No Tanks

There’s a limit. I’ve reached it.

I draw the line at toilet tanks. Nobody’s going to see behind it, anyway.  I am not going to pull a toilet tank off just to make a nice smooth wall behind it. I’ll just slap whatever I can get back there on it, and leave it at that. I think I got primer over all of the ripped part, and when I put joint compound back there, I don’t care how lumpy it turns out to be. That will be the next owner’s problem, along with my eccentric paint jobs. Ha!

But the wall above the vanity is a problem. I got a little too gleeful when I figured out that there was another layer of something or other under the wallpaper backing, and if I got down to that layer and found a finger hold, I could just rip the paper right up and off. What could have been a five hour job was reduced to two, and I got the rented wallpaper steamer-offer thingee back to the hardware store in plenty of time.

Except I ended up with this:

IMG_20191007_123149273-1.jpg

And this:IMG_20191007_123201235.jpg

The guy at the rental desk didn’t know what to do about the drywall, even though he showed me a picture of the garage that he had been drywalling all around. So he googled it: OK, primer, joint compound. Go see paint guy.

Paint guy found the primer and the joint compound, and also a new scraper/schmeering thing to schmeer on the joint compound, and explained how to “feather” it and use a big sponge to smooth it out.

So now, apparently, I will add “drywall repair” to my repertoire of do-it-myselfing stuff. We’ll see how that goes.

I confess, however, that just looking at the front hall defeats me. I surrender. Two layers of old, fabric wallpaper on a plaster wall. So I called a highly recommended paint guy  for an estimate for getting those two layers of ancient wallpaper off the front hall walls and prepping the walls for painting, which will be the finale of all this.

Except for the deck.

What was to have been my adventure in power-washing turned into a misadventure when I couldn’t get the hose into the trigger-sprayer thingee.  But wait! Troubleshooting guide online! O-ring has slipped. Slide it back down!

Yeah, right. How? I know! I can slip a tiny screwdriver under it to pry it out enough and roll it down!

Oops. O-ring snaps off and flies away.

But online troubleshooting guide says, “if that doesn’t work, use a sharp knife to remove O-ring.” Yay me! Already removed it! Aren’t I clever?

The troubleshooting guide didn’t say anything about the washer leaking, without the O-ring that guide said to take a sharp knife to.

Kindly brother comes over to help, with his borrowed machine. Attempts fix with O-ring kit I purchased for him at local big box hardware store.

Hose explodes off trigger-sprayer thingee and scatters O-rings across the yard. No windows were broken or eyes put out during this experiment in attempting-to-avoid-ordering-parts-from-manufacturer. But no deckwashing got done, either.

Curses.

Consoled myself by blowing several hundred dollars on new sinks and faucets for the yet-to-be-drywall-repaired bathroom, and making an appointment for a new countertop to be selected and measured. One thing leads to another as the money credit drains away.  Kindly brother installs new bathroom lighting, which looks great and works.

Electrician called to handle other, trickier installations. The only thing to do about this

IMG_20191010_110915961~2.jpg

hideous affront of a light fixture is to disconnect it, remove it and get kindly brother to cover it up with a piece of matching wood. There is fluorescent light in there that has gone on once in twenty years. I shudder to think what will fall out of there when I unscrew those pegs and look inside. Yikes. I wanted to install cute, small track lights, but there has never been light in that built-in, knotty pine bookcase and I can live without it. Electrician’s option was to snip the wires from the switch, stuff the others up into the hole and cover it up. Good option. Brotherly handyman services are cost of materials only. Yay. Saved credit.

Painter’s estimate for the front hall was reasonable. Electrician’s cost is hair-raising but necessary. Have just enough credit to cover them. Let’s pray that job comes through.

I’ve bored you all with my nearly year-long saga of how-not-to paint, assemble, repair, etc. I’m hoping for a big closing number. I didn’t take any “before” pictures of a lot of it, but I will take some of the “afters” so you can share the hilarious results of attempts to paint a straight line or patch plaster.

