Primer Progress

People told me it would take 3 or 4 hours to roll primer onto every wall in the house with the electric roller. People lied. I was at it about that long last Saturday but got fed up and decided to pack things up and finish the next day. And then… I RAN OUT OF PAINT. Ugh! My 5 gallon vat was just barely not big enough; I went back for 2 more gallons, just to be safe and finished up after work Wednesday.

So what was the experience like? My dad bought me a Wagner smart power roller. Now I owe him money. Don’t let me forget. The pump speed is variable, but even on the slowest setting I had to turn it on and off a lot because it was giving me too much paint. The paint goes on kinda clear but dries really white, which meant that I missed a lot of spots and had no way to know until an hour later. It was pretty easy to clean. I wrapped the roller cover in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator overnight to avoid cleaning it, and it froze solid, so then I cleaned it in hot water. And dialed down my fridge thermostat. After I was done I didn’t wrap or refrigerate it, and now it looks like it’s ruined.

So if you buy one of these, buy enough covers for every time you plan on using it… unless you’re using it with the same paint a day or 3 apart and want to cheat my way. When I started on Days 2 and 3 there was a lot of water in the roller so it came out like this.


So start painting in your closets where it doesn’t matter.

While I was painting, I almost felt sentimental. The signs of how things went together were disappearing. The taped joints, the screws lined up along the house’s idiosyncratic framing. The nails randomly spread out over the solid walls that are laminated. The big skim coated areas that made me so happy with the tapers. Numbers written in my dad’s handwriting around outlets. Even a blood stain. I think I remember how that happened.

Those things are gone and in their place we can see something that vaguely looks like a finished house! First of all, the place just glows with all this bright white paint. I remember it being a bright house when I bought it, and it finally is again.


Just this morning I noticed the tops of the windows and doors in the kitchen and living room. I made a big fuss about making them line up all along, but now you can actually see what I was talking about. (Also this is a rowhouse living room with no lights on!)


That’s about it for now, but feel free to brainstorm permanent paint colors. I’ve chosen nothing, but I’ll be back next time with constraints and ideas I have so far.


9 thoughts on “Primer Progress

  1. amyheavilin

    I think I used an electric roller once in my life. But I think I’ve blacked out the experience because I hated it so much. It just felt wrong. And complicated. But I’m excited for your walls!


      1. amyheavilin

        Honesty, for me, painting is so relaxing and calming, even if I have to do a lot. The electric stressed me out. I’d rather be happy and slow, then finished and stressed. I applaud everyone who loves them!


  2. Mary Elizabeth

    I’m with Amy on the slow route to finishing a paint job. It’s kind of meditative and relaxing. Good to see you making the progress you want, though!


  3. infinitequery

    I am starting to imagine you in a “home” and not a construction site. a huge comfy chair with an ottoman, the glow of a reading lamp on an end table and your choice of beverage. A fireplace fire if you have a fireplace? AnyHoo. All the comforts of the home you created out of intelligent design,planning,patience and hard hard work. Regards Chad-you rock!


  4. Jo

    So nice to have a new canvas to work your palette on. Love the progress. After your lukewarm endorsement I also will stick with the old fashioned painting technique. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music


  5. CindyH

    I hate painting and the electric thingy sounds scary to me. I would waste lots of $$$ hiring painters. And how bright and awesome the house is looking!



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