Sunday, January 15, 2012

Repaint, Rebuild, Relax

   Ed wants the man-cave to look..well, like a cave...or a mine shaft. He's been working for three weeks on faux painting the walls...all of them... to look like rock. Apparently few people have done this, because it's next to impossible to find any pictures on the 'net. So he's been winging it. He used a tan base coat and began sponging on progressively darker colors mixed with glaze. It's a huge job and includes the ceiling.
   The bad news is, after the terra cotta coat, the brown coat, and the black coat, it wasn't the look he was after. So, back to square one and try a different method. He put a coat of tan and glaze over everything to mute the other colors a bit, and we'll try ragging instead  of sponging.
   After having an unusually dry winter, the week after Christmas we had 14" of rain. This was not a good thing for our creek restoration project. Slow and steady wins the race. This was not slow or steady. The deluge (or weather event as the project manager calls it) overwhelmed one of the structures and tore a new hole in the creek bank. It In three days, it washed away a section about 40'x60'  including all the burlap and planted willow sticks. It collapsed part of the support for one structure. Mother Nature has a mind of her own, and she holds very strong opinions.
   Darin Houpt, Wahkiakum Water Conservation District, was quick to come out and evaluate the problem. He created a damage-control plan, and will coordinate further work in the spring.

  Just before Christmas we ordered stainess steel counter tops for the craft room. This was one of the last big projects to be done inside the house. Thursday, Mark from  S&R Sheet Metal came out and installed them. There was a little bit of trimming to do where the backsplash lip fit under the window sill.

 After a dry fit of all the pieces, he put down liquid nails and troweled down. The sheet metal pieces were put into place and weighted down for the night.
   Ed knew that the space between the door to the hallway and the edge of the cabinet was going to be close. But this is beyond close. I think I might be able to slide a piece of paper between  the edge of the cabinet and the door, but I haven't had the courage to try it yet.

   After the glue was dry we moved the weights off the countertops and began polishing. Now I know that the tops will get scratched and dinged. That's why I had stainless steel put in here. I can use it and abuse it with abandon. But somehow...when it's just want it to be perfectly beautiful. Even just for a day. Ed and I spent several hours going over small (and some not so small) scratches in the surface. First we used an orbital sander with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Then we spritzed the surface and used the sand paper by hand on some deeper scratches. After that Ed went over the whole thing with a Scotch Brite pad. Our hands and shirts were black with what looked like graphite powder.  I'll probably have to bleach my fingernails to get the black color out of the nail beds.
    Later that day he installed the laundry sink and faucet. ABS glue, so the drain will have to wait until next week.
   Next to the sink I'll put in my Boraxo dispenser. Remember these? Every gas station bathroom along Route 66 had one. I found it in a junk shop and brought it home. There is nothing like Boraxo to clean hands covered in dirt, mud, grease or whatever trouble you can get into.

   Last night it began snowing. Each year we get enough snow to enjoy, and not so much that it becomes a major chore. It usually lasts about a week.  I have a pantry full of supplies and time on my hands. I think I'll make some oatmeal-chocolate chip-craisin cookies...or maybe molasses-cinnamon cookies.  It's a good day to curl up by the fireplace and relax.