Antique wooden sputum

No need to call the paramedics, life and I think I’m finally done (mostly) with sandpaper.  It’s taken me all week just to do the messy, tearing apart, “temporary inconvenience for long term gain” portion of the stairway project.

I’ve broken four nails and cut one index finger, but I am proud to say that I have not yet hammered my own hand. My eyes are blood shot and my snot and earwax are brown.  My hands have the texture of 100 grit sandpaper.  I probably should be using a dust mask, but it’s so much more fun to cough up sawdust!

What’s done?  The walls are mostly repaired, with the patched plaster portion needing at least one more coat of mud (would be done, ran out of mud Sunday evening).  The balcony balusters are in place, most of them being replacements since the last ones were cut. . . oddly.  That was Mr. Unreserved’s job because while he was screwing around (literally – trim head screws are great!) upstairs I was making the worst of all the messes.  I sanded the insides of the treads, took, apart each return, removed the balusters, sanded the return, sanded the balusters, and reassembled the whole shebang, replacing balusters where necessary.  The last owners had found a house being demolished that had the exact same balusters, so we’ve got a bucket of them to work with.  It’s been great because many of the previously installed ones were broken or rather chewed up.  The pocket door is back at home in its pocket (the current flat luan door will need to be replaced when time/money permits) and the pocket is all mudded up.  An oriental carpet runner is on its way, and I ordered the custom chandeliers tonight from a craftsman we found at the Shaker Woods festival (our Christmas gift from Mr. Unreserved’s mother – grown-ups get the strangest presents).

As I see it, the worst of the project is done.  The stairway looks worse than it started, but the structural work is mostly done.  For the remainder of the project, things will start looking better.  That’s the rewarding work.  Prep work sucks because it’s harder, messier, uglier, and necessary.  There’s a lot of work ahead, but it’s the sort of work wherein one can stand back and admire the progress instead of saying, “Holy hell what have I got myself into?”

Throughout much, but not all, of the work I’ve been listening to my iPod on shuffle.  I love how it’s like having a radio station that plays only music I like.  A sure sign I’ve been at this a while – I’m up to song 201.  If I make it to the final 547th track, I quit.