Monday, May 21, 2007

Paint with all the colors of the wind

You guys! I got my first ever comment spam! It's like my blog has finally arrived! I'm not even going to erase it. I will cherish "Manifest Destiny dictates a white-man's prophecy" forever.

So how will I celebrate this milestone, as well as my general lack of exciting or fun blogging recently? With a post about my apartment, of course! Okay, I know that's not so fun or exciting. But I've certainly made you all skim domestic tales before, and I'm proud of this particular project. I've been meaning to blog more lately, really I have. I keep thinking of things to write, or even starting to write them, and then I lose my momentum. Which I guess means the blog is fizzling again, and that's okay. I like knowing it's here for when I decipher Morrissey.

We're going to Mexico for a week on Wednesday, and then a few days after we get back I'm off to Undisclosed Location Summer Theater again, so I don't know how much I'll be posting. Maybe I'll get some writing done on vacation, though I probably won't be able to post it until I get back.

Meanwhile, look at what I did...!

So when we moved into our apartment, everything was freshly painted a lovely bright white, which made painting colors very easy and meant we didn't have to do any maintenance on the walls we didn't want to paint over. Unfortunately, it turned out the bathroom hadn't been painted properly at all, and the walls have been peeling and cracking pretty steadily since we moved in. With a bunch of time off between gigs, I decided to finally do something about it.

Between the two of us, I'm definitely the more handy around the house. This is not saying much. But as Boy puts it, I get the idea to do a project, and then do some research to figure out how to do it. I have no innate home improvement skills, but I know my way around Google.

I figured I'd have to strip the whole room so I'd have a clean slate to paint over. But hey, it's a tiny bathroom, and half of it is tiled, so how hard could it be? I asked someone at Home Depot what I should use to strip the room, and he said that was a needless amount of work and I should just peel off the bad areas, spackle them, and then prime everything. Great! Even easier!

So I prepped the room, got my putty knife into position... and half the wall above the shower came crumbling down. It was sort of amazing, really. And gross. Apparently a lot of water had found its way behind the paint, and, well, let's just say things were growing and living back there. Nasty, but also it told me that the whole project was totally worth any amount of work. I'm one of those people who peels labels off of bottles, so I had fun dealing with the peeling paint.

Then I spackled, and waited for it to dry. Then I primed, and waited for it to dry. Then I painted, and waited for it to dry. Then I went to Home Depot to get more paint, 'cause duh dark colors need two coats. Then I painted, and waited for it to dry. Not a very good story, is it?

Pros of painting a bathroom: Small room, lots of tile and porcelain; Lots of things to stand on (bathtub, toilet) so you're not just trapped on the ladder; All the tile and porcelain is very forgiving if you drip. Cons of painting a bathroom (at least my bathroom): Not much ventilation; only one light source, so you're always casting a shadow on your work; always has to remain at least somewhat functional while you work; when you're done, you'll spend a lot of time in there without much to look at besides the walls, so you'd better do it right!

It was sort of an exhausting project. Because the room is so small, I thought it would be quick and easy, but there are a lot of corners and things to work around and I'd never painted a ceiling before. And lots of time literally waiting for paint to dry. I panicked a little about how dark it is, so I decided to replace the light too, which we'd talked about doing ever since moving in. I always thought it would be a big project involving wiring and stuff, but I realized (duh) I could make a big difference by just changing the cover on the bulb and leaving the fixture intact. 10 seconds, 7 dollars. And once everything was back in the room, it broke up the color and made it all work. We chose the same color we did two walls of the bedroom in, because there's already so much color in the apartment, and those two rooms seem to go together (and are next to each other). I'm still obsessing over spots I missed or didn't do perfectly, but I'm about to bring the last of the paint down to the storage room, so that should put an end to that.

Anyway, it's a boring story, but look at the photos!

Before:

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During:
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After:
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One without flash:
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One showing the bedroom (also without flash):
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