December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kitchen Reno: Painting Patched Drywall Is - Ugh!

Hola and Happy Holidays to everyone!

We are in for another weekend snowstorm here so I'm keeping this brief because I've got to do two important errands (1) grocery shop and (2) hit the liquor store. We got about 7-8" last week over Friday/Saturday, and we're in for a rerun.  Reruns already, geez.

I have started painting the areas in the kitchen where the drywall was patched!  I should have done it sooner, of course - but I have to be in the "mood" and the "mood" to paint doesn't strike very often.  It is not one of my favorite things to do.

Tell me, please, who DOES THIS:



More about THAT later.

I had dug out the supplies to paint the week before and found a scant amount of kitchen wall paint left in the basement.  YAY!  So everything has been sitting front and center on my breakfast bar area for more than a week staring at me every single day, taunting me.  Yesterday, a nice sunny and bitterly cold and windy day with windchills dropping to 20 below zero, I figured it was time to start painting as I knew I would not be forcing myself to come up with anything else to avoid painting, not even a trip to the liquor store.  Sigh.

So, I get the taping done and since I didn't have to tape off the ceiling, it went surprisingly quickly and no up and down my rickety old ladder.  I had no excuses left.  I got the paint can opened and saw there was maybe 3/8th of an inch of paint left at the bottom of the can.  That wouldn't be enough to do the job.  So, I did what any rational woman would do.  I added water to thin the paint down.  It hasn't been used in 2 years, after all, and could use some thinning.  I poured in about 1/4 cup (I used a coffee cup that was nearby and added water to it) and stirred everything up thoroughly, giving both of my arms a good workout.  I used a small sponge brush to do edges/edging and a small (4") sponge roller to paint rather than a full-size roller, which I knew would suck up the paint tremendously.  I don't want to run out and have to make a trip to the big box store to buy a quart of matching paint.  I think I have enough watered down grey paint to get the job done.

Even with 2 coats of primer the patched areas sucked up the paint, especially where the mud was applied thicker to try and smooth out the transition between the closed in doorway and existing walls.  Close up, as I was rolling away with my tiny roller, I could see all kinds of flaws, but I wasn't about to stop and try and patch/fix/sand the problem areas myself!  I'll save that for the time I repaint the kitchen - if that every happens (probably never).  The fridge will cover up most of the flaws anyway and it's not like people go around staring at your walls from 3 or 4 inches away inspecting for flaws.

Because I was using the tiny roller, it probably took 2x as long as it would have using the regular sized roller, but I did get a lot of coverage out of relatively little paint as the sponge roller is more amenable to being squished against the wall to urge just a bit more paint out of the roller.  There is more than enough paint still left to do a second and even third touch-up coats later today.  Building up a couple of thin layers of paint will also help supply much needed "texture" to the new and sanded areas.  The walls in this house have been painted several times over the years, and what I thought was an "orange peel" texture is actually, the painter/drywall mudder guy told me, just built up paint texture from multiple layers!  Even after just one thin coat, however, I can see success staring me in the face, YAY!  That serves as motivation to get this part of the project done.

Now, about that photo of a kitchen outlet near an area where new drywall was applied.  I did not show myself removing the actual outlet faceplate.  That's right.  The dudes who did all the work on the drywall, mudding/sanding/priming -- never removed the faceplate!  They mudded right around it!  They primed right around it!  Of course that got smush all over the thing, and like most men who are blind when it comes to such things, they made a half-hearted attempt at some point to wipe the smush off!  Didn't work.

So, after I finished taping off the woodwork and wall areas that I don't want to slop paint on (because I'm a crappy painter and I get it all over myself, the floor, and unintended wall spaces and the odd piece of personal property in the next room -- how does that happen?), I removed the faceplate to scrub it down.   And discovered RED PAINT!

Notice where the grey paint is.  The grey paint was applied (according to the paint can notation), in 2014.  They painted with the grey AROUND the faceplate, did not remove the faceplate!  At least whoever painted the kitchen dark red had removed the faceplate, LOL.  And there is also a layer of a sort of goldish color underneath the red, that looks like it was done minus faceplate on wall as well.

Can you imagine an entire kitchen in dark red?  Holy Hathor!  Can you imagine someone either so inexperienced in painting, or so lazy, that they didn't remove the faceplate!

Okay - to the liquor store!  Oops, I mean, grocery store, then liquor store.

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