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Cleaning Brushes

20141018_10314220141018_103238This was to be an easy week, finishing the painting in the New Room but I spent about 10 hours on the trim and woodwork, and the color washes on the walls, and they are still not done! I used the brush and rollers from Construction Gear for everything, and they still look good as new. Plug for the brush: for a 4” brush, it is sure precise. I did not need masking tape on many areas. I mentioned that last week but you can see in the photo to the left what I mean!

To keep the brush and rollers fresh, when I was in the middle of a project and had to take a break, I wrapped them in a plastic shopping bag to keep them moist – if it was more than a few hours, into the fridge they went. When I was done with each color, I rinsed them thoroughly in just rain water (I love my dad’s rain barrel system!! But since you don’t have it, you can use regular water). When the project was done, I rinsed them and then ran them through the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just put a dab of dish liquid in the palm of one hand and swirl the brush in it to lather or run along the roller, then rinse until the water runs clear.  They held up fine and I will be using them again. So nice to have supplies that you don’t have to throw away at the end of a project – or even after one color! Well worth the cost.

Sunday I boycotted all restoration work and spent the morning in church, and the afternoon baking bread, then bruschetta. Andy and I had an Italian feast in the half hour from the time he brought the girls home from Annie’s hockey game, to the time he needed to drop her off at work. Pasta, ravioli, cacciatore, and my offerings. Mmm. He dumped an entire pilsner glass of water in my lap and there was spaghetti on the table when he and Lucy rushed out the door. 20141019_133848Grace went upstairs, leaving me sitting in stunned silence. Andy returned 10 minutes later to finish the meal as adults. You know it’s good when you both have sauce on your face! Unfortunately, he neglected to tell me of mine until we got back from running to get pumpkin for Lucy’s baking. That’s ok. It was worth it to have one of the pumpkin vanilla snickerdoodles hand-delivered right from the oven.

Next weekend we are going to tackle laying carpet. Yes, I have informed Andy it will be “we.”

20141022_182642-MOTION20141022_182750It’s that time of year again, when warm feet are imperative to your comfort. Put a nice, fuzzy pair of slippers right up there with hot cocoa after raking leaves in the early dusk, which is what Andy and I did last night. He wielded the leaf blower, I manned the rake and leaf bags, and he made me the cocoa (caramel!). Nice team effort! Construction Gear sells three kinds of slippers, and at our weekly meeting we decided that these were going to be the item of the week. Would Andy want to endorse a pair? Yes, he would! I got him the durable-soled, fleece-lined moccasin and not only does he endorse, but he danced in them a bit. And relaxed on his leather sofa while watching the game. These are priced reasonably under $25, and they will go outside to pick up the paper in the morning (Andy’s a fan of the comic section) without getting his precious princess toes wet or cold.20141020_115403

Actually, I think I am going to have another cup of cocoa this morning. ‘Tis the season!

20141004_120106I am still working in the New Room. I should soon start to call it the den because it’s far from new. I finished stripping the wallpaper and am now firmly convinced that menopausal women should have a mandatory stopping point on wallpaper peeling at somewhere less than 8 solid hours, or insanity sets in.

Next, I had to assess the order of painting, and the colors I wanted to use. I wanted the wainscoting to be a solid color, chair and base rails to be white, and the upper previously-papered portion painted with a decorative wash. I like solid color, but there are so many imperfections in these walls, and I have so many different colors to incorporate, that the mottling seems to be the way to go. I can always change it if I want.

Because the wainscoting requires that I really push the brush into the crevices, I did that first, on Friday right after work, in a purple-grey taupe (purchased at BigBox) to match the carpet. I used Construction Gear’s new premium 4” paint brush for greater control. The edge on this brush is so precise that I cut in the wainscoting without needing tape – the bristles went to the very edges and I gently pushed the paint right to the trim. I am impressed. For my white, I mixed the rest of the Bullseye Primer with all the leftover white paint I found in the basement. While allowing the wainscoting to sufficiently dry, I spackled and sanded the walls smooth best I could. I then painted the rails with this white, using the great brush again. I extended the white to the patched upper walls using Construction Gear’s Purdy paint rollers.

