Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

And there was much painting

I seem to be in a 'sort out the house' mode at the moment, perhaps because we've been staying home to dodge the Olympic traffic. While we were away last Something Awful happened to the last bit of hall carpet that hadn't been swapped for cushioned vinyl, so we recruited a couple of friends to unload and move the bookcase that had been sitting there protecting the carpet from its planned doom (I bought the vinyl for all four halls at the same time, back when The Jeffster was not a well cat). Fiddly bits included saving a strip of carpet to fit to the upright of the top step (looks neater if the carpet on the stairs goes up all of them and until we finally decide whether we want to oil or paint the new staircase, I don't want to replace the old stair carpet because I want to get it all done at once. If it gets any more worn out that decision might make itself though.)

With the bookcase out of the way it was a good chance to put up the big mirror we got in Jersey one time when we went by ferry and had the car to bring things home; that meant rearranging several of the pictures that used to hang there. But between the mirror and the slightly shiny flooring, the landing looks much less dark and gloomy.

Sitting on the roof terrace to enjoy the summer got me to finally plant out the succulent cuttings I've been growing on for ages, so three pots of jade plants and one of a sweet little succulent with leaves like teardrops courtesy of vgqn (I had a big pot of it but it died in the snow and I started again from a bit I kept in a pot on the window sill). The Ikea hanging assemblage of blue balls we got remaindered was looking messy in a plastic bag so I rigged that up on the frame around the balcony and cleared out a few messy things that had been sitting around on the terrace.

That made the unpainted frame around the terrace door look very tired, so I dragged out the shelves from the tiny landing so I could spend time on my hands and knees and tiptoes to prime & satin coat the frame in white. While everything was out, I found which of the 8 tiny pots of paint matched the blue eggshell I'd used for one section of skirting in the hall outside the bedroom and painted that on the lowest strip of frame and on the rest of the skirting. As I'm out of masking tape I used a 1/4" watercolour brush to do the cutting in along the wall and floor edges; thanks heavens I bought sbisson a memory foam kneeler for his birthday ;-) (it comes in handy while he gets the coffee stains out of the spare room carpet). At one point it was easiest to lie full length on the floor to paint in the fiddly bit around the bottom step...

I had the bright idea that lovely as it is to have a storage unit keeping all the ungainly stuff out of the house, it might be nice not to pay so much for it. Now that tanais and elinor don't stay as much, we can bring back the bookcases from storage and schlep out some of the boxes of books and stuff (though maybe not while it's quite this hot), but there are other things that are nice out of sight. How about a big built-in cupboard in the spare room, I thought? Spend a few months' rent on the storage unit on something that lets us trade down to a smaller unit. And then I saw a three-door Ikea wardrobe on Freecycle that would fit the corner alcove *perfectly* (almost too perfectly - at one point I thought we were going to be hammering it in place with a mallet). We collected it on Saturday, glued down a couple of bits of melamine that were coming adrift overnight and put brownies on to bake on Sunday afternoon as a reward for putting it back together. Ikea has all the instruction manuals on the Web although a bigger screen than my Lumia 900 might have been a good idea for reading them on. Did there used to be some gym exercise at school where you had to step over things and stand on one leg in specific places? Or have we just built enough flatpack furniture that it feels so familiar? So now we have a wardrobe to stuff with spare things, if only we can get the stupid doors to hang straight... My fitbit should count carrying shelves and doors up and down stairs as good exercise; don't expect it spotted standing still holding the door in place as just as much hard work ;-)

Next up: finally fit the black metal window handle in the loo so I can see if I need to fill in any holes before I paint the window gold to match the door frame, finally prime and paint the *very* tall ceiling in the main hall, knock the tiles off the wall to make it cheaper to get the leaky shower cubicle refitted, spackle where the masking tape pulled paint off the window frame over the bed so I can finish painting in the decorative stripes (easier now I have a paint sample chart for the 8 tiny pots of paint)... Still on the some day list: sand off the wood filler on the stripped pine doors and oil them, fit the blue glass door handle that just won't fit, get a new lock for the second front door that can be unlocked from both sides of the door, paint the spare room, paint the stairs if we're painting them.... This flat is like the Forth bridge, only not red ;-)

But everything that's been painted, shelved, planted, hung or nailed down looks very nice!
Tags: diy, house

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