Mini House Project – The Living Room Windowsill

The living room windowsill managed to escape my initial novice painting last year, when I thought I could get away with using the same Dulux brilliant white for woodwork, radiators, walls, everything (true story!)

Thankfully since then my painting knowledge and skills have come a fair way and so this past week I’ve finally repainted it. It’s been battered and bruised since we damp proofed the living room and then suffered a further hit when the windows were replaced and like all of these other little projects it’s been something I’ve wanted to get round to for the last couple of months. *Disclaimer – in these pictures you will see our hideous living room carpet. Please ignore it. We’re saving to get rid of it!*


So here are my tips for painting woodwork:

1) Preparation – yep, the age-old decorators adage. I am not at all patient and would rather just slap that paint on and get going, but preparation really does pay off. I cleaned the windowsill first using sugar soap and a clean sponge. You can try cleaning with regular household detergent but personally I think sugar soap is the best as it really cuts through stubborn marks, so much so that once the cleaning was done I considered leaving it there (joke)

You’ll need to rinse your sugar soap off with a wet cloth, and then dry.

Sugar soap

2) Once the woodwork is clean, now’s the time to fill any holes or cracks if you need to. Then, sand. For woodwork that’s already painted, you’ll need a sandpaper which has a higher number, indicating a finer grain. You want to rub the paint just enough to take out any impurities and so the new paint has something to stick to. Of course this advice is only if you’re painting over paint, and don’t want to strip back to the wood.

3) As the windowsill is already painted it doesn’t need priming. So, take your colour of choice and get to work. We use a Dulux Satinwood paint for all the woodwork (frames, sills, doors etc) in the house and it can also be used for radiators too. It gives off a very soft sheen but is not at all gloss-like, thankfully.

Windowsill painting

4) Ideally, if you’re a real perfectionist, after the first coat is dried you should then sand before applying a second coat. However, I did two coats without any sanding inbetween. We’re having some shutters fitted in a few weeks time and I can’t help thinking that once they’re in another coat of paint may be required so I didn’t go overboard.


A new home for this sweet jug

And voila – admire your finished work. It’s amazing what clean paintwork will do to give a room a lift. I’m so happy with it I even found a home for this sweet little jug.

What tips do you have for painting? Do you find it therapeutic?

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  1. Emma's Mamma
    July 22, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Great advice! It looks great! #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      July 22, 2015 / 1:00 pm

      Thanks for your lovely words, only the rest of the house to go now haha! X

  2. July 22, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    I quite like painting windowsills – it’s the perfect little project as it doesn’t take too long! If you are doing window surrounds too, I recommend a nice fine brush for the fiddly bits! x #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      July 22, 2015 / 1:27 pm

      It’s always the fiddly bits that are my undoing, I actually think going on a painting course would be great to really hone the skills. Thank you for popping by X

  3. Jenna
    July 22, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    Do you know what? I REALLY needed to read this post. Because, like you, when we first moved into our house I painted everything white using the same paint I’d used for the walls. As you have discovered, it doesn’t work well.

    My dad is a painter and decorator too, so I should have known better.

    At least now I know how to do it properly! 😉

    #HomeEtc xx

    • Lins
      July 27, 2015 / 9:56 am

      Oh Jenna I’m so glad it’s not just me! But at the same time it’s good to develop and learn things properly as we go x

  4. July 22, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    I love a clean and shiny window sill. And just think of all the pretty things you can display on it now. Job well done!

    • Lins
      July 27, 2015 / 9:57 am

      Me too! I always underestimate just how much small things make a difference X

  5. July 22, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    I love painting! I know preparation is important but I have been known to skimp on it. It does pay off though. I have a chair I painted in a hurry and six months later the paint is flaking because I didn’t give it a decent sanding.
    It is so satisfying to see the difference a lick of paint makes though, isn’t it?
    Fionnuala from

    • Lins
      July 27, 2015 / 9:57 am

      Yes I totally agree, there are a fair few bits I need to go back over from when I was first painting and didn’t know what to do for the best. Still so much to learn X

  6. Stephanie Robinson
    July 23, 2015 / 9:51 am

    what a lovely bay window – and perfect for the cat in jelly which made me smile and the very thought of it in real life has made me giggle. But it’s silly right – who’d put a cat in jelly? 🙂 xx #homeetc

    • Lins
      July 27, 2015 / 9:58 am

      Haha if I even tried to put any of my cats in jelly when I was growing up I’d have soon known about it! Love little quirky things for the home X

  7. July 23, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    Aaah I LOVE painting. Love it. I find it incredibly therapeutic but like you I find the preparation really boring. Although it’s SO worth doing it properly. My top tip is to wrap your brushes in clingfilm, to stop them drying out if you’re popping off to have some lunch and can’t be bothered to wash them! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

    • Lins
      July 27, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Thanks Caro that’s a great tip! I find cleaning up after myself properly just as laborious as preparation although I’m starting to get better at it. I always get in trouble with OH if I don’t clean the brushes properly x

  8. July 26, 2015 / 7:12 am

    Fab tutorial and it looks great now – I bet that was SO satisfying getting it sparkling and love the sugar soap idea for removing the stubbon marks (wondering if I can use it elsewhere around the house!) #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      July 27, 2015 / 9:55 am

      Thanks Michelle, yes I’m a huge lover of sugar soap – it’s definitely multi-purpose although has really fine abrasive properties so just make sure it’s stuff you don’t mind being scratched. Loving all your makeover projects! X

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