DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

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The Agony and the Ecstasy...

I finally finished phase one of painting the office. I say "finally" because I ran into another snag during the week when I cut in the top coat. I bought a five gallon pail of the paint almost exactly five years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, since I figured that I'd have the entire interior repainted within a month of the closing. Yeah. Sure. What was I thinking about? Anyway, something in the chemistry of the paint apparently changed a bit over the years (although it was fine otherwise), so that it was starting to set up way too quickly, almost as soon as it was applied. This meant that when you started applying paint to the next patch of wall, the paint started to build up in spots where the new patch overlapped the previous patch, and these ridges of paint would build up. Plus, given the lighting conditions in the room, I didn't notice that these had formed until I started cutting in the second coat. Feh. Fortunately I noticed it before I started rolling out paint on the bulk of the wall.

Friday night I stopped at the Depot, and picked up a quart of latex conditioner to attempt to rejuvenate the paint. Then I took a scraper and a sanding block to the drip ridges. You can still tell where some of the imperfections were, because the scaper peeled the ridges off down to the primer, leaving very shallow craters. I suppose I could've filled them in and sanded everything smooth, but I didn't. The next morning I added about 3/4 cup of the conditioner to the three and a half gallons or so of paint remaining, mixed it thoroughly, and tested it by brushing some out on a patch of wall. Worked like a charm.

I cut in the areas I'd scraped, then rolled on two coats over the course of the day. Sunday morning was spent peeling off masking tape, and putting the curtain fittings and outlet covers back up. It looks great. Then I stopped to ponder what to do next. I still have to do the interior walls, which is more a matter of prep work than painting. The surface area on those two walls is only about a third of that of the exterior walls. It's just that there are shelf brackets attached, bunches of cracks and holes to fill, and it's all behind my enormous office desk. I am also trying to decide whether or not to paint the heat baseboards. The baseboards aren't in that bad of shape, but they don't look great either. I painted the baseboards in the back room, but had some problems, most (I believe) caused by mismatching the primer to the topcoat. I've come to find that it's always better to use the same brand of primer as the eventual topcoat. That seems to defy conventional wisdom, but I had topcoats peel off the primer until I started matching brands. Of course, if I do decide to paint them, then I have to decide on a color. I have a couple colors already available. I could go with antique white, same as the walls. I could go with the golden brown I used in the back room which is almost a perfect match for the stained woodwork. Or I could go with something else. Blech.

While pondering this all, I spent some time out in the back yard planting the two grape vines I got last week. It was an absolutely perfect day out. I planted them next to one of the poles for the clothesline, which is going to become an arbor. The former owners put in an industrial strength clothesline. They used two lengths of telephone pole as the upright, and bolted standard telephone line crosspieces to them from which to hang the lines. (It just dawned on me that my former neighbor worked for the electric company. I'll bet he got the stuff, because he had a set up just like it.) I have only used the thing a couple of times for drying out tarps after camping trips, so I'm going to get some lattice for the south end, and use all that structural strength to support grapes. (I need to point out that I had no such plan in mind when I actually bought the grapes. I was just looking around the yard wondering where I could plant the damn things when the thought occurred.)

After that, I took a shower, a nap, and then collapsed in front of the computer and TV for the rest of the evening and night. Even with the nap I was bone tired. My back has been bothering me a bit, especially during the wee hours of the morning when it's been stiffening up from all the painting and digging and stuff, so I haven't been sleeping all that well. I slept on the couch Saturday. Last night I hauled out an air mattress, and threw it on top of the futon. The back feels a bit better today.
Tags: garden, health, home

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