wet paint

I decided last night that it was a good idea to paint the bathroom. Because painting a small, enclosed space is always a quick, easy job best saved for the end of a day filled with other tasks and accomplishments. My son and I were left to our own devices for the day, so here I am with my four-year old, totally stoked about our “Play Date Day”….we don’t get many days when it’s just him and I together, so of course I had a ton of stuff I wanted us to do- some fun for a four-year old, some not. That’s where milkshake bribery comes into play (see below). But I was determined to find balance and do it all in one day. I can do this…I’m superwoman.

We started the day off right by going out to breakfast (this was a strategic move on my part because Tim Horton’s is Ryan’s favorite, AND it’s right next to Wal-Mart)… but while I think we both just like the ritual of going there, I don’t think either of us particularly enjoyed what we ate. He got a box of donut holes and was instantly plagued by the fact that they didn’t include any jelly donuts (we’d already asked that they please hold the sugar donuts- Ryan thinks they’re “too messy”- so I didn’t feel justified in asking them to please include jelly donuts). It’s a box of 10 donut holes- there are only so many alterations you can make to that order without feeling like a jerk. I then asked the lady at the counter if she would recommend their oatmeal (having never tried it and making a desperate stab at being healthy instead of getting the greasy bacon breakfast sandwich I was really jonesing for) and despite her reply that it “kind of depends on the day,” I cavalierly decided it was a good idea to try it. So, feeling proud of myself, I ordered oatmeal, and lucky me- the oatmeal must have been having an off day. I don’t think there was anything oatey about it- mealy, yes. Oatey? No. It was mostly paste and brown sugar. And let’s not forget the coffee creamer I added to it because they didn’t offer any actual milk with it. Two donut holes later and Ryan was ready to leave, so off we went to our next stop on the adventure tour that was our day.

Where else do you go when you have a long list and some time to kill? Wal-Mart. Sadly. I really, really hate that I shop there for so many reasons, most of which are political and which I won’t get into today. But it’s a cheap place to buy food, and food we needed desperately, so off we went. We got our groceries and other worldly goods– antimicrobial towels, of course, school supplies, bubble mailers, and a paint scraper (this was not your ordinary putty knife)– and then took a spin through the Garden Center where we eyeballed a patio set (so seriously in fact that they put it on a cart and left it by the register for us…woops).

At this point in my rambling, you’re probably wondering why today’s blog is entitled “Wet Paint”…I’m getting there. Patience is a virtue. I wouldn’t lead you astray; this is actually all related. So we finished up our morning errands and headed home to have some Scooby Doo mac n’ cheese for lunch (is there anything better than eating Scooby Doo mac n’ cheese with a 4-yr old, while simultaneously watching Scooby Doo, on a Monday when everyone else is at work?). I digress. Anyway, after lunch, I found some time to scrape and sand the bathroom upstairs, having decided I would paint it “really quickly” later in the day– see? Paint. I’m getting there.

After sanding, I was covered in paint dust, which I also feel is still coating the insides of my nostrils, but nevertheless, I was covered in it so I took a quick shower. And then we decided to go play some tennis at the park. Which is a good thing to do after a shower. But tennis with Ryan lasts approximately 17 minutes, which is exactly the length of his attention span for being taught a new skill. Especially when he’d much rather whack the ball with the racquet and not listen to Mommy telling him how to hold/swing the racquet for optimal results. He decided pretty quickly it was more fitting for his attention span to go play on the zip line instead.

After the tennis/park escapade, we continued our trek, heading this time to Home Depot, and on the way took advantage of “Happy Hour” at Steak ‘n Shake– did you know they have Happy Hour for milkshakes?? I was not privvy to this information until yesterday. It was an extremely pleasant surprise. I got two milkshakes for $2.89. In my book, that’s a complete steal. Not to mention this was shameful bribery for making Ryan ride along to Home Depot, especially after our Wal-Mart trip lasted the better part of the morning. There was a little bit of guilt creeping in by now. And by the way, I hope none of you are cataloguing my nutritional feats from the day because as I’m writing this I realize the paste I had for breakfast was my crowning achievement by way of nutrition. Although I DID get a banana shake, so that has to count for something.

