Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Little Homework

Garage after things moved out. Lots of work still to do.
Living with other people would be simpler if only we didn't come with so much STUFF! I gave away 18 car loads of things before moving my mother from Texas to Ohio 5 years ago.  My house went from slightly under furnished to bursting at the seams.

Our fabric stashes, her vintage quilts, her lace collection, furniture from her garage that I grew up with and wanted to keep, boxes of photos she inherited from sisters, my modern doll collection (I collected nothing older than hard plastic until one day I decided I'd rather have pictures of dolls than dolls), her pottery collection, my books -- they all vied for space and all lost. 

My mother took two cats and an assortment of possessions with her to Texas last week and left stacks of things to be taken to Goodwill, and  now I've  got space! I can see my floors! I can CLEAN my floors easily, without moving things in puzzle formation. I can and do mop and remop some areas that probably didn't get cleaned more than twice in 5 years. I've got the space to overturn chairs and get a good adhesion with the nylon sliders. Hey, this is a big deal for me!

In the formerly crammed to the rafters garage, I can move a couple of boxes, and sand a bookcase or a night table. When I had no time and no space, I occasionally bought a can of spray paint in an intriguing color: dusty grape, French rose, teal blue.  Now I wonder why I stopped at one can, because a can of paint will cover a wooden chair or an end table, but a 3 x 4 foot bookcase takes 2 cans.

Why spray paint for bookcases? Because it dries quickly. Regular latex paint takes 3 weeks to cure hard enough that  books won't stick to the paint. The first time I heard this horrible fact, I didn't believe it. I also didn't believe that someone would endure 3 weeks without books just to have bookcases painted in a color, and 3 more weeks after they covered the latex with clear polyurethane.

I have hopes of moving my books (My name is Mimi, and I am a bookaholic) from boxes in the basement to bookcases on the first floor. Some people can read a book just once and never go back to it. If it is truly satisfying, I hang onto it because there will come a day when I NEED a very good book, as opposed to a competent book or a collection of words masquerading as a book.

Discovery: Krylon's idea of plum is actually screaming roaring Dayglo purple. My idea of plum is a black with purple overtones. Discovery: Kilz primer in a can comes out as lumpy foam no matter how long  and how often you shake the can. It dries quickly and requires oodles of sanding.  Discovery: the can for 5-year old Behr paint holds up well but does not protect the contents.  The paint inside is a hockey puck. Discovery: the can for 6 year old Valspar rots around the rim. After opening the paint and stirring it up, I must use it on everything because that can is never closing again. Never ever.

Country White is everywhere, on a formerly depressingly dark bookcase, on a putridly pastel green bookcase, on a desk rescued from an alley and given with new legs. There's no shine at all, but it's a thick paint that covers well. Every brushstroke shows, but wet/dry sandpaper and a lot of elbow grease will smooth the paint. I am contemplating spraying on a polyurethane for a small gloss, simply because glossy paint doesn't seem to attract and keep as much dust. I'm sure there are learned studies somewhere on dust adhesion and paint surfaces, but I have not consulted them.

Some of the pieces I've been sanding, scraping, refinishing, reeling in horror from.