Lynn O’Rourke: ‘I’m now in the hall, repairing the scorch mark’

I ATTEMPTED the big post-holiday clear out last week. I had just started but decided that in order to have somewhere to put things, I would have to clear out the hall cupboard first.

The first thing I find are a couple of tins of paint plus a clingfilm-wrapped paintbrush neatly stowed in the cupboard - clearly someone had been overwhelmed by some past DIY task and simply downed tools.

Then, as the means to do the job are at my fingertips, I decide I’ll quickly paint over the mess I made in the kitchen when I removed the blu-tacked pictures from the wall, revealing a little less wallpaper and a little more wall than intended. I don’t bother with much preparation, but start slapping the paint on. It’s easy. I don’t know why I haven’t done it before. I spot a few dirty fingerprints and quick as a flash, they’re gone. I’m really getting into it and am now in the hall, repairing the scorch mark on the wall from one festive candle too many. I am trailing a single sheet of newspaper around with me as a precaution against drips, but there are none. I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.

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My other half arrives home and sniffs the air. “Don’t touch anything,” I shriek, before smugly pointing out my achievements. “Very, er, shiny,” says he, “just what paint was it?”

So, tip for next time. Don’t get carried away and paint patches on your walls with the paint you specifically bought for woodwork. You know, the shinier stuff.

This week we take a look at a converted shop given a stunning new lease of life by architect Tim Bayman on page 4. On page 10, our cover story features a beautifully styled 16th century farmhouse in Stirlingshire that will make you want to escape to the country. And on page 14 we get the lowdown on adding personality to a newly developed space, and the benefits of using an interior designer. k