well for the sides and top of your door, but it won’t do anything for the bottom of the door. That’s when you need a door sweep. There are a variety of styles when it comes to door sweeps, but for any door under 36″ they are easy to find at almost any hardware store. Buy the sweep, cut it to size, and screw it on (or use the adhesive strips). Door sweeps take a beating and usually need to be replaced after a few years, so keep up with a regular replacement schedule for maximum efficiency.
There you have it- 6 simple ways to weatherstrip for winter! Do some of these and you’ll feel some comfort. Do all of them and you’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug. Whether you’re in Minneapolis or Miami, these techniques will keep you warm all winter.
And the bonus for the super hot climates is that they can keep you cool in the summer too. For under $20, a window or door you can gain all the comfort you need in one weekend and save thousands compared to replacement windows. Save those old windows and save your money for something more fun than crappy vinyl windows.
You probably know fiberglass insulation well. It’s been a staple of residential insulation for decades in the United States. You know, the pink stuff! The insulation that makes you itchy when you install it. Wait, they removed the itchy making stuff from it now, didn’t they?
Fiberglass, while it’s very simple to install, has some definite shortcomings in the insulation game that might make you want to give mineral wool a look. The most common name you can find mineral wool going by in the states is Rockwool (formerly Roxul).
Of all the different types of insulation, mineral wool and fiberglass are probably the most similar since they both come in batts that are trimmed to fit inside stud bays, but that is really where the similarities end. They are completely different materials, and after a little studying and some real world experience, I have come to be quite fond of mineral wool and I’ll tell you why below.
What is Mineral Wool?
Mineral wool is a stone-based mineral fiber insulation comprised of Basalt rock and recycled steel slag. It costs about about 25% to 45% more than fiberglass, but I feel its benefits more than justify the additional costs.
The manufacturing process involves taking molten rock and spinning it while blasting it with cool air. It’s actually surprisingly similar to making cotton candy except instead of melted sugar you’re using melted rocks.
This makeup gives mineral wool some of its fantastic benefits that we’ll talk about below. Check out the video below if you’re a dork like me and want to see how things are made.
Benefits of Mineral Wool
They are plentiful and wide ranging, which is why I have become a fan of this stuff. Not all of these benefits may matter to you, but definitely keep them in mind when and if you’re looking at how to insulate and old house.
1. Fire Resistant
Unlike fiberglass which melts around 1,200°F, mineral wool has an extremely high melting point and can withstand fires up to 2,000°F making it one of the safest forms of insulation when it comes to house fires. It will not melt or off-gases any dangerous fumes in case of fire and functions as a fireblock, which delays the spread of the fire buying you valuable time to escape.
2. Water/Mold Repellent
Mineral wool is manufactured with a small amount of oil in the mix which helps give it a hydrophobic property. This characteristic keeps mineral wool performing effectively and does not lower it’s R-value when exposed to water.
Any water that does end up on mineral wool rides down the surface rather than absorbing into the body of the insulation. This awesome feature and the fact that it is comprised of rock makes it virtually impossible for mold to grow on or in mineral wool.
Compare that to fiberglass, which readily absorbs and holds water which greatly decreases it’s effectiveness and lowers its R-value when wet.
3. Higher R-value
R-value is a big deal in insulation, so lets see how they stack up. Fiberglass has an R-value of between 2.2 to 2.7 compared to mineral wool weighing in at 3.0 to 3.3. So that means, for standard 2×4 wall mineral wool comes in R-15 batts, while fiberglass comes in R-11 or R-13. For 2×6 walls, mineral wool comes in R-23. Fiberglass? R-19 with special order of up to R-21
Another bonus is that mineral wool is available in batts that fit 2×8 framed walls at R-30. Fiberglass? Not available in that size.
The biggest advantage is the consistent R-value of mineral wool as opposed to fiberglass that comes with poor installation. Fiberglass is easy to accidentally compress which greatly diminishes its R-value. With mineral wool that isn’t an issue since it is already compressed.
