My boss has been out of town this week, and that thrills me to no end because in my particular office, I am known as something of a "fixer." Basically, what that boils down to is this; any time my boss has something that he lacks the time or inclination to do, it falls to me. This has included, but not been limited to anything from preparing legal briefs, balancing the books, verifying transactions, and cross-checking receipts on expense accounts, to painting walls and assembling office furniture, and preparing lecture materials when he needs to go teach a seminar... My work varies wildly from day to day, and I've learned to embrace a very casual wardrobe that can easily be changed around as the need arises... But since the boss is out of town, he saddled me with a sizable project suited to my particular skill set. Essentially, I was responsible for the repainting and design overhaul of his library... Yeah. HIS library. He doesn't share.
Knowing the type of grunt work involved, and the OCD level of perfection/cleanliness of my boss, I was dreading the idea of having him running in and out and checking on everything repeatedly while I was undertaking a task as unwieldy as painting can sometimes be, and redesigning a room, which under ordinary circumstances would dovetail quite nicely with my particular skill set and recent remodeling expertise... But then he said he would be out of town for a week. SCORE! That frees me up to do things as I see fit, (the right way!) working the big picture first and then sweating the details at the end. (Which is completely backwards from how he would have me doing it if he had his way.)
Well, I accomplished my goals at work, and even won a side wager, because there was a bet in place that the rub marks on the walls left by the book cases wouldn't cover using only paint... Someone was convinced that they would need an additional layer of primer and then paint, but having painted as many walls as I've painted recently, I knew that there was not going to be any problem with coverage.
As if I didn't get enough of this nonsense while at work this week, I took it upon myself to get my basement repainted and prepped for further minor remodeling efforts so that I can host overnight guests without having to set up an air mattress in my home office... I would much prefer just to have a standard setup of normal furniture at the ready as the need arises... And post-fire, I'm not short of furniture, because while some stuff went straight into the dumpster, a lot of really great stuff got relegated to the basement because I made the executive decision to convert two tiny guest bedrooms into one BIG guest room that is closer in size to the master, and convert what was a large walk-in closet into a great little office nook that offers more privacy for office mess than the primary home-office on the main floor... (When your house is gutted by fire, water, and insurance-paid contractors, you can get away with making those kinds of changes without worry of busting the budget!)
So I painted in the basement... Initially I used a paint sprayer. And while the claims show it to be all smooth and simple and fast, none of that could be further from the truth! I gave it a fair shake... It took forever, because the sprayers available to the commercial masses apparently SUCK ASS, but I wanted to give it all a complete coat with the sprayer to ensure that there wasn't just some mental retardation happening on my part and that I just jacked up one wall or something... Nope. The process was painstakingly slow, the coverage was spotty at best, even going super slow, and I still had to take a brush and roller to every wall to correct all the light spots. (I was not pleased with my purchase, and despite the fact that it is now used and covered with speckles of paint, I will be taking it back to the store and demanding my money back.) But after round two of painting, taking a more standard approach with brushes and rollers, the walls look great, the color is fantastic (Behr, French Lilac - a lovely light greyish purple) And so now I just have the trim to paint which won't even take a day, including the time to tape it all out, and then I'll be ready for new carpet (Which, yes, I will be installing myself...) and then I can get everything else set up so that my family and/or drunk friends have a soft place to crash.
I also got most of the weather stripping hung after work today... So that leaves only some pretty minor stuff left on my home improvement punch list. (There are a couple of larger projects too, though... Let's see...)
- Paint the front storm door. Just a fresh coat of white!
- Paint the exterior trim around the front and back doors, including the cornices and all that nonsense.
- Paint the front stoop... The current paint is all chipped and weird, and a horrid shade of red.
- Paint the floor of the back screened porch. (I'm having new screens put in professionally, even though I know I could totally do it myself... Some things are worth paying the pros to tackle for you!)
- Paint the garage... I would prefer to just knock it down, but unfortunately, my lawn grooming implements and my grill need a home, and so a coat of paint is the cheapest solution to the problem at the moment.
- Fill cracks in the brick work with tuckpointing mortar material... (This is not as big a deal as it sounds.)
- Till the mound in the back yard where the garden used to be and spread the dirt around so as to eliminate the bulk of the mound.
- Purchase and plant some new shrubs in the front of the house.