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.

The metamorphosis of a house

During my 3 month absence from the blogging world our home renovation has made some leaps and bounds. Back in April Dan was just finishing up all the framing to get the house ready for the drywallers.


The drywallers came and over a 4 day period they hung, mudded and sanded all the drywall for 4 rooms of the house. Which meant the house was 1 big dusty mess.

This is the new, smaller office/ back entry. We made it a little narrower so that we can make the bathroom a little bigger (when and if that project ever gets started.) That is also a new back door that will eventually be the only back exit once the kitchen remodel happens.


This is standing in the office looking into the dining room. Turns out I really didn’t like how closed in I felt once the dry wall was put up. It took a little time but I eventually came around.


This is the new dining room, which used to be a bedroom. Now you can walk through to the living room, that wall used to be closed off.


There’s that new window that Dan moved, now we don’t have to look directly into our neighbors kitchen.


And here is 1/2 of the living room, I guess I didn’t take a pic of the whole living room.


The day after the drywallers finished Dan left for a trip to Seattle which left me home alone for 10 days of painting fun.

There were many walls in the house that looked like this:


Every morning I would drive to Lowes by 7am and I would choose several sample colors to bring home and try out. Day after day I did this. Until I finally settled on a beachy color scheme.

And this is where we are now…There’s still quite a bit of finish work that needs to be done, but we have walls. That seems to be the sentiment that everyone shares when I lament on all that is not done.

This is the office/ new back yard exit. I have hopes of finishing our back porch into my art space. This door will enter into that space. Ironically I have hated the color blue for as long as I can remember, I had always used warm colors in the house before, red, yellows, and some greens. But I wanted to go completely different this time and all of a sudden I decided I like blue. I was worried when I painted the office that it was too pastel (I hate pastels) I thought the room looked like a Easter egg, but it really grew on me, especially with the white accents.


This is the dining room (looking into the office) I love the cream and darker bluish/green accent color. That wall goes into the kitchen so that color will also be a part of the kitchen if we ever get to that part of the remodel.


The living room I really struggled with. I love the pale blue on the walls. Then I wanted a accent color that really popped and I just couldn’t make a decision. I don’t love what I chose. I think it would be fine for a bedroom but I don’t love it for the living room.


This was a quick temporary paint job on 1 wall in the kitchen. I do like the look of it but eventually it will be changed since this wall will have cabinets on it.


And here’s the view from the kitchen into the living room. We took down this wall too, which really opened the space up. We’ll eventually have French doors where those red windows are opening onto the side yard.

The chimney is staying, we love the way it looks. But it does need to be cleaned up. I’m just not exactly sure how to go about that.


It has been a really long process and both Dan and I are completely sick of this renovation. It takes over your life, its always hanging over your head. Hopefully some day it will all be done. But in the mean time, at least we have walls!

Staying on task!

This past weekend was scheduled to remove the siding, scrape the original wood siding and paint the exterior of the house. Amazingly we accomplished all that in 2 days!

Dan started Fri night stripping the siding, while I was out driving Thomas around and meeting some friends for dinner. What a great guy he is!

By Saturday afternoon all the siding was off the house (thanks to the help of Dan’s dad, Daniel and Thomas.) Next step scraping! I actually like scraping, the last time I scraped the garage it was 100 degrees outside, much nicer at 60 degrees.


There were some repair patches we discovered. This double window must have been a taller window the same as what is in the living room. No worries though, we plan on adding French doors here when we redo the kitchen.

The other smaller window is in the kitchen area, I do want to add more windows to the kitchen but I don’t think that is the right spot, we’ll just have to see.


That dark line down the side of the house is where the addition was added on. It seems they didn’t connect it to the original house at all, just butted it up to it. So we have quite the gap that needs to be filled in.


We were all commenting on how ugly the original pink trim was, when it occurred to me that it was almost the same color as what I painted the inside trim. Hmm seems a little spooky.

inside trim on left, outside trim on right

After we finished the scraping Dan was panicking a bit, the house was really dirty and needed to be cleaned before we could paint. He didn’t think we could use the power washer since there are so many holes in the wood siding. In the end he decided he had to power wash. I stood inside the house trying to cover up any water that was spraying through. The water sprayed in some places and seeped in many more. It looked like the house was bleeding.


This is blurry because I didn’t want to use a flash, but each of those little white spots is actually one of the nail holes left behind from the siding, this is just a small section of the wall, and this is what the water was seeping in through. All these holes have to be caulked before we can put up insulation.


We also had to deal with a few big holes in the front of the house. Apparently, when they sided they removed the transom but didn’t feel the need to fill it in with anything, same for the mail slot. Thomas hurriedly covered both with plastic before Dan power washed the front.


Speaking of Thomas, he had a side job going on in the midst of the chaos. He was repairing our old cedar (trash picked) bench. Here he is using the plate joiner to cut biscuit holes.


And here is the house finally painted. We rented a sprayer and bought 3, 5 gallon buckets of paint (sprayer was $80 for 24 hours and paint was almost $600.) Dan started spraying about noon on Sunday and was done with 2 coats, the front of the garage and some furniture by 4:30.




I should have taken a picture of our neighbors house during the painting, we enshrouded it in plastic to prevent any over spray. Of course the wind kept blowing into the plastic poofing it out like a sail. It was challenging to say the least. But we succeeded at not getting much paint on the their house. (I did see one little spot, that I meant to go wash off.)


Back entry way


back porch (it was already painted white but it got a fresh coat along with the underside of the roof.)


the garage


and some benches…


And here it is all cleaned up and painted! Next weekend the new windows go in along with all the trim! I can’t wait.