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A couple of weeks ago Jan and I shared our plans for our newest project – a hallway makeover with magnetic plaster! (You can read about what we’re planning here.)
We’d always known that this would one of the last rooms that we’d get round to finishing. Inevitably it’s the one space in the house that ends up being affected no matter what home improvement job we’re tackling.
Tools get dragged through it, builders leave their muddy footprints all over and window replacement companies drop old windows down the stairs leaving huge dents in the staircase and floor (okay, the last one may just be us).
Ever since taking part in a plastering course, I will do any plastering that needs to be done myself, but taking on a full hallway just seemed a bit too daunting for a beginner like me. Parts of our hallway are really high (around 5 metres) and some of the walls are so large that I just couldn’t imagine achieving a result I’d be happy with (yet), which is why we decided to have this room done professionally.
Things admittedly didn’t get off to the best of starts.
We had two plasterers lined up before our Easter holiday but both pulled out at the last minute. Luckily our new plasterer was available at fairly short notice so instead of relaxing on the first day back from travelling we got thrown right back into the deep end and had the plasterer turn up just 2 hours after landing back in Manchester after a 21-hour journey (and some lost baggage on the way).
Needless to say, it’s not quite the welcome back I would have hoped for, but at least it forced us out of our jetlag!
With the plasterer starting literally hours after landing back in the UK, we had prepared the hallway as much as possible before we left. We stripped the wallpaper under the dado rail which turned out to be a kind of hard-backed, sheet-like material (we have no idea what it really was).
Initially, we thought it would be impossible to remove (we even had one of the plasterers say that he would skim over it) but actually, it turned out not to be too difficult once we managed to get the first corner loose.
As we mentioned in our previous hallway makeover post we’re really excited to be plastering part of the hallway with magnetic plaster!
The magnetic plaster is applied in exactly the same way as multi-finish plaster (that you would normally use for skimming walls) the only difference (except for the colour) is that it has to go on slightly thicker (around 3mm) than normal plaster.
Plastering is definitely a job that looks easier than it is and it’s amazing to watch a professional at work and see things come together so quickly.
Needless to say, I was rather relieved that I wasn’t doing the plastering when I saw the balancing act that the plasterer had to do over the staircase. It’s such a huge surface area that I know I just wouldn’t have been fast enough to tackle it by myself.
For this project we’d initially thought about plastering just the downstairs hallway, but because it’s almost impossible to separate it from the upstairs we figured that it would be best to get it all done in one go (All of the upstairs has been plastered in normal multi-finish plaster).
It’s often the way with home improvements – you plan to do just one small thing and then realise that about 100 other things depend on or are affected by what you want to do.
All together it took the plasterer two days to finish our hallway (I hate to think how long it would have taken me). With the plastering now completed I can’t wait for it to dry and to get painting and more importantly decorating our new magnetic plaster wall.
As much as I love a fresh coat of paint, I totally admit that I’m not looking forward to this particular job. The area is huge and I already know from past experience that I’ll have to apply a few base coats of paint on the new plaster before I can even think about applying the finishing coat – this is definitely going to take a while!
Although we still have the painting to get out of the way, we have already been busy buying some new art as well as some hooks and a few other bits that we’re thinking of displaying and attaching to the wall, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how well it really works and if the magnetic plaster will be strong enough to hold everything.
If all goes well, we hope to be able to share our finished hallway at the end of next week! I think I’d better get my paintbrush out!
Do you also try to tackle one project and find that it ends up affecting more areas than you think? Have you ever tried magnetic plaster? We’re still looking for a new console table for the hallway – let us know if you have any tips on where to find a super slim one!