One of the things that the photo shoot got us in the mode for doing was some touch up work on the third floor. So much of this former attic space is wood – ceilings, trim, wardrobes, walls, cubbies, beams, etc… so every winter it shrinks a bit, and a few gaps open that need a little attention. We touched up caulk here and there, and paint as well, covering up those little scuffs and scratches that appear all the time. And as we hung final light fixtures and finished organizing closets and shelves, we started thinking about how to finish up the stair hall so we could call this floor complete.
If you’ve visited our house then you’ve noticed what a mess it really is. Not that we live in a mess necessarily, it’s just that we always seem to have some project going on somewhere, and the materials may be organized but they are still sitting in a corner or down a hallway at some point in the process. And we gave up years ago trying to keep up with the paint touch up throughout the house. Note to self (and note to all you who are crazy enough to live and breathe a nine year + renovation): Start at the TOP. We didn’t. We started at the bottom, and as we worked our way up we banged and busted and bruised up the floors below. The first floor and second floor have spaces that haven’t seen a fresh coat of paint since the start of the millennium. They have drywall patches and bare areas of primer, and a general messiness about them. But it wasn’t worth our time or our money to keep up appearances. We are what we are – a work in progress. As we finish the top floor we’ll start moving down below, painting and patching and reworking and finishing what we’ve got started. So it might be another nine years before our living room finally resembles the living room that we picture in our minds. Which makes those rooms that are all together now even that much sweeter.
So project stair hall on the third floor – an art gallery for E and the new kid on the block. On the long wall (in progress and not shown) we’ll have a combination of chalkboard and magnetic paint under the wall paint so that we can hang a rotating set of the latest two dimensional masterpieces and play around with some magnetic poetry and such. We bought some magnetic sheets to make our own magnetic photos of the family and friends – we’re going to mix and match heads and bodies – and let E go to town with her crazy concoctions. I’m sure we’ll end up with highways and cars and building parts as well – we see it as a fun wall that is always changing and active. We took the former niche that houses a few display shelves and the third floor phone and painted the back with chalkboard paint. The idea is that we’ll continue to use it as a display for the kids’ art projects – particularly those three dimensional ones that seem to be pretty popular here of late, and they can complement the work with drawings on the background. Or maybe even label them with giant arrows pointing to them, so that we can finally figure out what that sculpture with thirteen pounds of scotch tape on it is really supposed to be. I’ve got a little touch up work to finish on the white trim and then we’ll put a couple of the shelves back in and organize the gallery. But this afternoon we gave the new wall a test run with some very appropriately timed liquid chalk markers from the Easter bunny. They were way cool. And slightly addictive, I’ll have to admit. (And no dust!) The first set cost a fortune – I need to hunt around and find some for a better price at a restaurant supply store or the like – but as E informed me when I told her to cap them tightly because they were like painting with liquid gold – “Well, it’s a good thing we had the Easter bunny to pick up the cost of the first set.”
Yeah, something like that.