Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Project House Update: Painting the Gym - The After

Once all the little things had fallen in place, like finally overcoming the ceiling fan and picking a paint color, painting the walls of the gym was actually really quick. You know, once you decide to ignore the new window issue completely and if we have to repaint a bit after we install them, whenever that is, so be it. We did decide to not try and paint the surroundings of the windows until they are installed, so they remain the weird beige color, but you really don't notice unless you are looking for it.

The only real problem arose that the color 'Dreamcatcher' is so light that when you're painting and it's wet, it almost looks white, making it impossible to differentiate from the white of the ceiling. Afterward, with close examination, there are a couple of spots where we may have been too enthusiastic with our edging, resulting in some spots on the ceiling.

It's a great color, though. Dan thinks it's gray. I think it's blue. It's barely a color, barely a neutral, but so much better than the all white we were originally planning. It's also the first room we've tried an eggshell finish on and it really helps subtly light the room. The indistinguishable sheen of the walls reflect light around the poorly lit room.

Speaking of poorly lit, the only decision left to make was how to replace the ceiling fan. {Sidenote: As promised, I destroyed the crap out of the original fan and got so much joy out of throwing it away. {Sidenote sidenote: don't worry, it wasn't in good enough shape to salvage or donate to begin with.}}

Couple of things: 1) We wanted the fan to include a light fixture since the only previous lighting source was a small sconce near the door. 2) Since the room gets such poor ventilation, we wanted a good, sturdy fan. 3) The ceiling in the room is very low, roughly eight feet, so it needed to be low profile. 4) It needed to be able to be remote controlled for Dan's wiring configuration to work, eliminating most flush mount fans. These restrictions quickly eliminated most fans we came across.

Over two days and trips to a high-end lighting store (seriously, who spends $500+ on a ceiling fan?), Lowes, and Home Depot, we decided on some continuity in our house and chose the same fan we have in our breakfast nook. Great light, clean lines, and we already know that it works well. On a similar note, we also replaced the tiny sconce with the same sconce we have in the hallway (right). It went better with the fan than the original sconce, was cheap, and Dan had never been a fan of the existing sconce (left).

The last detail before the room could be declared finished? Where to put everything back. Since I only wanted to move the heavy workout equipment once, I broke out my favorite tool, Icovia, and played around with things. I measured all the pieces, modeled them out, and moved them around without breaking a sweat.

After an hour of playing around, the only option was a configuration almost identical to the previous one. The only difference, which did make me pretty happy, is that the cat box is no longer the first thing you see when you turn the corner in the hallway. And you don't have to awkwardly balance over it while trying to access the closet.

Finally ready for the complete after pics? Here's a reminder of what it looked like before:

And here's what it looks like now:

And to answer the two questions I know you have right now, 1) No, we didn't buy all this equipment. We were gifted it by my parents when they got membership to a gym near their house, and 2) Yes, we know we should be in a lot better shape for having all this stuff.

{Sidenote: if you ever spill water on ancient weight equipment when you're painting, clean it up pretty quickly so it doesn't rust and leech into the carpet like this. Good thing we were going to have to replace the carpet anyway.}

There are two things that are Rusty in this picture! Hahaha...
So, in all, it took us roughly two weeks to paint this one room. Here's the time breakdown:
  • Three days to move furniture, attempt to remove a ceiling fan, actually remove the chain from the ceiling, patch holes with spackle, and test out six colors of paint. I probably could have condensed this down to a day if I'd been able to defeat the fan, but I have learned the hard way in the past to not rush choosing a paint color. Take your time, try it on multiple walls, and view it in as many lights as possible. 
  • Two days to actually remove the ceiling fan and finish running the wire for the ceiling fan through the wall. I had been under the impression that hard part had been done when the wire was laid in the ceiling, but it took a good chunk of time for Dan to run the wire from the ceiling to the wall outlet. And some pretty big cuts in the wall that had to be patched.
  • One day to paint the ceiling. That was a long, hot, difficult day of trying to paint over the pile of furniture. Once Dan came home from his business trip, we should have just moved it out of the room. I wouldn't recommend the "move all the furniture to the center of the room" strategy.
  • One day prepping the walls. Lots of holes to spackle and sand and light fixtures and outlet plates to remove. Don't be one of those people that paints outlets. It's never a good look and they just become impossible to take off. 
  • One day to paint the walls. A full day of taping off the ceiling, painting over it in the white to prevent leaking, taping doors, and actually rolling and edging. Thankfully, my sister helped out and we were able to edge the whole room twice pretty quickly. Although, it still wasn't faster than Dan rolling out the whole room twice.
  • One day to swap out outlets and replace outlet plates. You should really let fresh paint dry at least a day before replacing the outlet plates otherwise they can stick and mar the paint if they ever need to be removed. If you don't believe me how much this little change can make, take a look at this:
  • Two days to argue in both a fancy lighting store and Home Depot about which ceiling fan we should get. Laziness won out on the second day we were able to pick out fixtures pretty quickly because we were tired of thinking about it. And then installing them.
  • One day to clean all the spackle dust off all the furniture that got past the drop cloth, vacuum vacuum vacuum, debate the new layout of the room, and return the furniture.
Not bad when you throw in celebrating the Fourth of July, a date night, and taking my sister out as a thank you for helping.

The important thing to remember is that when we paint a room, there's so much more that goes into it than just paint. Our house is a fixer-upper and the room needs to be fixed up before we even get to paint. This isn't a superficial "I got bored of the color" sort of thing. We attack so that we won't have to paint again for another ten years, hopefully.

I am so sick of paint, though. Good thing we can move onto the windows, but let's be real, I have no motivation to try and tackle that for a long, long time. Who really cares if they are without sills for a while, right? Although, we probably should figure out curtains or blinds or something so that my neighbors can't see me huffing and puffing on the treadmill. Hmm, priorities...

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