Tuesday, December 6, 2011

house weekend 1: painting and wiring

Well, I spent the majority of last weekend at the new house painting and wiring.

Since I had Andy's help on early Saturday, we started with the Ethernet wiring. My plan is as follows:

-Cable jack in the living room going to cable modem on TV stand.
-Cable modem hooked to wireless router, also on TV stand.
-2 of the ports on the wireless router will go to the PS3 and TV, located right by it (short cables).
-The other 2 ports will go into plugs in the wall, which will route to the master bedroom and the office.

That means we needed to run two cables through the walls: one from the living room to the master bedroom, and one from the living room to the office. I bought a kit at Fry's that had everything I would need for the cables themselves. I also needed a drill to make holes in the joists to feed cables, and basic tools like wire strippers, wire cutters, etc. One thing that proved invaluable was Mark's wire snake tool. It's basically a long metal wire that winds out so you can fish cables up and down walls. It's stiff enough to go straight down walls without coiling in the wall. Even with that tool, Andy and I had to do some clever things still to get the wires up and down the walls. It wasn't hard, but it definitely wasn't easy.

Overall the job was a 6/10 on the difficulty scale, which I just randomly devised.

For some reason, I naively thought that painting would be a few hour thing at the most. Man, was I wrong. Masking the rooms itself took a few hours...

We started with the office, which is half dry wall and half wood paneling. We decided that, for now at least, we're going to paint over the wood paneling instead of removing it. Removing the wood paneling could have easily turned into a huge project that we did not want to handle right now (it could require dry wall replacement).

When masking the room, we realized how poor of a job the old owners did at masking the room. It's akin to them not coloring within the lines of a coloring book. There was paint on the baseboards, moldings, and door frames. We masked it all anyway, but knew we would have work ahead of us to fix their mistakes. After masking, we laid down drop cloth and began work. The first coat took a few hours, as we learned how to effectively use the paint rollers and also get all the details with the paint brushes (the window sill areas, etc). That took us until around midnight to do.

On Sunday, I worked on my own for the majority of the day. I masked the master bedroom, laid out the drop cloth, and got to work. I tried to work more systematically after learning what I was doing with the office. I worked one wall at a time, painting the edges and then rolling on paint over the surface. It took me a majority of the day because the room is so big, and it still ended up looking uneven. Good thing we were planning on doing two coats, right?

I started doing the second coat in the office when Taylor got off work and helped me finish it up. Another day in the books.

I was originally going to take a half day on Monday, but that magically turned into a whole day off. After getting a much needed haircut, it was time to begin the end: finish painting.

I basically repeated what I did on Saturday for the master bedroom, except I didn't need to mask or lay drop cloth because it was already there. I did the edges then filled in. It's amazing how much the second coat helps. Going from the first, uneven coat to the second coat basically evens the whole thing out. Thank goodness.

Once we had the coats done and dried to touch, we started un-prepping the room by removing all the drop cloth and masks. As we expected, there is a fair amount of touchup work to be done around the edges. But honestly we're so tired of painting that it'll be one of those "when we get to it" things. I'm more interested in getting myself moved in at this point.

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