Monday, September 03, 2007

Really Labor Day Weekend

I'm exhausted. My hubby decided to take the term "Labor Day Weekend" seriously and we cleaned and painted the garage. Yeah, painted the garage. It's a lovely lemon pearl color now.

It took us 3 days. Up until Friday, I felt really lucky that we had a 3-car garage. I still feel lucky, but it seems a little more excessive now. But that's what you get when you marry a car/motorcycle/anything-on wheels-that-goes-fast guy. His dream is a pole barn with room for a fleet of cars and motorcycles, with a lift and a drain in the floor. (Jay Leno is one of his heroes.) The house is just peripheral, except for the pub in the basement, of course.

So, back to the labor. While I was getting my hair done, Al cleaned out half of the garage, deciding it would be easier to attack it one half at a time. And he was right. I, however, had the best hair of any garage cleaner/painter person in the neighborhood.

Painting, itself, is not so hard, it's the prep work that takes so long and is so much work. It's not enough to just clear things and sweep out the garage before painting, the walls are filthy, so they have to be sprayed down with a cleaner then scrubbed down. This was my job. I chose this job over using the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac because, well, that's a vacuum cleaner, and we all know how I feel about vacuum cleaners. Not that cleaning the walls was any great treat, but for some reason, that's what I decided to do with the choices I had. By the time I was finished, I no longer had the best hair in the neighborhood.

But we're still not ready to paint. Al came behind me, filling in the holes in the drywall. After that dried, then those spots had to be sanded smooth, which, of course, left dust that had to be swept off the walls then vacuumed up.

Finally, it was time to do some actual painting. Sort of. We took opposite sides of the garage and started cutting in, giving a border of paint around the walls. I sat on the floor and scooted around, painting the bottom edge of the walls, then the door frame and corners, while Al climbed the scary ladder to cut in around the ceiling. The ladder was perfectly stable; I, however, am not, so I stayed on the floor where I couldn't fall very far.

I left for a crafty girls' night out while Al finished up painting. Well, not actually finished, but he did as much as he could stand. My hubby and I are very different when it comes to things like this. I'm pretty fearless; I just dive in and start getting paint on the wall. I'm careful, but I know that you can't be too timid or you'll see brush strokes and you won't get enough paint on to make a smooth transition from the cut-in to the filled-in spots. Al is meticulous, which translates into slow and frustrating, for him as well as me. But, a frustrating job will be even more frustrating if you're fighting with your partner, so live with it.

The rest of the days were pretty much like the first day. But the walls do look beautiful. Then came putting new tracks on the walls to store hanging things and new shelves to store the multitude of cans and motor oils. Then, of course, we had to put everything back. This was not as quick and easy as you might think. I had to walk that thin line of helping while getting out of the way. This is the hubby's garage, and he knew what he wanted where. He just didn't know exactly what that "what and where" was. He had to get over being overwhelmed by how much stuff there was before he could put it up. This is not a lesson he has learned over and over like I have because most of the time he has reported into work while I unpack the house. I'm fast and ruthless--throw this away, put these things together, sell this, and so on. (Well, I'm a little ruthless, anyway.) He wasn't ready for that, so I cleaned up the painting supplies, took all that stuff back downstairs, and let him do the rest.

The garage looks fabulous! Everything is in it's place and there is nothing on the floor or sitting in a box on top of something else. Even the cars look happier. They enjoy having breathing room again. The hubby says that we still have too much stuff in there, but when you own a home and cars, you just have stuff. Stuff to clean with, stuff to landscape with, stuff to fix stuff with, stuff to mow with, stuff to blow the snow away with, just stuff.

So, it was worth it. Three days of toil and hard work for many days of a clean, organized garage. And we're still married, to boot. We're not talking to each other . . . Just kidding :-) We actually talked a lot--you're doing that wrong. I need your help with this this. Do you want to climb the ladder this time? What time is it? Wow, does this look better, and I need a beer.

Hope everyone else had a productive Labor Day Weekend.


Jay said...

No pictures?

Too bad I wasn't there. I'm an expert painter and shelf hanger ya know. ;-)

Kell said...

No pictures yet. It's just too much effort to take them and download them right now. And I wish you had been here too. You are an expert!

Betty said...

I got tired just hearing about your weekend. I haven't done anything productive since I retired, (she said, proudly).

Peggy said...

Sounds like your husband and mine are twins separated at birth. My husband has to do all the edges as I am not careful enough.

I agree about filling all the holes, sanding the filler smooth etc. It is the finishing touches that really turn a good job into a great job but you didn't mention light switch and socket covers. Don't tell me you guys painted over them?

Kell said...

Peggy--Oh no! Those where taken off and I even cut in around those. I'm surprised Al didn't buy new light switches and plates.