after a quick visit to home depot to get some disposable paint tray liners, i was ready to paint. that smell of fresh paint, that distinctive fragrance with a top note of lovely ammonia. the primer was so white it was blinding. i realized now that growing up what i thought to be white walls were in fact grey walls.
the rule of painting is you start from the top and work your way down. so i started with the ceiling first, but quickly i couldn't reach the edges with my roller so i still had to fill in the crevasses with a brush. ideally two people would be painting: one to do the edges, while the other person worked the roller. since i was working solo, i decided to paint all the edges first. this decision included the ceiling (crown) moldings, which we decided to prime with latex and later finish up with a semi-gloss top coat instead of doing the more traditional oil paint on wood treatment. it took 2 exhausting hours to paint all the edges, complicated by the fact that today was a hot day with the temperature hitting the 90's.
after the edges were done i took a short break to visit zeff's camera store and pick up my external flash rental. what was supposed to be a quick stop became a 20 minute ordeal of waiting since there wasn't enough people to ring me up so they pulled a retail triage and delegated me to the bottom of the wait list because i was buying the least amount of items. when they finally got to me the guy apologized profusely, and said he remembered the last time i was here renting something i had a long wait as well and that it was totally unacceptable.
i'd forgotten that painting is a messy affair. no matter how careful you are, you're going to get drips. that's why i like to work barefoot, so if i do step on some wet paint, i'll feel it and won't track it throughout the rest of the house. the brush wasn't as messy as the roller, but it was more labor intensive as i had to keep on moving the stepladder every few feet or so. once i got back home, it was time to roll on the ceiling. besides contorting my body into weird angles, i was also faced with a fine spray of white paint every time i rolled. after a while, my arms were covered in a million white dots, not to mention my face and on my glasses. although my glasses gave me some eye protection, every once in a while i still managed to get a small stinging drop of paint in my eye. the trick with using a roller is to be gentle, otherwise too much pressure might leave ugly paint streaks.
by then my mother had already returned from the cafe, bringing with her some lunch. i actually saw her outside, thought she was changing a tire in the garage, but she was actually practicing her macro shooting with her camera on a cabbage white butterfly resting on a wall. i was on a roll with my ceiling painting progress and didn't want to stop, and didn't eat until i was finished, around 4:30pm. after a 30 minute break, i was back in the living room to do more painting. besides the walls, i also had the baseboards left to do, and i figured i probably needed another 3 hours to be completely done. i started with the walls. my father came home soon afterwards, and he helped me paint the baseboards, shaving an hour off of my project completion estimate. we were finally done by 7pm.
this was just the primer coat. at this rate, the living room won't be finished until another week; to paint the entire house will take a month. that's if i'm working by myself, but if i had some help, it'd go a lot faster. i tried to enlist my sister, but she seemed reluctant to get her hands dirty, and by the time she asked if there was anything she could patch, we were already done priming the entire living room.
i had dinner at my parent's (grilled steaks); since the living room slash dining room is currently a work in progress, i ate in their bedroom. afterwards i came home. the first thing i did was to take a shower, but even after some serious scrubbing, my arms are still covered in paint.