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  • Rebekah

So fresh and so clean

Four weeks. That's how long my weekend paint project actually ended up taking. Granted, there ended up being a lot of things that we didn't anticipate as part of the project, but still. Having a living room covered in dust, full of tools, and with half a toilet sitting in our bay window was not what I really wanted right after wrapping up the basement.


I basically spent ALL of last weekend locked in a 4'x4' box covered in dust. There are worse reasons to be in the bathroom for 8 hours at a time than sanding drywall compound, but not very many (and that was AFTER I had spent about 6 hours of after-work time during the week trying to get the walls sanded smooth). The saddest part of it all is that I couldn't even take breaks outside the bathroom because I was so dusty and trying not to track dust all over the house. So it was just me...alone... covered in dust and sweat. Mr. Handy and I spent part of the day on Sunday at Home depot trying to buy some wood for the board and batten. We wanted to reuse the baseboard from before so we needed 1/2" thick planks. You wouldn't think that would be a hard thing to find, but basically you can find 1/4" or 3/4" (unless you want more expensive boards. Fortunately we realized that with a table saw we could rip down the thickness of 3/4" thick preprimed boards. We took all that home and spent the afternoon getting all those ready, ripped down the old baseboard to get rid of the baseboard cap (for a more craftsman look), and got most of our wood rough cut. I finally got everything smooth enough to prime the walls by Sunday night, and repainted the ceiling while I was at it. Mr. Handy helped me get the the top rail for the board and batten measured and attached, and we called it a day.


I spent about 3 hours per night every day this past week reassembling everything--getting the battens cut to the right sizes, getting them spaced evenly, attaching them all to the wall, caulking EVERYTHING, and getting it all painted. This is another job where our paint sprayer has been a life saver! The paint finish is really even and making sure that you get into all the nooks and crannies is much easier when you can spray. We did two coats of paint since we had already primed the wall and the boards we got came primed.


I primed the upper part of the wall with some of the primer I had tinted blue for the basement built-ins. We chose to use the same color on the bathroom wall that we used on the built ins as well (Benjamin Moore Hale Navy!). After two coats of navy on the upper part of the wall, the bathroom was ready to be put back together, and I am THRILLED with the results!


It looks so clean and it's hard to believe that this was a dusty hellscape a week ago. The walls are much more smooth than they were before we started and I corrected a lot of shoddy plaster patching.

PRO TIP: I did a little touch up on the top rail to clean up a few places where the blue bled past my tape line. I found a great tip on YouTube to tape and caulk to get sharp lines, and it worked like a dream. Essentially I taped on the wall where it meets the top rail and ran a small bead of caulk along the bottom of the tape. You smooth the caulk line and then paint on top of it immediately being careful not to brush out the caulk you have just applied. Then you carefully pull the tape off immediately (before the paint or caulk dries). This leaves you with a crisp paint line. It's crucial that you do not let the paint and caulk dry before you pull the tape or else you can pull off your wall paint. Believe me. I speak from experience, having made this mistake in the basement.

I'm pretty tired of construction for the next little while, so I think I'm going to turn to more sewing next. I do have a coffee table to finish building, but I'm looking forward to some leisure time on the weekends and enjoying all the work we've done.


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