Until then, I remain,

Your about to get schooled in schmeering and “feathering” drywall joint compound,

Ridiculouswoman

How Not to Strip Wallpaper: Part Two

Neither plaster walls nor lost screws nor bad instructions shall stay this do-it-herself-er from her intended plan

Collect new wall-mounted cabinet from immaculate Big Box home store, where you have applied for a job and they haven’t called. Surprise.

Measure, drill, screw anchors, screws. This is the drywall part of the wall. Drills easily. Hang mirror. Wait, little triangular mirror-hanger thingees on back of mirror don’t quite reach? BUT I MEASURED, DAMMIT! Try starting the other side first. Hang over protruding screw. See if you can bend little triangular hanger thingee a smidge. Success! Off to a good start.

Unbox new cabinet on bedroom floor. Follow instructions.  Attach sides to shelf. Install rod. No, wait, rod won’t fit when sides already attached. Unscrew one side, install rod in holes provided, reattach side. Attach top to sides. Flip over.  Attach back flimsy cardboard backing grooved to look like beadboard to sides and top with tiny little nails.  Oops, beadboard-looking side is supposed to be on the inside. Remove. Ha! Hammer pries out tiny little nails easily. Turn over, reattach. Why are there so many tiny little nails left over? Oh, they assumed destruction of tiny little nails through amateur hammering. HA!  Didn’t bend a single one.

Attach doors by putting plastic posts into plastic “hinge anchors,

Attach wedge-shaped screw-bracket thingees to inside top of cabinet. Hmm, screwdriver doesn’t fit at angle that allows screwing in brackets. No pre-drilled holes?  Turn cabinet upside down to stand on its top. Leverage? Useless. Screwdriver still won’t fit.  WHAT IDIOT WROTE THESE INSTRUCTIONS? THE WEDGE-SHAPED BRACKET THINGEES SHOULD HAVE BEEN ATTACHED TO THE TOP BEFORE THE CABINET WAS ASSEMBLED BY SCREWING INTO PRE-DRILLED HOLES THAT AREN’T THERE! AUGHGHGHGHHGHG!!!

Disassemble cabinet. Mark and drill holes into inside top. Attach first wedge-shaped screw bracket thingee. DAMMIT WHERE’S THAT OTHER SCREW? Retrieve reasonable facsimile of supplied screw from impressive collection of screws leftover from previous projects, at bottom of drill case bag. Reassemble cabinet.

Follow instructions to drill “small hole” through wedge-shaped screw bracket thingee and flimsy backing. Carry cabinet to bathroom to mark where to drill holes for mounting. Select a spot directly above spackle mark from previously mounted towel rack. Should be a drillable spot, right? Up on stepstool, hold cabinet against wall while bending sideways over sink. Silently thank 8-lb dumbbell workouts.

Step down. Discover pencil tip too short to go through “small holes.”  No marks made. Dispel frustration by drilling larger hole through bracket and flimsy backing. Back on step ladder, hoist cabinet, mark.

Lower cabinet, retrieve drill. Commence drilling.

Plaster dust falls. Note to self: don’t breathe, just in case. Clean with wet tissue when finished. Wait, wha? Drill not progressing into wall. Press harder. Hot smell. Drill motor frying. Cease drilling. Note progress of about  1/32nd inch, accompanied by a pile of plaster dust. Step off ladder. WTF! how am I going to get this thing on the wall?

Plan B.

Retrieve hammer and reasonable facsimile of supplied screws from impressive collection.  HAMMER THAT SUCKER THROUGH TINY 32ND OF AN INCH DEPRESSION. Hear chunks of concrete lath fall down inside wall. Shrug. What happens inside the wall stays inside the wall.

Holy shit, that worked. Screw goes through wall, doesn’t crack plaster, and comes out easy. HA! UNSTOPPABLE! Hammer in screw anchors. Pick up cabinet again, careful not to drop supplied screws. Screw through holes and into screw anchors, pressing hard and sweating. There.

Step off ladder.

Note 45 degree angle slant of cabinet.

Laugh. Really, the only thing left to do here is laugh. It’s 10:30 p.m. and you’re sweating profusely and you’ve been at this all day. Sigh.