4. Easier to Install
Installation of mineral wool is different from fiberglass entirely in that it comes in thick batts almost like a huge loaf of bread that must be cut by what unsurprisingly looks like a bread knife. Unlike fiberglass, you don’t have to compress it and then cut it with a razor knife before stapling a kraft paper face onto the stud.
There is no paper facing because mineral wool does not come with a vapor barrier- you have to install your own vapor barrier if it is necessary in your situation. In my opinion, this usually results in a better installation because the vapor barrier is one solid piece, rather than a bunch of joints that have a greater likelihood of not being properly sealed.
For mineral wool, you cut the piece to size but leave it a little tight so that it compression fits into place in the stud bay. You can install straps for installation on a ceiling to make sure it stays in place. A tight installation is best and I find that this is easier for most of us to accomplish than trying to ascertain if a piece of fiberglass is too fluffy or too compressed to perform properly.
5. More Versatile
Mineral wool is not just for inside the house either. There are versions that can be installed on the exterior of a building in place of rigid foam. Installation on the exterior is an excellent use of mineral wool because of its hydrophobic properties.
Combine that with its versatility of coming in configurations for 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8 walls, and you have an easy option for builders and remodelers to turn to. Especially for those of us in old homes where stud size is not always a standard dimension.
With its dense composition, mineral wool is also easier to ensure proper installation around cutouts like electrical boxes and plumbing lines. I find that fiberglass is usually just compressed in these sections, whereas mineral cannot be compressed to fit around them. It forces the installer to do it correctly or not at all.
It’s always a good idea to keep up with new products on the market that may work well for us old house owners. Mineral wool is something that should definitely be on your radar if it’s not already. While it’s not a new invention, simply a newer product, mineral wool has a place in insulating your old home and might be just what the winter ordered.
So I'm kickstarting 2018 by finishing some of those DIY jobs that are half-done - you know, when you start something all excitedly and then run out of steam and it just gets left. For an eternity. Yeah those kind of DIYs.
We started renovating the Conservatory waaaaay back in 2016 - we gave it a new roof, sorted the plumbing, added electric, we even plastered and insulated the external walls. It then took me a WHOLE YEAR to do the DIY Patterned floor (although in my defence it had become a room used for storage whilst we did the kitchen) and now another 6 months on from that, we're finishing the rest of the room off.
So that means no more raw plaster-coloured walls and it also means actually giving this room a purpose rather than just being four walls and not a lot else. I wrote about our plans for this room waaaay back here and whilst those plans have changed a little, I'm still planning on using it as a indoor/outdoor garden room filled with plants as a kind of summer snug, somewhere to chill out with a good book and garden view. Well once all that rubbish has been cleared at least!
The first job to finish in here is obviously painting that plastered wall and so it was the perfect opportunity to try and test out Valspar's colour-matching service, which I have been intrigued about for quite some time. If you don't know what this is - well in a nutshell, the Valspar paint range is so infinite that they can literally create any colour possible. Thanks to super awesome clever technology they can scan any colour and recreate it, as an exact match. So if you need to touch up some kitchen doors but don't have the paint for it - well, you can bring the door in and they can create the exact paint for it - genius! Or maybe you've seen an amazing colour in a magazine you want to recreate - now you can. No need to buy a bazillion testers or stand about comparing swatches to find the nearest match. Just a quick scan and it's all done for you.
The Valspar colour matching also works for creating colours from other brands too. You all know how much I love the colour range F&B paint offers but absolutely hate the price tag - well with Valspar you can get that colour for a considerably lower price. It's perfect for those of us on a budget and means we're no longer priced-out from having those colours.
I was really fortunate enough to be gifted some paint vouchers from the team at Valspar in order to put their paint to the test and so I finally had the perfect opportunity to try out their colour-matching service. How matching, was colour-matching? And does it really work? Well, I was about to find out.
