Monday, April 29, 2013

Time to Paint! (DIY Post #10)

This week we finally set out to finish what we started last week: painting the room. Before we started painting, we had to move out a few things, including a bike (we had no idea whose it was), and there were still a few more holes that Makenna spackled, and I sanded, but that didn't take too much time. I would definitely say that this was the most fun we've had with this project because it wasn't terribly tiring or boring.

It was my first experience painting anything. I had never done anything like this before at my house, so it was really entertaining and exciting for me. The room looked amazing the paint dried, and all of us looked funny because we were in old clothes with paint all over us. My family and some of my church friends came to see the newly painted walls, and they all loved it. Then we closed everything up and went home.

However, about an hour later, while I was at Banzai Bowls, I realized that we had forgotten to turn off the lights, and put the bike back into the room so I called Connor and asked him if he could go back. I told Makenna about it too, and then she realized that she couldn't find the key that locked the gate. A few hours later I found that Connor hadn't been able to make it back to the team room to turn off the lights and put away the bike. Because of this, Makenna and I decided to go back. We were hoping that the gate was still open, because there were people instructing a kids swimming class when we left, but we had no such luck.

The only alternative was for me to jump the fence, to get on deck and do what I had to do. So I did just that. I jumped the fence. It was much more exhilarating as well as a lot easier than I was expecting. I made it over, and turned off the light, then climbed back over. Then, when I was about halfway back to the car, I realized that I had forgotten to put the bike back in. So I ran back, climbed the fence again, put the bike back into the room, and then climbed over the fence for the last time.

About an hour later, Makenna texted me that she had found the key, and the weekend ended in relief.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Unforeseen Challenges (DIY Post #9)

There were so many holes in the wall!
Yesterday we finally started the actual construction work of our project. Our goal was to get everything off the walls, repair the holes in the walls with spackle, sand the holes, and then paint. However, everything did not go according to plan. We found some time-consuming obstacles blocking our way to our ultimate goal: painting the room.

Connor and Makenna arrived at the pool deck about an hour before I did because I had to go to my club swim practice. When I got there, Connor was still trying to take some things off the walls and Makenna had started spackling the walls, but they were nowhere near done with the pre-painting work.  It had taken Connor half an hour just to take off one small bulletin board because of the strange way it was nailed into the wall. They had discovered that not only were the picture frames nailed into the wall, but they were also taped to the wall. So when I got there, I quickly got to work scraping off the paint, and sanding down the spackle while Makenna continued spackling the walls, and Connor worked on the last particularly stubborn screw that held the whiteboard to the wall.

The stubborn whiteboard that didn't want to come off the
wall. You can see the hole we made at the top - the white
stuff is the spackle we used to fill the hole. 
After working on the same nail for awhile, Connor finally stopped, and took a little break. I decided to go up there and give it a try by using the crowbar and brute force. At that point, we didn't care if we made a big hole in the wall - we just wanted to get that whiteboard off the wall. I pushed on that crowbar with all my might, and suddenly, the whiteboard started jiggling. Makenna kept wiggling the whiteboard, and the screw came out a little more. Then, Makenna switched the orientation of the crowbar, and I used all of my strength to use the crowbar as a lever to propel the screw out of the wall. Finally, after much exertion, the screw came out of the wall, and we emerged victorious and triumphant. But there was now a huge hole in the wall that we would have to spackle. We kept working - patching up holes, unscrewing things from the walls, and sanding down the newly patched up holes, but we realized that there would not be enough time to paint.

After patching up all of the holes we decided to call it a day and paint next week.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Race for Approval (DIY Post #8)

The team room was disgusting
after the swim meet.
After our dual meet against Edison on Tuesday (our varsity girls beat Edison for the first time since 1997), the team room was completely trashed - and served as a push for us to take action, and start construction on it.

Since we bought the paint last weekend, our goal for the next weekend was to paint the team room. However, in order for this to happen, we needed to get the approval of Mrs. Lawler, the aquatics director at our school. I talked to her about the project about a month ago, and she thought that it was an excellent idea, but that we just had to make sure our paint was approved by her.
There was trash everywhere!

Unfortunately we didn't think to contact her after we bought the paint until I remembered Wednesday afternoon. I sent her an email asking what we would need to do to get the paint approved. Through a series of emails, I discovered that we actually needed the approval of the FVHS maintenance guy. However with both Mrs. Lawler's and the maintenance guy's busy schedules, it was unclear whether or not we would be able to get an appointment with both of them together before Saturday.
Because of this, I decided to stop by Mrs. Lawler's room on Friday morning and ask what the name of the maintenance guy was, and where we would be able to find him. We found out his name was Lloyd Chesmore, and we set out to look for him. Since he wasn't where Mrs. Lawler said he would be, we asked our school's activities director - Mr. Fraser where we could find him. He was able to page him on another maintenance guy's walkie-talkie, and we were able to get into contact with him. Mr. Chesmore told us that we didn't need anybody's approval for anything regarding the team room because the swim team paid for them originally. This basically gave us the "all-clear" to do whatever we wanted to the team room this weekend.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Process of Purchasing the Paint (DIY Post #7)

Color-Adding Machine
Since I was in Germany for the last 2 weeks, we didn't get a chance to work on the project until this weekend. So yesterday we decided to meet at Home Depot and purchase the paint as well as any other supplies we would need.

Paint Mixer
None of us had purchased paint before, so we spent the first few minutes looking for Glidden's Pool Party Blue - to no avail. So instead of spending more time looking for the color, I decided to ask one of the employees. She said that we would not have been able to find that color, because they had to make it for us. With that, she asked us what color we wanted, and then what type of sheen we wanted the paint to be. We were completely unprepared for that question because we didn't know there were different types of sheen for the paint. The incredibly helpful lady helped us make our decision, and said she would make it right away. 

As we were waiting for her to get started on making our paint, we quickly found some spackle that we would have to use to repair the numerous holes in the walls in the team room. Then she began making our paint color. Through numerous machines, the employee transformed a can of white paint to our Pool Party Blue color. The process seemed really cool, and it was interesting to see the different steps required to transform the white paint. The whole time the paint was in the machines, the lady chatted with us about her experiences in the paint department, and before we knew it, the paint was ready. 

Our final challenge was to checkout the paint. We scanned our 3 items at the self-checkout area, and after a few attempts (Connor forgot the pin number to his debit card, so I paid in cash), figured out how to pay what was due. We split the cost 3-way.