Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quick Patch and Paint Tricks

The first project in our new home has been to add some fixtures to our somewhat austere bathroom.  We wanted to upgrade the light, add a mirror, a hand towel loop and a couple of towel hooks beside the shower.  This led to some unplanned paint and patch work.  Initially I was fearful this would turn an afternoon project into a multi-day project, but my stash of supplies saved me and produced a technique I will use again in the future, and recommend to you now.

Removing the old light fixture revealed a white rectangle on the light green bathroom wall.  The new fixture mounts to a circular plate only, leaving a big white area to contend with, as well as some screw holes and surface damage from removing the old fixture which was painted in.

Normally I would use plaster or mud for this, but these products take up to 24 hours to dry enough to become workable with sand paper.  By the grace of God, I had no mud.  But, I did have some Elmer's quick set wood filler and the previous home owner had thought to keep and leave the paint they used 4 years ago.  The wood filler dries quickly and can be sanded after 15 minutes of cure time.  Using this, and a hair dryer to quickly dry coats of paint, I was able to sand high spots with my shop-vac sander, fill holes and divots, sand again, paint, sand, fill and paint once more in the space of about 2 hours.

Had I used mud and let the paint air dry, this would have taken a couple of days of a tool strewn bathroom and disgruntled wife.  Thank God for Elmer's wood filler!  Having figured this process out will greatly accelerate future patch and paint work around the house.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Home, New Projects

I had just laid plans for how I wanted to finish my garden shed when we became the proud parents of our third child.  This was not unexpected, but it put a strain on our living conditions that was somewhat unexpected, but mostly just something we were ignoring.   During that time we were approached by a buyer.  I had mentioned the idea of selling the place years ago and recently as well and word had gotten round to a serious buyer.

This put virtually every project I had lined up for this past summer on hold and totally changed my planning.  But it was a welcome, though not a struggle free change.  First we discovered water damage in our old house and I was fortunate to be referred to a very competent builder experienced in rehabbing box windows, like ours, with water problems.  Then we discovered a problem with the septic field being too wet, but more regular mowing and some switching of the diverter box resolved that issue for the most part.  Finally, we were able to sell the home, but it took a whole month to get our heaps of junk out (Mostly all of my scrap lumber).

But, gradually we are settling into the new place with more acreage and a practically blank canvas to work with.  The house was move-in ready with little needed but for some bathroom fixtures.  The property, however, is almost 100% clover and wildflowers.  We are carefully planning out a mini-farm that should keep me busy for years to come.  I expect a lot more projects will come your way through these pages as a result of this move and I look forward to sharing them with you.