Our FourSquare

Our FourSquare

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wall paper, wall paper, wall paper, paint...

The last several weekends have been devoted to removing the covering from the plaster walls in what is now the dining room. There was inI don't believe this is the original dining room, but we did not re-open the doorway from the kitchen into the previous dining room. We decided the best traffic path would put the dining room into what was probably the original back parlor.  Otherwise we would be doing through the family room/gentleman's quarters into the dining room.  Eh - it is what it is.  For a few days we thought about returning the pathway from the kitchen through the bathroom but decided we preferred to have a larger bath and more wall space in the kitchen for cabinets.  We'll see how that plays out.  I guess we can always undo what we've done.

Uh, no!

There was actually THREE layers of wall paper and one layer of green latex paint - thank goodness it was latex.  However, in some places they painted the latex on the plaster where they had pulled some of the wall paper off. Not completely, mind you. Why? Why did you do this?  Good grief!  Who does that?

We used a Wagner Steamer to remove said paint and paper. It worked pretty well honestly. Sure a lot easier than that rotary thing. Easier than scraping alone. Easier than just thinking it away.  I tried that as well - did not work AT ALL!  Ugh. Who knew??? Okay - well maybe everyone including me - but it was surely worth a try.

Now we have to take all the remainder of the glue/paste from the wallpaper off the walls before we repair the plaster and paint the room.  Nicole Curtis used vinegar to clean off the glue from the plaster, so I'll be looking for what strength we should use to do this.  Do you think vinegar will eat away at the plaster - lime - vinegar - I dunno.  Any thoughts out there?  I know from teaching science when we put vinegar on a rock we can determine that it is limestone because it bubbles up.  Just makes me concerned.  Maybe there's no relationship.

Very excited about the changes.  We did lose a little plaster in the paper removal...seems as though the paper was holding the plaster on the wall. Rut ro.....

Also contemplating the building of a dining table with draw leaves.  Very interesting. So little on the web about it OR I haven't typed in the right key words. Maybe they are called something else to most of the world.

Also on the to do list is:  finish fireplace area - put trim back on, finish bathroom little things, some touch up paint, shelves in cabinet, remove paint from wood trim in dining room and gentlemen's quarters.  Not sure about front room yet as far as trim.  Some pictures will follow soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Before and Afters

This will be a post that is continually edited.


Tub/Shower Area BEFORE...

Tub/Shower Area AFTER...

Yes - the tile extends past the tub - but here is the reasoning: we plan to put a hook up for robes, towels, etc. and that way the wall won't get wet. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now I think I'm not sure I like it...sigh.

Vanity Area Before...

This is the vanity area - you can see the outline of some  kind of cabinet from before.

Vanity Area After...

The Built-In...

Chuck found these really cool old cabinet doors and we had to do something with them, so....
we made a cabinet above the toilet and a built-in linen/etc. cabinet.

The beginnings of the cabinet above the toilet.  See the DH on the ladder? He's amazing!  A big thank you goes to Jared for allowing us to borrow the ladder we bought for him.  It's a great ladder, if only it were lighter!

Here's the beginning of the built-in.  We (me) originally planned to stain the back, but decided it would look better painted white.

This is the door above the toilet. It had originally been painted several times.  The last coat was a yellowy white.  I scraped and sanded and still the chips show through.  We should have just gone ahead and used paint remover.  It may happen someday - but for now, it's fine.

This one didn't have paint on it.  Which brings me to a conversation about paint today.  Add the lead back in! OK...probably not, but geeze!

Old window, scraped and painted.  Probably should have re-glazed, but it will be fine - it makes it look more authentic, right?

Getting closer to done....not a fan of this paint!
Notice the top of both cabinets.  Chuck fabricated them to resemble the original medicine cabinet in the upstairs bathroom.

We think this bath might have been originally used only by the maid.  The original owners had several live in maids over the years. I have their names on ancestry.com. I'll look them back up and add them to this post.

The original bath was quite a bit smaller.  The tub is quite narrow. Originally it was scooted closer to the toilet by 8-12 inches.  There was a built-in on the other side from what we could tell.  We believe that room was the original dining room.  This room was most likely the maid's bathroom and a butler's pantry based on the various things we found when we gutted the bath.

