The WIR is go!

This week we moved our clothes into the WIR. Tada!

I finally finished the topcoat in the WIR and now I just have to do the architraves and door. I’m leaving these for a bit because I’ve moved on and we have to wait for the final building fixup.

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Yes, I know the window is not yet in, and there will be yet more painting and sanding and nail banging before the final finish. But the sad truth is all our clothes are a bit dusty anyway, from the building dust getting into all parts of the house. I’m loving the distressed concrete look of the tiles I chose. So cool.

The great thing about our WIR is that compared to other WIRs we’ve seen recently (did I mention we like looking at houses for sale on their open house days?), ours seems really large. It’s not, but it has a wide walkway of 1.1metres, 2.6m of hanging space on one side and a metre on the other. This makes it feel really spacious. I must admit however that my shoes are STILL fighting for space, and I’ll be using the large pullout drawer under the bed for all my rare spares. I’m one of those sad puppies who keeps her shoes in their cardboard shoe boxes where possible because of dust and humidity. This takes up room but protects the shoes.

I must say, looking at my clothes it appears as if I wear all black, white, red, and tan. I don’t, of course. I keep lots of my clothes in clothing bags which happen to be black. Again, this protects the clothes from fading, dust and pests. Eventually we’ll put plantation shutters on our bedroom and WIR window but for now it’s storage bags.

I’m now painting what is intended to be our front porch entrance (but without actually doing it because funds), and I’m painting it a fresh Dulux Vivid White acrylic with Natural White architraves in oil. It’s hiding the colour I originally painted these outside rooms when we bought the house, which was a cool grey that ended up looking rather purple in a certain light. I’ve now changed my interior design look over the last few years and going with whites, for cleanliness and brightness and sanity. The grey was great but it was designed to cover flaws in the old walls. I’m putting off what I really should do right away – gap filling – because it’s a boring boring boring job and I have to do this and then wait for it to dry before giving the room its penultimate topcoat. There’s lots of gap filling as we have installed VJs:

And the dust. Oh, boy. Yes, well, ok. I’m off to do it then.

 

 

I can’t even.

So tired. SO, SO tired. I spent the weekend filling holes and sanding in preparation for painting the East Wing. Yesterday I gave the East Wing its first undercoat. I’m so wrung out I can’t even think, let alone walk around. I removed the huge sofa so that I could roll the ceilings and walls, put down my drop sheets, and went hard for 6 hours. Now, this doesn’t sound like much, does it? Except I’m an oldish, slightly unfit lady who has to smoosh paint into the VJ grooves with nothing more than brute strength and a tricky roller position. I’m all done in. And of course the muscles around my right shoulder have decided to cark it!

I’m about ready to kill the owner of the house for wanting VJ mdf sheets. The painter now has to fill every single little black triangle left by the groove with acrylic filler, which is a horrible job the painter has NO skill in. Given that the painter and the owner are one and the same, I’m shitty at myself for giving myself more work to do. Gah.  However, the owner thinks the VJ looks amazing. The painter reluctantly agrees, nursing her tennis elbow and cursing.

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Yesterday I completed the second round of cutting in with the undercoat and cleaned up some patchy areas, and now it’s only the acrylic filling and top coats to do in the East Wing. Then I have to decide on paint for the wood trims and architraves. Do I go with proper oil paint, or do I go with aqua oil paint (which is a big furphy, it’s just water based paint, and in no way looks or feels like oil paint)?

The lads are busy at it today putting in the windows. It’s starting to take shape but I don’t really like to work with them around. Mainly because I think they’re quietly laughing at my povvo attempts to cut in, but also because I’m concerned I’m getting in the way. They work fast and consistently, and are out of the house at about 3pm, so it’s best if I stay well out of harm’s way.

The weekend is looking a little dicey – we have family functions to manage, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to paint. However, I am all set up and nail filling, sanding or cutting in is certainly something I can manage if nothing else! And it’s a good opportunity to prepare a couple of areas I’ve pretended don’t exist, such as the new proper wooden VJs in our bedroom.

Like every building job ever, it’s the little things that remain unfinished. An architrave here, a window there. In every room being worked on. There is nothing that is fully finished! I’m keen to get the painting finished in the ensuite, WIR and the East Wing, because this gets a lot of clothing out of the way, and a lot of crap in cupboards. It means DH and I get to use our new bathroom (huzzah!), and there will be at least 2 places without dust everywhere.

However, this is the dragging time. The moment when you think “when will this ever end?” And we’ve only been going about 4 weeks. I should be patient!

 

 

 

Filling and sanding. Oh joy.

Today was my prep day for the ensuite and WIR. In the past I’ve underprepared my paint surfaces because temporary. This time it has to look good because permanent. So I’ve gone the whole hog.

I bought ground sheets. I bought timber filler. I bought an all purpose filler for MDF and plasterboard. I bought an acrylic filler for the movable bits – wood and joins. I bought a cheap and cheerful 270mm paint roller and pan. I bought a sanding grip and a sanding grip for an extension pole. I bought a good quality glass scraper. I bought a roll of 240 fine grit paint sandpaper and a roll of 140 fine grit wood sandpaper. I bought 15 litres of Dulux Vivid White 3-in-1 primer, sealer and undercoat, and 15 litres of Dulux Wash and Wear Vivid White low sheen acrylic paint. I also bought 4 litres of Dulux bathroom and kitchen Wash and Wear in a semi-gloss, because I think this will be good for the bathroom.

I already own several good quality brushes and other painting accoutrements (and bloody oath doesn’t one accumulate this stuff over the years!) and I think I got it right this time.

