One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (if you’re new to this blog, then it’s sure to be a riveting story): we bought this house from some house flippers that covered all the plaster walls with drywall. The walls looked nice, but projected farther than the baseboards and it irked the hell out of me. A few years ago, I started removing drywall, room by room, to expose varying horrors underneath.

This guest room is the 7th room in the house that I’ve been repairing in earnest and for some reason, although I have gotten a pretty good handle on it, I felt serious avoidance to putting the work in. Like, I found all sorts of other activities to do instead of work on those walls. Working my actual job longer days, watching kids movies (Hocus Pocus for the win) and idk, my fucking taxes? Basically, anything seemed better.

I removed the drywall and screws, and introduced the room.

But not myself? Which should be the biggest indicator of who I am. My name is Madeline, I am not a designer or real blogger (as evidenced by my many posting faux pas) and I am renovating my 100+ year old home as a hobby. I do all these projects by myself because my husband has no interest in them. I love hyperbole and pink.

Now back to the room.

Last week I scraped off the faux finish. What I was left with was the room with the least amount of cracks on the ceiling and walls, although I was still gifted with some huge chunks of wall/ceiling missing, cracks and tons of screw holes. And a seriously growing hatred for all the previous owners. The worst. Whenever I would get my dusty clothes on and mix up some mud, I barely worked on it and would abandon the walls for wine and justifications that I still have weeks.

That is the beauty that is the One Room Challenge though. Thanks to Linda, from Calling it Home, for creating this event. And all the amazing and inspiring participants! I can’t give ya’ll an ugly and crumbling room and I am running out of time.

So I hunkered down and worked on those walls. Super crabby though. Like, don’t even fucking look at me wrong, Cat. I know you’ve been sleeping for the past 22 hours. And why am I not eating a whopper with cheese right now!?

I won’t give a full tutorial here on my process for repairing plaster – I wrote about that process previously or here, if interested.

Short version is remove crumbling plaster from cracks, patch large holes with drywall, fiberglass screen on all the cracks and holes, layer joint compound, another layer, probably some more and then sanddddddddd. The caveat is that you have to feel comfortable drinking wine with questionable chunks of plaster and dust.

I spent daysssssssss patching. The ceiling had some weird powdery substance on it? Like they thought about doing popcorn but then nah. I scraped off what I could, but it made it really difficult to apply the joint compound by sucking out the moisture asap and sucking up my life essence while it was at it.

And that’s where I’m at. Still.

I have to sand and then prime everything before I can even move on to the actual paint. I always follow that up with two coats of oil based primer (nothing better) and then two coats of latex primer. It’s proven to be the most efficient at reducing any flashing in the top coat. I think I do 4 coats? I can’t remember right now.

Even further insult is the paint on the trim is peeling off in some places and scaling in others, and it’s for sure lead paint underneath so I can’t just sand it smooth. Sooooooooooo stripping it will have to be done. And don’t eat the paint chips.

I went for a much needed run and then came home and painted on a layer of stripper. I didn’t even get out of my gym clothes, which is why I have so many ruined clothes piling up. The citristrip was on there to do most of the work while I was at work. At my actual paying job.

Which I just got back from, took these pictures and finished this post for the week 3 link up. Ahead of things, I am not.

I am exhausted and not sure if I’ll get everything that I want to do done in time.

On to the good news though? Even though the room still looks like shit, I ordered some pretty stuff for it and that’s starting to arrive.

Art work:

"form" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.

"rock in style" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.

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This light fixture (in black) for next to the bed, and this rug.

I also purchased that rug for my dining room. I ordered the 9’x12′ and it came several inches too big and too big for my room. A quick google search and the internet was like ‘omg it’s so easy to fix!’ and I was like cool. LET ME TELL YOU, NOT FUCKING COOL. I feel it’s only right that someone on the internet is honest about it. It took me several hours to use a seam ripper to remove the braid, sew it back on in the right place and then a huge blister when cutting off the excess. And I stabbed myself a million times. I damned bled for that rug.

So, pray that when I unroll the one for this room, it’s the right size. Otherwise I’m going to have to burn the house down and live in a cave.

I found my kreg jig! But can’t find my respirator mask and had to buy a new one. WHO HAS THESE PROBLEMS.

