50 Shades of Gray

“Let’s scrape the popcorn off the ceiling and paint the family room” said BW.

And just like that my latest project began.

Now, I’m a pretty smart guy and I try and play the useless card as much as humanly possible when it comes to getting out of chores but I was no match for BW.

You see, this all started with a light that BW found at her new favorite store but after some measuring we determined that it was too tall/long and I would bonk my head. Also, it was $250.00

So I found this one on eBay instead for $50.00 :

Actual light installed.

But that still didn’t get me out of the work. It had begun -** the great family room makeover of 2017** _(and into 2018). _

The first step was to get the popcorn ceiling down. As I did not have the skills or inclination to do this - I delegated and hired Tom the Handyman.

Poor Tom. He didn’t know what he was getting into. He was down in the basement for what seemed like days and days before he came up covered in dust and claimed that he would be done. He also told me he would not take any more drywall jobs after this as we had cured him of that.

But he did a great job but now this is where I come in -** the painting. **

I started to joke that it was “Wake up and paint” (insert day here) as for a while there all my leisure time was on the end of a brush. Every time you paint you swear that it’s the last time you will ever paint again and then every time I think “ How hard can it be?”. Ha! You think I would learn.

I think it took me about 3 weekends to get it painted. The trickiest bit was around the stairs as they had never been painted since we had the new floor in so there was years of paint remnants to sand down before I even begin. Also, if you look closely you will notice the edge at the ceiling isn’t the straightest, but I blame that on the popcorn. Also, all BW had to do was feed me - You get good or cheap - pick one.

Once it was all painted, BW decided we needed new carpet down there to cover up our expensive flooring so this was added. I have to say I am not one for carpet but this looks very nice and most importantly: it doesn’t shed.

Once the carpet was down we had a challenge - to cover up the solar and electrical panels with the TV.

Before we had solar, the TV covered the panels as our 46 inch TV was big enough. But now that there’s 2 or more panels on the wall we would have to buy something like a 75 inch TV to cover up all the panels.

The problem with buying a big TV is we don’t watch all that much - a few hours a week at most so the idea of spending $1000 or more on a TV didn’t seem like a lot of fun.

My MIL suggested a frame and then then more I thought about it the more I liked the idea so I googled and suggested my idea to BW.

“No” was the response.

But I googled and showed her what I was thinking and she came around and actually got enthused about this project.

We wandered around home depot forever trying to get what we had in mind and turn it into reality but we finally figured out that we needed some plywood and the fake wood that’s popular right now.

We came home and started gluing.

Once we had the wall built we just had to figure out how to hang it.

At first I drilled holes in the plywood and just bolted the TV and wall directly to the mount we have up already

The problem with that was that you could not get at the back of the TV or even get to the ports. Lesson learned.

At one point, I had the TV upside down. This was a learning project.

So I bought another TV mount that allows the TV to hang on the wood much like a picture on a wall so we can still have the wall mounted to the wall mount and if we did get a bigger TV we would not have to redesign the wall.

I used big bolts and bolted the wood wall to the original mount and then bolted the 2nd mount to the wall. By theory this thing should hold. Fingers crossed.

This was too heavy for BW and I to lift about ear level so I hired tom the handyman to swing by and help install it and so far so good - it holds !

We got lucky with the sizing, and as you can see it’s real close to the ceiling but it’s been up for a week or so now and looks like it’s going to hold.

My FIL gave us a soundbar for Christmas so we got rid of the ugly home theater system and the soundbar does the trick for us just fine.

And with that, we’re done.

Total cost for this was about $100 for the plywood, planking and nuts and bolts, etc.

Here’s the before and after photos:

One last thing I forgot to mention was the blinds. BW sent me to the store to buy white but they didn’t have them so I bought the linen color and even though we didn’t plan it they tie into the color of the TV wall and the room pretty good.

I think they looks much nicer than the white ones would have looked anyway.

BW had hoped to get new furniture for down here but yours truly needed a new dental implant and guess what an implant costs? About the same as a new sectional. So for the time being she will have to live with our ugly furniture for just a bit longer.

But at least we don’t have to buy a new TV.