Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day!

Well, we are literally (yes, literally) in a state of emergency here, folks. Yes, it's snowed a whopping 3 inches. My northern relatives are pointing and laughing.

Here's our house in the "blizzard"!

Snow day means one thing around here: get a project done! So, today's project: repaint the bathroom door. Here's the before:

The blue in the panels of the door is the former color of the bathroom. And actually, it kind of matches what we've got going on now, so we just left it. But, the time has come for the blue to go.

Also, the door is not in perfect shape---I'm not sure if there used to be some kind of fixture here- maybe a lock? But it looks like there was some damage which has just been painted over. So I think I'm going to strip some of the paint before I repaint it all a nice semi-gloss white :)

Also, I have no idea how to get the rust off of the doorknob. Google, anyone?

"After" pictures posted later!


One of the great things about an old house is that no project is basic. Like painting this door. When I took the hardware off, I noticed that there was a rectangle behind the backplate that was much smaller then the actual plate. After looking around the house, I'm sure that its not the original hardware. The original is much smaller, less "brassy", and frankly, much prettier :) I did try to scrub the rust off this plate, but it didn't do much good. And after realizing it wasn't original, I have to admit, I wasn't as interested in making it pretty.

So, goodbye blue! I'm glad to see ya go :) And just my luck, they called off school for tomorrow really early (like, by 5 pm today), so I can start another project: stripping paint off a door frame. Here's the before:

(yes, these were both taken before we removed the makeshift closet)

And the "during"

(not the greatest picture---our upstairs hall doesn't get much light)

I know, I know: we've been down this road before. I started stripping the front door only to quit and repaint the whole thing white. But this is different! The interior of the door is this beautiful, dark, untouched, 100 year wood. And the outside is yellow paint. Ew. So, my options were either paint the whole thing (beautiful wood included) white, or strip it. And I couldn't bring myself to paint it white. It's too pretty. So, I'm trying this strippin' business again (Man, if I had a nickel for every time I've said that.... just kidding mom).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Latest projects

So, I know you guys are busy. That's why I don't inundate you with posts. I like to keep it more of a "once every 3 months" blog. I mean, that's what blogging is about anyhow, right?

So, we have, in fact, finished some projects! Turns out, the way to get stuff done is to invite people over. Then, you're so embarrassed by your half done tile job and "power tool" guest room decor, you rush to finish so your friends don't judge you. Well, as much as they would have before.

First finished project: Master Bedroom Tile. The first two pictures are "after" and the third is "before". Getting these in the right order requires some knowledge of what the kids call "code". Not my bag, baby.

What I learned from this project:
1. Tiling is easy. Really, if you can read directions, and you have the right tools, it's totally easy. Also, it's a little fun. Very messy, but a little fun.
2. Once you start a project, bite the bullet and finish it. That day, if possible. This fireplace sat, half done, for about 2 months. That kind of thing drives me nuts and eats away at my sanity, little by little, every day. Next time: done in a day. Or two.

2. The porch. When we moved in, the front porch had a big ole hole in it, courtesy of our very sweet neighbor, Ben. :) I guess he accidentally put his foot through an already existing (albeit, smaller) hole, while helping the former owner move out. So, our very first project was repairing this hole. Here's the finished project:

Well, not exactly finished. We painted the porch blue afterwards.
What I learned from this project:
1. Get the right materials. Being "newbies", we just hopped off to the local Home Depot and got some pressure treated lumber to replace the existing tongue and groove. Not only is this historically inaccurate, it just plain doesn't match. In our ignorance, we used it anyways. I figure, when we embark on the porch make over (to remedy the "death porch" situation on the side of the house--- more on that later), we'll fix this.
2. If you start your home renovations by working outside, all your neighbors think you are handy. :) What they don't know is we're saying things like, "Which side of the hammer do you reckon I should use?".

Project number 3: the former guest room closet.

So, at some point in our houses life, it has been apartments. To do that, some doorways were closed off, including the door to our current guest room. While moving in, we knocked this make shift wall out, in order to get our bed upstairs. But what that left was an ugly, half demolished, faux closet. So, over Christmas Break, I completed that demo. It was kind of hard. There was a lot of hammering, a lot of plaster dust, and some cursing. But I got it done!

Here's before:

Ooh, isn't it bad?? Also, imagine that that door frame is full of dry wall. And make shift shelves. Blech. Shudder.


Oooh....aaaah. Oh, and what's that sweet ass exposed brick, you ask? Why, that's the side of the fireplace that was once hidden behind a layer of nasty plaster and wallpaper. Granted, I also exposed some electrical, which will need to be covered in drywall. But, isn't that brick awesome?

Okay, this post is LONG. But, last but not least, I have to share what I found in the closet this weekend. Are you ready for this?? Drumroll please.....


Yes, that's right. A door. A secret, hidden, pirate treasure holding door. And that's where the really awesome stuff ends, because where does this door lead? Well, to the exterior of the house. The 2nd story exterior. Otherwise known as, certain death. :) Russell guessed (and I think he's right) that it was originally one of those ugly steel exterior staircases that houses that are divided into apartments have attached to their facade. So, not as exciting as we first thought. I actually dreamt last night that it was a door to a room full of old dishes and '82 World's Fair paraphanalia. AKA, my dream room. But, no such luck.

Here's a picture, mostly of my closet, but you can see the door behind it if you look closely :)

See ya in...March! :)