All that’s left is:

  • Strip wood work
  • Sand walls
  • Prime
  • Prime
  • Prime?
  • Prime?
  • Get my life together
  • Paint
  • Build a bed and figure out how to upholster (I find this project intimidating)
  • Avoid a nervous breakdown
  • Put all the pretty stuff in there

3 weeks. Tears.

Head back to the link up for all the other people putting in work!

 

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Procrastination is expensive and also my default setting

Welcome back!

To brush you up, the One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event that is hosted by Linda from Calling it Home which facilitates bloggers choosing a room in need of love and 5 weeks to share progress and then a reveal. It’s such a great opportunity to GET SHIT DONE, and there’s so much support from fellow participants. It gives me all the fuzzies.

As per my routine, I announced that I would complete this project in a short amount of time, then I went and did other things – not related to my project.

And there I was, minding my own avoidance business and I was like “Oh shit! The roman shades!”

You see, I purchased the last 4 1/2 yards of Rose Gold Regency fabric from Tonic Living (here’s the gold version) a few months ago, and then it sat in it’s packaging.

Sometimes (all the time) in my head, once I have made a decision about something in my brain, it’s done? But not actually in reality.

So I reached out to someone on Etsy about sending the fabric and having shades made, and the price was reasonable and I was like great! Then I went to purchase the listing and the estimated time was 6-8 weeks. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Some frantic emails and general begging/harassment later, and I was told she was too busy to rush my order, which is understandable. Unfortunately, this took some days, which cut into my time frame even more.

I reached out to someone else, and I got the quote and it was expensive. And a rush charge, and also, really expensive. For just the labor and lining.

I started emotionally sweating. I only have 4 weeks to ship the fabric to someone, have them sewn, shipped back to me and then hung.

And also, I am like real people poor. I am not like some people, with what-appears-to-be-infinite resources for home design. Not hating, just jealous.

No offense to the fabric, either, but it wasn’t going to be the focal point of the room or anything. So, did it seem worth it? Should I choose an alternative? That costs money too, and I already paid for the fabric.

On the other hand, I am also unwavering when I have made decisions.

So, guys, I bit that expensive bullet. I sent the fabric out yesterday, and I feel like it had better be sewn with angel’s tears or something.

ANYWAYS.

After that whole sweat and stress inducing situation, I was like, Girl, you just spent all that money for roman shades and you haven’t done anything on those ugly ass fucking green walls. FOR SHAME ON YOU. AND ALSO GET YOURSELF UP THERE. YOU ARE SWEATY AND GROSS ALREADY. AND MAKE GOOD LIFE DECISIONS.

I went to inspect the walls. The faux finish added a weird texture and also made it hard to see any cracks in the plaster for repair. I grabbed one of those paint scraping tools and a big box of razor blades and started scraping.

idk who else’s ORC room literally shed its skin to reveal new walls underneath. So I’ve got that going for me.

Rare action shot!

It took about 10 hours to scrape off what I could. I plied my sister with a $4 bottle of wine and she helped! It gave me several blisters and claw hands, even still.

Somehow the faux finish protected the plaster from the drywall screws?! Miracles DO happen. They are in the best shape (pre-repair) of the whole house. Which is kind of a sad statement?

Next up will be patching! THEN PAINT!

I am exhausted just thinking about it. At least I have exciting weekend plans now!

In other productive updates, I ordered a light fixture for next to the bed. I ordered it from Greece though, so, it might not come in time? So that may not be a productive update? Why do I do these things?! Ya’ll, save me from myself.

I picked up a nice dresser off craigslist, which, I think I will refinish. If my body doesn’t have a violent reaction to the thought of more sanding.

I’m glad that I have something to show for myself and we aren’t sharing in my complete failure.

Make sure to head back to the link up for other rooms with likely more progress!

 

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Dark and cozy guest room

Well, damn. That was a long and unintended blog hiatus.

It was really more of an internet hiatus, if I’m being honest. It is depressing out there right now.

I seem to have two modes: On the couch with Netflix and wine or full blown DIY mania. I am 100% back on my bullshit.

I haven’t really been sure how to start, so, why not jump back in with a One room challenge?

 

If you are unfamiliar with the One Room (to rule them all) Challenge, it is a biannual blog link up party, created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. Participants choose a project, and then have 6 posts and 5 weeks to complete. It is an explode-your-house-ruin-relationships-and-lots-of-tears kind of thing. It’s pretty amazing.

