Monday, March 31, 2014

Just like new....well almost

We spent the last couple of days taking care of several small tedious projects that although small they seem to take all day.

First tedious project was to remove the trim around the door leading to the soon to be laundry room where the swinging door will be installed with the ball tipped swinging hardware.  Also needing removal was the adjacent trim that frame the doorway leading to the dining room.

Both of these tasks were the result of the original installation being woefully poorly executed as looked awful.  The pieces were cut short and uneven.  R took care of this while I grabbed the heat gun and stripped the swinging door.

Halfway through the afternoon R started to remove the baseboard and loosen the door jamb.  Seems the door jamb was crooked and the baseboard needed to be trimmed on the backside so that the door casing laid flush.  One thing leads to another.

Finished door trim
I finished up with the door just about the time R finished his project.  The door is now ready for a good sanding and patching where the old swinging door hardware was mortised into both the top and the bottom. R took a quick look and said he will add a wood patch and then fill the small holes and seams from the patch with filler.

Door stripped
Notice the damage to the top and bottom of the door.

R then went over to our son's house to use his sandblaster to sandblast the swinging door hardware. It's now ready for primer and black satin paint.

Pre sand blasted hinges

Sandblasted hinges that are ready for paint
Tomorrow it is suppose to get to 55 degrees.  On the news they said it was 5 months since it has been that warm.  55 degrees is not normally called warm but we will take it.

On the agenda is picking up downed tree limbs while we listen to the Deeeeeeeeeetroit Tigers on the radio.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Choices, decisions, and broken nail gun

Seriously.....I will be so far behind before I even get started this spring if this weather doesn't change soon. As the snow melts.....more and more broken branches are exposed.  Oh my...what a mess.  We couldn't start the clean up now even if we wanted to because the branches are still frozen to the ground.

I've been busy checking out shelf bracket designs (simple but not too simple) and paint colors as we continue to work on the kitchen ceiling and the paint scraping in the staircase.  I picked up some Martha Stewart color paint chips while I was at Home Depot the other day.  That didn't help at all.  I found a few I liked in the store and then when I arrived home and looked at them under my lighting condition....they just didn't work.  I know I do not want or like a green with blue in it.  I'm also finding that on cloudy days (which we have a lot of during the winter) the medium toned colors and definitely the darker shades that I wanted to use in the family room are appearing far too dark.  I can see why everyone goes with beige but I've vowed to go with a vintage color palette so I'll keep looking at my color chips.

There are three doors on the upstairs landing.  I have two doors 1/2 scraped, 1 entire door and jamb scraped, all of the base board scraped, and 1/2 of each remaining door trim scraped.  Some of the paint is coming off so nicely and not leaving any paint behind.  Then there are other places where the paint is so gummy and thick that it balls up or smears.

I'll stain the doors and paint the trim just likethe plan for the first floor.  Two of the bedroom doors will need to be turned around.  At some point they changed them to swing out into the landing.  Don't know why but I want them changed back.  I have to change the door hardware because they used modern hinges and the rest of the house has ball tipped hinge pins.  Originally the house had surface mounted hinges and rim locks. They were removed and regular ball tipped hinges were installed probably as an update.  It would be nice to go back to the rim lock style but not at this time.  I need just 12 hinges and then all the door hinges will match.  If I were to change to rim locks and surface mounted hinges the cost and time to hunt down the pieces would slow down an already really sssssslllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooowwwwww restoration.

I tried to take a photo or two of the landing and stair case and found it to be impossible to get it all in one shot.

Here are two shots of the kitchen ceiling.  We need to buy one more sheet of bead board plywood to finish the ceiling. AND we need to buy a new nail gun.  Seems that nail guns don't like being dropped off of a ladder and onto the floor.  It no longer indexes the nail.  I didn't look at it but R said something about the plunger and something else.  Easier to just buy another one.  It wasn't expensive and we need it now.  Our other nail guns are either too big or too small of a nail for the ceiling and the trim.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Who kidnapped my husband......

......and replaced him with a look a like who didn't fight me on removing the door.

We closed off the door to the future game room and R was surprisingly for it.  But what sealed the deal was after we were finished he said, "You were right, it does give you more wall space and it looks better."  Holy moly...he said I was right and I didn't even have to pry it out of him.

R never throws ANYTHING away and this was one of those times when it came in handy.  We pawed through our stack (huge mess of a pile) of old tongue and groove boards and we found just enough to complete the project.  It was close and some of the boards will require a lot of sanding and maybe even a little filler here and there but after it is all primed and painted no one will ever know.

Door closed off
Once the door was closed off, we could get back to installing our ceiling trim.   AND again R surprised me when he said "You were right.  The trim is really looking good."  Say what???  What in the world is going on.  I was right twice in one day.  Either I am brilliant or he is up to something.  Last time he was this agreeable, without my knowing it, I became part owner of a race car.

In between looking for boards, taking a stress test, R going to the dentist for a new crown, and taking the rear tine rototiller in for a new starter and tune up.......I scraped more paint up on the landing.  I found that the door trim, base boards, and doors were always painted and never stained or shellacked.  But I did run across some trim that had only 2 layers of paint.....the pink color and the flat white. photo...dead batteries.

