Friday, August 29, 2008

Progress!

Day 5 of the Great Laundry Room Adventure. I have a mighty hammer blister on my right hand and despite using a mask, I'm relatively certain that my lungs are full of both drywall dust and concrete paint remover fumes. Ahh...the stuff they never show you on HGTV!

But there has been progress! With no training whatsoever (since I'm pretty sure that internet articles don't count as "training") I have taped and "mudded" drywall.

Before:.


...it was gapping and literally falling apart. I swear, they screwed 5 pieces of sheetrock to the frame, went to have a beer, and never came back.

After:


Sadly, I'm no prodigy (i.e. you can totally tell it's my first time), but the results aren't too shabby...it looks almost sort of relatively like a solid corner! Woohoo! (Not shown here: smoothing and painting -- stay tuned for part 3 of our series...)

I also discovered that I have the skills to remove really awful stick-on floor tiles from the 1970s (see it in the photo above -- lower right corner). I can't tell if the intent was to only tile the under-stairs portion or if they just got bored with removing it and left it there. Either way, yuck....so now it's gone.


I started out with this method: carefully tap the putty knife under the tile to loosen, then remove. Later, I discovered a far better method. I call it "Hulk Smash." Apparently, if you just whack the living crap out of the tiles with your hammer, it will break up, come off and fly in all kinds of entertaining directions (including your face -- I recommend goggles). HulkSmash earned me the impressive blister on my right hand...and will likely make me incapable of even lifting my right arm circa tomorrow. But that's ok...it was fun!!

Currently, I'm incrementally removing the old paint from the floor and trying to figure out how to get a giant bag of floor tile and other trash up the stairs and outside without A) falling down from the weight and B) having the bag explode. Yay!

As I was tapping out the final bits of tile from the way-back, scary places under the stairs, I grappled a little more with the question: why? Why spend this much time and energy on a room that no one sees? Why bother "doing it right" when just doing *something* would make a huge difference?

Part of it, honestly, is to see what I can do. I've never really gotten to do home improvement on this level before and have wondered if I'm capable. I figure it's wisest to start on a room that doesn't show! Another part of the answer is that I really, really want a laundry room that will ultimately be worthy of these:


*sigh* I have lust in my heart!

But the other part of it is that I want every room in the house to feel like part of the house. I don't want a banished room that's more outside than in. I don't like forgotten places. Part of what I continue to love about my house is that it's small enough that we can live in all of it...every room...even the wayback basementy space soon-to-be-known-as "The Place Where CaveCrickets Fear To Tread."

2 comments:

towwas said...

Totally makes sense to me - you practice on an out-of-the-way room, and you're ready to mess with drywall all over the house! Anyway, *I'm* totally impressed.

present&accounted4 said...

Wow that looks great!

BTW I once went to a lovely little establishmnet in The Village in NYC called the Death Bar or something. Hanging on the wall was a framed relief sculpure made entirely of dead cockroaches. Thought maybe it might inspire you regarding your camel crickets - that is if you ever find the bodies! (insert creepy organ music here)