Monday, March 17, 2014

Front hall progress at last

Painting is like going to confession: old sins are erased and everything is clean and new.  Progress on the front hall accelerated from snail's pace to cheetah pace last week after I saw a tweet from City Hall alerting us that hazardous waste day at the dump would take place in four days.  Nothing is a better motivator than the prospect of being stuck for another six months with mason jars full of old paint thinner.  Last week, I spent every evening after work scraping and sanding and scrubbing and finally, applying the primer, and Friday after work I drove to the dump triumphant with the paint thinner and the empty can of oil based primer.

Saturday I did the top coat and now the woodwork is done!

By "done" I mean only the baseboards and trim around the doors--not the front door because that is its own project--and not the door to the old dining room because, frankly, I forgot about it, and not the bannisters and not the trim around the window because it isn't original and the paint there is OK.  Originally, the whole POINT of this project was to paint the walls, so "woodwork" is anything directly adjacent to a wall.  Anyway, I'm still cherishing a hope that we can send the doors and bannisters to a workshop somewhere and have them dipped and repainted.  Our painting contractors from last year were going to fix the front door, but that project got a little expensive, so we decided to save the door until later.

Of course, the spanking new trim makes the walls look EVEN WORSE.   There are a lot of holes to fix.  The one pictured below is from ripping out the previous owner's heavy duty shelf-hanging molly screws.  

Here are some before pictures.

Upstairs landing before. (If you're new to my front hall, some past owner painted all the trim with oil-based mustard paint and the owners before us painted over it with white latex, and oil and water don't mix, so the situation pictured below happened.)

And now:

I can't wait to start picking a paint color for the walls!


  1. Dang, I do, too! All the woodwork in the house is trimmed in "yellowish" (read: Yellow? Ish!) that is still in good shape, except ugly. As I painted each of the bedrooms I also did those baseboards but as soon as you start looking around you realize there is SO MUCH TRIM! And the doors! And I give up and hope that yellowish trim might come back into style while I procrastinate.

  2. Look at that! Way to crack after that project!
    And I adore your comparison to confession, that IS what fresh paint feels like.

  3. Great work. I always used to hate the preparation of the previously painted wood, but loved filling in hols in plaster, trying to get that perfectly flush finish. It will look great when you finish.

    Well done.

  4. So. Much. Better! I could feel a sense of accomplishment just by gazing at that final picture -- and I wasn't the one doing the painting.
    Your first sentence drew me in, hook, line, and sinker, but it's the picture of the molly bolt hole that just inspired a post for me tonight.