Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And we trudge forward.

Well, the last couple of days were long and I'm sore all over. Adam had more shop business yesterday, so it was me and pups again...and as usual, they were no help at all. They spent most of the day basking in the sun and trading places on the bed.

Stinkers. Meanwhile, I was able to get started even earlier with the nice weather, but then I immediately lost my keys in this mess while I was tromping down the flowers.

I was a little afraid I'd be stuck sifting through lilies all day, but I found them without too much trouble.

Considering it was just me, I think I did ok. I was able to get all the brick rollered by about 2 or 3 in the afternoon; I started using the sprayer again to get into the mortar, but I was just chasing drips and not getting great coverage, so I went back to my trusting 3" Wooster and a trim cup. It'll be slow-going, but we'll get there eventually. The biggest hurdle has been crossed. I think. At least my arms will be a fully painted, lovely shade of gray before it's over.

All I know is that I don't think I could have worked on it one more day. I've never been so happy to go back to work in my life.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Next time around...

I keep thinking, "Next time I have to paint a brick house, I'm paying someone to do it."

And then I remember, that if I have one personality trait that trumps "lazy," it's "cheap."

True fact.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More than I bargained for

I'm tired. I hurt all over.

The pibs is pooped, too.

While I painted the house, Robin ran around after squirrels; River sat next to me and stared at the paint roller; Simon slept. We're all pretty worn out.

I took the day off of work to keep up the painting. Yesterday, Adam and I were rollering the brick, while the kiddo and our friend Jessica cam behind us with brushes to fill in the mortar and other spots we missed. I was using a regular roller with a 1 1/4" nap roller cover; Adam was using a Wagner Paint Mate Plus with a 3/4" nap. The Paint Mate Plus is one of the ones where you fill the handle with paint, and pull a trigger to pump the paint into the roller. This all worked pretty well with 4 sets of hands.

Today, it was just me. Adam had shop stuff to do, and the kiddo went back to her mom's and to school. Just me and the pups-- and let's be honest: their lack of opposable thumbs really worked against us.

I used the Wagner roller for a while, and things went fine. When my arm started to get tired, I switched to the brush. Filling in all the mortar...took foreeeeeeever. It went sooooo slooooow. By about 1:45, I'd finally had it. I looked down the wall, and it was just freakin' miles of mortar to paint.
Luckily, I remembered that Harbor Freight had a 20% off coupon in the paper yesterday, so off I went to buy a cheap, shitty paint sprayer. (I also got a free flashlight! Bonus!!)

I got it home and started playing with it. I have to thin the paint so much, and the container is so small, that I don't want to use it for the majority of the brick, but it was definitely a turning point in my productivity for the day. Here's what I do. I paint with the roller, and then use the sprayer to put a quick, thin coat onto the mortar. Lastly, I take the brush and backbrush the paint into the mortar and splotchy areas. It goes so, so, so much faster. So I'm taking off tomorrow to try and get the rest of the house body finished. I know the trim won't happen immediately, but we will be so very close.

So very, very close.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Long Time Coming

A VERY long time.

Life, as we all know, gets in the way of pretty much everything. We've been immersed in puppy dogs-- training and socializing and snuggling. I haven't had a chance to start the dog blog that I've been wanting to. Adam has been in the throes of buying, moving and reopening a liquor store for the last several months, so that's been sucking a lot of time away from the house.

We've been busy...just not busy on the house.

Well that all changed this weekend. We have a few days in a row of great weather, and we decided to just dive in and take advantage of it. I sprayed down the house yesterday, scraped a bit, and today we started the actual painting. There's no going back now.

As it was:

And at the end of the day (sorry for the camera-phone pic):

It looks impressively like our photoshopped idea.

So far so good.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The colors

Here's the column that we painted as it will be...

We'll see... ;-)

April Update

Wow. We've really been slacking.

It's been awfully hard to want to do much; the weather finally got nice, and while we should be taking advantage of it to do house work, I don't think anyone believes it's really here and just wants to take advantage of it to have fun while we can!

We did manage to finally decide on a paint color. We ended up going with the darker color on the right and the darker, browner red.

