So much painting…

There is a lot of prep that goes into painting an entire house. Especially when the house was previously owned by chain-smoking, animal-loving, hoarders that had not painted or even cleaned the house in decades. All of the walls had to be washed, that alone made a huge difference. But the sludgey brown water that constantly needed to be changed was just gross. Then every metal window frame needed to be scrubbed, it took at least an hour probably 2 or 3 for each window to wash all that nicotine off. Then all the woodwork had to be cleaned just so we could stick tape on it. After all that came peeling off the loose wallpaper that covered all the plaster walls. In some places it felt like it had been absorbed into the plaster and was not going anywhere. And in other places it peeled off in sheets. Unfortunately, just about every where it peeled off revealed large cracks in the plaster that needed to be repaired. So lots of mudding and sanding ensued on the walls and the ceiling.

I did have some help through this process, Megan came over and helped clean windows one day and Beth was in charge of her bedroom. She has done all the scraping, mudding, sanding and painting in there. While Thomas didn’t really help with the walls or windows he did scrub all the hardwood floors several times, trying to wash off the brown gunk that was left behind under the carpets. A mixture of animal remains and grime. It was completely disgusting. And while the floors still need to be sanded at least they’re not gross to walk on anymore.

So after several weeks of prepping the walls and ceiling I was finally ready to paint. As soon as the painting started my mom was there to help. Not only does she come over and help paint but she also buys me lunch. She is the best helper!

I started with 1 coat of primer on everything, then 2 coats of ceiling paint. But I could still see stains bleeding though so my dad came over and did a 3rd coat of ceiling paint in the dining room and living room. I should also mention that while I have been working on all the flat surfaces in the house, Dan has replaced all the plumbing and is now replacing all the electric. Which means all this painting is being done with no lights, or heat or air conditioning. And depending on the day we have needed all 3. Some rooms have great natural light and they are so much nicer to paint in. The office only has 1 window so its like painting in a dungeon. When we finally have lights again it will be interesting to see how that paint job really turned out!

Once the ceilings were all painted the fun finally began. The dining room and office are completely painted. Here is the dining room with it’s freshly painted creamy yellow walls. It is so bright and cheery in there.


And here is the office, one wall was painted with chalkboard paint and the rest of the walls are a grayish/blue. I can’t wait to see this room with the lights on. It’s a weird feeling painting a wall black. But I kinda love it. I’m pretty sure my dad thinks I’m crazy. That chalkboard wall will be a great place for Beth and Megan to work on their creations or maybe Daniel will solve some complicated programming problem. Most likely it will be full of obscene words and dirty jokes.


And Beth’s room is almost done. The walls are finished but I’m still working on her ceiling. After removing the drop ceiling in her room, I’ve had quite a lot of repair work to do on the plaster.

She chose to do 3 walls white and I wall sea-foam green. She has lots of plans for this room. After spending most of her life in a basement she is really excited about having a real bedroom with windows and closets!


I’m going away next week but once I get back home we’ll finish painting the rest of the rooms and hopefully Dan will be ready for me to start working on the kitchen and bathroom.


First Day of Demo!

Well we closed on the house Tuesdays, Wed I was by myself at the house and I got just  little work done tearing down the drop ceiling in Beth’s bedroom. But today was super productive. I had Daniel, Megan, BJ, Thomas and me all working most of the day. We almost filled the dumpster.

Thomas started on the pile of concrete bags and empty paint cans. He moved, all by himself, 3780 pounds of concrete today. It was quite the workout!. The drive way looks so much bigger with all the junk gone. I can’t wait to get that van towed away!


While Thomas was working outside I started pulling up all the nasty pee stained carpets. They were so old and thread bear that they came up easily. But thanks to all the spills and/or pee the pads were all stuck to the wood floors. Megan got there just in time to work at scraping the pads off the floors.


I then spent the rest of the day (when I wasn’t helping the boys with their projects) slowly lifting up all the tack strips and pulling all the staples out of the floor. I’m still not done, it will keep me busy for awhile tomorrow too. But I did take a picture just to prove that I was actually doing something, not just following the kids around with a camera.


Once Thomas moved inside the house he tackled a wall in the kitchen that I wanted removed. Megan jumped in and helped for a few minutes before she had to leave for work. I love this picture of them both going at it. By the time I grabbed my camera Megan was cowering in the corner, just a little scared of Thomas with a crowbar. I made her jump back in for the picture.



Bj was nice enough to come over and help even though he had school last night from 5-10pm, then he worked from 10:30pm- 6:00am, he was at the house by 10am with no sleep. He worked until 3, then only got a couple hours of sleep before he had to head back to work all night tonight.

Him and Daniel removed the very heavy cement washtub in the basement then got to work in the bathroom gutting it down to the studs.  The only thing we’re saving in the bathroom is the bathtub, hopefully it will survive the renovation.

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When it was time to start tearing out the ceiling BJ got out the heavy gear. He had his firefighter gear in his car and thought that it would do a better job of protecting him from the falling cement ceiling than having no gear at all. He looks so official in his uniform!

The kids were amazing today, they all worked hard and kept at it until we finally called it  a day. The dumpster is 3/4 of the way full and we still have a full day of demo tomorrow.