20141010_202908Afterwards, I went over to Andy’s for a few minutes. I had made plans to go out for a drink with old high school friends, trying to reconnect now that I am back in the area. Andy was welcome to join us but he stayed at home to spend quality time with his girls.

Saturday was too beautiful to be indoors, and he and I enjoyed one of the best days, ever. I started the morning with about 6 hours of painting, then we went for a 5k hike along Lucy’s steep cross country training course and truly appreciated her running. After we caught our breath, I treated Andy at a nearby coffeehouse. We sat outside under an umbrella and talked leisurely and even got refills! In the frenetic pace of our lives, this felt incredibly decadent. Then he was back to shuttling the girls while I painted, and we touched base again in the evening for the game on TV.

On Sunday I started the decorative painting over the white walls. I applied the taupe using a dry brush and damp rag to smooth it all, bringing out the texture of the wall. I allowed that to dry, then went back and did the same with a satin beige (a quart found in the basement). I like the organic look of it all being very well-blended, like a fine leather.

20141011_110517I finished almost all of this over the weekend, but on Sunday, while I was waiting for a visit from Mo, I got a call from the hospital, that she had been taken in for being dizzy (ok, she and I are both dizzy, but this was the bad kind of dizzy!). In a nutshell, she had missed one of her medications for about a month. I will need to start checking in on her more often, in her apartment. On  my way home from that, I had time to stop at Andy’s for about ten minutes, to rest in him and end the weekend on a relaxing note.

Andy suggested that I paint the window frames and sills white to update the room further. I will do that, as well as add the final coats to all paint, this weekend, and call it a light weekend. I need one of those!

Stripping Wallpaper

The cost for this room so far is about $250 for the carpet remnant, $8 for the paper tiger, and $25 for the paint. I am going to use some white and beige paint I found in the basement, and I have an extra roller and some brushes. I will need carpet padding, which will cost about $107, and because I am so very much enjoying light in these rooms, I am not sure what to do for curtains, if anything. Those will add to the cost. So far, I expect the project to cost $400, which is over budget, but the laundry room didn’t cost anything. I’m doing ok so far.

This past week I used a screwdriver to remove about 30 hooks from the wall. I am not sure why I don’t want to look for the cordless screwdriver or drill with driver bits that I am certain my dad has in the basement. I tell myself it’s because I don’t want to strip the screws, but the truth is probably that I find this work therapeutic and connects me to my father. I found (true to his form) that the wall paper was used in lieu of corner bead and proper drywall seaming, so I will have to do a bit of spackle work before I paint, and use the trim he had covering some of it, that I really didn’t want to rehang.

I was so delighted with the first pull against the base coat of wallpaper. I really was going to paint over it but when I tugged, it came off like an old sticker, almost like contact paper. I will have to scrape some, but age did a great thing to some of this wall paper. I am including a photo of the three layers of wall – primed drywall and two passes of paper. Call this the before shot.

20140927_153150My friend Gale, who was supposed to come last month, surprised me Saturday morning – she brought lunch and some spare time. We used the paper tiger to score the vinyl paper, a squirt bottle to penetrate to soften the glue underneath, scraper to remove all the layers, and some elbow grease. As we worked, we caught each other up on our lives. We live two hours apart now and we both do all we can to maintain the friendship. The girl time was great! While we were peeling, my neighbor who happens to be an electrician, came to move my 220 service for my new stove, and Gale and I kept chatting. The gentleman and his son got an earful! He must have enjoyed the gossip because when he left, he refused my check. Said we were neighbors. This is the true legacy my dad left, and I decided that day I must continue it.

Andy was away again with Lucy, for a hockey tournament. She scored first, which is typical of this dynamo, and had a couple assists. I stopped by Sunday when they got back and they were arguing about the top ten modern marvels. Andy put air conditioning on the list and Lucy researched to present her opinions on why she did not agree. Wrapped in a verbal battle, she was learning to reason, debate, and defend. I swear that girl should be a lawyer. Grace was upstairs resting but later came down to play the piano. I’m a big fan.

