Thursday, February 7, 2013


Here's another "don't" to add to the list of what not to do when home renovating.

DON'T spray paint inside your house!  It is a BAD idea!  Especially in the middle of winter.

I just had to paint the mirror frame for the back of the bathroom today.  Never mind that it was frigid outside, so I would have to spray inside . . . we have the den closed off anyway, so I figured I'd just do it in there.  Sometimes I forget that fixing one's shortcuts always takes longer than just finding an alternate (safe) way of doing the job.  Today was one of those times.

I have sprayed inside before*, but didn't realize that the silver I was using would be much stinkier than regular spray paint.  It is.  Of course, it's Thursday, and I worked last night.  So I should have known I was prone to stupid ideas and waited . . .

Fast forward a couple hours, and I was googling "how to get rid of paint fumes."

The door between the den and kitchen was closed, but doesn't provide much of a barrier against the fumes . . . or against the cold coming in when I had to open the den door to the outside and rig up a hurricane fan.  Our house was a wee bit chilly today!

Then there was the adventure of rigging up all the home remedies to rid our main house of the fumes.  "They" say that you can use vinegar, onions, candles, and coal briquettes (separately, not as some sort of strange flaming sludge) to get rid of paint fumes, so I started with candles.  A random assortment of five candles sat out on my stovetop burning away as I scavenged for onions.  I had none.  On to vinegar!  I poured an inch or so into a casserole dish, and set it on the stove.  Next up, briquettes!

That one was a little trickier.  I grabbed a bowl, threw on boots, and headed outside.  First I checked the half basement under the den . . . no joy.  On to the shed.  I rummaged around, pushing aside the birdseed, rakes, and stroller in the hunt for coal.  No luck there, either!  Back to the half basement . . . hunched over, with a giant metal spoon in hand, I scooped out the half burned coals that are all that remain from our last BBQ of the summer.  Placed the lid back on the grill and turned to leave . . . and of course there was the big bag of briquettes, right in front of me!  I tossed a few fresh briquettes on top of the old ones, and shivered my way back into the house.

Now the stove was loaded up with candles, vinegar, and briquettes.  It was time to leave and let my home remedies get to work before the kids asphyxiated.

The kids and I headed to Walmart . . . I figured that would be a fun thing to do with a storm on the way, and just as I had hoped there were only two cashiers working.  No, really there were plenty of cashiers, but I happened to get in line (with my four cans of spaghetti sauce, one bag of nacho chips, several pounds of bananas, and a phone charger . . . you can see I know how to prepare for a winter storm) behind the couple who brought 30+ items to the 20 item check out.  FYI, if you should ever happen to get in line behind me at Walmart, move to another line immediately!  I always get the price check, or the indecisive old lady, or the people checking out with way more items than they should have in the speedy line.  You never want to be behind me.

Back at home I walked in the door, took a big sniff . . . no more paint fumes!!!  All I could smell was vinegar.  VERY strong vinegar.  Almost gag-worthy.  But not brain cell killing, so that's good.  I'm pretty sure I did kill off a fairly large population of my brain cells today, but fortunately avoided exposing the kids as they were napping in closed off rooms upstairs during my adventure.

All's well that ends well, and I have a finished mirror hanging upstairs . . . no more oak frame, lovely hammered silver instead!

*The first time I spray painted inside during the winter (picture frames), I cleverly decided to do it in the basement, so I would keep the stink away from Sophia . . . only as I finished and the heat kicked on did I realize that in spraying next to the furnace I was shooting the fumes directly thruout the entire house.  Hence moving to the den, smarty pants that I am!

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