Unscrew cabinet from wall. Remind self not to lose supplied screws. Deploy too-short level (yes, you have a level, but this is the first time in more than forty years of hanging things on walls that you have used it) to draw a straight line from one screw anchor across to above other too-low screw anchor. Drill 1/32nd inch deep hole.  Repeat screw and hammer maneuver. BAM! Something more falls inside wall. Shrug. Spare screw anchor from impressive collection goes in easy and tight.

Pick up cabinet, check for supplied screws you reminded yourself not to lose. DAMMIT WHERE’S THAT OTHER SCREW? Retrieve reasonable facsimile. Step up on ladder. Relieved to discover supplied screw still halfway in wedge-shaped bracket thingee inside cabinet. Place level on top of cabinet. Holes match up! GENIUS! Screw in screws, pressing hard, sweating profusely. Step down, wipe up plaster dust with wet tissue. Step back. Straight. HA! WINNER AND STILL CHAMPEEN!

Measure, hammer, anchor, screw, hang picture. Done. It’s 11:30 p.m. You haven’t eaten since lunchtime. HA! Intermittent fasting! Lose three pounds overnight!

Consume demure snack of grapes and cheese. Regain three pounds.

Shower, off to bed.

Step on lost screw for wedge-shaped screw anchor.

HA! FOUND IT!

Enjoying our redecorated bathroom, I remain, your UNDEFEATED

Ridiculouswoman

How Not to Strip Wallpaper: Part One

A picture is worth 800 words, but I’ll do the words anyway.

Trepidation. Never used a wallpaper-steamer-offer machine. Trek to truly valuable hardware store to rent one. What emerges from the back is incomprehensible and unclean. Sorry. Head to Big Box Chain home store. Rent cleaner machine. Nice guy at paint department finds little tool to “score” wallpaper first. Warns against pushing too hard, resulting in little pinpricks all over wall. Ha, these walls are plaster, no worries.

Haul machine upstairs. You should have filled machine with hose outside on porch first, but that would make machine too heavy to haul. Review instructions. Main point: don’t burn yourself.  Got it.

Attempt to fill machine using round plastic container retained from grocery store soup purchase, to fill machine. Filled floor instead. Move machine from puddle. Wipe up.

Deploy long-nosed watering can to fill machine. After six or eight fills and pours, screw top back on. Tight enough? Do not over tighten? Plug in. Wait. Fill time by “scoring” walls with pinprick thingee.

Twenty minutes. Shouldn’t steam be coming out of the rod in the middle of the plastic rectangle paddle thingee you’re supposed to put against the wallpaper? Examine plastic hose. Identify severe kink. Attempt to unkink. Ow! Hot! DON’T BURN YOURSELF. Obtain small towel from hall closet to use as hot pad. Hose reluctant to unkink and uncurl. Drape portion of hose over door handle to maintain unkink-ness. Observe that to keep reluctant hose over door handle requires hose to wrap around step ladder. Addendum to “don’t burn yourself:” “don’t trip over hose and fall off step ladder.” Got it.

Steam now schvitzing vigorously. Steam one section while scraping another.  Instructions say ten seconds.  First try, not long enough to make paper scrape off easily.  Repeat.  Hold, steam, scrape. Discover optimum time to hold paddle against wall about three-quarters of the way around the room, after realizing that holding it too long causes vinyl patterned part of paper to scrape off easily, while leaving behind a brown mush of paper backing that smears, doesn’t scrape, all over three-quarters of the room.

Hey, suddenly easier? Drywall, covering an inset for a long-removed medicine cabinet. What are those little pinpricks? Oh. Oh, right. Don’t press too hard with pinprick-roller-scoring tool thingee. Got it. Next bathroom, all drywall. Remember to be gentle. Scrape, scrape, scrape.

Hey, stop biting my ankle, bug! Wait, not an insect – hot plastic hose between your feet that you are not to trip on is burning your ankle that you were to remember not to burn. Readjust hose. Steam, scrape. Steam, scrape. Made it all around.

Observe mess.  Scoop up paper and mush. Place in garbage bag you remembered to bring upstairs for that purpose. Clever you! Step back and observe. Hmm.

Decide that remaining bits of mush on the wall will lend the textured, antique ambiance of a Tuscan villa when painted over with ivory color.  Walls need to dry before paint. Lunch break.

