Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DIY Project - Painting our home office white

The stage is our future home office. The concept is all white. And the protagonists are two buckets of white paint. The one at the back is a cheap industrial-style ceiling paint with fumes that can supposedly kill household pets. That one got me into some trouble with the lady (she didn't like the idea of cheap fumey paint), but the paint in front is Nippon's stain-resistant wall paint with a low-sheen. I mean, this paint is said to withstand all sorts of soiling, from food stains to crayons. And I'd like to think that nothing in the world makes a woman happier than a man's awareness of future parenthood.

With our white paint and trusty brushes in perky anticipation, next up was prepping the home office for all that glorious mess.

First, we had to sand down all the bumps on the walls. You never really think of doing this, but if you're initiated and neurotic enough, you will want a wall smooth enough to run your hands over without losing any of your fingers. And for that, a medium-to-high grade of sandpaper will do the trick.

Next was taping up the edges of our electric switches and door frames. You want to make sure it's all taped neatly so that you can be a bit careless when you paint around the edges, get the paint all the way in and still keep your fixtures looking clean. Just peel off the tape when the paint is dry.

While all this was happening on my trusty front, Athalia got busy filling up all the window edges and holes in the walls with wall filler. Getting your own scraper will be a good idea - it works better than the little ones that come with the filler. It also helps if you've got a nimble touch - which I don't. See that maneouvre in the picture? Those are the hands of a Phoenician demigoddess.

Instead, I put my love for climbing ladders to good use and removed the fluorescent lights on the wall. This allows us to paint beneath it. It also allows us to remove all traces of fluoro lights far, far from our study room, the Almighty be praised. Note that one would be ill-advised to do this at night. After that, it was just a matter of borrowing some putty from the Phoenician and patching up the cavity around the wires.

Just before we start painting, I protect the modesty of our ceiling fan with the daily news. It turns out that the industrial ceiling paint wasn't very drippy (nor fumey), but you can never count on this. Ceiling fans soiled with paint splatter are irritating to look at. Ok. We're neurotic. No, not true - you need to do these things. You need to be a bit neurotic.

Only then can you start painting - the whole thing takes a grand total of three coats, which was one more than planned. A patchy second coat led to some corrective work on certain areas, which made the ceiling look like an albino dalmatian in the snow. The wall paint, however, turned out to be a lot easier to use. It was runnier, and glided all over the walls faster. You could say it was almost blissful painting the walls after painting the ceiling.

And so it was. Our spanking white room, whose white concept we shall further unveil in the coming days and weeks. We both like the low sheen of the wall paint. It's got a sophistication that most matte finishes want to have when they grow up. Yes, we dig it.

Now, all that's left is cleaning up the mess. Aah... more work. And more rooms. And more walls. And ceilings. This is going to be a very long project.


Jeanie said...

Wow, congratulations! Very proud of you both. Doing things yourself is actually very gratifying. Not only that, you would treasure it more and automatically take better care of it. When you finally complete doing up the whole place on your own, wow, the sense of pride and satisfaction would be immeasurable. You can call it bliss!

All those preps are no joke. I know they are hard and tedious work. It takes a lot of patience to wrap the fan, to mask-tape all those switches and to fill up all those gaps before painting. Fergus, i truly never thought you could be such a good DIY, and Athalia, i really admire you for putting in so much hard work. Nothing beats doing up your future home together. A lot of love vibes go into every stroke of the brush and every floor board laid. Truly a Home Sweet Home. Congratulations again!

Jeanie said...

Do you both realise you're the perfect FA Team?!

Genusfrog said...

Hehehee!! Yes! We are an FA team! hahahhaa!!

Genusfrog said...

Thanks Mie, for all your encouragement. It's been really fun. Really can't wait for the weekends to keep working at it. :D

Athalia said...

Floorboards, here we come!

Liz said...

"..albino dalmatian in the snow" -- good one ...lol

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