An investment unit I own was in desperate need of a refresh but I was on a strict time budget to minimise the time the unit was vacant. I decided to try the Dulux Renovations range because of the Dulux reputation and the multiple online resources available.
I followed the instructions and equipment list TO THE LETTER and couldn’t be happier with the results. Whilst I am one of those odd people who actually enjoy painting, I made great use of the Dulux videos as well as those on the Bunnings website.
Before...stuck in the 80s
All resources and equipment were purchased from Bunnings (except for husband’s compressor and spray guns) and include:
My Top 15 Tips
Top tip 1: plan, plan, plan! Write a list of ALL jobs and then sequence them, allowing for drying intervals and clean-up time. Then, compose a list of all resources needed; if you’re doing multiple rooms, as I was, separate these into different lists but then cross-reference to prevent double purchasing and wastage and check what you already own.
Top tip 2: realise that, despite the best planning, you’ll underestimate both resources AND time! Plan for emergency trips to Bunnings…at 8.30pm! 😂
Top tip 3: clean as you go. If you have a messy work area, it will take more time and effort to clean. If you’re not a naturally organised and tidy person (I’m fortunate that these are some of my strengths), FORCE yourself to tidy and clean every couple of hours. Set a timer on your phone!
Top tip 4: don’t open every packet, tin and box at once. I did return a couple of unused and unopened items to Bunnings. I made sure that I had a clean area to store all items (the unit’s large linen closet’s shelves), so that’s where all tools and resources were kept – off the floor, out of the way, clean and tidy and ready to be located when needed.
Top tip 5: watch many, many videos! The Bunnings website is INVALUABLE for videos and, of course, this Workshop site in incredible. I’d painted many, many times but hadn’t done benchtops, I hadn’t tiled and I certainly hadn’t laid vinyl flooring. Because I spent time watching people demonstrate these skills in videos, I had the confidence to do it myself.
Top tip 6: don’t measure twice…measure FIVE times! Then, get at least one, if not three people to check your measurements and talk through your vision with at least a couple of people. Talk to the wonderful Bunnings staff and listen to their advice; again, invaluable!
Top tip 7: for the Dulux Renovations range, follow the recommended instructions for mixing, painting and allocated times. Don’t think you can shortcut it! Make the last thing you do in your entire work schedule the two top coats of clear coats and leave it for a week! A year on, even with tenants (two young students in their first adventure out of home!), the kitchen, bathroom and floors look great. Why? Because I followed the correct installation instructions!
Top tip 8: for the Gerflor Senso vinyl planks, again, follow the instructions. Realise that filling the grout gaps between tiles to achieve a smooth subfloor, takes HOURS!!! It’s back-breaking work and really hard on one’s knees. However, if you want your floors to look good and remain smooth, it MUST be done. Triple the time you think you’ll take.
Top tip 9: for the Gerflor Senso vinyl planks, laying the planks is relatively easy; the tricky thing is the measuring of the fiddly bits for cuts around corners, etc. Factor these into your estimate…and then double it! I laid the entire floor (kitchen, living/dining and hallway) in one night but I saw the sun rise and didn’t finish until 10am.
Top tip 10: for the Gerflor Senso vinyl planks, replace your Stanley knife blade at reasonable intervals. You’ll need a few.
Top tip 11: spray your cabinets, if possible, as it gives a very professional finish. We used the idea recommended in the Dulux videos of the blocks with screws in them. My husband did the primer first on both sides of the cabinets; then he followed with two coats of the top coat on the back of the cabinets first, let them dry for a day or so, then flipped them for two top coats and two coats of clear gloss to seal them. Again, let these dry for as long as possible before you reattach the hinges.
Top tip 12: mark the doors correctly. We wrote in each of the hinge holes, then covered that with painters’ tape so it wasn’t sprayed with paint. We also wrote the corresponding numbers on tape and placed that in each cabinet and drawer. I also did a ‘mud map’ of each numbered door and drawer. This prevents wasting time on working which door goes where – the more time you muck around with each door increases the likelihood of damaging the paint before it’s cured completely.
Top tip 13: clean black tile grout as you go. Clean it REALLY well, in a timely manner. 😣
Top tip 14: tape benches and tiles when applying silicone between tiles and benchtops, especially if it’s black and you want a razor-sharp edge. I learned this the hard way and I fancy myself to have a pretty steady hand. Black grout or silicone in unforgiving if you want a perfectly straight edge. Use Frog tape! 😖
Top tip 15: if you’re working to a strict schedule, buy yourself a tool belt. Bunnings sells some great ones and then you’ll always have a pencil, measuring tape and Stanley knife, etc on you. Saves time, effort and “where’s my _____?”
BONUS EXTRA: back yourself. You can do it! Have a go and be proud of the results. I'd never tiled before but took an outdated soap dish to a contemporary shower shelf.
Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational renovation project. Your painted kitchen doors look flawless, the flooring is a labour of love and the tiling is magnificent. Thank you so much for sharing your renovation tips as well. I'm sure our members will find your advice informative and useful.
The results of filling the tile gaps are just amazing and the final layout of the vinyl planks is just perfect. The unit looks totally different and I'm sure your new tenant will be very happy with the new look.
If you have any other projects on the go, please don't hesitate to share them.
Thank you so much! From you gals, that means a lot! x
Thank you so much, Eric! I will definitely keep on posting and contributing to this wonderful community. R