Seek professional assistance when tackling renovations

I like to consider myself ‘in the know’ when it comes to renovations.

I have bought, torn down, rebuilt and sold many houses and they have all looked pretty fantastic! The realization that I love the concept of renovations better than the execution of them is hitting me hard with this little house and I can pinpoint the reason – someone in the past did a lousy job on THEIR renovation.

I could scream and tear my hair out at the improper electrical work and it is tempting to bash the lousy plumbing out with a hammer but that would flood the basement and the renovations would never end! What tipped the scales for me last week was a simple, easily avoided mistake that someone three paint colours ago should have done – primed over oil paint to repaint with latex.

As I am removing tile (which was barely hanging on to the walls) I thought ‘this is going great’! The tile popped off with no issue because not enough adhesive was used so that worked in my favour.

One tile at the top of the splash caught the edge of the paint and all hell broke loose – the paint started to peel like an over ripe banana.

Because the painter of the hideous navy blue (latex) did not prime over the even more hideous sickly yellow (oil), these two paints did not adhere to one another and as a result the ENTIRE bathroom has to be shed of its skin before any tile or new paint can be applied.

Can you imagine my frustration?

Can you hear the nasty words I called this painter who decided to change the colour in 1981? Can you SEE how many sheets of paint fall gently to the floor of my bathroom as I peel the latex layers from the walls? It hasn’t been pretty, believe me.

This is the same tragedy that occurs when people paint their cement floors just to put something down on the concrete.

Fast forward a few decades and they are inquiring about gluing down tile or vinyl to the painted surface only to be told – it has to be scraped off.

Most people do not like this answer but the reality is that if you are sticking something to something else that is NOT stuck to the other thing then you will have problems with a capital ‘P’. Paint, as you probably know, peels off of concrete sooner or later.

Sooner if there is moisture present in the concrete.

Because I am planning a feature wall of tile, the unstuck paint had to come off or the weight of the tile might have actually pulled the paint off of the wall causing all my beautiful brick to fall down – this would have released many more nasty words to the painter of the navy blue atrocity.

If you are doing a renovation in a hurry only to leave the problems for the next people then shame, shame, shame.

Should you live a long life in your home and have to deal with your own bad decisions then my heart truly goes out to you. Please consult a professional if you have questions regarding painting or gluing anything – the future renovators of your home (or you) will thank you!

Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.

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