Slowly But Surely

I started out this week certain that I’d have my bookcases and walls finish in the music room by about Wednesday, and then I’d be able to start on my dining room. Well, today is Thursday and none of that is finished. But it’s not for lack of trying! I’m inching closer and closer to being finished each day, but I feel like things are going so incredibly slow, and some of the products I’ve used this week seem to be conspiring against me. 😀 Seriously.

When I showed you my progress at the end of last week, they looked like this…

music room progress 6

The right bookcase was wood filled, sanded, and ready to be caulked. The one on the left was wood filled, but still needed to be sanded and caulked. So on Sunday, I got to work on that. I did get the bookcases sanded, but since I also worked on trimming out and priming the left wall, that’s as far as I got.

My goal Monday was to caulk the boockases early in the day, and at least get them primed by the end of the day. So I started early on the caulking, and that went smoothly. I always use Alex Fast Dry caulk, which says that it’s paintable in 20 minutes, but I generally give at least an hour. So an hour later I came back, and that caulk was as wet as it was right after I had applied it. So I waited another hour…same thing. About three hours later, the thinnest beads of caulk were dry, but the areas that had thicker beads of caulk were still wet and squishy. If I had run a paint brush over those areas, it would have gouged my caulk.

So I finally gave up on the idea of getting those primed on Monday. I still have no idea what happened. I checked the empty tube to be sure that I had used the right caulk, and it was labeled Alex Fast Dry. I’ve never had that happen before.

On Tuesday, I had other things to take care of (like hanging out with my mom and brother 😀 ), so yesterday I decide to focus on the bookcases and see if I could get them done. All of the time-consuming things were finished — wood filling, sanding, and caulking. They just needed to be primed and painted. Simple, right? I used my favorite oil-based Zinsser Cover Stain primer. It’s my favorite because it’s oil-based, so it covers really well but it still dries fast…usually. I can usually paint something that I’ve primed after about an hour or an hour-and-a-half at the most. Well, two hours later, it was still tacky. Three hours later, it still had that slightly damp feel to it. Four hours later, most of it was pretty dry, but some of the corners were still tacky. So I gave up on the goal of painting them yesterday.

I seriously have no idea what’s going on. If it were rainy and humid, I would understand. If we were experiencing freezing cold winter-like weather, I would understand. But we’ve had sunny weather in the high 60’s and low 70’s all this week. Heck, today it’s supposed to be sunny and 79 degrees.

Anyway, I don’t understand what’s going on with my caulk and primer this week, but I did at least get the bookcases primed. They still look quite rough (i.e., not covered well), but at least they’re no longer that light-sucking MDF color.

music room built in bookcases after wood filling, sanding, caulking, and priming

I think I’m really going to love the way the white bookcases frame the black doors.

music room built in bookcases after wood filling, sanding, caulking, and priming - 2

So hopefully I can get them painted today, and then get my sconces installed. As long as my paint doesn’t take hours to dry, that goal should be attainable.

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  1. The South – I love this place…but the weird weather stuff is definitely something that I could do without! Although, it usually ONLY affects my hair!!! #bighairicare

  2. I just love how this is turning out!
    I was wondering if the people that you bought the house from have seen what you have done with it? I would love to know their reaction to all the changes that you have made to their old homestead. 🙂
    As always you are just amazing!

    1. They came and visited when I was working on the kitchen remodel, but that was quite a while ago. They were impressed! 🙂 They may check the blog every now and then, but I don’t know for sure.

  3. I can only say what I always say -wow! This room is going to be amazing. I feel your pain about the road blocks but boy oh boy will the time it takes to finish be soooo worth it. I think it was pure genius adding the bookcases. Just adore them.

  4. I love the white bookcases with the black doors. To me, this is very classy and perfect. I can’t wait to see the sconces in place and everything tied together.

  5. Well, that is strange that nothing is drying like it should. Do you have a humidifier on your furnace? We do, and if its up too high we get condensation on the windows. But at least it stops our skin from cracking due to the dry heat.

    Even with the primer on bookcase and the left hand wall, the overall look is still improved.
    After you mop the beautiful hardwood floor & add light fixtures, it will look pretty, even if it’s not finished.

