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Painting Misadventures

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I hired a guy to plaster my walls. I expected him to smooth them out for me. I expected them to be perfect.
They were.
For about two weeks.
As I attempted to apply the primer
I learned something valuable
I learned that when new plaster meets a thick coat of primer, pieces of the new plaster will remain on the roller.
I no longer had smooth walls
Some panels look as if it had acne.
I continued to paint.
I should admit...
I have been painting the kitchen since August.
Since August
It has not been going well.
It began with the plaster peeling off onto the roller.
I worked through that
Because I refused to be defeated
Every weekend I promised myself that I would complete a layer, finish the trim, or otherwise do something.
Some weekends, I did something.
Most weekends, I did not.
Painting trim is evil.
The store did not properly mix the blue. What I thought would be a pale slate blue is actually a light periwinkle. 
Blue painter's tape - LIES. It pulls paint up every time. And forget about edging and trimming with it. 
I had to purchase green tape. 
Because screaming at the blue paint was not helpful.

Do you know how many corners are in your kitchen?
How many surfaces?
How many edges?
I bet you do not...

At the start of October, I thought I was done.
Until I moved the fridge to paint behind it - only to find that it had not been plastered.
I was furious.
It was a wall after all and I had contracted the man to plaster all the kitchen walls.
I called him. He didn't seem very apologetic. 
So, I decided to take ownership of this particular section of the kitchen and plaster it myself.
I used some drywall plaster that I found in the basement left over from last year and a smoothing tool.
I applied the plaster thickly. For some reason, I grooved it. I really cannot remember why I thought that was a genius idea.
I had to sand it down to make it even.
I let it dry for two days. Then I pulled out my sander and went to work smoothing the wall myself.
I felt so empowered.
So confident.
I wanted to be able to say that I did the wall behind the fridge all by myself.
I was so clever about the dust.
I pulled the dry vac, that I had purchased when I flooded my basement earlier this Fall, upstairs.
I placed the nozzle under my sander so that it would pickup all the dust.
I had sealed off the area with a drop cloth and taped it to the cabinetry. I wore an apron, headscarf and goggles.
I felt like a professional.
Until I heard the fire alarm.
I turned off the sander. Lifted back the drop cloth and peeked out from behind the fridge. I could not see anything because my goggles were covered in dust.
I removed the goggles but the dust in my vision remained.
It took me ten minutes to understand that dry-vacs will pick up dust and then blow it right out as a fine mist.I learned much later that I needed a separate filter if I want to vacuum dust.
I walked around.
Everything was covered in white dust from the stairs leading to the basement, the dining room pictures and all the wood furniture in the living room.
The kitchen floor had so much dust I could made sand castles out of it.
I spent the rest of the day vacuuming- with the HOOVER. Being so discouraged, it took me another two weeks to complete the area behind the fridge.
There is still dust everywhere; I have been too bummed out to clean it.
It got worse after I saw all the spiderwebs. Which when covered in plaster dust resemble cobwebs. And they were everywhere.
I had no idea that so much webbing had gone unnoticed as I devoted all my sparse free time to paint the kitchen. They were everywhere. Everywhere. Like out of a old fashion horror movie. 
And for some reason, those spider webs made me laugh until I hiccuped.
Then nothing was funny anymore.

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