Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Redecoration and its associated disaster, but success in another quarter

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of my sister Dee’s company assisting me in completing the bulk of the redecoration of David’s and my bedroom. Before Dee arrived, I had cleaned all walls and stripped the wallpaper off the feature wall and I’d done a couple of coats of paint (with all requisite prep work) on the window frames, main door and one coat on 2 of the four wardrobe doors.

So on her arrival, we were able to get on to dealing to the remaining tasks before putting the topcoats on the walls and the wallpaper on the feature wall. On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, we:
·      Got 3 coats of white semi-gloss on each of the wardrobe doors, main door and all window frames
·      Painted the skirting boards with 2 coats of the same
·      Put a pigmented sealer on all walls and cleaned up where it had gone over the edges on to the scotia and skirting … oops
·      Painted the 3 walls with the water-based topcoat in Sandfly Point - I don’t know why these colours are named for places in NZ, but they are and mostly the names don’t give any clue to the colour. As an aside, a couple of weeks ago Dee and I were in a paint store looking at paint colours and saw one very pale colour we liked the look of on the swatch. When we asked for a test pot we were told it was vivid white – not what it looked like or any reflection of the name … Bizarre indeed.

Dinner on Thursday night was fish and chips - the best I've ever tasted! For some reason Dee thought it was hilarious that I stood on the box to pay for them - if I don't climb on the box I can't see the eftpos machine, so it seems sensible to me. She and other customers seemed to be amused though ...

So Friday was the day for sizing the feature wall and getting the final topcoat on the other three walls - they look amazing. Then it was time for the wallpaper. It went on pretty easily even though it requires a careful match and part of the pattern is totally  flat and other parts are textured – the flat bits on the edges took some keeping stuck to the wall. It was a very hot day and the paste kept drying out along the edges of the paper, so the paste brush accompanied the smoothing out. 
I get it on the wall and matching and then do the cutting around the window frame ...

Then Dee (on her knees like the good christian she is) makes sure the edges are thoroughly stuck down - the gold bits you can see are thinner than the rest of the paper and like to lift away from the wall ...

Making sure there was no undue pressure on the slim piece beside the window by holding the bulk of it on the wall with my knee


We finished at 5.30 and had seven friends coming for dinner at 6pm – we’d prepped the chicken for the main and prepped the starter while waiting for our second load of paste to go off earlier in the arvo, so all that remained to do was clear up the bedroom (Dee’s job) and prep a salad and the potatoes (mine). Two guests were bringing the dessert – yay! Plus of course, before they arrived we had to shower and change as we were pretty much covered in paint and paste…

The room looked fantastic – the painted walls contrasted gently with the white of the doors and window-frames, and the wallpaper looked absolutely amazing. We were suitably proud of ourselves for a job well done.

But disaster was waiting in the wings – on Saturday David and I reconstructed the bedroom and while we were putting the mattress back on the bed frame, I noticed that THERE WAS A BROWN MARK SHOWING THROUGH THE WALLPAPER!!! WTH (slightly less violent than wtf …) So I looked at the wall closely, and as the wallpaper had dried, the paper had become opaque, and therefore needed the wall behind it to be perfectly white/pale all over with no variations in colour. Apparently, according to the wallpaper rep it says the walls need to be even, but either I misread/skipped the part about colour or I had interpreted it as the surface rather than the colour. Bugger! The upshot is that, even though I painted the wall with one coat of a pigmented sealer, I should have given it several coats until the differences between the gib board and the plastered bits were no longer visible. As it is, one coat was insufficient and I can see the brown patches of the gib (23 years old and naturally discoloured, rather than pale beige) under its only previous wallpaper - a solid vinyl - that nothing shows through incidentally. Modern stuff is more expensive and much less substantial. As I said: BUGGER.