Tomorrow will require a lumber run to get more 1X4 for the ceiling trim.  I'm also looking at wood shelf brackets for our open shelving that will go above the counter and cabinets on the left side in the photo above. We agreed that 3 shelves would work best.  That area will be my baking center.

On the weather's spring....some where......not here.  Some of our snow has melted but we only had a high of 34 degrees today.  All the broken branches are now visible and not hidden by the snow.  There are a lot of broken branches to pick up.

I've also noticed that we were not the only one with mail box damage due to the snow plow.  A short drive around the neighborhood and you will see many a leaning and missing mail box.  The force of the snow was just too much for the vast majority of mail boxes.  Now would be a good time to be in the mail box post installation business.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vintage Style Door Knocker

We are still scraping paint in the staircase and framing in the door in the kitchen.  So instead of showing you half scraped walls and photos of 2X4 studs, I'll give you a peek at a door knocker I scored on eBay.

Our front door has a large wrought iron and hand hammered door knocker that matches the hand hammered iron decorative straps.  This is a look that is found through out the house.  I rarely see items that match these pieces but on occasion I'll search eBay and see if anything pops up.

Imagine my surprise when a smaller and newer version of the door knocker was listed for sale with the matching door bell button.  I was thrilled because the door bell button I purchased has a Victorian look but it was the only doorbell button that didn't look plain or modern in styling.

The door knocker will work perfect on the dutch door that leads to the back yard.  This door is exactly like our front door except it is narrower (our front door is 40 inches wide) and it is a Dutch door.  The door has the decorative straps and decorative wrought iron handle but it didn't have a door knocker.  Well, it does now!  Several years ago I sandblasted the decorative straps and the door knocker.  This removed the many many layers of paint that obscured the hammered details.
The dusty door knocker on the right is the original front door knocker.  The door knocker and doorbell button on the left are the new eBay purchases.  The knocker is smaller but I think that is appropriate for a back door.

On the weather front it is still very cold but the snow is slowly melting which is better than a big two day melt and resulting flash flooding.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Door opening removal.....

.....started today.  I was really surprised at R's reaction.  He asked why and I gave him all my reasons.

#1 Need wall space.
#2 Already have too many doors in the kitchen.
#3 Step is too small.
#4 Game room has too many doors.

He said, OK and I grabbed a Wonder bar and started removing trim before he changed his mind.

Our plan is to get it framed in tomorrow but we first have to remove the step. Maybe on Sunday, if we don't run into any problems with the step removal, we can install the knotty pine pieces.  It will take us an hour or so to move lumber and find the knotty pine pieces.  Our inside the house lumber pile is a mess. We've been playing out of it all winter and there is no rhyme or reason for how the boards are stacked. Stacked isn't the correct word.....maybe more liked jumbled up mess.

No photos of the demo because I didn't want to give R time to change his mind and demo is demo.  Here's a recap. There was bent nails and broken trim. We took our time with the trim in the soon to be game room because we can use it to replace broken trim elsewhere.

I was able to see all the different colors that the kitchen has been painted over the years before they installed the knotty pine. I tried to match the original green color to my green color samples.  The colors that I am favoring right now are very close to the old color.  Believe it or not at one time the trim was painted navy.

This photo shows how far I have scraped paint in the staircase.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I want to eliminate a door.... the kitchen.  We currently have 5 openings and 3 have doors in the kitchen and I really think that is too many. Two years ago I removed the door because opening a door while standing on a shallow step is very awkward.  Now I want to eliminate the opening......wish me luck.

I need wall space and by removing the doorway going to the future game room it would open up a large area of wall.  I have never liked this opening.  It's a step up and the step is small.  The future game room has it's fair share of doors so one less would help the layout of that room, too.

I'm sure that I will be happy with the opening eliminated.  The only problem is R.  I haven't mentioned it to him, yet.  I've mentioned it to other people in his presence but he is highly proficient when it comes to selective hearing.

So tomorrow I think I'll spring the news on him.  I think we have enough old tongue and groove knotty pine and old 2X4's for framing so it should be a zero cost project.  He'll like that.  But I know that he is not going to be happy....until it's done and he can see that it looks better removed.

He doesn't like change.  That's not true.  He doesn't like changing.  Once the change has happened, he's fine.

Today we finished adding the small square trim piece to the small ceiling area.  We then continued on to those angle cuts which was slow going but looks good.

The weather was great today and 47 degrees seemed tropical.  Unfortunately, we have snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning.  It's 36 degrees right now at 1230am.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a rain event but I just looked at the regional map and all I see is freezing rain on the map in the Chicago area heading NE.  I would rather have snow than freezing rain because I already have enough ice damage to clean up this spring.

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that we get rain and that R says "sounds like a great idea." when I spring the doorway removal on him.   Wishful thinking.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Leftover scrap lumber

We finished the ceiling trim in the mudroom and that is when we had the bright idea to use the 3/4 in square piece that we cut off half of the 1X4 boards.  No waste at Gear Acres.
Can you see the small square trim?

