Saturday, January 13, 2007

Guest Loo & How to Electrocute Yourself 101

Guest Loo

How much does my Mom love me? Or how crazy is my Mom? You decide. During her Christmas visit, she could barely sit still because she was jonesin' to rip something apart in my house. One evening, I came downstairs after putting Little Man to bed and found her in my downstairs bathroom, doing this:

Only the world's best Mom would strip wallpaper when you weren't paying attention. That's love. After the wallpaper came down, we discovered a corner where some old floor-to-ceiling beadboard was covered with plaster. [who would do that?] So I joined MafiaMom, and reclaimed the beadboard.

This involved running the sharp tip of my multi-purpose putty knife down the ditches between the boards. But in doing so, I created a lot of texture where the old layers of paint were uncovered. I can't just sand it, because it's no doubt lead paint. I don't want to putty over it again, because I will have wasted 2 hours of hardcore scraping. So I'm ignoring it until I decide what to do.

In the meantime, Wifey and I skim-coated and sanded the walls, harkening back to these days. Then Little Man and I primed the rest of the room. He was delighted to be a part of this activity. He learned to put only a small amount of paint on the brush, to tap it gently on the tray, and to paint up and down. [wax on, wax off]

Then Wifey I finished the job with a nice coat of American Tradition in "Spring Spirits" green.

How to Electrocute Yourself 101

Step 1: Decide to replace a light fixture when noone else is home.

Step 2: Disconnect fixture from the ceiling, discover wires covered in black linen, and still continue with your project.

Step 3: Find a cast iron mounting brace, make a mental note that you've never even seen one of those, and continue with your project.

Step 4: Disconnect all wires, notice that they're not copper, consult your giant manual, read the warnings, and continue with your project.

Step 5: Go to the basement, turn the electricity back on, and decide to test for "juice." Touch the black end of your electricity tester to the metal tube surrounding your wires, the red end to a bare wire, and act surprised when it jolts, sparks and melts the metals tips of your tester.

Step 6: Rejoice when you finally call the electrician because you can clearly state which of the wires is "hot."


maryse said...

great progress! the walls are beautiful.

the light fixture on the other hand is scary.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! I always get freaked out when Mike does anything with electricity, despite the fact he's built instruments for telescopes. The fact that plugging the thing in is called "a smoke test" does not help. And GO MafiaMom! A queen among women.

nina beana said...

i'm scared for you. stop doing dangerous stuff when nobody's around. call me and i'll stand around and at least call an ambulance.

Carry said...

Wow! LOVE the color of the walls!!! Ms. 1890 is starting to look gooooood!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

A labor of love ... but electricity is SCARY stuff! Don't work alone. BTW, want a nice paint job!

Christy said...

I'm glad it didn't get any scarier. The bathroom looks amazing.

Hannah said...

Y'all are amazing! The color is gorgeous and the beadboard? WOW.

Lucy said...

Is your mom stipping wallpaper in her nightie? I love it!

Kim said...

So glad you weren't injured.

I think that photo of your little man painting is one for the history books. He looks so intent and careful!

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

I really love that shade of green. Been thinking of staining my kitchen cabinets a darker shade of wood and painting the walls in that green. Think I can get away with it with my husband?

Danielle said...

1) we will have matching bathrooms (green walls on top, white beadboard on bottom)

2) your mom in her nightie? too cute!

3) never let dire warnings about "professional help" get in the way of a good diy home improvement project :)

4) don't tell my dad about the scary electric stuff. he offered to come cut wood for me because he was afraid I would get hurt using the circular saw. He would DEFINITELY give you a stern talking-to.

Anonymous said...

Do be careful. I'm expecting lunch next week and hospital food isn't very good.

Engranon said...

Gorgeous walls. Watch out for those wires. Actually, aluminum wiring isn't that scary. We have aluminum in our 1968 era home and we have learned to deal with it. Wiring that old, however, is pretty frightening. Stay safe!