    1. And – I have to add – how nice it is to see a picture of Peeve the cat sitting there. It’s so wonderful that you can have a decorating plan that incorporates the needs of handicapped hubby and the beautiful fur children.

      1. Oh, Matt is not “handicapped”!! He uses a wheelchair and it is fabulous that Kristi can make their home accessible.

  6. It could be your humidifier on your new furnace…… we use a dehumidifier even in the winter it’s much more humid than you think and it makes a big difference…if you keep have problems you might consider this…your house is lovely…. can’t believe how talented you are…. remember to take time to enjoy your holidays…. the house will still be there… 🙂

  7. I have had the drying problems before, too. I don’t have any advice, unfortunately. I just blame it on the surface I’m working on…not sure if it’s true or not but it gives me something to be mad at. 🙂

  8. Some weeks are like that! It’s kind of like running in pudding, right?

    The bookcases are going to really look great and show off those beautiful doors.

    1. My thoughts too. Between much tighter windows and the new furnace, this might be a new winter reality? You continue to inspire me (and lots of other folks too!) Once I’ve sent this email off, I’m headed to HOME DEPOT! to pick up the supplies for a long delayed project!


  9. It is turning out beautifully. And I love the cat – does he help much? I have always said that life would be so much better if the boys (what I call the dogs) would learn to mow the lawn and vacuum the floors.

  10. Hi Kristi, you certainly are experiencing weird results with products you know. Do you think it might have something to do with the new HVAC system? That is the only real change to the air quality in the house. Whatever it is, take your time,it is almost Christmas. Maybe you should finish the bookcases and then pack up your tools and sweep and wash the floors and relax and enjoy so holiday time with family and friends. No one expects you to remodel during the holiday, although, we all do find things to change when we start decorating! I am on my way out today to hunt for a few things that I could not find on amazon or the internet, or they would not arrive in a timely fashion. I have three days left to decorate, and that includes a nine foot fraizer fur tree in the middle of my dining room. I want to bake with a friend on Tuesday, clean on Wednesday and greet my hubby again on Thursday. I would like to have it all done in time for him, but the tree may present a problem. We can always do it together! Blessings to you and yours this holy season.

  11. My suggestion would be a fan, and maybe a small heater behind it. Fans help a lot with drying! They are looking so good!
    How is your hall tree idea coming along?

  12. What a tough few days you’ve had with the products that you know and use all the time…..that is way too weird and can imagine your frustration, but your bookcases are looking so A-MAZ-ING on either side of your gorgeous doors. This room is going to be oh so stunning!!!!

  13. It is going to be beautiful! Perhaps air circulation issue? Had similar happen, but it was an interior room with one entrance, no air return. I think your music room is open to kitchen and foyer?

  14. Random and probably totally unrelated thought: You guys had torrential rains a few weeks ago, right? Is it possible the foundation of your house is holding in some of that moisture somehow? Have you checked the humidity level in your house? Might be elevated causing your drying issues.

  15. It looks wonderful. Take your time and enjoy all of it. I am sure you can find other smaller things to do while your stuff is drying. God bless and Merry Christmas.

  16. I took a cue from you and fearlessly sanded my stairs. I stained them thinking I would be able to put the poly on the next day but they took 3 days to dry. I just put the first coat of poly on and I think it will be the only one till after Christmas. Can’t wait to get my house back in order so I can decorate for Christmas. Love what you did to your room!!!!

  17. I always look forward to these post. I don’t know what it is I think I just love your matter of fact attitude!!! So real. Thank you so much for making my day brighter!

  18. Kristi, have you reached out to the manufacturer? Perhaps they might have an idea why their product has not performed well. Some readers have suggested a difference in air what with new Windows/ furnace. That certainly sounds probable.
    I’m glad your absence wasn’t due to a crisis with either you or Matt.
    Looks terrific, Kristi

  19. If you are still planning to use your peacock handles, it might be cute to incorporate peacocks into your mural work. Maybe even peacocks only, no other birdies.

  20. Looking beautiful, Kristi. Most everything you’ve done has had me fascinated, But these doors and the builtins are for some reason, most fascinating to me.