50 Shades of White…One Shade of Pink

For the past week I have been on vacation.  Well…staycation I guess.  As the title of this blog suggests, there was not, in fact, a vacation for me this year.  Instead I spent the better part of 10 days priming and painting all my new drywall.  I finally solved the dust issue with the vacuum bags from Menards.  Using the newer shop-vac really helped me power through the rest of the wall dust.  I never thought I’d be vacuuming my walls…but I did.  And it worked.  And then it was on to the primer. 

Oh, God, the primer.  As I said on Facebook, putting the first coat of primer on the raw drywall was like trying to spread snot on a wall and get it even.  And then, as soon as I thought I had everything covered, they drywall would slurp it up and about 90% of what I had laid on disappeared.  I was using a PVA drywall primer/sealer.  I’m assuming that means it has some sort of plastic in it.  Whatever it is, it’s vile.  It goes on off-white, turns dark white, then dries bright white. At least, it’s bright white where you got it on heavy enough. Over raw drywall, it dries semi-white. Over tape/joint compound it dries cream where it’s not thick enough. Against the bright white spots, the stuff over the joint compound looks downright yellow.

The process was vile, too.  Use the extender pole (thanks, dad!!) to prime the tops of the walls.  Take the pole off and prime the bottoms.  Put it back on and do the ceilings.  Continue doing ceilings.  More ceilings.  I hate ceilings.  Get the ladder and edge everything with a mini roller – walls and ceilings.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Go back with the ladder and a brush to get the allllllllllll the corners.  Yuck.  After spending hours looking up and rolling the ceilings, my back was a disaster.  I need one of those massage chair things.  Look. Pretty primer white.

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I don’t recommend this technique, but the priming process (or maybe just the fumes) made me crazy, and I spent some time working the corners (not those corners…jeez) while perched on top of the ladder. How do you tell your Chacos you’re not cheating on them with flip flops? You’re just trying to protect them…

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I also sanded and primed the wainscoting in the dining room. What a huge difference that made in feel of the room.

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So much brighter!

I didn’t get all the walls vacuumed before the second bag, which was slightly too small for the newer shop-vac, also tore and stopped being useful.  Like there was one wall to go when it tore.  Rather than make the trip to get more bags, I broke out the paint and started painting what was primed and second coated.  Yay!  Color!  We had gotten the paint a few weeks ago when Home Depot was doing a $20 off 5 gallons rebate deal.  Of course my wall color had to be mixed in individual gallons because it was a tinted base.  How embarrassing…  Anyway, I was giddy to open the first can of paint.  I stirred and stirred to get it mixed up again.  When I was sure it was completely mixed, my reaction to the color was less than stellar.  I actually uttered the words, “Oh shit!  It’s pink!”  It dries darker, I reassured myself and got to painting.  Having done such a wonderful job priming, the paint went on very easily.  I also found this little gem when going through some of my parents’ old painting supplies left in a tub in the garage.

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Do they even make these things anymore?? Oh okay…a quick Google proves you can still buy them on Amazon at least, even if it does look like its straight out of the late 90s.  Shur-Line it’s not, but I have to say Mr. Long Arm was a life saver in not having to tape off the ceiling.  Once I got the hang of it, he also made corners a breeze – effectively eliminating the paintbrush-down-the-corner-seam step.  It also replaced the mini roller on smaller surfaces – a blessing and a curse because as soon as I started doing this, the mini roller frame disappeared… 

I put on a first coat of paint in the dining room, kitchen, and about half the pantry in one go and used 2 gallons of paint. I didn’t think that was too bad, but it was soon obvious that it would need a second coat. White spots were showing through, and Mr. Long Arm had disappointed me a little in being noticeably lighter around the ceiling and trim I had edged. With 2 gallons not making it through a first coat in the whole downstairs, I knew 5 gallons wasn’t going to do it. I put my focus on the west half of the downstairs for paint, since the east half wasn’t even all primed yet. Good news, after the first coat was dry, my fears of pink were gone. I love, love, LOVE my color. It’s Sandstone Cove by Behr, and might just be the most incredible neutral color ever. It changes from soft beige to grey depending on the light and the angle you look at it from. A little over a gallon got the whole west half of the downstairs second coated. It’s smooth, soft, even, and the color is to die for. After my priming experience and how the first coat of paint dried, I was a little neurotic about roller marks. Thankfully, the second coat evened everything out. It’s perfect. Admire it’s glory.

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The wainscoting is still primer white. It’ll be getting painted in Behr Pot of Cream along with the rest of the trim. And for contrast, the copper radiator line is still the original color of the dining room. That is definitely on the pink side of beige. Gross. So, so, so glad it’s gone!

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And of course, if you’re doing any painting, you need a good pair of painting pants.

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But even still, you may end up looking like this if you opt for shorts. Either way, your arms certainly will. By the way, yes, I have leg hair. I wax. Get over it.

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While priming and painting, I also got to use one of the best tricks I’ve ever learned (thanks mom!). Instead of washing your rollers/trays/brushes/whatever after every painting session, just wrap it all up in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer.

