At Home with Jenny Douglas: A Lockdown Project

Lockdown has presented different situations and challenges for different people. For Jenny Douglas, one of our experienced and talented colour consultants, this period has entailed juggling work as well as quite bit more time spent at home than normal.  Just like many of us have found, this extra time at home has encouraged us to get on with some tasks or indeed, start new ones.  Jenny decided that for her, this was a great opportunity to carry out a little decorating project.  Normally busy helping our customers choose colours, Jenny rarely found time before to focus on her own home.  Jenny is also an interior designer, running her own business and spending most of her time helping other people create stylish interior schemes.  Despite all her experience, Jenny is a self-professed 'learn as you go' type of girl.  Here, she shares her experience of decorating a shower room during lockdown, proof of what you could achieve yourself in a short amount of time.

Tools for the Job

With quite a few tools already on hand, getting started was pretty straightforward.  After ordering her paint, Jenny organised her tools and materials and set about preparing the room for decorating.

For a job such as this, you will need just a small selection:

  • Dustsheets to cover up items that you need to protect such as carpets and furniture
  • Masking tape to protect areas and ensure you get clean straight lines
  • Sandpaper for smoothing surfaces and creating a base which paint will adhere to 
  • Sugar soap - we recommend Sellys sugar soap or sugar soap wipes
  • Filler to repair cracks and holes.  Jenny chose Sellys 'Cracks Gone' for doors, trim and timber
  • Brushes and rollers – ideally you need a selection of specialist brushes for edges, woodwork and walls
  • Undercoat to prepare the best base for your chosen colour
  • Paint – use our handy paint calculator to ensure you order enough 
  • Protective equipment.  It is advisable to use masks when sanding especially if you are using a power sander.  Jenny also recommends using goggles for painting ceilings - this task can be surprisingly messy!

Choosing a Colour

Jenny knows the Craig & Rose paint range like the back of her hand and has seen the finished results of different colours, many times over the years.  Every now and then, she is captivated by a colour, saving it in memory or mood board, for it to be one day used on her own project.  Russet was one of these colours.  Part of our 1829 collection, Russet is a rich ochre shade with hints of saffron.  Jenny worked with her current fittings and tiles and incorporated this colour into the scheme.  Warm and intense, yet incredibly versatile, Jenny had known for a while that Russet was destined to be used in her shower room and would prove to be just the right colour to give the room a little makeover. 




Russet , part of the Craig & Rose1829 collection

Getting Started

The first job was to remove all the fixtures and fittings from the walls, storing them away until the room was finished.  The next step was to use the filler to repair the holes that were not going to be used again as well a couple dents and cracks in the wall and woodwork.  This was left to dry and then sanded down.  It's a good idea to get all the filling and sanding done first so that you start the painting phase with clean, smooth surfaces.  Using sugar soap is a great way to ensure that the walls and woodwork are free of grease and dirt.  

Projects like this often present their own little challenges.  You would think a small room would be pretty hazard free wouldn't you? But for Jenny, a memorable few hours were spent locked in when the door closed, and the well-prepared, handle-free door prevented her from escaping.  TOP TIP  - 'lock the door before you take the handle off! Trust me when I tell you that spending 4 hours in the downstairs loo waiting to be rescued is not a fun experience!'. 

Craig & Rose undercoat in Light Grey is recommended for use with Russet.

Jenny decided to take the wall colour up on to the ceiling in this room - a great way to add impact!

Time to Prime

We find that many people are tempted to forego using an undercoat. Undercoat and primers are designed to give you the best finish possible, sealing the surface, improving the quality and colour of your chosen decorative topcoat.  This is most important when you are changing the colour dramatically, from dark to light, or light to dark. The previous colour can ‘ghost’ through the new paint finish even if you apply multiple coats. An undercoat can also stop the water from the paint being soaked into the wall which keeps the durability high. We recommend which undercoat is appropriate for each colour in our 1829 collection, either white or light grey.  For Russet, our light grey undercoat is recommended so Jenny set about applying this to her walls and ceiling.  'The other really useful thing about using an undercoat is that you can practice your cutting-in and general decorating skills. Always useful to have a practice coat!' said Jenny.

Bring on the Colour

The stage that Jenny was really looking forward to! For many rooms of the home, the majority of people choose Chalky Emulsion finish for the walls and Eggshell or Gloss for the woodwork. For a Bathroom, kitchen or an area with high traffic, we recommend eggshell for walls which will allow steam and condensation to stay on the surface of the paint rather than being absorbed. Eggshell is also more hardwearing. Jenny encourages all of her customers to make this choice for these areas  'Eggshell makes clean up after a kid's bath or a pasta sauce accident so much easier!'. 
So once your undercoat layer has dried you can crack open your chosen colour, give it a good stir and get painting! 

Jennys advise for this stage? 'Always do two coats of your chosen colour. Our 1829 range has excellent coverage, so by the second coat, there will be no flashing or streaks and stripes - just a flawless finish'.  Leave plenty of time to carry out this stage of the project, it can be surprisingly difficult. 'If you're not an experienced decorator, definitely don't do an arm workout in the run-up to starting a project! Seriously, don’t do it!'.

Jenny made the decision to take her Russet Eggshell paint down onto the skirting board which creates a seamless, contemporary look.  If you would prefer to apply a contrasting colour to your woodwork, this is the stage to do it.

We're sure you'll agree, Jenny did a great job with this project and the final result is pretty impressive.  Part of our colour consultant team, Jenny is on hand to offer colour advise if you need it.  Colour Consultant appointments can be booked via our website and are a great way to gain some confidence with the decisions you need to make for your own interior. She can also be found over at JEMDesigns on Instagram.


So, what projects have you carried out during lockdown?  Please share on social media by tagging in Craig & Rose or by using the hashtag #athomewithcraigandrose