Tag Archives: House and Garden

Painting and Cats

Painting and Cats

When I bought the paint for the living room, I went to Sherwin-Williams because it was one of their colors. The lighter shade that went onto the office walls was a regular interior base, but the darker color I’m using in the living room is their Duration interior. Our first surprise was that it wasn’t a full gallon, but 3 11/16 quarts. The label claims it’s to make room for additional colorants, so we figured it was OK. Now keep in mind here that I sanded and primed every surface in this room to prepare. . .I’ve put on three coats, and I still have patchy color. I’m stunned. I’ve painted rooms some pretty outrageous colors before, but I’ve never had a problem with coverage. I’m afraid I’m going to be sticking with Benjamin Moore from now on. I was hoping to be putting the room back together by now, but I’m going to have to get out the roller after I’m done complaining here.

Now I had mentioned the resentment that Toby and Calvin are expressing that we’re not letting them out. I’ve had to close them up because they’ve seen the open windows in the room I’m painting and tried to get out that way – hopping up onto freshly painted windowsills. Well, Calvin has tried another tack to convince me to toss him outside – peeing in the bathtub. Little pain in the butt. I would throw him out for that, but Carolyn would be a wreck if he disappeared, too.

The Washer is Dead.

The Washer is Dead.

Yeah, the repairman said it was fine, and it worked OK for a couple of weeks. Yesterday it was making the most horrible screeching sounds, so today I threw in a load of rags, and we went from horrible screeching to nails down a blackboard screeching. By the time I noticed the smell, the tub had filled with smoke. I opened the lid, and you’d think the washer was a car with a blown radiator. What a mess. The kids took the rags out, I got the water out with the shop vac. A new washing machine is arriving Saturday, and it is not a Maytag or a Whirlpool or an Amana (all manufactured by whirlpool now.) I’m not buying American because the American products suck. So there. The new machine is a Bosch front-loader, which will help with the electric bill, too, because it spins more moisture out. That’s good, because we still have a Maytag dryer, which is electric and takes forever and costs a fortune to run. When it dies, its replacement will not be an American product, either, unless something changes dramatically and quality becomes a priority. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that.

A Picture at Last!

A Picture at Last!

Took these Tuesday morning, but we were off to NYC and I didn’t get a chance to write about them. Today was a wash, too – I might not have traveled as far from home, but I probably put the same number of miles on the car. *sigh*

So here’s the office, with the fishtank looking a lovely color next to the new walls:
new-office.jpg
new-office2.jpg

I was not allowed to photograph the corner with the newly painted credenza because stuff is piled up on the desk there, and it ruins the perception that it is the only bastion of order in the entire house.

Labor Day So Far

Labor Day So Far

We were all up at the crack of dawn this morning. The teensiest beginning of a smidge of the crack of dawn. We threw on clothes and drove to Ortley Beach to watch the sun rise. I don’t remember there being so much trash on the beach last year, but at least it was almost all in cans, which were being emptied by the town as we arrived. There were a few people, lots of them with their metal detectors, and a few who were, like us, there to enjoy the dawn. I don’t understand the appeal of metal detectors any more than I do Bingo. It’s gambling, and it’s expensive and time-consuming gambling. If I want to dream of a windfall, I’ll play the lottery.

Anyway, the dawn was amazing, as usual. You never realize how quickly the sun moves across the sky until you have a point of reference like the horizon. It takes less than 15 minutes from the time you see the first bright edge to when it’s cleared the water.

Sunrise at Ortley Beach

After, we went to Toms River Diner, had a big breakfast and a ton of coffee. When we got home, I threw on painting clothes, touched up the office and the furniture, peeled up tape and gathered dropcloths and trash, and marveled at my mad painting skills. The girls and I left hubby to assemble his furniture (got him a new desk at IKEA!) and headed out shopping. I hate to buy them clothes before their annual October growth spurt, but it was that or send them to school pants-free. Got back, moved the desk, unpacked bags, and started the job that defines me as a person, laundry. Heh. I joke, of course.

It’s a lovely day. We may or may not hit the beach later today after we think most of the vacationers have gone. We want to move the fishtank back in from the garage, and I’d like to be able to make more of a dent in the laundry because it’s all over the floor and in baskets in my room and it’s not sanding or painting. I think it would be nice to finally read the morning papers, too, and the chairs by the pond are waiting for me.

Paintpaintpaintpaintpaintpaintpaint

Paintpaintpaintpaintpaintpaintpaint

Office is done. Must check for touch-ups needed in daylight. Hands stiff. Painting clothes even stiffer. Smell bad, must take shower. Up super early tomorrow to watch sun rise at the beach. Then breakfast. I hope not no more paint. Ow, ow, but sanding worse. Ugh. Me super tired painting woman. I show pictures later.

Anyone Want to Come Over?

Anyone Want to Come Over?

Heh. Yes, I will be the hostess with the mostest. . . paint and brushes and sandpaper!! Come on by, scrape some walls, assemble some furniture, and I’ll feed and entertain you! Woohoo!

My back is feeling a bit better because I’m doing my PT exercises, so I’m rarin’ to go. We have two rooms that are nearly empty, my favorite kind to paint. This poor guy puts in the floor yesterday, and within minutes, we have paint samples spread out all over, then taped to the wall, then we all start scraping the icky paint off, making a mess on this stuff he worked his butt off to put down. . .but wait ’til you see.

