Monday, August 19, 2013

Behind the Blue Door

You know how home-improvement project start out manageable and amoeba out from there? Yeah. It was like that.

To set the scene, I've done several large science editing projects over the past month or so (my side job), and Arizona, bless him, said, "You've been working your butt off. You should get yourself a present." 

Having just bought myself a couple of pretty mountain biking shirts, and being okay in the clothing and computer department, I said, "How about we replace the front door?" (Our living room doesn't have a ton of natural light, so I want to replace the solid door with something brighter.)

So off we traipsed to the store ... only to discover that they strongly recommend not just replacing the door itself, but doing the whole rip-out-reframe thing, which was *way* more than we had in mind. Sigh. "Okay," I said. "Let's get some paint. If I can't replace it, at least I can make it less ugly. Right?" 

In the paint aisle, we considered going with green, just so the directions to our house can include "behind the green door" (because both of our humor levels tend towards "sixteen year old boy," yanno--Google at your own risk), but settled on a pretty blue. Then, since we've have "redo the locks" on the list since we moved in over a year ago, we headed for the lock aisle. Ninety minutes and three stores later, we've got what we want.

Now, remember, my present to myself was going to be sticking a pretty new door right where the old one used to be. Oh, and there was supposed to be more light involved. But painting can be fun, too. At least that was what I kept telling myself.

Imagine, if you will, three entry doors in a pretty tan house with white trim. Got it? Now slap a layer of eggplant-hued latex paint on them (probably from the "Oops" rack of five-dollar specials), and wait a year for it to start bubbling and flaking off. Yeah. Leprous eggplant doors. I has them. I also had the vague idea that since a quarter or so of the paint was already falling off, it would be simple to remove the rest.

Er. Not so much. Turned out the stuff that's stuck on was really *stuck*, and my sander wasn't smoothing it down the way I wanted. 

Okay, off to store number four, where we bought two different kinds of stripper and discussed stopping at the local gentleman's club on the way home to see if any of the ladies would like to help us out, so we'd have strippers doing our stripping (see above, re: sixteen year old boys). And then it was back home for several hours worth of manual labor, whereupon I (having not eaten since breakfast) started feeling very sorry for myself because this was supposed to be a *reward*, darn it, not more work!

Arizona wisely took me out for sushi and a big glass of wine at this point.

The upshot? I currently a pristinely stripped door downstairs wearing one layer of blue, some white trim and beautifully caulked edges. Did I mention that this isn't even the front door? I started with one of the other doors. But that's okay because I think I have a lead on a replacement front door that's all wood, so we can trim it to fit the existing jamb (and then sand, paint, etc.). 

I'm betting it'll be two, maybe three weeks and forty-some man hours before all three doors are pretty and blue. All because my hubby is a sweetheart and told me I should buy myself a present.

(Let's see if he ever does that again!)

So that's the story of my weekend, and the project that Got Out Of Hand. What do you guys say? Have you been overtaken recently by a project that should have been simple? 


  1. My mom is the type of person who, when she gets an idea in her mind, she can't not do it at that very second. All reason flees and she is standing there looking determined with a bit of crazy in her eyes.

    Keeping that in mind, we wanted to fix our bathtub faucet handle things. I came home from school to find that they had been ripped out of the tub and were beyond anything I could fix myself. Mom had her boyfriend try and fix it...though I'm the one who fixed the shower. So, why she couldn't wait for me...she got the crazy eyes!!!

    So, we needed help. Then, mom wanted to fix up the whole bathroom. I had no problem with this. The linoleum floors were curling up at the corners. It was just bad. So my grandma asked these men from her church who help people with household projects that may be too big for them to do themselves.

    Well...Mom got the crazy eyes again. And wanted to just rip out the floor.

    Thank the Gods, I was home when this idea popped in her mind and, when she ran this thought past me, told her, "No. Do you remember when we ripped out the carpet? There are going to be staples. Lots of staples." And we are klutzy people! So, seeing sense in that, she decided to go into the bathroom and scrub the walls or something like that because there was mold or something in the corner.

    The drywall fell apart!

    She walked slowly out of the bathroom and walked over to me, her head down, and said, "I did something bad."

    On the floor, I was laughing so hard, I told her to stop while she was ahead.

    In the end, the guys grandma called eventually did come over and fix everything. But, it really was hilarious.

    Also, just yesterday I got in a cleaning mood and decided to tackle the hall closet, the back room shelf that had stuff on it that was probably older than me, and a chunk of the basement where we had our autumn decorations and a bunch of clothes Mom and I had forgotten about. I spent all day going through stuff and made mom go through stuff when she got home. And Mom gave me the job of going through stuff with grandma because apparently I'm good at making people throw things away (I HATE CLUTTER! LOL)

    So, maybe I got a little bit of the "Crazy eyes" gene from my mom haha!

    We also want to replace our door. You should post a pic! Your "present" sounds pretty! :)

    1. Crying. Laughing. Love the crazy eyes! I get that way sometimes about finishing a project. Must. Finish. Thing. Even. If. It's. Driving. Me. Mental!

  2. Nope, that never, ever happens around our house (bahaahaha). Must now go and try to cover up my Pinocchio nose. Wonder how they do it for all those DIY stars...cuz I know they all be lying when they say "this is an EASY WEEKEND project".

  3. My family has projects that it takes decades to finish.
    Only reason a Sheldon house (or Skowronski now) ever gets "finished" is so it can be sold.

    Spent the last three weeks decluttering the 'rents house and doing projects there. Threw away paperwork from 1967. (The year they married).

    Repaired ancient siding on my own project house two weeks ago, and
    and my garden is a labor of love ongoing.

    1. Marjorie, I so feel you! One of the things I love about this house is that Arizona and I are doing the things we want to see for the next couple of decades (hopefully), rather than treating it as an investment. This after I spent many years in 'investment' homes that didn't get fully finished/spiffed until it was time to sell! LOL on the decluttering of paperwork from many moons ago, and love me some garden (if someone else is keeping the plants alive, that is!)

  4. Hahahhhhhahahahahhahahahahahha! Sorry...I can't stop I just posted a pic to FB of me in a head stand. I noticed after I posted it that the half-finished ceiling that's been in my living room for about, oh, six years, is still half-finished. I have an entire houseful of those little DIY projects that hubby starts with the words, "this will be an easy one." When I hear those words now, I sigh and immediately head for the wine. Pavlov would be proud.

    1. Bwa ha ha! Yes, wine is needed. You can even ring a bell at me if you like! We've only got a few that are half finished ... but we've only been here for a little over a year. Give it time ;)

  5. Hmmm...did my husband stop by? He's a darling man, truly, and he looks good in a toolbelt and knows how to use said tools, but he'll find a way to Rube Goldberg any project in his path.

    Good luck with your door. I've got a handyman on speed dial.

    1. LOL, Jeannie! (and hey!)

      *Hangs head* I must confess that I'm the complicator in this partnership. Arizona, while fully capable of doing almost any handyman thing known to mankind, would really rather hire out so he has more time to work on the mountain bikes. I'm the one who gets the 'but it looked easy on TV/online' thing going. Sigh.