Just checking in to let you all know I'm still around! It may appear that there's not much making going on but rest assured I've been very busy indeed. Lots of Christmas presents are being crafted whenever I get a moment and of course I will share these with you after the big day - obviously I don't want to be giving the game away to any potential recipients who might be reading ;)
Of course aside from the festive makings The Kitchen is taking priority at the moment and although progress is slow things are coming along. I'm learning lots of new skills in the process and so far haven't had any disasters or discovered anything really shocking lurking behind the old units (aside from several layers of assorted 70s wall paper, mostly brown and floral). Over the weekend I had a go with some expanding foam filling up a gap round the window frame where the tiles were removed from (when new windows were put in a couple of years ago new uPVC frames were very unhelpfully put in over the top of the tiles so removal of the tiles uncovered a 10 mm gap to the brick work which was letting in a draught. So that's filled up now and ready for some silicone sealant after the surrounding plaster has been skimmed over.
There was also a large space behind one of the tiles which had been placed over an electrical socket box. I'm not retiling so I needed to fill this in ready for re-plastering. I've had the electrics checked and have filled in the vacant space with foam so it's now ready for plastering/skimming.
Being a thrifty devil and also always being up for learning new skills my next step is to try my hand at some plaster patching and skimming. Quite a bold step I know but I thought the worst that can happen is it goes wrong and I have to pay someone to do it anyway. However if it works out OK I'll have saved myself a whole bunch of money and have the self-satisfaction of achievement to boot. I've got some safe test areas to do which will eventually be hidden behind wall units so I can practice without causing major problems. After a bit of research I've sealed the damaged plaster with a couple of coats of diluted PVA glue and selected my plaster products of choice so tonight I'm going to give it my first try. Below is the before pic. I'll be back in touch shortly so you can see how I got on. Wish me luck!