Past reveals: Living room and daughter’s bedroom

And, I’m actually a little intimidated about doing the challenge this round? I waffled until the day of joining to decide if I wanted to. I’m feeling a little insecure, since there have been so many amazing reveals and I don’t think this one will be on that level.

So. Temper your expectations.

We can delve into my inadequacies another time.

I shared this room a few months ago on Instagram, with the intention of working on it. Then a surgery happened (I’m fine!) and after recovery, it stayed stalled while I worked on other projects.

It is an extra room in my house, for guests that haven’t minded living in squalor (shout out to my sister in law! Love you, girl). I feel like it’s about time to, idk, have it be more than a mattress on the floor and possible lead poisoning?

I removed all the drywall to expose the usual: thousands of cracks and screw holes, huge holes for electrical and crumbling plaster.

AND SOMETHING EXTRA!

This thick faux finish metallic green paint on the walls?

OMG. Blessed.

Who were these mythical creatures that painted the walls in this house? Did they have a curse bestowed upon them to never finish painting a room, doomed to live with their failed intentions and 154563 shades of avocado?

Shit. Is the curse on me, too? That explains so much.

You guys, I’m not LAZY, I AM CURSED AND I STRUGGLE WITH IT EVERY DAY.

Plans:

Scrape off the faux finish? It has a lot of texture and is peeling in some places.

Scrub off the crayon doodles from my kid. Ugh, when I found the “art” I couldn’t help but be horrified that MY amazing genetic offspring was ultimately such a generic cliché. We should probably blame her parents.

patch, patch, patch, patch, sand, prime, prime, paint, paint.

Maybe make a bedframe? We will have to see on this one. I seem to have lost my kregjig? Like, who even does that?

Then all the pretty stuff.

My ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere that is less…. how you say… ‘crack den’.

 

Make sure to follow along with all the sure-to-be-astounding transformations!

 

 

One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Blank slate and good vibes

It’s week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I am feeling goooooood. I mean, sore AF and I killed way too many brain cells with spray paint and oil based primer fumes, but good all the same!

If you’re new to this challenge, Linda from Calling it Home hosts this event twice a year. Bloggers get to choose a room to work on, post the progress once a week for 6 weeks and link up to her site. If you’re someone like me, and can drag a simple project out for 6 months, this is super helpful to getting shit done.

I chose to turn our current guest room into a big girl room for my 5 year old daughter. This way, she can stay in her room, none the wiser that this is a surprise room for her.

I’m so excited to do this for her. She has been so patient and understanding of the house renovations, the chaos, the dust over the past 3 years. She really deserves her own space (free of the dust and chaos.)

This is where my challenge started.IMG_1144

 

Shudders. So. We bought this 100+ house from some flippers, who purchased it from an elderly woman that had lived there for a very long time and did not do proper upkeep. Or do any updates, as evidenced by the pink/avocado green/pale yellow/6 wallpapers in 1 room/massive holes, etc.

The house flippers’ solution to this was to cover all the surfaces with drywall. Great in theory, but it stuck out 1/2″ at the bottom of the walls where the baseboards were flush with the plaster walls and the window casing was close to being recessed. This probably wouldn’t bother the average person, but when it comes to freaking out about miniscule details, I am exceptionally above average.

I have been going from room to room in the house, forcefully removing the drywall, patching holes and cracks in the original plaster walls/ceiling, sanding, priming and painting.

This is the 6th room I’ve done so far – only 5 more to go. Le sigh.

ANYWAYS.

Next time I start a project and think ‘oh, this won’t be so bad!’, I need ya’ll to remind me that I don’t know shit. kthxbye.

For my pitiful 2nd week post, I had only removed the screws and washed the walls and half heartedly patched holes.

That’s when I discovered this little gem:IMG_3955

It brought so much happiness to my life.

Showing up to the ORC challenge linking party with my hands empty was enough humiliation that I was finally motivated to finish repairing the walls this past week. Although, everyone was so kind of absolve me of my guilt and shame. WHO KNEW THE INTERNET WAS SO NICE?! It makes me want to go sit in a cardboard box of fuzzy kittens and let them climb on me.

I painted out the vinyl windows with some black satin Krylon fusion spray paint and the radiator in matte black. ‘Cause, why not?

Then, armed with 1/4″ drywall, 3 bags of DuraBond/Easy Sand 90 joint compound and 3 rolls of fiberglass window screen – I got down to it.