So I have to strip the paper off, wash the size and paste off the wall, (1 day’s effort) paint it innumerable times until nothing can be seen through the paint (1 day for each of the innumerable coats, let’s hope 2 more does it), leave it for 2 days to properly cure (as told to me by the paper rep via the store assistant this morning - not in the paint instructions or the wallpapering instructions, damn their eyes). Then it needs to be sanded, dusted and sized (1 day). Then and only then, can I put up the wallpaper again (1 day). Sounds like about a week’s worth of time and effort somehow.

I am feeling a bit demoralized about it and it is too hot to move all of our bedding into the sunroom again and get started on it today, so I have cleaned off a part of the back fence with bleach and planted 2 hydrangeas instead.

I’ve decided I am going to get in touch with Student Job Search to get a couple of students to do the repainting of the bedroom and the lounge dining - based on the number of coats required in the bedroom prior to papering, the lounge will need at least three before its paper goes on and it's a very big room, so a couple of younger fitter people can do that work instead of me. They can also paint the ceiling, and I will do the window frames (six of them), the doors (3) and the skirting boards.

Today I was going to start on the kitchen - the list commences with washing down the walls, filling the gap between the scotia and the ceiling, sanding the cabinet end panels, door frames and kitchen doors (3 - to laundry, dining and hall). I am tired already!

Aha, saved – the electrician is here doing the preparatory work for wiring in the new induction hob which is apparently power hungry and the under-bench stove we’re going to have fitted when the kitchen cupboard doors and benchtop are replaced. So I cannot get anywhere near the walls to clean them down – yay!!

Before I finish this post though there is another success to report. On Friday I rang Gary and asked if he and friend Dave from Taumaranui would be prepared to do a manly task for me on their arrival in Waikanae from the city, while Bruce was still at work there. They agreed and set about putting together the raised vegetable bed. Dee and I had had a go the evening before but the only drill we had was our dad’s one which was too powerful to use effectively as a screwdriver as it burred the screw head before the screw was fully holding the two pieces of wood together. Gary came along complete with the right equipment so all went well. 
Dave and Gary and their creation - complete with wood in the bottom - when I plant troughs on the boat this year I am going to look for sticks for the bottom rather than stones! Apparently they hold in the moisture better and as they break down they provide nutrients for the plants.
They lined it with polythene and put in the bits of tree trunks and branches Rob had bade me to keep. The next morning David put a woolsack of compost into it from Bruce and Gary’s (we’d gone there for brekkie) and then he added the eight x 40 litre bags of potting mix. Given the cost of all materials, I mustn’t buy lettuces anymore this season and next to ensure that the ROI stacks up …

No plants in yet (Sunday morning) but the grateful designer is flanked by her skilled construction team.
Hard to see but a number of plants are in and David has arranged the umbrella so it shades them during the heat of the day. It can be rotated when required by humans at the large outside table ...

There are a number of plants down behind the vege garden that are awaiting planting. There's a tamarillo (Sth American bush more commonly known in my childhood as tree tomato - the most wonderful fruit) and a passionfruit vine. Perhaps tomorrow they will get lucky when Rob is here. Two of the hydrangeas in this pic were planted over by the fence this afternoon. The new leave buds can be seen on the tree fuschia - they have only sprouted since Luke and Rob have cleared that area of trees and undergrowth.


Lesley Bateman said...

am tired just reading this. My rooms are teeny tiny and it has been two days just doing the bedroom. Mind you it has taken a lot of prep.

Lesley Bateman said...

am tired just reading this. My rooms are teeny tiny and it has been two days just doing the bedroom. Mind you it has taken a lot of prep.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Why are your comments appearing twice? Is it a Kent thing? Mx

Les Biggs said...

Is Lesley double trouble. You know the Brit Leslie is big trouble.
Love the shade, would look good on your boat if you could swing it out over the towpath for barbies.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Les, Our Lesley is definitely double trouble with a capital D and a capital T. We think it's to do with her proximity to Essex (she lives in Chatham just across the river...) You of course are trouble, I'm just not sure whether it's double or triple trouble - I will ask Jaq for guidance with that judgement call. Big hugs, M&D xox