April 19, 2005

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Paint Fumes The weekend painting party went pretty good. Thank You Thank You Thank You to Steve H., Maria Cristina, Alejandra, David, Jonathan and Steve L. for coming over and helping out. Both Emma's and Alexander's rooms are almost done. And, while I really want to take a break tonight and not paint, the fact that both their mattresses and all their boxes are in our room and I can't find a damn thing is annoying me enough to put my head down and get at least one room done tonight. And while I certainly am not Debbie Travis, I have learned a few more things about painting. 1. Do the fucking trim first. I didn't do that and now I have to tape the walls and try to get a straight line where the two colours meet up. This in an old, poorly repaired house where there isn't a straight wall (horizontally or vertically). 2. Use a tinted primer under red paint. The trim in Alexander's room is red. And after two coats, it looks like we'll need at least two more. There will be no more red in this house (despite the fact that I love red walls). 3. Don't be afraid of colour. Though my children's rooms clearly follow traditional gender lines (big time) the bright bold colours rock. And I promise I'll have photos when they're done. 4. Choosing fancy techinques is great, but not when you have a whole house to paint. I decided to paint some circles on Emma's wall, and it'll take another weekend to get that done. I was seduced by the cool brochure. I will be wary of this in the future. Now to work, which seems perfectly relaxing and paint-fume free. And at three I'm off to see friends who planned a "Springtime is for drinking beer" gab fest. Mmmmmm beer.
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This is not good. Tuesday night, as we were nearly finishing Emma's room, we decided to take a gander at Xander's (I'm a poet and didn't know it) to see how bad the red trim was. Remember how I mentioned it'll take 5 coats to look nice and red? Well, that's the least of my worries. Yes, that's my hand going under the paint as it peels off the trim. This is bad. The paint is not sticking on the wall. All the DIY sites say that wall preparation is the most important part of painting. Well, our entire house was painted the week before we moved in, so we figured we'd have nice clean walls to paint on. Seems this place was painted by crack-smoking monkeys*. The white paint they used is not sticking to the wall. We know it's not our paint because it has a white backing. The red paint sticks nicely to the white paint, but that paint is not sticking to the fucking trim. So last night I peeled back to a point where it peeled no more (the whole fucking place may be like this, but I'm not going on an expedition to find out) then I sanded and primed. I'll repaint tonight (I'd do it today but I have to go to work to make one bloody phone call because I don't have my phone yet). This means that we'll have to prime all the walls and hope for the best. We've disovered they've painted over unprimed drywall and filler in places and the whole paint job is lousy. We weren't expecting much (same owner as the last place) but it's pretty bad. Now I'm having visions of sheets of dry colourful latex paint sliding off the walls. Yikes. Maybe this was a one-off. Maybe they didn't paint latex over oil paint. Could they be that stupid? Will I make it to the summer with my sanity intact? *My apologies to all monkeys in the animal kingdom. The painters are far stupider than any members of your species.

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