Sunday, May 17, 2009

Operation "Whoa, That's a Lot of Purple" Completed

Matt hauls off the Late Lamented. Shower remnants visible on the right.

Phew. Busy day. Tackled the mudroom renovation. Matt capped off the plumbing (which, lucky for us, came through the water heater closet, so he was able to do his plumbing in there) to the old shower and then pulled out what was left of the stall. Then he cleaned what appeared to be years of grime, dryer fluff, dust, and a recent overlayment of cat hair. Not going to dwell on all that. Makes me feel kind of queasy.

I was in charge of removing everything from the walls, spackling, and painting. Just like back in the early days of Elgin House, every, every surface had to be coated, from the air vent in the ceiling on down. While I was at it, I also painted the inside and out of the exterior door, which had been a lovely combination of taupe and pale mustard (WTF?) And once you paint the door, you really need to paint the trim around the door or you'll end up with clashing shades of white, or, in this case, clashing shades of "Betsy's Linen" and grimy, moldy, filthy off-white. So I was at it all day.

Nine rooms after I first raised a brush in this house, and I've finally learned some things about painting.

(1) Use thick coats on the ceiling. Doesn't really matter if it takes ages to dry, after all. Much preferable to applying multiple coats.
(2) Should have bought paint from Ace's from the start. The Lowe's stuff I used for everything else took 2 or often 3 coats to cover the white underneath. Ace's brand takes 1 coat, and the cost is fairly close.
(3) Give up on all the stupid little gimmicks and tools for painting straight lines--none of them work; they all end up seeping and blobbing. Get a good quality chisel-tip brush and freehand it as best you can. Faster and less heart-breaking. Press the brush forcefully against the wall near the line you need to paint. The brush should fan out slightly. Carefully move into place, always tracking the location of the outermost set of bristles as those are the ones that will form the edge. Don't breathe.

Matt, somewhat to my surprise, didn't make any protest when I informed him I'd be painting the laudry room "Globe Thistle." Other than a slightly sardonic expression around the eyebrows, anyway. It's a really lovely color--a sort of lilac with a touch of grey. But zowie, it's powerful in large quantities. Something a little more tame might have been a better choice, but we've got two cans of the stuff--we're sticking with "Globe Thistle," dammit.

New "Globe Thistle" walls

So there it is. It's improved in terms of grime, but it's hardly white-glove clean, largely because the disintegrating linoleum is so foul. Also, I need to put a second coat on the trim and do some more work behind the dryer *shudder*.

However, as you can see, there is now space for the washer where the shower used to be. Will order tomorrow--very exciting.

Future plans:
(1) Replace nasty linoleum
(2) Buy dryer to match front-loading washer and stack the two units over by the window.
(3) Get Javier to build a laundry station to the right of the machines. Will have cabinets going all the way up to the ceiling, a pull-out counter for folding, a bar for hanging clothes while drying, and a space at the bottom for tucking away the Beasts' litterbox nicely out of sight.
(4) Buy and install chandelier (with little dangly crystal bits!) to replace grotty, half-shorted-out old "brass" fixture.

For the moment, I've had all the fun with laundry renovation I can stand, though. Going to be aggressively lazy for the next few days. Other than catching up on a bunch of laundry, anyway.

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