Group 6 3 minutes Read

progress report: week 22

Lauren Zerbey

Well, maybe it was a little overly optimistic on my part to think we could get most of the painting done this weekend. But we did get a lot done! It’s 10:00 on Monday night and we’re beat. Here’s the holiday weekend recap:

Last week we picked up the primer and paint. We’re using a vapor barrier primer and Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint in “super white”. The irony here is that the paint is zero-VOC and the primer is, well…not. Here was our dilemma – we needed a way to keep moisture out of the wall cavity and a vapor barrier primer is the preferred method in our climate and in our situation (interior gut job). Unfortunately, it’s those pesky VOC’s that make the product viable. I googled around, asked a few opinions and even hit up the folks at Green Building Advisor, but in the end, this was the best solution from a holistic viewpoint (assuming that, if you have moisture in your wall cavity and nowhere for it to go, then you’ve got a whole other set of environmental problems to deal with).

For the metal reveals, we’re using a low-voc metal primer that was left over from the bedroom/bathroom project.

We also invested in some sturdy metal trays, which make it a lot easier to move a paint-filled tray from room to room. We also picked up some more no-shedding 3/8″ nap rollers from BM. We made the mistake in the past of buying some cheaper rollers from one of the big box stores…nothing like a little lint imbedded in your walls to drive you crazy at the end of a project. We also picked up a new cut-in brush and some green Frog Tape.

We had so much cutting in to do so we opted to play it safe and mask around the joists, windows, doors, etc.

A couple temporary lights kept us going once we lost our sun (which seemed to be most of the weekend). Since we’re working with new drywall (and since our primer is acting as a vapor barrier), we really need to do two coats. Primer over new drywall is my nemesis. It’s like painting a sponge. To make matters worse, I started in the loft which has so many planes and angles and awkward positioning that I honestly think it took me four hours. By tonight, we now have at least one coat of primer up on most of the walls (two coats in some areas), but we still need to do the vaulted ceiling (which is a very porous material and requires awkward positioning. FUN!). Kyle did tackle the spackling/sanding/caulking in that area which was tedious and decidedly not fun either.

Kyle also got all of the base trim installed (he used shims to set the correct height so we can just tuck the flooring in later). It’s amazing how much a difference a little trim can make!

The big priority for the weekend was not painting though – it was getting the kitchen cabinets installed and ready for the counter template appointment on Tuesday! Even though we’ve had the island up for a while, it had never been fully fastened to the stud wall behind and floor below. It’s completely solid now. In fact, if there’s an earthquake, you should take refuge in our island.

Next came the base cabinets. Per IKEA’s instructions, we opted to install a wall ledger to support the back edge of the cabinet frames and ensure that everything is level (the front of the cabinets have the adjustable legs). This involved the laser level and lots of math, but we eventually reached complete plumbness. And since we always like to modify IKEA in some fashion, we used a 2x ledger instead of the piece of particle board that comes with the toe-kick. This gave us more bearing width and allowed us to install screws through the cabinet frame and into the ledger (in addition to the wall fasteners at the top of the cabinet frames).

Thankfully, our friend Tim came over to help paint and he showed up just in time to help move the range up from the basement.

It’s really starting to look like a kitchen now! Of course, we still have the upper cabinets, vent hood and all the interior fittings and drawer/door fronts but with a bit of a lead time on the counters this was a priority. 

This week, it’s back to painting. We calculated that we have roughly 1,500 SF of surfaces to paint and at 4 coats total (2 primer, 2 paint) that’s 6,000 SF total. Bring it!

[P.S. – A few people have asked us about who are drywaller was. We used Stacey Cagampang at Emerald State Drywall and he did a great job. His number is 253.335.5665.]