Oct 042015

Painting is one of the jobs that I don’t particularly enjoy, and always takes so much more time than it should.  Preparation is half the job, and any time spent on prep is worth it many times over.

Until now I’ve painted the hallways inside, the office room, loft room, and the repaired rendered garden wall.  But not pebbledash.

Painting pebbledash is a pain!  It is hard.  Our garage had old flakey walls that hadn’t been painted in many years.  This is how it looked at the start:




DSC_1656 (1)

This is how I ended up painting the pebbledash and the garage in the end:

  1. Rub off all loose paint and plaster with a stiff wire brush
  2. Hose off thoroughly, working from top down.
  3. Dilute the paint by 20% or so, to make it soak into the surface a little.  I used Dulux weathershield brilliant white paint.
  4. Cut in around the edges using a 4″ masonry brush.  Don’t scrimp on the brushes.
  5. Paint the main walls using a thick pile masonry roller.  A masonry roller is essential.  It has long hairs that get into all the crevices
  6. Finish any missed areas with the brush, working in a rotating motion to get into the holes
  7. Top coat in more Dulux, without diluting.

The whole thing took around 2 hours per coat, including prep, which wasn’t too bad.

What it taught me is never paint the pebbledash on the house.  It will look good for a while, but repainting it every few years would be a nightmare.

Doors, Windows, Fascia and Soffits.

I was a little worried about the garage being too white so we decided to paint the doors a deep Forest green, and the fascia’s black.

Later on I’m going to add a window box and shutters, and I’ll open up the window from inside to get rid of the chipboard that is there now.

This is how it looks so far.  Much better!  It needs some nice pots and flowers in front of it, and I haven’t had time to fit the new guttering yet, but it’s much better looking from the house.

2015-10-03 16.25.29

Still left to do:

  • Open the window
  • Put up the new black guttering
  • Another coat of paint on the render
Aug 132015

The bottom of our garden has always been very shady.  In fact the whole garden was dark until around 1pm every day, hidden in the shade of a large, but still young Sycamore.

I’ve been wanting to remove it for several months, but Eli was keen not to have it out before our Summer party thinking it would leave the garden as a mess.  In retrospect we needn’t have worried.

The tree came out yesterday, along with a Laburnum and a Hawthorn that were crowded in next to it and growing into each other.

You can leave roots to rot, but that can spread fungus.  We wanted an apple tree here so paid a little extra for grinding out tree roots of each one.

We kept the Hawthorn and Sycamore for firewood.  Laburnum is poisonous and the wood doesnt burn well so that got taken away by the tree surgeon.

garden before

When we moved in

I’m delighted with the result!  Suddenly the garden appears so much brighter and larger.  Not only that, but the garden feels more balanced now.  The tree dominated the garden so much that the eye always led to that.  Without it there the other plants already show up much better.

See the difference before and after…

garden after

After removing some of the excessive growth, plus the 3 large trees


Once the Sycamore came out I counted the rings and it is 18 years old.  So very very young.  That means by the time the last owners bought the house it was only 3, and just a sappling a few feet high.

We already know the last owners were not gardeners so the age tells me that it was almost certianly an unplanned tree.

Now it is gone I can finally start to plant something better in that space.  Perhaps an apple tree, or more elegant tree that won’t grow too high or wide.  Any ideas?