Where we put the built-in linen cabinet was a doorway into the kitchen.  We thought about re-establishing the door way and then decided against it to keep the larger bathroom size and give more privacy for the bathroom.  Where the sink is, it looked like there was shelving and cabinets or possibly a dry sink.  Not really sure.  I thought we'd taken pics of it, but right now I haven't located them.

Almost finished, just need to add the bottom piece.  See the hardware?  I followed Nichole's advice from "Rehab Addicts" and cooked them in the Crock Pot for a while.  The paint did come off fairly easily! 

New hinges. The knob we found in an antique shop in Marshfield.

The finished cabinet.  Waiting for the paint to fully cure before leaving the doors closed.

The Bathroom Painter

 Our painter showed up, armed with not just 1 but TWO paintbrushes, her painting clothes and a smile that brightens the universe!  She is highly skilled and I would recommend her to anyone.

Look at the wonderful technique!
We gave her a red solo cup with about 2 inches of paint in the bottom and this brush and she did quite a good job honestly - especially for a 2 year old.  I don't think she got any paint on her clothes.  She had a bit on her hands, but not very much!  Probably less than I.  She painted that whole wall up to where she could reach!
This is one of the items still left on the 2 page list...UGH!

This is now completed, but no pics yet. Stay tuned.

Love plastic with the tape attached!

From this pic you can see the exposed brick.  You can also see it in the picture of the painter, Emma.  At the base we are going to put back some plaster so the baseboard won't look odd.

This is the vanity mirror.  We added a door header as the base to extend the height of the mirror off the vanity (dresser). I think the finished project looks fantastic.  At first we thought about putting tile or a beveled mirror piece on the bottom of it - but I think I like it just fine without that.

The beginnings of the built-in for the main bath.

Tub/shower with its lovely new tile surround.  The tilers did an excellent job!  The shower curtain rod has been fabricated by Chuck. I love it!

With the Shower curtain - obviously, LOL

The Billings flea market baseboard.  Looks like it is close to original for the house.

And...the final look. Dresser/mirror - flea market - stripped of original veneer, new veneer glued in place, new knobs added (we have since put on glass knobs - I love these but they are shiny brass and I thought when I ordered them they were antique brass - perhaps there's a way to antique the brass), sink, faucet, door header, new wainscot, flea market baseboard and there you have it, easy peezy, lemon squeezy!

Some recent accomplishments...

Progress has been made.  Other than touch-up painting and adding some plaster back onto a small part of the brick outside wall - the main floor bath..... it's DONE!!!! Can I get a WOO F HOOOOOOOO?

Out of the whole house, that 6 x 12 foot room had the longest to-do list.  How does that happen?  To its defense, it's also the only room that will probably have had a full gut.

I'm not sure how I feel about the sink vanity. It's gorgeous, but I'm just worried how it will hold up to water. After putting 5 layers of poly on it with a light steel pad sanding in-between each, I'm hoping it's enough.  I found some poly meant for a more water use area. Is it too late to apply - or do we just wait until we need to redo the poly?

I think this is what we should have used - but I didn't know it existed until we had put the sink in.  We'll see. I really love the color and richness of Varathane products!!! Any thoughts about adding another coat now?


We have almost finished the living room - temporarily. Temporarily as in - 2-20 years. Eventually we'll be stripping all the wood work and staining it. We still need to either find the fireplace mantel at a flea market/antique place or build it - I think the cost is going to be about the same either way we go.

We - I think we - I know I, and the DH seems to agree, wish to have a mantel that has columns like on the front porch of the house.  I found some columns at a flea market for roughly $14 and gosh - in the flea market they seemed the right diameter, then when you get things like that home - well they are a tad bigger than what they originally appeared.  I think they may work - OR - we'll find another use for them.

We built a faux fireplace area in the living room to conceal the air returns for the furnace and eventual AC. Eventual meaning at least by July.  Honestly though, I think the only time we'll use it is when the humidity is above 78 percent in the house and / or the temp is above 90 degrees.  Old houses were definitely built to cool themselves back in the day.  When you open the windows correctly it vents the hot air out and has a nice breeze drafting throughout the house. Last summer we found it uncomfortable only a few times.

