Friday, September 15, 2006

I Love the Smell of Primer In the Morning

We're using Kilz original primer on our walls and ceiling, because of its reported ability to trap odors and stains. One thing I learned from calling the manufacturer: before it's painted, the primer is only good for 30 days. After that, you have to sand it, reprime and start over. This was a surprise because we originally planned to prime everything first, then paint at our leisure. We now realize we have to get the paint coats down relatively soon.

Also they recommend adequate ventilation, but when it comes to Kilz the cartridge-based respirator-mask is the best $30 I think I've ever spent; by the time we had the ceiling painted the room was just toxic, despite having the windows open. But the masks take care of all of the fumes.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The War Against Odor

I realize that before I can post on the joys of primer some context is needed. The house Lori and I bought was built in 1985 - the foundation and infrastructure are in great condition, and the interior is very presentable. Well - they were very presentable. There is only one problem with the house: the past occupants were smokers. So most of the work we've started doing is part of an effort to remove the smoke smell from the house.

Thus we have started redecorating the living room completely despite having not even unpacked. Our goal is to remove the smoke smell by completely replacing all of the hard surfaces in the living room.

I do wish there were some kind of (cheap) scientific odor measurement device we could's very hard to tell if we're making relative progress because the smell becomes less apparent when we've been in the house for a while, have the windows open, or use anything that has its own smell, like primer or bleach.

So as we work on our poor living room I will just keep telling myself...the war on odor will be a long one, with many sacrifices. We have to fight odor in the living room so we do not have to fight it in the bedroom. We go to bed with the smell we have, not the smell we want...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Of course I know what I'm doing...

Lori and I bought our first house a few weeks ago, and since then we've already turned the living room from something that looks like, well, a living room into a demolition zone.

I would describe myself as the worst kind of DIYer - one with no fear and more importantly, no brains, skills, or talent. As a computer geek by trade, all of this working with real physical materials is a bit foreign to me.

So it occurred to me to to start a a written record of the mistakes I make and things I discover. If nothing else, perhaps other novices like me can, with a little help from Google, save themselves some time and money by learning from my mistakes rather than their own.