Nigel’s DIY Adventures in Thamesmead Part 1 – A Kitchen

May 15, 2017

This is the first in a series of blog posts about DIY by our guardian DIY expert, Nigel. Nigel has been a guardian in the Abbey Wood/Thamesmead area since January, and also happens to be a DIY superstar!

He transformed his flat from blank canvas into a gorgeous DIY temple. This inspired us to turn to him for this blog series: Nigel’s DIY Adventures in Thamesmead. Follow this series for top-notch tips to spruce up kitchens, living rooms, hallways, bathrooms and more at low cost.

Nigel tackled his kitchen first, so that’s where we’ll begin. Over to you Nigel!

A Kitchen Ledge DIY Challenge

After receiving the keys to Hibernia Point on Tuesday 17th January, I didn’t actually step foot in the flat until 8am on the Thursday. This was after my night shift, when I dropped off a mattress I had acquired. Only then did I realise how spacious the flat was and how much work was required to make it homely, clean and fresh. I thought to myself “what have I done”!

After walking around weighing up, sizing up and taking pics of the rooms, I returned to where I was staying to make arrangements for utilities and bills. Then on Friday 20th January I returned to the flat armed with paint, rollers, brushes, a bag of tools and most importantly of all – a stereo for company.

The first area I wanted to tackle was the kitchen windows (below); they really didn’t look the best. They were rough and didn’t do the view from the window any justice. Especially the morning sunrise and evening sunsets on a clear day: they’re amazing.

I scraped off the worse of the flaking old, yellowy black paint. With legs of jelly I climbed onto the kitchen work top and made a start by cutting in using a smaller brush and a 2.5ltr tin of Dulux Once Pure Brilliant White Gloss.

Affordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIY

After a couple of hours and forgetting the fact I was 12 stories high on the window ledge I had completed the window frame and the above panels that have been previously painted out, as you can see from the picture below.

Affordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIY

Floors and Walls, Walls and Floors

For the larger areas, using a small roller and tray gives an even cover and speeds up the process. For the walls I used Lidl’s kitchen and Bathroom mould resistant paint that was on offer: 2 x 2.5ltr tubs for £10. This paint I found to be thin and took 3 coats in total to cover and the finish was not as good as I would have liked. But it gave a fresh clean crisp white finish instead of the grey and blue colour scheme, which was welcome. You can see the contrast below – excuse the blurry photos!

Affordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIYAffordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIY








The lino floor was in reasonable condition so I left it in place and just gave it a good scrub. However, this needed to be done anyway due to the amount of paint drips from the watery paint used.

In total I spent 14 hours over 2 days redoing my kitchen. This included the glossing of the doors, frames, windows and skirting boards, 3 coats of paint on walls and ceiling.

Next Time – A Living Room

Hopefully this first post has given you a few ideas for Kitchen DIY! Next time Nigel will be running us through how to redo a living room.

If this post has inspired you to want to live near Nigel in Thamesmead/Abbey Wood, check out our availability and apply now!


This week’s top five volunteering opportunities

May 6, 2016

1.Lansbury Micro Museum

national trustWhere: Chrisp Street Market
When: At least once a fortnight on a Friday or Saturday from 11am-4pm
Category: Museum, History, Architecture
Commitment Level: Ongoing

In partnership with the V&A and Poplar HARCA, a new micro-museum is being opened in Poplar which is focused on celebrating the history and architectural importance of the Lansbury Estate. The exhibition will evolve each month to explore personal stories from residents in the area. They are looking for a team of dynamic micro-museum guides to help run the space. To find out more and to register your interest, email: or call: 0207 824 7134.

2.Cordwainers Grow

Cordwainers GrowWhere: Hackney
When: 14th May, 28th May, 4th June, 18th June, 2nd July from 14.00-16.00
Category: Gardening, Community, Food
Commitment Level: Ad Hoc

Cordwainers Grow are looking for community gardening volunteers who are interested in helping to set-up and maintain community gardening projects. They organise volunteer days at different gardens and sites around Hackney and invite volunteers to help with sowing seeds, harvesting herbs and setting up new growing spaces. If you are interested in this opportunity, click here.

3.Severndroog Castle Preservation Trust

severndroog castleWhere: Castle Wood, Woolwich, SE18 3RT
When: Thursdays, Fridays or Sundays
Category: Heritage, History, Architecture
Commitment Level: Ongoing

The Severndroog Castle Preservation Trust are looking for a volunteer visitor assistant to give visitors an exciting experience. After years of campaigning for the preservation of the building and restoration work, the Castle is now in its second year of being open to the public and is seen as a local attraction and a place of learning. The role involves providing a friendly and informed welcome to the visitors. For more information and to register your interest, click here.

4.Victim Support

victim supportWhere: 51 Philbeach Gardens, SW5 9EB
When: Various
Category: Support, Mentoring, Crime
Commitment Level: Ongoing

Victim Support are looking for volunteer community support workers to provide emotional and practical support to the victims of crime. Typical tasks involve contacting people who have been victims of crime, either over the phone, at the victim’s home or another mutually agreed location. If you are interested in finding out more, click here.

5.Brixton People’s Kitchen

brixton people's kitchenWhere: Myatts Fields Park, Brixton
When: 7th May, 14th May, 28th May and 11th June from 10.30 – 15.30
Category: Poverty, Food Banks, Food Waste
Commitment Level: Ad Hoc

The Brixton People’s Kitchen are looking for people to come help them cook good food for local people in an area without good access to fresh fruit and vegetables. You’d be helping to reduce food waste, educate young people about healthier eating and bringing the community closer together. For more information, see here.

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