House-owning n00b

Look, it’s my dirty garage, just as the contractor abandoned it!

I moved around so often growing up that as an adult I’m still not certain what it means to own a home. We have our share of issues to contend with still (like argh, the plumbing CONTINUES TO LEAK), but I’m slowly beginning to realize that I can do whatever I like to it. How liberating to imagine that I could paint the whole thing bright magenta if I want, and nobody could say no. (Except future purchasers. They might say no.)

A month ago, I decided to give up on waiting for a certain AWOL contractor to resume his job (picture above) and clean the garage. This snowballed from a weekend of garage cleaning (results below) into “wow, this space can be used for household projects” to “hey let’s paint this inherited piece of furniture.”

I’ve learned so much in the process. I’ve never painted furniture before, and my family helped me figure out wood and primer and various coats of paint. Then a woman at the art store gave me a swift and practical lesson on making stencils with acetate, and suddenly we had a cute item of furniture for my daughter’s room.

I see how it is, home ownership. It’s addictive because it lets me nest more easily. If I’m not careful, I suspect I’ll start sticking seasonal wreaths on my front door.

Anyway. Here is a photo essay of my path from dirty garage to clean furniture.

At the beginning of the month, I gave up hoping that the contractor would return, and spent several hours mucking out the garage. Suddenly it became clean and empty. “We could even…fit a car in here, or something,” Dave said.

My mom prodded me mercilessly about this painting project until we actually did it (she knows that my usual household project path is deep procrastination), in my AWESOMELY CLEAN garage.

With everyone’s help, we finished three coats of white paint before breakfast one morning. It’s amazing how easy it was to paint something. I never knew.

Late Saturday night, my daughter and I did this. Stencils were a bit harder. I admit that I became a perfectionist about them. My daughter sighed at me a lot.

Somehow we finished it (with a small trip to Lowe’s to more firmly anchor the hutch). But look, it’s awesome, and neatly covers up the floor ruined by our leaky plumbing! And yes, that’s next on the agenda…