The idea starts with the colors and goes from there. Unfortunately, our big oriental rug won’t match what we chose for the living/dining room, so I have no idea what we’re going to do with it. However, we played and played, and came up with a way to transition the colors from room to room, bringing one into the next room at a time, and it’s like a strategy game. I love it. Plus, a couple of years ago, I picked up a silk sari. Well, the fabric for it. I bargained the owner down to $100 for it, one of the highest prices I’ve ever paid for a fabric, but I had to have it. Well, it’s orange, shot with gold, and the background iridescent thread in the weave is turquoise. It’s going to be curtains in the orange bedroom. And now I know that we’ll be looking for turquoise-y colors in rugs and bedspreads and such, not browns or greens. I’m very excited, indeed.

We have large paint chips for the colors we’re going to use, and paint stirrers with the colors we’ve already painted, and we’re off to IKEA and Jersey Gardens. Later, I will go to K-Mart and buy crappy clothes for painting. I usually use stuff I already have, but I’ve done so much painting in them that they can stand up on their own. The pressure’s on, everyone, so I’m issuing an open invitation to come down and help me paint. No beer until after everything’s cleaned up, though. I learned that one from painting parties back in college. Heh.

I Hate Painting Prep.

I Hate Painting Prep.

With all the furniture out, and the floors down, hubby and I started talking color for the livingroom and diningroom. Unfortunately, since the water damage in that area wasn’t limited to the floor, we knew that it would mean serious prep work. There were plenty of places where the dampness had cracked the paint, and I’m going to have to sand the walls down anyway because the paint has a texture. It’s a good thing we started scraping, though, because all this paint would have come off on the rollers of new color if we hadn’t:

wallscrape.jpg

Now, the house is less than 40 years old, so the walls don’t talk a heck of a lot, but what they’re saying to me here is “Who needs an exterminator when you have texture paint?!?”

Sorry it’s so huge, but hubby believes these are inoccuous bubbles in the joint compound. They look way too much like bug tunnels to me, especially with all the little brown specks inside ’em. What do you all think?

New Floors!

New Floors!

I threw my back out Monday, just in time for all the furniture moving. We managed by carefully planning what I would move or not move and enlisting the kids. The laminate is all down in the living/dining room, and the installer is working on the edges and joints. The bedroom comes next. It looks so beautiful!

new-floor.jpg

Now, all our furniture except the dining table is from IKEA, and in the birch finish. However, the stand for the fish tank didn’t come in a choice of finishes, and the credenza was bought a looooong time ago. The table is from Crate and Barrel, and even though it’s a dark brown/black finish, it looks really good with everything else. So I had this idea to pick a paint color that was as close as possible to the table finish and paint the tank stand and credenza. They’re next to each other, but not directly in sight of the table, so close was what we were aiming for. Found a swatch at Benjamin Moore (my fave paint store – if you want really deep and/or saturated colors, they’re the place to go) and got a gallon. Started to paint, carefully protecting my back, and the color looked. . .purple. Well, you know, most black tints are made with varying amounts of blue and purple, and I knew it would dry darker, but dayum! This is undeniably purple, a teeny smidge browner than eggplant. I LIKE it! It’s dry now, and you really don’t see it as purple except in sunlight and against the orange bedroom walls, which is why it won’t be painted on anything in the bedroom, but somehow just knowing that it’s really purple makes me happy.

painted-furniture.jpg

By the way, the lovely green in the background is the color we chose for the art studio. We still have to sand and prime before the whole room looks like this, but it’ll happen.

A New Visitor to the Pond

A New Visitor to the Pond

So, I drop Carolyn off at her computer class, pick up a few things at Lowe’s and Target, and head home. . .but as I’m turning into the driveway, I see this big bump. Then it moves. I get out of the van, and it’s a good-sized box turtle! Well! I picked him up and carried him into the back, and plopped him into the stream (not knowing how good a thing it would be to put him in the pond itself.)

I didn’t get a picture, because by the time I’d gone back and finished parking, he’d disappeared somewhere. He might be hiding in the yard, he might have slipped away someplace else. I think he’d be a good addition, seeing that he likes to eat slugs and other icky things, but obviously it’ll be up to him. Maybe he can make friends with the frog.

Power Tools. . .

Power Tools. . .

We have a little wait until the shelving comes in for the studio/garage, so I started cleaning up, rearranging, throwing things out, etc., so that I could patch up the drywall and paint the next couple of walls. This was working out pretty well. We didn’t have to go out and buy anything except joint compound and tape, because we had plenty of drywall scraps and screws, so I started along.

Everything was working out fine for the first two walls, and I was mostly done filling in the dents from screws that wouldn’t be covered with tape.

Not only were the pieces of drywall going up quickly, but all the parts that hadn’t been done right were pretty easy to fix. All thanks to the Makita cordless electric screwdriver. The magnetic bit made it so I could hold up the drywall with one hand and put in the screws with the other. Finishing the screws that the last guy who put up drywall hadn’t gotten all the way in was easy because all I had to do was adjust the clutch tighter and give them a little more push. The tool is heavy, but well-balanced, and we use it for almost every job we do – we have an assortment of drill bits and screwdriver bits, and even a couple of paint mixers. We use it so much that we have a spare battery that we always keep charged so it’s ready all the time. It’s a tool that I’m really glad we own.

Except when it falls on my head.

As a missile, it has its limits, but is still effective when it’s properly paired with gravity. Now, normally I will either remove items from the top of my ladder before I move it, or watch them very carefully as I move it (this is when I know I’m moving it from place to place with no obstacles in between.) This time, though, I simply forgot I had left the drill on the ladder, and one leg of the ladder got snagged on a single sheet of drywall that was lying on the floor. The drill slipped right off, and bounced off my skull on its way to the floor. Yeah, blood, pain, swelling, headache, all that head injury stuff, but I still got off pretty lightly.

Hubby picked up where I left off and finished the taping and the first layer of joint compound. I’ll put up the next layer today. Falling spackle blades are not nearly as hazardous as falling power tools, so I should emerge unscathed.