Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Doing It Ourselves in Retirement-Painting the Walls and More!

Just a quick note that I'll be changing some of the blog background soon.  Also, in the next few days you may want to check out my blog roll further. Earlier I mentioned that I wanted this to become more of a lifestyle blog written by a frugal retiree than a retirement blog.  Since many, if not most of the blogs I read are not necessarily about retirement, I'll be adding some of those to this blog and talking about them in the future.

Maintaining a house, and making it yours, is a work in progress most of the time. I know many retirees who are either still making house changes or are updating the newer downsized retirement homes they have moved to. Either way, whether it is making our homes handicapped accessible, changing furniture arrangements for a different kind of lifestyle or something else, the challenge is to make our homes ours without breaking the bank. We all have different "hire it out" tolerances both in terms of money and effort.

When we moved into this house, the colors were deep, not clear and definitely not my style. I suppose some people would consider the colors traditional-dull beige, dark pewter in my bedroom and more. I've previously posted pictures (more than once) of my bedroom before painting and the beige front room with the undecorated mantel (because I didn't want to hang before I painted).  What's more, every single room had the ceilings panted the same color as the room.  Which, for now, leaves me with bright yellow bedroom walls and dark pewter gray ceilings.

The easy way for us to have dealt with that situation would have been to hire someone to come in and paint the whole house.  Two big problems with that one. Cost, of course being the first.  The other problem was the colors. We are not traditionalist in terms of color and it took awhile to choose a color that worked for me and would bring out my fireplace.

 After experimenting with many colors, we have finally gotten some real paint on our front room-in colors that work for me. While I can no longer paint, my sister can as can my college student. I am relegated to moving furniture and washing walls. 

That said, self painting is not difficult, IF you take the time to prepare (move furniture, tape, clean cobwebs and lay down floor coverings).  It is certainly not difficult when you have no stairs or high ceilings.  This living room was painted in a weekend, with the first day being preparation and the second day being painting.  In a bit of serendipity those walls that I hated came to our rescue.  They were not light or dark but a strong medium beige.  That, added to the color of the paint, meant this room needed a single coat of paint or one gallon.

Because we paint ourselves, we already have most of the requirements. Old sheets have been sacrificed, we have rollers and pans that purchased once, can be used over and over. Because I am an email subscriber to most of the paint companies, we had coupons for forty percent of our gallon of paint, and other gallons as well.

So far we have painted two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living space and we are on to another bathroom.  Colors range from turquoise to yellow, soft green, and blue.  In this case doing it ourselves has been the best option, as it often turns out to be.  Unfortunately, at some point I will need to pay a guy or gal to come in and do that ceiling thing throughout the house. Cheaper than falling and and injuries, and every room has a ceiling fan and light. Some times you have to know when to fold 'em!

I another bit of do it myself-ness, I have started knitting some tank tops for summer. A tank top requires a skein or so of yarn, cheaper than a good tank but about the price of a visit to Walmart. As I am less than impressed with the spring/summer colors I see so far, I have chosen to to make something in a color and style I like. I'm still a beginning knitter, but my friends seem to think this can be done, so I will keep you all in the loop as it were. Off to look for lime green or yellow yarn.

Meanwhile, after a week of sixty degree days, the snow came again yesterday. Today, sunshine and a high of thirty eight,  tomorrow back to fifty. Not a problem for me, as I was already planning to be my homebody self. Since my return Sunday from watching Fifty Shades of Grey (a story for another time), I have not left the house, and probably will not leave until my class Tuesday evening.

I'm exercising and doing yoga via U-tube, reading one of my downloaded kindle books, watching the Midsommer Murders on Netflix while quilting, knitting, and starting my online class.

I also am taking an art journal course, using prompts and a variety of techniques on each page.  I've also designed two unique quilt projects and I'm exploring how best to write the tutorials, transfer to PDF and get them out in the market. Lots of challenges there, and plenty to keep me busy and active at home for a couple of days.!

Tonight, off to class-but first, Shrove Tuesday pancakes, or Mardi Shrove Gras as my church calls it!



  1. I think I have self-painted every house I ever lived in. As you say, it's not difficult IF you get organized!

    1. I have no always. When I purchased my house in Texas I hired out the painting as part of the price. Aqua for my studio, peach for my bedroom, yellow for the kitchen and green for the family room-but its unusual to have the money AND know what you want when going in already!!

  2. Love the blue you chose for your walls. The fireplace does pop.

    Until Harvey and I can no longer do our own work we will do our own painting and such. It may take a bit longer than having a painter come in, but we love to see a new room gradually emerge from the old.

    God bless.

    1. Yes, I think we did well. We were originally going for brick or gold but I am glad we changed.

  3. I applaud your energy in making changes that suit your taste. Can't wait to see the results of these projects.


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