So yesterday and today I laid the ground sheets, hung some plastic to cover the tiles (because I’m NOT scraping them back in 3 years time) and began filling the nail holes.

Surprisingly, the work is quick, although I’m taking inordinately long breaks. Had I been a little faster I would have done the undercoat today. But no. However, all nail holes are filled and sanded (what a difference good quality tools makes), door and window frames are done too. Tomorrow I’ll be rolling for a while, then I’ll be grabbing the paint brush and doing the rest by hand, because VJ MDF sheeting has grooves in it that can’t be covered using the roller. I’ve brushed first in the past but I’m thinking that rolling first will give me the best coverage, and fast, and I can finish off a little slower. I have been putting on the brakes with the painting because once you start you kinda have to finish it off. Paint quickly goes hard in the Brisbane heat, so planning my painting days is really important. I hate the clean up at the end of the day because I just so often seem to get it wrong. Brushes dry up on me, I inadvertently leave paint tins open: I just don’t finish well. I’m usually in a hurry to do something else.

Wednesday the lads come back to finish hanging more MDF, finish the beading, frame up some more door and window frames, fit some windows, and fling in a vanity unit. They may even fit the WIR.  Note to self: ring Reece about the bathroom stuff. And then there will be another longish wait for the shower glass, so I will finish off the topcoat painting in that time.

Quiet

Today a moment of quiet as the boys head off to do a “quick job” elsewhere before coming back in the afternoon to finish off the final bits and pieces. John the builder popped in to let me know, bless him. The tiler never arrives before 8.30am. Bliss.

The builders are nearly done. Except of course the windows. It’s always the windows. There are a few more pieces of VJ to install, a few more beadings to hide the joins, and then it’s my turn to prepare the WIR for painting prior to the installation of the robe carcasses. As John said to me yesterday, laughing, “you know the story, don’t you? The painters will fix that!” I replied, sadly knowing this to be true, “yes, but as I’m the not-very-good painter, you had better do a really good job!” Preparation is key. My understanding (from when I dated a house painter) is that for new walls (not plasterboard) and new wood a quick undercoat is applied first. Then the patching and sanding happens. Nail holes are filled, joins are sealed, then everything needing sanding is sanded. Another undercoat for the tricky areas such as ceilings of bathrooms, and 2 coats of the top coat are applied. I’ll be painting until Xmas, cursing every crusty old french door and window I insisted on keeping. I’ll be painting them all white but the last paint job they had was pretty terrible (oil paint in a beige colour, messy and just painted right over old crusty surfaces), so I’ll be working my butt off to make them look even partly respectable.

We have yet to decide on the topcoat paint colour, but I recently painted my stepdaughter’s room bright white, and it looks lovely and not at all stark. I’m tempted to follow suit for the rest of the house. In truth the whole house needs another paint because the ceilings are starting to look dull and the wall colour has lost its appeal. Dark rooms look darker, and light rooms look tired. Painting VJ is a bitch though and takes forever. There are 6 rooms definitely needing new paint including our bedroom, and it’s looking more and more like I’ll need to do it all. DH is too busy at work, besides, he’s not much chop as a painter.

The tiler will be finished by tomorrow (should he ever appear) and apparently we’re deciding on grout colours today.  Next week the bathroom fittings will arrive and soon enough the trades will be back to install and finish our new ensuite. And now: finding the rest of the money to pay for all this stuff.

Painting the house interior

Our money pit was already part painted when we bought it, in quite pleasant colours that suit our eclectic furniture. While I am grateful for the time saved on painting all 8 rooms (incl bathrooms and hallways), I’m a bit grumpy the painters spent no time preparing the surfaces. Already I can see where they painted over peeling surfaces and grimy areas, with our bathroom ceiling already peeling off in parts. At least sand and sugar soap, people!

Before we could move in I was determined to paint the two untouched enclosed verandahs and the toilet area. I needed to get these spaces ready so that I could teach my students in safety, comfort and with a professional look.

I chose a deep grey acrylic for the walls, bright white acrylic for the ceiling, and china white gloss enamel for the woodwork. The walls and ceiling are a buckling, unattractive masonry board and the window surrounds are an equally unattractive mish mash of poorly milled and installed 10mmx20mm timber. These areas will eventually be gutted, re-wired, insulated, replastered, and will have new windows installed, so I didn’t need to do much more than a wipe down and scrape to make them look respectable.

While I’m pretty happy with the grey, it can look a little purple in a cool light. I chose it from a Dulux sample in Bunnings, and didn’t check it in different lights. Nevertheless, it’s a cool yet warm colour and goes well with either blue or red tones, so I’m happy for now.

Here’s what the rooms looked like before, in delightful apricot (not):

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Amazing what a quick paint can do, considering these look so awful.

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Beautiful. Huh.

Anyway, after painting the walls and stuff, the rooms looked like this:

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As you can see, the poor excuse for a skirting board hasn’t been done. And it’s still not done in parts, even though I gave parts of them an undercoat last night when I had a spare moment (the things we do just before it gets dark!). The lovely looking windows at the end are a mess of flaky, poorly applied paint, poor skirting, fluffy wood grain and lots of work required. So I’ve left them for the time being, to be tackled sometime later this year. And I’ve not yet painted the French doors because I want to lavish time and attention on them, rather than do what was done to the rest of the French doors, which is a crime of bad painting and no preparation.

So now, the rooms look more like this:

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Except we now have heaps of stuff in them, including an oversupply of pillows. I wish we had the type of house where a clear expanse of verandah was possible, but no. We need all the space we can get. Darn it.