DIY Means “Don’t Injure Yourself”

So today, David and I are off to Home Despot to pick out some paint and get a few supplies for painting one wall in our house. We have one of those modern semi-open plan homes with big blank walls and rooms that flow from one to another, making it hard to figure out where to stop painting (I know, this very topic was covered on a recent “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” episode).

We have one wall that extends like a keel the full length of the house. On one side is a combined family room-kitchen, leading to the dining room (also known as the room where random furniture castoffs vaguely related to food reside). On the other side is the living room (actual real furniture in this room) and the stairway to the second floor.

We’re painting the family room side a sort of terrazzo-brick color. The family room is currently the “room we’re slowly decorating with real furniture as opposed to family castoffs.” We recently orderded an entertainment center and a bookcase to match some existing things in the room. At some point, crown molding is called for, in order to hide some speaker wire.

Painting will require a small amount of climbing on a pretty high ladder to reach this one asymmetrical section of wall in the kitchen (we don’t have cathedral ceilings, but they definitely angle up on both sides of the keel wall).

Will advise if injuries occur.

The GALMI system of home improvement

This always works well for us – we “get a little man in” if we have a project that’s stalled out. Except for the time when the little man ended up putting a hole in a door when he was supposedly fixing a problem with a “do it yourself” wood floor I was installing. Maybe someday we’ll have to get another little man in to fix the hole.

And in the meantime, the floor project is still unfinished, but that’s because I reached the point where all that’s left are all the annoying little cuts around obstructions and heating vents, and ripping the final few planks to fit against the far wall. And choosing, staining and cutting molding. For the molding, we need a compound miter saw (and we can’t borrow the one we used before anymore, because we kept that one for about 4 months before getting the little man in, etc. etc.). And meanwhile, back in the family room, the crown molding project awaits – so the saw is not an impractical whim.

At least I did almost all of the work on the floor myself. The little man was needed to get me out of a problem I caused when a board wouldn’t go in straight and the glue seized up.

So through an incentive program at work, I’m working toward getting a Binford 3000 12″ compound miter saw. I only need a few more “points” and that puppy is mine.

Urrrrgh urrrrrgh urrrrrgh and so on.

Here’s a DIY-GALMI tip – if you decide to install an engineered wood floor yourself – don’t use Harris-Tarkett “Tap-Tight.” It doesn’t “tap into place with a good amount of force.” It goes into place if you wale on it a few hundred times with a heavy hammer and a big, thick, heavy block of lumber for a tapping block (and not the wimpy little plastic one they supply).

Part of the original problem with that floor was probably the relative humidity… there was one day when absolutely nothing I did would work, and another drier day 3 months later when I practically finished the entire room in a day after the little man-fix-board-break-door incident.

Which was about 4 or 5 months ago now that I think of it. That’s a typical turn around time for us/me for a project. According to the yellowing receipt still stuck to the fridge with a magnet, we bought the flooring stuff March 30, 2003.

So today’s painting project – a single wall, requiring only a dab of touch up spackling and already masked, should take us maybe a month. Or so.

Wish me luck, I’m off to destroy the house!

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