Friday, February 24, 2012

linoleum, carpet-board, and horsehair plaster, oh my!

So I finally tackled the worst bedroom in the house.  From the cracking ceiling, to the multiple layers of wallpaper and the idiot-rigged closet, it is all fixed and i am happy to say that this room is complete!  I had to mud over the wallpaper (all of the walls) to make sure that the walls were smooth enough to paint.  I was going to do new wallpaper but it seamed wrong since I loathed every type of wallpaper that had been on those walls already (also wallpaper is expensive!).  I then sanded the walls and ceiling (next time i will wear a hat because i had stiff hair for 3 days after the dust in my hair got wet, although my hair did look thicker than it ever has).


I chose an eggshell paint because the walls were still not perfectly smooth and I thought the less shiny the better. I used Bin 123 primer because I wanted the paint to really stick to the walls, in the past I have had a hard time painting the plaster in the other rooms so bin has helped a lot because it will stick to anything.  I ripped up the linoleum only to find carpet board underneath, which brendon ever so graciously helped me pull up. 


We found 3 deeds to monopoly properties, a wheat penny, and a picture of the old owner when she was a child (pretty funny stuff) we will add that to our collection of the WWII food rations booklet and stamps.  Brendon also helped me rebuild the closet and remove the framing that held on two closet doors by their hinges,  I then made a curtain to go across the whole wall, hiding the still imperfect closet (but it works for now!) Anyways after sanding and painting the floor, the room is now complete!

The finishing touch was to frame a piece of the old wallpaper, I couldn't help myself it was so kitsch and perfect that I needed to save a part of it.  3 down and 1 more bedroom to go!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Personal Touches

I try to remind myself weekly that we really have done so much to this house already--but it still feels like we have so far to go.  I am constantly thinking that I cant wait until all of the projects are finished, but I also know that as a homeowner, that never happens.  Once everything is nice you start thinking about upgrades (when i'm done with all the rooms in my house I will unsubscribe to Real Simple and stop going crazy on a quest for the perfect wall color). 

While I am amidst finishing the orange room (the room with the weird orange wall paper) and tearing out the closet in the truck room (the room with the weird 1950s American automobile wallpaper), I thought that I would share one of the smaller projects that I just finished.  When we moved into the house there were a lot of weird quirks (on top of the orange bird and old truck wallpaper).  There were room numbers on the 4 bedrooms upstairs, and there was Madonna (not the singer) wallpaper above the stairs with reddish pink paint dripping down it and also "area rug style" linoleum flooring on the bedroom floors.  Some of the things were out in the driveway for the garbage man the day we moved in, but some of the ideas I wanted to keep.  I really liked the idea of the room numbers, even if it was perhaps because the house was an insane asylum in the past (maybe??  you have to be insane to choose the old truck wallpaper right?)

I decided to create my own ceramic room numbers for the bedrooms upstairs.  I built them slab style, fired them, glazed them and with some decorative carpet tacks they now hang on the doorways of all of the second flood bedrooms.  I like how it pushed the bed and breakfast feel that our 1920's farm style house already kind of has.  It also helps me feel less overwhelmed by not only taking on huge demolition projects, but finding a balance of small projects and bigger projects to help you feel productive.  

Stay tuned for next week when I am either mudding the truck room or helping brendon put down wood floors (if we can settle the age old battle of hickory vs. maple)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lesson 1: Patience is a Virtue

 My fiance and I bought a house in July of 2011.  It was the first house we looked at, out of two.  I am a teaching artist and Brendon is a carpenter, we always thought that we wanted a fixer upper.  Being in the middle of a complete home overhaul (Project House to Home) hindsight is 20/20.  I learn more and more about carpentry and myself everyday (such as why you shouldn’t spray scotch guard in the basement next to your oil tank and furnace).  I cant even leave the house if the bed isn’t made, needless to say, living with half finished projects is really hard for me.  Rome wasn’t completed in a day, and neither was the spare bedroom makeover that I am in the midst of.  As things get ripped up, refinished, primed, painted, sanded, striped, and toxic fumes inhaled, I am (slowly) becoming more able to deal with it all.  This blog is about sharing the successes and failures of DIY home projects, reflection, and getting these damned projects finished. 

Welcome to my blog.