Friday, August 14, 2009

Remodeling: Not for the Faint of Heart

DH Joe and I have been remodeling a house since last November. It's about 3 miles from our current home and we drive over there every day to work on it. We plan to move into it when finished. There are about a gazillion things to do when completely remodeling a house. Cabinet hardware is just one of them.

To try to save some money and not add to the landfills, we decided to use the existing hardware in the home we are remodeling. The knobs and backplates currently are dark brass, and have very pretty with molded designs. The dark knobs do not look nice on the high gloss white cabinets. Too much contrast.

We had a plan. I would clean them, and paint them the same decorator color as the walls. When the paint dries, the enamel is scrubbed off of the high spots to reveal the beautiful pattern in the knobs, back plates and pulls. A light dry-brushing of gold and bronze would be used to bring out the lovely designs.

After a quick coat of lacquer is applied and allowed to dry in the bright sunlight the knobs, handles, and back plates would be reinstalled on the white woodwork.

Since we have added so many doors and drawers, We've had to scrounge up some additional knobs and drawer pulls. We found used ones at the Habitat Renovation Station from the same time frame as our home was built, late 70's. They are not the same pattern, but complimentary when done the same painted technique. Since the new knobs and pulls will only be in the two rooms, the whole thing works!

The hanging lamps in both bathrooms were also the dark brass with glass globes. They were dis-assembled, cleaned, painted, etc. Even the chains were painted and sponged with bronze and gold to brighten them and bring out the decorator colors we've chosen. All the finished parts were going home to be re-assembled using new wire and the part into which you screw the light bulb. We will re-hang the lights on Saturday.

After working all day in the remodel house, I loaded all of the metal lamp parts and cabinet hardware, handles, knobs, tools, scrubbers etc and can of High Gloss Enamel Paint into a shallow box. (we had been painting and prepping them at the remodel house when we needed to sit down a bit.) I put tools and hardware in another box, and there were two shallow boxes of finished hardware with lids. So there was a stack of two shallow boxes with lids, an open box with tools and hardware; and the open shallow box with the quart of paint and hardware on the top of the stack. This went into the back seat of the Saturn (my 12 year old SL2) to bring home to work on over the weekend. Hubby Joe took grandson Jacob home in the Saturn while I drove the other car home. We met back at our current house where we had supper and a bit of relaxing.

When I went out to the garage to bring the boxes into the house a couple of hours later, the can was still sitting upright, it appeared to be sealed, but the paint was running out of the shallow box on top. The wet paint had collapsed the side of the box and the entire quart of paint had run down into the back of the seat, into the seat, the seat belt holder, the seat belts; EVERYWHERE on the back seat behind the driver, as well as into and onto all the other boxes! It appears that the lid had not hammered tightly back onto the can of paint. Somehow the paint had leaked out of it during the ride home and while sitting in the garage.

I started grabbing the boxes, dragging them out of the car in the garage and onto the floor. Next came the hose to hose down the stuff in the boxes as the paint was drying on everything.

I grabbed two towels to try to clean up the mess in the back seat. No luck, the paint was too thick. Next, we used the hose to try to flush some of the paint out of the back seat. Using a scrub brush and 409, Joe and I started hosing and scrubbing the seat until most of the paint was out of it. However, the paint had dried at the edges leaving an ivory ribbon of paint across the back of the seat and around the edges of the pool of paint in the seat that will NOT come out!

During the activity of scrubbing, hosing and mopping, watery paint is splashed all over the interior, door insides, and even outside where it drooled while removing the boxes.

Finally we began to wonder where is the water was going!? It was not running out of the car or back into the trunk. We found the water, it was under the CARPET! the carpet began floating like a water-bed in both front seat and back on the drivers side!

Out comes the wet/dry vac! Half an hour later most of the water is sucked out of the seat and floor, the mess is everywhere. Even the courtyard needed to be rinsed down to get rid of the paint residue after we dumped the wet/dry vac tank contents down the drain!

Then I used the 409 and a clean towel to try to get the paint splashes off of the interior and exterior of the car. There was even paint drools on the trunk and hood!

Another hour was needed to clean up the painted pieces, unpainted pieces, chains, light fixture tops, connectors, tools, and bucket in the kitchen sink.

Went outside to bring in the dirty towels to wash and noticed the boxes were still sitting on the floor, with paint still oozing out of them! Get out the hose again, raise the garage door, hose out the garage, trying not to splash painty water all over the outside of the car again. The oozing boxes were trashed. The mess is mostly gone.

I'm wet, cold and really, really tired. Gonna climb into the tub and warm up before going to bed. So much for a relaxing weekend, let's hope that things get a little better and that finishing up the house goes more smoothly.

Next weekend, we move.

Oh, BTW, The top of one of the bathroom lights is missing. Maybe I'll find it tomorrow when I go out to check out the garage in the daylight. If it's not there, it's probably still in the remodel house.

DH Joe worked hard to save the back seat, clean up the spills and encourage me. Thanks so much Joe!!