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Frugal Friday | DIY

cook3 007


In my kitchen, I have plain walls and easy to clean tiles. I hope the plain walls will make it easy to redecorate next time. The fashion for some years, since the 1980’s has been for textured wall paper, that you can just emulsion, when it needs redecorating. It’s good, but you need some pictures as well in the living room and perhaps the hallway.

I have a oil painting and a antique mirror in the living room. I want a photograph printed on canvas. The picture I used for last weeks frugal Friday blog would be ideal! In case you don’t remember it, I gave it the title ‘enchanted’ and it was woodland at Merrion Wood. Most people have a digital camera and if you read my Neodigital Art blogs  you can get creative and create your own masterpiece to adorn the walls of your home. Being really frugal, I have my photo in a photographic competition that is being judged on Monday; I might get a print for free!


Some modern furniture is alright, but the cheap self assembly stuff can be flimsy with doors dropping off and drawers that won’t open. One problem with self assembly is often the back on units isn’t fixed securely and so the whole unit changes shape and nothing fits properly. You can put in supports at the back to make it better. I like old furniture and it’s quite easy to restore. Furniture from the 1930’s and earlier can be really nice and it’s varnished with a varnish that’s easy to remove. Just get a wallpaper scraper to scrape the varnish off, but instead of pushing the scraper pull it over the surfaces. You can do the same on surfaces you want to remove something from. I wanted to remove adhesive tape from all my kitchen units a couple of years ago. I covered the tape with washing up liquid for lubrication and then scraped the tape off. Lubrication is important so you don’t scratch the surface.

Daylight Saving

The clocks go back on the 30th of October this year and we revert back to GMT. I wish they would leave them alone. We might need to use our heating before then and check timers are set properly. I shall try to hold out until the end of October, but officially heating is supposed to be put on at the beginning of October.  I shall also have an extra hour in bed which will save a little more fuel through the winter. My heating is on a timer and I have draught proofing on all internal and external doors. I don’t need to heat all the rooms I’m not using. The main ones are the ones I use; kitchen, hallway, bathroom and later my bedroom. If it gets really cold heat is lost into empty rooms and so I’ll heat my living room then. That’s only necessary  if temperatures drop below freezing. We had a cold winter last year, but I did save a little when it went warm in April, we can expect to get robbed by the energy companies again this year so we have to be frugal!

Smile with tongue out

I’m putting more money into Zopa soon to get 6 or 7% in interest. I lend to people over 5 years now and I’m prepared if interest rates go up. I can’t change loans that are already arranged but I will put up interest rates on new loans. I’m also looking at share prices and will write some investment blogs, stay tuned if you want to get into equities! I have alerts on shares and so when the price drops to a level I am prepared to pay I get an email. I am particularly interested in two shares, one a blue chip and low risk and the other undervalued and high risk. They both dropped to my target price when markets tanked as a result of panic, but now they are both 10%  above my target price. I’ll wait for the next panic, they’re like buses, one will come along if I’m patient. If you buy low, you can make a good return in a short time; in theory. The high risk share is now 20% above the price it was 2 weeks ago and still probably undervalued. I don’t recommend shares but will tell you what I buy, after I buy!

There are more blogs on my Home page. Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s Thrifty Thursday one of my better efforts!

Smile with tongue out


4 responses

  1. Hi Mike, I couldn’t agree with you more about older furniture. I really enjoy refinishing furniture. A friend of mine likes to take old furniture she buys at charity shops and put a coat of paint on them in interesting colors and sell the pieces. I bought one from her and I get a lot of compliments on it.

    What sort of heat do have? Do you have radiator heat? Can you use timers with radiator heat? We had underfloor heating when we lived in England, The heat in the kitchen wouldn’t turn off ever. We had so many people come to fix it but no one could figure it out.

    Thanks so much for sharing more of your good advice, Mike!

    17, September 2011 at 10:07 pm

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    Yes, I have central heating on a timer, the fuel is natural gas. It just cut in to heat the water! It has a button that switches it on for an hour too. I had to use that last night before I took a shower! Under floor heating is usually electric, it’s strange no one could fix it. Electricians tend to be great at installation but not very good at unusual faults! That was my job when I was young, fixing the unusual faults!

    I’m watching out for a old sideboard, I have a modern unit in my living room, it looks OK but it’s not very good. Some sideboards can be very ornate and then it’s a good idea to apply paint stripper with a brush rather than scrape the ornate bits. I have a hot air gun too, that strips fairly good.

    18, September 2011 at 8:44 am

  3. Pingback: Frugal Friday | Extremely frugal « Mike10613's Blog

  4. Pingback: Redecorate-What Would I Do? « gordopdx

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