Saturday, July 4, 2009

NO MORE WHITE WALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I'm kinda sick of white walls. Can you tell? So boring . . . sterile . . . impersonal. And painting ended up being a much bigger project than I thought, but it's all good. I enjoyed it, I took rent waaaaaaaaay down (more on that later), and I don't have white walls anymore!!!!! So anyway, here's the story.

Last Thursday I went and got myself all stocked up on supplies and paint . . . because you kinda need that . . . yeah. Anyway, the plan was to paint the walls blue and the trim green, except for in the hall, where it was going to be reversed, walls green and trim blue. So I get all the stuff, come home, and go right to work, and since by the time I got everything and stuff I had only the afternoon to paint, I just painted the trim in the living room and guest bedroom/storage room. The green paint turned out to look a LOT brighter than we'd been envisioning, especially next to the white walls. The paint chip called it "green guild." We were calling it "neon pistachio" and "pepto bismal green." Luke hated it. I mean REALLY hated it. So much so that he was trying to talk me into either painting the trim back to white or a darker green. I didn't think it was that bad, although I can't deny it was a bit blinding at first glance. So in the name of compromise we agreed to do all the walls blue instead of switching things up in the hall in the hope that the blue would tone down the brightness of the green. Of course, this meant that I now had waaaaaaaaay to much green paint and not enough blue . . . good times. Good thing the landlord was paying for the paint!!

So Friday I finished painting the trim. Now, about that - I swear painting the trim was the hardest part of the whole project! I borrowed Aunt Sharon's paint edger . . . trimmer . . . knife thing . . . whatever . . . so I would't. have to tape down the carpet. Yeah, famous last words. I guess I'm just not as talanted, because I was having to stop after almost every strip Thursday to mop up little splotches on the carpet . . . good times . . . NOT! So I ended up taping down the carpet and tried it that way, but even though I wasn't getting paint on the carpet, I couldn't really get all the way down the trim very easily. So I split the difference, I guess you could say, and taped everything down but still used the edger to lay the carpet flat while I was painting, and then the tape kept the carpet clean while I moved on. Yay! Of course, it wsan't completely that easy . . . oh no. You see, our heaters are these long things placed right on the floor, practically on top of the trim. I figured, again on Aunt Sharon's expert advice, that I could paint the trim under them with minimal difficulty. Yeah . . . I did one. It was the biggest pain in the butt, and caused quite a few potential green carpet catastrophes. After that I decided that it's not like anybody looks under the heaters anyway . . . and heck, the one I did (in the kitchen) is the the only one you can even get far enough away from to notice the trim underneath without lying flat on your stomach and looking. So from then on I painted under the heaters just enough to make it look like the paint went all the way. Score one for the next people living here being college students who would never notice/care anyway.

So Saturday Team Jayla (Jason and Shayla, Shay picked that name from the choices I gave her) came down to help us out. Actually, they came down Friday for (yet another) recpetion for a high school friend of Shay's. (I kid you not, this is about the third since we got married . . . and there's at least two more this summer . . . her RM guy friends work fast!!) I was talking to her the week before and she was complaining how she was bored from lack of job-ness (must be a Barnes thing . . . at least right now . . . ) and I told her she should come help me. And since she was so immensly jealous that we got to paint, they did. Yay! I had grand dreams of getting the whole apartment done in one day . . . I'm sure those of you who have painted before are already laughing at that one. First off we got a later start than I'd planned for a few reasons, among them because I had to run to Walmart because we were out of tape to cover the trim and I'd forgotten to get drop cloths on Thursday. So Luke and I got started around ten or so, and Jayla (so much shorter and easier!) got there around 11:30, and that made things go a lot faster. Especially since Jason's so tall, he could paint right up to the ceiling without needing a chair . . . it sure was handy having him around!! However, it was right around this point, when we moved from our bedroom to the living room (we did those two first to make sure they, at least, got done and could be put back together) we al kind of realized something wasn't quite right. You see, in my internet and at-Walmart research I read all about the different kind of paint finishes. and everything said that flat paint was good for bedrooms, dining rooms, and dens. So I figured since that encompassed everything we would be painting except the living room, and since it was the cheapest, that that would be the paint finish to go with. Long story short . . . mistake. Thankfully, Jason is a bit of a paint expert . . . at least compared to the rest of us . . . so he and Luke went to Walmart to get some semi-gloss paint and a few other things we'd discovered we needed while Shay and I continued with the living room. We decided to do the first coat with the flat, and then the second coat with the semi-gloss, which was really nice, because that made it pretty easy to see where you had missed spots on the second coat. They came back with plenty of paint and a stack of pizzas, so we had ourselves a good long break and got back to work. We finished the living room pretty quickly, and can I just say that second coats go soooooooooooo much faster than first coats!!!! Every day I was surprised at how much faster the second coats went. With the second coat the blue turned out a litle darker than I was expecting (I compared the chip to the train on my dress after I picked it out of curiosty - perfect match! I guess I like that shade more than I thought!) but it did really tone down the neon-ness of the green . . . SUCCESS!!!!

