Wall of Life 2.0: A Yestertorial

This weekend was a straight up chill out and hangfest around these parts, and I discovered the (obvious) reason that we haven’t been able to do anything besides feed and clothe ourselves and shove a quick load of laundry into the washer on Saturdays and Sundays before rolling right into the work week again: We’re always GOING places. But this weekend we stayed put. So put, in fact, that the kids watched two feature-length films on Saturday, which was a perfectly nice day for frolicking in the park, say, or going for a nice bike ride. Instead, we made a giant blanket/chair/cushion fort in the living room and sacrificed a few brain cells to the live version of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Also, I would do it again in a hot second.

It’s weekends like this where you not only get your laundry done and finally push a broom around your dust bunnied floors, but you get a chance to go even one step further in the process and delve into a project that isn’t necessary for the basic survival of you or your offspring. The particular project bee that got in my bonnet this weekend? The Wall of Life.

Man, that thing has been created and updated and taken down and revived and taken down more times than the USDA Food Pyramid, and since we painted the living room, oh, seven months ago, the wall where it once lived has been barren and empty. Not that that’s a whole lot different than the rest of the living room:

Baby steps, though. Baby steps. So like I said, I got a hankering to finally tackle the Wall of Life. I had an idea for updating it and making it look a little more in tune with our whole living room scheme. When I put together the wall the first time, I was into the every-frame-looks-different kind of look, especially since it meant that I could just go and collect all the random frames we had lying around and  voila, but in this new space everything is much lighter and more colorful, and I wasn’t feeling the black and dark wood look that was going on. So I did what any smart person with a sister who works at a hardware store would do: I spray painted those suckers white.

And for the first time maybe ever, I remembered to take pictures of a project as I was completing it. Here is a documentation of my endeavor, complete with peppered-in tips along the way.

Step one: Retreive old dropcloth from roachy attic.

Tip: Forget to wear shoes during this step. This makes it go twice as fast, as you will dash in terror across the boards of the attic and sprint down the stairs afterwards, sure that a roach is hot on your trail.

Step two: Spread out all the frames on the dropcloth.

Step three: Swear loudly when you realize you should have taken the glass and backs out of all the frames.

Step four: Spend approximately eleventy-seven minutes painstakingly removing glass and backs of all the frames.

Step five: Spread out all the frames on the dropcloth, like so: (Tip: make sure all the frames are right side up, so that you don’t later have to go back out and spray paint them a second time. Not that you would do that. No.)

Step six: Procure spray paint with discount from hardware store where your sister works. (You may or may not be able to complete the second part of that step, depending on where your sister works. Or whether you have a sister. The point is: get some spray paint.)

Step seven: Shake can and spray frames evenly with a side-to-side movement approximately 8″ from the surface.

Tip: Enlist help for this step to keep your trigger finger limber. Be aware that doing so may make the “spray frames evenly with a side-to-side movement approximately 8″ from the surface” direction go straight out the window.

Tip: Wear shoes.

Tip: Also wear gloves. This is especially important if you are the kind of dumbass who holds up a frame for a better spray angle and then lets the can rip right on your fingers.

Tip: Check the weather. (This tip should probably have been first.)

Step eight: Let frames dry in sun. Check after 15 minutes. Remove stuck on bugs.

And then the part that I did not do so well the first time around, which resulted in many, many extra holes in the living room wall of our old house (sorry old landlords!) and that this time went swimmingly due to this post from this blog. (Thanks, YHL!):

Step nine: Use paper cutouts in the same size as your frames to figure out spacing/placement and stick on wall with easily removable painters tape. This also helps with hanging, as you can simply measure where the hole should line up on the back of the frame and then hammer in the nail and remove the paper. Brilliant.

Tip: Watch The Other Woman on DVD while cutting these out. Wow was that a good movie.

As for the end result … we’re almost there. Stay tuned!


1 Stink { 06.13.11 at 8:37 am }

You make everything so dang entertaining!!!

2 Elizabeth Acton { 06.13.11 at 7:57 pm }

way impressed with how you a) put words on your pictures and b) made picture templates to play around with…what time should i expect you and your assistants to come fill my empty walls?

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