Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Operation Transformation: Day One

Today was the first real workday of my six day (maybe less? Hopefully less?) blitz on our kitchen and laundry room. We hit plenty of snags along the way, but we managed to get a lot done, and stay mostly on schedule.

I started with a very early trip to Lowe's. When I walked in, they were getting ready to do the employee cheer! I wondered for a minute if I should join in considering how much time (and money) I spend there. I picked up some dropcloths, tape, and a special ceiling roller with a shield. I also decided to grab the outlets, switches, cover plates, and cabinet hardware that I'll need later in the week. I'll be posting pictures of those projects soon enough!

Then I came home and primed over the many, many paint samples on the wall. And started the long process of taping. With cabinets, chair rail, and crown molding, that meant a lot of tape. I used about two and a half rolls, and ran out right after I started the laundry room! Luckily I had this little gadget to help it go by much, much faster.

This is a great product, and really cuts down on taping time. It's difficult to maneuver in corners (but isn't a regular tape roll too?) but it's so cenvenient. One thing to note, is that you should run your finger along the edge of the tape once it's in place. The little wheel isn't quite enough pressure to form a good seal.

We also removed the header panel in between the two sections of cabinets by the window. That alone has seriously cut down on the country in our country kitchen. We also took down the crown molding on that side, but we're going to reuse the piece (it's still in great shape) to run crown molding around our now separated cabinets!

And after taking down our light fixtures (and finding out that they're not anchored to anything, just hanging from the sheetrock, which has now caused sheetrock damage. Awesome!) we were finally ready to start painting!

I started with the ceilings while Brett took a break. I broke in our ceiling paint by spilling about an eighth of it all over my legs while pouring it in the tray. Good thing I was sitting on a dropcloth! I loved the shielded roller, and ended up with much less paint in my hair and on my face than my previous ceiling experiences. Considering we were going from white to white, I was shocked at how bright the new ceiling paint looked!

Brett vetoed my idea of painting in my underpants (hey! Our kitchen window opens up only to our driveway, okay? I was not giving away a free show.), I think mostly because he wanted to take pictures of my painting ensemble to share with the world.

Hmm, maybe when your underarm holes are so big you don't notice if you put your arms through them by mistake, it's time to retire the old shirt, huh? I swear, I ONLY paint in this.

With the ceilings looking bright and fresh, I washed the worst of the paint off my arms and face, and covered up my legs for a lunch date with Brett. We walked to our neighborhood Mexican restaurant and refueled for the rest of the day.

Then we spent a long afternoon taping the laundry room, priming the laundry room, and painting the kitchen walls. I won't go into details, but suffice to say I learned the following.

1) Dropcloths are not really helpful when they have wet paint on the underside of them
2) It is thankfully wasy to clean half dried paint from ceramic tile (and wood dining room chairs, and brand spanking new formica countertops)
3) It is NOT easy to clean half dried paint from grout, unfortunately
4) Spending 10 hours going up and down a ladder is about my limit. I sat on the powder room toilet while I washed my hands.

But we're done with the kitchen walls and I'm SO happy with how they turned out. So how are we doing on schedule?

The Plan:

-Prep both rooms for painting (walls and ceilings). CHECK!
-Paint ceiling in both rooms. CHECK!
-Prime laundry room. Half Check!
-Paint kitchen walls. CHECK!
-Paint laundry walls. Nope :(
-Return everything to a workable state. CHECK!

So we were almost there. And I would have finished but I decided I would wait to put tape on the freshly painted ceiling to prime and paint the laundry room walls. So I'll let the ceiling paint dry over night, slap some tape up there tomorrow morning, and prime and paint. It's a 6x6 room, so it shouldn't be a big time sucker.

Overall, we are very tired, but happy. when we opened the can of paint, it looked so white we wondered for a minute if the machine malfunctioned and didn't add any pigment. But after it was on the walls it was clearly a mix of cream and gray. And once it darkened, we both fell in love. Here are some pictures of our kitchen in it's current state. The flash warms the color up a bit, but the last picture is probably the truest to color.