Friday, May 19, 2017

Well, That Was Hard

As is usually the case with home improvements, the pantry painting took longer than expected.  I did learn a lot.  For example, the top shelf is about 3" less deep than the others.  Those other shelves are patched in the back with a second strip of wood.  My guess is that all the shelves were cut to the top size, then someone changed their mind after the first was installed.  Instead of starting over, the patch strip was put in the back and the original shelf was lined up in front of it.  I'm sure the change was invisible originally, but in 60 years the wood shrank and warped unevenly.  That was how the scary black stuff grew, between the pieces.  The warping was less than 1/4" vertically and the pieces are still flush together, so I hit them up with some spackle while I was doing the walls.  Yes, that's the wrong product to use on wood, but you can paint over it and anything was better than nothing.

One thing I learned while doing the cleaning was not to wear my glasses or shoes once the painting started.  I can see well enough a foot and a half not to leave any unpainted areas.  Oh, and once I changed the bulb to a white one, the color in there didn't change a whole lot.  The paint was a slightly yellowish pink off-white.  I'm sure the choice was either because the whole kitchen was going to be that color or because you want lower light levels in a pantry.  I hardly ever use the bulb, so it didn't matter.  I just picked a lower wattage than was in there before.
Once everything was bleached, spackled, and sanded, it was time to wedge all 4'8", 90 pounds on a fat day of me into the pantry with the first color to do the walls.  I decided to free-hand the flat blue color and use tape for the Swiss Coffee latex on another day.  If I'm patient enough, I can stay in the lines.  Probably failed coloring in kindergarten, and there's a reason I'm a bread baker instead of a cake decorator.
The first coat took only an hour.  I was disappointed that it was obvious from the start I'd need a second coat, but again, I'm only doing this once.  There was a bunch of paint on my hands and elbows, but none on the bandana over my hair.  Small victory.  A couple of isolated, stained patches needed a third coat, but that dried while I was putting up the blue painter's tape before doing the semi-gloss.

Then I woke up the next day and was very sore from holding up half my weight on the door frame.  Imagine doing one-armed pull ups for an hour straight.  I decided to wait a week for the strain to heal before hitting the project again.  Meanwhile, I did paint my bedroom and bathroom door frames, which have had blue tape on them for about six months.  Not the best paint job ever, but a whole lot better than they looked before I put up the tape.  You would have to be looking for flaws to find them, and I seriously doubt anyone who doesn't live here would do that.

Fast forward a week of my food sitting in the hall.  I'd only just gotten the last of the paint off my feet, and there was still a little around my nails.  I hoped to finish the project in one day, but semi-gloss takes longer to dry than flat.  Still, I had a full coat on all but the top shelf and the ceiling.  Those just had the cuts around the edges in preparation for the roller.  The door frame and baseboards were done, though.  I decided that a single coat was so beyond what was there before that I'd call it and focus on the parts that would actually be seen and used.

So, the next day I got in there again with the roller.  Once I got down to the shelves with a full coat, it got easier.  Four hours later, everything was dry enough to pull off the tape.  A quick trip around with the blue paint to patch anything the tape pulled off finished the messy part of the project.

Then came the hardest part of all, waiting three days for the paint to dry completely before covering it with the padded shelf liners I had bought before deciding to paint.  I was not about to scuff or stain the shelves after all this.  Finally, I felt confident enough to put down the liners and put all the food back.
At which point, I'm the only one who can tell it was even painted.

Difficulty rating  $@%!

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