If you promise to paint …

“During spring break we will paint your room,” Sharon and Jacob promised their daughter Caroline. Brother Eli asked to have his room done as well. The little sisters’ bedroom was painted last fall.

They shopped for paint and found a dark gray “mistint” paint return that Eli wanted in a five gallon can that cost $35 instead of the usual $200. Caroline had picked out a lighter shade of gray. They bought white paint to mix with it.

Spring break began early as schools closed for social isolation. “I knew we would be home at least two weeks. I went to the store and got a bunch of stuff for painting,” Sharon said. At the store, she met a friend who mentioned how easy it was to scrape ceiling texture. Originally my daughter was just going to paint over the popcorn texture on the ceiling because “scraping it off, would be a lot of work.

“Oh, it is easy to scrape a ceiling,” her friend said. “Just use my steamer, scrape and it falls right off.”

Sharon borrowed the steamer and tested it on a corner of the ceiling. It did not just fall off. “You can’t test it without scraping the ceiling some, so I had to do all the rest of the ceiling,” Sharon said. She finished the ceiling, cleaned the mess and proudly posted a picture on Facebook.

A friend noticed and warned “some popcorn texture has asbestos in it.” That scared Sharon. She took a sample to be tested. If it had asbestos, the carpet would need to be cleaned.

It had two percent asbestos which is high enough to be concerned.

“We are getting new carpet,” Sharon told Jacob. Good-bye to the worn carpet that came with the house eight years ago.

“If we get new carpet, we are done,” he said.

“We ordered carpet on Thursday. They said it would be at least a week and a half to two weeks before they could lay the carpet. In the meantime, I painted Caroline’s ceiling, repainted Eli’s ceiling and the walls. We mixed white paint into the gray for Caroline’s room.”

On Monday, the carpet company called, “are you ready for carpet today?” They had had a cancellation.

No. But Tuesday would do. Sharon realized, “If we are putting new carpet in our bedroom we need to paint ceiling in there first. Plus, since I want a different wall color, we need to paint the walls before the carpet arrived.”

Eli helped her move furniture. She painted the bedroom ceiling. Jacob bought the new wall paint. After work on Monday, Jacob said, “If we are getting carpet on the stairs, we should go ahead and paint the stairwell ceiling and walls.”

They mixed more white paint with the five gallon bucket of grey and painted the walls in the hall and stairway.

“I may as well do the bathrooms ceilings,” Sharon decided. The old paint crumbled as she painted.

At 9:30 p.m. Monday night, Jacob said, “I guess we better scrape these ceilings before we get the new carpet.”

They worked past midnight scraping and thoroughly cleaning the bathrooms.

“It all had to be done before the carpet came to avoid long-term exposure to asbestos,” she said.

Painting the ceilings exposed broken fixtures. They installed new light fixtures.

Tuesday the carpet men installed new carpet in four upstairs bedrooms, hall and stairwell.

Once all the furniture was replaced, Sharon walked into her room, looked at the old comforter and said, “We need a new comforter that matches the walls.”

That’s what happens if you promise your daughter you will paint her room.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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