The green/taupe/khaki color for the brick; the cream color for wood trim; the red for the eaves and prob frint door; maybe also windows. Haven't totally decided on that.

I'll have to post a pic later of the column that we mocked up to make the final decision. We wanted to try to claim the last of the depreciation, so we had to go ahead and buy the paint, even though the weather isn't quite paint worthy yet.

We were going to use the Lowe's Valspar Duramax when we planned to paint during cold weather since it goes down to 35º. But now that it looks like we can wait until summer, we decided to go with regular Valspar Ultra Premium. It still gets great reviews from Consumer Reports, and we've certainly had good luck with it so far. And it's about $50 per 5gal bucket cheaper. Bonus.

So anyway, we went ahead to try and get it before our depreciation deadline and to take advantage of what we thought was a rebate offer; it was actually only for indoor paint. But no matter-- we got a great deal anyway...

See, when we got there, the paint dude told us he was out of the stuff he needed to do 5gal buckets of one of our colors in the ultra premium and that he could do Duramax for $50 more. Well, we discussed it, and decided to just get single gallons instead; we really didn't need the Duramax. While we were shopping for other stuff, the paint guy found us and told us he'd given the paint to us for the same price as 5gals. Awesome!

We go to pick up our paint and...uh oh. There's been a misunderstanding. He thought we wanted single gallons of Duramax (which kind of defeats the purpose, but we did get fewer gallons, 8 instead of 10, and I think he must have thought we were saving money by getting less...I dunno.). They are all labeled at $29 each, which is the 5gal price, but still more than we wanted to pay. We tell him there's been a misunderstanding and without blinking, the guy says, "Oh. Ok, No problem. I'll just give it to you for the cheaper price."

And not only does he give it to us for the price of Ultra Premium, he gives us the Ultra Premium 5gal price-- $17.90 per gallon. Holy CRAP.

Did we get a wicked deal or what?!? We kept apologizing to the guy, but at that point, his alternative was to put it on the mistint table for $5, so I guess this was better all the way round.

I hope we can get to this in the next few weeks. Honestly, all my time is being sucked up by animals; the new puppy is quite a handful. I'm actually thinking about starting another blog to track her training progress. We found her wandering around our neighborhood for several days and finally took her in as the sleet started coming down, the beginning of a mega snow storm. We looked for an owner, checked for a microchip, left a description and our phone number with the Humane society. Nothing. She was underweight and had worms. She's finally settling in, but we have a long way to go with her...

She is scared of everything. She barks at people and things that are unfamiliar, and cowers and gets stock still if she's scared and thinks someone's going to handle her (the vet). She was spayed and then had a bad reaction at the suture site, so the increased vet visits and handling didn't help matters. She also doesn't really know how to share her things with us-- she gaurds her toys and balls and bones (in fact NO MORE BONES for a while-- yikes!). Thing is, I already have a fear aggressive dog, and do not want another one! So most of my time is spent with her at the park, clicker and treats in hand, teaching her to be calm around unfamiliar stuff, or playing games of trade with her toys. She's super smart and sweet, and warms up to new people pretty quickly (treats help!), so I'm optimistic.

And that's the news around here! If I do start another blog, I'll post a link to it here, for any of you dog enthusiasts. It's sort of taken over my life-- I'm reading animal behavior books and scouring training forums and researching holistic remedies for any and all problems. I never thought it would be so fascinating to me, but there you have it!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm grateful...

Grateful for the great weather.

Mother Nature finally gave us a weekend worth spending outside. I spent Saturday doing some dog training outside the house and picked up a bunch of paint samples from Lowe's. Today, we chose a few and here's the result:

Of course, the colors don't translate, so it's a little pointless for me to post these pics.

The red on the left is an old color sample. The middle color is somewhat more taupe-- warmer-- than it looks in the picture. The white is perhaps not quite right, but I do like the red:

The color on the right is actually greener than it looks, and I'm not crazy about this red; also, perhaps too dark(?):

What to do? What to do.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

He likes it!

He really likes it!

Adam and I both agreed that the top picture (the dark neutral gray/taupe) in our previous post was pretty darn good.

The trick now is finding that actual color in a paint swatch.

