The Medieval Bestseller
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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Lesson I Learned

Years and years and years ago I started collecting city magnets with my name on them. Not by my own choice - people just started giving them to me and I kept on putting them on the refrigerator. After awhile, I had many magnets and wanted to figure out how to display them. I thought a lot about it and talked about it with my dad and friends. In the end, I decided to buy some magnetic paint and painted a small area on one of my walls in order to display the magnet. Then, I would have the magnets hold a US Map up against the wall, with each city magnet being in its proper place. Sounds cool, right?

For those who have not used magnetic paint, it's really difficult to paint with. You have to mix it just right, or it'll be clumpy. Plus, it's really hard to lay down flat with paint rollers. And it takes a lot of effort to do it. So the plan was to paint a swatch and then paint green (my room color) back over it. However, I never got to the point of painting green back over it. When I put the paint on the walls, it ended up being really uneven. Some places, although covered in the paint, weren't magnetic enough. Other places were rough and needed to be sanded down. In the end, I gave up on the entire project and have consequently had a 5'x4' space (roughly) on my walls that is this dark grey blob.

Now that I have finished two walls in the new, light grey paint, my attention now is to do the remaining two walls. Then I will do the curtains and finish the room. Well, the magnetic paint swatch is on the remaining two walls. On Superbowl Sunday, I decided that I'd start sanding down the magnetic paint so that I could prep the walls to be painted. In the end, to do just a small portion of the wall took a lot of effort. Because my dad does general contracting, he has all sorts of tools, so while I was sanding I was thinking, "I bet my dad has some sort of power tool - an electric sander - to do this with."

And I was right! So yesterday I asked him if I could use the sander and he got it for me and showed me how to use it and off I went. I wasn't expecting, however, that it would feel just as tiring to use the electric least I was able to finish sanding the whole swatch in under an hour. Now, when I was using the manual sandpaper swatches, the fine dust mainly just fell straight down. That's what I was expecting with the electric sander and, you could imagine my surprise (and horror) to turn around after finishing the swatch and realizing that the dust from the electric sander was everywhere, swirling about in the room, settling on everything - my clothes, my furniture, my new duvet cover, etc.

This happened just before I had to go pick Gavin up at the train station. He was coming up here to eat Domino's with me (a Family Promise fundraiser) and to watch LOST last night. I jumped in the car to go get him, and as I was leaving to do that I glanced in the mirror and my face had black swatches of dust all over it. I collected him and brought him home and I immediately jumped in the shower.

When I got out of the shower, I discovered that Gavin was in my room, cleaning each item, bit by bit. Sweeping, wiping, vacuuming, etc. Without me even asking him. He helped me to clean up everything in my room last night. It took us about three hours to clean up everything, not counting laundry. Today I have at least 5 loads of laundry to do, not including the stuff in my closet (which I debate whether or not to totally launder as well (a portion of the closet was open when I was sanding).

I have a few bits of rough patches still on the magnetic swatch to even out (manually) before I start washing the walls to prep them to paint. I'll be doing that today, and hopefully washing the walls this afternoon. Then I'll paint in the coming days (and yes, Emily, I'll post pictures!). However, I'm afraid that I'll probably have to wash the two completed walls, since they likely have the fine magnetic dust attached to them as well. This frustrates me.

However, I have learned my lesson. In the future, when using an electric sander, I will ensure that absolutely EVERYTHING is out of the room before I start using it.

I also will never use magnetic paint again in my life.

- Jenny, 2/05/2009 09:29:00 AM

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