Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Window Woes

Oh, my. What a day yesterday was--so bad, I couldn't even find the energy to blog last night.
Imagine your worst home improvement nightmare. Got it in your head? Is it a hole in the wall you can't cover? A mismatched tile? A broken faucet?

Well, for me, those things seemed minor yesterday. This past weekend, my husband installed a new window in our bedroom. He'd put the outside of the house back together. My job was to work on the interior.

Word to the wise: Never use a dark shade of Polyshades on something you really want to be a dark color. Doesn't work. I told my husband to remind me the next time I picked up a can of it. To stain a light colored wood and get it really dark, you have to use a separate stain and then put on the varnish/polyurethane. I started with a brush, then progressed to a paper towel, and then to a cloth. It doesn't look too bad now, but at the time, it looked like crap.

But before that, I used some of that spray foam insulation around the window. Another word to the wise: That stuff KEEPS GROWING long after you've filled the gaps with it. And it's VERY sticky.

The next fiasco made the rest of them look tame. Because of the sticky foam stuff, my fingers stuck to the can of VERY DARK Polyshades with the result that I spilled it (a nearly full, medium-sized can, mind you) all over one end of my mother's cedar chest, which is made of a sort of blond wood. Yes, I had newspapers and old towels covering things, but with a spill like that, nothing really helps. It also splashed all over me--thankfully, I'd put on my old shoes and had the presence of mind to wipe the stuff off my legs (most of it) before it dried--the floor, the treadmill at the foot of the bed, and got a few splashes on the edge of the comforter. Screaming at the top of my lungs during this entire process, I got some more old towels and did my best to sop and/or wipe very very dark varnish off of everything it splattered on, including the rather large puddle on the light blue carpet.

Needless to say, carpet replacement got moved up on the list of things to do.

Then I put the trim back on the window. I knew I was going to have to cut it down, but first, I went out to the garage to find something to get the sticky stuff off my hands and wound up cleaning out a bit of the garage. After filling up two trash cans with the debris from the last home improvement project and not finding anything to clean my hands, I had to dig out the miter saw which was sitting on the table saw in the back of the garage. After moving my car and various other large, heavy objects, I dragged out the saw, plugged it in, and was amazed to find that it still worked after sitting idle for a good many years. The trim cutting actually went well, until I went to nail it up.

I don't know about you, but we have a junk/tool drawer in the kitchen that is filled to overflowing with every kind of nut, bolt, nail, and screw you can imagine. It's a hardware store in a drawer, but not nearly as well organized. After a good bit of searching, I finally found some finishing nails.

But first, I had to remove the curtain/shade hardware because this window sits about a quarter of an inch higher than the old one. I unscrewed the fixtures and nailed up the trim.

Then I opened the tube of wood filler to fill the old nail holes. Then I read the directions. This wood filler that I bought along with the damn Polyshades isn't supposed to be used with Polyshades.

By this time, I didn't give a damn. I filled the holes and dabbled the stuff with the cursed Polyshades without letting it dry the requisite two hours. I figured if it wasn't the right stuff anyway, it didn't matter. Oddly enough, it didn't seem to. But then, I haven't looked at it very closely yet this morning.

After drilling new holes for the curtain fixtures, I put them and the shade back up--astonished to discover that the batteries in the drill actually had some power to them. When I went to hang the curtain, I noted that it needed washing, but decided to leave that task for another day.

That done, I put the saw and various other heavy objects back in place in the garage, put my car away, and began sorting through the stuff in the hardware drawer. Somewhere in there I fixed dinner, had a long phone conversation with my pal Suzie, then finished sorting a bajillion nails, etc into labeled plastic bags. This has been done before, but it doesn't last long.

After that, I covered up the sticky spot on the floor with yet another old towel, took a shower, took three ibuprofen, and decided to watch a movie. I picked out a film that was lighthearted, mindless entertainment only to discover that the DVD wasn't in the case. After a fruitless search, I picked out a different movie and watched it. While I was watching it, I rubbed my sore feet with something called Sportscreme that's supposed to help you "Stay in The Game!" Then I went to bed.

And woke up at 2:30am unable to go back to sleep. After consulting my iTouch for the weather, my email, my book sales, and my horoscope (we won't go there), I finally went back to bed.

This morning, the room still smells like varnish, but at least it was cool enough to have the windows open. The window itself doesn't look too bad, even if the screen is still on order from Lowe's.

Budley and I learned a few things with this adventure, not the least of which is the knowledge of how to do it better the next time.

Oh, yeah. This was only the first window replacement of many.

I can hardly wait.


  1. OMG, Cheryl! You have no idea how hard I'm trying not to laugh! This sounds like most of my home improvement experiences... Nice to know I'm not the only one with those problems. :)

  2. Laugh away! It's funny now. Sure wasn't funny at the time...

  3. I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I just finished putting a walk in shower in our bathroom where a garden tub used to be. Of course we live in a mobile home and nothing is normal specs. The space was 54" and the shower kits come in 48" and 60". We had to build a spacer wall and move all of the plumbing. Every time we thought we had a board cut correctly, it was off by an inch or two. I told him one project every six months was enough for me. The window looks great though and like us you probably saved a lot of money.

  4. Just reading about your day left me exhausted lol.

  5. I hear you, Tanya! We replaced an odd-sized tub insert that the house had been built around. The guy had to cut it into pieces to get it out and then built the walk-in shower. Total mess!

    Yeah. Me too, Ana. I'm still recovering from it!

  6. I've been there, done that!! Poor you. It's a hard lesson to learn.