Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Green or Grellow?

I normally do not have a hard time picking a paint color but trying to decide on a color for the first floor is another story. 

My first choice was taupe but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it would be BOOOOORING. Then as a scraped paint and saw all the green, I realized that green not only would be historically accurate for the style and age of our house but also would work with my furniture and not clash with most of my art work.

So once I settled on green I needed to fine tune what shade of green.  I knew the green that had been on our walls was too dark.  My vintage sofa and chair are a dark sage color so I needed to pick a shade that would work with that color.  I like the green that has a tad of yellow but that would not work at all with the sage sofa and chair.  

Over the last couple of months,I have picked up green color chips whenever I ran across new colors.  I quickly narrowed it down to three different color chips.  I placed those color chips behind the thermostat  in the entry so I could check them out whenever I walked by.  
One of those chips has a National Trust for Heritage Preservation color on it.  That color is very close, but slightly lighter, to the original green found in our house.  This is the color sample that I like the most.  The darkest green would work well in the den where we watch TV and lounge.  The medium shade would work well in the dining room, living room, and entry.  The lightest green is just a hint of green and I think it would work best on the ceiling, vestibule, first floor hallway, and the staircase.  
I think I am just going to have to bite the bullet and buy a small can of each color.  But now I have to decide on satin or eggshell?  My last house was satin and I was happy with that but I'm just as unsure about the sheen level as I am about the shade.  

Decisions decisions.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I guess I haven't had enough......

.....of paint scraping.  I didn't plan to scrape paint today or this week or even anytime soon but here I was today, scraping away.

R started installing bead board paneling on the remaining areas of the kitchen ceiling.  This left me having to be available to hold or hand him stuff when needed.  I swept and dusted until I realized that I could start paint scraping in the staircase area while still being close enough to answer the call to hand R his air nailer or tape measure.

One good thing about scraping paint in the staircase is that I can sit or stand while I scrape.  That standing on a ladder gets old real fast.  I noticed right away that this area does not have as many layers of paint as the living room had on it's walls.  I also found that the staircase walls had been painted a lighter gold color than the gold color in the living room and the dark green layer was missing.  The staircase has one window and it is on the north side of the house so natural light is not plentiful.  My plan was to paint the staircase walls in a lighter shade of the living room/dining room color, so this just reaffirmed that decision.
On the weather's still cold and getting colder.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I thought it would never end

We finally finished the paint scraping in the living room.  The last little area took three days to finish and seriously I thought it would never end.   I have no idea why they put this drywall compound/plaster on the wall in this area.  We found only one small area where the plaster was missing so we really don't why they slathered this stuff on the walls.

Ultimately, we used a wire brush attachment that we put on a air grinder to slowly remove the compound.  The softer drywall compound came off the wall fairly easy but in the last corner we ran across a slightly yellow filler that was a lot harder than drywall compound.

Blog reader, Alex, suggested spraying the drywall compound with water.  This worked great after we removed the majority of the compound and was left small amounts in the textured areas of the plaster. After spraying the residue with water, I used a wire brush to get the remaining tidbits.

Tomorrow we will get back to the kitchen ceiling and I can't wait because I need a break from  scraping.

FYI the white area in the shape of Florida without a pan handle is an area where the plaster is missing and it filled with drywall compound.  We are leaving this area for the plaster guy to decide what to do.  It's currently recessed about 1/2 inch below the surface of the wall.  I don't know if he will fill that area or if he will need to remove what is there and fill with patching plaster.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Down to the nitty gritty

Oh wrists both hurt.  They actually snap when I type.  I've had arthritis since my 20's so all this wall paint scraping is really taking it's toll on them.  I better write this fast because I just took a prescription muscle relaxer and pain pill.

The only area left to scrape is the corner from the top of the cabinet to the ceiling.  This entire corner is covered in 3/16th of an inch thick layer of drywall compound over 88 years worth of paint.  The drywall compound is so thick that the heat gun doesn't soften the paint so that leaves sanding or chipping away at it with the putty knife.  We're doing both.

Be right back.......well, that was interesting.  The house down the street is on fire and the wind is blowing at least 25 mph.  There must be 5 fire trucks and two ambulances on the scene.  I can smell something burning but because of the trees I can't see any smoke or flames.  Let's hope it is a small fire without a lot of damage.
I feel the same way about this paint scraping as I do about this can't end soon enough.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

3 hours of sanding the window sills

I really wish I could write about something else but unfortunately we cannot move forward on another project until this paint removal in the living room is completed.

