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A Lot Has Happened, You Guys

July 5, 2011

I sanded the bathroom for like 4 days straight. Everything I own is covered in white dust. I leave the house, touch other things, and then the white dust is on them. I’m like, the god of dust. Despite wearing a mask, I think I did permanent damage to my lungs. Everything needs to be washed, or lint rolled, or, most likely, ignored until company comes over. Lesson learned? Live with the walls you have. Seriously. Work AROUND that shit, you guys.

I used to love holiday weekends. 3+ days off of work, I mean, duh. That is a number that equals FUN! 

That was then. Memorial day weekend was spent on my knees (not like that), pulling and scraping and tiling and crying over a cruddy 5 X 5 bathroom floor. Fourth of July weekend? Pretty much the same times a lot more. I’m so tired I can’t even think of a number to multiply the pain of the floor by.

So here is what I did while the rest of you were getting drunk and eating BBQ and watching fireworks WHICH ARE ALL OF MY FAVORITE THINGS LIFE SUCKS AND YOU SUCK TOO. I’m just kidding, you don’t suck, that is just my rank bitterness speaking.

Short story #1: I got the walls looking like walls and prepped for tiling.

Long story: Using PVA primer especially made for drywall (not sure how critical getting special primer was, but I do so love picking and choosing what I get obsessively nit-picky about), I rolled one coat all over the ceiling and walls. I let it dry. I sanded it.  I Swiffered the dust off. I did another coat. I let it dry. I sanded it again. I Swiffered more dust off. I’ve never done this “sanding between coats” method before, but I have to say I do like the finish it gives. I didn’t like, NOT sand any spots, so I can’t compare and thus let you know if this is a worthwhile step or if you can point and laugh at all the extra work I put myself through.

After priming everything, I taped off where the tiles would be, and went ahead and used Redgard on the walls surrounding the shower. The drywall I used is moisture resistant, but obviously not waterproof and, as with the floor, I am not taking chances. I only did one coat, as I only had half a bucket left over from the floors. I think it should be sufficient.

I painted the walls after I tiled the shower. This went “okay” in that the paint job looks nice everywhere except the angle between the wall and the ceiling. I used a straight edge tool, however, there was bleeding since the surface isn’t perfectly smooth. My solution is to go over it again, tonight, and tape the wall just below the ceiling and go over the angle again. My excitement is unbearable. Also, paint has a special way of making every imperfection stand out. So, I’m sorry I didn’t cover that one screw head and I regret not sanding deeper when I made those accidental scratches.

2) Short Story #2: I tiled the shower walls!

Long story: OMMFSGIH (Oh my mother fucking spiteful god in heaven). Tiling alone took 10 HOURS. I did not eat. I did not take a break. I had to make 4 progressively grimier trips to Home Depot. Once for more tile. I forgot all the math I ever learned and believed that 9 square feet of tile was not, in fact, 3×3 feet of tile. Insert my EPIC facepalm. Once for a couple of necessary tools. Once because I stupidly bought a small bag of spacers when I should have bought the bag of thousands of spacers. Seriously, why do they sell either a bag of 250 or a bag of 15,000? Why. And finally, a last trip because I was FIVE! PIECES! SHORT! You can only imagine my silent scream cursing tile and life and whichever ancestor gave me my incredibly poor math skills when I reached the point of Knowing This Was Fucked.

I spent at least 8 of those hours in soaking wet clothes thanks to the wet saw. And also from accidentally sitting in a pan of water. I also cut my hands and my feet several times on jagged tile. Jeff came over the next day and was like, what are these brown spots? BLOOD, MY DEAR. MY OWN BLOOD. Now the bathroom is hungering for flesh. I told you all it was possessed by Satan! In addition to being damp and bloody, I bent back several fingernails and my hands are so sore I could not even make a fist with which to shake at my damn creeper neighbors who were out on their balcony drinking beer and looking at my wet ass. Yes, it IS a hot day sir! Do you mind if I pour more muddy water on myself while you enjoy that cold cervesa?

I’m not going to say I did a boss job of tiling, but it looks ok. Definitely a huge improvement over the Pepto-Bismol pink that was in there before, at least. A lot of the tiles are a little wonky in their own precious way, and one tile in particular will haunt me for the rest of my life as the fuckest uppest because it decided to suck at about 9:30 at night and at that point I felt too harassed and stopped giving a shit. 

Short Story #3: Goddamn Grouting Happened

Longer story: In a way, getting the tile on the walls was one of the easier things about the weekend. Yeah, bleeding from various cuts and having prune fingers all day was a drag, but it was nothing compared to grouting.

With the floor, grouting was super simple. Not so much with the walls. I think gravity was fucking with me. I had to start late in the day to give the mortar a full 24 hours to cure, so before then, Jeff and I scraped said mortar residue (more like clumps) off the walls. That took forever and I now have triceps like Hercules. During the scraping, SOMEBODY (not me, use your powers of deduction here) popped a tile off. I forgave that SOMEBODY quickly, because I love them and also I wanted them to keep working. Then I grouted for a couple hours, and fixed some grout in the floor, and then threw the rapidly drying grout away and cleaned all my tools. Then I sponged the excess grout off and LO, I MISSED A BIG SPOT. How????? I am the embodiment of STUPD. Also, the grout didn’t clean up very well, so that meant MOAR SCRAPING. And another trip to Home Depot for more grout, which doesn’t match the other grout because I bought premixed instead of DIY mix it yourself and I AM A CRAZY PERSON NOW THANKS TO GROUT. 12 hours of working on grout. 12. Let me type it the way I say it in my crazy person head: TUHHHHH-WELLLLLLLLVVVVVVVE. 

But I finished the grout and Jeff gave me compliments and that gave me the strength to paint the walls and then the best part of the weekend happened: I threw away all the shit I’d never have to look at again. 5 large bags of garbage. I can finally see floor, people.

These are just the highlights of the weekend, I’m leaving out stuff like feverishly vacuuming drywall dust off of couches, caulking the shit out of the borders, organizing all my tools, and a hundred other smaller tasks that filled the time between waiting for paint to dry and slicing my knuckles open on sharp tile.

Next time, I hope to tell you all how I fixed that fucked up paint. And maybe I’ll have a new vanity and I can stop spitting my toothpaste all over the kitchen.

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