Saturday, March 18, 2017

Prime Cometh Before a Fall

Today I'm prepping to install a shiplap wall in the bathroom. And first, I just want to say that we bought a house with shiplap siding before it was cool. Or at least before I knew it was cool. Take THAT, Chip and Joanna.

We talked about 9,000 different ways to do this on the cheap. Pinterest is literally riddled with faux-shiplap tutorials. Usually, they use MDF strips and spacers over drywall to mimic the look of tongue and groove. I was all for this approach, but we had a complication.

Our shiplap wall is in the bathroom, specifically behind the sink. It's going to get wet. And if moisture gets between the wood and the drywall, we would have all kinds of problems like mold or rot. So we decided on real tongue-and-groove boards, which wouldn't leave any drywall exposed. We also wanted wood grain to be visible, so we picked boards instead of MDF. We talked about using reclaimed boards, but ultimately we decided that a store-bought product would save us enough time and money that we should just cave and buy new.

The shiplap arrived a few weeks ago, and it's been acclimating upstairs. Pretty much as soon as it arrived, I was ready to prime it. The last thing I wanted was to get all the way to the point where we were ready to install it, mere steps away from totally finishing the bathroom, and have to stop to literally watch paint dry.

The boards were rough - much, much rougher than we expected, especially since the whole point of buying this product was to avoid having to do a lot of sanding and filling. But I figured, there isn't much a good coat of primer won't solve. You can stick that in your book of Auntie Audrey's Wisdom for the Ages.

Well, the paint dried and.... apparently there are things that a coat of primer won't solve.

The boards were just too tattered. Which meant we'd need to sand them - AFTER already having primed them once. And then we'd have to prime them again.


Today was the day to sand. I schlepped all the boards down the stairs and set them up on sawhorses outside. I grabbed the orbital sander, the coarsest sandpaper we had, and got to work. Then Brett came outside. It seems that the side I thought was the front because it was generally less ratty, he thought was the back because he liked the look of the grain better the other way.

Me: Okay... *deep, calming breaths* Well, at least you told me before I got too far. So... can I just sand the other side?
Him: Oh no, go ahead and sand both sides. Then everything will sit so nicely against the wall!
Me: Of course my dear, that's oh so very reasonable. *Silently wonders if it's possible to murder someone with an orbital sander.*

So, several hours later, I have so many splinters sticking out of my hands, and my fingers are so frozen in place from gripping the power sander, that I look like the child of Freddy Krueger and a porcupine.

But those boards do look darn good.

Hermie, on the other hand, is a mess.

What happens when you spend the first warm, muddy spring day outside and distracted. 

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