Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Painting windows, or, as I like to call it, hell-on-a-stick

Now that the new windows are all installed (and they’re looking gooooood), it’s time to prime, paint, and caulk. We had Marvin prime them for us at the factory, but being the cheapskates we are, we decided we’d paint them ourselves. Maybe that was, in hindsight, overly ambitious.

Saturday was painting day. Yippee. I started early in the morning and worked until it was dark. First, I pulled the sashes from their frames and gave the sashes an initial coat of paint. While that was drying, I worked on the exteriors of the frames. Because I was too lazy to get a ladder, I used a stepstool to get up onto the windowsill and then stood on that. Thank goodness for thick, old-growth-wood sills! I planted one foot on the interior sill, and one foot on the exterior, and used the interior window trim as a handhold (it’s got fantastic depth—about 5 inches—and has lots of curves and cuts that make lovely fingerholds). Then I’d dip my paintbrush and paint away! Made the neighbors a little nervous, I think, but if you can’t freak out your neighbors, where’s the fun in home improvement projects, right? :-)

Actually, it was probably safer than being on a ladder up all that way since my extension ladder does not have a stabilizer on it. Trust me, though, it’s on the ever-growing, never-ending list of “Things I Need for the House.”

After the first coat dried, I slapped on coat #2, waited for it to be bone dry, then put the sashes back in. Thankfully, I did in fact wait until they were dry enough—I’m proud to report that as of Sunday I had no painted-shut windows!

One funny thing—or maybe not funny so much as, ummmm, lazy—when I first started on the sashes I taped them so very carefully before beginning to paint. MAJOR pain in the you-know-where. Gotta get nice even tears to make nice even square corners so it's a nice even paint job. Bleah. To add to the frustration, when I pulled the tape back off after painting the first couple of panes, I could see that it didn’t really do a stellar job of keeping the paint where I wanted it. So I decided to scrap the tape and just paint very, very carefully. What a difference! I saved the time I would have spent taping and used it to take a smaller brush and carefully paint the muntins. In the end I’m positive that it took less time, and I was much happier with the results. If I slipped a little (and of course I did!), I just cleaned it up after the fact. I believe I may have read of some other HouseBlogger doing this....EnonHall, maybe? Anyway, I will never again tape a window to paint it!

I thought I took pictures, but now I can’t find them in the camera. Maybe I used the other camera. Maybe I just took pictures inside my head. Hmmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A NICE surprise for once

I got a wild hair last weekend and decided to pull up the carpet in our upstairs hallway. This was a project that I approached with a bit of trepidation after my last carpet-pulling-up issues. There’s a post in here somewhere about it; it’s too painful to relive. Anyway, I digress. Back to the carpet project at hand. I pulled it and noted that the pad was just gross. Super fun! It shredded as I attempted to pull it up, so I ended up taking a squeegee and just “raking” it all up. Blech. But….but…..but… I revealed the floor underneath I was richly rewarded by Father Time and the House Renovation Gods. It was gorgeous, beautifully patinated wide-plank heart pine, in awesome condition, the same wood and condition that seems to be in most areas of the house. Behold the beauty—and this is even before mopping! Once I give it a nice nourishing snack, that floor is going to be a show-stopper.

That leaves just three rooms to pull: the living room, dining room, and upstairs office. Maybe I’ll start one of them next weekend.

I should mention that it took me a full 1.5 days for this project. The following picture may give you some indication why. I had a lot of “help.” A lot.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Viva la fresh air!

Like I mentioned in a previous post, we recently contracted with Marvin to install 19 new windows. Although the project has not been without its glitches (and tell me what old house project isn’t!), the windows are now in and they look just beautiful. Marvin’s installation crew showed up when they said they would, worked fast and with good-quality craftsmanship, and left the house as clean or cleaner than before they began. Overall, it took about a week to get everything squared away; from Day One I came home and opened/closed windows, opened/closed windows, opened/closed windows. It felt so luxurious to be able to do that after 2+ years of not being able to open them for fear they would literally fall apart in my hands (true story—it happened with one of them).

I even managed to enjoy a few days of lovely temperatures before they inexplicably soared bark up into the ’90s. What’s up with that???

And here’s some window porn for your viewing pleasure. The frames (interior and exterior) will be painted white. I’d like to say that at some point I’ll get around to stripping the paint from all our trim, but that’s going to be a m-i-g-h-t-y long time, as in probably years, and if I ever actually do it, I’ll just strip the sashes too. So years from now, when I’m pitching a bloody fit about stripping these #*#^# sashes and who in God’s name would have painted them anyway?, please don’t say you told me so.

Aren't they pretty? I heart wood. Get it? Heartwood! Ha! I crack myself up. :)