04 April 2012

DIY: stripped screw patching

Once upon a long time ago, my mother made me some curtains for my kitchen bay window. It’s clear I chose the style, because they were both neutral and simple. Plus, the previous owners had left the café style rods in place, which meant the rods were free. It’s a trifecta of my favorite aspects of style!

But the rest of the kitchen at the time... not so much my style. And once we put in hardwood floors and new countertops, and painted the cabinets, the curtains started to seem a bit heavy and maybe frilly. And when I took them down to paint the kitchen a year ago, I realized I didn’t want to hang them back up. Since then, I’ve enjoyed this bright, open look.

Yes, our neighbors have a full view of the Team P Kitchen Show should they choose to watch, but honestly I almost never see someone from our kitchen window (which is on the second story). And even if they did see us, it’s a really boring show.

So that left just one problem from the de-curtaining. When I took down the curtain rods to paint, this refused to come down with them:

Well, first it was a stripped-out screw that had held up the rods and would Not! Come! Out! And the bracket was still attached, dangling from the errant screw. And no, we couldn’t even pry it out of the wall with pliers or the claw-end of a hammer. Though we sure did leave a lot of evidence of our efforts with indentations in the surrounding windowsills...

So, rather than admit defeat and hang up curtains to please this Marvin K. Mooney of screws, we got the power tools involved. Unfortunately, I didn’t document the first steps because I wasn’t blogging yet. But to sum, they were “convince Mr. P to use the Dremel to cut the screw out of the wall” and “help by wearing sunglasses for eye protection and whimpering dramatically anytime sparks flew”.

That allowed us to take off the dangling bracket, at least – which I’d painted “around” and consequently “all over”, so that was an eyesore removed. But then I left that stubby screw you see above, complete with all the scratch marks in the paint, for a year. To my credit, it was hard to see! And therefore easy to ignore.

But in my attempts to finish any easy repairs before the house hits the market (NOT YET, I KNAAAAHHW) I finally took care of it last week! First was the spackle:

I had to “build up” the area around the screw nub because it couldn’t be hammered any further into the wall. Seriously, it’s the stuckest of stuck. So, though ideally the little nub would be flush with the wall, because this is a tight space and hard to see, I did what I could with spackle.

After it dried – which was after the sun set, explaining the horrible lighting – I sanded it smooth:

..and dabbed on a bit of the leftover kitchen paint. The end! Already!

Geez louise that was easy. Seriously, what took me so long? That scuffed-up screw nubbin has been bugging me for a year!

Do you have any teensy-yet-lingering projects? Quick tip: an easy way to be motivated to finish them is SELL YOUR HOUSE.