Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Chores

First, I'd like to call your attention to Sadie......who struck an impromptu pose for me today.....

"Yes, I know I'm beautiful, thank you! I'm glad you noticed!" she said.

"Since I'm so cute, let's play ball!"

But from there, the day sorta went downhill.....all work, no play....I typed a bit.

And then I tackled the stair railing. The railing is Part I of Never Ending Project #315, filed under Homeownership Nightmares.

Many moons ago, we hired someone to paint the stairway (flat latex on walls) and to paint the railing posts (he recommended oil based paint). This guy scared me from the beginning. It's a long story as to why we hired him for this portion of the house, but he was part of a package deal with outside painters who were doing some warranty work. We were trying to be nice and throw them a little additional business, as they worked for free on some outside painting that had begun to chip and peel while still under their warranty.

His first move was to use that painter's tape, you know, the blue stuff, to mask the wooden steps. I'm not a painter. But I've never been able to mask onto wood, without the paint seeping under the tape where the grain dips a bit and is uneven. I free-hand my "cutting in" now, to avoid what happened with this guy. He enthusiastically painted right up to the tape on the wood, on the steps and on the handrail, trusting his loosely applied tape to protect the wood. Wrong.

I tried to mention to him that the paint might seep under. However, my Chinese is non-existant, and his English was.... not much better.

After several hours, all four dogs (who cannot be around strangers, as they are pound puppies, found puppies, abused puppies, etc, and their reactions are varied and sometimes not exactly neighborly) were beginning to howl and needed to go outside. He declared the job "all done" and I gave it a cursory glance and he went on his way. I think I even wrote a check, hastily, for his remaining portion of the job not covered with the down payment. The guys outside had finished up the warranty work and everyone left. I finished taking dogz outside, dealing with my transcription business, answering phones, returning work, typing madly, and finally.....

I took a few moments to see the painting job disaster that this guy had done. In some places, he had left the tape for me to remove. Sneaky. Underneath was a horror story of dried, leaky smears. He didn't paint all the way to the wood in some places, leaving a noticable unpainted portion.....and he made up for it in other places, the leaky smeared ones.

I know. I should have called them back. I should have made a stink. I should have done any number of things other than just shrug and give up and walk away, knowing someday, I'd have to redo most of it. It wasn't the best of times, that summer, and I just ran out of steam.

Now I'm dealing with it. I am stripping off the smears, evening the edges of the paint, and also, cleaning up the grime of 15 years and today, decided to refinish the wooden railings. That was because, even after the big guns, recommended by Home Depot,

my railings were disgusting. Not all of the hand dirt and grime were gone. And the finish was just plain tired. (kinda like the finish on the kitchen cabinets.)

Notice the one cleaner spot when I first started scrubbing. Its amazing how much dirt you don't see when you just don't want to!!

I started sanding. Michael joined in, sanding some of the white railings where the painter amateur painter had left huge globs of drips and splatters. After I finish with the refinishing of the hand railings (one finished one is pictured below), I will repaint the white posts, first with primer to take it to a compatible surface, and then with semi-gloss latex....the same stuff I'm using on the floorboards throughout the downstairs.

It looks a little better!

Then the fun really starts. I'm wallpapering the area from floor boards to railings.....

On both sides.

Yeah. I apparently crave challenges.

Well, I'm off to do dishes, and some typing I didn't finish this morning. Tomorrow is Quilt Class!! Yay!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Say, you do great want a job out here? In the midst of life going on, Tim has the bug to do some painting and fixing up. Wif finished the bathroom, and I told her to snap a photo to send to you - it looks good. Personally, I would have put a lighter color choice on the top half of the room, but we did give her cart'blanche....Got to go and find Tyler some textbooks online; all of Wif's are pd for by her scholarships (Praise the Lord) Lots of love, from the Charcoal Lambie