When guests refuse to leave

Since the centennial party, I’ve been hanging out with a couple of old friends. We spend a lot of time lolling around the house, watching trash TV, drinking wine, and generally ignoring the responsibilities of life. [Eric’s photo]

still life of grapes and wine

It’s been fun and relaxing, but lately I’ve had this niggling feeling that I really should get back to work on our renovation project. Except … my company won’t leave. Let me introduce you to two of my oldest friends: Procrastination and Inertia.

Oh, we go way back. My first grade teacher labeled me as a procrastinator. What a rap to lay on a six-year-old kid! I’ve dedicated my life to fulfilling my potential in that regard. But at some point, when house guests have outstayed their welcome, you just have to give ’em the boot. I finally picked up a paint brush and stared down the bead board in the breakfast room.

I’d bought several gallons of yellow and white paint before we decided to renovate the kitchen. (I’ve changed shades of yellow since then. Anyone need some egg-yolk-yellow paint?) The Valspar Chef White that I intended to use for the trim is ever-so-close to the Benjamin Moore Glacier White I’m using on the cabinets. With shifting light on all the planes of white, I don’t think anyone will be able to tell it’s not the same paint. At least I’m betting on that, because I refuse to waste two gallons of perfectly good paint.

First, I popped off the old shoe molding and sanded the mop board until I found a layer of paint that seemed to want to stick to the wood. (The bead board here has been primed.)

show molding removed

Painting progress is slow. I have to force in enough paint to seal up the tiny gaps between the individual boards. It takes a lot of paint and a fair amount of pressure on the brush. You can see the effect in the photo on the right: It makes the expanse of bead board look cohesive and seamless.

white painted bead board

I have to work quickly to achieve the desired effect, yet not overwork the paint. (Paint these days seems to get tacky quicker than it used to.) It’ll take two coats, because I want the new bead board to have the softened look of several coats of paint. Does that sound crazy? To install new bead board and not want it to look brand spankin’ new?

I finish one coat on one wall, and wouldn’t you know it, my lazy friends reappear to distract me for another evening.

Then I wise up and buy a nappy roller to speed up the coverage–much better! I still follow up with a brush.

When I look up, I find I’m being watched.

Black cat wathces painting progress

I have ACRES to paint: all the bead board around the breakfast room and kitchen, the kitchen ceiling, and the plaster kitchen walls—all of it twice! Then there’s the new cabinet face frames, doors, and drawer fronts, and the drawer boxes—two, three, even four coats. I enjoy painting, but I’ll be at this task a looong time. On this plan of the kitchen, I have to paint bead board all the way around the breakfast room and kitchen (not the back hall), except for over the sink. The red line shows how far I’ve gone on coat 1. Yes, I have a long way to go … two laps.

shows how far I've painted

It’s September, which means we have now been working on the kitchen for an entire year. I suppose that’s not unusual for a major DIY project, and we have not exactly pushed ourselves most of the time. However, I’m adamant that we be DONE before the holidays. I want to stuff my bird in a FINISHED kitchen!

But … how many posts can I write about painting before we all die of boredom and you leave, never to return? (“Yeah,” you’re saying … “This is as exciting as watching paint dry!”) My painting marathon will be an opportunity to write about other aspects of our house. Thanks to some of my blog friends, I have a cache of inspirations to play with.

Now, back to the painting. Where are those old friends when I want them?

But wait—bonus feature!

Because we’re harvesting ripe garden veggies almost every day now, we soon found ourselves in a cloud of drosophila—yes, the dreaded summer fruit fly invasion. How to get rid of them without using spray? Eric made this trap out of a glass, a slice of banana, a cone of paper and some tape. Works like a charm, and the pesky critters can be humanely released outside to reenter the house another day.

glass and paper fruit fly trap

Now, back to painting. Really. Although … it’s such a beautiful Sunday … maybe we should drive down to Tacoma and go to the art museum!



9 thoughts on “When guests refuse to leave

  1. Karen B.

    I just painted our master bedroom…not the trim, just the walls. It’s a smallish room and we have a DVD player in there so I watched several chic flix over the 2- day paint-a-thon. But that said, I hate to paint so you have my sympathy, which is why I’m inviting your guests over to help distract me from painting the gates in the side yard that desperately need a fresh coat. I love the breadboard and its going to look great when you finish.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      You know, Karen … I USED to love to paint. But that was 10 years ago and the ol’ bod just doesn’t bend like it used to. Now all I really like is the results!

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Yes, but you guys are certainly YOUNGER than us and you have more get-up-and-go! (My latest excuse.) You’ll probably be done with all those rooms before I change colors in the kitchen!

  2. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Good luck with all that painting. I really like painting, but I hate the set up and clean up which means that I really detest painting.

    You should have saved the fruit fly bit for a filler post while you are doing all that painting!


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