Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dispatch from the trenches

In the few hours a day when I am at work, sleeping (not nearly enough of that), or just plain dealing with the world, I have been painting in the bathroom. At this point I have the walls well coated with white primer and ready for painting. It hasn't exactly been a cakewalk getting to this point, however. I have learned that, due to more false advertising in the dimensions of the new vanity cabinet, it is a touch narrower than the existing cabinet. As a result, in order for the paint job to look right, the vanity had to come out so I could paint behind it. On course, with the vanity went the sink (I tried to conjure a bathroom sink joke, but came up with nothing). So, ever since last Sunday, I've had no bathroom sink. Ah well.

Next came the long process of scraping loose paint and sanding around the rough edges. In the process, I learned that the walls have a skim-coat of plaster over the much harder, horsehair-reinforced plaster over the rough slats. Sanding the created a tremendous amount of dust, as you can well imagine. I set up a fan in the bathroom window to try to help suck it out.

Next came the primer - first around the edges with a hand brush, then in the main areas with a roller. Considering the relatively small amount of square footage involved, both seemed to take a lot longer than I would have expected. But, I now have gleaming white walls and a firm foundation to take up the off-white paint I'll put up next. It's a little tough to get an accurate read on how the dramatic color change (speckled dark green to gleaming white) has affected the tone of the room, since it is missing sink, medicine cabinet, shower curtain, and blinds.

Painting the bathroom was really the whole impetus for this whole project - replacing the vanity, sink, and faucet seemed a good idea to take care of at the same time, while replacing the medicine cabinet seemed necessary to match the new vanity. I am also considering replacing the lighting fixture above the medicine cabinet, also to ensure it matches. At the least, I'll redo the wiring between the switch and that lighting fixture, because it was held together with just a wrap of electrical tape. I have set the medicine cabinet aside while waiting for hinges to come in the mail, and for my glassblower colleague to clean up the edges of the mirrors I cut. At this point, I'll focus on wrapping up the painting and getting the new sink in before H comes back in a week and a half. Medicine cabinet she could do without - a sink would be a bit tougher to deal with.

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