Duncan’s room, painted

One of the things we were excited about buying a house for was the ability to do little things to make it feel more our own (the current state of tennants’ rights in Victoria being that we couldn’t even put picture hooks in, we had to use “command strips” adhesives to put hooks on the wall, and they suck), so we decided one of the first things we’d do is paint Duncan’s room whatever color he wanted, as that used to be a childood rite of passage.

Well, because we’re chronic procrastinators, it hadn’t happened yet. I’d been feeling a bit overwhelmed from work for the last month or so, so I scheduled a week off to coincide with the start of Duncan’s school vacation, and on the Saturday morning after I started, we figured what with the pandemic lockdown on again that it’d be something good to keep us busy.

So off to Hammer Barn (which we can mercifully go to, as a couple weeks ago it was click-and-collect only unless you were a tradie!) to grab the requisite equpiment and his chosen colors in a sample pot. We’d decided that paint isn’t that expensive and that we’d just let him go nuts, but after umming and ahhing about some wild terracotta-ish orange, he ended up being pretty conservative on his choices. The color he went with is “Flooded Gum” (Dulux SN4H3), but the other choice was “Otto’s Boy” (SG6B7), which ended up looking like it’d make the room too dark (given that it’s a UD “ultra dark” paint whereas the former is a W “white” color).

I had recently also got some drywall stuff (mud compound, a plaster knife, etc) so I could patch the hole where the intercom was. We moved most of his furniture out (in a fit of laziness, which I would later pay for, I left his shelf, laying on it’s side, and his bed, in the middle of the room and put a drop sheet over them). I’m not 100% happy with how the patch of the drywall came up, but I’m not a professional plasterer and you can only tell it’s there if you know where it is. I also took the opportunity to sand down and re-mud some other patches on the wall that were poorly done.

We spent Sunday washing the walls with sugar soap, and then laid down a drop sheet and taped everything off. In retrospect I didn’t tape the cornice (which I should have), and I also left his closet exposed, both of which were mistakes that were easily corrected later.

On Monday morning, we started on the primer. It took two coats of primer before I was happy with the finish (and where it had satisfactorily covered up the test patches for him to pick his color), but the latex paint we’re using is really quick for recoats (two hours!) so it wasn’t that big a deal.

Tuesday, time for the top coat, again, it took a couple coats (but this is to be expected). A couple mistakes (like runs, and bumping the cornice once which I fixed up) and it was looking pretty good. He decided he wanted to use the second color for an accent stripe, since we had a sample pot of it already, so back to Hammer Barn for some different tape (upon looking the “Frog Tape” we bought for masking things off is not the right tool for the job and would likely have peeled our fresh base coat if we’d done it without waiting weeks for it to cure) and some smaller rollers.

I used the laser and a spirit level (I’d mistakenly bought a tile laser instead of a laser level and I’m too conflict-averse to take it back after destroying the box) to lay out two lines of tape about 90mm apart on the insides. Getting the lines straight and level was a frustrating experience, but we got there in the end and the lines are definitely straight and mostly level (one wall has a fall-off of about 3mm over 2m, subtle enough that we didn’t notice until I put a picture very close to it and used the level to align the picture).

By Wednesday we’d got everything to where we’re pretty happy with it, there was one minor mistake with the accent stripe where Duncan’s roller went over the admittedly quite skinny masking tape, but I washed it off and feathered some additional base coat over the top of it and you can’t tell. We peeled the masking tape and it started looking pretty good, so we let it cure and on Thursday moved all his stuff back in, hung the pictures, and so on.

We’re pretty happy with how it came out, for a couple people with no idea what they’re doing who are very out of practice at DIY stuff. The niceness of the fresh paint has underscored how trash his furniture is - everything was bought the absolute cheapest thing we could find, his bed base is used but the mattress was one of the Aldi jobs, and everything else looks positively awful in his nice new room, so we might keep an eye out for a headboard that we can clean up and paint if nothing else.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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