I haven’t written much on this site lately and there’s a reason for that – I have spent the past two weeks doing DIY in a house that I own. It’s a painfully dull experience that I simply cannot put into words.
Still, during my home improvement offensive I have learned something: I am on first-name terms with Steve at B&Q (a UK home improvement store if you are from other shores) and I have also learned about the absolute bald, uncompromising lie that is Dulux’s so-called ‘One-Coat’ paint.
On the one-coat paint tin there lies a boast of monumental proportions i.e that with this, all you need is one coat to cover your wall. There’ll be no need for an extra layer, the tin tells you, which is fine if you have an existing white wall and choose to paint it… white. In this event you’ll not baulk at the results yielded from a solitary layer of paint and you’ll skip around like a gay lamb celebrating a pain-free experience and a job well done. And again, if you have a red wall and you cover it with exactly the same colour, you might feel reasonably happy with the results.
But let’s say you are living in rented accommodation and you’ve decided to rid your life of that ochre mess for a more muted colour.
This is another story that’ll inevitably lead to self-harm.
Last week I tried covering a red area with a nice muted, olive green colour with One Coat Dulux and the resultant effect looked like a bad West Indian beef jerky parlour. I spoke to Steve about this and he looked at me with pity. ‘Yeah, that one-coat stuff is a bit crap’, he explained. ‘You’ll need three coats for that.’
I phoned up Dulux’s helpline for an explanation and a small dog answered the phone.
You have to face the fact that one-coat never works. You want orchid white to cover up the blood red? Forget it, you are looking at a four-coat job, at least.
One-coat is a trades-description, underwear-ablaze injustice that you can never fully prepare for. If you get bored with the decorating process you’ll doubtless come to a point of absolute desperation, down tools and claim your handiwork is a ‘wash’. Don’t do this – all your visitors will look at this pinkish experiment and say, ‘One-coat’.