How Not To Paint Your Floor


What do you do when you are buried with work, deadlines are falling all around you like giant redwoods in a timber harvest, you have guests coming in from out of town and you decided to have a great big fiesta on Saturday with lots and lots of friends? Do you knuckle down and get your work done so you’ll have plenty of time to clean your house and get ready for the party before your guests arrive OR do you walk around your house and dream up some impossible last-minute DIY home-improvement projects? The latter of course!

Because you wouldn’t want your guests to see the bathroom floor looking like this:

mint floor

The horror! Actually, it looked much worse than that. The paint had come up in spots and it was soooo dirty. Muddy kid bathing, running-over sinks (that’s another story) and dogs with hair and claws do not do well on painted pressed wood (not to be confused with plywood, that would be a step up). It was the floor that could not be mopped. Oh, I tried to mop it. Believe me. But scrubbing seemed to just make it worse. You know you have a problem when you moisten the wood and it just comes up in crumbs in your hand. It was icky.

So I decided to paint the floor! Giant deadlines be damned. (Don’t worry clients, all’s well in the end.) My mom had taken all the girls over to her house for Camp Grandma so I decided to attack the floor with wild blood-shot-eyes of craziness and then get my work done on the side. That’s how we get things done around here.

wild blood-shot eyes of craziness

Oh yeah.

painting my floor

First, I was just going to paint some flowers to distract from the ugliness of the dirty mint green paint. I drew them in with a sharpie and was quite pleased. Then I painted the flowers and leaves and some odd purple paisleys around the toilet area and discovered that the new fresh paint made the old dirty mint green paint look like a hot mess of awfulness. It didn’t detract at all! It pointed instead and screamed, Look! Look! It’s dirty in here! You’re probably going to catch something awful if you walk in here barefoot!

Oh woe is me.

Did I mention that I was using old house paint from a craft project from a long time ago and I didn’t have enough paint to cover the whole floor and definitely not enough for more than one coat? Good thinking, that thar me. But I tried anyway. I tried and tried to skimp out every last scrape of “lemon icing” paint to cover the ugly mint green but there was just NOT enough.

This is about the time I started walking around my house naked doing a one-woman stand-up comedy show all by myself for myself and the dog. I really wish I could have recorded that because I think I am pretty funny. But there was nakedness and blood-shot craziness so no recording was going on.

I did jot down some notes for this post though. I’m such a blogger like that.

Here are my notes:

1. Don’t have a dog, with hair when you are painting your floor. No matter how hard you sweep and wipe up the hair with a wet paper towel, you will miss about 80 thousand of them. That is why they call painting white wash. You are washing the hair with paint. Check your OCD at the back door.

2. Don’t paint with old paint from a past project because you WILL run out and you won’t be able to match it with your home stash of acrylics or the kid poster paint.

3. Do not leave the phone on the counter where you can’t reach it later without stepping in wet paint.

4. Do not forget to paint behind the door. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

5. Do not paint in your favorite nightgown.

That’s all I wrote down but I’m sure there are about 95 more things not to do when painting your floor. In the end I went to Home Depot, shelled out 88 trillion bucks for a gallon (They don’t sell smaller containers. Gah!) of “lemon icing” matched paint and a gallon of epoxy garage floor paint for cement to put over the top and hopefully make the whole mess more mop-able. I really hope it works and doesn’t peel up my masterpiece when I roll it down Friday morning.

$88 dollars later

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how drying times had to be factored in. You know how I am so great at math. Ha ha. Imagine me with a calculator and smoke coming out of my ears. It turns out I do have enough time to get it all done before the party on Saturday (when my guests will mostly likely need to use the restroom!!) but it was close. So close in fact that I had to step aside and painfully not paint more detail so that I could give it a whole 24 hours to cure before laying down the garage floor epoxy laminate clear coat, or whatever that stuff is called. It was hard stepping aside. I desperately wanted to add more flourishes and scallops and maybe some tapered dotting but I started stepping in paint in places I couldn’t cover up and I knew it was time to cut my losses.

almost done!

My original plan was just to paint some flowers as a temporary measure until I could put some groovy old 70’s linoleum down but now I’m kinda liking the flowers. They’re bright, they’re crazy. They make the rest of the bathroom look like an old lady running away from a flower child on acid but I kinda dig it. If this clear coat thing works out, they might stick around for a while.

At least so I can tell this story over and over.

up to no good, as usual

and unwinding unwinding

Today after I finished up work, I rewarded myself with a trip to the local thrift stores—two of them to be exact. I’ve had it in my head for weeks now that I want a coffee table. Just something little that can sit nice and low between Bugly and Beatrice so we can set our coffee on it. (Imagine that, using a coffee table for what it’s for!) That way we won’t be resorting to setting our coffee cups on our laptops like my Uncle Tim did when he was visiting, crazy Uncle Tim.

Anyway, a long long time ago there was this neat little octagon table, probably about two feet high and maybe a foot and a half wide that would have been perfect. Except I didn’t buy it back then when I first saw it because I didn’t have Beatrice and Bugly yet and I didn’t know I’d be on this 70’s furniture kick. I do remember thinking that it was especially hideous but might look cool spray-painted pink or orange or…both! I get crazy ideas like that.

Well, you know how this story always goes. I went back for the table and it was gone. Duh. I’ve looked for it a few (hundred) times and have determined that nothing else like it will ever exist again. Predictably, I went home table-less again today and just felt sad and tired. Which also might have something to do with my terrible habit of waking up at 1am and working until 5am but whatever. Life is all about the hunt, right? Some days you just don’t find what you want, that’s the fun of it.

soooo tired

After sitting outside on my park bench and sighing loudly for nobody to hear, I finally hatched a new plan. You could say I had a bee in my bonnet.

something is about to be pinkified

I remembered this spool we found in the dumpsters by my aunt’s seamstress shop back when we were looking for empty boxes for my sister-in-law’s move. Don’t worry, it wasn’t dirty dumpster diving. All the trash in this dumpster was clean. It was full of empty boxes and some random things that cable companies use to hook up direct tv or whatever it is they do. We had no idea what the cable could be good for but the spool looked like it might be fun for Bug to play with. So we threw it in the back of my mom’s SUV with all the empty boxes and never thought of it again.

That is, until now. That spool was destined to become pinkified.

is it pink enough?

Perhaps that shade of fuchsia that is so popular around these parts? I just happen to have some spray paint in that color already. I wonder why?!!

So we pinkified it. Pink, pink, pink.

let's paint this broken phone while we're at it Barbie's calling!

Then we spray-painted an old broken phone that happened to be within reach. Nothing is safe from THE Pink.

"I'll get it!" Oh Hey, Barbie!

“I got it, I got it!…Hey, Barbie! What’s up girl?”

still talking

“Like totally. Hang on, my mom wants me to help her with something in the living room. I’ll just walk and talk.”

"and then he's all..."

“Seriously, it’s like my mom thinks she’s on some kind of interior decorating show or something.”

And that’s the story of the pink spool in my living room. I realize it’s not the best fix. It looks sort of like a cross between something from the set of The Borrrowers and something from a college dorm room but it does get the job done and it’s small enough that we can just wheel it off to Bug’s room if something better comes along.

vintage dishes

I think it looks pretty cool, especially with the new (old) dishes my mom just gave me. Aren’t they groovy? My mom bought them when she was pregnant with me. Nineteen-seventy-two, baby. What a good year that was.

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In other news, don’t forget to stop by my review blog and comment on my Slim-Fast post if you haven’t already! Sweepstakes be-a sweepstaking!