And if the weather cooperates this weekend, I can get some samples and make some decisions, buy some paint and submit some receipts to the insurance company.

Here's hoping!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Maybe something in a warm gray instead of taupe-- something to compliment the gray roof better, or will it just look cold all over...? Or green?

More photoshop!

The light gray does seem a bit too cold (obviously we'd choose a cooler off white for the trim, but still...), but I could live with it, I think...On second thought, I don't think I could.

I really like the green, but Adam has been adamant that the body of the house not be green. I photoshopped it in anyway!

And the dark gray/taupe is really nice, too... The green and dark gray seem the most bungalow-y. So many choices in such a time crunch!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring colors

Well, it's crunch time. We basically have to get the house painted this month. We also have to fix the hole in our ceiling.

I'm hoping that the weather will stay nice, but I can't count on it. Considering the weather and our budget, we're leaning toward using Valspar Duramax paint. It's supposed to be good down to 35º, it's acrylic so it's ok for brick, and it's got a fairly quick drying time, so they advertise that it's less likely to be affected by wet weather (within a certain time frame, obviously) or morning dew. We've had such great success with other Valspar paints that I'm willing to give this a shot.

Now. As to color...

Last time I talked about this, we had decided to scrap the idea of a brick color, due to the horrendous tuck-pointing on the front of the house.

We then moved on to this color scheme-- Adam slapped this together (with an old photo that doesn't include our new gable vent) and he is MUCH better at Photoshop than I am:

Basically, a nice taupe on the body, buff on the trim, and the red brick for the eaves.

Now, Adam hasn't seen these offenses to Photoshop that I concocted last night, but they are basically colors that we've discussed...

With a red stripe continuing across the front:

And without:

I'm torn. The taupey/beige and green and red are very Craftsman and earthy and I like them very much. But the taupey/beige and buff is so clean and simple, if a bit boring. Flowers in the spring, summer and fall, and holiday decorations in the winter go a long way to helping with that, so...Admittedly, it was hard to get the right color green and the crispness that it should have since I did such a quick, down and dirty job of mocking it up. At any rate...

I just don't know.

Edit-- clearly needs a richer green...more olive, less mint. But hopefully this is enough to get an idea...So torn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's crunch time

Well, it's been almost 2 years since the hail storm. That's how long the insurance company gave us to get things finished. We're still not done, so that means a whirlwind of work should be gearing up!

During the last couple of weekends, Adam has been working on a few things. I did my part today. First of all, Adam cut a threshold for the entrance between the kitchen and laundry rooms. I cannot believe I neglected to get a before picture. The closest thing I can find is this--a blurry crop from an even blurrier photo of the oven:

So Adam built a threshold out of pine:

Simon decided to pose with the wood...

Today, I shellacked it.

It's nothing special, but it'll get the job done until we have the time and money to replace the laundry room floor.

Next, we dealt with the broom closet. Before, it was too short and didn't reach the ceiling.

On one side, we added a little strip of wood:

And Adam put the crown trim back up...however, it doesn't really fit. the ceiling slopes, the closet slopes more, and to top it off, the cabinet also bows out.

It was my job to do a little creative caulking:

The splotches are due to wood filler-- I still have to paint pretty much all the trim in the house, starting with that ugly green door in the threshold pic above.

I also worked on cleaning up the patio in anticipation of nice weather to come. I'm ready to be done with the snow, to be honest. Our last big bout of snow and ice was certainly pretty and gave Adam a chance to use his new camera...

...and the puppies definitely had a great time romping in it.

You may be wondering who the little black and white piebald pup is. Meet Robin:

It's a long story; however, the long and short is, we weren't seeking out another dog, but she is a sweetie and is sticking around. Unfortunately, she went into heat pretty much immediately, so she's been a diaper dog and Simon has been a hot mess. She's only about a year old, and I'd guess this was her first heat. We'll be taking care of that ASAP.

And that's about it. Not much else to report around here. It's a long post, but I'm hopeful that the future holds lots of shorter posts with lots and lots of progress. In the next day or so, I'll post some new ideas for painting the house and soon thereafter, my trials and tribulations trying to match the texture on our ceiling.

Good times.