Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A fine mess...

..pretty much describes the state of our classroom right now.

If you remember, painting it was next on the list of inside projects I'd hoped to get done before spring. Rather than put it off (more than I already have) I decided yesterday morning to just jump in and get started.

Wonder of wonders I remembered to take a "before" picture. Here is the classroom before I completely tore it apart yesterday.

Our classroom had originally been a small second floor porch (I guess that would be a balcony) that connected to a deck that ran the length of the house. After living in the house the first year, the people who built it decided the porch was too hot in the summer to use and enclosed it into a sunroom.

Here's how it looked the first time we looked at the house:

Two of the walls are logs, like the rest of our house... These had been the original exterior walls (before the porch was enclosed), after they enclosed the porch they finished the other two walls with tongue and groove. They created three giant "steps" to hide the part of the front porch roof that was enclosed when they created the room. Yes, it's a quirky room... most everything about this house is quirky.

Anyway, the walls that are tongue and groove are just bare wood, and I think this tiny room would look lighter and brighter, and maybe a little bigger if those two walls were white.

Before I started painting I had a little tearing apart to do... The top of each of the giant "steps" is this fiber board kind of material that you often see on gas station bathroom walls. I'm sure it has a name, and if I spent enough time on Home Depot's website I could figure out what it is... but it really doesn't matter since it's going to be covered up soon anyway.

My plan is to cover up this fiberboard stuff with a nice water resistant wood laminate flooring material (probably Allure, maybe something like this). (It must be water resistant because I use that space for my large porch geraniums during the winter...)  I thought I'd be smart and just reuse the corner moldings that were already there, so I went to work removing those before painting.

Unfortunately, most of them were not nailed... they were attached with liquid nails and so a couple of them broke as I took them off.


I was curious about how the room had been constructed, so once I had the corner moldings off I gently peaked under the fiber board... and found more tongue and groove! I wonder why they covered it up?

I thought, very briefly, of pulling up the fiberboard, sanding the glue off the tongue and groove, and finishing it nicely... but then I remembered the geraniums.... and decided it was better to leave it covered up, and add one more layer of water resistant material instead.

As soon as all the corner moldings were off I started priming...

I used a brush at first so I could get into all the grooves where the tongue and groove came together...

It was slow going...

M came it at about the time I took that picture and... ever my supporter... said enthusiastically "It looks great Mom! ... Do you think it's going to need another coat?"

Um... yeah... it's going to need about a half dozen more coats.

It was definitely looking worse before it looked better.

As the primer dried I could see that I have a bleed through problem on the back wall. I wasn't too surprised... I'd been hoping I didn't run into that problem, but painting old, raw, wood... I knew it was a possibility. :(

The second coat of primer didn't stop the bleed through, so I'll head down to Home Depot today and buy some shellac to coat the wall with to hopefully stop it.  Then that wall will get another coat of primer and I can finally start painting it the color it's really going to be (an almost white).

So here's when I stopped yesterday...

It's not looking beautiful. It fact it's kind of scary ugly... but I keep reminding myself of my mental picture of how it will look when it's done, and remembering that the middle of any project is not pretty. (The bigger the project the uglier the middle is!)

I'll post an update or two later in the week as the work progresses... hopefully it won't be long before the classroom is put back together and looking fresh and beautiful and light!

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