Monday, December 30, 2013

8 months later

We were cleaning up for having people over during the holidays.  I figured this would be a good time to remove the last of the decorations from L.Soup's first birthday party.  In April.

....It was only 2 things.  The Happy Birthday sign I had made as part of the decorations, and a small section of our living room wall dedicated to pictures of her from each month of her first year.

I had been fighting taking them down.

I mean, who doesn't want a wall shrine dedicated to their infant baby who is now a walking, talking, almost 2 year old machine?  That was the hardest part.

I gently removed all the pictures from the wall and folded the tape over so that it was not visible.  Just incase I wanted to save them.  Forget about the fact that they were just printed on regular paper.  Or the fact that the pictures are all saved on my computer and I can easily print them again whenever I want.

I had D.Soup pull the sign down.  Because I'm short and shouldn't be climbing on the couch trying desperately to reach the little Command hooks that were holding the sign up.  (PS.  Those things are awesome for party decorating!)  I carefully folded it up and put it with the pictures to be stored away somewhere.

So the walls are clear.  I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about that fact.  The first night was definitely a sad moment for me.  But mid takedown I turned to D.Soup and said "I'm thinking..."

D. Soup:  You're thinking you want to paint what?
Me: How did you know I was going to say that??
D.Soup: You always want to paint something.
Me:  Well I'm thinking about chalkboard for this little section of wall.

So there might be another project looming in my future.  After Christmas.  And New Years.  And everything else that I've already got on my list.

Aka Never

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our new foyer!

  1. Find antique TV stand and refinish it.
  2. Build bed frame.
  3. Build matching night stands.
  4. Refinish dining room table.
  5. Refinish bedroom furniture to match bed and night stands.
  6. Build computer desk for D.Soup.
  7. Refinish wing back chair.
  8. Build floating shelves.
  9. Build outdoor planters.
  10. Install cabinets with clothes folding space into laundry room, with cat door.
  11. Paint L.Soup's bedroom.
  12. Paint foyer.
  13. Sew pillow for L.Soup's bedroom. 
MONTHS ago (literally, months.  JUNE.  ugh), I decided to finally start working on some of the ideas I dreamed up for our new house.  I got all the supplies together, taped up the wall in the foyer, and started painting.  And then I ran out of paint.  So we went and bought more.  That next day.  Because I was motivated.

And then I got caught up in some other projects.  And we went on vacation.  And the dog's leg got busted.  You see where I'm going with this.  So our entryway has been in this awful messy limbo state ever since.  And because its a disgusting mess, we just keep adding to it.  Because that's the type of people we are.  Not the "oh I see a mess, I should probably fix it" people.  No, we are the "oh, well this is already messy so it won't really matter if I drop these other 54 things here too".  *sigh*

Well it got old.  And I got motivated.  AGAIN.

I didn't think there was much more to do to the base layer.  Just some sections that didn't have enough of a coating the first time around.  But I ended up doing an entire coat on the wall, because I kept finding sections that were just not quite covered.

Once again I realize how terrible a painter I truly am.  I don't know why I enjoy painting so much.  I actually dripped paint all over the floor this time around.  Lucky for me they are hardwood.  Had to do an emergency stop and run to get cleaner and paper towels to deal with THAT.  On top of that I hit the connecting walls a few times.  I used a magic eraser to clean up the mess, and it seems to have done a fairly good job.  I've never been a real fan of them, but it saved my butt this time around.

I also used D.Soup's recommendation and covered my paint tray with some plastic wrap before I poured the paint in, for "easy cleanup".  It was HORRIBLE.  I don't know if I didn't use enough plastic wrap.  Or if I'm just an idiot.  Or if it's just a terrible idea (I vote this one).  But the plastic wrap ended up balled up in the bottom of the tray, after I fought to get it to stay while I was getting paint onto the roller.  I was very bitter towards it, and ended up abandoning the idea all together.

After that debacle, I finished painting and let it sit overnight to dry.

Once the base layer was dry, I started taping over it in 9 inch horizontal stripes.  I had to get D.Soup to help me, since my arms are only so long.  We tried a few manners of getting the lines straight:
  1. When I was working alone, I marked ever foot or so with a pen down the wall, and then taped.
  2. D.Soup decided that was an epic waste of time and brought out the laser level to get an estimate of where to put the tape, and then we double checked it before we stuck it down completely with a regular level.  
  3. Then we got completely tired of re-sticking the tape when the lines ended up 100% not straight.  So we dug out the chalk line and things progressed much faster after that.

In between steps 2 and 3 is about 1-3 months of ZERO activity.  We attempted to get some progress made on the stripes one Saturday while L.Soup was napping, and ended up waking her up from her nap and dealing with a crankosaurus the rest of the day.  So that got nixed fairly quickly.  THEN, I spent at least a month of that time as a semi-permanent feature on the couch because of fetus induced exhaustion and nausea.

Well, I'm out of my pregnancy coma now, and ready for action!  Tuesday, I took advantage of a snow day and a toddler that's more interested in helping than destroying at the moment and we finished up the taping!  I then marked which stripes I was NOT going to paint so I wouldn't get completely confused in the process.  Because let's be honest... that would happen.

All taped up!

I've always had a hard time with paint seeping underneath the tape, and I wanted to make these lines as perfect as possible.  I started off with burnishing the the tape so that it was nicely stuck to the wall.  But I wanted to do more.  I read a really great post once about how to prevent the paint from seeping, and I wanted to give that a try.

After you tape, paint (on the side you intend to paint the new color) the SAME color as the wall.  This first round of paint creates a barrier with the tape.  If any paint ends up running, it's the same color as the wall, so you won't see it!
In my case, the paints were the same color, but different sheens.  I used a bristle brush and put a thin coat of the flat paint over the side of the tape where the high gloss paint would be.  I fully intended on taking a picture of it, but my cell phone battery was way low and I plugged it in to charge and completely forgot about pictures until it was too late.  Of course. 

Allow that to dry, THEN paint the new color.  
For this round I used a roller, and carefully painted each stripe with the high gloss.  I had D.Soup help me with this part, mostly because the high gloss paint isn't no VOC, and it was stinky.  I was worried about being in the room with that smell for too long, so he did the first round of stripes for me.
At this point I started looking at the tape and getting really nervous because it looked bubbly.  After all the work on taping the lines, and then all the effort I put in to NOT have the other color seep through, I was starting to panic.  I gave the paint a little time to dry and then ran over and started tearing at it like a mad woman.  Of course by this time, it was 11 pm, and D.Soup was like "we're not removing all of this tape, are we?"  But then he realized I meant business and got to work.  We had a few mishaps with the tape pulling up paint around the edges of the wall, but what do you expect from something that's been sitting in the same position for 6 months?

So finally.  Finally, Finally, FINALLY!  Here it is:

Finally putting the hallway back together!
A little Christmas decoration.