Showing posts with label patch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label patch. Show all posts

Thursday, September 26, 2013

And then I painted everything

Greg recently went to a trade show in Europe and was gone for two weeks. Two weeks! I have a habit of painting while he's gone (proof here, here, and here) and this time was no different.

Except that he was gone for so long that I had to paint multiple rooms.

First up was the dining room. For anyone keeping track (so far that's me, Greg, and my psychiatrist), this is the third time I've painted this room. The first color was a disaster, so I painted it again two days later.

The color(s) when I moved in

First disastrous paint color, minty fresh

Two days later, second alright color

The second color, that washed out blue, was never something I was in love with. It just didn't make me shudder the way that minty green did, so it stayed. Also, I was sick of painting by that point.

But! Now I had holes in the ceiling to repair and a ginormous hole in the wall to fix. When you're very lucky, your house comes with TWO fuse boxes.

This fuse box confounded three different electricians, who couldn't figure out WHY there would be two boxes in one house, one upstairs, one down. It powered a very strange set of things, like: the refrigerator, the outlets in the bedroom, one switch in the living room, and, somewhere in Mongolia, a single lamp that an ancient man cooked by. The main box in the basement powered everything else.

One reason that our electrical upgrade took so long is that our electrician removed this and properly rerouted our wires to one single box in the basement, which he then balanced and upgraded. This is all fancy talk for saying that we had a huge hole in the wall now, and the lights no longer dim when you run the microwave. Huzzah!

Blah blah blah, patchy patchy patchy . . .

I finally got smart and got professional help on the paint color. Anna Kulgren is a gardening friend who I came to learn also has degrees in architecture, interior design, horticulture, and loads of other things. She's also a brilliant color specialist and runs a small design-build studio in Portland called Optic Verve. She came over with her suitcases full of color swatch decks and got down to business.

In no time she found the perfect color for the dining room. You guys, she's SO GOOD.

But first I also had to patch the ceiling where the old light fixtures were. I think I did a pretty okay job.

We chose Benjamin Moore's Caribbean Teal and I'm head over heels for it.

I cannot recommend Anna enough. If you are struggling with finding the right colors for your home, call her. She also figured out colors for our crazy blue entryway and our bathroom. I can't wait to get painting again. That's really saying something, considering I spent two weeks prepping and painting. I'll show you the bedroom next!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Removing doors and patching holes

We have two doorways that lead to the back hallway and bedrooms: one from the living room and one from the kitchen. Only one of them had a door actually hanging from the hinges. Even if we had doors on both, we'd never use them. We just don't have the same sense of propriety that they did in 1938 when they built my house. Realizing that we never close the door off the living room, I asked Greg if he'd care if I just got rid of it. He responded that he'd never been sure why I hadn't removed it already.

But that means we had this situation going on when I removed the hinges. Sorry about the bad photography--this hallway gets zero light.

Bad pictures, ahoy!

My friend Sarah told me about using those free paint stirrer sticks to patch these holes. They fit perfectly.

You just trim them to fit (we used craft scissors), attach them with finishing nails (drill a pilot hole or the wood will split), hit them with some wood putty, sand them, prime them, and paint them.

It's like there was never a door here!

Oh wait, except for on the other side. We haven't figured out the best way to patch this hole yet. It's too shallow to accommodate a paint stick. So we could chisel out a deeper hole or try to find a thinner piece of wood to patch it. We'll probably go with the latter.

In case anybody is worried, we are keeping the door we removed in storage. Future owners may want to be able to close off areas of the house and you don't give away original solid-wood doors.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don't look under the trivet.

In my kitchen, adjacent to the old fan in the ceiling that needs to be removed, was a wooden trivet.

I've been ignoring it for almost six months. There's no reason to screw a trivet into your kitchen ceiling, therefore there *must* be something really terrible behind it.  The week before I was to host Thanksgiving I decided to deal with this.  I know.  I know!  I'm dumb; there's no reason to start projects like these when you're attempting to orchestrate a meal for ten people.

Hey there, big hole.  Holes are actually no big deal, but this hole had screws that extended from the attic, through the lathe and plaster, and past where the kitchen ceiling should end.  Hence the former owner screwing a trivet there instead.

Ha ha, just kidding, that makes no sense, no matter how you dice it.

In order to patch the ceiling I would need to get the screws reversed enough to not poke through.  I didn't want to climb into my attic and dig around it the insulation for the rogue screws for a lot of good reasons, but mostly because of SPIDERS, OH MY GOD, SPIDERS.  I decided to try and reverse the screws from below.  I tried a number of things that didn't work and then one thing that worked really well.  This was my recipe for success:

Take your drill.  I love my drill.  There would much wailing if anything happened to it.

Remove the drill bit.

Spin it until the grabbers are extended really far.

Tighten the grabbers around the end of the screw.  Then depress the trigger and reverse the screws back into the ceiling.  I'm sure an expert would tell you that this is back for your drill or bad for the screws or bad for the environment, but I don't care (and you shouldn't) because it worked.  Once that's taken care of you can patch the ceiling like normal.

 Apply your patch.

Apply spackle, using a large trowel.  Let it dry and apply more if you need to. 

Sand it.  Boy does this part ever suck.  Wear a mask and protective eyewear and know that it won't make a lick of difference because you will be *coated* in dust.  Think about how you should be making cranberries and sewing napkins for Thanksgiving dinner.  But also think, "Hey, now I have a trivet."

Slap a coat of paint on the ceiling and think, "I'll texture that spot on the ceiling later."  Ignore for 3-5 years.  Enjoy your free trivet!