Today, with my Duracell Bunny setting flicked inexplicably to ‘high’ I operated in a permanent state of bubbling anxiety, itching to make progress on the house but failing to take the time needed to do anything very well. My Pilates class was a case in point. Going through the motions with my mind elsewhere I blindly ignored the soothing requests to focus calmly on ‘the in and the out breath’ and instead mentally sifted through my days task list deciding in what order I should do what. With the list unrealistic with a full day to play with and made more so by being squished into my shortened one with my class having taken its bite, I should really have taken both that breath and a marker pen and shot a line through half of it. Time, or lack of it, did it for me.
My first task was to apply a second coat to the avocado wall, itself not a hard job but made all the more so by my not prepping properly and a potentially hazardous accident involving the deep green paint and our beautifully sanded floor only narrowly being avoided. The second job was to apply a fourth (Fifth? Sixth? I’ve lost count) coat of eggshell to the lounge door. You may remember C removed the 70’s glass and replaced it instead with ply so I have been applying layer after layer of paint to the lounge side (hall side to be painted later along with the rest of the hall/landing woodwork) to try and get a semi decent finish. With P’s advice ringing in my ears, “Some people only use steel wool instead of sandpaper as it leaves no scratch marks”, I thought I’d studiously give it a try before the next coat. I rubbed away and checking the finish with my fingertips felt the pleasing difference. Layering on the next coat happily, congratulating myself for having taken the time to rub it down between coats (a step I rarely do in my rush to get a job done) I saw the paint drying in a lilac-y shade. Odd, I had thought, and went into the kitchen to start masking off the floor ready to commence the painting of the skirting. Running out of masking tape midway and without C’s tool filled snug to raid I stopped in exasperation and ventured back into the lounge to see how the door was doing. It was speckled with blackhead-like dots of blueish black. Hastily I reapplied the paint. Almost instantly the dots reappeared. Over the course of the day I tried the Fired Earth paint, C’s primer, a layer of PVA, a tester area of the Earthborn eggshell and finally a vigorous sanding …all to no avail. Short of buying some Clearasil I’m at a loss of what to do. I can only imagine that specks of the steel wool have caught in the roughness of the ply which are what are now speckling its face with acne. If I had brushed it off more thoroughly before eagerly applying the paint I may have avoided the problem and had the door finished by midday. Instead I now have another little headache to sort with no real idea how to sort it. A layer of the oil based paint is the only trick I have left up my sleeve and with a half tin languishing somewhere in the loft I have resignedly accepted that today is not the day that door will be finished.
With the snug now empty of C’s tools and ours all over the house I spent much of the day rummaging about looking for essential kit. More masking tape? Sponge mini roller head? Screwdriver? I found neither but did find a pack of brand new rubber gloves…handy when the industrial clean starts..there’s splattered paint on almost every socket, light switch and window…and another paint brush, always classed as treasure. I popped them both somewhere safe before admitting that the inevitable trip to B&Q was needed..the half hour it might take me to get there and back more than likely being shorter than the time it will take to try and freehand the skirting and remove hardened forgotten paint from the floor afterwards.
“Do you need anything?” I called up to P “Im heading to B&Q as I haven’t got the tools for the job in hand, which” I muttered “I’m realising the hard way”
He appeared on the landing.
“You do right. You need the right tools for any job. Worth it in the end.”
I rolled my eyes as I turned to the door, irritated both by the truth in his words and the disappointment in myself.
Shortly after my return a homeward bound P venturing downstairs with a collection of empty cups found me sprawled across the floor, masking tape applied and paintbrush in hand.
“Having a lie down?” he asked.
I humphed a cheerio in response.
An uncomfortable couple of hours and three coats later (I know I know….it needs time to dry in between but Im impatient and the paint obliged by being quick drying) and the skirting is, blessedly, finished.
A more satisfying element to the day was the successful booking in of the marmoleum installation. With much to-ing and fro-ing between two suppliers, one local and one not so and a bit of negotiation we eventually opted for the local company with the floor booked for Friday.
“Does that work?” I asked P, surveying the room. It feels as if its a million miles away from being ready, but perhaps I’m being unfair. The shower is almost complete and tiling of the loo/sink wall has commenced with the bath having arrived and now sitting patiently (unlike others in this house) in C’s vacated snug.
“It does for me. I’ll be finished by then” P said encouragingly. A conversation now needs to take place with K to check that all plumbing can be arranged by then and the floorboards nailed down in preparation and by end of next week we may be the happy owners of a brand new bathroom.
The realisation that we still need to think about paint, match the colour, embark on the sloppy mist coat process and more than likely conduct the whole procedure once again in the evenings, P and K likely to be cluttering the room up meantime, only struck me later. I fetched the paint chart….
With my day extended into the eve, S being out with work, I caught up with my list. I sanded the back of the larder door and gave it a couple of coats of paint. I cleared up the lounge…now finished bar that blasted door…. and arranged the armchair and sideboard where I imagine they might live. I rubbed the banisters down and applied a further coat of hardwax…again wishing I had a bit more patience but pleasantly pleased with the results. Lastly, glass of wine in hand and second hand frame templates retrieved from the loft, I played around with formations for the bedroom wall. It’s a potentially disastrous project as I don’t know by my numbering of the templates what each frame actually looks like. Once shapes are chosen Ill retrieve the corresponding frames and have a look again. Whether I can then unify them with paint or sandpaper and whether the resulting composition will look anything but a motley mess, I don’t know. But it’s good fun trying.