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Painting the Basement

August 7, 2012

Have you ever done any painting in your house? No, not the incredible painting of pictures that Randy Hyashi does, and no not finger painting on the kitchen table with your kids – but painting the walls in your home? My good friend Milt McKee is an expert painter, and his walls look pristine! We’re not there. We’re pretty good, we’re pretty picky about painting.

So we moved into our house down here in Strathmore just about a year ago. We really love our house, but the paint job downstairs left a lot to be desired! When we first moved in, we painted the girls rooms right away – the colours were dreadful and dark, and the paint job was very very poor. Later this past Spring we did the office downstairs, and this last week, we tackled the family room.

Let me paint, er, well, describe the picture to you. Two of the walls in our large family room were a deep burgundy. The other two walls were kind of a light/mid-light brown. And the paint had been literally slapped on. There was paint on all the light switches, and electrical plugs, and they made a mess of the baseboards and trim. Yikes!

And because of the darkness of the burgundy, we figured we’d have to do a primer coat and then a couple of coats of paint. We did the first two burgundy walls last weekend. Did a primer and one finish coat on Saturday, and the second coat on Sunday. But we totally miscalculated how much paint we needed! We bought two pails each of the colours we were covering two walls with. But in the end we only needed one can of each! Guess I’m painting the garage inside something different!;)

By the way, since moving to Strathmore we’ve starting using Home Hardware’s Beauti-tone paint. The folks in the Strathmore Home Hardware paint section are absolutely fantastic! They really know paint, and they’ve got all the technology to do colour matching, and they even keep track of every paint item you purchase and colour and what room you put it in, so you can always look it up later. You no longer have to keep a record on your own of all the paint colours you’ve used. And to top it off, they give you a free gallon of paint for every 6 gallons you purchase. We’re already close to our second gallon!

One last quick note – whenever we paint we replace the light switches, and electrical receptacles, and often register covers, etc. So the whole room gets a bit of a makeover.

Side note – tip for you! I like to think I know a little about electrical, and I’ve replaced plugs, switches, circuits, lights, smoke detectors for years, but I came across something I hadn’t seen before when replacing these switches – a four way switch. So in brief, a two way switch is used when you only control a light or something from one switch – you have on and off. A three switch switch is used when you have two switches controlling a light – you know, like an upstairs switch and a downstairs switch for the same light. The three way switch has three wires so that you can use either switch. But what happens when you have three switches controlling a single light? Then you need two three-way switches, AND a single four-way switch. It took me about half an hour until I realized I needed a different switch. AND the four-way switches are much more expensive! I picked up one from Totem for $31.90! Yikes! For one switch! But about 5 minutes later, all the lights and switches were working correctly. Don’t forgot to turn off the breaker when you are replacing the switches, otherwise BAD things can happen. And while you’re at it, make sure your breaker panel is well-labelled!

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The tour in pictures! Here’re some snapshots of the primer coat on the burgundy walls. (Sorry I forgot to take some pictures of them before the primer!)

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Now, here the burgundy walls have disappeared completely, to be replaced with a sort of a green shade. It’s hard to describe, and the lighting and my iphone don’t make the greatest combination of pictures!

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Slipped this one in, we were eating supper outside on the deck one evening. Not related to paint, but it’s fun to mix it up!

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Here’s one more “after” picture of a wall that was burgundy!

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And here are two walls that had the brown on them. Mmmmm… Wonderful paintjob, eh?

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