Home Improvement

For the next three months, my life will be an HGTV original series. Not literally, of course. I don’t have a three-season contract. (Although, anyone from HGTV reading this, hit me up.) No, instead, my wife and I are fixing up the house we’re about to buy from my grandparents. Although they’ve done a lot of work to the guts of the house, the inner workings, if you will, not much has been done aesthetically. There’s still popcorn ceilings all throughout the house. There’s still old carpet everywhere. There’s old grey wallpaper, bright yellow and blue paint on all the walls, and carpet that’s about as dreary as the Tuesday after a three-day weekend.

They moved out about a month ago to live with my parents, leaving the house to us to do with as we wish before we buy it in January. This is an awesome opportunity, I’m well aware, and I’m glad to be able to do our improvements before we move in. There’s just so much, though, and the final move in date is creeping slowly upon us.

First, we’re taking the popcorn off the ceilings. That in and of itself is a huge undertaking, and the job isn’t without its own complications. See, the first room we did, I did myself. I scraped off the popcorn dry, creating a huge mess, massive amounts of dust, and a ceiling that’s still lightly textured. The next room went the same way.

Then Saturday came along. We had a game plan. 1) Kelsey and Rob would paint the first room that I de-popcorned. 2) I would begin de-popcorning another room while they painted. 3) We’d clean off the second room we de-popcorned while the paint dried in the original room. It was a foolproof plan! Until….

The paint started peeling. Not everywhere, mind you. Just in a few spots. But it peeled enough for it to be noticeable. Which, honestly, was a real downer. Maybe we didn’t clean the ceiling well enough? Maybe we didn’t do a good enough job taking off the texture? Maybe it was the paint? There were a huge number of possibilities, all of which seemed equally plausible. So what did we do? We did a science experiment. First, we took giant street sweepers and ran them across the second room we de-popcorned. After swiping back and forth about 10 times across the ceiling, we decided to go into the next room and do it, too. After covering ourselves in a light dusting of powdered sugar, we went through and wiped off the ceilings with a rag, ensuring that we removed any remaining dust.

Sunday arrived. Renewed and rejuvenated, Kelsey and I arrived ready to rock. We had gotten some new paint, as well. One can of the same that was peeling off the first room, and one can that was actual legit ceiling paint. Would there be a difference? It turned out…no. There wouldn’t be. The original paint peeled off just like it had before, worse even. The ceiling paint didn’t do a great job of covering in one coat, and was a little disappointing. It was even a different white, too, which was interesting. Almost ice white, or light blue.

What did we do then? We picked up some sandpaper and tried sanding some of the remaining texture off. Which…kind of worked? It made a noticeable difference, but I’m not sure if the paint will agree.

We didn’t get to finish painting, however, because we decided we’d bring over our plants from our apartment and set them up in the greenhouse we build annually. We set moved them the short distance without incident, but sure enough, not 10 minutes into setting them up around the gigantic lemon tree we’ve inherited, a branch shot out of nowhere and whacked me straight in my open eye. It feels GREAT and is super sensitive to bright light. So I’ll be rocking some sweet shades indoors all day.

Needless to say, this weekend was eventful. I didn’t even get to my aunt’s 50th birthday party. But we made it. Next Saturday I’ll be playing at Bandera Brewery, which should be better than getting hit in the face with a tree. But maybe it won’t! Who knows. It’ll be my first time playing live by myself in 8 years, so…that’ll be interesting. It could end up being a smack in my pride, instead. But who knows. I think it’ll be fun. I’m really hoping this opens me up to some more opportunities in the future. I miss playing for people, and I want to get out there and make some money off of something I enjoy doing.

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