After we got the carpet out, the men worked on removing the particle board and a thousand nails (more on that later), and I started on the walls.
Most of these photos were taken with my cell phone, so they don’t quite show the intensity or breadth of the work that was cut out for me. There were many challenges: filthy walls, big holes, hundreds and hundreds of nail holes, push pin holes, staples, scotch tape. Sharpie and magic marker graffiti. Dark paint in Max’s room, blue paint in ours. Cracked and chipping lead-based paint downstairs. There was candle wax, unidentified dried globs (mucous? semen?), and plenty of dirt. And in our bedroom, there were hundreds of small slashes — presumably where the kid was throwing his knife against the wall. Every wall.
I spent plenty of time on the phone with various paint departments, and lots of time researching on the ‘net.
My main goal was to get as much primer and paint on the bedrooms and living rooms before the floors were to be refinished. That gave me two weeks, which sounds like a good amount of time, but juggling work and kids meant that I wasn’t working on the house as much as I wanted or expected. Also, Ben’s task of prepping the floors for refinishing took priority.
I scrubbed walls with general purpose cleaner, and then rinsed with clean water. I filled holes with spackle, and then spackled some more. Every time I went past a wall, I found more and more and more tape and staples.
I got a couple good weekend days in, and a few weekday nights. Only a handful of hours, really. Eventually I hired someone to help — there just wasn’t enough time to make good progress without taking time off of work. And that would have been economically unwise. Just throw some primer on the walls and paint the ceilings, I told him. The next day, I had him paint a couple rooms too.