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NKR – Chapter 3

September 30, 2012
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Finally – our New Kodak Room actually LOOKS like change is happening!

It was time for adding new coats of paint. But before the actual paint, we needed a good coat of crack inhibitor. (It’s more of a no-peel coating, but I like the sound of “crack inhibitor”.) We use a product called “Peel Bond”, and the only place we’ve found it is professional paint outfits, like our local Sherwin-Williams store.

Peel Bond

We do not get any kickbacks by talking about this stuff – it’s just that it’s worked wonders for us on many BAB walls. We just wished that we could find it in 5-gallon buckets because it’s pretty pricey, almost 60 bucks a gallon so we only buy it when it’s on sale.

The stuff goes on like mayonnaise. It’s very thick. As I explained in previous Kodak Room posts about scraping and cleaning, I’d have to keep climbing down the scaffolding to move it after I finished each section. To minimize the trips around the top portion of wall and ceiling, I thought I’d cut in the corners and around fixtures at the same time that I was up there for the roller painting. So I kept a little brush bucket full of Peel Bond on the top deck of scaffold, along several gallons of Peel Bond up there with the paint tray.

I’d paint the inside corners where walls met either each other, the ceiling or beams, then grab the roller and finish up that section. There is a big downside for us when using Peel Bond on our old peely paint: the tiny fibers of the roller cover can grab the edges of old paint on the walls, and lift it off. Maybe you’d think that was a GOOD thing, removing chips of paint, but when the roller is full of sticky paint, the chip of paint usually sticks to the roller. Multiply this times a hundred and you can end up with a roller that has a barrier of old paint chips that hinder the spreading of the mayo-like Peel Bond.

Another downside to using this stuff (besides the cost) is that it dries clear. So stopping for a day or so means that you may not be able to see where you left off the next time. But a good point to the clear dry is that I didn’t have to be super-anal with the cutting in – I didn’t have to mask off anything, because a little smudge onto something NOT meant to be painted, like the concrete wall base, would not be a big deal…

Goes on white, dries clear.

So it became a bit monotonous: cut in with brush, roll, pick gooey paint chips off roll, move scaffolding, climb back up, repeat. When painting high, either up high on the wall or on the ceiling, spray from the roller flew out and coated my protective glasses. If I slowed the rolling, the roller tended to just stop and slide along the wall. Pain in the butt. But I made it all around the room in a few nights.

Almost done with the ceiling and upper walls

I painted as low on the walls as I could reach from the top deck of the scaffolding. I hoped that I would only need one more pass around the room from the floor.

For the pass from the floor, I cut in the corners, windows and base all at once. Since I didn’t have scaffolding to move (just the ladder for the corners) it went a lot faster and did that in a couple hours in another evening.

Then I screwed in a pole extension into the end of the roller, set up the paint tray on the floor, and I was off! I could paint about 8′ wide of a wall, slide the tray along the floor with my foot, and do another 8′ section. It went fast.

I could reach up to 10′ from the floor.

Close to the finish line

It felt great to finish. Unfortunately, like I mentioned earlier, the Peel Bond dries clear so the walls don’t look much better because all of the old paint splotches are visible.

Peel Bond coat complete.

With the crack inhibitor applied, time to plan for the final coat of paint.

I needed to buy paint, so I wanted to get something that would go on thick enough to A) hide all the splotches and B) not require a second coat. After all, I just brushed and rolled 3500sf of crack inhibitor; I didn’t want to do that two more times. The gal in the paint department at Lowes told me the cheap Olympic paint would definitely require two coats. Possibly three.

So I bought a good Valspar brand of white. Two five-gallon buckets to start, she said I could bring back what I didn’t open.

But then I wandered into the “tool” aisle of the paint department, and saw the sprayers… Hmmm – maybe I should up my game one more. I have a big compressor at home (thanks Sue) and I used to paint my cars back in the 70s/80s, but I used one quart of lacquer at a time as that was the most the paint gun cup would hold.

Can’t wait to use this!

So yay – I bought a new tool! They had several models to pick from, and since I didn’t want to dilute the paint, (defeating the thicker coverage aspect) I picked one that could spray UN-diluted latex paint. (Which requires more pressure.) And the model I chose could straddle a 5-gallon bucket of paint, with its umbilical hose sucking out all but a cupful of paint.

Since I’d be doing all of the white paint with the new sprayer and not a brush to cut in, I needed to mask off areas where paint should not go. To shortcut the masking process even more, I shopped for a product that had masking tape already connected to a sheet of paper or plastic. Giddyup for “Tape & Drape”!

This stuff is a great time saver…

This stuff was pretty easy to use and I used it along the wall base, around the windows and around the door. Since there was a thick layer of old linoleum on the floor that we’d remove in another chapter, I didn’t care if any paint got on the floor, so no need to cover that.

Taping over the wall base

I knew there would be a lot of overspray so before I started I opened up a window, and brought in that old attic fan from demo house and set it up in the door to the room, hoping to push air out of the room that came in from the window.

Starting at the window end of the room, progress was very fast. Even though I had to move the scaffold like I’d done in all previous steps, the spray time was shorter than move time so it felt many times faster than scraping or applying crack inhibitor.