Paint. Hard to reach corner. Ivory paint smear, white ceiling. Charm. Mushy paper bits come off when painted.  Leave some anyway. Texture.

Paint must dry. Use time to assemble clever over-toilet standing cabinet, purchased for the express purpose of not having to drill into plaster wall.

Damn, this thing is rickety, how is it ever going to stand on its own over toilet?  Consult instructions. Discover cabinet must be anchored to wall with supplied brackets. GRRRR.  Set assembled cabinet with brackets attached over toilet. Realize that wainscotting and baseboard make it impossible to get cabinet flush to the wall to anchor. Cabinet is also so low to toilet that if repair inside tank is necessary, unit that can’t be screwed to the wall anyway would have to be UNSCREWED FROM THE WALL. WHAT IDIOT DESIGNED THIS THING? DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME I JUST SPENT FOUR HOURS OF A GORGEOUS AFTERNOON ASSEMBLING THIS RICKETY PIECE OF SHIT AND NOW I WON’T HAVE TIME TO STEAM THE DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM AND I’LL HAVE TO BUY A DIFFERENT CABINET TO DRILL INTO THE WALL ANYWAY AND PAY TO RENT THE MACHINE A SECOND TIME??? SHIIIIIIIIIT!

“Mom, are you ok?”

“I’m fine, sweetheart. Want to go shopping?”

Retrieve packaging, including box and mass quantities of styrofoam from recycling bins. Pile these and rickety piece of shit debris into Subaru. Proceed to bedroom-bathroom store. Pile all into cart from cart corral and march to returns desk, prepared for battle.

No battle necessary. Nice lady at bedroom bathroom store sees the problem. Refund.

Proceed to other Big Box Home store, to pick up replacement cabinet that will have to be drilled into wall. Note that store is immaculate, even in aisles with bales of hay. Resolve to apply for job here, ASAP.

Composing Part Two of bathroom cabinet saga and heading off to job apply, I remain,

Your getting-sick-of-do-it-yourself-jobs-but-pleased-enough-with-results-to-carry-on,

Ridiculouswoman

How Not To Catch A Chipmunk

An uninvited guest preempts preparations for invited ones

Leave door to garage open too long while unloading groceries from car. During an early afternoon bout of vacuuming in anticipation of guests tomorrow, notice a flash of brown fur along the wall,  vanishing behind desk.

What the hell was that?

Investigate. Observe chipmunk cowering by door to garage, now closed and locked after all groceries in.

Open other kitchen door, that leads to the front patio and butterfly garden.  Hope chipmunk will find his way out. No such luck. Chipmunk proceeds in opposite direction, zipping past door,  straight through kitchen and into living room.

Shreik.

Grab dusting stick, used to get cobwebs out of places not otherwise reachable.  Give chase while also opening door to deck. Swat at chipmunk running along baseboard radiator, thinking he’d seize chance to scoot outside. No such luck. Observe chipmunk zipping past the open door, back through kitchen and into bathroom. See chipmunk hiding behind toilet.

Grab dusting stick again. Hoist self onto vanity counter.  Scooch along until swatting at chipmunk with feet off floor becomes possible. Observe him zipping back out and turning left to scoot back under desk instead of heading out open door RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. Stupid damn chipmunk!

Give chase. Chipmunk ends up tucked behind breezeway radiator. Curses. Frantic call to brother the B.A. wildlife biologist/Ph.D microbiologist.

Brother suggests humane trap. Sends link with description, and price. That much? Drat, that means a trip to the hardware store. So much for using bro and sister in law’s impending visit tomorrow as motivation for a total house swabdown. Swabdown Interruptus.

Hardware store, trap obtained. On your way home, stop to replenish chocolate supply and collect Friday pizza and wings.

Receipts go in a cubby at the top of desk hutch. Hungry. Stuff receipts in there quickly in order to get on to consuming wings.

Chipmunk leaps out of cubby in desk hutch, lands on desk and vanishes at light speed.

Scream.

Intuit that chipmunk has retreated into bathroom again, under closed door with unusually wide gap at bottom. Discover chipmunk cowering behind toilet, again.

