Monday, April 5, 2010

Some Days You Should Just Stick to Laundry

Sunday 04.04.10
You know, laundry never ends.  And I get a perverse kind of satisfaction from this task as it feels like I accomplish a lot, but overall, it is just a few trips up and down stairs with 45 minutes in between each run. On the home improvement front, Kip and I made progress on the room - although it didn't feel nearly as satisfying as finishing laundry.

Saturday was shopping day and while Kip was running his folks to JFK to get a flight out, I was at Home Depot being an independent woman and checking out the lumber section.  I have to admit - although this whole year of home improvement projects was my idea, I have to rely a great deal on Kip and his good nature for the hardware/tools end of things.  But not on Saturday!  On Saturday, I walked in with my list and my credit card and went to town.  The most interesting part of the task was definitely selecting and carrying the crown molding.  Luckily, a nice gentlemen in an orange smock helped me by cutting the material down from 20 feet to 12 feet, but still, a bit unwieldy getting that cart around the aisles.  I finally managed to circumnavigate all the other shoppers without injury (to them or me) and parked my loaded cart by the CONTRACTOR section (thank you Judy for the manned check-out tip) and proceeded with a new cart back to the paint aisle.  On the way I stopped and picked out a track light fixture and a much-needed dehumidifier.  Once done, I racked up a $400+ bill (yikes) and then had the joy of loading up the vehicle with 12 foot lengths of molding sticking out the back.  I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out the best and safest option using the full length of our mini-SUV plus some strategically placed bungee cords.  Needless to say, I completely forgot I had also intended to stop for groceries.

Prior to Home Depot, I took advice from a friend and hit the small hometown flooring store to review carpet options.  The owner happily showed me their remnants in the back (not an option at Home Depot or Lowe's and we so often forget that!) and of couse on the way out, I selected a carpet board sample which he smilingly informed me would be about double the cost.  Of course we loved that sample....but upon reflection, we decided the wiser cost - for color, material, and cost, will be the remnant.

So that brings us to Sunday - and Sunday is the reason for the title of this post.  You know how there are days of great achievement and progress and then there are days....well...frankly...when you should just stick to the simple brainless tasks like laundry.

I had about 4 loads of laundry to do on Sunday, so that did start my day.  I then progressed to setting up the sawhorses outside and painting the molding.  One of my favorite things about installing new molding is painting it before it goes on the pesky edges to deal with, just make sure its applied evenly and without drips and you're golden.  Add to that a gorgeous 75 degree day and an iPod cranked up with Pink at top volume, and I was pretty happy with that chore.  Although the neighbors who got to hear my tuneless singalong might not agree.

I then progressed indoors where for the first time I used a power sander.  Where has this tool been all my life???  It made quick work of the window sills although I still had to do some fine hand sanding for the more detailed trim molding.  I think there must be at least 8 layers of paint on this trim, so I did my best and chalked up the imperfections to the character of a 1930's home. 

As I finished the sanding, Kip took the extension cord from me and tried his hand at miter cuts for the molding. A little history on mitered corners.  We've done this before.  Although it is always such a trial and error process, we keep forgetting how it works and have to go back to square one.  Which way is top?  Ok and which way does the 45 degree cut get made for an inside angle?  and an outside angle?  and this piece has two inside angles right? and that piece is an inside and an outside right?  Ugh.  We did our dining room about 7 years ago and Kip cut every piece with a hand saw and miter box.  Then when it came to the living room and kitchen, we were having other work done, so we had a carpenter take care of that.  This time, we were sure we could handle it.  We now have a small power saw, we bought molding of a size that should be able to be cut (the dining room was too large for the saw size), we should be ready to go.

After scratching our heads for about 30 minutes and searching on the internet for instruction manuals, we finally figured out the geometric equation...but the saw is indeed too small for the reverse angle cuts.  So...we mumbled a bit more and decided it was time to call in the experts.  We have a good friend who has his own custom woodworking shop and is a master craftsman...why we don't think of these things earlier, I have no idea.  Hopefully for the price of a good home cooked meal and a couple of quality beers, we'll soon have some molding in place.

In the meantime, while Kip could not be talked out of kicking himself for this exercise, and continued mumbling to himself, I proceeded inside to paint the freshly sanded trim.  Knowing my mood, I should have given it up for the day, but I didn't.  And I proceeded with the trim.  Without taping.  Needless to say, I now need to go back and do the walls around the trim again.  This time, to ensure I don't have to go around the room for a third time, I think I'll break out the painter's tape. 

So, after a promising start...the day went down hill fast.  Like I said, some days you should just stick to laundry.

Wrapping Up -
Progress Made:
  1. Carpet samples picked and selection made
  2. Molding purchased and painted
  3. Light fixture purchased
  4. Trim sanded and painted
  5. Closet doors removed and one coat of paint
Still to do:
  1. Pick up one more length of molding due to bad cuts and paint
  2. Wrangle friend to help with miter cuts (and install?)
  3. Tape trim and neaten paint around edges (sigh)
  4. Order carpet and schedule install
  5. 2nd coat of paint on closet doors
  6. Select/buy new closet door handles
  7. Select/buy closet door rail/hangers (old ones rusted and broken)
  8. Order 2 shelf bookcase
  9. Install light fixture
  10. Install window treatments (after custom shades arrive)
  11. Move furniture back in and arrange
  12. Hang artwork and guitars
  13. Freecycle outgoing items from home office
  14. Schedule closet maid install (awaiting parts order)
Oh, and keep doing laundry...especially the stuff spattered with paint.

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