Friday, February 20, 2015

The ModLodge Is A Timesucking Vortex

I have this recurring dream where I'm trying to get to some event or destination, but can't manage to reach it because of a neverending series of absurd interferences. So for example I'm supposed to go to the airport, but first I find out that my car is missing. My plane ticket is in the car, so I can't get on the plane until I find it. So then I'm in a taxi to the police station to report the missing car, but first we have to drop off another passenger. The other passenger can't remember where he is trying to go and needs to ask his cousin for the address. It's problem after problem and I can't solve one without first being presented with another one. And I never reach my original goal before I wake up, stressed out and irritable.

I am currently living that dream. All I want to do is start wallpapering the ModLodge, but I can't. I just. Can't.

After my last post where I posed the question about how to tackle the baseboards, I received one particularly interesting piece of feedback from my mother's friend. She suggested that I needed to remove the baseboards prior to wallpapering, then reinstall them afterward so that they hold the paper in place and prevent it from curling.

Unsure if I agreed with this logic, I sought answers online and for once I came up short. Desperate, I posed my question to the DIY subreddit. Because when you want help, it's best to seek it from a congregation of anonymous assholes.

"Which comes goes first: new wallpaper or new baseboards?"

I got a number of responses within an hour and while I think every one of them was making fun of me, there was a general consensus (except for a fight that broke out between two Canadian contractors) that the best order would be to apply the grasscloth before installing new boards.  And if I had any lingering doubts, there was this response:

"Goddamn! Baseboards LAST! After wall coverings, after flooring. Dead fucking last."

There was also this helpful tidbit:

"Wallpaper is bad for re-sale value. You are dating your house and lowering its value. Maybe just do 1 accent wall. I refuse to let me wife wall paper a whole room."


With that sorted, I went about removing the baseboards (more on this later). I also realized I needed to paint the ceiling. And, that a good amount of prep needed to be done to the walls before papering (more on this later, too). No big deal.

While prying the boards away from the wall I was face to face with the large front window for a few minutes. It was the first time I'd ever looked closely at it, and I realized it was gross, with splotches of old paint and varnish.

I was tempted to ignore it until after I finished my originally intended project, but of course then I'd risk getting varnish on my precious grasscloth. Ok, fine, I'll take another day to re-do the window. Again, no big deal.

I started by sanding. And sanding and sanding. After 2 days of repeated sessions, it still wasn't entirely stripped down, but I didn't have the rest of my life to devote to sandpapering. Meanwhile, I'd made a trip to the store to buy a can of polyurethane. When I stepped back and looked at the sanded wood, however, I noticed that it was now very pale.

Fine, back to the store to get a wood stain. When I got home, I changed my mind about the color of the stain, thinking it was too light. Fine, back to the store to get a darker stain. Get home, test it out on a portion of the frame, and decide it's too dark. Nevermind, I'm going to use it anyway.

Oh wait, these fumes are too intense. I should do this when the kids are out of the house.

Oh wait, this needs 6 hours to dry between coats.

Oh wait, the poly needs to dry completely before I put the primer on the walls.

Oh wait, the primer needs to sit for 24 hours before I start wallpapering.

Oh wait, Home Depot doesn't carry wallpaper tools.

Oh wait, neither does Orchard Supply Hardware.

Oh wait, I have lunch plans I have to stop and get in the shower.

Oh wait, time to get Oscar from school.

Oh wait, Milo's up from his nap.

Oh wait, I have to start dinner.

Oh wait, I'm just going to sit here and eat a sub and blog about how much time I don't have to waste.

And so on and so on. Five days and counting and I'm nowhere near ready to wallpaper.

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