Mud Flinging

First – @Steve – You’ll be happy to know that we moved our little mini fridge over to the new house today (having access to a pickup truck meant we moved a LOT of other stuff too), and that it does, in fact, have beer in it.  \o/  Of course, it’s mostly bottled water and fruit, for snacks and keeping from dehydrating while doing tons of work, but there *is* beer in there too.  And a bottle of champagne, for the eventuality of us actually moving in.

Today was a whirlwind of productivity, since it was the last day that my best friend was here.  We moved a VERY FULL truckload of stuff over to the house, mowed/edged the lawn, painted a closet, painted the bathroom, painted the bedroom, and did our first experimentation with wall plastering.

You see – all that wallpaper was put directly onto the sheetrock.  It was not primed first.  This means that the wallpaper, when removed, mostly takes huge chunks of the underlying plaster with it, and in some places removes even down to the papering over the gypsum.  Our walls do not, in fact, look very lovely.  My parents had their kitchen plaster textured before they moved, and my dad had mentioned that as a possible solution to the lack of wall texture in the previously wallpapered rooms/areas.

We, however, do not have the free cash right now to pay someone to come in and plaster the walls for us (let alone do the remaining prep work, or prime and paint it afterwards).  However, we can afford a $12, 62lb, 3.5 gallon bucket of mud (aka – Drywall Mud/Joint Compound), and two trowels.

I can now say, without hesitation, that plaster texturing is fun, extremely forgiving, and rather stress relieving.  Also, the mud is cool and soft, and fun to splop onto the wall in fun patterns before smoothing it into plaster fresco that will eventually dry and be primed/painted.  We liked it so much that we will definitely be doing plaster in the kitchen/dining/entry rooms (that all have the nasty wallpaper/drywall holes).  Just need to actually finish scraping off the remaining paper bits first!

(and Melissa?  If you want to get rid of your kids some afternoon, send them over to the house.  I’ll give them a bucket of mud, dropcloth the area securely, and let them go to town.  It really is that forgiving and fun, and we can smooth it out after!)

The bedroom and master bathroom are now “done” – we need to paint the trim and get a new ceiling fan for the bedroom (this one is not only ugly, but poorly wired and making bzztbzzt noises when on), and hopefully new lighting/faucets/showerheads in the bathroom – but all of those things are “as we get there” and not “must be done prior to move-in” with the exception of the showerheads, which are NASTY, but will probably require a plumber.

The bedroom and bathroom are now a lovely shade of soft grey blue (that looks bluer and greyer in different lights).  We have enough leftover paint that the guest bath will probably end up the same color – it’s lovely and bright without being eyestabbing, and it matches our current guest bathroom towels/shower curtain.

I am completely floored at how HUGE a difference getting rid of that peach paint makes.

Making hay while the sun shines

Thursday we closed on the house.

Friday, my dad and grandparents came with a truck of stuff from their storage unit that had been saved for us in the new house.  Since their arrival, Spaceship Husband and I have been working basically nonstop, with the help of our various guests.  My family left Saturday evening, and my best friend (since 7th grade) came down on Sunday around noon with her hubby’s truck and a lot of elbow grease (and a lawn mower).

The schedule, thus far, has been as follows (you can see photographic progress here ):

Friday

  • Unload truck into Garage
  • Strip wallpaper from Dining room – discover gold foil wallpaper underneath green speckled mess.  *fabulous*
  • Strip wallpaper from Kitchen – discover cute-ish floral wallpaper underneath.  Why did they paper over it!?
  • Strip magenta layer of wallpaper from front bedroom – discover magenta woodgrain wallpaper is papered over a painted wall, that has two more layers of vinyl wallpaper underneath

Saturday

  • Clean oven
  • Strip wallpaper from entry way
  • Continue stripping wallpaper from front bedroom
  • Partially pack apartment
  • Fix the back sliding door, clean all sunroom windows.
  • Tour of entire yard with Dad the tree-ologist for info on shrubs and yard care.  Discover previous owner left behind a two garden hoses, both in good condition.  Yay!
  • Buy mold-killing/mildew reducing/covers up awful neon peach paint primer, some really cheap but pretty flowers for the front bed ($3 for 25 marigold plants = good!) and a lot of other stuff, at Hardware store

Sunday

  • Scrub walls in master bedroom and bath to prep for priming
  • Clean bar area, remove all hardware and shelf paper
  • Prime bedroom, bathroom.  Nearly die of paint fumes – apparently mold-killing primer is good for making sure there is no mold in your lungs either.  /hack /cough
  • Pack up all the wallpaper junk, place at the curb for trash guys