Several weekends ago I washed down the entire living room--what a task---washing every inch of the walls and woodwork---.to prep it for new paint over who knows how many layers of previous paint and several layers of wallpapers as well. It looked better just having all the stain from tobacco and whatever else washed clean. I didn't want to do that in the beginning of this house adventure...but then I just needed a room that was presentable...a place to get out of all the restoration, mess, etc.  Possibly down the road that wallpaper/paint mess will be removed, but for now - flat paint is fabulous!!  It just seems to suck all the bad into the color and it disappears unless you look closely. DON'T LOOK CLOSELY!!!! Not nice!  The baseboard looks very nice -  all clean and shiny.  We've been using Valspar paint and using "historical colors". I have to wonder if these places really exist - but nevertheless - I like the colors!  The living room is Churchhill Hotel Vanilla.
This probably doesn't look any thing close to what the paint actually looks like - but I can assure you it's beautiful! Think Vanilla Bean ice cream!!
It looks like a rich vanilla ice cream!

I love how it looks with the enamel trim and I think it will look just as good when we remove the paint and stain the wood a dark walnut or mahogany color.

**Side note: I looked up where the Historic colors come from - It's through the The National Trust for Historic Preservation
So here is the hotel that our lovely vanilla color was inspired by: The Churchill
And this is where our bathroom color comes from: Lyndhurst  Lyndhurst

Soooo, I guess that's for real - not just a ploy to cause me to buy their "Historic" paint colors.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Paint, stain, scrape, paint, caulk....

Let's talk about the paint.  We have chosen beige - what a fabulous color!  It turns grey, brown, tan. Love it!  Trying to decide on the type of paint - eggshell or satin.  It's for the bathroom.  I tend to be a lover of flat paint because it doesn't show issues.  The sample we purchased - that I had to mix myself because the woman in the Big Blue L store was apparently unable / unwilling to mix it.  So I shook that little container of paint from Monett to Aurora.  Finally the bottom of the container was the paint color instead of white.  I know I could have waited until we got home - but where's the fun in that? The samples are only sold in satin and I kinda liked the look of it.  I didn't take pictures of it yet, sorry.  What I've read says to use satin in the bathroom because it cleans up better, is more scrubbable.

It's called
Lyndhurst Gallery Beige
Valspar  It really doesn't seem that dark in reality.

We will be putting wainscot up and it will be a shade of cream/white.  It looks like it matches the tile - so hopefully that's the outcome. 

I can't wait until we can get this room finished!!  It's so close - bet yet the list is sooooooooo long.

Snow Day!!! Sans snow....so far any way.

An update of progress.

We are still working on the main floor bathroom.  The tile is finished, grout finished, dry wall finished - all but last sanding, sink plumbed- installed - removed for final staining of mirror frame, over-toilet-cabinet installed (needs to be scraped and repainted), bathroom cabinet partially completed, paint color chosen.

Several weeks ago I went through and made a list of everything that needs completed on the main floor with the exception of the kitchen - 3 pages long - rather overwhelming.  Oh well.  I guess I wished I'd stayed in the dark and kept thinking oh we just have a few more things to do. Eh - what's done is done....and what isn't - isn't.

We do probably have a better attack plan at this point and way to stay more on track. That's a plus!

Here's my take on drywall.  Hanging it - great workout - especially for muscles you're not currently introduced to.  You also learn to use your head as a arm/hand appendage.  Great stuff.

First round of mud and tape - hate it!!!  Probably due to wanting it to look perfect instead of changing my mindset to - umm - put it on - you're going to sand it off and then it will look fine! 

Second round of mud - ok - I like this stage - rather artistic - you can see what it's going to be.

Third coat - walk away - don't touch it, quit messing with it.

Then it became rather addictive and I started mudding things that didn't need mudded because it made it look like PLASTER!!!!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh - it's beautiful!!!!

Can't wait to get back to it so we can do the final sanding and paint.