Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Weekend Warrior"


Photo: master bath with the OLD lights.

"Weekend Warrior" means something different to me. It means I'm not out on a football field somewhere, but I'm usually at the house with a paint brush, mop, or power tool in my hand.

Fresh from the beach house in Georgia, where every house was a pastel shade and everything was light and bright, I came home to my bold colors and yearned for a bit of change. Not a lot, just a little. I've promised myself that I'm going to repaint the interior of the house completely after we've been here ten years, but a little change to satisfy my yen might be nice.

So I went to Home Depot and picked up some paint chips. And then I decided to replace my bathroom light fixtures.

That project has been overdue for far too long. I knew the lights in my bathroom weren't bright enough because at home, my skin looks great. In hotels, I see every fine wrinkle--enough to assure me that the lights at home are a little too dim. Plus, the shades on the first light fixtures were PLASTIC, ick. So it was definitely time for an upgrade.

How hard could it be to change out two light fixtures?

I was fortunate at the Depot, because I found two light fixtures that would work on the clearance table. Trouble was, the plate that mounts to the wall was small--about the size of a saucer. The wall plate of the original lights was rectangular and LARGE--over 36 inches wide and five inches tall. But the new fixture had four lights instead of three, and GLASS shades.

So I bought the fixtures, came home, and set them aside The sun was dipping toward the west and I knew I'd need LIGHT to install the fixtures, on account of having to turn off the power to the master bath.

So Sunday afternoon I climbed up on the tub and then stepped onto the sinktops/vanitys to unscrew and dismount the original lights. When the painters painted the bathroom (cranberry red), they left a line of paint all around the long rectangular wall mounting plate, and of course no paint got beneath it. I managed to get the lights down with not much trouble, but then I was faced with two large rectangular unpainted boxes on the wall. Fortunately, I had some cranberry paint. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly the same shade or sheen as the original paint. I think the original was "satin." The replacement shade was "semi-gloss." Trust me, there's a difference.

Anyway, I painted the rectangular boxes one coat, two coats, three coats. I sanded the edges where the paint had raised a kind of lip, and fine cranberry dust covered everything in the bathroom. Then I struggled to get the new lights in place.

One of the lights, however (the one over my sink), had two electrical lines coming out from the wall--and lots of long wire. That's SIX wires that had to be linked, capped, and wound up in a little ball to fit beneath the saucer-size wall plate. Somehow I managed to do it, but not without lots of muttering under my breath. But as I tried to install the second light (thinking that it would be a breeze), I discovered that the sunlight was leaving me, I was tired and frustrated, and darkness was approaching.

I quit. Things would look better on Monday morning.

On Monday morning, I remembered that I have an ELECTRIC SANDER out in the garage. So I went and got it, sanding the still-visible rectangles on the wall, grinding out the spackle in the nail holes, etc. This, of course, took off much of the paint and recovered everything in dust.

So--more painting, more cleaning. Finally I climbed back up on the vanities and got the thing mounted to the wall. Furthermore, when I flipped the switch, both lights actually worked. :-)

But now I have those odd-colored rectangles on the wall. Probably no one else would notice (not at first glance, anyway), and it's not like I ever entertain people in my bathroom. But I notice. And things like that drive me crazy. :-)

So I've been thinking about repainting just that wall--maybe sponging? Glazing? Going with a teal color?

Probably the safest thing will be to sit tight for a while . . . because now I'm thinking about painting my office. :-) But this, too, can wait a while.

~~Angie

6 comments:

Scobberlotcher said...

That's quite a project. In my house, one project always begets another. :) Good luck!

Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. You are quite the handywoman. I would never even attempt that. Being married to an electrical engineer definitely comes in handy.

I was looking forward to the "after" picture of the new lights! (Rectangle of paint or not!)

SmilingSally said...

I cannot advise you on colors other than to note that teal is the "in" color.

Patti G. said...

I remember a posting - oh, year or so ago maybe - you had pictures of writings all along walls, over doors, etc. Some even had some decorations in and around, or over and under. So as a very talented lady of words, I bet you could come up with something to put there to camouflage those boxes. I am presuming one side is yours and one is hubby's. Each one could be different depicting each of your character - like shorts, t-shirts and high top tennis shoes surrounded by hordes of middle school kids. if you go to my facebook photos, you'll find one album titled "The Ugly Blue Bathroom." Everything done but painting walls. My hubby had to have knee surgery so his time has been trying to heal and mine - trying to make him heal - fast!!! As Linda says, we await the "after" pictures.

BTW, for those of you who might not know Angie's husband, let me just say, he has been God's gift to our church and especially the middle school kids since way back.

Ruthie said...

Now you know why we live in an apartment!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Add my voice to those clamoring for an "after" picture. Although the Upper Case living writings are cool, I don't they would work as camouflage (sp?). A light teal would be lovely (lighter than your counters), or maybe a peachy color? Anyway, have fun, Mrs. Tool Time! Clyde