Gratz Industries HQ: Painting the town Rusted Earth

>> Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We've been working like dogs on the house of late, so it was high time for another update! The insulation and drywall are complete, which means it's time to paint. We've painted many, many walls in our time together, but we've never had the luxury--if you can call it such--of painting a totally empty house before.

Our first painting foray was actually in Jo's room, where we invited some of the girls heading upstairs into the first grade with her this year (and their little sisters, of course) to come over for an end-of-summer painting party. Tee-hee, we thought--we'll have a party for the kids and get free slave labor out of the deal!

The problem, of course, was that all the walls ended up looking like this about the time the girls decided it would be more fun to go play in the woods:

Once we got everything smoothed out and double-coated though, Jo's room turned out rather nicely. Jo picked out her own color, and we like her choice.

Next up: ceilings. The most boring (and most difficult) thing to paint in the entire house. But it's best to do them first, so you're not painting white over color at the place where the walls meet the roof. We began on the first floor porch.

Half way there!

Once the ceilings were finished, we could finally begin the fun stuff--the color on the walls. In every house we've had before now (quick count: five--though unlike John McCain, we have only owned two at one time, and then we wished we only had the one) we have painted different rooms different colors. Sometimes we've even painted each wall a separate color. This time, we made the executive decision to go with one color throughout the main body of the house, excluding Jo's bedroom, and the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.

We absolutely loved one of the wall colors we used in Atlanta--a sort of burnt orange that really glowed under lamps or sunlight--so we took that exact paint card to Lowe's and had them match it. The color matched one of their paint cards called "Rusted Earth," which, though perhaps fitting, was oddly ominous. It also brings to mind the phrase "scorched earth," and now I can't refer to the color without calling it that instead of its given name. Still, we do love the color:

First coat (above) and second coat (below).

So nice and empty! What fun not to have all of our furniture stacked up under tarps in the middle of the room. The big boxes there are furniture though. Or will be. They're two flat packs of unassembled wardrobes for the master bedroom from IKEA. Each of those boxes is filled with dark matter that weighs approximately 62 tons, which is why they've only made it up to the second floor so far. We're building up our strength to get them the rest of the way up in the house.

Next up, the complicated dance of scaffolding required to reach the heights of our two-story tall ceilings. For this trick, we've smartly rented scaffolding on wheels, which is easy to maneuver. The problem: the scaffolding doesn't do stairs. Luckily we learned a nifty trick from the drywall guys, constructing a makeshift walkway from the top of the stairs to the far wall...

It looks dicey, but it's really not. It's terrifically stable, especially since the extension ladder anchors nicely under the bottom step. The walkway isn't a ladder, either--it's a 16-foot long, rented platform:

And here I am at the far end of the platform, painting the top edge of the first-floor's double-high ceiling. Perfect! I can even keep my paint tray on the scaffolding beside me.

After I'd worked my way around the room, things were starting to look really good:

And they looked even better when the bottoms of the walls were finished and a second coat was applied...

Some of these shots are really speckly--it's not the camera lens. I checked. It's all the dust and construction detritus in the air catching the flash/sunlight. Or maybe it's little house fairies...

The kitchen (above) with the sky blue bathroom on the right.

The living room.

And between the two rooms, with the big doors open. We've got two coats now on everything from the first floor up to Jo's bedroom and playroom, but we're holding off on painting the walls of Wendi's workroom and the third floor bedroom until we've painted the very tall cathedral ceiling--which is what we've been working on lately. More pics of that to come, as well as...

...adventures in electricity!


Deborah Wiles September 16, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

Yay for an update! And wow on the colors! Are you not priming the walls?

Anne,  September 16, 2008 at 8:34 PM  

I say house fairies

Alan September 18, 2008 at 9:39 AM  

No, no primer. The walls are already primer gray, and the drywall mud doesn't leak through. We're having to prime the cathedral ceiling though, which is a nightmare. We're working above our heads on top of three-story high scaffolding. I told Wendi the other day I was going to start painting a picture of God and man touching fingers, but she told me to just stick to the ceiling white...

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