Jennifer and Rita, part 3

So the saga continues. After a long break, Operation Rita Revive is back in gear. Since my last post, a month ago – give or take another month, Rita has sat happily in the garage awaiting the next step which I wouldn’t touch. I think, for being a contractor’s daughter, I have an unhealthy fear of certain power tools, specifically saws and grinders, I won’t touch them. There was one time I used a a hand saw to cut a piece of wood and I was a lumber jack.

I will be happy to report that the dead-mouse smell has completely resolved leaving stinking Rita with just the smell of a billion packs of Virginia Slims all steadily smoked for 20 years straight. The smoke, like a little mouse, found its way into the most inconvenient places, leaving only the wretched smell of heartache in a dive bar. Get me one of those bloody mary celery sticks, I’ll chew it while I drown the sorrows of months of staple removal.

After trying for weeks to get my father’s 3 inch staples out, I resigned to let a “professional” remove them. Sean, who was given a used and broken grinder years ago, decided this was a great time to grind. He was finally going to fix that grinder so he could help me get those staples out. It didn’t work out so well. In his defense, the grinder was unfixable. At least that is what he told me. My dad, after my last post, brought over an extra grinder that he had. I think he felt responsible for Rita’s current condition but he didn’t say that in so many words. Well, I won’t point too many fingers, I only have 10. However, I will say after about a month, my sweet stinky Rita had all the major staples off and she didn’t start on fire during the grinding process.

We are finally at the point in the process where real transformation can take place. Demo days are over. P.S. I didn’t remove every staple. I would have been there for another month, I am sure. However, I did find this lifesaving staple removing tool at Joann’s and it really did make life easier. I filled holes with wood filler, I fixed this split in the wood – it’s not perfect, I caulked some cracks, and sanded. Then I sanded again. Since I work in small increments of however long my kids can stay self-entertained in a house full of toys, one step takes me days. I have learned with this project to take my time. Something that has been a foreign concept to me.

Finally, I was ready for a coat of primer. I struggled with the idea of covering the wood. I love wood but paint can make a big difference- it’s just that stripping paint is another pain so you have to be very good at putting it on. Anyway, I didn’t have a choice. I had to deal with Rita’s smokey past. Primer is great way to seal the smell of the past. So here is how it went over the course of about a 10 days. Sand. Primer. Sand. Primer. Sand. Paint. Sand. Paint. and in a day or so I’ll sand again and then it may get a final spray. Here are the pictures.

Until next time,


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