Wednesday, December 4, 2013

paint transformations

The truth is I hate to paint. Not a great fact for someone who bought a 3700 square foot house where in every inch of the interior not only needed new paint but about 4 coats of new paint. There were a couple serious problems going on with the paint in our house. One, it hadn't been painted since 1960, two the original oil furnace had a broken filter which mean oil residue was layering itself onto the paint throughout the house, three there were lots of original single pane wood windows that had been collecting moisture over the years and finally there was mildew and mildew stains throughout due to the house being vacant and unheated for year. All of this is quite fixable but requires a few extra steps. To paint, first the walls need to be cleaned well. Mildew spots had to be cleaned with a bleach solution to kill the mildew. Then stains, both from oil and mildew had to be first spot primed with a heavy duty oil base primer. Then the walls had to have two coats of a low-voc acrylic primer with a mildicide added. Finally two coats of high quality no voc paint AKA expensive paint went over the primer. The final outcome of rooms and spaces we've painted has been awesome but the getting there...ugh.

So I tackle small spaces, the inside of Margot's closet, Margot's room, the back hall, the hall bath, the kitchen etc. But I put off the bigger projects like the living room, family room and sun room. Two weeks ago we got the super exciting news that our gorgeous cork floors had arrived and were ready for installation. These floors were originally going to be one of our first projects but then the raining on my head happened and well....we're finally back to the cork floors.

But there was one big thing holding me back from pure floor elation...the dreaded sun room. I knew we had to paint the sun room pre-floor installation as to not risk paint on new cork floors. But oh how I was dreading that room. You see this room was in the worst shape. The whole lower wall had mildew stains that stubbornly remained after two treatments of bleach solution. The upper walls are a serious of 6 by 3 foot windows with wood frames. The wood paneling was cracking, bulging and generally looking awful and the other half of the room was concrete block plus there were cabinets. Did I mention that all those windows were single pane and the room has no direct heat leaving this room the coldest in the house especially on the 40 degree day that we finally tackled it.

ewe! Right?! But there was cork so we just picked a starting point and dug in. The first step was nailing down the wood paneling in places it was coming up with finish nails. The second was carefully caulking all the cracks, bulges and other uneven places, particularly around the window frames. Once everything was prepped we opened all the doors and windows and started applying the oil based primer. 

Once all that prep was done and the windows were taped we started the long process of 4 coats of paint. I used a small brush and did all the cutting, and window frames and cabinets while my sister Jess and her roommate Jacob who I hired to help with the job (they are poor college students always in need of some extra cash) worked on the other walls, ceiling and doors. Eight hours later with barely any light left we called it. And oh what a difference. Even with splattered paint on the floor, tape and tools and plastic everywhere and a general mess of brushes, rollers and empty paint cans we could see it was so much better. No more grungy, grimy stained walls but beautiful creamy buttery walls that were so clean! 

And the windows???!!! So much better. 

So while the job sucked the result was delicious. That being said I promptly hired a professional painter to come paint the huge living room and rec room and master bedroom. Because seriously there are only so many Saturdays that I want to paint for 8 straight hours.

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