Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Functional Adult Tackles Spackle – Bathroom Painting Part 1

I am now returned from my secret mission.  I was told not to mention it on my blog, but when you’re the kind of person who gets sent on secret missions (as I am), what are they really going to do about it?  Fire me and try to replace my irreplaceable skills?  Send me back to CENSORED to fight the CENSORED AGAIN which would actually be really awkward given how I ended things with CENSORED?  Hack my IGNORE ALL PREVIOUS MESSAGES I AM A STUPID POOPYPANTS WHO CANNOT FOLLLOW BASIC INSTRUCTIONS.

So since I’m back now, I figured it was high time I stopped played video games and finally began my grand home improvement project.  Okay, high time I stopped ONLY playing video games.  The project is to repaint the guest bathroom in our house, which is the bigger bathroom (having a bathtub! Oooh!) and is kind of crappy looking.
Good peoples of the Internet, see all my sunscreens.

Most notably, the bathroom has not been painted since The Incident.
The short description of The Incident is as follows:  the toilet fell through the floor.  The explanatory description that makes sense is as follows:  Our roof used to leak a lot and let in a ton of water into the walls.  (Said roof has since been replaced as the landlord realized we would no longer pay him rent if all our checks were soggy because we were living in an aquarium.)  The wooden beams underneath the floor got water damaged and started to disintegrate, which mean the floor was slowly caving in.  We first started to notice the toilet listing toward the bathtub a little bit. 

Then the bathtub seemed to be settling.  It started settling more aggressively.  Husband went out of town one night and I woke up freaking out because I heard footsteps in the house.  I called my dad in the middle of the night (not that he would be any particular help, insofar as he lives a two-hour plane flight away) and told him someone was in the house coming to murder me and I couldn’t remember if the pepper spray in my nightstand was still operational and I didn’t think I could effectively ward off a murderer with just a swiss army knife (also in my nightstand). 

Dad (RATHER CALLOUSLY) told me that I should go look for the murderer and he would call 911 for me if he heard me start getting murdered.  Muttering under my breath that he would be sorry upon the grisly death of his only daughter, I went and looked and found that it was just the bathtub sinking even more and somehow making a noise that sounded exactly like footsteps.  Even as I was standing there staring at it, it still sounded like footsteps.

I remained unmurdered and eventually the toilet and the bathtub became so determined to consummate their longtime love affair that they both sank even further and tipped dramatically towards each other to such an extent that the toilet, now at a solid 45 degree angle, no longer operated.  This was The Incident and was poorly timed as we were having a party that night.  However, The Incident at last induced our landlord to pay someone to fix the floor, put in a new toilet, and, while he was at it, the handyman patched the hole in the wall across from the toilet.  I’m not sure how the hole got there.

So while the hole was patched, it was never painted and didn’t look so hot.  

Also, our bathroom has loads of other cracks and disintegrations that I’m sure don’t at all mean serious problems for the house. 

And the previous paint job was pretty crappy and I can tell cheap paint when I see it (a rare skill).  So new paint is in order.  But if success is 90% perspiration, interior painting is 90% preparation and 10% flakes of paint in your hair.  Today was Prep Day 1:  Scraping off the bumps from the last crappy paint job and spackling various holes, cracks, etc.  I purchased a new paint scraper and some spackle especially for this task.

Scraping the paint was pretty fun, especially since I didn’t feel the need to be desperately thorough and just went for the most egregious bumps.  Also, when scraped, the current paint left an interesting distressed pattern that almost looked like I was doing it on purpose as if on some HGTV show!  Too bad it’s temporary.

I then got to spackling the holes in the wall.  I’ve never spackled anything before, but I figured it can’t be that hard once you know the basic concept:  fill up the holes.  And the spackle I bought turned out to be extra fun because it goes on pink before it dries white.

It turns out that I’m not that great at spackling.  I didn’t do a great job getting it on smoothly AT ALL.  I plan to just sand it off when I do my sanding once it dries.  Right?  That should work?  Don’t tell me if it won’t.  I’ll figure it out on my own.   In any case, it looks like I attacked the bathroom with raspberry frosting.

But since I was at it, I figured I’d spackle up some of the not-at-all-ominous cracks in the other bathroom. 

There’s also a hole in that wall where there used to be a towel rack.  One of the side-holder-thingies of the towel rack is still in the wall and I use it as a hook.  The other is in a corner with the towel bar in the corner where it has been for at least four years now.  Since the odds of that getting fixed have been demonstrated to be 0%, I figured it was time to spackle the hole. 

The final step was to put up a little of the sample paint I got to see how it looks.  I think it looks good!  I’m excited.

Next step:  sanding down the spackle, maybe doing more spackle if necessary, scraping some more, sanding some more.  Once all that’s done, taping and covering the counters and floors.  Oh, and I might need to get caulk.  There are some random cracks that seem like candidates for caulking.  Once all that’s done, I might actually paint…

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