Saturday, June 21, 2014


V and I were anxious to DIY as much as we could on the house, which up until now hasn´t been very practical, but painting the walls seemed a likely project.  A couple of observations on painting here.

In the States, primer is commonly used for sealing walls which are either new, usually gypsum board, or stained or to cover a dark color in preparation for a lighter one.  Zissner and Bin are two poplar brands, available in water and oil based formulas.  They are like paint with extra pigment, very thick and cover just about everything.  So, when presented with new walls, and the issues with mold and humidity in Galicia, we thought it might be a good idea to prime first, then paint.  Turns out that Spanish primer, or fijador, has little to do with the US version.  Here it is very runny and milky and more like liquid latex, drying nearly clear.  After spending an afternoon priming the kitchen and main bath, we decided it wasn´t worth the extra step.  Fortunately, it´s relatively inexpensive.

We bought 15 liters of water based paint from the neighborhood paint store in Madrid - Junokril, satin, anti- mildew, scrubable, on their recommendation.  We were pleased, it went on smoothly, covered well.  V had his work cut out for him reaching all the high nooks and crannies with the roller, but an extension rod we bought at Leroy Merlin and a tall ladder left by the builder were a huge help.  We chose an off white to increase the light as much as possible, given Galicia´s number of cloudy days.  But, since we were getting so much done, V wanted a hit of color and we decided to use a wine red on the only non-stone wall in the bedroom, a color which we´d previously used in the dining room of our Chicago bungalow.  We picked that up locally.


Meanwhile, I was treating the old wood beams with a coat of linseed oil.  It went on very black, but was almost instantly absorbed and lightened to a lovely warm tone.  It also became clear to me that we will never live to see the end of the dust that will be coming off the stone walls.  If I never sweep again, it will be too soon.

Now in the final stretch. We´ve given the plumber the go-ahead to install a thermal store/electric water heater which will receive the hot water from the back boiler on the Hergom L-09 cc woodstove (24 Kcal/h) feeding 5 radiators distributed through the house and provide DHW during the summer.

We´ve also given the go-ahead on the shower enclosure in the main bath.

The workers had started on the retaining wall between us and the neighbors to the east.  It is a mighty structure.  Looks like we´ll have some stone to spare, so I´m already thinking about possible uses on a patio off the back, but at least the really large rocks have found a place out of the back garden.

More on the garden anon.


  1. Looking great - so light and fresh.

  2. Thanks Ian. I couldn´t believe how much faff it was selecting an ¨off white¨. I stood there for more than 30 minutes debating.