Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why can't a painter finish painting her own house?


I thought that painting the living room and dining room would be a super-quick job. And apparently I was entirely mistaken in this belief.

First, I really screwed up my neck, while painting the living room ceiling. And when that was better, I had found myself entirely unmotivated to paint my own house. I'm not sure if this was due to the "Cobbler's Children go Barefoot" syndrome, or because it's hard to paint anything after the sun goes down.

Thankfully, I rediscovered my house painting ju-ju, and am well on my way to being finished.

Robb and I made a choice to try to replicate the existing colors of the walls, and we're very pleased with how this is working out. The woodwork looks really luminous, especially in the dining room.

I'm not sure when the walls were painted these colors. Judging from the apparent date of the other big renovations in our little house, these colors could date from the 1950s. The last painters did a pretty sloppy job, and I'm gritting my teeth, and painting over it. This is not the time for a huge ripping-out-of-walls. My goal on this project is to clean things up enough that we can finally settle into the living room and dining room.

Maybe someday we'll pop off the moulding and scrape the paint-covered wallpaper off, and reveal the original plaster, but that day -- if it every comes -- is a long way off.


Gina said...

shower. beer.

you need a shower beer.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

You have no idea how much paint is in my hair. I stood up into the lower ledge of our coffered ceiling.


Anonymous said...

I remember showing the neighbors the clothes I was wearing at the time and saying "How do you like my kitchen color?" We had paint and plaster and god-knows-what-else on our clothes. Our clothes ended up looking like rags and we threw them out at the end. House fixing is hard on clothes and body! Our doorways into our renovated coal closet and former cave/basement are low (high enough for people 150 years ago) and Gary KEEPS hitting his head on it. We mean to put up a "Mind your head" sign.

As for the old wallpaper and stuff, here's my gotta leave something historic for the next owner in 50-70 years to find when they do THEIR renovation! This reasoning will help you keep your efforts in check. Enjoy having something old around you, besides your aching bones!

Origonal plaster usually has pencil writing, doodles, measurements, and fingerprints on it. We found hand written numbers when we scraped our plaster walls, and the oak and chestnut beams. After 150 years, there often isnt a lot of length of uncracked plaster either. We found illegible german writing on our plaster before we covered it up again.

Remember Allegra Ockler of MICA printmaking? She had been married to a plumber, and they bought themselves a fixer-upper in PA years ago. After 20 years of marriage she still didnt have a working kitchen sink cause HE was sick of looking at plumbing at the end of a work day, and SHE would not pay for one to come do it! This is how I heard the story...

The moral of the story is, go easy on yourselves and everything will eventually get done. The place will look great. But 20 years is too damn long to wait for a kitchen sink! Consider waiting till you have 1-energy, 2-money, 3-either have a sense of humor or are really pissed off at something to get a burst of energy to finish off the job.



2007 said...

We built a house back in the late 70s (HAD it built while living in a tent on the property) and moved into it before it was totally finished. Baseboards weren't in, some trim on the doors and windows to finish, built-in shelving unfinished and little tiling and painting still to do. No problem, we thought, we'll get a little of our furniture out of storage, have a real roof over our head. . . Do you know how long it took us to have those little projects finished? Honestly, I don't think we ever DID finish it all! Nine years later, we moved out and rented it to a family. We made sure to complete all those little projects for THEM.

That's what happens when you move into something that isn't completely finished. We've resolved NEVER to do that again--if indeed we ever decide to build another house. . .

greg said...

I have finally finished our living & dining room renovation, that we started this spring. Unemployment had a way of freeing up my time and getting the project done! (the baby-on-the-way helped light a fire under my butt as well)

Photos here:


knitica said...

I LOVE that woodwork.

Lyn said...

You must be exhausted! Best wishes for energy and health in the new year. Incidentally, I don't have a new mailing address for you yet. I will send you a private message on Facebook to make sure I send your New Year's card to the right place.


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