First things first though - freshly plastered walls always need mist-coating even if they've been left to dry out for more than a year. I use a 50/50 mix of basic white emulsion (the cheapest one you can find works just fine!) and water. Once that's dry I then go back over with a 70/30 mix of Emulsion to water. And once that is dry - you can then go over with the actual coloured paint. If you forget to mist-coat new plaster then any paint (Valspar or other paint range) won't adhere properly and you risk it peeling right off.
So what actual colour emulsion have I gone for, you're wondering? Well, you'll be surprised to know that it is in fact NOT on the grey spectrum as I had always imagined, but PINK. Yep you read that right, we're going pink in the conservatory!
As much as I love grey (obviously!) it's slightly taking over our house. We have a grey kitchen, grey wall in the dining room, grey in the spare bedroom - hell, even our panelling in the bathroom is a blue-grey. It's everywhere! I absolutely love pops of colour, so I wanted to go for something with more colour, something different, something that compliments grey and would also make my plans for a ton of greenery in here pop against it. So I went for pink. A trendy, cool, grown-up kinda pink, one that doesn't look like it belongs next to a crib in a baby's room.
My initial thoughts upon opening the tub were very much "oh shit, have I made the wrong call here?" but once it started to go on the wall, I could totally see the exact sophisticated pink I had been after. The pink I colour-matched to is called 'Calamine' in the F&B range. It's not a baby pink or a sugary sweet pink, but one with a hint of grey. It's calming, cool toned and the exact grown-up version of pink I had been imagining. It also has quite an undertone of grey in it, which I think is probably what the reason this particular pink called to me so much.
Having never used any Valspar paint before, the thing that surprised me the most was how far one coat of paint went in regards to coverage. I was not expecting it to be so richly pigmented and if I had been a little more careful with application I truly think one coat would have been enough to do the whole wall. I've never used any other paint like it.
It's quite a bit thicker than actual F&B paint and from a 2.5L tub, I barely used a quarter of it for painting this wall. And as I say, I think I could have used even less if I had applied a little more carefully. I also went over the skirting board with it to give the whole wall seamless floor-to-ceiling drop backdrop of colour.
And you can already see just how great this colour looks against the floor! It compliments it so well, which I think has a lot to do with the grey undertones in the pink. If anything the pink wall makes the floor even more of a feature, which I freaking love and it totally deserves after the hours it took me to paint ;)
So the REAL question, is how matching was it with the actual F&B colour? Well, here's a little comparison and of course you can mind your own mind up for yourselves but I'm 100% certain it's pretty much as exact as you can get.
Needless to say I am really really impressed! If you have the fear of going colour-matching in case it's wrong - then don't be! I've been sharing the conservatory decorating over on Instagram (go follow me here!!) and had to many messages from fellow Instagrammers who said how much they love the Valspar colour-matching too and how much it's saved them not getting "the real deal" so to speak.
So here's a final quick look of the room with its new freshly painted pink wall. Of course I'll be doing a little more to this room still (pallet seating on the way!) but isn't it amazing how quickly paint can transform a room?
I'd love to know if you've tried Valspar's colour matching service out? And whether you were as impressed as me?
*I was gifted Valspar's paint to feature in this blog. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own and as always, I only recommend products I would genuinely buy myself. Thanks for supporting the brands who support this blog :)
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After giving our little inner porch a lick of paint on the walls and some new Karndean flooring, the front door was crying out for a little bit of loving too. I like to refer to this door as the "not forever door" as quite frankly I hate it and with enough wishful thinking, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to replace it one day. It's not the style of it I hate, but the weird bulging glass panels. They're just awful. This house needs an original victorian style door for sure, but until I win some millions - It's got to stay. So I'm on a mission to make the front door look a little nicer and a paint of coat was exactly what it needed!
As a quick-time makeover, I decided to use Chalk Paint for the job because quite frankly, it's the perfect paint for lazy DIYers! You don't need to sand anything back so it means you can achieve an instant transformation in basically, minutes. Chalk Paint may not be the most obvious choice when it comes to painting a door, but there's no reason not to use it! For a quick refresh, it's perfect.
