Sunday, August 4, 2013

the baseboards (or how i almost lost my mind)

oh hey. i'm back. took a little hiatus to enjoy my summer and not study for my exams : ) we've also tackled a few projects, which i hope to post about in a somewhat timely manner.

we spent our fourth of july on our hands and knees. sanding. and sanding. and sanding. and sanding. remember how we refinished the walls and floors before we moved in? well it did a number on our baseboards. first, the painters came and stripped all the walls down to the plaster, using humidifiers to help them strip the wallpaper. then, a few days later, the flooring contractor came in and pulled off the shoe molding to strip and refinish the floors. i guess the base was still a little soft, because it chewed it up. and we didn't have time to have the painters come back and touch it up after the flooring contractor, due to our crazy fast timeline.

ummm it looked awful. and we kept putting off fixing it, because we knew how horrible the project would be. we finally had extra time over the long holiday weekend at fourth of july and decided better sooner than later...

we moved all the furniture away from the walls. this meant moving a large part of the dining room into the den.

so that was fun. my arms were already sore from moving furniture! but then the real fun started. the sanding. we started with a medium grit sandpaper (about an 80 grit). the hardest part was not sanding the shoe molding while still getting all of the base smooth. there were several layers of thick, goopy paint and it took some serious time to get it ready for paint. after sanding all of the boards (entry, living room, dining room, stairs and upstairs landing) with medium grit, we gave it a pass with a finer grit. again, it took forever. 

my sanding fuel! can't get enough of this stuff

the straight runs were not so bad to sand. the stairs, however... well, let's just say we both deserve a hot stone massage after that situation. 

pretty, right? : ) to protect the edge of the stairs, we wrapped sandpaper around sponges (like we did while working on the dresser). that way, the sponge rubs against the finished wood while the sandpaper worked on the grubby trim. 

so we finished the sanding. and ate our weight in chinese food (ps - this is our favorite delivery place in NW DC). then we cleaned. we used all-purpose cleaner and old cotton t-shirts to clean all the sandpaper and grime off the entire area. it's one of those chores that i hate doing, so i don't do it very often. which means this is the first time the baseboards received a good scrub in about a year. oops. so if nothing else, our baseboards are nice and clean after this little adventure : ) 

the next morning, we taped. again, the straight runs were not difficult, but the stairs were time-consuming. this task was definitely worth it, though, so take your time and be accurate. phil even likes to run an old credit card along the top edge, to ensure a really good seal between the tape and the wood. 

after the extensive taping, we finally started painting. we used a white trim paint we found in the basement and a thin, high-quality brush. 

the painting went quicker than the sanding, but it was still slow work. it's careful work. and we would be painting and see a spot that needed more sanding (like above). so we'd have to not paint that area, then wait for the entire zone to dry (to prevent dust from getting into the wet paint), sand it again, clean it again, and then paint it. i'm not sure if anyone could ever tell that we went to all that trouble as we went once all the furniture is in, but phil is a stickler for doing things the right way. me... well... not so much. i'm happier to just move quickly. but i'm always happy when phil makes me stop and do things correctly. in the end. even if i fight him while we're working. not that i would ever do that : ) 

whistling while we work aka singing along to one of our many pandora stations
we waited for the paint to mostly dry, then took off the tape. we had to do a little touch-up work here and there, both with the paintbrush and also the razorblade (to get a few messy edges off the shoe mold). 

so after two and a half days' labor, we were done! it's not perfect, but it looks so. much. better! 

we moved the furniture back in and opened a couple of well-deserved beers : ) 

1 comment:

  1. I like your job dear!!! It is really good that you do your little works your own. I like your color combination too.

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