Tuesday, 10 July 2012

DIYers are all bastards

DIYers are all bastards (that probably includes me... though I think I’ll be expedient and say not). I doubt (unless of course our DIYer is malicious) that the average DIYer is a bastard deliberately. Maybe the DIYer isn’t the bastard at all; maybe its the fact that craftsmen know what they’re doing... one hopes... and DIYers only think they know what they are doing, based on reading the sanitised materials information data on the materials they use (that and man hearsay and legend regarding DIY jobs of yore). Our material in this instance is some form of hard coat anti condensation paint that I have spectacularly failed to cover with lovely fresh paint, despite washing the walls, drying them sanding them and then scratch coating them.
What ever this material is it seems to retain either moisture or the remains of long chain damp activated molecules left over from a previous decorating experience (that’s Glue in plain English, specifically wall paper paste). If it’s retaining moisture (not surprising given the ambient moisture content of our rain soaked atmosphere at the moment) then the answer is wait. However given that if you allow the walls to dry, then sand them and then wet them again, they get slimy you have to give credence to the glue theory. In any event the result is beautiful white paint that crazes into little plates.
So last night we bit the bullet and soaked the fresh new paint and scraped it off. The Paint underneath is holding firm. Tonight I will sand again, and scratch coat in one area, and then tomorrow I will fully paint over a small area of the scratch coated walls and wait 24 hours to see if the paint crazes again. If this doesn’t work then there is a solution: Remove the scratch coat, and buy some eggshell or other oil based paint that won’t react in contact with water and then craze... however this puts me firmly in bastard DIYer territory, because whoever buys our old place will then have to work out (should they wish to decorate or make alterations), how we circumvented the problem left for us by the previous bastard DIYer that occupied our house.
The really stinky part of all this, is that we all do it. We think we are doing the right thing for right now, with no real regard for the next owner; though sometimes ironically we sort something out for ourselves only for that quick fix to come round and bite us in the arse years later. By the same token we don’t admit to our sins in pursuit of smooth walls, buried pipes, spliced together wires and sections of wall made of little more than newspaper expanding foam and the good will of gravity. And we certainly don’t leave manuals or list of materials, lest the next occupant contract some skin condition and sue us, due to our product being layered on like plaster with a shovel, when it should have been stroked on gossamer thick by angels using their own wing feathers.   
Maybe I’m going soft, but it irks me to think that I may have to leave a DIY conundrum for someone to solve down the line. I’m hoping some more elbow grease and 60 grade sandpaper coupled with sugar soap does the job and that my revised target of paint done by this weekend doesn’t slip... again.

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