Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ghetto Bathroom Chic

Well, I am in trouble. Nin is still speaking to me, but after the debacle that was painting her bathroom, I'm a little surprised.

She picked this lovely cranberry color for the bathroom walls -- great, rich, color. Home Depot sold us 'Kitchen and Bathroom' paint, which is some sort of special gloss paint with mildew and mold resistance. Ok, it's a bathroom and she doesn't have an exhaust fan. Good plan.

Well, not so good. First off, it went on like glaze instead of paint. Almost transparent. Now, red paint has a tendency to do this. WIth all the pigment required to make red, the paint is thin and often requires 3-4 coats to cover, even over tinted primer. But this was like watercolors. We think it had something to do with the extra glossiness and additives. So -- many coats.

We did two coats while we were there, and she did another two coats. Looked pretty good. But when she tried to put up the shower curtain rod or pull off the masking tape....huge sheets of paint came off, too. It was all weird and rubbery and she could separate it from the wall in great hunks. Just brushing against the wall sometimes took off big pieces of paint.

Which also pulled off the previous coat of paint, the one beneath that, and in some cases chunks of the wallboard or plaster beneath it. It was a a horror show. The whole room started to look like it had shredded.

What we think happened (in retrospect) was that the previous owner, in a fit of home-improvement to sell the house, had painted a new layer of OIL-based semi-gloss over a layer of LATEX semi-gloss without priming or doing any prep. It just peeled off like skin, according to Nin. When we added another layer of paint, which should have been fine, it just glommed on to the top layer of oil paint and then the whole shebang just sort of slid off the wall.

So, she has a bathroom that has bits of red, bits of cream, bits of blue, places where the wallboard has come off in chunks, and places where the plaster is crumbly. But, because she needs to use the bathroom, she has put up the mirror and lights and (to my amusement) put up the pictures in the bathroom. She has been laughing that it's ghetto chic, and should just spray a layer of lacquer over the top and live with it.

She's going ot have to skim coat the wall, possibly more than once, prime and then repaint. What a pain in the ass. Welcome to Home Ownership!

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