Thursday, August 27, 2009

DIY is not all it's cracked up to be...

After slaving away on the stairs, I finally finished on Monday... or so I thought. I got a second coat on all of the banisters and finished the risers. I probably need some touch-ups on the spindles, but that is for another day. Tuesday night after I got home at 9:00 from work and a ULI (real estate group I am involved with) event and a trip to Target during which I only purchased two cards (miraculous, I tell you), I pulled the tape off the stairs. You see, we just paid a whole heck of a lotta money to have these stairs converted to hardwood, and I didn't want to chance getting paint on them. Normally, I'd just use an angled brush and not tape, but being confined to painting such a small space, I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. Well, boy am I sorry! Scotch blue painters tape is the DEVIL, I tell you. I about had a nervous breakdown as I was removing the tape. Not only did tape seep through on the edges THAT I PRESSED DOWN WITH MY FINGERNAILS TO SEAL but there were areas FAR FROM THE EDGE that paint seeped through. Seriously!? Yes, seriously. And yes, that deserved caps. Not to mention, the tape WAS NOT easy to get off and I had to use tweezers to remove little shreds of tape that remained. It took me an hour to do this. Absolutely ridiculous.

So, that pretty much stinks and I'm not entirely sure what to do. From afar, it's fine... but walking up the stairs, it looks like a version of my pre-K self painted it. Actually, maybe my 2 year old self, because I was damn good at coloring inside the lines. And, I don't have any pictures because I have had literally no time to do anything but work, run errands, do stuff around the house and sleep (less than 6 hours per night... that is no good... I love to sleep). I think a straight razor and some dark walnut stain or brown paint and a small artist paintbrush are in order... oh and less I forget, about 5 more hours of work. Doesn't that sound like a good time?

Lessons learned: 1) have the risers painted BEFORE the stairs are installed, 2) NEVER use Scotch painters tape ever again, 3) estimate the amount of time you think it will take to complete a project and multiply by 2.75, 4) hire professionals (maybe).

On a bright and cheery note, I found a fabulous rug at Pottery Barn on sale! It still cost a pretty penny, but not compared to some of the other options I was looking at and it's exactly the color I wanted.

This is the picture from the PB website, and I must say, the colors are much richer on my living room floor. I promise pictures of the good, bad and ugly next week. I still haven't gotten anything up on the walls and we have a lot of decorating to do, but it's coming together. I'm hoping to hang some pictures tonight after I clean the entire house for the very first time (there's been no point in doing it before now).

If you're wondering why I'm having such a busy week, it's because work has been bananas (I love that term) and my handsome husband's 30th birthday is this weekend, and I had the genius idea to throw him a big bash a week after returning from an 8 day vacation, all while moving, unpacking, DIY projects (painting, painting, light switches (from gold and cream to white and white), light fixture, etc.) and working full-time plus! Oh, and this big bash includes he and I making all the food ourselves (mostly me but he's manning the grills) save a red velvet cake from Piece of Cake, but I am making cupcakes (from a box with store bought icing... gasp) since the cake isn't big enough to feed everyone. If you weren't wondering why my week is ca-ray-zay, sorry you had to read all of that.

So, next week I promise a recap of San Fran with pictures (it was fab), some house pictures, and some party pictures! And, I have to squeeze in some time tomorrow for a reprisal of my birthday post for Matt from last year. I promise not to cheat and look at what I wrote last time. :)


Hannah D. said...

I'm sorry about the stairs! I don't know if you've ever seen them but I got some "stain pens" at lowe's to touch up my furniture/trim recently and it worked like a dream! And much easier than I imagine the paintbrush/liquid stain would be! Just a thought!

Amy said...

Sheesh... it does sound bananas over there! I like that term too :) Good luck with all your projects and your party!!

LindsB said...

whoa, that really IS a busy week!

I hope you have a nice weekend and a great birthday party for the hubby!

Leah said...

I really like the rug. Beautiful! I could spend so much money at Pottery Barn. *sigh* :-D

I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to let you know that I stopped by. :-D

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

When we did our stairs, we did the painting of the risers first, and then the staining of the treads. Big mistake. I got little bits of paint on my risers, too. The best way to do this is to get the treads done, get three coats of poly on them, and then wait awhile and paint the risers. This way, any paint you get on the tread will wipe away. I agree with you that blue painters tape is evil! I hardly ever use it anymore.