today was painting day. in order to do that, i needed to attach the baseboard and molding to the bottom of the piping box. the molding i bought was a slight mismatch (smaller), so i decided to reuse the old molding, just a bit of sanding to remove the old paint, it was practically new. because the baseboard and molding is right next to the toilet, there wasn't a lot of clearance for a hammer. i naturally suck at hammering nails, but to do so in a confined space with a stubby hammer made it nearly impossible. to help me out, i drove in the finishing nails so they were nearly poking out from the other end before affixing them to the drywall. even then it seemed impossible to hammer. i also felt bad because it was pretty noisy, and i sent an apology text to jeff upstairs (he said it didn't bother them).

i basically gave up around 1pm. there were 2 separate pieces of baseboard plus molding; i managed to attach the ones coming from the walls. the one from the exposed piping to the outer corner, that one i had the most problems with, and that's also the one that's closing to the toilet. i decided to try some wood glue instead, and hop on the motorcycle and sped to the watertown home depot.

besides wood glue, i also got a quart of behr premium plus semi-gloss enamel paint (ultra pure white) for the bit of ceiling and any wooden trims. it comes in many variations, i got the one that matched the paint i used 20 years ago.

from home depot i went to city paints on the cambridge-arlington border of mass ave. i went the most direct route, which cut across fresh pond, but the trip - 3 miles - took nearly half an hour because of traffic approaching alewife. i think if i went there via porter square it would've been faster even if it was less direct. i haven't been here since cambridge got rid of all the street parking on mass ave in order to accomodate dedicated bus and bike lanes. i ended up parking in one of the side streets, which i noticed now allows short term commercial parking. as for the bus lane, there seems to be some dispensation to allow delivery vehicles to park there temporarily. but what about the visiting customers? where do we park? or do they expect everyone to arrive there either by bus or bike?

anyway, i showed the guys the paint from a photo. "oh, that's an old one," one of them said, 20 years old to be exact. just from the label he knew right away it was semi-gloss. they didn't carry that particular variety anymore, but the newer version was just as good. "how did you know it was semi-gloss?" i asked the guy. "you see here? 333. that's the code for semi-gloss," he revealed to me. i waited patiently as they made my quart can of paint. when i went to pay, i got a bit of a sticker shock: $33.46. for a quart of benjamin moore, not even a gallon. a gallon must be $70. i had no choice but to get it, but if i ever repaint my rooms, i'm getting cheaper paints (to be fair, you get what you pay more: benjamin moore is the gold standard of paints, and there's a definite difference in quality).

i finally returned home by 2pm, not bad for a supply run that took me to two different places plus traffic, just an hour.

i tried gluing the baseboard and molding to the drywall, but the drywall wasn't entirely flat, so the wood trim only barely touched the drywall, with a slight gap. my head nearly exploded from the aggravation. in the end i just slathered a bunch of wood glue to the back of the wood trims and hoped for the best. at worst, this was a future problem i'd worry about another time. i thought i'd be painting this morning and it was already mid-afternoon.

2:30pm was when i started painting. it began with blue taping around the window frame and bathroom, to protect them from the paint. i put down some newspaper to catch any drips. i then opened up the can of zinsser 123 primer. priming patched up walls with painted and unpainted sections can seem pretty shocking if you're not used to it, because it feels like a white wash with the bottom layer still visible. but bear in mind this is only the first of 3 coats, and the primer serves as a stain block but also makes it easier for the finishing coats to adhere to. i finished priming by 3:45pm. it looked pretty ugly, but i was on my way to the finish line. 123 primer dries fast: 30 minutes dry to the touch, 1 hour ready for repainting.

while i was waiting the hour for the primer to dry, i took the opportunity to run some errands. i walked down to the nearby liquor store and got some beers for jeff, as sort of a thank you for being so patient with all the construction noises. i bought a 4-pack of aeronuat robot crush (i got it mostly for the cool robot drawing on the can), and a 4-pack of winter hill brewing chad pop, featuring lime, lemon, coriander, and sea salt. two local beers to give jeff some variety. when i went to pay, i got sticker shock again: $35. at that price, i could've gotten jeff some bourbon instead. in the end i only gave him the aeronaut beer, saving the chad pop for myself. i left it on his back porch and sent him a text.

next i walked down to the community garden to harvest my hyacinth beans. the city has already turned off the water and there was nobody there when i showed up. seems like i just harvested these beans not so long ago, and now i have another harvest. i ended up with 2-1/2 lbs. of beans collected in a brown bag. when i left, gretchen was visiting her garden, picking some marigolds. be both managed to remember each others names.

