Monday, September 13, 2010

Making it mine

When we moved into our house last summer, I declared that I couldn't stand the paint color in the kitchen or in the second guest bedroom, which became Kirby's room. I was going to paint them both as soon as possible, along with all the wood trim in the house. Never happened. Partially, the extent of the work involved in those projects was daunting. Partially, I just couldn't pick a color that I wanted.  Now, I hardly notice the mustard-colored walls in the kitchen, and although the trim still bugs me, I can live with it for now.  A few weeks ago, however, I decided that I had had enough of the odd argyle pattern on the walls of Kirby's room and the white patches where Kirby had chewed off all the paint.  It was time to paint.

See, this is what I had been living with! Notice the white patch at the bottom.
The underlying blue-gray color wasn't that bad, but the room just felt like a boy's room, from the 70s. I chose Labor Day Weekend to begin the project, figuring that it gave me time to do my regular weekend activities, as well as some recovery time.  After filing 6 months worth of receipts and bills, moving out Kirby, clearing off the bookshelf, and generally discombobulating the room, the first step was to spackle all the little and not-so-little holes in the walls.

Here's where it is weird - the pattern isn't complete.
There were a lot of holes.  Each diamond had holes at each corner, there were big screw holes left from a shelf that had been removed and from the curtain rod holders I removed our first weekend in the house, and there were several Kirby patches. Good thing my mom taught me how to spackle when I was a kid!

Starting to look much better, even with only one coat of primer.
Then the spackle had to be sanded, as did the edges of the diamonds, to make sure there would be no funny ridges in the new paint job.  Next up came washing down the walls, since they were now coated with a layer of spackle sand and chinchilla dust (chinchillas have to bathe in a very fine volcanic dust - pretty cute to watch, but also very messy). I also had to tape off all the trim, since I decided to leave it for now, since Kirby is likely to chew on it from time to time.  Then, and only then, could I get down to the "fun" part of actually painting. After just one coat of tinted primer, everything started to look much better.

Of course, I had to stop for a snack of bagel and a Pimm's Cup - only a little booze while painting...
The priming took about 3 hours, and since it had to dry, and it was then end of Labor Day weekend, the room had to wait until the next weekend for the rest of the painting.  So, this Saturday I started nice and early, and got one coat done before lunch. That coat took about 2 hours and then needed a 4 hour break to dry and set before I could finish.  I had better things to do than watch paint dry, like grocery shopping, eating lunch and watching an episode of Leverage, and taking Miikka to a puppy pool party (pictures from that tomorrow), so I welcomed the break.

Voila - an entirely new room!
Benjamin helped a bit with the final coat, which cut the time down to an hour and a half.  Yay! On Sunday I was able to remove all the tape from the trim, clear out all the painting gear, vacuum, and start moving stuff back in.  I decided to rearrange a little while I was at it, so my desk could be under the window.  Kirby hasn't seen the room yet, since I am waiting for the paint smell to dissipate a little bit more - he is a delicate creature, don't want him to go all canary in the coal mine on me! That said, I used low VOC paint and primer from Sherwin Williams, so there really was almost no smell, which was great! I used a box fan in the window while painting to keep air moving, but I don't know how necessary it was.  Anyway, I am very happy with the way the room turned out, and I am starting to think about painting other rooms, although the kitchen will probably have to wait until I can get my mom to come down and help!

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