Thursday, August 26, 2010

Out, d****d smell!

To review: this whole closet-gutting and floor-repair job began in an over-the-top attempt to rid our closet of whatever perfume or cosmetic smell had saturated it.  And after removing all of the shelves, drywall, vinyl, and most of the subfloor, and airing it out for a few days, the smell was mostly gone.

But not entirely.

Maybe we're imagining things at this point, but we're on a crusade here!

This is a little tricky to explain since I don't have proper "before" pictures, so you'll have to use your imagination.  Imagine you're standing in the closet, with the door behind you.  To your right is the chimney, straight in front of you is a wall that separates the closet from the dining room, and to your left is the wall the closet from the master bedroom.  Got that?

Now both the dining room and the bedroom have shallow, built-in shelving units whose backs protrude into the closet.  See this unit on the right:

The back of that is the wood panel that you see in this picture:

For whatever unfathomable reason, the drywallers installed drywall around these surfaces, rather than over them, so the paneling protruded a few inches into the closet.  And then it was wallpapered.  And then it soaked up closet smell.


Side note: want to see the wallpaper that used to cover every interior surface of our closet (including shelves)?

Sorry, that's all that remained of it by the time I got a camera in there.
Since these surfaces had been exposed to the smell, and still seemed to faintly exude it, we picked up some good old-fashioned oil-based Kilz paint to seal any remaining odors.  (I'm really surprised--and grateful--that P didn't just rip out these walls while he was at it!)

Now here's where you might think we're losing it--and you might have a point.  It's really difficult to reach all of the sides and corners of this paneling.  I wanted to get everything all nice and sealed, but didn't want to spend a lot of time trying to get a paintbrush into every nook and cranny.  So I just picked up a can of Kilz spray paint, ignored all warnings about using it in a well-ventilated area, and sprayed away.  In many, many coats, because after 15-30 seconds, the fumes became rather overwhelming, and I'd give it a half an hour to air before coming back to it.

At least I remembered to tape the door frame!
And then I rolled all the easy parts:

Since we're on a crusade, this is only step one.  In step 2, P installs drywall over the panelling.  Step 3: I prime the drywall with Kilz also.  Because after all this effort, we really really want a scent free closet.

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