I addressed the deep holes initially. Those jerks are the ones that need countless coats to build up.

For the ginormous hole next to the light switch, I took some extra lath and screwed it to other pieces of lath for some support and strength.DSC_1197

Then I covered it up with a newspaper – done!DSC_1198

JK. I wish.

I used that to make a general template, cut out said template of 1/4″ drywall and then screwed the drywall to the lath. It doesn’t have to be perfect ’cause it will be filled/smoothed out with the joint compound.DSC_1200 DSC_1201 DSC_1204 DSC_1205 DSC_1206

After it was secured, I covered it with a big square of the screen and gave a once over coat.DSC_1207

The first coat is always the DuraBond, it’s super strong, but a bitch to sand – so I use it sparingly. This will go in the screw holes and the deep holes with mesh screen.

I cut the screen in to long strips, and use those for the thousands of tiny cracks in the walls/ceiling.

To protect my brain from the trauma of the next 3-6 coats, I went in to some sort of fugue state. When I came to, all the holes and cracks were smoothed out.IMG_1213 IMG_1214 IMG_1215 IMG_1225

IMG_1212

The sanding wasn’t so bad, actually! It took about 4 hours with an orbital sander and 220 grit. I just kept telling myself that it will all be better once I get the walls primed.

AND PRIMED!IMG_1227 IMG_1230 IMG_1229 IMG_1232 IMG_1234

So, so, so much better.

Can you be kind enough to not notice that I missed a WHOLE portion of the wall with primer? I only realized when I was taking these pictures.

And here’s a bonus picture of my daughter popping in and crying because I asked her to wear sweat pants for T ball practice and she wants to wear a skirt:IMG_1233

What huge gaping hole in the wall and ceiling!? You must have had a nightmare. Shhhh. It’s over now.IMG_1228

That first coat is the oil based primer, which in my opinion is absolutely necessary with so much new mud. It’s the best to seal it up and prevent flashing. That joint compound be THIRSTY and will drink up primer like nobody’s business.

PSA – A deep hair conditioner will keep the oil based primer from sticking to your hair, and coconut oil is excellent for removing the oil based primer on your paint splattered face. Otherwise it sticks like a sonabitch. I didn’t mind the paint all over my body. I am currently at work looking like a mess and no fucks are given.

The next coat will be latex primer, then two top coats – I still haven’t picked out a paint color. I couldn’t focus on a new color until that other pink wasn’t assaulting my eyes.

Question. How do black, pale pink and dark green play together? Yes, no?

ON TO THE GOOD VIBESSSSSSSSSSSSS.

My lucent lighshop sputnik arrived and is beautiful.IMG_3965

BUT NOT ONLY THAT. Sarah sent me a message on instagram and let me know that her shop could make me the black sconce (that I never got a response on from a different shop.)

My daughter asked me the other day if I ordered that light that she chose out, and I had to tell her that I wasn’t able to yet. She took it all in stride, because her skills for coping with disappointment are on point – which makes me think I need to reflect on how often I disappoint her. Now at least I won’t disappoint her with this!

They are just the sweetest, ever, and prove that customer service still exists.

As it turned out, the ceiling joist was JUST IN THE RIGHT PLACE for a hanging chair. Why, oh why didn’t I write down the exact location though!? I mean, it was right there in front of my face, and now I’ll have to search for it since it’s all smooth and primed.

Foolish.

I happened to pop over onto Serena and Lily’s shop this past weekend and saw there was a 20% off code and I could apply it to the rattan hanging chair! I was putting off ordering the chair because the item description page said ‘5-7 days’, when I checked out though, it said 2-4 weeks. I got anxious and sent Brit from House Updated a message asking how long it took for her to get it. She was so sweet to respond and told me it took about a week. I got an email about 3 days after I ordered and it will be delivered on Friday! Squeals! CH27-01_5

I waffled, but ultimately chose the natural finish.

Rug and textiles will get selected? Bedding seems to be a tough one for me. I want it to be pretty, but, she’s a 5 year old and doesn’t need $200 Egyptian cotton/silk sheets.

SOOOOO basically, I got $100 off my chair, the ceiling fixture is here and sconce for my daughter is on order and the walls are fresher than a mutha.

This weekend is for painting, cleaning, electrical updates and playing at the park.

Make sure to check out all the amazing work the other bloggers are doing!

 

ORC-LP-250x183

 

 

Project relapse and Gray paint is hard

It’s been quiet on here, although I have been busy on the house.

