Friday, January 10, 2014

De & Con Struction - part 2

Painting in Keith's office area
In De & Con part 1, we left off with the drywall up, the mudding done, and the room ready to be painted. At this point in the story my mom, whom I love dearly, volunteered her and the rest of my family to do the job. Nothing brings joy to my heart like turning my sisters into slaves. Kidding! Sorta.

Anyways, let's talk paint and primer for a wee second, shall we?
In the way of primer, I prefer Kilz. On a couple of occasions, one here at the house, one at church, I've used Zinsser primers. Both times I've been severely unimpressed. As in I will not buy it again. I will drive to the other side of town to get Kilz.  It took multiple coats of Zinsser to get passable coverage whereas Kilz - we used Premium Stain Block because it's low VOC on the walls - covers all in one coat. It covered paint, plaster, drywall, and wood with no problems.
My opinion on paint is a this:  Anything but Valspar. That stuff is not good. Not rolled from the tray, not sprayed from the can. Stay away from Valspar. On the other hand, I had heard very good things about paint/primer combos because of their one coat coverage abilities. So, will this tiny bit of knowledge and a Dutch Boy paint chip, we landed on Pittsburgh Ultra Interior paint and primer combo. It is nice paint. It goes on smoothly, with virtually no splatter or dripage and covers in one coat. Well done, Pittsburgh.  The only bad thing, which is really just more of an annoyance, is that it separates quickly and needed to be stirred nearly every time I refilled the paint tray.


Since my family was coming over and I was going to have all this FREE labor I decided we would also paint Keith's den/office. Everything was then pulled away from the walls and the curtain tossed on the heap. Right around this time, when our house seemed like it couldn't quite get any messier, our two loveseats - which weren't supposed to be in till mid January - arrived. So there was even more shuffling of construction paraphernalia and furniture. It was kinda crazy. But we pressed on and the paint went up and the room was one step closer to looking fantastic.

Once the painting was completed, all that was left was to put the trim back in place and add the little shelf.  Keith set about hanging the top board first and then chopping the vertical boards to size (remember how I said we were dropping the board and batten height so that it was level with the top of the hutch?). We quickly learned that every vertical board had to be cut to a different length. This sort of delay I call "Old House Joy". We love our old house and all its wonky-ness.
So while Keith was tackling the vertical board height differential (dad, Kali, did I use that word correctly?), I set about staining the new, shelf boards and sanding yesteryear's paint smears off the old boards.

As anyone who's ever tried matching stain knows: it's kinda challenging. The trim in our house is fairly dark so first we tried Dark Walnut by Rust-oleum, certain that we had beaten the odds and picked the perfect color match on the first try. Quickly we realized that we were color matching failures and would need to make another trip to Lowes for something with a red tinge.  Bombay Mahogany by Minwax was the chosen one as it looked very dark with a subtle red tint. It was crazy red and not really what we were looking for either BUT when we layered the two together, Dark Walnut followed by Bombay Mahogany, perfection was had. Of course, this perfection was not without its cost - double the dry time. Because we were layering differing brands I thought it would be prudent if the first coat of stain was given time to dry thoroughly lest there be a weird reaction and we have to start anew. Fortunately, the stains became fast friends and all appeared well enough to hang the shelf boards. "Hanging" might not be quite the right term as the shelf boards were really just mounted on top of the trim. Because it was resting on the top of the board and batten, which was holding most of the weight, we used a combination of wood glue and finishing nails to strap everything together.

Now lets take a moment to remember....


See how the hutch and the board and batten align now? *sigh* So. Much. Better.
I would also like to note that the top and bottom ARE painted different colors. Sometimes they do this magic trick where they look the same

So that wraps up our first excursion into wall renovating. Now about that chandelier.... 

1 comment:

  1. So much work, true, but it looks fantastic! You guys--the whole family--did a great job! Is the bottom painted a bit of a darker gray than the top? I love the dark wood. I know you said you guys weren't entirely sold on it at first, but it really is stunning against the light-colored walls. Your house is slowly coming together, Shakti! I can't wait to see and read about all your other designs and projects inside. And, as for paint? I've never used Valspar. But I have used Behr pretty religiously. No complaints there.