Maybe a closer view.  Can you see it now?
It is very difficult to photograph a ceiling in a small room.  Of course there are a bazillion nail holes to fill and sand but that will happen when we prep for priming and paint.

Today we started the ceiling trim on the large part of the kitchen.  Before we nailed the bead board plywood to the ceiling we spent quite a lot of time trying to level out the ceiling by adding furring strips to the ceiling joists.  Originally the ceiling was plaster on wire mesh so it wasn't necessary to have it perfectly level because the finish plaster would take care of any high and low spots.  The reason we removed the kitchen ceiling is because they (previous owners) at some point glued drywall on to the ceiling.  Yup, it looked as bad as it sounds.
Oh boy.....angle is a different. That's where we called it quits. All this looking up has given both of us a pain in our necks or PION for those of you who like acronyms.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ceiling trim and staircase update

We finished the ceiling install on the small section of the ceiling.  Of course we still need to fill nail holes, sand, and caulk.  We like the look and we know it will look much better painted.
Unfortunately, we only had one 1X4 left so we needed to make a lumber run today along with several other errands.  But it was glorious today.  The temperature was 47 degrees!!!  Holy moly it was tropical compared to what we have been experiencing this winter.  Normally we have a January thaw which is like a snow reset button.  During a January thaw you get rid of all the snow and start over but this year it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing.  It will take some time to get rid of all this formally white now brown stuff.

I didn't do any paint scraping today and my wrists were grateful for the rest.  Working while standing on pie shaped treads is iffy at best.  So far I have only tripped once but I have to keep checking my footing.  Some sort of scaffolding or ladders will be needed for the top half of the walls but for now I am just concentrating on the area that I can reach.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kitchen ceiling and staircase update

The last couple of days have been fairly unproductive due to more snow removal and miscellaneous dentist/doctor appointments.  So here's where we are right now.

The kitchen ceiling is at the trim installation phase.  Our kitchen ceiling is actually divided into two areas due to a large support beam.  Right now we are working on the small area as we fine tune the design.

First, we installed the bead board plywood, making sure that the seams between one panel and the next, lined up on each side of the support beam.  On Sunday, we installed the 1X4 pine pieces around the perimeter of the ceiling and across the seams between the panels.

the entire kitchen will be painted semi gloss ultra white

Now we are at the point where we can decide if we want to add an additional 1x4 that has had 3/4" removed so that the reveal is the same on the vertical and the horizontal boards OR a smaller trim piece like a cove moulding OR stop at this point and just caulk the seams before painting.

Luckily we immediately agreed, which is very rare.  I'll confess here that I believe one can never have enough trim.  R on the other hand usually balks at adding anything extra which I attribute to his inability to envision a project in it's finished state before it's actually completed.

I climbed up on the ladder and held the extra trim in place and said "do you like this with or without the extra piece or do you like it with this little piece of trim?"  He immediately said  "it needs the extra piece on the ceiling.  It's more masculine and looks appropriate for the age of the house."  SAY WHAT?  I couldn't believe it.  I was all prepared to plead my case for the extra piece.

R was never a big watcher of HGTV or any home improvement shows except for the Woodwright and This Old House but lately he has been watching more shows including Rehab Addict.  I think this has helped him when it comes to envisioning a completed project.

Tomorrow we will cut down some 1x4's and finish up the small side of the ceiling.  Then we will move on to the large section of ceiling which has some odd angles cuts and a doorway that I need to talk R into removing.  More on that when we get to it.

In other news....scraping continues in the stair case.  The paint on the north wall is not easy to remove.  The more layers of paint there is, the easier it is to remove and I can count only 3 layers of paint in the staircase. I've also started removing the paint from the window in the stair case.  The trim was never stained or shellac and the wood appears to be clear pine.  The paint is gummy and is not coming off easily.  I found this same condition when I removed the paint from the exterior trim.  I think that the paint combines with the natural oil or sap in the wood and after almost 90 years, it results in gummy paint removal.

As I removed the paint in the staircase, I was sure I was going to uncover a lot of damage because there were poorly executed patches everywhere.  What I did find were small plaster pops (the size of a quarter to a half dollar) that were repaired with a mound of drywall compound 8 inches in diameter.

Removing the paint near the ceiling will be a chore and I haven't yet decided how I am going to tackle that area.  Like Scarlett O'Hara said, in Gone with the Wind, tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Oh, I forgot I bought a new......


Over the past few years I have purchased ALOT of items for the house and stored them in one of the upstairs bedrooms.  I sometimes forget what I have until something reminds me, like the old doorbell chimes did when I was scraping paint.
The current doorbell has seen better days.  It works but doesn't sound right and the plastic cover is cracked and covered in paint.

Several years ago, I found a seller on eBay who sold NOS long tube door bell chimes.  They sound so much better than just a ding dong or the single note doorbells that sound like grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The doorbell that I purchased is a 3 long tube chime by ElectraChime.  I can't remember exactly which one but I think it was similar to the slats chime.

Click here to hear what a three tube door bell chime.

In other's still very cold outside, snow is in the forecast AGAIN, and I am still scraping paint.