Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Home Renovation Part Two: So Much Painting

The main thing we've been working on lately with our house is painting! We were aided in this by my mother, her boyfriend, and Greg's mother and aunt. All three of the bedrooms are now done:

The library - which we've already started moving some things into! - is painted "glazed ginger," a kind of darkish orange that most people say looks like caramel, but Greg and I think more butterscotch than caramel. (Incidentally, anything called "ginger" automatically amuses me because I grew up with a friend named Ginger and one of my mom's close friends is also named Ginger. Hilarious mental images always ensue.)

The master bedroom (the only room we're actually calling a bedroom) is electric blue (or, as the lid says, "el capitan"), pretty much the same color of my room in high school when my parents finally let us choose the wall colors of our rooms, and the same color as my bedroom when I lived with my friend Derek (ahh, those were fun years), who let me choose the paint color of my room when he had his condo painted. I had actually been going for not the same color as my high school (and college) room, but it turns out that I really like that color and chose it twice. I didn't even pick out the color this time, Greg did! Which shows how well he knows me, apparently, as I don't think he has seen either of those other two rooms. We were going for a more robin's egg blue, but... Ah, well! (PS - I have a friend named Robin, too, but I don't know that she has any eggs, blue or otherwise.)

Incidentally, one of my favorite David Bowie songs called "Sound and Vision" has the lyrics, "blue, blue, electric blue, that's the color of my room, where I will live." I discovered the song after first painting my room this color.


The littlest room has been dubbed by Greg "the jungle room" on account of its dark olive green color. Greg was very resistant to painting anything in the house green, despite it being his favorite color. This one ended up a little darker than we'd been expecting, though it's probably because there isn't a whole lot of light in that room, it being the smallest, and, really, none of the rooms on that side of the house get a lot of light as they face north.

We have yet to do anything to the kitchen aside from taking down the lights in order to patch and paint the ceiling. I did move in the free microwave that my mother gave to us because I had to sit and wait for three hours for someone to come measure for our new cupboards one day, and to do so without the ability to heat water in order to make tea is just ludicrous.

So I've already had my first cuppa tea in my new house! It was chai made from powder rather than scratch because the fridge isn't plugged in, so no milk, and I don't generally like milk in my tea, so I don't make chai from scratch anyway. I had forgotten to bring a spoon, so I bent the metal freshness seal on the little tub of powdered chai into a vaguely spoon shape because dammit! It worked and the resulting beverage was immensely satisfying. Especially since, as I said, it took the person three hours to get there. Glad I brought a pillow to sit on the floor. There is no furniture of any kind.

Remember how last time I talked about how latex paint doesn't adhere well to oil based paint? It really, really doesn't. Not only have I peeled paint off two of the four bathroom walls, but now one and a half of the living room walls and one half of the hallway, as well! Agh! What is wrong with people?? I spent a good chunk of one day edging out one of the living room walls to make it easier to paint with a roller later only to discover a corner peeling. When I tried to pull off that little bit, an entire swatch came off the size of my hand ,and it just kept going from there. Greg picked up some trisodium phosphate (aka TSP) that is supposed to give the oil-based paint, or any smooth surface, tooth so that we can paint latex on top of it without incident. This has been extremely frustrating.


I can tell the previous painters truly had no idea what they were doing by looking at the numerous layers of paint in the bathroom. In a few spots, you can see where the paint has become mottled, indicative of someone once painting oil paint over latex. I read online that latex paint, for whatever reason, will bleed through the layer of oil paint painted on top of it, leaving a mottled look, one of the reasons to never do this. The other reason to never do this (as a number of websites told me) is because latex paint, being water-based, is more flexible than oil-based paint, so as it absorbs moisture, due to humidity, for example, it will "flex" while oil won't, so if oil is on top of latex, it is likely to crack while the latex "flexes." So don't do it!

One of the walls of the living room, the one I was working on until we had to undo all of it, is going to be our one "accent wall" and we chose the most TARDIS blue we could find. I was really looking forward to painting it! Hopefully this won't set us back more than two weeks. We're trying to spend all of our free time working on the house, but there is precious little of it for one, and two, we also are still living in our apartment which needs tending to now and again (I spent my free time before work yesterday doing housework around the apartment), and we need to pack and ready ourselves to move when the house is ready. (I've already started packing up and moving the library.) Also, the problems we were having with one of our cats turns out not to be resolved, which is both frustrating and messy (he's pooping everywhere - cleaned up four piles yesterday alone, one on the couch).

We did manage to finally pick out a new hallway light that we both like and Greg installed it all on his own without electrocuting himself! He is quite proud of this. I think it's a very handsome light and also very bright. I hope to have the hallway done very soon, followed by the living room. The kitchen is waiting on Home Depot to get back to us about the cupboards, and the bathroom has turned out to need twice the work I'd anticipated, so that may have to wait until we are moved in to finish up, especially since the living room has turned out to be such a trial.


The adventure continues! Hopefully I can still get things accomplished while Greg is in Pennsylvania attending Pennsic for a week. I am relived that he will not be gone his usual two+ weeks as he used to. There is just so much to do!!

1 comment:

  1. We recently had to renovate after a fire. The insurance company would only cover a single basic color for every room. We've been gradually repainting and appreciate some of the ideas you present here. We're doing things like looking at soothing colors for bedrooms and stimulating hues for social areas. The brainstorming's fun. It's the work itself I'd love to leave to everyone else. :)

    Maxwell Frey @ Design Build Duluth

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