Preparing Rooms for Paint

posted by harlie in home

We’ve been in the house for a few months and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get some fresh paint up on our walls; the current paint feels so dingy and the walls have so many spackle patches. We have our colors pretty much picked out. We even have some brand new paint cans just waiting for us in our garage. Sadly, with our schedules lately, the impending holidays, and the fact that the Mr doesn’t want me and my ever-expanding belly climbing ladders and painting (even with no-VOC paints), it’s just not getting done.

So, tomorrow we have a painting crew coming in to paint half the rooms in our house. I feel a little weird having someone else paint the rooms in our house (except for our entryway and staircase which are really high and I can’t imagine climbing up a ladder that tall to get them done. *shudder*). In all our past homes, we painted our own walls and it wasn’t that big a deal. In fact, I generally enjoy the satisfaction of watching a room transform. Having someone else paint feels like such an extravagance.

That said, it’s also a little scary. It means trusting someone else to do exactly what you want done in your own house. And with this house, there’s so much! The former owners had attached a ton of cheap accessories to the walls in almost every room. I’ve already removed the (spider egg ridden) display shelves and curtains that they had over a couple of windows, the rusting iron towel holders in the kitchen and bathrooms, the brass sliding mirrored door tracks in our room, and the molding blinds that are hanging in the bathroom windows (which we NEVER use). I had my dad and the Mr rip out the closet door tracks, rod, desk and shelves in Lil’Man’s room. We still had a few things to do before the painters got here tomorrow and we figured it would be a quick job before we turned in tonight. I mean, how hard can it be to remove a few knife magnet strips that are held in with just 2 screws?

We have three of these in our kitchen and we never use them (we’re knife-block people), so we figured, we’d take them down so the painters would have a nice, clear wall to paint tomorrow. Easy, peasy, right?

We were so, so wrong. The one in the photo above was the last one we removed and came out the quickest.

Note the HUGE holes in the walls. They used anchors (even when they hit a stud) and alternated between 3″ Philips-head screws and 3″ Torx-head screws, most of which were stripped pretty badly. Three-inch screws are a pain to remove under normal circumstances. Three-inch screws in a stud AND an anchor with an unusual headtype that are mostly stripped are nigh impossible to remove. It took us (and by “us”, I mean mainly the Mr) over an hour to remove all three and the other two strips were much more difficult to remove.

Yes, that is a crowbar on the counter. It was the only way that strip on the left was coming out (you can see the damage to the wall…the Mr felt awful about the dents, but it was the insane installation’s fault and totally not his).

I’m not looking forward to removing the shelving in the laundry room. That was the other little thing I wanted to get done before tomorrow. I got 3/4 of the way done unscrewing the highest shelf before running into a bad screw. I’m pretty confident that the paint crew can get that removed for me if I ask nicely. However, there’s a chest-height, 1×4 strip of wood screwed and nailed into the wall with hooks randomly distributed along it’s length. It’s kind of painted onto the wall (they put on that red paint VERY thickly), but that’s a relatively small issue. I just know I’m going to have to take that crowbar to it because, while the screws came out easily enough, there seems to be about 30-40 nails just randomly hammered into the wood. I have NO idea why. They aren’t evenly spaced horizontally OR vertically. I’m not even sure they all go straight into the wall or if they go off at different angles.

If the mag-strip experience is any indication, I’m in for quite the workout.


‡ Seriously. How many of you had to google the term “Torx screw” to know what kind of screw I was talking about? I was shocked that, not only did the Mr know what kind of screw it was, he had to tools to deal with it. Not that it mattered much, since they were so badly stripped.

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