Saturday, February 21, 2009


Some posts I have more difficulty being sprightly than others. I'm tired, I'm grumpy, and the universe is exhibiting a certain lack of sparkle that I am incapable of manufacturing on my own.

This may be one of them. Sorry for the lack of sprightliness. I'll try to be more interesting next go round.

In the interim, what we have here is more on the order of a report.

Item the First: More Fascia.
We bought some exterior paint (aside: Lowe's has already discontinued the paint color--Dune Breeze--that we used on our interior trim. There are colors that are almost identical, but they have different names. What purpose does this serve exactly? "Golden Beam," for example, has been replaced by--I kid you not--"Gilded Endive"--because what could be more reasonable than applying molten gold to a salad green? Anyway, I get the allure of the nonsensical new name, but I actually, oddly, choose my paint colors based on the color, not the name. End digression.) and some new pieces of fascia to replace the rotten fascia behind the defunct gutters.

Item the Second: Paint the Fascia.
I primed the new bits of lumber and painted everything the new shade of faintly lemony white ("Betsy's Linen," it's called. This name brings to mind the story of the origin of the color "isabelline," a short of yellowish taupe. Princess Isabelle's dad, King Somebody of Somewhere went off to war, and in a gesture that is distressing from both a Freudian and a hygienic perspective, the princess swore not to change her underclothes until he returned. The war dragged on, and isabelline is supposedly the color her underwear was by the time her father returned, years later. Story is almost certainly apocryphal, but still: Ew. Moral: don't name yellowish things using words that are synonymous with "underwear."). We now have enough lumber for one long and one short side of the house.

Item the Third: Scrape the antique closet doors. Again.
Cleaning the last remaining traces of paint from the corners of 2 of our antique doors is taking FOREVER. For-FREAKIN-ever. That old paint was formulated with kryptonite or something. I'm using the gel paint remover that turns to a powdery solid when it's done lifting the paints, and we're scraping it out of the crevices with a metal spackling spatula and these little stiff-bristled brushes. Basically, imagine us vigorously and repeatedly scrubbing every inch of the trim with toothbrushes until the caked-on paint remover gives way. Fun, no?

The good news is that I finally stumbled upon a Technique. DIYers, take note:
When clearing crevices with a spackling spatula, do NOT hold spatula parallel to the door itself--much too easy to accidentally pare off pits of trim that way. Instead, hold spatula perpendicular to door and pull towards self. Spatula is much less likely to jump from one crevice to another and less likely to damage wood.

Item the Fourth: Paint kitchen door.
You may remember that we had to install a new kitchen door during the Weatherstripping Surge. Sadly, it was filthy and painted forest green on the inside and beige on the outside. Have been meaning to paint it for weeks now--since I was already in my special painting outfit and had a paintbrush full of paint, it seemed like time to divert that road to hell that I'd been paving and take care of the darn thing.

All in all, a profitably spent day, but now I'm backachey and funny smelling and--inexplicably, as I was in the workshop most of the time--I feel sunburned to boot. Bleh. I'm going to shower and go to bed. Perhaps tomorrow--while tackling 4 or 5 major cooking projects--I'll feel more chipper. Peace out.

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