I knowwwwww that I should wrap up the last couple of projects on the foyer, and while I was waiting between coats on one of those projects… I turned my attention to this room:

 

The pantry is a little 6×7′ room right off the kitchen, and next to the mud room.

It had some original cabinetry, but the drawers hardly worked anymore and I didn’t need the large flour sack drawer (which was stuck and couldn’t open at all.) The counter kind of became a catch all.

This is the only picture I found that kind of shows what was going on in there. Man! I guess a lot has changed in the kitchen area.

Pre-remodeling
Pre-remodeling

When I decided to have the walnut flooring installed, I wanted it in the pantry also. Since the original cabinetry was on the subfloor, and the floor sloped badly, I demoed everything out. Sleepers were installed and the flooring laid.

Then, it sat like this for almost a year. 009

Please, judge away. Filled with paint cans, extra moulding, and kitchen stuff that hasn’t found a home, etc.

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Where the old cabinet was, before the drywall was removed
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Pre drywall removal

It didn’t take too long to clear out all the stuff in here, and remove the drywall. At which point I discovered that the walls were in pretty rough shape and the drywall ceiling WAS the ceiling.

Let me just tell you, these walls were DISGUSTING. Popcorn kernels stuck to the wall, twist ties from my mom’s generation and enough grime to make me want to vom. I washed them with hot soapy water, that may have been more dawn soap then water. 016

I was in hardcore project mode and forgot to take any pictures of the walls after I removed the drywall! Or many after I had patched the large holes with drywall. Curses.

The area around the light switch had a hole with nothing behind it for attaching the drywall to. FML. I got creative and put a piece of extra lathe (what? Ya’ll don’t have bags of lathe in your garage?! Ludicrous.) in that area, screwed to the existing lathe and drywall to that. Probs not what a professional would have done, but it worked pretty well!015 plaster repair plaster repair plaster repair

It took awhile to patch all the holes with 1/4″ drywall because the holes were all irregularly shaped. After they we more or less filled in, I used screen mesh and Durabond 90 for the large holes and the corners/cracks. I have learned to go very light with the coats of Durabond, since it’s much harder to sand down. After 2 coats of the Durabond, I switched to my fave, EZ Sand 90. The 20, 45 or 90 after the joint compound type is the general amount of working time before the ‘hot mud’ chemically hardens. I like using this kind because you can do more coats in one day, instead of waiting for it to air dry. plaster repair plaster repair plaster repair plaster repair

The walls are up to their 5th coat in the deep patches, and second skim coat on the walls.

Sooooooooon it will be sanding it all smooth and priming. And it NEEDS a good primer.041

That might be evil soaking out of the walls through my new joint compound.

Since the drywall ceiling was staying, the popcorn had to go. It was my first time removing popcorn ceiling and it was pretty easy! Let me tell you, actually way more easy than patching a million cracks on the ceiling.

I followed some very basic steps:

  • Protect the floor with rosin paper/plastic
  • Cover electrical
  • Saturate small sections with soapy water (I used a spray bottle since my area was so small. A garden sprayer would work better for large areas, but it would be way more messy and wet!)
  • I used a 4″ joint knife and scraped in a straight lineremoving popcorn removing popcorn removing popcorn removing popcorn

It looks much better already. I accidentally bruised the drywall in a couple little spots. Those will get some mud and everything will get a light sanding.

The baseboards, window apron and part of the door casing were removed with the cabinetry. I have started on the baseboards with some simple pine 1×6 boards that I had lying around. Like, for reals. I have had them hanging out in my dining room for months. Totally not a normal lifestyle. 039

They will be finished off with some quarter round shoe base, and I haven’t decided on the cap yet.

The ceiling will get crown moulding (molding… whatever. I must have read too many books by English authors. And the latter makes me think of something that’s gone rotten.) Crown looks nice and all, but it’s also because the drywall ceiling was put in AFTER the 1/2″ drywall was put on the walls and there is now a noticeable gap.

I am supposed to be driving out to the lumber yard for all of these things right now, you’ll notice that I am writing this and drinking my millionth cup of coffee instead. Priorities, guys.

So, that’s where it’s at.

On to the paint color. The room is on the East side of the house and gets tons of light. I want to keep it light and bright, with a little depth of color. Translation, not white. I considered using a pale purple color like Farrow&Ball’s Calluna, and then had a crisis of conscience for my poor husband living with so much pink already. On to gray. OMGGGGGG. Why is gray so hard?!