Yesterday, while I toiled away at the paint in the recessed alcove in the living room, R spent 3 hours sanding caulk off of the window sill.  I can only guess why it was slathered on the window sill but my thinking is that the paint was heavily chipped and peelie so rather than sand or fill with dry wall compound as they did on the walls, they used the caulk left over from over caulking the trim.  I tried my best to get the majority of the caulk previously, with a heat gun, when I had removed the paint from the window frame.  Some caulk remained so R spent three full hours using the pneumatic orbital sander and 40 grit sand paper to remove the last bit of caulky residue.

Three hours might seem like a long time but R spent 3 hours today sanding that small area under the window that was filled in with dry wall compound.  Once he had removed the majority of the drywall compound, he came back and used a stiff wire bristle brush to remove the last tiny bits from the textured plaster.  The walls are heavily textured and the last thing we want are areas of smooth wall.

Tomorrow should be interesting because R needs to sand in the same corner where I am removing paint from the recessed alcove.  We might need to tag team it with each of us doing 30 minute segments. I'll be working the wall area by the crown and R will be sanding the area by the floor trim up to the top of the cabinets.

Today in weather news......we actually saw the sun.....all day.  The temperature was only 18 degrees today but because of the sun and lack of wind it felt like a tropical paradise.  I even saw a guy in the parking lot of the grocery store with shorts on.  Of course, he still had on boots to trudge through the snow and slop in the parking lot but nothing was going to stop his faux spring time moment.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kitchen Swinging Door

Our kitchen has a swinging door between the kitchen and the soon to be laundry room.  This area was originally a butler's pantry but by the time we purchased the house it was just an empty room with a plastic laundry tub.

The plan is to stack our Bosch washer and dryer and then install cabinets, counter, and a deep stainless sink. Ideally, I would prefer not to stack them but this room is small and moving the plumbing will be difficult as the two furnaces are directly below.

The swinging door matches all the other doors in the house but has the big swinging door mechanism.  The door sits about two inches off the floor and has about 3/4 inch gap at the top.  We will lower the door so that there is a half inch gap at the top and bottom.

The current swinging mechanism is ugly.  It's huge, rusted, and missing the cover at the top.  I've been searching on eBay for over a year for different hinges and I finally found a pair.  At one point the seller and I thought they were lost in the mail.  The box was nearly destroyed when it finally arrived and it looked like the post office had to repair the bottom of the box.
I like the look of these hinges because they are similar to the other standard door hinges in the house.  I can honestly say that this is the first time I have seen hinges like this that have the look of a ball tipped hinge pin. These are also adjustable so you can adjust the tension on the internal spring.  I didn't measure the hinges but they are between 6 and 8 inches and are very heavy cast iron.  Some of the vintage hinges for swinging doors are made of pressed metal.

These hinges will need to be sandblasted and then painted satin black.  In the meantime, we will remove the door and start removing the many layers of oil based enamel paint.  The door will also need fixing where it was modified to accommodate the current swinging mechanism.  We should be able to glue in a block of wood and then use epoxy to fill in any little chips or divots.   Once the old paint is removed and the door is patched, I will paint the door white and the center panel in black chalk board paint.  We are big time list and note leaving people so this should come in handy.
But in the meantime....I am still removing paint from the living room wall.  Today I spent about three hours and I can say that I was only able to remove about 1 1/2 square foot of paint and drywall compound.  What a mess.  I just keep repeating to will look will look better.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A new look

I'm hoping that my fresh new blog look will help to get my mind off this "oh so crappy" weather.  I swear when it hits 30 degrees it will feel like a tropical heat wave.

R has been spending all his time either shoveling or using the snow blower.  The snow is piled so high on each side of the driveway that it is starting to really interfere with seeing oncoming cars.  On top of the vast amounts of snow that we have been getting, we have also been hit with a double whammy of at least single digits at night.  I don't even want to think about my utility bill.  The horror!!!!!

I'm so hoping that once it starts to warm up that we don't have any relapses back to cold weather.  R and I have so many limbs to pick up and cut up that it will takes us at least a couple of weeks.  That's not including the trimming of the rose bushes and fruit trees.  My rose bushes should have been trimmed back this past fall but I was kind of busy with the garden shed.  Now they look like they are all bent over and broke.

We will also need to call in a tree trimmer to cut all the broken branches out of the tops of our trees.  All the trees except the black walnuts have limbs damage high up in the trees.  We've talked about having the tree trimmer thin out the canopies to aid in shaping and small limb damage when we have storms.

We really thought we were getting a handle on the trees when we cut down those big trees this summer.  I thought maybe we wouldn't have to spend half a day picking up broken limbs and twigs if we cut down those trees.  I had no idea we would get hit with a huge ice storm followed by months of endless snow.