While Operation Loft Conversion is still in the early stages of deliberation, I have been busy sprucing up the rest of the house as and when I can.

As helpful as it would be to just take a week off and blitz all of the jobs that need doing, that is just not practical. Also, I quite like the decorating method of buying bits and pieces as and when you see something you like — rather than doing what I have in the past, and spending money on an ill fitted piece of furniture or décor.

So, I have been squeezing my projects in around work and all of the other things I have/want to do. This weekend, the weather gave me a good excuse to get stuck into a few things. And as it involved painting things, I cleverly managed to slot the drying time in around a trip to Ludlow, an evening with friends and watching the ‘Lego Movie’.

Below are the results, but first a rough schedule of how I fit it in.

Friday Evening

I bought a narrow, 60cm long pine shelf about a month ago and it has been sitting in the lounge staring at me, wondering why it hasn’t been put up yet. So, after dinner:

1. I un-celophaned the shelf and primed it with a basecoat of Earthborn eggshell paint in ‘Shallows’. As per the tin instructions I mixed this, nine parts paint to one part water. I painted one side of it and the edges.

2. I then left it balancing on a paint tin (handy tip so that you can paint nearly all of the sides at once) while we watched a film.

3. After the film, I painted the remaining side and left it overnight to dry.

Painted shelf balancing on a paint tin to dry

Drying the shelf — the lighting doesn’t do justice to the colour, but it is ‘Shallows‘ by Earthborn


1. I got up and gave the shelf its first coat of un-thinned paint. Earthborn is claypaint so it dries a bit faster meaning you can’t keep brushing over it (they warn you on the tin though so no surprises) so I painted the sides, then let it dry a bit before doing the top face to avoid brush marks on the edges.

2. In 15 minutes it is touch dry, so after breakfast, I painted the top and popped it back on a tin to dry thoroughly.

3. In the meantime, we went to Ludlow for a few hours, then when we got back I painted the other side.

4. For dinner, we popped to a friend’s house giving the shelf three to four hours to dry. When we returned, I gave it a light sand with fine sandpaper and painted all but one face and let it dry overnight.

Then instead of going to bed, I decided to prime a garden bench that we also had sitting in its box in the lounge. Our house is pretty small, with little room for drying wet benches, so I painted the arm ends and propped them in the kitchen then painted one side of the seat section and left it resting in the box.


The first thing I did after breakfast was paint the last face of the shelf. This had plenty of time to dry while I primed the rest of the bench (aside from the back part which I let the other half do while I was putting the shelves up) and popped to my parents’ house to borrow their drill.

When I got back, it was time to put up the shelves (results below), which took a while since the plaster on our walls is unusually hard and the drill seemed to be struggling. The fully primed bench dried throughout the afternoon, then after dinner, I put it together and gave it its first proper coat of paint.

That is waiting for me when I get home tonight. YAY!

Two seater bench with first coat of white paint waiting to be finished

Aforementioned bench waiting for its second coat of paint

The Kitchen Shelves

I bought a metal shelf and a utensil rail from Ikea the day before I bought the pine shelf. The shelf is not designed to take much weight, but I bought it to balance out the new shelves below it (which I also put up yesterday). The whole array is there to provide more storage and balance my beloved stainless steel plate rack on the left.

New shelving in my kitchen

Here is the new shelving combo, with Ikea Grundtal utensil rail, Grundtal wall shelf and a narrow pine shelf from Homebase which I painted pale blue

Stainless steel plate rack and wall shelf array

The wall looks more balanced now there isn’t an empty space on the right. I got the plate rack on the left as an early birthday present from my parents just after we moved in. It is from a lovely little company called The Plate Rack who travelled the world hunting for the perfect plate racks and found them in India. It’s stainless steel and will look great when we replace the tiles with some metro tiles. Pictured is the middle sized one which costs £125

Outstanding Jobs in the Kitchen

  • Paint walls white
  • Replace tiles with subway tiles
  • Paint cupboards white
  • Turn one of the end lower cupboards into a bookshelf for my cookbooks
  • Replace the lino floor tiles (but we’re not sure what with yet)
  • Blackboard paint the fridge-freezer
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