I have 4 up on the wall right now (painted on pieces of rosin paper so they can be moved around), Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud 50% lighter, Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and Clark+Kensington My pointe exactly (from the OPI line)

Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud 50% lighter, Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, Clark+Kensington My Pointe Exactly
Top to bottom, left to right: Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud 50% lighter, Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, Clark+Kensington My Pointe Exactly

I like all of them? I hate all of them? I’m so confused.

This small room has been a deceptively large amount of work and way more money, like all projects. But has gone much faster than my projects seem to normally take! I’ve probably put in about 30 hours of WERK into this room already. Maybe I’m slow? IDK.

I have ordered a custom light to be made, and I am so excited for it. The lead time is 4 weeks, and I hope to have the room put together and functional by that time!

Possible organization has been making me overly excited these days. I guess living in a constantly messy construction zone has changed my threshold for joy.

 

Updates on the front room 3/7/2015

Front room, entry way, foyer… whatEvs

3 weeks (!) ago, I started working on the entry room to my house. I had started on it, a year previously. I had removed the drywall from the ceiling and walls, removed 3-4 kinds of wall paper, skim coated some of the walls and started painting the trim. Then I stalled out, left to stare at pale avocado green walls and ceiling for a year.

I started continued by patching all the screw holes left by the dry wall on the remaining wall and ceiling, and used drywall for the large hole left by a damaged blown in insulation hole.005 007 008

 

 

 

 

I then used cut pieces of fiberglass mesh screen to patch the cracks on the ceiling. And there were a lot.

First coat.009

Second coat.020

Third coat on the ceiling and one skim coat on the walls.025 032

 

 

 

 

 

We (I made my husband help me this time) sanded everything down with electric sanders.

Everything got so incredibly dusty, it was hard to even see what I was sanding a foot from my face.

The walls are certainly not perfect. 2-3 more skim coats on the walls would have been ideal, and I might have accidentally missed entire spots to sand. But, sometimes, a finished project is better that a perfectly planned out project that hasn’t happened.

Unfortunately, my new orbital sander was a little aggressive for the EZ Sand joint compound on the ceiling, and left lots of little crescent shaped grooves. Curses.

While this was all going on, I also stripped and sanded down some stair treads. I did not sand these down enough, and when I stained them, that became apparent. stain didn't take

Double curses.

Re-stripping and sanding those set me back, because I didn’t want to bother painting when I was going to be making dust again.

I didn’t notice the ceiling until after I had spent hours vacuuming and cleaning the trim and baseboards in preparation of painting. Since I was all mudded out, I decided to proceed with the painting of the trim and walls.

1 coat of oil based primer on everything got it looking fresh!045

 

It was my husband’s birthday last week, between coats 1 and 2 walls and 2 and 4 on the trim, and celebrations and celebration hangover made it difficult for me to hammer those out. I think I got one coat on the trim in about 3 hours that day, then I was spent.

Although, the trim was kind of time consuming anyways. 3 windows, 3 doorways, stringers/risers and baseboards gave me major clawhand.

Side note, a spot on my columns had a weird reaction with the paint and turned pink? After several coats, it went away.043

 

I got over my hangover and finished the trim, then I got a cold that has lasted a week! I did end up painting the last coat on the walls this past week and mudded the ceiling grooves. Today I sanded it by hand so as to avoid the grooves again.

It has been difficult to care about the ceiling at all! Like, no fucks about it.

I am going to tryyyyyyyy to slap a coat of primer up tonight, and do some more painting tomorrow.

I really want to start moving things out of our living room, and back in there! Also, I ordered a bunch of things (in my virus-cold-medicine state) online, and they should start arriving in the next couple of days.  I have to get an electrician stop by about the janky light. I am pretty sure the pan up there will not hold the chandelier that I have.

Here’s today, after:

  • 3 bags of DuraBond 90, EZ Sand joint compound
  • Countless pieces of sandpaper/pads
  • 2 tubes of caulk
  • 2 1/2 gallons of oil based primer
  • 1 gallon of latex based primer
  • 2 gallons of flat enamel
  • 1/2 gallon of floor and porch paint

1 coat of oil based primer, 1 more coat of latex based primer, 2 coats of top coat on the walls and 3 coats of floor and porch paint on the trim. 048

 

 

This feels like the project that isn’t ending, and might have taken part of my soul. Here’s to hoping it comes together and is worth it!

