Stealth Home Improvement: A How (Not) to Guide | Do Try This at Home: Stealth Home Improvement: A How (Not) to Guide

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stealth Home Improvement: A How (Not) to Guide

I try and time all my home improvement projects just right.  That means, making sure that The-Guy is either asleep or at work and that I don't plan anything more than an hour or two in advance.

It's a delicate balance, but I like to get things done not only before I get distracted but also BEFORE The-Guy catches on to how impractical I'm being.

There are disadvantages to Stealth Home Improvement though, such as the fact that I usually start the project before reading any tutorials or instructions.  Still, I've muddled my way through quite a few of these things, and I thought, "Why not share my best tricks?"

1) Impulsiveness

Make sure and hop on the task at the first feasible moment, preferably before talking to (or waking up) any other family members.  This ensures that none of them will talk you out of it, tell you why it can't be done, or question your ability to do it.

2) The "Before Picture"

Don't take one.

If you had any success whatsoever with point #1, you didn't have time anyway.  Besides, a "during" picture is close enough, right?

3) Your Staff

Make sure you have a toddler helping you the majority of the time.

Sure, it's okay if dad or an older sibling takes care of the toddler for an hour here or there, but if you need frequent breaks from your home improvement project, make sure the baby is along for the ride.

This not only ensures that your hands won't dry out in your work gloves (might as well apply lotion every sixth time you take them off to help the baby with something), but it gives you practice repeating the words, "No, that's BIG OWIE!  BIG OWIE" an indefinite amount of times, and lets you assess how well your child is currently following directions.

Besides, you need *someone* to play "woe-sie" (ring around the roses) with the shoe molding.

4) Your Support

Make sure you visit the LEAST helpful person employed Home Depot while renting any critical equipment.  But only after having asked a similar question of someone at Lowe's and gotten a vaguely insulting response.

Ask plenty of questions, despite getting one word responses and no help.  Don't bother stopping the toddler from toppling all the WD40 off the shelf, since the guy isn't taking three steps out from behind the counter to help anyway.  Feel free to put the WD40 back on the shelf afterward though.

5) Research

Question experts and home improvement store employees alike.  Read as much as you can on the internet.  Then, do whatever you were planning on doing in the first place.  They all disagree anyway, so what's the difference?

6) Methods

Leave the lid to the paint can in a handy place.  You want to be able to step on it whenever possible.

And put your knee in it.

Or, just work barefoot.  You don't want to pass up a chance for battle scars.

Don't bother taking the giant couch out of the room.

You can always paint around it.  Somehow.

Yoga helps.

7) Logistics

Make sure and start destroying another room before finishing this room.  OK!  Make sure and start destroying a FOURTH room before finishing this project!!!!  But only if you count the entry hallway as a "room".

8) Be sure and keep going with it while you still have aches and pains over every inch of your entire body.  If you regain use of your neck, back, or wrists, you might lose your motivation and stamina.

And that's about it for advice from me!  If you really want to make a nice looking floor, you might try...anywhere else but here.  Just kidding!  Here's one that's really nice!

Shared with or to be shared with:

Serenity Now

Texas Women Bloggers


The Ceol Mors said...

You do projects like I do! We should do one together!
Umm, that may or may not be a great idea.

MarkD60 said...

Next time just get a mop and a gallon of paint, dump the paint, mop it around and wait for it to dry!

Jill said...

Sounds like a good idea to me Cid! Then Mark & Ray can work on a different project that actually requires planning and stuff!

Mark - Worth a shot! And probably at least as effective as what I did here. :-)

Julie S said...

Haha this is awesome :) Good lessons to learn and I like how you did the post :)

Julie @

Unknown said...

however it turned out.. I do love that floor!

stephanickety said...

LOL! I know this experience all too well. But, it looks great at the end!

Jill said...

Thanks Julie, Aimee, and Stephanie!

Karen said...

This was hilarious! Your floor looks great, by the way, but thanks for the entertainment.
Thanks for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday!

Shanice Bannis said...

Toddlers make great staff lol. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream's City of Links last Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

Ned Polian said...

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.


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