I wanted to go for a pop of colour in here; something fun and vibrant - and after someone tagging me on an Instagram photo (I can't remember who you are - sorry!!) I thought mustardy yellow was the perfect colour. And even more perfect, because I already had a pot a paint ready to go (it was meant for another DIY project - but unfortunately that's had to wait!).
The colour I'm using is Arles, which was very kindly gifted to me by the team at Annie Sloan. It's only a tester pot and it didn't *quite* do the whole door, so I did have to buy another, but it was very darn close! The only prep-work I had to do was to add some masking tape and give the door a quick clean as I went.
The paint went on super easy and one coat gave really really good coverage, especially considering it was a horrendous dark brown before. I've used different branded paints on other woodwork throughout the house and often had to do between 3-4 coats, so I was really impressed that I only needed two in this paint to get a full coverage of the mustardy yellow. In terms of paint pot size, this was about a tester pot and a half. I did paint onto a bit of the glass panels as well, just to cover up existing paint on there until I have the time to get the scraper out and scrape it all off. It's not really that noticeable though and barely picks up on the photos.
I then buffed in some wax, just to make the paint a little more durable. And that was it! Within just several hours the door had a total transformation. I love the pop of colour in our hallway now against that bright white and I think it goes really well with the floor too.
Obviously this room needs a lot of work still (spy the peeling wallpaper anywhere?! And flaky paint skirting?!) but it looks a darn sight better for now. And even if we get another door in the future - I'm definitely going for a popping colour!
What do you think to my quick-transformation mustardy coloured door?
*Products in this post were gifted to me in return for a feature on Instagram. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog!
Luckily for us our house has most of its skirting and original architrave in tact and whilst it's not always in the best condition, I'm really keen to preserve those features. Sure they're massively overpainted, you can see where old sockets have been attached and generally speaking they just don't have that crisp fresh new look. BUT that suits me just fine. I love a house that sings its age - rustic floors, repaired skirting boards, overpainted architrave (within reason) - it's all about telling a story as to how the house has lived and been lived in. However, whilst we have most of the original skirting boards in tact, some have been removed and replaced with non-matching ones and this seriously bugged me.
With the floorboards sanded, tiling finished and kitchen installed, we figured it was about time we sorted out our skirting boards too. We've changed the layout of our downstairs quite a bit (three rooms into one!) so we obviously had areas where we were missing skirting boards as well. I was really keen to re-instate new skirting boards to the areas that needed them, but ones that matched the original ones so I didn't have to replace the whole lot. Here's a snap of the original boards, albeit it with them looking a little worse-for-wear..
Matching old skirting boards for new ones is actually easier said than done as most DIY stores offer a very limited amount of profiles and only in a couple of different size/heights. Skirting World however, as their name suggests is a whole world of skirting and they have pretty much every kind of profile out there, with a total of over 50 different styles! That's a whole lotta skirting. And each one is sold in 12 different heights and 3 different thicknesses too. Basically if there's anywhere that will have a matching skirting board for your old ones, it's going to be here. We already matched some architrave last year for the kitchen from them (which you can read about here) and it was the first time we'd used MDF for woodwork as well.
Since then, I've been an MDF convert and I mean totally converted. No more bowed wood, twisted wood, warped wood, horrible knots - just a perfect length of board, every single time. It makes fitting so much easier as well. You don't have to pre-select the "best" piece of timber, nor do you have to try and reshape the timber whilst fitting - you know, hammering a load of nails into twisted wood in the hope of un-twisting it, and then of course splitting said piece of wood. Nightmare. We've bought a fair few packs of pine skirting board in the past - both in this house and our previous house and I can honestly said I've never bought a pack where every single board was perfect. Well, MDF is always perfect. Is it worth the extra cash? In my opinion, 100 times yes.
So thankfully Skirting World did indeed have a matching skirting profile, at the right height and the right thickness too. Hurrah! We have the mini torus skirting, 170mm height and 15mm thick. If they don't already have a match for your skirting, then they can also make bespoke profiles to create an exact match as well - amazing! Here's a comparison of the old skirting agains the new skirting - I'm sure you'll be able to tell which is which - but it's pretty damn close match.
