31 March 2015

A Penny Saved, a Pound Wasted

I noticed my toilet seat was looking a bit worn. I have noticed it for quite a while. Last week I looked at it and thought: It seems very solid and I did buy one with steel hinges for durability, so why not just repaint it? I do hate waste, so I decided to act.

I had the right can of spray paint (circa 2005) and sand paper, so how hard could it be? And I was doing the right thing, re-using a solid wood toilet seat!

Several things: The seat and lid are fastened to the hinges by 8 zinc coated screws (who knew?), the 4 on the seat had been corroded by whatever cleaning liquids I had employed since the Federal Flood to try to remove the calcium deposits provided by the NO Sewerage and Water Board to fill the cracks in the water mains that FEMA would not pay to replace. A lot to explain my travail, I know, but it took a long time to get those screws out.

I managed to fight the screws out of the wood and then sanded the seat and lid, not with the sandpaper I knew I had but could not find,  oh, no, but with 000 steel wool. Not the right tool, but it sufficed. I took lid and set to my detached, open garage and set up a paint spraying station. I did a rather poor job. I selected the can of choice, White, Semi-Gloss, a can that I had used 10 years ago with great success and had taken care to clean the nozzle so I might use it again in the far future, and shook it mightily, far longer than the minute recommended. I did not test spray it.

Let me say to anyone who reads this: always test a can of spray paint before using it.
I did not. I pointed the nozzle at the toilet lid, pressed the button, and a tight stream of paint emerged and hit the lid with blobs of paint. I tried to smooth them with a paper towel, then with my fingers, to no avail. I said something like "Argh!", turned and inadvertenly kicked dust onto the wet paint.

What more could go wrong?

I called a good friend, Dilly, yesterday to ask to borrow a sander. He came by this morning and we sat on my front porch sanding lid and seat. It was not hard but we laid a good layer of paint dust on my porch and in our lungs. Much to my surprise, the seat and lid are very dense composite board and not the oak I thought they were.

We drank several rum and ginger beers (only gold Cruzen when mixing with ginger beer), went to buy a can of paint, then he had to go. Cheers, Dilly! I took the seat and lid to the garage and applied one, then two coats. I still must do the bottoms. I am never doing this again.