Thursday, June 30, 2011

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Making mistakes is part of life. The real question is how much those mistakes we make cost us. My latest one, about $1,000. It all started off innocently enough. Our master bedroom cried out for a small renovation project. Our home was built in 1986 and I've worked really hard over the past 15 years we've lived here to not make our rooms look like 1986. There really isn't a room in the house we haven't renovated in some way (some minor and some major) to really make our house the home we enjoy daily. But through all those projects we've entangled ourselves with, the one room we really didn't touch was our master bedroom. So, needing a project, because that's just the way I operate, I decided to tackle the master bedroom on a very small budget. Small budget meaning remove the wallpaper myself (thanks so much Dad for doing most of the work helping). To all you novice renovators out there here's a tidbit I'd like to pass on to you all. When removing wallpaper that has been there for decades and you plan to paint, you MUST coat the walls with an oil-based primer before painting with latex paint. Why? Because when you remove the wallpaper, I don't care how much you wash down those walls, you'll never get off all the glue residue from the wallpaper. So, to make a new clean wall surface for your room's paint, you must apply an oil-based primer to the walls first. I was going with a dark room color so I actually got the primer tinted, as well. I highly recommend this! Also, oil-based primers smell to high heaven. Be sure to buy the "odor-free" kind. It's really not odor-free but it's a low odor that allows you to still breathe while you work.

You can try to take the easy route and not prime your walls and the room will look decent for about 6 months. But after that, you'll start to see bubbling of the paint for no apparent reason. That, my friend, is the wallpaper adhesive seaping through your paint, trying to bust out like a deathrow inmate from Alcatraz.

Back to my story...I removed all the wallpaper and was ready to begin painting on the primer. I put down my drop cloths (old bed sheets) and then it happened. What many wives who want new carpet would call an "accident" happened to me - but I swear not on purpose. I spilled the can of primer on the carpet in the middle of the room. The bed sheets soaked up the primer right into the carpet. (Note: Do not use bed sheets as drop cloths, use plastic tarp.) Did I mention it was oil-based!!! So, that was that. My $100-just-buy-some-paint project turned into a $1,000 getting-new-carpet-but-not-wanting-to-spend-the-money project. Hey, it happens, we all make mistakes (thanks for saying that line to me,sweatheart), and the carpet was original to the house so it probably needed replacing anyway. Always look at the positive!!! Now we have to get all the furniture back into the room, but at least we have new carpet.
Thought about doing nothing but it happened to be in the middle of the room (open space where we walk).

I love the new carpet smell wafting through the house when the breeze blows. Serenity now.

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