Saturday, December 6, 2014

TToT55: The Stripper and Me

Have you ever started a task and a little ways in realized you were crazy? I did this week. And I'm guessing in this retelling that you'll all realize I was crazy long before I came to the conclusion.

I have a high and probably far-too-generalized regard for that which is old. This is why I always end up in an old house, why my furniture consists of hand-me-downs (well, one reason), why I treasure ragged Tshirts. And then if it's pronounced old and highly valuable? I'll do a lot to keep it good enough shape to keep it going.

But that bit me in the ass this week.

If I have a pet peeve it when people paint over items like vent registers and grilles, lightswitch plates, or outlet covers. COME ON! It never looks nice, and it's just plain lazy. It takes all of 30 seconds to take one of those off and put it on again after painting. And the effect is so much better.

Rant over.

The former owners of our house were willing to pull out the screwdrivers for the lightswitch plates and the outlet covers but not for the vent grilles and registers (I just learned these terms, and I'm going to overuse them). So as I've been painting my house, I've been stuck with the choice of painting over these items again or buying new ones. And in the interest of saving money, I've just been painting over. That stopped this week.

I measured carefully, placed an Amazon order, and received a bunch of new ones that...did not fit.

So I gave in, faced the traffic, and hauled Leo, the old grilles and registers (grilles for the return vents, registers for the air that flows out), and myself to the Home Depot to buy new ones. And, unfortunately, worked with an employee who used the magic words: You know, you can't buy high quality ones like you have there. The new ones are much lighter. You should strip the paint off and spray paint them white again.

And you're all thinking, That cannot be worth the effort.

It's not.

I have no idea what inherent value a old, heavy vent grille or register has over a modern, lightweight one. I do know it is an enormous pain in the ass to strip paint out of all those teeny-tiny crevices using that nasty, nasty paint stripper (ha! got you with my title, didn't I?)  that eats through your plastic gloves and burns your skin, but once I got started I wasn't going to quit. I'd put down money on the stripper (ha!), I'd found use for all those stripping sponges I'd bought and not used years and years ago, and I was going to persevere.

My ten things are that the job is done. They're not all back up on the walls, but they've been stripped, they've been repainted, and the mess is cleaned up. That's ten, I promise.

Behold!
I should just buy new screws, huh?



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23 comments :

  1. Yeah, I think that counts. It really does make a difference to take care of the small details in life.
    I'm thankful for your title because it made me almost spit out my coffee. Almost. Waste of good coffee to spit.

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    1. The Hubs' coffee! That's impressive! Look at you and me linking up at the same time.

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    2. Took me all damn day to write it because I was trying to decorate at the same time.

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  2. WOW.. Yeah I am with you on old and antique things and yes you totally got me with the title. Before my chronic illnesses I would in a heartbeat strip things and paint things and restore things. Normally the old things are worth it but I think that employee had persausive powers or something. BUT using stuff you bought years ago and its all cleaned up yes I think that is more than ten!

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    1. In the end, now that it's done, yeah. Like childbirth.

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  3. It totally counts as ten! The re-newed vents look wonderful! Hope your chemical burns are healing quickly!! Enjoy the new look!!

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  4. You only HALF got me with the title, because...well, forgive me, my friend, but I feel it would be a stretch too far. HOWEVER, I am always ready and willing to be surprised :)

    What I'm baffled by is why the employee thought it would be a good idea to make you NOT buy stuff...unless the paint stripper you bought was more expensive than the grilles.

    What's a register?

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    1. Ooooh, the things you don't know about me!
      Well, I still had to buy the stripper (ha! again) and the mineral spirits for clean up.

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    2. Oh, and clearly you don't read carefully, my dear. A register covers the hole where the air comes out. A grille covers the hole where the air goes in.

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  5. I h. ave those same metal vents, but never thought of painting them. Oh, my. I value the old stuff too. I have lots of pieces of furniture inherited from my husband's aunt and grandmother. I love them. I think of painting them sometimes, but I like the natural wood look. Big project, lots of work but you did it. Yay, you.

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    1. Which is good, Val. I have no issue with taking them off and spray painting them, but just painting over with teh paintbrush--NO NO!!!

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  6. It looks great. I applaud you for learning all of that and putting the work in. I mean, I'd want my vents to look awesome too and not half way peeled off. I hope you're enjoying your weekend!

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  7. What a great job you did on that vent! We have the same ones and if you ever want to get rid of yours you know where you can send them... wink wink. :)

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    1. Are you kidding? I'm never parting with them now!

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  8. The vent looks great! I'm sitting here feeling just a tiny bit guilty that mine need to be cleaned. Maybe after the holidays are over I'll remember to do that during spring cleaning!

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    1. You know, we had the ducts cleaned once when we first moved in, but they cleaned only one return duct. I was absolutely astonished at how disgustingly dirty the other return duct was. That cleaning service may be worth it!

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  9. As soon as you mention paint stripper in a project I'm out of there. I simply don't have the patience such things require and yes that nasty stuff eats right through the gloves.

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    1. It is nasty stuff, for sure. I'm always game for refurbishing, but I sometimes bite off more than I want to chew.

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  10. I'm with you Sarah about the old stuff. Not everything old is worth saving or restoring or re-using but there's a lot to be said for having the original (fill in the blank). And we all know they don't make/build things like they used to.! Good for you forsticking it out and persevering and more importantly knowing you just can't slap some paint over the old stuff and expect it to look good!! Nice job:)

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  11. The guy who just fixed our bathroom, out of the goodness in his heart, painted our register before putting it back on the ceiling. SO much better!
    I'm always impressed with the things you get done to make your house look better.

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