So Monday I painted the other bedroom and hallway, Tuesday I painted the kitchen, and Wednesday morning I did touch-ups. Nothing much interesting to say there. Well, a couple of things. Monday, conveniently enough, was the day that the first installment of new furniture was delivered to the complex. All the couches and love seats are kind of old and gross, so they're being replaced a few at a time, and the people who paint their apartment get the new stuff first. And since the living room was done, we got ours - yay! It was especially convenient considering the only major paint mishap was a splotch on the arm of the love seat. The new stuff is really nice - matches the chocolate brown carpet perfectly, and (I think) kinda ties the walls and floor together as far as that goes. Downside? They're really well stuffed. I hesitate to say over-stuffed . . . maybe a little bit. But you can't slouch/lounge/relax in them, they kinda force you to sit up straight . . . not cool. So we're working on beating them into submission to the point that we can sprawl on them like the old ones. That said, they are MUCH more comfortable than the old stuff!! And remember our upstairs neighbor the singer? Good news: her playlist is growing. Better news: I still know and (mostly) like everything she plays. Even better news: her repeat button seems to be broken, or at least malfunctioning. Bad news: she's taking up opera. When I was painting the kitchen Tuesday I had our sliding back door open, of course (the smell of paint was really getting old by then!). And as I was starting on the second coat, she started singing. At least it was Phantom of the Opera. Sadly, it was the movie soundtrack . . . LAME!!! Emmy Rossum has a great voice, but she's no Sarah Brightman. And Gerald Butler vs. Michael Crawford. Puh. Lease. Playing the movie soundtrack is so poser-ish. Kind of like only playing the most well-known song from Wicked . . . oh, wait. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, should I? Anyway, she played Think of Me five times in a row. The good news is I could only hear her singing along with the aria at the end, and even then only faintly. Thank heaven . . . she can barely handle pop music, she should NOT be singing opera. And even though I love that song, if she had played it again I swear I would have gone upstairs and stabbed her with Aunt Sharon's edger. (I would have cleaned the blood off before I returned it! . . . )

So now the painting's done - yay!! And for the best part - I believe I mentioned that not only did management pay for the paint, they actually paid $8 and hour for the labor, to be taken off rent. Woot. So Wednesday after hauling all the paint crap to the storage shed we quickly made up a couple of hour charts. Here's where it gets really good . . . the other married couple that lives here are normally the on-site maintenance people, but they're in California for the summer. So we - well, Luke really - got the job for the summer, and hen we'll probably share when they get back. Anyway, that means Luke does things like posting notices on all the doors when parking lot maintenance is happening, and helping the furniture dudes with the new couches Monday and stuff like that - for $10 an hour off rent. Anyway, rent was due Wednesday, so we made up the hour charts and scanned copies of our painting receipts and headed down to pay . . . and between the money we spent on paint crap, the hours I spent painting, and the time Luke put in doig maintenance stuff, not only did we not have to pay ANY rent this month, we've already taken down next month's rent by $73!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, that'a a good feeling!! So we decided to celebrate a little by going to this place Luke had heard about at work. And I'm telling you, if you're local and you haven't been there, you're missing out! We went to Wok on Wheels, right next to the Little Ceaser's across the street from the mall. It's sooooooo cheap!!!! Lunch is $4.79, and dinner is only about a dollar more - and the portions are HUGE!!!! The first few bites I took I knocked more rice off my plate onto the table than I was eating because they piled on so much. It was good too. Not stellar, but easily the quality you would expect from Panda Express or some Asian place in a mall, which is about how much it costs, and they give you more food. We both loved it . . . we'll definitely be going back there from time to time!! We also went and saw Up! yesterday, because we haven't been to a movie in forever. It was cute, and we both loved the Carl and Ellie story line, but the rest of it got a little too silly for us in places, and the plot was sometimes a bit of a stretch. But overall - pretty darn good.

Luke asked me what my next project is going to be. I told him a baby.

. . .

I hope he realized I was kidding . . .

hallway . . . obviously . . .

living room . . . notice the bags of newly purchased paint supplies . . . I almost forgot to take "before" pictures!!!

dining room . . . that we almost never eat in . . .

the other half of the living room . . . I have no idea how these got flipped . . . they were in order a second ago . . .

the kitchen. you may notice that I may have exagerated slightly about its size . . . I'm adjusting . . .

extra bedroom . . . huge props to Luke for helping me "finish" it. I had reached a point where all the boxes were gone but there were still the plastic tubs in the middle of the room, and I just couldn't figure out what to do with them to make them look "furniture-y."

the rest of that bedroom

our room . . . very plain . . . we're working on getting things for the walls, although now that they have some color it doesn't look quite so barren.

there's very little walking space in here between the bed (which is actually to twins pushed together) and the dressers.

And here's the after pictures!!!

our room again - so much better!!

I really like how it turned out.

Jason said it looks like a beach house. :-)

living room - note the fancy new furniture!!

Yeah, I totally stopped halfway down behind the fridge/stove. But you can't tell unless you're looking for it!! Luke didn't even know until he saw this picture. :-)

that pass-along card is pretty much the only religious art we have, except for the temple picture Ashli gave us for Christmas. And probably all there will ever be, except for the wedding pictures when we get them up . . .

Mom sent this to me for Christmas in '07. It was bubble-wrapped out the wazoo, but still didn't make it. It's in much better shape than the other one though - that one literally disintegrated . . . crumbled in my hands when I unwrapped the bubble wrap. Since this one was insuch good shape (comparstively) we decided to go all funky-art with it, so now it's hanging in our extra bedroom across the room from the bed. And I'm thinking I might have to comission a painting myself sometime in the future when we have money . . . family gets a discount, right?

P. ost S. cript
In a salute to all nations, but mostly America (a la Sam Eagle) I envisioned posting a glorious three hour fireworks video . . . but Kermit said I had a minute and half. (Man, I miss Muppet Vision 3D!) Anyway, here's a clip of the fireworks I watched last year. Actually, this guy's not too far from where I was . . . happy fourth of July everybody!!


  1. Yay for being finished! That is my favorite part of painting :)

  2. Mine too, Sharon. I think the clean up is the second worst thing about painting with the prep work being first.

    Too bad I wasn't closer when you were doing this. You could have borrowed my paint stick or my electric roller that pumps the paint from the bucket through a tube into the roller. You never have to stop until you are done. We could have done the whole apartment in a day. Seriously.