Thursday, August 7, 2008
Trial and Error
The first thing we decided to do once we moved in was to paint. I had never painted anything before but my confidence was high as we picked out our colors with excitement at the store. We came home with more equipment than our car could hold and broke out the brushes. Now anybody who knows anything about painting will tell you that the paint job is only as good as the prep work. We must have missed that episode of THIS OLD HOUSE. We didn't bother to remove any of the nails from the walls, or fill any holes with Spackle, and we weren't too great about keeping the plastic down on the hardwood floor either (something we are still living with, four years later). Plus, the color we picked out, called cool melon, which looked really good at the store looked sickly in our dining room. No matter: we boldly went where no man should have ever gone, at least without some kind of instruction.
The result was pretty ghastly. The in-laws made no bones about how much they hated it. We would get comments like WOW! It's so...bright.
Not to be put off by the negative comments, we moved right on into our daughter's soon to be bedroom. It had originally been part of a long garage attached to the left side of the house. The garage had been divided into two bedrooms and the walls were now paneled with beat up white paneling. The ceiling was covered in really old beat up white ceiling tiles with little spaceship stickers all over them.
We weren't sure what we were going to do with the walls, at first, either take them down and put up Sheetrock, or paint them, or what. But wait! We were just about to discover JOINT COMPOUND! We decided to smooth in the lines of the paneling with the joint compound. And then paint.
So it began. Weeks and weeks of filling and scraping and sanding and filling and scraping and sanding. I thought it would never end. I dreamed that I was sanding in my sleep. Then came the ceiling tiles. They were easy to take down. I would pull on one and three would come down. Underneath was about twenty years of yucky nasty dirt waiting to fall on my hair and get in my clothes. After we took out the five hundred bags of tiles to the curb it was time to tackle the staples left in the bead board ceiling. Again I dreamed of staples in my sleep. There must have been five thousand of them. (Hey, there's nothing left to prove there weren't five thousand, there coulda been) Finally we began to paint. This time we picked out a mint green and paired it with a shocking pink and a bright yellow. Stripes. Like CANDY LAND on steroids. My five year old would have been in the loony bin in a month if she had to live in that room, so I quit in the middle and started over on the paint. This time I picked a more sedate pink and wallpapered teacups and cupcakes around the room.
Along the way, I learned to use a miter box for trim, how crown moulding works, (How it works for other people, I could never get it to work for me.) How to PROPERLY prep and paint a room. How to use a power screw driver (don't laugh, I had never used one before I bought this house) How to use a drill, and last week I used a Skill saw by myself for the first time, to build a gate for my fence.
But those are all later stories. Suffice it to say that eventually we picked a different color for the dining room, a pretty yellow, and this time we did the prep work first and the end result was SO much better. I don't just live with it now, I love it.