Fail to realize trap could be introduced into bathroom, door closed, and chipmunk captured.  Give chase instead. Open door again, back up on vanity counter again, thwap at chipmunk with dusting stick, again. No luck. Chipmunk exits bathroom at warp speed, turns left, again, instead of going out open door RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, again. Chipmunk presumably hiding under desk again although he cannot be seen back there.

Improvise barrier to keep chipmunk from running through kitchen again. Barrier constructed of top of late husband Mike’s oak kitchen table, disassembled and brought in from garage. Table was the only thing other than clothes, books and a hurricane lamp  late husband brought with him into marriage. Thanks, hon, still useful. Block off  kitchen, hope little bugger won’t get in there again. Set trap, eat wings, wait.

Not good at waiting, but use it as a chance to sit outside with AD (Angelic Daughter) and try to chill.

An hour later, after three intermittent checks, see that the trap has been sprung. Got him!

Carefully lift trap, take outdoors,  sweet-talking chipmunk to keep him from running from one end of trap to the other, causing trap to heel over like a ship on wavy seas. Close house doors behind. No repeat! Walk to edge of  yard, push lever down to open doors of trap. Don’t see anything. Hear quick rustling of leaf on grass, “thth.” Check trap. Empty. Never saw him run. Fast little dude.

Congratulate self on adding “chipmunk extraction” to list of skills.  Screams turn to smiles. Express pride and  relief. Desk area reopened for business! Sweep up remains of granola used as bait. Little bugger didn’t get much supper, ha.

Swabdown to recommence in the morning, prior to cooking for guests. The invited ones.

Enjoying a chipmunk-free desk area, and hoping to keep it that way, I remain,

Your smug-about-ability-to-manage-intrusive-rodents-and-grateful-for-brother’s-advice-while-creeping-OCD-wonders-if-there’s-another-chipmunk-in-here-somewhere,

Ridiculouswoman

How Not to Paint a Room: Jackson Pollock On the Floor Edition

Note to self: don’t clip fingernails before cleaning paint splattered floor.

Recall famous painter’s technique of splatter painting canvases placed on the floor, accessible from all angles.

Having completed front room walls and removed two inches of frog tape from ceiling and floor, regard floor.

Floor has become canvas.

Jackson Pollock you ain’t.

Sigh.

Contemplate possible cleaning techniques for wood floor.

Recall wood floor cleaning stuff gifted to you from company that refinished floors less than three years ago. AHA!

Now, tool.

Steel wool too scratchy.

Recall odd little green square scrubby thing for dishes.

Hmm.

If it is for dishes, must be reasonably gentle.

Select green scrubby thing as tool.

Starting in far corner, where precious high-boy writing desk hybrid goes, squirt floor cleaning stuff, and scrub.

Hmm. Comes off, but is smudgy.

Note plastic nature of paint splatters.

Imaginary light bulb above head.

Fingernail!

Test fingernail technique on long, skinny paint splatter.

Success!

Immediately regret having trimmed fingernails previous evening. Drat. These little stubs of fingernails combined with green dish scrubby thing will have to do.

Discover in short order that performing scrubbing task with what’s left of fingernails and green scrubby thing whilst (HA!) bending over from the waist is non-optimal. Back hurts.

Assume sitting position.

Discover that performing scrubbing task whilst (!) sitting facing splatters, one or both legs extended to the side, requires a degree of flexibility not yet attained through workouts.

Rotate to sit parallel to splatters, legs straight out in front.

Twist at waist, squirt cleaner, scrub with scrubby thing, pick remainder with stubby little fingernails.

Advance by walking forward one butt-cheek at a time.

Six hours later, gaze with admiration at exceptionally clean floor.

Recall Angelic Daughter’s astonishing patience in the face of need for food.

Arise.

Immediately determine that food will have to be obtained via fast food drive through, if you can make it to the car, that is.

Because it turns out that six solid hours of butt-cheek walking whilst (oh for God’s sake) twisting sideways, legs extended, results in never-before-experienced hip pain.

Deep, sharp hip pain. Walking difficult.

Eh, nothing Dr. Teal (Epsom salts) can’t handle.

Limp to car, sans shower. Drive through, right?

