Green Dreamhome Entry 01
When it comes to painting anything in the interior of my home, I traditionally had these choices:
- Leave the house for a week while my husband or a professional does the painting and the paint dries, then stay exclusively in the other part of the house (our house has two separately contained HVAC units) for one to four weeks, depending on the curing capacity of the paint.
- Leave the house during the painting, then stay exclusively in the other part of the house for one to four weeks.
- Paint something myself, then call an ambulance.
I am happy to say that by using AFM Safecoat’s interior semi-gloss paint, I was able to paint a small area of our bathroom myself, and I haven’t had to call any medical personnel.
My husband and I had to undertake a small repair of our guest bathroom. Our wall-mount toilet had a leaky seal. The old bracket that attached the toilet to the framing had rusted out. While the plumbers had a new metal bracket manufactured, my husband fixed the frame. Then the plumbers mounted the bracket, and we thought we would hire a handyman to replace the drywall, mud and paint. Good luck! You would think that in this bad economy, handymen would be lining up for jobs. Nope. No one wants to undertake a very small job. Since we’re very anxious to replace that toilet — we need it in place to smoke-test our home for sewer-gas leaks, another story — we decided to do the job ourselves. No, we have absolutely no experience with drywall and mud, but hey! If it looks bad — and trust me, it does — it’s behind a toilet. I mean, really, who’s going to notice? Besides you all, if you ever visit.
The plumbers suggested using a waterproof board behind the toilet. This sounded perfectly reasonable to us, because the old bracket was rusted out. It must’ve gotten wet at some point, right? We have since discovered that every building professional on the planet thinks this is a very weird idea. If any building professionals are reading this, please explain to me why using a waterproof board to hide an area that once featured rust is a strange thing to do.
Anyway, I chose Magnum Board magnesium board, a very safe chemical-free product that is highly resistant to water and mold. I bought it through Green Ingredients of Tucson, Arizona. Magnum board is very thick and heavy, and it only comes in large sheets, so my husband had a small learning curve with it. With the right tools, however, it’s easy to cut. He screwed it to the framing, and then I used paper tape and Westpac Fast Set 40 to mud. Fast Set is 100% minerals. It’s completely non-toxic, as long as you don’t breathe a bunch of it in. After all, you’re not supposed to have a ton of dust in your lungs, even if it’s chemical-free! Did I do a great mud job? No, but for heaven’s sake, it was my first time!
A week later we were ready to paint. No, you don’t have to wait that long for the mud to dry! I went out of town. Outside, in our driveway, I opened the Safecoat primer and semi-gloss paint. I immediately decided I wouldn’t be using the primer. Maybe it would be fine if someone else painted and then it dried, but I didn’t want to be up close and personal with it. The paint, however, seemed fine, and after doing a test, I decided I could paint that small area and stay in the other side of the house afterwards. And it worked out great!
The semi-gloss paint was thick and smooth, and thank goodness it completely matched the existing paint on our walls! I applied a thin coat in the very early morning, turned a fan on the wall, and had all the doors and windows open in that part of the house, with a fan blowing air from the bathroom outside. Several hours later, when it started to get hotter outside and I went to close up the house, I couldn’t smell the paint. My daughter and I left for several hours, and when we got back, we had no trouble walking through that part of the house. (My daughter is even more paint-sensitive than I am.)
I repeated the process the next morning with the second coat. Here’s a photo of the toilet rehung on the wall. Note that I now have to fill those gaps. They’re too big for caulk, so I’ll be using mud. (If I did use caulk, it would from AFM Safecoat.)
So I know this: Untinted semigloss AFM Safecoat paint is fine by me! And it seems to work great with Westpac Fast Set mud.