Category Archives: Painting

White walls, a window seat and some bad yellow paint…

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It turns out I love spaces with white walls. Of course in saying that, I recall some sort of rhyme they used to say in school about white walled rooms and crazy folk…so to be clear, this love is for white, house-y walls. Not the kind one might find in mental asylums.

So last week, I went out to buy my first ever gallon of paint and started with some serious purpose. I painted above the wainscoting on both sides of the living room/kitchen, behind the middle shelves, the back room, and 3 walls in the bathroom.

I could say that my dislike for painting has improved on the interior surfaces, but that would be lying. These surfaces have all just gotten bigger, and perhaps even less appealing. Despite my annoyance, I put 3 sanded coats on everything and did my best to make it look even and as if I didn’t hate what I was doing. It was totally worth it though for how everything turned out, and Little Yellow now houses the most lovely collection of white walls.

I’ve also made legs for my window seat bench! I decided to use branches from a fruitless plum tree that needed some pruning as they are just the right colour and thickness. I love the look but let me tell you, cutting those buggers up was a nightmare. They may have seemed straight when I selected them, but each branch was its own sort of wonky that resented and battled my every attempt to level them with the chop saw.

I spent a good 45 minutes trying to get the 4 of them just right before giving up and screwing them into the wall to see what’d happen. Perhaps my willing for it to work had some effect, because the bench sits on them so very nicely and it doesn’t wobble at all. I’ve set up some fluffy pillows from my room and it’s so cozy šŸ˜€

I should probably mention what happened with the yellow paint I thought to put on my wainscoting during my mad painting phase. I like yellow, right? So then I’d like a yellow wall, right? WOAH, wrong. I picked a nice sunny colour, went home and got to painting me some wainscoting. It didn’t take long. I know it was a fine shade and all, but on my wall it looked like the colour yellow turns when it’s about to be sick.

‘Touch of Sun’ (as it was titled) lasted as much time as it took me to make a frantic run for the hardware store and buy enough white to cover that thing in short order. Man, I don’t even know if I waited long enough for it to dry before the coat of white…That’s ok. I’ll take the repercussions.

So, it looks like what I really want is to put yellow things in my house, not to have yellow wainscoting that punches me in the eyes every time it graces my view. Yellow curtains, maybe?

A bathroom wall, white paint, table saws and an eclipse…

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I’ve put up my bathroom wall! The first partition! It’s actually the only partition in my floorplan, but that makes it even more exciting šŸ˜€

I used 1 x 5 tongue and groove pine screwed into horizontal supports at the top and bottom. I’ll need to put some more bracing in there because it’s a mite wobbly the now, maybe some shelving or something to hold things together and make for some extra storage.

I thought about framing the wall with 2×2’s and insulating before adding 1/4″ wall paneling…but I didn’t. I haven’t much of a good reason other than would have taken slightly more space and perhaps been slightly heavier. Also stronger I suppose, but this is what I’ve got so I’m liking it.

As a rule, I don’t use the table saw by myself and it’s ended up as the last thing my stepdad does actively in the build. It hasn’t been an issue in the past because the whole idea freaks me out, but recently, it’s started bugging that waiting for him to run cuts is preventing progress.

So I’ve convinced him it’s less safe for me to not know how to use it properly, and received a pretty terrifying tutorial with his reluctant agreement. That machine scares the pants off of me, but I gathered a bit of courage from wherever it hides down in my shoes somewhere and have been making my own cuts since.

Actually doing it myself now is not as horrid as I’d feared. I’ve spent so much time watching my dad every time he ran the saw that I almost feel like I’ve done it before and it’s a relief to cut what I need to when I need to. How exciting all the things I’ve learned from this house and my dad since September when I was afraid of the nail gun.

2 more things: I’ve painted my wainscoting white and the eclipse last Sunday was incredible. I went hiking with my mom and dad to the top of our mountain, equipped with little rectangles of welding glass to look at the sun without frying our eyeballs. I guess I didn’t take very many pictures of the bathroom wall or what I’ve painted (i.e. the point of this post) so instead, I will give you all lots of pictures from our eclipse hike last weekend. It was pretty cool šŸ™‚

Of long awaited tung oil and many white paints…

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I have heard really good things about finishing pine floors with tung oil, and last Tuesday I pranced to the hardware store in search. For those of you who think of a big, reeking pot of tongues (me) or a cow licking the floors (my mom) tung oil comes from the nut of the tung tree, I guess they grow in China. So I found a shiny yellow quart labeled ‘Tung Oil Finish’ by Minwax, which I bought and promptly returned home to get started. I hate waiting.