Place order at drive through squawk box thingee.

Advance.

Child at drive through window stares with (bemusement? shock? horror?) mild disgust at sweaty, paint encrusted old lady.

Hands over sandwich and smoothie.

Grip sandwich and smoothie delicately between thumbs and forefingers.

Eh, it’s wrapped up. Food remains pristine.

Drive home, present food to Angelic Daughter.

Attempt to climb stairs. Because, shower.

Discover malfunction in left leg, due to aforementioned (oh aren’t you just little Miss Multi-syllabic today!) hip pain.

Grip stair rail tightly.

Crawl toward tub, Teal, redemption and healing, expecting to walk normally next day.

Next day, limp toward furniture in need of return to appropriate placement in front room. This includes piano, high-boy writing desk hybrid, Grandma’s drop leaf table, Mother’s round bedside table, antique lamp, two other lamps, recliner, Ancestress Chair, couch, very heavy mid-century wooden telescope and tripod cases, with telescopes and tripods inside, several of Angelic daughter’s artworks and rolled up 9 by 12 fancy rug, first thing you bought together twenty years ago, all currently residing under enormous, heavy drop cloth.

Somehow figure out how five feet of you can fold and stow 9 feet by 12 feet of heavy drop cloth.

Begin dragging, pulling, swearing at and pleading with heavy 9 by 12 rug. Manage to wrestle it into position atop rug pad.

Crooked.

Swear, plead, pull, grunt, reposition rug.

No pad showing. Slight bit off by the fireplace, but who’ll notice? Good enough.

Commence shoving piano back into place.

Delicately walk step-Grandmother’s high-boy writing desk hybrid back to its corner.

Couch, recliner, Ancestress Chair, tables, lamps, artworks, telescopes.

Miraculously, nothing breaks.

Four hours later, crawl upstairs on hands and knees. Because, shower, tub, Teal, healing, tomorrow.

Four days later, work up strength to obtain and hang replacement curtains. Looks nice.

Observe again that two inches of frog tape on ceiling is apparently not enough to prevent ivory wall paint from marring white ceiling.

Decide that smudges and lines of ivory on white ceiling contribute to the rustic charm of 1948 Cape Cod. Isn’t that adorable! They did it themselves!

Real estate ladies everywhere recoil.

Mentally remind real estate ladies everywhere that you intend to stay in this house until removed feet first. Colorful smudges and charm in home decor will be exclusively their problem, then.

Smile. Expect Hope to enjoy several more decades (knock wood, don’t tempt fate) of eccentric color scheme, ceiling smudges and imperfect wall-ceiling intersections in charming home.

Because it’s a shitty paint job, but it’s my paint job.

With dining room and two bathrooms yet to come, I remain,

Your not-Jackson-Pollock sloppy do-it-yourself painter, suffering the consequences of her determination to do it herself (because, no money to pay someone),

Ridiculouswoman

How Not to Paint A Room: Front Room Walls

Weigh Jackson-Pollock style painting already on floor as a result of painting ceiling against “no two coats this time dammit” determination to soak and roll.

Select soak and roll. Horse, barn, ship, sailed, water, dam.

Proceed.

Tape perimeter of newly painted ceiling. This may be a soak and roll job, but you WILL NOT mar newly painted ceiling.

Decide you don’t need to remove curtains. You can be careful painting that 8 inch space between the ceiling and the curtain rod, no worries.

Next, tape dividing line between breakfast area and front room. What a designer you are! Defining subspaces within the same space by using different colored paint! SO clever. Thus avoid paying for framing a wall.

Next, start on the easiest wall, no furniture to move.

Soak, roll, slather.

Quick work! You’re getting even better at this!

Turn to dividing line. Breathe. Enter the unknown. Will this work?

Soak, roll, slather.

Now paint eight inch space above very large picture window and curtains.

Up on the stepstool.

Immediately drip paint on curtains you failed to remove.

Eh, they were cheap, they’re ten years old, and they don’t go as well with this new paint color as you thought. Determine to spend a delightful evening shopping on line for those perfect sheers you saw in some big box store. Which store? Eh, you’ll remember.

Proceed.

Paint trim around huge window, previously taped. So smart.

