Garage painting part 2

Question:  What’s an easy way to make your neighbors think you’ve taken home updating too far?  Answer: Paint your garage interior!

The wall featured in last week’s painting project is making the rest of the garage look seriously grody.  The garage is big and full of stuff, and some sections of its walls are in need of repair, so painting it will be a multi-step process.   Every neighbor who walked by quipped about turning our garage into a living room or some such, but the end result is worth it!  Who wants a dirty garage?

Uh oh, she’s got her painting clothes on…

Target sighted:

2 hours later:

Bet you can’t figure out where I ended the paint!  Okay, I’m kidding about that, but I stopped there because the wall to the right of the door is in terrible shape and will need to have its lower section replaced.  The door itself is a fright, and we’re still determining if we should try to salvage it or put in something new.

And…the BONUS PROJECT makes its comeback, with Jim back in the game now that his back is better.  Jim disabled the electricity and replaced the three electrical outlets with fresh new hardware.   The plugs in the garage as so worn, it’s impossible to keep a plug in without resorting to tape.  The wires were brittle and snapped off upon insertion, but Jim stuck with it and got ’em done.

This particular outlet had a 3/4” gap in the drywall above it, like whoever cut the hole in the drywall  messed up when measuring or cutting. Before painting this area, I cut a piece of drywall to fit from our stash of extra drywall and spackled it into place.

Sure, it’s not silky smooth, but the garage’s drywall is untextured and difficult to match to.  At least the giant hole is gone!  Check out Jim’s snazzy new plug and faceplate combo deal below.  That Verizon battery never had it so good (yes, I removed the battery and painted behind it.  We don’t paint around things in this house!).

Oh, and the mystery wall to the left of the window?  It might’ve been cut to install this electrical box:

Someone had something in mind for here, but for now we just put the cover back on it.  I guess it’s nice to know we could have a really high up electrical outlet if we want one!  So how’s that for a fun Saturday project?  The 20 seconds I spent walking along this wall each day have just become a lot prettier!

Garage & Yard Upgrades

Some garages get to relax and be messy, but not this garage!!   I made the garage the first thing on my to-do list this morning, starting with sorting the pile of stuff stacked along the pictured wall.  Most of it was Goodwill donations that haven’t been donated yet (into the car they went!) and Christmas stuff (onto the shelves it went!), and tools. So many tools.  Our garage runneth over with tools.

20 minutes later the wall was unblocked and looking like this:

And that’s when the madness hit.  INSPIRATION!

Out of nowhere, a tub of Spackle and a painting roller appeared in my hands and before you could say “what a filthy wall!”, it was GONE – coated in Oat Cakey goodness (still got 2 gallons!).

Next, I hauled the black wire shelves that have been blocking the kitchen slider into the garage (I think we’re fully weaned off them… we’d better be fully weaned off them!) and presto, our dumpy wall suddenly became AWESOME:

The Ryobies finally have a place to call their own, too.  They’d been slumming it on the carpet patch.  The hooks that were uselessly high on the pegboard were moved down low so the weed whacker and blower hang like neon bats.  The saw and hedge trimmer snuggle together on the middle shelf.   The dishpan that we use as a “sort me later” tool bin sits atop the shelf for easy access.

While waiting on drying times, I put the blower and shop vac to good use on the garage floor, in the ongoing effort against the invading pine needle army, tidied the pantry shelves, and organized more shelving spaces.    On a side note, there’s a weird cut in the wall behind the thin wood door that covers the under-the-stairs storage:

I love a mystery, so I pulled off the drywall cover and behold…nothing but a crappy old glass bottle!

Seriously bummed – I was hoping to find someone’s secret stash of something embarrassing.  I guess I can pretend the bottle contains someone’s soul, or something…  I poked the camera into the hole and took a photo to see what’s further in.  Oooh, scandalous: a cigarette and three marbles.

I’ll seal up the hole once I find my wall repair supplies.  It might be fun to stick a small “time capsule” or letter to future owners in here!

