For those of you new to this blog, I am sharing the trials and tribulations of our home improvement project to finish off the unfinished room over the garage ourselves. It’s been a fairly easy journey so far as our role has pretty much been limited to scheduling sub-contractors and making sure the doors were unlocked so they could do their work. But we were about to enter into the true “do-it-yourself” phase of this undertaking, and things were about to get hot. And I don’t mean that in the romantic sense. I mean in the end-of-summer-in-southern-Virginia-working-inside-a-small-space-with-no-a/c hot. Here’s my video theme song for this segment:
What do they say about the best laid plans? Yes, "they oft gang awry."
That Saturday dawned sunny and hot. Temperatures forecast in the low 90s with humidity at about the same numerical level. While many of you were enjoying relaxing weekends of picnics and parties and college football, we armed ourselves with rollers and paintbrushes and set to work.
If you think about it, a 484-square foot house has 484-square feet of ceiling that needs primed. That is hard on the neck. I don’t’ have a tally on the wall space that divided up the apartment up into four rooms, but suffice it to say, it was a LOT! This was hard on the neck, back, arms, legs, and nose. (Primer has a slight odor to it that seems to amplify in hot, humid, air-less conditions.) We started priming at 8 a.m. on Saturday, started sweating by 8:15 a.m. and worked through until about 4 p.m. I'm not gonna lie...I took a lot of breaks to go in and check the game score, but we said we were going to get that space primed and come heck or high water (or the most interesting football game of the season, to us at least) we were going to finish priming.
The only reason we stopped at 4 was because our five gallon bucket of primer was empty.
By that time, there was only one phrase to describe me—A MESS. Paint in my hair; paint on my glasses; paint all over my clothes; and paint on just about every one of my 2,000 body parts. And it didn’t wash off all that easy, despite scrubbing until my skin was pink. Upon reflection, the entire day was like a redneck’s day at the spa: I’d sweated out at least five pounds of water and lord only knows how many pounds of toxins; had exfoliated my skin until it shone like a newborn baby’s; and I kind of sort of had a French-tip manicure from the white paint under my nails I couldn’t get to wash off.
Despite our fatigue, we cleaned up and headed off to Home Depot to buy five more gallons of primer. Being on a tight schedule this weekend, we returned home and in the last few meager rays of light (remember, no electricity out there yet) we finished the prime job. Then we went inside and caught what was left of college game day.
Sunday dawned hot. We donned our messy paint cloths, still damp with sweat from the day before, and set to work painting the ceiling and walls. Since crown molding would go around everywhere but the bath, we didn’t even have to be too careful around the area where the wall met the ceiling. But still, the project took hours. And, you guessed it, we ran out of paint. Ceiling paint, that is. So I cleaned up as best I could and went back to Home Depot.
Monday was second-coat day. So we repeated the entire ceiling/wall paint process, all the time thinking about y’all enjoying a bar-b-cue or a relaxing day at the beach. Fatigue had set in, and made us sloppier than the first two days, and kind of punch drunk. (It couldn’t be real drunk because we tried to hold off on the libations until our days work was done. We were playing the role of professional painter here!) Despite husband telling me to be careful where I stepped (painting the ceiling one tends to look up, not down), I of course stepped in the tray of paint. I also knocked it over, twice, spreading puddles of thick paint all over the floor. I also painted over the one wall socket that had been installed, not once, not twice, but three times.
And I’m not sure I mentioned it, but this entire weekend was hot, hot hot! I don’t think I have ever sweated so much in my life! It was like brush on paint, wipe off brow, brush on paint, wipe off brow. I literrally had sweat dripping off the end of my nose. Gross, I know. At the end of every day I was as wet as if it’d jumped in a swimming pool. I’d even tried the trick of draping a wet cloth around my neck, but it only helped a wee bit.
I learned two important life lessons this weekend.
One, I don’t want to be a professional painter-woman when I grow up.
Two, if someone offers you the use of their spray painter, DON’T BE A HERO! Accept the offer graciously! It would have made the job so much easier. (In my defense, I didn’t think it would be all that hard to paint a 484-square foot apartment. But in effect we had painted it three times! These ideas always look so much easier on paper.)
By the end of the holiday weekend we had accomplished our goal; the inside of the carriage house was painted and ready for the next phase. Gallon-tally calculated at 13 gallons applied to walls and ceiling, ½ gallon spilled, and ¼ gallon worn on our persons/clothing, and at least the same amount of sweat expelled.
But we weren't done yet, not by a long shot. We still had miles to go, or at least it felt like it as throughout the week we primed and painted hundreds of feet of trim as it stretched across three sawhorses then propped up against the fence to dry.
|About 1/'4 of the wood trim primed and painted|
Then four doors and frames:
But no rest for the weary, because it was time to get the things assembled for next weekend’s project. Here’s a sneak peak:
I thought the painting was hard, but it was nothing compared to what was in store for us next.