Red Echo

April 1, 2007

It’s been a hard-working weekend. Saturday started with a trip up to Everett with a car full of Jenny T.’s stuff. She’s moving to San Francisco, and decided to use her mother’s house for storage. Many hands made light work, however, and we were done by two.

Next I drove over to Heden, by way of Home Depot, and started in on the electrical work. This mostly involved cutting holes in the walls and test-fitting junction boxes. When the light got too dim, I flipped the circuit breaker back on and put a starter coat of red on the north wall. I’d hoped to find conduit or plumbing or something I could attach a ground wire to, but no such luck: I’m going to have to do this the hard way.

After dinner I met Adam and Janet over at Goldie’s for a few rounds of darts. It was loud, and I was tired, and we decided that instead of staying out late we’d get up early-ish the next morning and go to work on our shop space.

Sunday morning, then, not exactly early (but not really quite late, either), I made it over to Home Depot just in time to help pay for the cart full of lumber Adam had assembled. Our project: an 8×16 storage loft. Our goal for the day was to buy all the parts and move them into the shop, then demolish the crooked and not particularly sturdy shelves that came with the place. Much to our mutual surprise, not only did we have the old stuff torn apart by lunchtime, but we started building and then finished the new floor in just over two hours! Adam had to go to work later in the afternoon, so we called it quits for the day and left, very happy with our project.

So there I was, out of the house and wearing dusty clothes, with a good six working hours left in the day: time for another trip to Home Depot, then back over to Heden for more electrical work. I enlarged some of yesterday’s exploratory holes, then ran wire and installed a new outlet box next to the door. I’m going to install a second outlet box on the same wall, up near the ceiling, for the cove lighting, and rig a two-gang switch to control it. I’m still thinking about the grounding strategy; my closet shares a wall with the bathroom, so I think I can punch through and attach the ground wire to the incoming water pipe there.

Once again, sunset forced me to give up the electrical work, so I rolled another coat of red paint on the wall and called it a day. I’m not sure I like this “eggshell” finish; it’s a little glossier than I expected. I’ll give it another coat and see what happens.

This kind of work is so much fun. I’m sure I could find some way to get along without redoing the electrical system in this bedroom, but why pass up the chance while I have it?


  1. Have you thought about doing a faux finish on your walls? Behr Paint has these great little free booklets in the paint section of Home Depot that show you how to do it. I did it in my mom’s kitchen and it turned out pretty amazing and it added a lot of interest to an otherwise plain paint job.

    Comment by Rachel — April 2, 2007 @ 3:21 am

  2. Hmmm, what sort of faux finish do you have in mind? I’m not really familiar with those techniques.

    I have been thinking of painting a giant compass rose on the opposite wall (something like this or this), using a very slightly darker or lighter shade of paint.

    Comment by Mars Saxman — April 2, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

  3. Satin tends to have a little less sheen than an eggshell

    As for the design … my mom made me a wall hanging like that. It’s a mariners compass as well all hand pieced and machine stitched.
    Somewhere I think I have a pic of it. It’s a very cool design motif with lots of room for styling and personalization.

    Comment by norm — April 2, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  4. What I used in my mom’s kitchen was a ragging technique. I painted the base coat a khaki colour and then used almost a cream colour for my top coat that was mixed with glaze. The glaze is necessary to suspend the top coat. The final effect was reminiscent of falling snow.The ragging was super easy and went up in no time. You really could use just about anything that has a texture to put paint on the walls. I suggest if you are interested in a faux finish is to try some different things to get a texture you’d like to see on your wall. You can get these sample boards to try different textures, techniques etc. before actually doing it on your wall. That really helped me a lot. I would suggest on your next trip to Home Depot to pick up one of those faux finish booklets and browse through. They are a good jumping off point for a quick intro. to faux finishes.

    By the way, I’m a fan of mariner’s compass.

    Comment by Rachel — April 2, 2007 @ 9:03 pm