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Say goodbye to mouldy paint & my other favourite life hacks

It’s always the same at this time of year. I start looking around at my home after the winter hibernation and realise that it’s time to make some changes. Whether it’s simply an early spring clean or (in my case) tackling a bigger decorating project, this is when I start gathering together my cleaning products, paint and tools and begin using my weekends to update my home. You may remember that I wrote about my horrible damp windows back in the autumn and how I kind-of solved the problem with some thermal blinds. Well, now the condensation has arrived elsewhere – in the bathroom – and has resulted in mouldy, furry and down-right gross bathroom walls. Needless to say this is the area that I’m going to be attacking first! So my life hack number 1 is for clearing mould and flaky paint:

DIY life hack tutorial to get rid of mould flaky bathroom paint

Yes, the damp has got under the paint in the bathroom and big chunks are falling off the walls. Couple this with spots of mould all over the walls and I’ve got one manky bathroom. So here’s how to tackle the mould and stop it coming back – whilst making your walls looks like new again!

1. Scrape off the flaky paint using a cheap stripping knife or a triangular shavehook. Be sure to scrape all the crumbs away, brush down the walls, then vacuum them up so that they don’t stick to the new paint! It will look a lot worse to start with but I promise it’s worth it!

life hacks how to get rid of mould in bathroom

2. Mix up a solution of 2 parts bleach with 10 parts water in a spray bottle (an empty cleaning spray bottle will do) and spritz the bleach water onto the walls to kill the mould. This is exactly the solution you’ll find inside pricey mould-killer products so just mix up your own, but be very careful when spraying because any splashes back on your clothes will bleach them – you might want to wear something old that you don’t mind ruining!

3. Allow this to dry thoroughly (probably overnight while you have a good rest after all tat scraping!) and all the mould will have been killed off. Then paint the walls with two coats of satin soft sheen paint such as diamond eggshell – never use matt – which will resist the condensation in future and any moisture will simply run off the walls or can be easily wiped down with a cloth or old towel.

Simple huh? Not only have you killed the mould and stopped it from coming back, but you’ve also got a nice newly painted room!

DIY life hack tutorial to get rid of mouldy paint

While I was doing my decorating I thought I’d get involved in Most Wanted magazine’s life hacks project to share my top 5 thrifty life hacks with you. So number 1 was getting rid of mouldy paint and here are the rest:

2. If you have rust stains on metal-work (on the car or caravan for example) use a whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush to scrub it off – the whitening toothpaste is a little bit more abrasive than a normal toothpaste and should work a treat!

3. Instead of buying those stick-on masks for French manicures, just wrap an elastic band around the nail to mask off the area above the tip and paint it as normal.

4. Make your own firelighters – used dried orange peel to get a sweet-smelling fire started, or make wax firelighters by putting lint/fluff from the tumble drier into egg boxes and pouring over melted wax and wait for it to set. You only need to use one egg-holder per fire. Lint stuffed inside empty toilet rolls also works great!

5. Clean your make up brushes every month in a homemade solution made from a squirt of hair conditioner, a cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Mix this all together then allow the brushes to soak, without rubbing the bristles which might damage them. After half an hour give them a rinse in cold water and allow to air-dry until completely dry.

And here’s the part where you can get involved yourself – there is a competition running on Pinterest, where my fabulous thrifty readers can be in with the chance of winning a £50 voucher for Amazon! So it’d be great if you could share your own life hacks and thrifty projects on Pinterest with the hashtag #VCLifeHacks. Most Wanted lifestyle magazine will pin their favourites onto a dedicated life hacks board and select a winner from there – so share away and best of luck!


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Get that retro look in your bathroom… without taking a step back in time

Having nearly finished my retro-inspired makeover of my living, I am now looking at the other rooms in my home to see which needs attention next, and my out-dated bathroom is definitely near the top of the list! I was discussing this with fellow blogger and my twitter friend Helen Davies, and she immediately came up with this article on using retro design inspirations in modern bathrooms. I am very grateful for her advice and expert knowledge, and I wanted to share it with you all so you can get ideas for your own bathroom makeover this spring:

If, like me, you’re a fan of retro style, then you’ll already know that to perfect a vintage vibe you sometimes have to sacrifice just a little bit of the comfort and convenience that modern life has brought us. But bathrooms are practical spaces: you need your bathroom to perform a vital function. Can retro style really work in a 21st century bathroom?

I think so. By taking a period (or an eclectic mix of complementary styles from different periods) as your inspiration, rather than sticking rigidly to the use of 100% vintage materials, you can create a look that’s truly unique, that pays homage to your favourite design style, and that allows you to have some design fun. Because that’s what it’s all about – having fun!

retro bathrooms 60s flower power decor style

And all of this means that you can use a modern bathroom suite in your retro bathroom without losing any style points. Which is a relief, because while an authentic vintage bathroom suite, reclaimed and rejuvenated, can set you back a huge amount of money considering someone else used it half to death before you bought it, contemporary bathroom suites can be sourced relatively cheaply and in a range of sizes to suit any space.

For me, building a new look in a room is all about the silhouette. If you do a quick image search, you’ll see what I mean. You only have to look at the first few results for ‘art nouveau mirror’ to realise that those Gaudi-esque curves and swirls are central to the style.

retro bathrooms vintage curved basin cast iron bath

So when you’re looking to create your retro bathroom, your starting point should be a modern bathroom suite that has all the up-to-the-minute features you need – but that also has a silhouette (be that curvy, boxy, slim or angular) that echoes the designs you adore. Once you’ve installed your basic suite, you can use accessories (vintage originals or modern copies – use whatever works for you) and gorgeous decor to bring your room to life.

This month I’m loving a glamorous 1930s feel: floor to ceiling white metro tiles with slim black grout lines for a striking effect, and a huge art deco mirror above an angular basin. Add a cool monochrome chandelier (who said you can’t have fabulous lighting in a bathroom?), a luxurious cast iron bath with some modern, minimalist, wall mounted brassware for contrast, and the look is complete!

 retro bathrooms angular basin cast iron bath

Helen Davies is a content writer for Better Bathrooms, who sell good looking contemporary and traditional bathrooms at realistic prices.


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DIY Project – Bathroom cabinet makeover

Due to our recent house move, we’ve been in need of a little more storage and when my husband picked up an old, scuffed, dark wood bathroom cabinet I couldn’t really see the potential in it. The fact that it was only 50p at a carboot sale meant that earned its place in our new home, but not before a little bit of TLC made it look a lot cuter!

Here’s how we made a manky cabinet into a vintage masterpiece! First we removed the mirror sections from the doors (just the same as taking the glass out of a photo frame) and lightly sanded down the whole cupboard. We used a thin coat of quick-drying undercoat for wood and allowed this to dry before moving on to painting a blue-grey Crown wood topcoat all over the cupboard.

The final step was to pop the mirrors back into the doors and re-attaching the cupboard knobs. I put my husband to work, drilling the fixings to the wall and bish-bash-bosh up it went! And I’ve now filled it with all the girly essentials I need in my bathroom and hubby’s razor is still being stored on the windowsill, oops! ;)