Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Weekend Makeover

What did you do this weekend? My family went to visit my sister-in-law in Eastern Washington. I wanted to go and experience first-hand the biting 0° weather, but I decided I needed to take advantage of the opportunity to actually accomplish some work while my kids weren't around. I love having them around, but trying to actually accomplish anything is more frustrating than... Well, there's nothing that compares. I mean, I gave up a road trip to do this. A road trip.

I mean, you know those moments in parenting when you're thinking, I can handle all this craziness if I can just get the laundry put away, or the dishes done, or whatever, but it turns out the kids all had a meeting before you got up where they decided that they were going to make sure that one thing was NOT done under any circumstance. I know you've been there.

Anyway, this weekend I completed a work that has me very satisfied. Usually I get projects into what one friend calls "the danger zone" which is where the state of the work is back to functional so there's no real hurry to finish it and the next thing you know it's been six months and you still didn't touch up that spot on the ceiling. Again, I know you've been there.

This one was different. Knowing that I would literally have no opportunity to do that sort of little finishing touch once the kids returned, I worked as I never have before. I looked into the minimum reacoat times of the primer and paints, paid close attention to when I would do things like wash the walls, apply caulk, and other things that had time constraints. I took every opportunity to gain a little time, and I stayed up very late at night.




In the end, when Chelsea and the kids pulled into the driveway Sunday night, there was still a few touch up spots that were drying and I hadn't even emptied the boys' room of all the junk I had left in there. It was down to the wire.

Friday night I got stuck at work late and I had a scout outing to participate in. By 10pm I was back home at work. Before I went to bet at 2am, I had cleared out the room, taken all the switch plates off, removed the closet doors, removed the closet shelving, TSP washed all the surfaces, filled the holes, and done some initial masking. I finally went be bed without setting an alarm.

At 9:30am I was back at it. I did the final masking and prep and got after the priming. At noon I was done priming. (Cutting in all the trim takes a long time.) Then I was going to stop for lunch and have a shower, but I decided to go ahead and get the ceiling out of the way first. That only took an hour and by 1:30 I was showering and headed out. I made my first Lowe's trip of the project to get a new light switch to replace the 20-year-old builder grade one with a spec grade so that it matches the rest of the house. I also needed more roller covers and tray liners.


Now it was time to really get after it. At 3pm I started rolling the main color. That took longer than I thought it would. By 6:30 I had run out of the main color. I remember this because I checked the Sherwin-Williams website to find that they had closed at 6. I had to wait clear until 10am(!) to get more paint. I was only half a quart short. Fortunately, I thought I might be short, so I left the closet until last.

Main color done, awaiting accent color.

It didn't matter, though. I had plenty to do until then. I still had the accent color to manage as well as all the trim, so I pressed on. It was my hope to have all the painting done Saturday so that Sunday I could concentrate on things like fixing the trim and other touches. I don't remember the details, but I know that before I went to bed at 3am Sunday morning I had finished all the topcoats except for the area that I hadn't done before running out of paint.

I turned my whole house into a staging area for this project. The bathroom had all my paint stuff, the boys' room was where I piled all the displaced furniture, and the living room became part of the workshop. The garage is a desolation. It's part Santa's workshop and part staging area. I was hoping to get it cleaned out today since I had work off, but the kids were home. Remember, Me: "If I can just get the garage cleaned, I can handle this madness." Kids: "Sorry dad, we all had a meeting and we hate to disappoint you, but...."

The bathroom workshop.

The boys' room covered in stuff.

Trim painting workshop in the living room.

At 10:15 I walked into the paint store and by 10:45 I was at home painting again. Of course, that last pint of paint went on pretty fast. Then I just had to give it some drying time before I put in the closet organizer and reinstalled the baseboard.

The debate rages as to whether to remove the baseboard or not for painting. For this project I removed most of it, but then left some installed. I think I will leave it installed from now on. When I removed it, I broke several of the small pieces around the closet opening. Fortunately I had saved some trim when I removed it from another part of the house so I painted some of that and was able to cut new pieces to fit. My second Lowe's trip of the weekend was to get brads and finish nails for the baseboard.

Getting ready to install the baseboard.
The entertainment is very important for projects like this. It was a combination of Lord of the Rings, Netflix binge watching, and continuous audiobook streams.

Closet organizer is in.

 The home stretch.

I took a break in the afternoon to talk to my parents for a while and by 5pm I had the baseboards reinstalled and caulked and I was waiting for it to dry before touching up.

Touching up the baseboard is a particular weakness for me. It's worth noting that the caulk tube says it only requires 30 minutes of drying time before painting. I had always thought it needed overnight. I mean, I already talked about danger zone. I still haven't touched up the baseboard from several years ago when I painted the rest of the house. As I said, this time was different. I did all the touch up and I think it looks great.

When Chelsea and the kids got home about 7:30, I had JUST finished and I was doing the final vacuuming before I would start moving the furniture back in.

It felt really good to have pure progress, but I'm also glad to have my family back. Now I'll stack a bunch of crap into the closet and get ready to frame up a shed next week. All these projects have aggressive schedules, but once they're done I'll feel a lot more comfortable in the house.


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