And here's a quick look at the not-so original mismatching skirting board we're placing as well. We actually think this length of skirting may actually be original, but the decorative top part has been sliced off - the horror!
In order to carefully remove old skirting boards without damaging the walls, you need to take your time and very carefully pry the boards off the wall. This means getting a crow bar (we tend to use a flat head screwdriver to start with!) into the top of the board and very gently wiggling it to loosen the board from the wall. You want to work your way along the board doing this, in order to loosen each nail. If you go all in and try to remove the board from the first point you get your crow bar in, then you'll either bring half the plaster down with the board, or you'll snap the board in two - not ideal if you intend on reusing it!
Old victorian skirting boards are attached to the wall with big old nails into wooden slats which are sandwiched between brickwork. As a top tip for removing old victorian skirting boards and attaching new ones - I recommend is leaving the wooden slats in the walls. These will actually be highly useful for re-attaching new boards. If you're unable to remove the nails without wrenching the wood out the wall, you can quite easily break the exposed part of nails off, leaving the rest of it in the wood. These kind of nails are very easy to break, just give it a gentle up and down wiggle with some pliers and they'll snap right off.
To fit our new skirting, we're both gluing and nailing it into place. The glue will hold it in place, but the nails will ensure a nice tight fit against the wall - which especially can't be achieved with glue if you have any slight curvature in your walls. Old walls are very rarely perfectly straight, so nails are usually always a must - and if you've left the little wooden slats in the walls, you can use these to re-nail into.
We left little marks on the wall to show where the slats of wood are - so when it came to nailing the new piece of skirting we were able to correctly position these nails. If you've left the old nail in the wood and just snapped the top off, then do be sure to take measurements of its exact position so you wont be hitting the new nail onto it.
These MDF boards are already primed white, but I've given them a couple of coats of white eggshell over the top as well and then caulked any gap between the board and wall. And here it is, looking perfectly matched in the room against our old skirting boards. Obviously it's much crisper in its cut but as the old/new boards aren't side-by-side it's really not that noticeably different. Basically in blends in pretty well - just what I wanted! I'm sure you can tell which is old/new here - but you do have to actually really look to notice the difference from a distance.
We also replaced all the skirting in the kitchen area, which was also mismatched (and massively rotten!) this time just using glue since we've re-plastered the wall and luckily it's quite straight anyway.
Our tiles aren't perfectly level so there is a bit of a gap underneath the skirting - but it's really not noticeable due to the chair being in front of it. If you can't quite get a perfectly crisp join at the corners - I recommend adding some caulk here too. It'll give you that perfect crisp edge and once painted, you'd never know!
We also added some new skirting to the chimney breast - which you may remember was covered in 70s brickwork originally, so sadly missing its skirting. This time we've scribed it around the hearth and painted it dark to match the wall.
So I think these boards are a pretty amazing match and I've even bought some more lengths for the conservatory as well. I'm a huge fan of keeping the originals if you can - but if you need to replace any, then I definitely recommend checking out Skirting World for their massive variety of boards and of course, they can even do or bespoke designed ones too. I would absolutely always recommend MDF boards over pine too - I'm seriously never going back.
In terms of costings, I was pretty surprised at how much they cost. I always thought MDF wasn't worth buying as it's vastly more expensive, but a full length of 3m board cost £13 in the size we needed, which I personally thought wasn't too bad. Smaller heights are much cheaper, but of course if you need a lot then that does very quickly add up - another reason why we like to keep the originals. But it's definitely well worth the money for its quality and if you're as picky as I am about matching old boards to new ones.
I'd love to know your thoughts on keeping old rugged skirting boards and whether you've ever had to match new for old too?
*I was gifted one length of skirting board in return for a blog post. However I loved it so much, I went back and ordered more with my own cash. Thank you for supporting the brands who support this blog!