JUST PHYLLISOPHY – A Penny Saved – February 2014

Just Phyllisophy (150x67)By Phyllis Galowitz

It was several years ago that we noticed stains on the wall and ceiling of the dining room that appeared to be coming from below the chimney. We called a roofer who did some flashing around its base and we waited for the next big rain to see if it leaked again. Finally, believing the situation to have been resolved, Alan did his best to patch up the wall and ceiling, but it was a bad patching job. The new paint didn’t match the old and it has bothered me ever since.

Recently, after replacing the light bulbs in the kitchen-ceiling fixture twice in a very short time, at enormous expense (fluorescent light bulbs cost ten dollars each!), the bulbs again seemed not to be working. I was told that it probably would be wise to replace the fixture. For $19.95, I was able to find a fixture that would use the same size bulbs (at least the bulbs would not go to waste) and it was almost the same as the old one. The fixture was replaced, the bulbs put in and, voila, the kitchen was bright again! However, the new fixture was an inch narrower than the old one and the bright light showed it. My trusty “Jack-of-all-trades” friend and handyman said, “No problem. I can touch up the ceiling.” The bright light showed how dingy the rest of the kitchen looked and I decided that it was time to repaint. After all, it was at least thirteen years ago, when we moved here, that it was painted, or maybe long before that!

As long as that was being done, I might as well do the dining room, which really showed up the poor patchwork next to the new brightness of the kitchen. I had forgotten that when that ceiling had been repaired, the damage had affected part of the living room ceiling as well. I had been so used to living with it in its poor state that I really didn’t notice it any more, but now that the dining room was going to look so nice, shouldn’t I do the living room ceiling as well? That area of the house is all open, so one room flows into the other. Does painting one room mean painting all three?

Now I’m sitting in the TV room, where for years I’ve overlooked the poor spackling job on the seams of the plasterboard wall. That should be respackled, sanded and painted. The master bedroom has stains on the ceiling, caused by my one-time trial of a humidifier to ease a stuffy nose problem. The steam caused rust stains on the ceiling. I will never use a humidifier again; better to try one of the many cold remedies on the market, or just use my faithful tea recipe: add ginger, honey and cayenne pepper to a cup of hot tea. It works every time and never damages walls or ceilings.

Today I went to buy paint. It should have been easy. All the walls are white. I didn’t know that there were at least 30 shades of white and that ceiling paint is different from wall paint. It’s a gloomy day. I can’t see which white is the best match. Will I be able to stop after the dining room or must I paint the whole house? ~