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Painting complete, the trip home is better than expected….

I’m at 35000 feet on my way to PHL from San Juan. I’m in business class – a surprise upgrade that I did not request. I found out about it at the very last minute when the ticket machine at the jetway spit out my ticket and complained that my seat was assigned to someone else. When I went back to the ticket counter, they handed me the new ticket for business class How cool is that? I just had an awesome meal – a salad with artichokes, capers, mushroom slices and romaine. There wasn’t any dressing – didn’t need it. Lemon chicken breast with fresh veggies and blueberry cheesecake. Oh, and I’m on my second Cuba Libre. Every once in a while, American Airlines does something like this, and for one trip, travel doesn’t suck. Thanks, American, I needed that. After that grumpy post on Friday, we needed a nice one.

I miss the water, I spent all weekend just a few feet from the beach, but I didn’t have a chance to enjoy it. Next time I will. Unit 104D is now painted and beautiful. I arrived on Friday about an hour late. My flight from San Juan to St. Croix was canceled for mechanical reasons. I’ve seen this happen before. When they announced that my flight was delayed, I was prepared tor the cancellation announcement 30 minutes later, and I was first in line at the ticket counter. I got a seat on the very next flight to St. Croix – just an hour later. My bag didn’t make it, so I stopped at K-Mart on the way to Colony Cove to pick up some painting supplies, not wanting to waste any time.

Gallows Bay Hardware is the best hardware store on earth. I know a little about hardware stores – my dad worked in one for years. I have never seen a store with the sheer volume of stuff of the amount of helpful staff as this store just east of Christiansted. I hear that they are building a Home Depot on the island – I won’t shop there, though. Gallows Bay has everything – including paint. While I was at K-Mart, I checked out the paint. They only had one grade. I picked up a gallon and shook it. Uh oh, it seemed a little watery. I decided not to buy their paint, picking up a brush and some stuff to allow me to get started until my bag showed up. Gallows Bay Hardware carries Ace paint (wonder who makes it?). I bought four gallons of the best interior paint that they had. I chose a very light peach color and two quarts of white semi-gloss for the trim. The cost of this paint ($30/gallon) was over twice what K=mart wanted for their watery paint. The Ace paint was awesome. Using a 3/8” nap roller, I had no spatter at all. I cut in all of the work with a 2 ½ inch brush, and I had no problems at all with running or drips. It was thick stuff and really easy to work with. I didn’t ever see the need for a second coat anywhere. I am really happy with that paint. The peach color contrasted nicely with the white trim.

I spent the rest of Friday cutting-in the hall. I also re-laquered the rattan furniture in the living room – had to do that before it got dark. I went to the airport at about 9 to get my bag (they close at ten), talked to Monica on line and went to bed around eleven – I was beat after working the night shift on Thursday. I woke up Saturday am just before seven. At 7, I had a brush in my hand and I started on the trim work. I finished the trim at noon (lots of doorways) and then cut-in the living room before getting the roller. There’s a lot of work to do before you can use a roller, but once you get that roller going, you can see progress.

While working in the living room, I backed into a table and broke a table lamp, so I had to put a trip to K-Mart on my list of things to do. I planned to leave about 8 – that would give me plenty of time before they closed. At that time, I had everything but the bedrooms and the bathrooms finished. I made the K-mart trip, stopping at Subway for for a sandwich, and back to work. The bedrooms were a problem. The walls were “thirsty”. The drywall had been replaced just before we bought the condo, and it seems that the walls were not primed properly. The paint sucked into the wall as I applied it, drying almost immediately. That awesome paint looked damn good when it dried, though. Under these conditions, I would certainly be doing double coats of a cheaper paint. The conditions caused me to slow down a bit. I could only do about half as much area with each roller load as usual. I finished the bedrooms about 1:30 and went to bed.

Sunday, I woke up with two bathrooms to paint. I woke up at about 8:30, and I was painting by nine. The bathroom walls sucked paint like the bedrooms, and it took me until noon to get them done. There was some additional trim work that I didn’t get on Friday, so I spent an hour on that, took a shower, packed and was on my way to the airport by 2pm. Except for the ceilings, every surface in the condo was painted. I replaced all of the switch and outlet covers, too. I am happy with the results. I only wish that I had a little time to enjoy the place. Next time.

48 hours, and the condo is done. I’m sure that I could have squeezed a little more work time out of the visit by setting an alarm clock, but there was no need. Cost of the trip, the rental car, the paint,supplies and the lamp that I broke came to just under $1000. Could I have had it painted professionally for that much? Who knows? I do know that I got a really nice job – no drips or runs (I even sanded out some runs from an earlier crappy paint job). Would I do this again? Perhaps, but not in 48 hours. I’d take a week – get some diving in, go to some nice restaurants, and take Monica with me. Right now, I’m going to take a nap in this big fat business class seat. I’ll post this when I get home tonight.






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