by Liz Walter
In my last post, I looked at general language for home improvements. This post will focus on one specific area: decorating. As you will see, there are lots of nice collocations associated with this topic.
If we are decorating a room that has been decorated before, we often use the verb redecorate:
I decided to redecorate my bedroom.
Before you paint something such as a wall, you need to prepare the surfaces, usually by cleaning them or by filling the cracks. We often use the verb apply with paint:
First, prepare the surfaces by cleaning off any dirt.
All these cracks need to be filled.
Use a clean brush to apply the paint.
You should sand the wood before you paint it.
Each layer of paint is called a coat of paint. The first layer of paint is called the undercoat and the final layer is called the topcoat. The same words are used for the types of paint we use. If we paint something in a quick way, we sometimes say we are giving it a lick of paint:
The walls will need at least two coats of paint.
Allow a few hours for the undercoat to dry before you apply the topcoat.
I gave the cupboard a lick of paint.
Use wax to give the polished table a shiny finish.
We used gloss paint on the window frames and matt paint on the walls.
It took all day to strip the wallpaper.
We decided to put up/hang wallpaper in the living room.
We paid someone to lay the carpets for us.
We’re having the outside of the house painted.
I need to get the window frames varnished.