Immediately drip paint on glass.

Eh, it’ll scrape off when dry.

Proceed.

Two out of four walls, done.

Now, the wall behind most of the furniture, including the piano.

Determine that piano can be rolled from one end of room to other, according to which part you are painting. Table, lamp, CD cabinet all inch away fairly easily. Nothing breaks.

Move beloved writing desk-highboy combo that had belonged to step-grandmother an inch at a time away from wall. This one gets covered with plastic. Must not drip on that. Or break anything.

Miraculously, nothing inside highboy display cabinet breaks. My, you have the touch!

Proceed with soak and roll.

Wait, is that dust? I thought I got all that!

Oh well. Decide that cobweb-dust-encased-in-paint-now-affixed-to-wall provides the textured, antique appearance of a Tuscan villa to a 1948 Cape Cod.

Proceed.

Oops, forgot to spackle over chipped places.

Spackle.

Forget that spackle needs some time to dry.

Paint over wet spackle, creating smudgieness.

Sigh.  “Textured, antique appearance of a Tuscan villa.”

Time to move the piano.

Manage to shove piano from one end of wall to the other without gouging fresh paint.

Wonderwoman, that’s who you are!

Complete corner behind beloved writing desk/highboy combo. Finish front wall.

Next, paint trim of three remaining windows. Cool! Monotone! Trendy!

Forgot baseboard trim.

Slather baseboard trim with soaked brush. Tape’s still there, and so is Jackson-Pollack painting.

Return piano to center of wall.

Notice paint drops on piano.

Eh, never should have paid for a rebuilt one. So stupid. So many people willing to get rid of theirs for free.

Adopt Scarlett O’Hara outlook: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Done! The biggest room in the house, done!

Wait, wha?

Easiest wall looks, um, not done enough.

Approach.

Realize that despite soak and roll technique, subtle texture of old plaster wall still shows dappled white spots, un-soaked with new ivory color.

Curses.

Two coats.

Soak, PRESS HARD, roll.

Sweating. Yay, workout.

Repeat exhausting HIGH PRESSURE soak and roll around room.

Notice that when pressed hard, soaked paint roller emits tiny spray of paint droplets, which coat your glasses, face and hair.

But at least you kept your mouth closed this time! HA!

Now, DONE, dammit.

Yes, but you still have to remove tape on ceiling and floor, clean floor, and replace furniture.

Think about that tomorrow.

Angelic daughter has waited all day for your attention.

Eh, who needs a shower just to go get some take out?

Use app to order. Drive over to pick up.

See diners recoil.

Eh, I didn’t get anywhere near your food, don’t sweat it.

Deliver Angelic Daughter’s food, pristine in its styrofoam within its paper bag.

Realize you forgot to eat.

Smile. The Paint-A-Room-And-Forget-To-Eat diet!

Genius!

Shower time. Find paint in impossible places.

Scrub, rub, lather, rinse, repeat.

Sit back and contemplate methods for scrubbing Jackson Pollock painting off wood floor.

Which you will do.

Tomorrow.

Actually getting ready to start the next room, just behind on the storytelling, I remain,

Your “I really thought I got all the paint out of my hair, and what’s that on the side of my ankle?”

Ridiculouswoman

PS I figured out how to add a little more realistic heft to my bitmoji, who is flinging a can of paint up there; if my 5 a week barbell workouts start to have any appreciable effect, you may see her begin to slim.

How Not To Paint A Room: Front Room Ceiling

Soak and roll. No two coats, not this time. Oops, ….

Wisdom of experience. Prepare carefully. Aren’t you smart.

Move furniture away from walls. Pack tchokes and photos from mantlepiece into big plastic box.

Roll up large rug. Favorite thing. First thing we bought together, when we first moved in and had some money. Must not drip on that.

Place Angelic Daughter’s sculptures on or next to couch, along with The Ancestress Chair.

Cover all with huge drop cloth. Smile. So smart to invest in that.

Remove Angelic Daughter’s paintings, and all other framed stuff, from walls. Place in next room.

Next, tape floor. Wisdom of experience. Floor protected with two inches of frog tape against base of wall.