Anyway, Home Depot….. we not only got a little quart of paint for the bathroom, but also paint samples for Ryan’s room (I was delusional for a few minutes, thinking I might paint his room as well)…and then it was a slippery slope into buying a new shower head, along with an organizational stand thingie that was supposed to wedge into the corner of the shower, keeping all my shampoos out of the way but within handy grabbing distance.

We got home and I had exactly 40 minutes before we needed to get Ryan to swimming lessons, so I decided that would be as good a time as any to remove the shower doors from the shower in the bathroom I was trying to paint. I mean, 40 minutes is a lot of time, right? And Ryan was supposed to be napping, so he was occupied, so to speak. So the doors came off, and I must say my new “paint scraper” came in mighty handy while removing 5 year old caulk from where the shower doors used to be. Now what…oh yeah, I wanted to paint! But it will have to wait until we get back from swimming because it’s time to go get in the car. And off we go again.

Post-swimming, it’s time for our final nutritional accomplishment of the day– frozen pizza for dinner! Yes! The perfect easy dinner that can go in the oven for 13 minutes while I use that time wisely to finish “prepping” the bathroom to paint. You might think that means taping off the trim, a perfectly normal way to prep for a paint job. Wrong again. I don’t believe in taping before painting, but rather choose to follow the “just be really careful” method. Which never works, leaving me with paint on the ceiling, fixtures, and molding, and feeling pretty pissed off. I think I left the pizza in a hair too long because when I went back downstairs from cleaning up the caulk strips laying everywhere, the timer had already gone off and the pizza was a tiny bit crispier than it probably should have been.

Following dinner it was time to actually begin painting. It took approximately 4 minutes until the first spot of paint appeared on the ceiling, and about 2 minutes after that until I realized that my sanding/spackling job to fix the orange peel effect wasn’t that good– there was still orange peel in places, albeit now a different color since I just painted it. And the area that I had successfully scraped was unevenly scraped all the way down to the drywall in places. Funny, it felt so smooth earlier when I ran my hand over it. Not good. No primer on earth will actually fill uneven areas of wall and trick the eye into thinking it’s painted well.

At this point my patience is wearing thin because I’m tired and more than a little irritated that I got paint on the ceiling and that my orange peel was still there, just beige now. I’m tired. Let’s face it- I’ve done a lot today. And I have shower doors propped up in my bedroom, paint dust and caulk laying everywhere, a new shower caddy and rainfall shower head waiting to be installed, and I’m wishing I had decided to do something normal with my evening that takes minimal effort, like watch General Hospital re-runs. And I’m wishing I had taped. And at this point, I recklessly start slapping paint on the wall, just wanting to be done, not caring that it’s covering the toilet paper dispenser, thinking all the while, “I am soooo hiring painters to fix this…” Forget the patio furniture we were going to buy ourselves for our anniversary. It’s now all about fixing my hideous paint job.

When all is said and done, I’ve painted approximately 3 walls total, leaving 1 and a half walls totally bare. There is a spot to the left of the shower that I spackled that isn’t dry yet, that I painted around, leaving a hole where the spackle is. The entire top 2 inches of the walls are unpainted (every time I got within 6 inches of the ceiling, I got paint on it). The entire bottom 2 inches of the walls are unpainted (see above). But I’ve decided that’s good enough. Because when it comes to home improvement I have extremely unrealistic expectations for myself. I start a project, get sidetracked fifty times (see “removal of shower doors” above), and then by the time I get around to the original project, I’m tired of the mess and need to be done with it all. I’m impatient. And unrealistic. Which is a really bad combination, especially where home improvement is involved. So I clean up the rest of the paint, dust, and caulk, take everything out to the trash, install the new shower head (the best part of this experience, taking about 30 seconds to install- thank god the box didn’t lie), and put up a new shower curtain. Voila. Bathroom is done. Looks awesome.

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