If the kitchen walls could talk

Ya’ll ready for some mundane wall talk?

Back in April of 2014, when I demo’ed the tile floor to make way for new walnut hardwood, I got a little feverish and pulled down all the dry wall, removed the soffit to expose the ugliest radiator pipes, and demanded that my husband remove all the drywall/plaster/lath from the ceiling. After washing off the debris and horror of what I had just done, I was left with this:

It's the only 'Before" photo I could find!
It’s the only ‘Before” photo I could find!

 

Cracking yellow plaster walls, ugly radiator pipes and insight to how my 100 year old house is being held up (which gives me night terrors that the house is going to collapse, some things just shouldn’t be seen (it’s structurally sound, my anxiety knows no bounds))

After the house being jacked up, new flooring installed and part of the wall was removed, I started tiling the walls above the baseboards and skim coating/patching the remaining walls. I got two coats of durabond 90 on the walls, and abandoned it. I didn’t finish the cuts in my tile job, either. tile wainscotting

The cabinets were installed, and because nothing in old houses are plumb, the cabinets didn’t fit. So the contractor removed part of the drywall, and installed the cabinet. I was not at home at the time, and by the time it got to this point in the project, I pretty much loathed the contractor and wanted him to get the hell out of my house, finished or not.

So. It all sat like this, until, I announced that I would continue working on it. Erm, back in December.

On a whim one day whilst I was working at home, I got up and finished all my cuts for the tile on the wall, and grouted. I hadn’t started on the backsplash yet.

I removed the rest of the 1/2″ drywall down to the top of the base cabinet. I changed the light switch receptacle for a shallow one, since the wall cavity was less than 3″. shallow light receptical

Of course, even my 1/4″ thick drywall didn’t fit between the  upper cabinet and the middle stud. I could have cut the drywall to butt up against the cabinet, and not go behind it, but then it wouldn’t have any support behind it. I made a make shift cleat but using a spare piece of wood and screwing it into the stud, so the drywall could attach to it. Kind of hard to explain, and I’m sure not the professional method. 007

But! It worked. Moving on.

After all the seams in the new drywall and joints between the plaster and drywall were dried, began the sanding. Since I was not very skilled or meticulous about skim coating, all the wall surfaces needed to be sanded. Ooft.008

My husband helped me tape up plastic on most of the cabinets and doorways. It still crept everywhere. Natch. 011

My momma didn’t raise no fool. I used a palm sander on the walls and 80 grit sand paper to smooth everything out. It took me about an hour and a half, and a lot of climbing up and down a ladder. Talk about dustayyyyy. 010

After everything was cleaned up, I use the word ‘clean’ loosely in this household, it was time for priming the walls.

I decided to use my new gallon of Zinsser Oil Based Primer. I had never used it for such a large surface, but guys, it handled its shit. I may always use it on walls that have had a lot of patching. Yeah, you end up throwing the roller away, but I only used a 1/4 of the gallon, where latex may have been 1/2-3/4 can. I did follow up on the walls with a second coat of latex primer as well. 012 013

So much better, right?

Since I was already on a week long bender, high as a kite on paint fumes, I figured that I might as well paint the vinyl windows while I was at it.

I removed the latches (and spray painted them gold), and gave the window a super thorough cleaning with acetone. Meticulously taped everything off and cut little squares to size of painter’s plastic.Spray painting vinyl windows

I used Krylon Fusion in Gloss black. The inside stop had previously been painted black (see above above pictures), and after the vinyl part of the window was black, it felt like way too much black. I am very good at creating more work for myself, I taped it all off again, primed and painted about 5 coats of white on. I like how it turned out, and will probably continue to paint the upstairs vinyl windows, too. Painting Vinyl windows Painting Vinyl windows

Christmas happened, and I took a kitchen break to enjoy time with family.

I got back to it, by tiling the little cabinet nook back splash. Let me tell you, even inside in the basement and with hot water put in the wet saw, it is COLD to get sprayed with the water. Let alone the fact that it sprays into your lap, leaving the sensation that you’ve just peed yourself. gloss subway tile - the tile shop

I had removed the window apron before the tiling and cabinet installation. I didn’t want to make a lot of cuts on the tile or have the tile be thicker than the apron,, so I used all full tiles for 2′, putting that underneath the window apron. I shimmed out the area and put the window apron back on, after cutting it in two pieces to allow the peninsula cabinet to be flush with the wall. 023 025 026

It left some noticeable gaps along the side of the window, and the tile wasn’t capped off. 027

I went to the lumber yard about bought a basic profile, pre-primed pine chair rail. I think I put it upside down? Idk. I liked it better this way, and feel it mimics the baseboard nicely.