Monday

  • Pack all books, craft closet, master closet, living room
  • Load truck
  • Truck goes to house and is unpacked
  • Hardware store trip #1 – paint samples, ceiling paint, trim paint, more rollers, a shovel, lightbulbs, cabinet hardware testers, and some light faceplates
  • Unpack books, break down boxes.  Watch as ceiling fan falls on husband who is trying to remove it so we can paint the ceiling.
  • Paint ceiling in bedroom and bathroom, swatch grey-blue bedroom paint.  Double coat.  Hem and haw.  Decide grey blue is nice, esp next to bedroom fabrics
  • Finish stripping all wallpaper from front bedroom, totally destroy that sheetrock too.  Decide that under no circumstances will I ever utter “you know, I think we should put up wallpaper”.  Also decide that no matter what someone tells you, ALWAYS put primer under stuff, and ALWAYS take the wallpaper off before you put up new.  Yeeesh.
  • Hardware store trip #2 – bedroom/bathroom paint!, more rollers, light plates, outlets that aren’t almond or dingy grey for the kitchen, MORE cabinet hardware testers, a 62lb bucket of drywall mud for plastering, and more lightbulbs.
  • Pack up more of the apartment – computer room is looking kind of bare, as is living room.

Of course – I did not NEARLY do all of this by myself – I’ve had SO much help – I don’t know how we’d have gotten this done without the people that have volunteered time and various tools to help us out. Since we’re trying to get at least the bedroom and the kitchen done before we move in, this has been a HUGE time sink for us – and all the help means we’re literally getting double the work done. (I totally owe my best friend… but I know I can repay the favor when she and her hubby move in the next year or so – they’re starting to plan for buying a house!)

Not only have the extra hands been great, having a pickup truck at our disposal means that we’re cutting down on moving costs later when we have to pay the guys with the truck to schlep our furniture over to the new place.

So far the only snag is with the electricity – way to go house inspector of FAIL not noticing that there’s a problem with the electric lines that go to the meter, and we have to get an electrician out to fix it.

Tomorrow, the bedroom will get painted, the yardwork finished, and we’re doing our first wall plaster/texture learning bit in the front bedroom (that way if it sucks, it’s not in the entryway).  If it doesn’t suck, we’ll start on the kitchen!

Problems with ROY G BIV

The actuality of the house is finally approaching – we’re scheduled to close on Thursday afternoon. Which means decision time on some big things like a fridge and washer/dryer and what color we’re actually going to re-paint these rooms (after we tear down the miles of outdated, ugly wallpaper).

Which is providing a small issue.

My husband is red-green colorblind. And as much as it’d be easy to say “Sorry, hun, that’s not brown, it’s olive-drab green, and is not an appropriate wall color for our dining room” – well, he has to live there too, so things have to look good both to my color-normal eyes and his color-reduced eyes.

If you’ve never thought about or looked at what someone with red-green colorblindness would see, check out these articles on Color Science (What is Colorblindness? and How do things look?) and this article over at Vischeck – they have a program that will adjust normal images to be what someone with various types of red-green colorblindness sees, and it can be pretty profound. When I have my husband look at these pictures, he doesn’t see a difference between the “normal” and the “protanope/deuteranope” images – the type of colorblindness that he has. Part of his particular type of colorblindness also includes a dimming of color in reds and greens.

We’ve avoided that problem so far, since we’re not allowed to paint this apartment, and I’ve decorated mostly with blues, yellows, and light browns. (It’s also one of the reasons both my blogs are green, as I hardly ever choose to use it in our home, and it’s my favorite color)

Since he has no color distortion with blue and yellow, sticking to those colors is pretty successful most of the time (though he often can’t tell the difference between a grey-blue, a pure baby blue, and a lavender-blue that to my eyes are clearly three very different colors). We’ve run into the biggest problem with our formal living room – the idea is to paint the dining room (which has white chair-rail and beadboard on the bottom half of the room) a warm brown, and the entry/piano room a lighter, complimentary brown.

Obviously we can’t actually pick anything until we can actually stand in the rooms and look at the different colors ON the walls we’re thinking of – but we spent 2 hours at the hardware store yesterday looking at paint swatches, leaving both of us frustrated and bringing home a small stack of colors. (We had better luck with lighting and ceiling fans at least)