Both times I was cruelly disappointed as we continue to find issues. They did come and sort out the extractor fan wiring and plastering, and spliced in a power point for the dishwasher. However, when I made my second attempt to plumb in the dishwasher, I discovered that the gap between the back of the sink cabinet and the wall/skirting is too narrow to pass through the dishwasher hoses and plug wire. Then when we attempted to lift up the loose shelf left in the bottom of the sink cupboard, to see if we could drill a hole in the base, we found that a) the shelf is now impossible to remove as it is below the hinges of the doors and can't be lifted; and b) the shelf will never fit anyhow because it needs to be cut out to fit around all the sink pipes.
Luckily I have the fitter's mobile number so I just called him directly and he is coming tomorrow to drill the hole and cut the shelf. I could tell when he answered his phone with a total lack of enthusiasm that he is just as fed up with this job as we are.
Today I spent a long time attempting to improve the mess they've left on the walls, to get it ready for painting next week. I used a lot of filler, and sized some of the bare plaster to fit lining paper over it tomorrow. I also used filler and a lot of bits of wood jammed in with No More Nails to fill a very deep and awkward void left to one side of our new door when they hung it. I hope I am making things better and not worse. The painter was not impressed with the paint job I did on my fireplace so will probably not be impressed with my filling attempts either.
But we have metaphorically raised the drawbridge against the kitchen company by changing the lock on the front door today. Although they gave us back the set of keys, they had them for a month and passed them around many different trades so I just feel better knowing the lock is different now.
Last holiday Monday, I spent a couple of hours painting our linen cupboard and a little table I bought at an antiques fair with Annie Sloan Chalk paint in 'Old Ochre'. Then I gave them a second coat on Tuesday, and today I spent a couple of hours sealing the paint with wax. This is the first time I've painted anything apart from the table I did on the chalk painting course I took a few months ago.
The chalk paint goes on very easily, you don't have to prepare the surface at all, and you can dilute the paint with water if it's too thick for your purposes. The paint goes a long way - I had a one litre can and only used about 2/3rds of it to do two coats on both items. I used a little foam roller for the big surfaces on the linen cupboard, so that I wouldn't have lots of brush strokes showing. Clean up is also easy as the paint is water-based. The painting was quite easy although it took a long time because the cupboard was so big. The waxing was much more labour-intensive and was really quite hard work. The Annie Sloan course teaches you to 'wax on, wax off': in other words you rub in the wax with a cloth or a special brush, then you wipe away the excess. One of the instructors suggested rubbing the wax vigorously with a soft shoe brush, so I did that also after the first wipe. Then after letting the wax set for a while, you buff with a soft cloth - a microfibre cloth from the pound shop works great. If you do it properly, the item has a soft gleam and doesn't feel waxy or sticky - a lot of the chalk painted items I've seen in antiques stores haven't been waxed properly and still feel sticky.