Everything got patched, caulked and painted.The Tile Shop Gloss subway tiles

All the trim got a fresh coat of Sherwin-Williams Floor and Porch paint in Snowbound 7004, and the walls were painted Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor, mixed in the Aura line and 25% darker. I haven’t used the Aura paint before, and I’m not sure if it’s the paint itself or how much goddamn pigment was in that can, it covered beautifully!Sherwin Williams Snowbound 7004 Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor Aura

I was dragging my feet on updating about the kitchen, because I feel disappointed that it still doesn’t look DONE. That might or might not have something to do with the fact that there isn’t a finished ceiling. No, it can’t be that simple of an explanation. I am way deep and complex, guys.

Somehow this post got over 1000 words, damn. I’ll continue in the next post with more updates.

Get it done

After 4 new tires, continuing to pay off debt, daughter’s private school tuition due at the end of the month, life and a tiny eBay spending spree, I am feeling poor.

I have limited myself to finish started projects in which I already possess the materials. Ugh. Spending money bans are the worst.

Moving on.

Let’s take the kitchen walls for example.

1 step forward, 1346564 steps back

I have two skim coats of mud on the walls, and half a bag of durabond 90 left, 1/4″ drywall in the garage waiting to replace the missing piece on the wall, and the paint.

I am putting it out there, in the ether, that I would like to replace the drywall, joint all the seams and sand the walls smooth for paint – by this Sunday.

The ceiling still won’t get done anytime soon, my aims aren’t that high. Ha. Ha. Get it? A ceiling joke.

Also, it’s normal to purchase things like light fixtures, for rooms that aren’t even a little bit ready for them. Right? I am hoping it will light a fire under my ass for yet another unfinished room.

Fingers crossed.

I’m delusional

So. Remember when I said that the dining room walls weren’t that bad? I do. Laugh at my folly.

Patching the screw holes and taping the seams in the new drywall was super easy. Whew. It sands so seamlessly.

Then came the scraping of the damaged plaster on the ceiling. And, you know, the hundreds of small holes and hairline cracks, and deep cracks between the new drywall wall and plaster ceiling/walls.

Water damage:

Water damaged plaster
Water damaged plaster

To repair that water damaged area, I mixed up some Durabond 90. I like the Durabond for applications like deep cracks, or the first layer of skim coat. It shrinks less, and chemically reacts, so it hardens faster in thicker applications. The downside of this, is it’s such a hassle to sand down. I wish that I would have been a little less hasty, and smoothed things out a little more. My arm will be paying for it later. I used screen mesh (which was recommended on the Old Town Home blog, and useful!). The issue was the area size. I was home alone, I couldn’t keep the mesh up and grab my joint knife/mud at the same time, it kept falling on my face/hair like a big wet mud blanket. Cutting it in half made it much more manageable. But, I was pissssssed by the time I was done with that. Also, sweaty and gross.

durabond 90 on ceiling
durabond 90 on ceiling
durabond 90 on ceiling
durabond 90 on ceiling
first skim coat with screen mesh and durabond 90 on water damaged ceiling
first skim coat with screen mesh and durabond 90 on water damaged ceiling

I then filled the larger cracks, and seams between the drywall and plaster walls with the durabond and tape. filled gaps between plaster and drywalls wet durabond 90 on ceiling drywall

Today, I spent about an hour (although it seemed like an eternity) filling in hairline cracks and screw holes with pre-mixed all purpose joint compound. Super gross and creepy, I found mystery hairs stuck to the ceiling? I don’t want to spend too much time contemplating how that happened.

I got another skim coat on the mesh on the ceiling. dried 2nd skim coat on screen mesh/ceiling

There are still some larger cracks on the ceiling that need tape and mud, but, that was just beyond me today.

Here’s where I’m at.wet joint compound

dried joint compound on ceiling
dried joint compound on ceiling

 

 

It looks better, right?! RIGHT?!

Excuse me while I go cry a million tears into my bucket of joint compound.