Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It mostly went okay.

Yesterday, that is. I managed to accomplish everything except acquiring wood restorer (Home Depot didn't have it, so I'll be picking it up at Lowe's today) and using it along with fixing up the new desk. Matt's Everything With This House is Harder Than It Needs to Be curse has struck me, too, it seems. I got up extra super-duper early in the morning to get everything done, only to be foiled by the following:

  • the aforementioned lack of wood restorer at Home Depot
  • a brownout that struck my area right as I was getting the sander ready to plug in that didn't end until less than an hour before I was scheduled to have dinner with my dad and stepmother
  • Horrendously filthy...well, everything, but especially the walls in the room that will become my office.
That office. Oh god, you guys, it's so bad. Matt, my dad, and my stepmother overruled me on the painting the walls white front, so I've decided to clean and restore them. I thought that I'd only need an hour or two and half a bottle of Murphy's to get them nice and shiny, but I was so very, very wrong. They're pretty horrifying. You can't tell from looking at it, but the upper third of the room is coated in a very thick, very tenacious layer of yellow-tinged black grime (that slowly goes away as you work your way down the wall). 

That can only mean one thing: cigarettes (and, given the quantity of ick I'm pulling out of the walls, a lot of them) were smoked in that room. It must have been a smoking lounge at some point in the past. I know the immediately previous occupants hadn't smoked in the house recently, as I am insane allergic to smoke and wouldn't be able to be in there and still breathe properly. So, consider this my version of an anti-smoking PSA: if cigarette smoke and the chemicals it contains can cling to walls for decades, meditate upon the damage you're doing to yourself and the people/things around you by lighting up. 

Needless to say, it's probably good that I won't be painting those walls. I intend on washing them until the rag runs clean, as it were (e.g., until I can run a soapy rag over them without some hideous grime coming up), before I use the restorer, but that doesn't mean I'll have gotten all the nicotine out. It's very clingy, and damn near impossible to 100% get rid of. Luckily for my sanity, that wood has a slightly yellowish cast to it, even at the bottom, which is relatively unaffected (smoke rises, so the worst staining is within eighteen inches of the ceiling), so it's undetectable. Painting those walls a light color is officially off the table, though: nicotine bleeds through even the highest quality primers and paints. It's miserable to deal with-- ask anyone who's bought or rented a place that was previously occupied by a smoker. 

So, I have another to-do list for the day:

1. Sand, prime, and paint the new desk.
2. Take last night's laundry to new place and unpack it.
3. Come home and do more laundry, and take it over later today or tomorrow.
4. Go to Target. Acquire econo-size package of q-tips (sticking my fingers in the grooves of those walls when I was cleaning them yesterday was a BAD idea. It hurts to type, and my arms/shoulders are still kind of aching) and a big pack of Magic Clean Erasers (walls in the bedrooms are seriously scuffed). 
5. Go to Lowe's. Buy wood restorer.
6. Go to unfinished wood stores, acquire chair for desk. Then prime and paint it.
7. Finish washing the walls in front bedroom.
8. Finish washing the walls in my office (this round, anyway). 

I sort of doubt I'll be able to get everything done, but I'm working towards completing some immediate goals for the house:

1. Get my office in a usable condition before school starts on the twenty-second.
2. Get the front bedroom set up-- I'm hauling my bedroom set in from Bristol, so all I need to do is go to ikea to pick up the duvet set I want for it and then buy paint for the walls and some curtains (which my stepmother has very graciously volunteered to help me with). One good floor-scrubbing later, and that room will be 100% good to go. 
3. Paint the hallway. The previous owners had started working on it, but didn't finish. At my request, they left the paint they hadn't used and didn't take down the painter's tape on the doorways. I'm not really wild about the colors, but since I have no idea whatsoever as to what I'm going to to with that space, I may as well have  it look decent in the meanwhile. 

1 comment:

  1. Yikes, too bad about the smoker and the not able to paint! Sounds like you'll be quite busy for awhile, good luck!