Here we suggest several sequences of operations for redecorating your period home, whether it is Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian or early 20th century.

Before painting:

  • Remove pictures, mirrors and light fittings
  • Remove small and light furniture
  • Place heavy and bulky furniture in the centre of the room
  • Cover floor and furniture with dust sheets
  • Remove curtains
  • Remove fittings

For each process, begin at the highest point and work downwards in the following order:

  • ceiling and cornice
  • frieze
  • body of wall
  • dado
  • windows, doors, and picture rail, skirting and other woodwork

For preparation:

  • Wash, sandpaper and make good the surfaces
  • Clear the dust and other rubbish from the room
  • Prime any bare patches

For painting:

Prime and undercoat the woodwork, then apply emulsion to the ceiling and wall and finally gloss the woodwork.

The trick is to balance drip problems with the need to cover up dark colours - if you do dark woodwork first, any drips will need lots of emulsion to cover them. But if you do the dark colour last, then any drips are a nuisance.

Before hanging wallpaper:

  • Prepare as above
  • Undercoat as for painting, omitting the surfaces to be papered
  • Size and cross-line if necessary
  • Complete painting, taking paint 6mm on to lining paper at cornice, architraves and skirting

When painting the elements of a moulding in different colours, begine with primer, then undercoat and then add the base colour. Finally, add the highlight colours.