In 2010 a family of four sold their charming little condo in the increasingly fashionable neighborhood of University Heights. With the money they bought a stripped out house in East San Diego previously owned by human smugglers. Their goal was a radical change in lifestyle that would allow DIY Makerism, self reliance, alternative technology, permaculture, and urban homesteading into their lives in ways their HOA would have never allowed. The ideas that lead them to take this plunge came from the steampunk movement as it was during a brief shining period when art and philosophy seemed at least as important as brass, and great essays, speeches, and letters were written. These days they don't worry so much about what people call "steampunk." They call what they're doing the Greyshade Estate.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Once I had a fantasy about how repainting the interior was going to go. I was going to recruit family and friends and have a big painting party and get the whole job done in a couple of days. The reality is more complicated. It has been decades since anyone has properly repainted this house. Each room requires careful inspection and prep. There are huge bubbles where the paint peels off in sheets that go clear back to the plaster, or drywall, depending on what remodel layer we are looking at. There are nails, screws, painted over tape. Chunks of crumbling plaster come out when removing curtain mounts. And all of this is just the prelude to the actual business of getting paint to stick to the walls, because the top most layer of paint on every wall and ceiling is semi-gloss.
We’ve made a great deal of progress on wall repair but are saving the final scrapping and smoothing for each room as we paint it. Our pre-move-in goal is too have the kitchen, living room, hallway and bathroom done. The bedrooms can wait until after we move because we can shuffle around our sleeping arrangements until all the rooms are painted. Once we repair each wall we are sanding the semi-gloss and applying at least one coat of Kilz primer. There are too many mildew spores in this house to use anything but Kilz as a primer. We got a large amount of free paint through Freecycle including four gallons of flat Navaho White. This will be the color of our ceilings and a the top six inches of our walls in most places. At the six-inch line we will eventually put a picture rail. We also have a lot of Ultra White semi-gloss which we are using on the doors. The walls are a room by room decision but we are largely using Yolo paints. Because Yolo paints contain no toxic additives the are the only paints I have ever used which don’t give me a headache. The kitchen is the first room we have finished.
(Compare it to the Battle of the Kitchen post) We chose Yolo’s Dream 3. The cupboard over the range hood is painted in Ultra White as all the cupboards will be.