Freshening up the Dining Room for Spring with Valspar

I have written moaned before about the state of our dining room.  It was one of the very first rooms we decorated when we moved into the house some 8 years ago.  We enthusiastically tore off the wallpaper to reveal plaster which was decidedly worse for wear.  Being on a tight budget we couldn’t afford to skim the room so we bought some textured wall paper to try and disguise the lumpy bumpy walls as best we good and painted it (Dulux – Egyptian Cotton from memory).

Fast forward 8 years and our dining room has seen some hammer – not least being used as a garage / storage space for a good 6 months during our extension work.  The dining room plays the unfortunate roll of basically being a corridor to the rest of the house and as such tends to be a bit of a dumping ground.  The walls were grubby – actually that’s too polite – they were filthy, the wallpaper was peeling and to top it off we had an issue with damp on the front wall which had caused the paper to come off and the plaster to crumble away.  Nice.  The gap in the wall was filled temporarily when we had some other plastering work done but it still left an unsightly mess which we couldn’t really disguise.  The damp problem itself has yet to be addressed as it took us some time to work out what was causing it – we’ve now realised that we need to dig some drainage at the front of the house and relay the drive – none of this can happen over night.

In reality, the whole of the dining room needs stripping right back and replastering once the damp has been sorted.  Skimming the walls isn’t going to be enough any more.  But as I mentioned, this is no quick fix and I was thoroughly fed up with the state of the room.  (And I think Dave was probably more than a little fed up of me moaning about it!)

Knowing that it will be at least next year if not longer before we are in a situation where we can really do the dining room properly (we have quite a bit of work on the extension which still needs to be finished first), we decided that we’d do our best to freshen things up as a bit of a temporary measure.  For the most part the wallpaper in the room still looks fine (just very dirty) – it was just the front wall where the wall had been damp and we’d had leaky windows where it looked particularly bad.  The decision was taken to repaper just the front wall and then repaint the lot to make everything look more presentable.

Because this project was a bit of a spur of the moment job, I hadn’t really thought through any sort of colour scheme – I knew that I wasn’t going to be spending money on new curtains or furniture and that this is only really a temporary makeover (I say temporary, watch it last me another three years!).  We tipped up at B&Q with three kids in tow and no real sense of direction so standing in front of the Valspar colour chips was pretty overwhelming.  Aside from the 2000 pre -colours, Valspar promise to make you any colour you want in a range of finishes!  After a lengthy chat with the gentleman working there we decided that really we just needed to go for something pretty light and neutral and plump for a shade of white.  Dave has always been very much of the opinion that white is white and is never really that bothered by the intricacies of choosing paint tending to leave me to it.  We brought home a couple of paint chips to see how they looked in the room.  (Sample pots are available but I decided to fly by the seat of our pants on this one and trust the chips – luckily we got away with it this time.)

Buying Valspar paint is a fairly painless process but be warned, it does take a little longer than picking up a standard tin of premixed paint and heading to the till.  Each tin of Valspar paint is mixed to order before your very eyes!  Our 2.5l tin of Valspar Premium Wood and Ceilings is billed as a paint, primer and undercoat in one product (which helps explain it’s rather hefty price of £27). Valspar Premium promises “maximum-durability and super-scrub formulation” to stand up to “even the toughest daily living“.  Our dining room will certainly put that to the test.

Valspar paint

Now Dave wouldn’t normally bother with an undercoat or primer when painting on top of wallpaper so we were interested to see if he noticed much of a difference.  He painted the walls with a roller as he usually would and found the coverage to be really even – particularly on the fresh new wallpaper (the older, more dirty stuff took more effort).  I was really impressed at how well the paint covered up all the old marks and much with just one coat however we did feel that most of the room needed a second coat just to make sure there were no patches.  (Unfortunately that meant we had to buy a second tin of paint which made the project considerably more expensive that we had planned!)  I personally love the smell of fresh paint but the Valspar Premium doesn’t smell very strong at all, the “new paint” smell had faded within 24 hours.

Of course now that we’ve repainted the walls, it has highlighted the fact that we Dave needs to repaint the skirting boards, ceiling, coving, window sill . . . the list goes on!  Happy Bank Holiday Dave!

I’m so pleased with what we’ve got done so far.  The room is so much brighter and cleaner (especially with that horrible patch of bare plastered covered over).  I’m really thrilled with the colour we chose and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Valspar Premium lives up to family life!

UPDATE: I’ve been testing out the scrubbability of Valspar Premium & made a little video to demonstrate:

*Disclaimer – We were provided with a 2.5l tin of Valspar Premium free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

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