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You’ve read all the books, seen all the talk shows, or read the advice. DO. NOT. BELIEVE. A. WORD. OF. IT! That’s right. Don’t let anyone tell you the secret to a lasting relationship is to find something – anything – to do together. Sometimes togetherness is not all it’s cracked up to be. Especially when doing DIY home improvements. Here’s one from two summers ago.

My son-in-law hung seven inside doors for me…uh…almost three years ago and I have yet to paint them. (hangs head in shame) 😦 They are coming for a visit in three weeks so we’ve been doing inside doors. Sanding, painting and re-hanging. It’s a project that should have not taken as long as it did. If I had not finally taken that first door down myself and carried it past H while he comfortably sat watching a ballgame on TV, he would still be sitting there and (after all, it is his summer vacation) the doors would still be unpainted. He’s pretty good at hauling heavy items in and out of the front door and flipping doors over so I can sand and paint the other side.

At the last-minute we decided to also paint the heating unit door and facings. That was a total of eight doors. It took too many hours of my day and of course we also made a few trips to Lowes in the course of this project.

Since I had previously done the others, only the bathroom doors and the heating unit door had to have the facings sanded and painted. What were they thinking when painting years ago? I have these issues with what was done.

  1. Do not paint over hardware.
  2. Do not paint your walls and door facings the same color.
  3. Do not use flat paint – ANYWHERE! Pink is not a pretty color for anywhere in my house – especially Pepto-Bismol-color-pink x flat.
  4. Didn’t they have sanders way-back-when?

I promise you I am not kidding. This was the major color scheme in this house when we moved in three years ago.


After a couple of hours of scraping and sanding three layers of paint I was finally ready to start the process of painting. You are asking where H is all this time? I think there was a ballgame on.

Facings are dry and it’s time to start re-hanging those eight doors. How many people does it take to hang a door anyway? Apparently more than we had at the time. Have you ever had to hold a door mid-air and line it up with the hinge? Not an easy task. And remember this – doors do not go back on their hinges as easily as they come off. I skipped my planks today Roni because I felt I had gotten my workout in by holding those doors!

H tends to do things the hard way in my opinion. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut and let him do it his way though. Not worth the trouble to voice my opinion. It’s not my fault when it takes him twice the time if I just stay out of it.

I fussed and fumed a lot because of the way things are put together in this house. To give his parents some credit, I know a lot of the malfunctions of this house is the way it was built back in 1956. They bought this house for $12,500. We have the original papers. But…everything in this house is bass-ackwards!

Our next big door project will be the replacement of the front and back doors. The front door opens into the wall instead of into the room. H said it was so there was access to the light-switch. 1) We don’t need access to that light-switch when we come in because it turns on outside lights. 2) The house was built from scratch. Put the #@%! light switch where it will be accessible when the door is hung the right way!

That front door was a contractor problem. Those great barn-door hinges on the laundry and workroom doors in the breeze-way which were painted over in three different colors of paint – that was his dads fiasco!

Finally two days and numerous arguments later, seven doors, one heating unit door, two door facings, and one window sill are finished, and that Pepto-Bismol-color x flat is nowhere to be seen anymore!

Next week I am painting my lawn furniture. Probably when H isn’t around so I can do it my way!





About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

12 responses »

  1. When we bought our house, we had pink carpets! Yep, and not only in the sunken living room, but on both sets of stairs and upper hallway, including all the upstairs bedrooms. I was convinced Barbie and Ken were the former owners, and immediately ordered a new dollhouse be built. My wife and I decided to take the carpet up ourselves. Well, it wasn’t long before the kids began to think mom and dad had declared World War III… on each other! Fortunately, there was an armistice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, this made me laugh…but it makes me want a house of my own providing Bob Villa came with it. So funny not to mention visual.


  3. Couples probably ought to do a home project together before they get married. Might save a lot of divorces.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right on that Beth! I always feel like they should be filming us for one of those DIY TV shows when we start a project. As many projects as we have around here we could have our own series. What Not To Do! Lol! ~Elle

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bet you’re glad its overwith, right? No worries on the Planks, I did mine at about 11 last night. plumb forgot! good luck with the furniture. I’m patching my bathroom ceiling next weekend. Lucky, me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You hit the nail on the head! Well done post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Growing up, my Uncle Ted who lived upstairs. Had been a painter decorator, pre-WW2. He was meticulous and he trained the rest of us. The hardware always came off before painting and everything always had a priming coat. Taking shortcuts, never works. To rehang a door solo, requires the judicious use of a lever. Usually a spare screwdriver and a hammer, or similar. The door is lined up, the lever inserted and used with a foot. The hinges already in place on the door can then be screwed to the jamb. One screw top and bottom, before any others and “viola”. Taking a door down is reverse procedure.

    I’m sure your readers are just glad you managed the job, as I am. With or without the use of a lever. I expect the new paint jobs will give years of pleasure? Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s seems to me since the doors had already been hanging for almost three years they should have gone right back into place! And we did keep them separated so the same ones went back to the same rooms. Oh well. Done now and no more worry! ~Elle

      Liked by 2 people


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