Again, before you decide that a home, apartment, car, anything isn’t worth it, remember how much a coat of paint or a bit of elbow grease can do.
Upon first walking into our home, our noses wrinkled at the atrocious smell of cigarettes and pet urine (who smokes indoors nowadays? Seriously, come on people). I was afraid I would feel like I was living in a 1970’s basement for the rest of my life. Looking at the chipping red and white paint on the front railings made me shudder (I hate the color red—HATE). But it’s all fixable. There’s no need to run away screaming and end up somewhere with a monthly mortgage that costs more than your entire college tuition. You just have to see past the ugly, past the work, and past the rust, urine, cigarette smoke, specs of feces, hamburgers melted onto the floor, and rotting carcass of a pigeon? Rabbit? Possum? Cat? … Rat?
Where was I? Oh, yeah. As long as it’s not asbestos, lead, or black mold, there’s nothing a bit of scrubbing and Rustoleum can’t fix. And, hey—even mold… that’s, like, penicillin, right? At least that’s what my mother always reasoned…
Without further ado, here are some shots (and we’re still in the process of making things even better):
Home Depot said that it would cost at least $1,000 to replace the door because they’d have to build a “custom fit” door. Isn’t everything custom fit? That wasn’t worth it. So, I just painted that brick red; now it’s a beautiful midnight blue. Easy. Done.
Don’t ever scrub rusty wrought-iron painted railings in 100 degree weather while wearing shorts. Otherwise, be prepared to pick those specs of old, lead-drenched paint off of your sweaty thighs for months. Always dress prepared (long pants, shoes, socks, gloves, protective eyewear).
Once you scrub off the hanging, chipping paint with a metal wire brush, just paint over the wrought-iron railing with a color of your choice. However, a few tips:
- First, scrub the chipping paint off with a wire brush.
- Power wash the railings (rent a pressure washer from a home improvement store).
- Make sure the paint you use, whether spray paint or regular paint, is rust-proof and exterior paint. We went with Rustoleum glossy black spray paint.
- Know that if you’re using spray paint, it is going to get everywhere—your face, hands, legs, up your nose. You will look as if you snorted it. And little black specs of paint will be all over your body, and you will have to use paint thinner to clean yourself. Yeah.
- Lay down a protective sheet or cardboard so you don’t get paint on your porch, doors, walls, etc.
Carpeting on stairs:
This carpeting was what I imagine Satan picked for his waiting room, and it smelled like hell, too. But as soon as we pulled up the carpeting, aired out the hallway, and had a séance, it was fine. Smell is gone. Still creepy? Yes, but we are working on that (fill nail holes with caulk, repaint).
Need to sage your place? I recommend it (yes, I actually did this).
But the easiest way to get rid of smells is to get rid of everything that absorbs smells, and to paint walls, sand floors, scrub floors, and even use this chemical-free odor absorber fumigator.
So, there you have it. Little tips and tricks to save you money, time, and your sanity.
Don’t forget: when you are organized and determined, you can accomplish anything.
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