I took a short water break and took another photo opp of how far I’d gotten. What was crazy was how much overspray showed up when I had the flash on.

It’s not love, but overspray, in the air.

Since I was on a short break, drinking water, checking email, taking pictures, i turned off the big attic fan. The temperature in the building was about the same that we wanted in the apartment, so we had been leaving the apartment door open.

So… a few minutes later, a little dog had wandered out of the apartment to visit the Kodak Room…

a little visitor

Then it was rock-n-roll time – I decided I’d get this whole room painted in less than a day. And with one coat. No more.

The sprayer was awesome. It took a little getting used to – mostly because the hose was fixed, not swiveling at the gun, and affecting how easily I could aim the spray with each stroke. It was a little bit of a struggle, and there were a few crooked passes but in the end they were fine.

Following is a series of photos taken over a course of about… 30 seconds… super fast!

BTW, if you noticed some weirdness on my head in those last pics, I was wearing a respirator underneath a big head sock, to keep paint overspray off of my face and head.

I made great progress making the pass around the upper portion (yeah yeah, ceiling and upper part of the wall) and then I was happy to no longer need the scaffold. I could use the ladder and reach the 9′-10′ height and the rest of the wall. And then… I ran out of paint.

Dang – ran out of paint…

It was around 7:00pm and I half wanted to just quit for the day. (It was a Saturday) But I knew if I skipped dinner, ran to the store and bought more paint, I could probably finish before midnight. (Completing my goal of finishing in a day!) I checked in with Sue, and decided to go for it. (Though I snagged a quick bite for dinner.) I bought two more 5-gallon containers (with the gal saying I could return what I didn’t open) and rushed home.

For some reason the lower half felt like it went about 3 times faster than the upper half . Could be – because there was no scaffolding involved.

The room was REALLY starting to look different now, as more and more of the splotchy walls were replaced with bright white paint.

Getting close to finishing…

The painting was finished by 10:30pm. I call that pretty good for 3500sf of coating. Add some up/down scaffold moving in there, dog visits and water breaks.

The next day I felt it was requisite that I take some pics of the fresh white Kodak Room. Using our favorite scale figure dog Lucy, I posed her at one end of the room and took a dozen pics or so. She’s a great model – so obedient!

Lucy in one of her regal poses.

And of course, since the apartment door was open, the super-curious little one named Lily had to come barge in on the photo session…

Punkus Interruptus

There was an enormous amount of overspray on the floor so I spent a few hours vacuuming, cleaning up the room and removing all of the masking tape/plastic.

Here’s a pic as I was finished for the weekend:

Finally Finished!

Wow – what a difference.

Compare the before & after images below:

Before scraping & patching; After painting.

Looks like we’re getting close to the end: next step is to install the new lighting. I sense that may be the most complicated phase.  Ha ha – famous last words.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2012 9:10 am

    The change is amazing! Not to mention how great the windows look now that they are highlighted by the bright white paint around them. It must have been a very satisfying task!

    • Tom permalink
      October 30, 2012 10:00 am

      Yes, yes it was. Thanks Darcy!

  2. rick peterson permalink
    October 28, 2012 8:46 pm

    WOW Tom, room looks GREAT !!! sucks having to move the scaffolding I bet, ever thought about getting an account at Sherwin Williams ? I get some great pricing using my account. why didn’t you use a marine paint ? Why couldn’t you use the sprayer to paint the crack inhibitor on ?

    • Tom permalink
      October 28, 2012 10:01 pm

      Thanks Rick. I’ll number your questions. 1) we do have an account there; they give architects about 25% discount. 2) Marine paint? BAB stands for Big Ass Building, not Big Ass BOAT! 😉 3) Peel Bond is too thick to go through the sprayer. Thinning it would mean two coats.

      thanks tom p.

  3. Sue permalink
    October 26, 2012 10:43 am

    It won’t be long before it is filled with more priceless treasures! I am SO looking forward to getting our stuff organized so we can find and use it.

  4. Susan permalink
    October 26, 2012 9:58 am

    What a change! Some day I’ll get to see this place in person, and marvel at your handy work up close. Sue must be thrilled at the progress you’re making 🙂

  5. Jim permalink
    October 26, 2012 8:41 am

    Holy smokes Tom, hard to believe that’s even the same room anymore! I remember how it seemed like such a dungeon when you first got the building. Great Job! Love the “punkus interruptus” comment….sweet dogs.

    • Tom permalink
      October 26, 2012 9:16 am

      Yeah it was pretty remarkable. As I was painting the white, it just instantly transformed from this dark creepy room into a bright white cheery space.

      Lily’s very sweet – it was just funny how she wandered on in and Lucy just sat there waiting for more photos.

      thanks Jim

  6. Patrick Kelly permalink
    October 26, 2012 7:21 am

    Wow! The before and after shots really tell the story but I wish you had included an image of the room when it was full of priceless treasures from your wonderful friends and thousands of small, worthless pieces of wood. Great job, Tom. Plus I know you’ll get a lot of use out of the sprayer.

    • Tom permalink
      October 26, 2012 9:03 am

      Funny. For some reason I never took pictures of those thousands of pieces of worthless wood. Must be cuz I always wished they would leave. Thanks Patrick.

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