Misadventures in Home Improvement

Last week my mom took my kids down to her house so that I could paint mine. The date had changed several times, and I was just so excited to get this whole week to myself and just get some stuff done without anyone asking me for anything. I figured I was painting three small rooms and two big ones, that should take me four days at most, then I would have the rest of the week to write, catch up on sleep, and read the Orson Scott Card book my husband recently bought me. (Confession: I’m an unashamed Leguminote. Bean is an infinitely more interesting character than Ender.) 
So Mom came on Saturday and got the kids, Saturday afternoon I had a facial, Saturday evening I went to a bachelorette party, and early Sunday morning, I was off and running. I bought paint, dug through the shop and found all the rollers and trays and drop cloths, and set to prepping.
Nothing got painted Sunday.
I cleaned and scrubbed and taped and moved furniture, prepped and planned, washed and watched as my husband re-prepped and moved appliances. 
On Monday I painted the laundry room and prepped the kitchen. On Tuesday, Housemate and I painted the kitchen and hallway. On Wednesday (incidentally, we have Bible study at our house on Wednesdays) I painted the living room. Bible study is at 7pm, and at 5:30 I was so stressed I was in tears because I had expected to have the whole house finished by this point and was barely halfway through, and now had company coming and no where for them to sit because all the furniture was in the middle of the room and covered with painter’s tape and plastic. 
Thank you, Lord, for my fabulous husband who helped me finish and put the room back together just in the nick of time! 
Thursday I did touch-ups and prepped the dining room, Friday I painted the dining room and we textured the bathroom walls. On Friday afternoon I gave myself two well-deserved hours of freedom while the first coat on the dining room was drying and read about 200 pages of Shadows in Flight. 
And on Saturday morning, bright and early, I hopped in my 1998 White Whale and drove 4 hours at 9 mpg to pick up my thouroughly spoiled offspring from Nana and Papa’s house. 
The house still isn’t completely finished, the dining room trim needs another coat of Portland Twilight and the bathroom needs to be edged in Oyster Shell. My bathroom vanity is sitting in my living room where the keyboard is supposed to be, and the keyboard is in my room while its cabinet is in the garage next to the new medicine cabinet, waiting to be stained. Remember that song from The Music Man, “The sadder but wiser girl”? That’s kind of how I feel this week. But I also feel that I learned a lot. So here are

Alissa’s Top Home Improvement Tips:

1. Don’t dance on top of a ladder, especially with a paintbrush in your hand. EVEN if Wayward Son is playing on Pandora.
2. Don’t sit on top of the refridgerator to paint the ceiling.
3. Don’t close the cabinet doors after you paint them.
4. The hardware store gives you those cool little paint can openers. Use them. Screwdrivers are sharp, and band-aids inhibit dexterity. 
5. Always look at the wall you’re painting, not the one beside it. 
6. Use the tape, don’t assume you’re careful enough.
7. Unless the paint is still wet. Then don’t use the tape.
8. Mud, sand, wipe, paint. Don’t mix the order up. 
9. Don’t leave the paint tray right behind the ladder. 
10. Cut your expectations in half. 
11. Texturing is hot, gross, dusty, frustrating work. There’s a reason professionals charge $60 an hour to do it. Pay the $60 an hour. 
12. Doing a project with your own two hands gives a feeling of accomplishment that nothing else can match. 


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KTales
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 22:40:21

    Please don’t let my clients read your post.
    I always give them the option of doing their own painting when I do a remodel project. I hate painting so when they look at the cost of painting, which is the only item that I price separately, they always consider it too high and elect to do it themselves. Of course later I hear about how they wish they had left it in the contract, and that the cost was actually reasonable.


  2. Looking Out The Window
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 00:16:16

    Your post was a fun for me as I have a floor that is 95% done and been so for going on two weeks while the dishwasher sits in the living room. The man of the house is busy working on a resume that he will turn in next week and then maybe we can finish up.


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