Thursday, June 16, 2011

On a Not-So-Magic Carpet Ride

Here I was, spending the morning building up my momentum for writing about the major house progress we've made. (I've admittedly done an awful job so far of documenting our work. It's been a crazy spring.) Then, as I was straightening the living room by removing the paint supplies from aforementioned house progress, catastrophe struck. (Okay, I recognize that "catastrophe" is a bit dramatic. But, for the sake of, well, dramatic effect, just go with it.)

Said catastrophe has taken up the past hour of my morning, and left me at the moment with little motivation to blog about our home improvement progress. But, it really only seems fitting to discuss one of the major house failures before talking about our first big success. Right?

I thought I could balance more than three 32 oz. yogurt containers full of latex paint.

I couldn't. (I now know that carrying three stacked on top of each other is reasonable; anything more is just asking for trouble.) 

The yogurt container holding the dark grey paint (oops, spoiler...we used some dark grey paint in the kitchen renovation) toppled over, leaving a rather large and ever-so-quickly spreading blob on the light tan living room carpet.

What, you're expecting a picture?
There was no time to snap a photo at a time like this.
But, I know...I wish I had one, too.

Did we get any paint on the carpet while the kitchen cabinets were laying in the living room for a month? Nope. (This is why we used drop cloths, I suppose. Still, we never even really so much as dripped profusely on them. Oh, the irony.)

I think I stared blankly at the blob for a second, and then leapt into action ran into the kitchen to grab whatever towel I could get a hold of. After quickly sopping up the paint on the surface, and unintentionally creating a rather unfortunate larger circumference of grey carpet, I realized I was facing what could turn into a really big problem. 

If there was no time to take a picture at a time like this, there wasn't time to Google "what to do if latex paint lands in a big soppy mess all over your carpet", either. (I still haven't researched what I should have done in this situation. Frankly, I don't want to know. It's probably too late now, and hey, I did the best I could.)

After using up our collection of 'towels-we-don't-really-care-about-and-can-use-for-such-a-mess', and creating a few more towels that now fall into that category, I poured entire glasses of water over the carpet (yes, I said glasses...are you getting a good picture of how much of a mess this was?). Then, after diluting/attempting to dilute the puddle of paint that was soaking deeper and deeper into the carpet, I grabbed the big ol' gallon of carpet cleaning concentrate from the garage. (We've been meaning to use the carpet cleaner we borrowed from Bobby's parents. Yay for new incentive!) So, I poured a bit way more than I should have directly onto the newly-grey carpet, and proceeded to use the product exactly not to manufacturer instructions.

Did I dilute it? Nope. Did I use it with the carpet cleaning machine? Nope. (I was the machine, people!) I scrubbed and I soaked up as much liquid (that was now, thankfully, a much lighter grey) as I possibly could. 

By this point, I also ran out of paper towels. There goes the idea of stocking up and not having to buy any for a while. Oh, well. I knew I clipped that Bounty coupon for a reason.

Long story a bit shorter, I've done as much as I think I can at this point. We'll see what happens when it's dried. For now, it's obviously slightly discolored in comparison to the rest of the carpet, but it is far less glaringly obvious that something tragic happened there than it was a while ago. (Whew! That could have been an embarrassing conversation starter for every houseguest we'll have for years to come that I would not have enjoyed having....)

Here's the good news: 

1. I think I did a darn good job of attempting to remedy the situation. I wish it wouldn't have happened, but it's cleaned to the point of being almost like it didn't. Plus, it's in a relatively-shaded part of the room, so the light doesn't exactly emphasize the problem. 

2. It's not new carpet. Far from it. But, it's (still!) in decent-enough condition to not need immediate replacing. (That's on the list of projects for say, 5 years down the road...barring any other unforeseen paint splatters or the like.) This wasn't the first stain, and I'm certain it won't be the last. 

3. That's probably the cleanest part of our carpet right now! Minus the new grey tint, of course. 

4. It had to happen sometime! Look at us, just making the house "ours" in so many ways.... Now it's a memory, and when we do replace the carpet down the road and they pull up the padding and there's a big grey spot, I'll smile. (Oh, yes, I'm sure it soaked down that far. Believe me, it was bad.) These things happen, and I'm thankful to have the perspective that it is just carpet. Life goes on. I'm also thankful, as I suspect Bobby will be, that I'm the first one to cause such a dreadful spill. It's entirely possible that I would have reacted less-calmly had it been someone else make the first big mess. (I'm not proud of that, but it's true.) 

Speaking of Bobby, unless I get brave enough to call him before I post this, this will be the first he hears about it. Not that I'm afraid to tell him, but really, it's not as if anyone would want to get this call at work:

"Hey babe, just wanted to call and say that I almost ruined our carpet this morning!" 

Truth be told, Bobby isn't always able to check my blog during the day, so he'll either be able to read it and hopefully get a kick out of this, or I can see if he spots the spot when he gets home. We might find out just how noticeable the stain is...and he might just learn that it's best to stay caught up on his reading. :)

So, there you have it...what I would consider to be the first "how could we let this happen to our new-to-us house?!" moment. 

I'm certain, now that I've shared this home un-improvement, I'll be ready to give an update on how nicely we're treating the house, too. Soon, very soon!

1 comment:

  1. Oh no! Well, if it makes you feel any better: when we were painting the guest room, I wasn't wise enough to secure the ladder ... that had both ME and a GALLON of paint on it. We both took a tumble, and our ugly-gray guest room carpet now has some lovely green additions. We have plans to tear the carpet out at some point, so I wasn't too heart broken - in fact, I cried more over the fact that I wasted paint than I ruined the carpet. (And oh, did I cry. John banned me from painting for a few hours so that I could re-gain perspective ... and shower).