back at home, i was excited to start painting the 1st of two final coats. but i was worried that the quart of benjamin moore wouldn't be enough, even though i did the math (40 square feet of bathroom wall requiring painting) and a quart of paint should provide 100-120 square feet of coverage. instead of a bigger roller (9 inches), i wanted to use a smaller roller (7 inches). but that meant using a smaller paint tray, one that isn't as wasteful. i also wanted to patch the gaps in my loosely attached wood trims. when i checked my two containers of wood filler, they had all dried up.

this meant another trip to home depot. i wasn't looking forward to it since it was already 4:45pm, i would most definitely hit rush hour traffic, friday evening no less. but off i went, it took me 25 minutes to get to home depot, my second visit of the day (how many times have i visited this week? i think around 7 at least). there was of course hardly anyone there. i grabbed a smaller 7" paint tray, some wood filler, and a 2" brush just in case i needed it.

instead of going home, i stopped by the cafe, arriving by 6pm. i hadn't eaten all day, and i was hoping to score some end-of-the-day leftovers. my mother was portioning out some ramen soup bone broth. after she finished, she made some rice noodle soup for me. i ate in a daze, like i was a robot or a zombie, knowing that once i got home, there was going to be more work to do.

i got back home by 6:50pm. i first filled the gaps in the molding and baseboards with the plastic wood. that needed at least several hours to dry before i can sand. i then prepared myself for the second round of painting, the first coat of benjamin moore fresh cut grass. i began painting at 7:30pm.

unlike with the primer coat, i had to be more careful with the final coat. i used 3 different brushes: a foam brush, a 3" angled brush, and a 7" roller. i ran into some issues in the beginning because i couldn't figure out how to pour out the paint without making a big mess. earlier i watched a youtube video where they used a hack that involves using tape to form a spout. i tried it and it didn't really work. benjamin moore is pretty thick, and the paint was heavy enough that it tried to burst through the tape. might i need another supply run to get a quart-size pour spout for the paint can? but i tried the tape hack again - it was all i got - and this time it kind of worked, even though it still made a mess.

the foam brush is for detailed edging (like the border between the green wall and the white ceiling), roller for big flat sections, and the brush for everything in between, like the inner corners or pretaped edges. i started from top down, and from the hardest to reach area which is the wall behind the shower head above the window frame.

an hour later (8:30pm) i was done. i'd only used up about a quarter of the paint, so there'll be plenty left over for the 2nd coat. i put the roller and foam brush into sealed plastic bags but washed the regular brush. since it's acrylic paint, it can be washed with just water, which is what i did, using a brass brush to comb the hairs and to remove any embedded paint.

now with the fresh paint, the bathroom looks nearly finished. benjamin moore paint dries to the touch in one hour and can be recoated after 3 hours. that means i'll be painting the second coat around midnight. the new paint matches perfectly with the old paint, even was having a hard time seeing the difference. i did however notice imperfections upon closer inspection, and it's probably only things i would notice. for instance, those blisters i saw yesterday after i coated? well, they're back. it can be fixed (popping and refilling with joint compound) but more difficult since i've already applied primer and the first coat. butt joints that i taped? i can spot them, because they bulge out slightly. just little things. if i had to give myself a score, i'd say 80 out of 100. the wall isn't perfect, but it's my first time finishing a drywall, so naturally they'd be mistakes. regardless, it looks much better than the gaping hole that was there before. to be honest, if my relatives weren't crashing at my place, most likely the bathroom wall still wouldn't be fixed, and would probably drag into next year. yes, even though i've been crash coursing the drywall repair, it was probably the only way it'd ever get done.

when midnight rolled around, i was back in the bathroom, painting the second and final coat. reading the benjamin moore instructions on the can, apparently it's self-priming, so the part where i painted with 123 primer was unnecessary. however 123 primer can also stain-block and provides a mold & mildew resistant barrier. another thing about benjamin moore paint is it doesn't necessarily need a second coat. in fact, when examining the first coat, it was already pretty good, i could've stopped there.

before painting, i sanded the plastic wood from the wood trims. they'll be ready for painting tomorrow.

i finished an hour later, around 1am. second coat is always harder because it difficult to see where you've painted since there's already a first coat. i put the foam brush away in a bag in case i need to do any touchups. i not only washed the regular brush, but the roller as well. that took a long time of rinsing until the water was clear.

tomorrow morning if i'm up to it i'm going to remove the old caulk from the bathtub and baseboard molding. after work, i'm going to come home and paint all the trims. once they're dried, i'm going to caulk everything, and the bathroom will finally be finished. most importantly, i can reattach the toilet tank! no more bucket flushing.