Sunday, June 10, 2018

Home decorating 101.... by a NON expert!

Well much has transpired since my last post.  I'm now in full blown home reno mode.  I blame too much American daytime television for that!!     Fixer Upper, Good Bones, Flip or Flop.   I am amazed at the seemingly lack of governance in their reno regimes..... but perhaps those boring legal bits have been edited out for effect.   I'm not undertaking that level of work at this stage, but I am doing some decorating!   One of my jobs has been to create a functional office space. Having achieved that with a huge L shaped gloss white desk big enough for my editing computer and my smaller Family History and general laptops and some gloss white Ikea storage units, time has come to decorate the blank wall behind the desk.

The whole room was gutted and two coats of Taubmans was liberally applied.   My mate Moo was the paint buddy on that gig.   I did the patching, sanding and cleaning prep then she did all the cutting in while I rolled along behind here.     We did that on a stinking hot day so there was not a lot of time needed between coats!  And here we are 3 months later ready to create a gallery wall of images.   I purchased 11 black frames with white mattes.  Different sizes and formats, but the black and white theme was what I was after.   I then had 11 of my fave black and white images printed (oh there could be a whole blog post on that debarcle alone).   I finally framed them all.

As the frames were all different styles using old style wire and hanging hooks was just going to be a drama.   Moo suggested I try the 3M "Command" system of wall hooks.  Essentially they are sticky backed velcro.  Surprisingly they hold considerable weight.

I made paper templates the size of the prints and blu-tacked them to the wall.   This made it very easy to move images about and get the look I wanted.  I didn't want all the people pics on one side and the architectural images clumped together on the other side, so the templates worked a treat.

The process for hanging the system is to affix the velcro to the frame,  wash down the wall area where the sticky velcro will end up with rubbing alcohol.  Then remove the protective paper from the velcro and place the image where you want it.....and then..... instantly remove the image!!  That leaves one half of the velcro on the wall,  allowing it to cure for an hour before reattaching the print. 

Each stage of that process is fraught with problems.  Firstly all the frames had different widths on the reverse.  Fortunately the "Command" hooks come in varying sizes, so be cautious if you are embarking on this journey to match your frames with your hooks or, like me, you will be racing to Bunnings for more appropriate supplies!    The next problem was... hanging the images straight.  For this I used a Ryobi Air Grip Laser level.   Air grip, such a cute term for suction!    A mate at work loaned me two laser levels, but for them to be used "single handedly"  they needed to be affixed to the wall...with a nail!   Errr NO!  Not after all the cleaning and patching I had done!!   There are a number of different Laser levels out there and not knowing my arse from my elbow in this selection process I consulted he who shall be known as the "Oracle of Home Renovation".   Without hesitation he recommended the Ryobi.  He was right.  Suction was the answer.

So with all the good gear, good info and good intentions I began removing the templates and hanging the pics.    I started in the middle and worked out to the edges.   The "Command" hooks do leave a little wiggle room so fine tuning is an option.  And if you totally stuff up they can easily be removed and repositioned with a new wall mount piece (which can be bought separately).

The one negative I found was that one of the larger format frames I bought had perspex not glass and was scratched before I even got the print into it.  Lesson learnt,  Microfibre cleaning cloths and perspex don't go mix.   Its an easy fix though.  I'll have a sheet of 3mm glass cut for the frame and replace the perspex at some stage. 

Naturally I took progress images so you can follow the bouncing ball below if you need to.
I am chuffed at the look achieved for a minimal outlay.

Thanks must go to Moo, Joshy, The Oracle and Ash.  Job done! 








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