Monday, December 26, 2011

Another of life's little mysteries: mismatched talents

I've been working on fixing up a space to use as a home office. We have a front porch that started off as an open air space, but was later enclosed to create an airlock entry into the house. The interior was never finished, though. The walls were raw wood: T1-11 siding on the side that used to be an exterior wall of the house, and plywood on the others, and, with the exception of what used to be an exterior window, there was no trim around the windows or doors. I decided that if I was going to use it was a home office space, I was going to make sure the finishing work was done before any furniture got moved in. So I started painting.
Priming the T1-11
I love to paint. I really enjoy messing with color and changing the looks of things just by slapping a coat or two of paint on it. And that's the operative word: messing. I love to paint, but I'm terrible at it. I dribble, I splatter, I end up with paint on anything and everything that comes within ten feet of me. I start off with good intentions, trying to implement everything I've ever been told about the proper techniques to prevent strange runs and drips on the wall or woodwork or whatever it is I'm painting, and end up slathering paint on with a brush that has somehow devolved into a trowel. Naturally, this lack of skill is hard on the equipment. When I told the Younger Daughter I was using her Purdy brushes, I could hear her flinch over the phone. I had to quickly reassure her that I was joking, and I had acquired a stash of throw-aways.

Fortunately, in the case of my soon-to-be home office, the fact I'm a painting slob doesn't matter. I can't ruin the floor, because it's just scrap vinyl that's going to be discarded soon, and the wall surfaces (especially the T1-11) are rough enough that paint boogers aren't particularly noticeable. I didn't even have to worry about messing up the ceiling because it's going to be wallpapered with old quad maps -- and it's just OSB anyway. I have, however, told the S.O. he has to paint the door frame. Our front door is a salvaged antique door that the Younger Daughter put a lot of effort into refinishing. I kept it shrouded in plastic when I had to work near it, but I don't think even multiple plastic drop cloths would protect it from me if I had to be painting right next to it. So the S.O. gets to do it.
Final color in progress. I primed the ceiling because it's going to be papered, and wanted to make it easier for that wallpaper to be removed if we get tired of it. 
The S.O. is actually quite good at painting. He's meticulous, a perfectionist. When he paints something, it ends up looking good. No holidays, no paint boogers, no weirdness at all. Only one problem: he hates to paint.


  1. Looking good. Everyone needs an office. Painting is not my speed either.

  2. You two crack me up. I love the color you picked for your home office, Nan. It's gorgeous.

  3. T 111 is sure getting expensive.

    I would have sealed it and the OSB with a coat of oil base first, whatever cheap oil base I could find.

    Have to use brushes or rollers for that, it will melt foam pads.

    But after you get the oil base moisture barrier on it you can switch to a latex and cheap foam painting pads.

    Just put the paint in a plastic bottle with a small hole in the lid and use it to put paint on the foam pad.

    With a little practice you can get pretty damn good at painting and that method allows you to take breaks if you wish.

    Just wrap the foam pad in a plastic bag if you are going to do something else for a few hours.

    If it will be over night put it in the fridge, if's it's for a week put it in the freezer.

    I painted Helen's kitchen with one foam pad and it's now in the freezer waiting for what ever next job I need it for.

  4. Actually your paint job looks pretty good.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  5. Billy, I never mess with oils. The lovely thing about using water-based is the clean up (and there is always clean up when I paint) is easy.

  6. Oils are more messy but I like the sealing they provide.

  7. I have the same issues with paint. My intentions are good, but execution is problematic. My husband is like yours except that he likes to paint but must be in the mood. Sometimes it is a long wait for the mood to strike.

  8. Looks good! I hope that space is well insulated for you...

  9. Actually, come to think of it, T 111 doesn't need to be primed, unless there is something on it that requires a stain blocker.


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