Tonight I got a good start on my trim work. First up was a trip to Wal-Mart for more paint. I also realized I was going to need a tool for this: a belt sander. So as the sun set, I drove on out and picked up a gallon of white, semi-gloss trim paint, a work light, a belt sander, and some sanding belts.

I’ve been doing night work because first, I’m a night owl, plus the cool evenings have been ideal for this kind of work. With the walls done, it is time to get serious and pay some attention to detail. So, the trim work in the living room is the next item.

I had not used the masking tape I bought before, for two reasons. One, the renter that was in briefly last year simply painted over everything with the brown paint. Walls, baseboards, door frames, etc. So, with the trim already covered in the brown paint, splashing a little tan paint on it as I went along would make no difference. And second, there really is no need to be super neat doing both trim and walls. One can be messy with one, if very careful with the other. And it makes no difference which you do first, so long as the second job is done with a lot of care.

So, I just painted with abandon when doing the walls, but on the trim, time to be focused and neat. So, I taped off the walls to prevent oversplash and messing up the new paint.

Edge of living room extension, trim work begun

I am fairly satisfied with how it has turned out. It will definitely need more than one coat, as you can see. And of course, once the floors are done, I will have to come back and install quarter-round moldings all the way around. This house had carpet installed, and no quarter rounds at all, except in a few places. The paint is just a basic semi-gloss latex. Nothing expensive. About $16.00 for the can.

A couple more pics.

The question I keep coming back to is, when is it “good enough,” and when is it time to replace? The answer to that is simple for now: reuse everything and replace nothing, keeping in mind the goal of a tight budget. The baseboards and trim could definitely use replacing, they have worn places, a bit of dry rot here and there, and overall have no redeeming qualities in terms of how they really look. If you see the pictures above, notice the window frames. Just plain 1×3 boards. Not edged and beveled. Just plain boards. Not really pretty, no. But that’s all right. This house was never a showplace. It was designed for one thing and one thing only, functional living space. So the builder stuck to the basics.

That said, there will be a time, assuming I stay in the house, that a lot of this will be redone anyway. For instance, this house has no insulation at all. None. Not even anything in the attic. As I make plans for the future, I will consider knocking out the exterior walls and replacing them at some point, and putting insulation in each of them. That is, removing the sheetrock or whatever the walls are made of, and then installing insulation, new wiring, and sheetrock. But that’s a later project, and well beyond the scope of this one. As stated before, my goal here is to get this house livable, and we’re a long ways from that.

Let’s see what the budget numbers are now.

Belt sander, flat brushes, one gallon paint, belt sander refills, and a new gas spout for my gas can: $95.93

Previous total:                                                                                                                                                  $78.97

Total                                                                                                                                                               $174.90

We’ll see what tomorrow brings…

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