Tape perimeter of windows, anticipating painting trim. Smile. Exceptional forethought. Pat yourself on the back. You’re getting really good at this.

Place six feet of three-foot wide plastic along floor below first section of ceiling to be painted.

Do the edges first, all around, three inch roller.

Excellent forethought once again. Do all the up-on-the-stepstool stuff first, while fresh.

Place can of ceiling paint left over from last time on plastic. Open.

Rust falls into paint. How did that new can rust so fast? Eh.  Stir it around, find it, pick it out.

Place ladder on top of plastic.

Hmm. Slips a little. Resolve to go slowly and be careful.

Soak three inch roller in ceiling paint until it drips. Ha! No two coats this time!

Discover that safely ascending stepstool whilst (HA! “whilst!”) carrying small paint tray and roller is a feat of derring-do. Remind self, “don’t fall,  don’t fall.”

You don’t fall. Yay you.

Raise paint-soaked roller to position at edge of ceiling. Roll, baby, roll.

Smile. This no-two-coats-paint-soaked-roller thing is working well! Remind self to use same method with long pole attachment for remainder of ceiling in this, the largest room in the house.

Section by section, move plastic around perimeter of room. Soak, roll.

Complete perimeter of ceiling.

Step back.

Notice that two inches of frog tape is not, apparently, enough width to protect floor from  drips when raising paint-soaked roller.

Eh. Came off easily last time. Continue.

Attach long pole extension to 6 inch roller. Drag plastic to center of room, next to drop cloth. Pour paint into large tray with liner.

Wide river of paint runs down can when replaced on plastic, creating small puddle.

Don’t step in that.

Immediately step in that whilst (!) wrangling roller on long pole into tray to soak in paint.

Notice this only when returning to plastic to re-soak roller after completing first section of ceiling interior.

Footprints, tracking across expensively sanded, refinished floors.

Sigh.

Eh, came off easily last time. Resolve to get this sucker done without regard to drips. Horse has left barn. Ship has sailed.

Because, no two damn coats, not this time.

Proceed.

Whilst (!) circumnavigating room with long pole topped by paint-soaked roller, around  treasures that must not be dripped on under huge drop cloth, kick hidden base of Angelic Daughter’s largest sculpture.

Cracked.

Rats.

Resolve to repair already once-repaired masterpiece, when paint job is over.

Notice that hoisting paint-soaked roller on long stick and applying force while rolling back and forth is great exercise! Sweating! This counts as workout!

Breathing hard! Yay you!

When paint from soaked roller drips onto lips rather than into open, breathing-hard mouth, resolve to react with gratitude. Didn’t go into mouth. Also grateful for reminder that you are not a mouth breather, dammit (except when singing.)

Close mouth. Don’t sing.

Complete interior of huge ceiling.

Step back (into another paint splatter). Regard ceiling.

Hmm.

One-coat job gives new meaning to the words, “missed a spot.”

Sigh.

Re-soak roller, now stiffening with semi-dried paint.

Re-apply to missed spots.

Paint goes on lavender, dries white.

Decide that missed spots are just not-dry-yet spots.

Lunchtime! Angelic Daughter has waited patiently all morning, in the next room, when the front room is the one she likes to sit in best.

Anticipating need for further touch ups, drive to grocery salad bar in paint clothes.

See shoppers recoil.

Don’t worry, Angelic Daughter serves up her own soup and salad.

Pay. Return home. Check that all paint has been removed from lips.

Eat lunch with Angelic Daughter, who deserves much more of your time.

Look up.

Ceiling dried, missed spots remedied.

Shower time.

Brings new meaning to, “cleans up easily with soap and water.”

Scrub, rub, lather, rinse, repeat.

Exhaustion.

Smile. Ceiling and workout, done. Two birds.

Observe floor of front room.

Footprints. Splatter. Streaks.

Sigh. Came off easily last time.

But last time was an eighth this size, and “cleans up easily with soap and water.” Not water. Wood floor cleaner.

Eh. Do walls tomorrow and worry about floor later. Don’t worry today about worries you can worry about tomorrow.

Until then, I remain,

Your sore-in-places-I-never-imagined-there-were-muscles-to-get-sore,

Ridiculouswoman