The “Free Corner” also saw some action today.  The corner of our property is fairly well-traveled, and everything I’ve put out here (from old lawn mowers to a giant storage container intended for a vehicle’s luggage rack) has disappeared within a day or so.  Today I’ll try my luck with this stuff:

The wood cart was gone by the time I turned around.  Must have been worth something, lol.  (Update:  someone with big projects in mind, or maybe just some serious hording tenancies, took the rest by the next day! WOOT!)

My last project of the afternoon was to dig out some dirt around the gate to the backyard so the gate can swing free.  It used to open only about two feet wide before it got stopped by dirt, which was annoying anytime we had to walk through it (sideways, generally).  Digging out a track for it turned into trying my hand at amateur brick laying, and 3 hours later, I had this:

We have these white bricks in abundance because the shed was sitting on a foundation made of ’em.  The broken ones were handy for getting the ends of the path decently flush and for working around the cement blob around the fence post base.  I used a shovel to dig down deep enough to fit the bricks under the gate, and made a smooth foundation for them to sit on with the gravel the shed was sitting on.  Sure, it’s a cob job, but it is SO much nicer to use this gate now!!

Here it is with the gate open:

I have a ton of bricks left over, too, so I’m thinking of “paving” the side yard in a similar manner if this platform holds up well.  If it melts away in the first rain we get, oh well – at least it was one helluva workout!

Shedding the Shed

Here’s a summary of our shed story thus far:

Our house came with a shed.  Said shed was ugly, old, and rusty.  Alas, I never took a photo of it before Jim spent an afternoon disassembling it.  Here’s a similar one from the web:

Here it is on our curb.

Unfortunately, the garbage pickup did not take any of this crap!  We hauled it all into our side-yard, which is more or less our dumping ground for stuff we can’t figure out how to dispose of.  It hides there until we figure out what to do with it.  It didn’t have to wait long:  a few weeks later, our city hosted a “bulk waste drop off” event for things like toilets and scrap metal.   We cut it up into small sheets and stuffed it into the car.

Here’s the shed, going to shed heaven via Ford Taurus.   Thanks to the plastic and sheets we put down first, the car suffered only a major dirtying, instead of a super extreme major dirtying.   Three trips later, we were rid of it!

But we weren’t done yet.  The wood floor remained:

But our house came with a badass two-handed axe.  Jim happily chopped and chopped until these boards were broken into small enough pieces to fit into the normal yard waste and garbage pickup.

But what’s this?  There’s MORE?!  A nice layer of yard waste hid underneath the boards along with THREE rat nests!  Only one rat, though, and he scampered like hell when we tore up his home.  He ran right into the neighbor’s yard, where he may or may not have been promptly devoured by their dog.  Sorry, Mister Rat!

Underneath the yard debris of the ages is a layer of bricks!  We picked them up one by one and hauled them into the backyard, creating a few piles around the yard like so:

We’re only about halfway through the brick removal process, but when we’re done the entire shed area should finally be free of shed evidence!  Shevidence?

Either way, it’s good to be shed-free!

Hedges going, going, gone!

Last time I mentioned hedges, our hedge row was looking a little gnarly:

Jim and I spent Friday morning in the yard weeding the driveway and sidewalks, weeding the mulch, weeding the weeds… and I thought, why not see how hard it is to remove one of these hedges? As it turned out, it wasn’t hard at all. Some wiggling, some pulling, and some quick work with the shovel (and maybe the loppers and/or saw) and a hedge root comes right out!

Two down, three to go.

Here they are, chillin’ on the lawn. The roots are big and tougher to break down into yard-waste-bag size, but our new chainsaw helped on this front:

Jim levels up his 2-handed axe skills:

Jim and I then cut the hedge branches down to size before stuffing them into yard waste bags:

We are so over the hedge! Here’s our big and bulky “before”:

And here’s our open and airy “after”!

(We’re not quite done yet – the hedge roots are going to sit in the sideyard for a while until we figure out how to dispose of them. They can keep the shower doors company!)

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