Painting At Our House

Once again I have been MIA from plogging for too long. No matter how much I tell myself that I would like to blog at least once a week, I can’t seem to pull it together. So much for New Year’s resolutions!

I sort of got side tracked with my designing aspirations with the news that Jason’s parents and his aunt are going to come for a visit. We are so excited for them to come on Thursday and have been trying to get things ready for their visit which means I will not have any of the new designs for every jot & tittle ready until later this month. It’s been a long break for me, I haven’t released anything new since December. But the break has been good. I think I needed it and now I have a million ideas floating around that NEED to be put onto paper! I will of course let you all know when new things have been posted.

I always have a bunch of projects that are just hanging out and sometimes I need a boost to get them done. For me, whenever someone is coming to visit to stay at our house, it puts me into action. Which brings me to the topic of this post: painting at our house. Yes, I paint a lot. I don’t really like to paint but I do like the end result so I feel like I always am either a) in the middle of a paint project or b) have one I want to start on.

I have been “working” on this current paint project for a long time: our family room (or as Jason prefers to call it, rumpus room). When we moved in it was very dark (and to me, depressing) because it was all dark wood paneling. I know some people really dig it but… I don’t. See before pictures:
house 2
house 1

Soon after we moved in in May of 2006 I began painting the family room… and painting… and painting (it’s a job to paint all of that wood, trim, and brick!). Once I finished, I hated it! I wasn’t happy with the colors I chose and I wished I had just painted it white so after living with it for a year, I started all over again. Because it’s such a pain to paint, I ran out of steam and it has been unfinished for quite some time. And then, 2 weeks ago we find out we are having guests and I whip out my paint brushes and decide I have got to finish this project! How embarrassing, it’s been over a year and it’s still not done! So here is what painting is like at our house:

1. I begin when I first wake up and don’t stop until it’s time for bed. I do not shower or even brush my teeth, I just paint (until I’m done for the day, then I shower and brush my teeth!). I have been doing this since Friday with the exception of Sunday. So that’s 4 days of non-stop painting (remember above when I said I didn’t like painting?! This is why!).

2. In the winter, my painting attire consists of a t-shirt with a hoodie over top, a pair of cargo pants that I have had since I was 16 (which the top button at one point fell off and now only stay up with the drawstring), and my slippers. These clothes are my painting clothes. They are comfy and splattered with paint. I love them but now they really need to be washed :) I also wear my hair in a pony tail with bobby pins all over so I don’t have fly aways anywhere because if even a single hair gets in my face I try to tuck it behind my ear and always end up with paint in my hair. So I have learned not to give it a chance! I hope you are getting a nice mental picture here… I look lovely :) And since I look so lovely, there are no pictures of me and I don’t go out in public until the task is complete and I look normal again.

3. During painting, I could be a normal person and listen to music but instead I like to listen to a movie. It must be a movie that I have seen a thousand times so I don’t actually have to watch the screen I can just tell what has been going on by the dialog. It makes the time go fast and I can judge what time it is by how many movies I’ve watched. In the last few days I’ve watched Pride and Prejudice (BBC version) 3 times (it’s nice and long). It’s one of my favorites. I would have watched it again today but the power was off in that room (I will explain the reason for this later).

4. I do not tape, I just go for it. With all the painting I’ve done, I’ve gotten pretty good at not taping. The only thing I tape is the carpet next to the baseboards so I don’t get paint in the carpet. So, when I accidentally get paint somewhere I don’t want it, I wipe it off with my finger and onto my pants or sweatshirt which is why they are covered in paint. By the way, the tape that is on the floor then becomes a game for my cat who loves to eat tape. She is very strange. So it’s sort of a race to finish painting before the cat rips up all the tape.

5. Although I do not tape, I do always put down some painters plastic under my paint can and paint tray.
paint tray
Another thing my cat likes to eat, plastic. I’m not kidding. She loves it, it’s better than catnip for her. She can sit there and lick it for a long time and if Jason is in the room you will soon hear, “SYDNEY!!” followed by a loud clap or something flying through the air aimed in her direction (don’t worry he doesn’t actually hit her). Needless to say, the sound of licking plastic is annoying. Today the cat was having a great time devouring her plastic when Jason yelled at her and it scared her which made her race across the room. The funny part was that she ran away so fast she still had the plastic in her mouth. When she realized she wasn’t in any more trouble she just sat down and began licking again. Jason’s plan totally backfired. I thought it was hysterical :)

6. I always use my paint bucket. I love this thing.
paint bucket
If you don’t have one, you must get one! My favorite part is that I thread an old belt through it and wear it around my waist (another image to go along with the mental picture of my attire!). It’s so handy for someone who is short like me who has to move up and down the ladder 50 million times a day. I can do it while carrying nothing! Plus there is a magnet inside that holds my brush as well. I sound like a commercial don’t I?!

7. Paint will inevitably get on the cat. I know, I know, another cat story. But it’s true, despite my best efforts, she somehow always manages to get paint on her (I even rigged up a kitty gate so she couldn’t come in the room and it totally didn’t work). On Saturday it was on her paws from when she walked through wet paint and then proceeded to make white paw prints all the way up the stairs. Yesterday she somehow got some on her tail and then today she added more on the tip of her tail.
But those instances were way better than the time (when we still lived in Oregon) she knocked the almost full paint can (it DID have it’s lid on) off the dryer and the force opened it and paint poured everywhere. The reason? She normally slept on the dryer and the paint can was in her way. I arrived home from work to find her blissfully sleeping and paint all over the floor, walls, and dryer. So after that incident I can’t complain about a few little paw prints can I?!

8. One paint project always leads to more projects. For instance, because I was painting all the trim and doors, I decided to paint the doorknobs as well. Before:
So Jason took them all off for me and I spray painted them black. Instant update. Before they were all cruddy and now they look nice and new. And yes, you can spray paint anything! Another project, since all the walls are now white, the old outlets and switches just weren’t cutting it. Don’t you agree?
This is the reason the power was off. Jason had to replace them all with white ones. Little things make a big difference!

9. Lastly, clean your brushes out with a fine tooth comb. We picked up this trick from a friend and it works wonders. We actually use our cat’s flea comb because we didn’t have a regular comb and it has made clean up so much easier. Just run your brush under water while combing it :)

So there you go, now I hope you have a nice mental picture of painting at my house. Now that our project is (almost) done, life can get back to normal. Just in time for our guests to arrive!

I will leave you with a picture of the finished stairs (you can see that I removed the carpet from the stairs a long time ago!):
Once I finish cleaning up I will post more…