Thursday, December 11, 2014

Painting and moving and bears, oh my

Just kidding about the bears, though I could use a new one of the stuffed variety to comfort me after many many days of ceiling painting, interspersed with vinyl wallpaper removal.

But first! let me show you the view from the windows at our new downtown condo, lest you think there is no possibility of bears.

See? trees.  Bears sometimes hang out near trees, right?  Mind you, the bears that might hanker after these particular trees would have to sneak past the security cameras (not easy), and be physically able to press the correct elevator buttons.  So maybe not super likely.

Okay, today I am going to show you some Before pictures of the new downtown nest, taken on one of a series of extremely gloomy days.  Basically, it can't get worse than this, and hopefully when all the work is done and we are in, it will be a good deal better. 

Also, I would like to just put it out there that if you are thinking about wallpaper in your bathroom, specifically vinyl wallpaper for its waterproof qualities - Think Twice!  I myself may not be able to stop twice.  After a recent four-hour shift of wallpaper removal I could close my eyes and see my sticky hands pulling wallpaper free from the wall.  We are talking nightmarish levels of wallpaper goo and I am wondering why vinyl wallpaper even exists at this point, because surely by now most people know what it means, and who would put this stuff up today to visit such misery on other human beings tomorrow?


The peachy stuff only looks like tile: it's actually wallpaper


More After:

And still not done.

The secret to vinyl wallpaper removal:

1/ rip off the top layer of vinyl;

2/ rip off the next layer of vinyl and any foam applied for texture;

3/ score any vinyl that you couldn't get off, knowing the scoring tool will damage the wall beneath and require more repair afterward;

4/ spritz small sections at a time with very very hot water from a spray bottle and wait five minutes for it to soak in;

5/ scrape off with one of those metal spatulas you use for applying Polyfilla to holes in a wall;

6/ try not to think about whether your contractor will come in later and decide that particular section of drywall has to come down anyway.

(yes, that happened, but sadly not in this particular bathroom.)

The painting, by comparison, is... erm, just as challenging, and something I would have left to our beloved contractor Ray had I been able to worry slightly less about how much time he has to offer us right now.  Though actually, I've handed it all off to him again because my mad painting skillz seem to have dried up as badly as the condo's ceilings.  The one in the smaller of the two bedrooms basically drank any paint I offered it, though I have now reached the point of puffy marshmallow over the soft faded peach walls that are next on the paint can's hit list.  

The living room ceiling looks decidedly more patchy than marshmallow after many days spent trying to make it uniformly white.  I am going to call it a 'first coat' and hope that Ray believes me.

How did I not notice the living room and bedroom have the same paint?

On the upside, Pete thought of and went out and bought and drove downtown to set up The Best Present Ever: a serious big time work light!

I am absolutely smitten with this thing.  It has become my best friend downtown (not counting Jan) and I'm trying very hard not to get paint on it so we can use it as a seriously edgy floor lamp when the work is done and we have a nice new knitting sofa in the living room.  I am pretty sure the work light would never, ever let me drop a stitch without helping me find it again instantly.

For now though, the work light is my companion and emotional support for the bathroom situation.  The condo has two, one of which is about the size of the main bath in our tiny house, the other of which is about the size of our tiny bedroom.  Okay, it's not quite as big as a bedroom, but depressingly close to it, and it's got this huge mystery space here positioned underneath the pinky remains of more vinyl wallpaper:

I know it once held a tub, because I have been stalking images of other units for rent or sale in the building and I've seen the original builder's floorplan.  So that's exciting: a tub that's separate from a shower!

But alas, it looks very much like the drain for the now-missing tub is in the middle of this area.  Which means we will need to source a centre-drain tub that fits into a 60" wide space.  Those things are not super easy to find anywhere, let alone in stock, so it's looking less likely that I can sleep over downtown during January snowstorms.  A sentence I am typing during a December snowstorm.

(insert image of Mary, wiping away tears of disappointment, with a slightly paint-dappled paper towel.)

And in the midst of all this, am I knitting?  HA.  Of course not.  Not much, anyway, though I did briefly park myself to work on a Jan sock while sorting out logistics.  Like, getting management office permission for anything that isn't painting.  And shifting stuff between the moving elevator and the unit door (in our case, a distance of about 4.3 miles) without leaving any dust or mess on the carpet for the duration of the trip.   

On the upside, we do have Ray to deal with it all now, and none of this stuff is bears. Except for the coffee cup variety.

Thank you Tim's, for putting bears on your large festive coffee cup

Hope your day is bear-free too and I'll see you tomorrow: I have some major big time gift knitting to do today!


Unknown said...

Gah! My hands hurt just thinking about it. :(

Mary Keenan said...

Mine did from doing it, for sure Karen... but it would have been much worse if I'd had to take up the floor tile! That stuff flies around in shards and Ray & co have a few new cuts and scrapes from them. Yikes.