I really didn’t use any of the blog items in simply unscrewing, peeling and assessing, so I wanted to just go over the First Aid Kit I will have at the ready for this project. Not that I hope to use it. It’s the perfect size and the case is durable plastic. It’s got bandages, towelettes, disposable gloves, and tape, as well as tweezers, burn cream, and a cold compress. Everything is single use so there is no risk of contamination. Now let’s put that away and see if I can go without using it!

20141005_19444420141005_195153When I was redoing the bathroom, I found an extra tub spout, with adapter. It sure looked better than the old one! So last night I decided to make the swap. It’s a threaded kind, so if I had a charmed or even normal life, it would be a matter of unscrewing the old, wrapping the threaded connection with teflon (or plumber’s) tape, and screwing the new one on, as shown. Unfortunately, neither the original threads or the adapter’s threads matched my connector so now I just have an empty spout sticking out of my wall until I can find the right spout at BigBox (if it exists) or get a plumber in to put a standard connector onto my copper plumbing. I tried to put the old spout back on, but it was so corroded that it literally fell apart when I took it off.20141005_194355

20140719_132630I thought the laundry room would be the most disgusting room, but when I moved to the New Room, I saw I was wrong. Apparently the entire house is going to be a surprise like this. My parents had 3 birds and there were peanut shells and bird food under every single piece of furniture I moved in this room.

20140719_132626As I mentioned in the introduction to this year-long project, Daddy enclosed the porch after about 3-5 years and we started calling this the “new room.” It’s been probably 35-40 years being new. Over the years it’s been a TV room, craft room, office. It was the room in which Daddy spent his last month, and died peacefully in his mother’s chair. It’s really not a new room anymore. I plan to move my piano in here, as well as a table that can be used for crafting or surplus guests for a holiday. Would it be a parlour? Does anyone have any suggestions on its new name?

In this room, my tasks are removing the furniture and cleaning the room out, removing two coats of wallpaper that have been on the walls for probably 30 years, painting the wainscoting and chair rail, rag rolling the walls, adding trim, replacing the carpet and padding, and then decorating. I would like to give this room a new name (finally) but I’m not sure what that should be. I would also like to give this room a contemporary and elegant look. The carpet I got as a remnant the other weekend20140719_132651, in a subtle taupe. I need to mottle the walls with a combination of silver, beige, and white, to tie all the colors together. Right now the colors are a tealy-mint green under taped-on industrial grey carpet, and the latest pass of wallpaper is about 15 years old.

I’ve been using the sticky knee pads, gloves, respirator, and coveralls faithfully, and I like the products. But you probably would like to hear about some different ones, so I will dig back into my box of goodies. I’ll use the disposable face mask for patching the walls when I sand them and be sure I have the First Aid Kit on hand.

To get started on this room, I tried to clean it out of furniture. The local AmVets are getting the entertainment system and bookcases that I am getting rid of – unless they are too big to take. If that’s the case, I suppose they are just going to sit in my car port for awhile. I started randomly pulling wallpaper off the wall (and some of it is coming off very well!). I picked up paint chips and a paper tiger at my local BigBox. My dad had a comprehensive collection of railroad lanterns that he kept in this room, so my first task this week is to unscrew all of the old hooks that held his collection and continue cleaning enough so there is room to work and start to methodically use that paper tiger on the walls.

Until we meet again…

20140928_133230I need to add a couple side projects on this home project. Remember in the bathroom, I was unhappy with the old sink base hardware, but the new hardware came with screws that didn’t fit? This weekend I got the new hardware anyway and found my dad’s bolt cutters in the garage. Result? Screws that fit! I am adding $25 in cost to this room. I can sit back and call it done, thanks to many of the great construction and safety products at SafetyGirl, Discount Safety Gear, and Construction Gear.

20140927_185952Additionally, in preparing to start work on the New Room (I’m not sure if I will change the room’s name, or not), I had to get rid of all the furniture I didn’t want. Andy claimed one of the bookcases, and while the gross carpet was still down, I deglossed it and slapped 3 coats of black paint on it for him. 20140927_074223He came and got it yesterday and I hope it was dry enough that it didn’t ruin the upholstery in his van. I used the disposable coveralls and gloves that I’ve been using, for this, too. I am finding disposable gloves are indispensable for pretty much everything in the house.

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