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When you’re almost ready to go back at it, pull everything out and set it in the sun to thaw.

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In the midst of my painting insanity – somewhere between the first and second coat of paint – my dad also patched wood floor in the kitchen with some douglas fir floor boards. Of course they’re not the same width as the 100 year old true-to-size floor, so the patch is a little gappy. We’ve got plans to fill those gaps with JB wood restore putty, although I’ve also seen some techniques of filling gaps in wood floors with natural rope. I’m not sure the gaps are big enough to warrant that.

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I’m excited to see how the whole floor sands down and takes the vinegar treatment. I’m pretty sure the rest of the floor is yellow pine, so both species are low-tannin and should react similarly to the vinegar.

With the kitchen floor done and two coats of paint on the walls, that could only mean one thing. Time to buy kitchen cabinets!!!!!!!!! Dad and I took the horse trailer to Menards Sunday and cashed in on their Labor Day sale (yeah, it’s already started) for 20% off stock unfinished cabinets. I double checked and tweaked my configuration and wrote down the item numbers, which turned out to be really awesome cause I just handed the guy my list and he got everything they had in stock pulled and the three that were out of stock ordered. Slick. They’re not the highest quality cabinets out there, but they’re getting painted anyway, and I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to make these stock cabinets look custom. Just wait and see. Here they are loaded up in the trailer and unloaded in the living room.

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I also picked up some more vacuum bags at Menards, and with two coats of paint, a fixed floor, and cabinets bought, there was nothing left to do but go back to priming. The ceiling in the south east living room had been particularly dreadful due to the existing texture. Traditional, tacky, awful popcorn. At first I thought it was really dirty, but upon further inspection – aka staring up for an hour – I realized I could see the mud lines and spots under the texture. I’m not sure this ceiling was ever painted after it was put in. Either way, it looked gross.

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That picture doesn’t even begin to touch how nasty that ceiling looked. The awful texture also made it ridiculously hard to prime. I couldn’t seem to get the primer onto all sides of every popcorn lump, and, the lumps kept falling off onto my face, arms, and chest. They had just enough primer on them to cement them to me. I was textured! Gross. So, so gross. But, persistence paid off and the ceiling with one coat of primer is 85% closer to looking clean and fresh. Well, as fresh as a popcorn ceiling can look. I’m thankful that the texture on the ceilings I just had done is more conservative.

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See? Clean and white. This section of the ceiling has had two coats of primer, and I’m pretty sure the rest of it will, too. Thankfully the other ceilings look good with one coat and some touch ups. So good I might not even paint them. At least not for a little while. I’m done with ceilings for now. I still need to put a second coat of primer on all the walls in the north east living room, then I’ll be ready to start paint on the east side of the house, minus two walls that need skim coat and spackle first. Then it’ll be on to floors and trim! I’m also already starting to overthink painting the kitchen cabinets. Sanding – primer – sanding – primer – sanding – paint – sanding – paint – sanding – top coat. I think. But latex or oil? And satin or semi gloss? Clear top coat to seal? Clearly a lot of reading yet to do.

Oh, I’ve also decided that the pantry entry might become a breakfast nook. Not the kind with built-in banquette seating, though. Since when does that define a breakfast nook? The pantry door is a sweet little screen door my parents got at West End Salvage and had planned on using for their pantry but didn’t. I plan on putting it on a box rail so it slides open and shut, which means there will be enough room in the pantry entry for a little bistro-size pub table and chairs. Maybe I’ll even find or design a table that can roll out and act like an island in the kitchen when I want or need it. Besides, pantry entry sounds stupid. Nook sounds wayyyy cuter. So from now on it’ll be known as the nook.

Remember how I’ve been on vacation from work? Well, this is where Maddy has spend 99% of her vacation from her crate. She’s currently in that exact spot. Snoring. I may or may not have compared her to a paint roller today and briefly entertained the idea of covering her in paint and letting her do the work. A terrible idea, I know. Even with all the windows open, I think the paint fumes are getting to me.

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2 Comments

Filed under Finishes, Kitchen, Photos, Rebuilding

2 responses to “50 Shades of White…One Shade of Pink

  1. Ben Phillips

    Popcorn ceilings PISS ME OFF. It’s an awful mess and it kills your back and you want to die, but it’s so easy to get rid of. Spray it with water, let it sit, spray a bit more, let it sit, then SCRAPE THAT SHIT OFF with a wide putty knife. Honestly, it’s the most spiritual thing to see all that horrid crap fall to the floor.

  2. Emily Barnes McDonald

    You go girl! My favorite painting tool is the Wagner pump roller. Have you ever seen those big 3 foot water blaster where you suction the water in and push the handle to squirt it out. Well it is kind of like that concept but there is a lever to pump the paint into the roller. Saves the back a little from having the bend over all the time to re load but clean up is a nightmare. I hate ceilings too. Only did them once and can still remember how bad my neck and back hurt! Behr paint is my favorite even over Sherwin-Williams. I used it exclusively in our new house except for what the pro’s sprayed on for primer. I’m proud of all of your hard work and I hope I get to see it in person sometime!

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