Oh hi. Remember me and my blog?
Well, that’s understandable. I all but forgot I had a blog, myself.
Aside from personal and business travel and work-in-general and the way it tends to suck up every moment of my life (apparently), while I’ve been gone these last few months, I decided that my home environment needed a bit of work.
Now, I rent an apartment. There is therefore a limited number of things (read as: next to nothing) I am allowed to do to improve things. But I’ve lived there a long time, and there are some things that need a bit of work.
Let’s start with the walls, because I did.
The apartment is listing in a northerly direction. There are cracks to be sealed. There are entire joints that have opened up. Someday this place is going to fall down on my head.
Plus there’s the paint. It’s possible that any home would look a bit the worse for wear after nearly 15 years. You can virtually guarantee that this will be the case, if the flattest, blandest and cheapest paint in the world is the standard. Just brushing past it is enough to leave scuff marks, and it’s well nigh to impossible to actually clean without making it worse. Add on top of this, the tendency of the apartment complex is not so much to repaint the units between tenants, as to spray another coat of not-much-more-than-whitewash all over everything.
And by “everything” I mean, they just paint over dust, stains, mold, badly-patched areas, etc. No cleaning, barely any repairing to speak of… just another coat of paint. The place gets smaller with each new tenant…
After years upon years of overlooking all of it, I really wanted to make some improvements.
I knew asking them to patch the cracks would either mean moving out or a half-assed mess as the outcome, so I put that out of mind for the moment. But the paint. Oh, the paint! After so many years, surely I am due for a repaint job?
Well it turns out that yes, I am. But this, too, requires that I essentially move out, because if I want them to paint in place, I need to move every last one of my belongings at least 4 feet from any wall, and that isn’t even physically possible in my place. It’s not that big. AND I know they’d just spraypaint everything haphazardly anyway and leave a mess (I’ve seen how they do repairs).
So since that wasn’t an appealing option, I asked if I could just get the supplies from them, and I would paint the place. (I don’t even need their paint; really; I’d make the investment in something suitably apartment-bland but a quality grade up!)
No. Sadly, that is not an option at all.
So, even though I am expressly forbidden to put anything, including paint, on my walls, I went out and bought some supplies, and a can of paint (update: basically the same color they had on there, just a better quality), and I started with my bedroom. That’s where the apartment leaning was most pronounced (the corners were sliding off the walls the most significantly), so I moved furniture from the critical wall and I patched and filled gaps (and accidentally opened up holes into the eaves that had only been covered by paint so then I patched some more) and I sanded and I cleaned and I tarped and I taped and I painted.
And it wasn’t perfect, but I hadn’t been starting from a perfect slate to begin with and anyway, it was really quite markedly better.
So I went around to the various other vertical cracks in the other rooms, and I at least got those patched up too (this time without making any fresh holes), and sanded those, and felt like I’d made some progress.
Still to go: finish retouching and painting walls.