It surprised me that the label didn’t mention anything specific about the contents or tung oil and after a quick internet search on the product, I was crushed to find that there’s so much thinner and varnish mixed in that very little, if any, tung oil is actually in there. Further research backed the quality of pure tung oil, and the more I read, the more I realized what was coming; I was going to have to order this stuff online, and I was going to have to wait.

It shouldn’t be such a deterrent. I’ve waited for plenty of far off things during the build, but this one hit me right in the middle of my flooring mojo. The reasonable, get-it-right-the-first-time part of me beat the impatient part that figures it’ll probably work out, and I bought a gallon of %100 tung oil for only a little more than two quarts of the other stuff cost.

6 painful days later, it arrived at the door and I was finally able to begin. I ran at that box so fast, can’t imagine why the FedEx guy didn’t seem to share my excitement for a gallon of floor oil šŸ˜€ I lightly diluted it with mineral spirits, as indicated by the label, made me up a big ole’ bucket and went on my way. It went down beautifully with a rag and brought out the grain in the most lovely colour. I had nearly planned on staining the floor before oiling, but eventually changed my mind after really looking at it during my week in limbo.

I also painted the wood around the loft triangles. I’ve wanted to make them white for a while now to emphasize light up there, and I love what it did for the space. But holy my goodness there are a lot of variations of white! I went to the store with the intention of buying plain paint and was assaulted with at least 100 different shades. Our hardware store really isn’t even that big.

I am aware, however, that when faced with decisions like this I can take several years to reach a verdict, so I limited my exposure and went with the first thing that caught my eye. It’s a rich, creamy sort of white and 2 coats on primer did the trick, sanding between each. It happens to be called ‘Finer Things’, which makes Little Yellow feel fancy šŸ˜€

A little yellow door!!!

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And boy, is it yellow. Primed and painted, my door now shines a vibrant shade of happy that practically leaps out of the entryway every time I look at it. It’s a determined sort of colour; a vehement, fighting yellow you might say.

I hadn’t planned on filling any nail holes or dents in the wood, but it turned out they looked much more normal in an unpainted door than a painted one, so I filled only the glaring gouges and think it’s struck a nice balance. A very yellow balance šŸ™‚

The triangles above the loft windows needed something a bit different to tie in the door colour, so I tested the poor jigsaw’s capabilities and cut 4 half fleur de lis patterns out of a really sturdy 2 x 12. My right hand got a beast of a workout, the jigsaw prevailed and I put them up over painted 1/4″ tongue and groove cedar closet liner on both ends of the house.

It’s so much fun now that I’m able to start thinking about the nifty little details that give the house character. It seems so far away when you’re schlepping plywood around, but if you schlep long enough the good part comes.

I’m often amazed at how darn scratched and bruised you can get with the whole building operation. I’ll swear that half the time Iā€™m not doing much, yet at the end of the day, some limb that seems entirely unrelated to anything I’ve done always manages to hurt. Tonight, for instance, my left leg is all kinds of sore, my right pinky finger is bleeding, and I have no idea why. What is it with this carpentry thing?

Window borders and the painting of them…

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The other night, my dad and I went to Lowes and choose the paint for my door (yellow, of course) and the window borders we’ve started making (teal). I’m happy to report that the paint department had quite a lovely selection of colours and much to my dad’s relief, I was able to pinpoint what I wanted without staying there to debate until the store closed.

We’ve made the window borders from good ole 2×4’s; the thought process being that the 1/2″ siding will go up against them but they’ll still stick out to show off the colour. Each window has a rim about 3/4″ off the sheathing, so we ran the wood through the table saw to create a little notch and they fit on nicely now.

Being an artist, I would have thought that the painting part would be an enjoyable change from screws, nails and saws, but there are so many shapeless, repetitive 2×4 cut offs that it feels a little like putting 4 coats of slow-drying paint on firewood.

The primer is what really gets my goat. It’s white, it has to go on all sides of every piece, and since it’s so very far from the colour I’m ideally aiming for, it is not very rewarding. It also shines clearly through the first layer of paint which results in an awkward sort of half teal, half white business.

The second coat just about covers it and after the third it’s totally gone, but it apparently takes 4 hours before another coat can be applied, so there’s plenty of time to admire the uncertain colour combination. Ah well, I’ve only 10 windows…