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Decorating on a Budget: Cross Lining

Painting jobs can be expensive, but there are always ways of decorating on a budget without skimping on quality. The technique we’d like to introduce you to is called cross-lining and it’s the poor man’s plaster.

decorating on a budget

Mick Emery of Emery Painters and Decorators in Birmingham gave us inside tips on how to work with this money saving method. Plastering a room, depending on size, can cost around £300 (without stripping the existing wallpaper, which is another £50), whereas painting the room and hanging lining paper can cost as little as £135, materials included.

Decorating on a budget: Cross lining

So how does cross-lining work? The painter hangs the lining paper horizontally and pastes it onto the wall. When painted there are no lines and there’s a complete flat finish, covering any imperfections.

budget decorating

Step-by-step guide

1. Measure the wall and cut the right measurements on lining paper, adding an extra 5 cm to each end.

2. Use a roller to apply paste (a roller is more efficient than a brush) on the lining paper. Leave for 5 minutes to dry, fold, and then it’s ready to be hung.

3. Line the paper and feel with your hand so the paper isn’t overlapping. Use a spatula to even out.

4. Use a pair of scissors (or a border knife for thick paper) to trim corners and leftover paper. Use caulk to smooth out edges – caulk is a painter’s best friend!

5. Wait for the lining paper to dry, this takes approximately one day. Now, you’re ready to paint.

As a homeowner it’s not always easy to know what kind of budget to expect. Mick told us that having 2 bedrooms, living room and hallway painted you should be prepared to pay around £2000 for labour and £500 for materials. The expensive part is the paint. 2 buckets (5 litres) are usually required to paint a small living room, and a good quality brand such as Wickes (which Mick used for the job we visited, see image below) costs around £19 for 2 1/2 litres.

budget decorating tips

Inexpensive paint, such as own brand paint from DIY stores, isn’t as thick as good, quality paint, which means you have to layer on more coats. This involves more labour and time for the painter, who will then charge you more for the job. Additionally, it’s a false economy as you might have to re-paint much sooner than you intended because the paint won’t last as long.

cross lining

Mick Emery set up Emery Painters and Decorators in the late 1980’s and has years of experience in the industry. With tradesmen like Mick you can put DIY dabbling aside and leave your home to be re-decorated in peace without wonky wallpaper hangings or paint stains on furniture.

Find more tradesmen like Mick on Post your job for free and up to three quality, local tradesmen will get in touch to quote. Read their ratings and pick the tradesman who’s right for you. This is Emery Painters and Decorators ratings, just in case you live in Birmingham and need your dining room spruced up in time for Christmas…

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