Maybe Next Time I’ll Paint Over It

In addition to the three bedrooms, our house has a little room in the front – it might have been a porch at one time – that would make a perfect home office, only you have to walk through the babies’ room to get to it. So, because its attached to their room, we use it as their playroom. Up to today, however, it was wallpapered in a dark green floral pattern; not very playroom-ish, and also not good in a small space. Needing something to do, I decided Sunday morning to fix this problem.

Step one, which took all day Sunday, was removing the wallpaper. I expected to make a mess of myself and the room, and also spend a good bit of the day on this step. As I began peeling the paper (after letting it thoroughly soak in the remover stuff), though, large chunks of the underlying paint came off with it. Not all of it peeled away, of course. Too much paint came off to leave the remainder on the wall, but not enough came off to make it a quick job to scrape the rest. I spent most of Sunday scraping away, butchering the sheetrock in the process.

Step two should have been priming and then painting. That ended up being step three. Why? Because I had to fix all the scuffs and scrapes I made while removing the paint. But also because, while pulling off the paper, I found some mold on the sheetrock. So I had to cut those sections out and replace them. After tearing out the moldy spots, I somehow managed to perfectly cut the replacement pieces. Or so I thought. Though they fit perfectly around the edges, my new pieces would not lay flush with the existing sheetrock. That, as I discovered, was because sheetrock comes in several different thicknesses. I bought 5/8, but the existing walls were 3/8. By the time I made it back to the store to get another sheet, returned home, cut out the new pieces, and taped and floated it, Monday was done.

Today was step three: one coat of primer, two coats of white paint on the molding and trim, two coats of yellow on the wall. Thankfully, there were no surprises. It still took me all day.

The results? The room looks much better, I need a day off, and I learned a few things.

First, my kids have a bunch of toys. I didn’t really think they did, until I had to move them out of the playroom while I painted it. Having them in that room fooled me. And having them out of that room and all over the dang house sure was a big incentive to get the room done post haste.

Second, I need a truck. I realized this while trying to cram an eight foot piece of sheetrock into the mini van. Not only did it not fit very well, but I looked like a complete dork. Not a very manly moment.

Third, I hate painting.

Fourth, when I was a kid helping my step dad, my favorite part of any job was the destruction part. Saws alls, sledges, crow bars, oooh, yeah. Now that I’m working on my own house, that’s my least favorite. Once I start tearing things apart, I get this “uh-oh” feeling of fear that I’ve just begun something I can never hope to finish. And then I can’t do anything other than finish the project; it drives me insane to have part of my house in chaos like that.

Fifth, my favorite part now is putting it all back together. I thought that was tedious when I was a kid. Now I enjoy it. It’s bringing order out of chaos: Shaping whatever part of the house I’m working on into the picture I have in my head. The turning point in this job was replacing the sheetrock. From the time I began cutting the new pieces, everything was another step towards realizing the image.

Finally, I really love my house. It was a fixer upper when we bought it, and it still has plenty left to keep me busy, but we’ve done more than enough to make it our home.

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One Comment on “Maybe Next Time I’ll Paint Over It”

  1. Mom Says:

    …and you guys have done a beautiful job too. It’s a great home and a wonderful place to come for a visit! Send photos 🙂

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