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One thing leads to another

This might be one of those things I'll regret doing. As part of Project Empty: Get Rid of All My Crap, I cleared some cheap standard-and-bracket shelves in my living room. The room needs a coat of paint, and while the shelves were empty I figured I might as well take them down.

In removing the metal standards, I pulled off quite a few square inches of paint. It seems that, a hundred years ago or so, a sort of wallpaper was applied to the bare plaster, and not surprisingly, whatever paste held it on has long since lost its oomph.

I was just going to scrape away the loose bits, and maybe feather in some spackle before repainting. But it was irresistible. I got out a flathead screwdriver and started chiseling. Then I got a palette knife. The paint of ages started coming free in great sheets bigger than your hand and at least a millimeter thick.

So now, instead of just cleaning off a couple of shelves and maybe alphabetizing my DVD collection, I have to unhook the unholy nest of wires behind my TV and move all that stuff into the middle of the room, learn how to refinish the walls, refinish the walls, repaint the whole room, install new shelves, and arrange my DVDs on them.

Then I can claim victory over Living Room Area 2: TV Corner.

In other Project Empty news, I took a load of paint, pesticides, and other toxins to the recycling center on Monday. You don't even have to get out of your car! They come out all suited up and gloved, you pop the trunk, and they make it all vanish. It was so cool!

Toxics disposal has helped me partially clear Outdoor Area 2: Driveway; Kitchen Areas 1-4: Tool & Hardware Shelves; and Mudroom Area 1: Floor Under Windows.

One of the chairs and all of the shelf-boards I put out on the curb yesterday were gone this evening when I got home.

So, progress!


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
Just looking at that brings back vivid memories of, "oh, let's pull this up and see what's under it," or, "heck, that paper will flatten again when the paint dries..." yeah.

*hugs you*

Here for you. In a sitting in my easy chair with a cup of coffee and a great big smile kind of way.
Jan. 10th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)
Heh. Thanks! I know you've been through the homeowner, do-it-yourself wars.

I've promised myself the following: I will stop peeling at the two doorframes no matter how obvious the line of demarcation may be; I will not engage in plastering or wallpapering; I can live with a few cracks and bumps. That's why God gave us deep-toned paint and dark corners, eh?

I'm confident that I can overcome this in short order! Because I am not a perfectionist. Shut up. I am not.
Jan. 10th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
*snicker* I mean--who me? Did I say anything? Goodness. snort
Jan. 10th, 2008 06:32 am (UTC)
Holy cow! Good luck with that corner. I'd be totally crying. :-(

But yay on the progress!
Jan. 10th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Hey, compared to the time I decided to paint the bathroom and ended up with a gut-it-to-the-studs remodel, this is nothin'.

In this case, I can clearly see the outcome, and the outcome a) is nice; b) is in the near future and c) will not require a second mortgage.

I'm hopeful.

Edited at 2008-01-10 07:15 pm (UTC)
Jan. 10th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
Hey! Isn't that MY house? Damn, so good to know that others enjoy the same sickness that I do.
Kudos on the progress!
Jan. 10th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC)
Nope. I've seen your house, and your house is much more painted than this--or it was, anyway, last time I was there. Lovely and all painted.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 10th, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)
It's like peeling off a scab, really. It's not the revealing that seems so satisfying. It's the peeling itself. What is that?

No steamer. None required. This stuff is practically falling off by itself. I got one piece off with a single scrape that was a foot square.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 10th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)

But I got to work on time anyway. Pay no attention to the dark circles under my eyes.
Jan. 10th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
First of all, I admire you so much for this whole clearing out thing, and I'm using you as my model for how to do it. I've been taking some baby steps myself.

Second, please tell me you're wearing some kind of dust mask while you do this because some of that paint is undoubtedly lead-based, and you don't need to be breathing that dust. eep!
Jan. 10th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
I thought about that as I was madly chipping away. I know that the top two layers of paint, at least, are lead-free, and the layer of stuff nearest the plaster is some kind of gluey paper, so the lead paint, if it's in there, is at least contained.

But of course, you're absolutely right, and I do have a respirator, and I will use it before continuing this evening. Your concern has swayed me!

Glad I can be of some inspiration to you, since you've certainly been a great inspiration to me!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 10th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Clutter comes in all forms, doesn't it? ;-)

This project is starting to have the side benefit of clearing my mind. When I look at some of the stuff I'm getting rid of, it's like waking up from a dream. I'm all, "What the hell was I thinking?" It's very liberating.
Jan. 10th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
It's too bad that there wasn't a stash of old cash from a bank robbery tucked between the joists underneath the plaster. That would have helped out with the IKEA purchases. :)
Jan. 10th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
I like the way you think!

The coolest thing I've found in the joists, walls, or garden of this old house is a 1912 nickel.
Jan. 11th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
That a start.
Jan. 10th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Your Livign Room
I read this post and was going to comment. You usually don't like to get into this kind of project, so you must be highly motivated! I love the changes that occur when we begin (and continue) to space clear! I can't wait to see it in person. I will be over later today to work on your mudroom.
Jan. 10th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Your Living Room
It is ALL about mood. Nothing I want is upstream, but isn't it weird how stuff that looked and felt upstream yesterday can suddenly move downstream today?

The trick is getting it all done while it still feels downstream. And that trick, I have still to master.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )



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