Banned to the Basement: Home Renovations, part whatever

Progress is being made. Right now someone is sanding and refinishing my hardwood floors. Floors someone hid under carpet and peel & stick vinyl. In the past week we managed to peel up that vinyl and mostly remove the adhesive, paint a room, and move our entire living room.

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Peeling with a heat gun and a scraper

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All the vinyl is up just adhesive left

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The end product. We cleaned as best we could with mineral spirits

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Just beginning and a little freaked out I chose such a dark color

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1st coat and it was blotchy with the former chair rail clearly visible. eek!

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End product. Everything covered up and evened out. Whew!

We’re cruising along but, right now, I’m stuck. Stuck in the partially finished basement with my boyfriend and three cats. And those cats did not go easy.

I spent the morning, before my first cup of coffee, chasing one cat around the house after he got loose when I tried to close him in the basement. He is freaked out very easily and upon figuring out we were trying to sequester him he jumped a baby gate and plowed through what I thought was a closed door. It was a process but he is safely hiding under a couch in the basement. Finally.

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While one is hiding the other 2 cats want to be where the action is 

My living room floor is being worked on which means I can’t get anywhere in my house. Not the full bathroom (yes, thankfully, we have a half bath in the basement), or the bedroom, or my office. This is why everyone is stuck in the basement. I can get into the kitchen but because there is not a door to the basement the area is being blocked by two the of cheapest baby gates I could find. Cheap baby gate means pain in the ass to use! So I’m not going through them unless expressly necessary. But, it’s not terrible. We have a tv and couch down here. Plus a twin air mattress. And more reading material than I could possibly finish. It would almost be like a vacation if the sound of sanding wasn’t so distracting. After all there’s not much I can do down here.

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Tomorrow I go back to work and hopefully the floor project will wrap up. By Thursday evening I’m hoping to actually be able to walk on it and get to the shower & bedroom. By Friday I should be able to put furniture back where it belongs and start organizing my house again…at least a little. I still have a living room to paint!

 

 

Spackling dust, the new dry shampoo

The home renovations continue. Those lazy bastards (aka the former home owners) have struck again. I was prepping our extra room for painting. Patching where I removed the chair rail, sanding, and re-patching.

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That’s not blurry, it’s dust floating in the air. What a mess!!

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My post sanding look. Old chemistry goggles are good for something!

Finally I was ready for one last wall and ceiling wash. I noticed as I was washing the ceiling that there were TWO colors up there. Very similar colors so I never noticed before but with my nose pressed up there to wash, it was clear, the lazy bastards didn’t bother to cut in when they painted. They just rolled to about 6 inches from the wall and stopped. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but it still makes me roll my eyes.

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We also are removing carpet in our living room. The hardwood floors will be sanded and refinished next week. Who covers hardwood with shitty carpet in the first place?! However, as we removed, we found another surprise.

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We hadn’t swept yet. So much dirt under carpet!

Someone had stuck peel and stick vinyl flooring over the hardwood to create an “entry way.” It’s awful. Today’s project is going to be trying to peel it all up. That’ll be a good time, I’m sure.

At least we have supervisors who keep their opinion to themselves.

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Keeping an eye on the progress

Home Renovations continue

I have, very slowly, been working on updating my house. While I was in nursing school, yes, like the entire time, we finished our guest room. Before nursing school I painted my office and at that point decided I hated the previous owners. Like a lot. At some point I need to put up some photos of the finished products. After I finished it, my office became my favorite place in the house. I swear it gets the best light and it just turned out so pretty. But I digress.

We have a third bedroom downstairs that was sort of functioning as our junk room. Everything we didn’t have a place for sort of just ended up in there. The carpet is terrible because it’s also the room where we housed a kitten during her first arrival and she tore it up at the doorway. Also, it’s the room where our ceiling leaked which had clearly happened before. We did have all of our books in there on cheap bookshelves we got from Target. Now we are repainting, pulling up the carpet, finishing the floor, and setting it up as a library.

The room had the stupidest chair rail ever. It was stuck out a good 1/2 inch from the wall which didn’t allow for anything to sit flush against it.

I removed it with glee! There was quite the paint story behind it too. I’m going to have sooo much spackling to do.

Wow, look at that orange sherbet color!

There quite an ice storm in lower Michigan today so the plan is to turn on a podcast, rip up some carpet and spackle my little heart out. Wish me luck!

Painting Fever

Yup, I caught the fever. My co-blogger’s seemingly constant painting along with her attempts to use this last little bit of time before classes start to get shit done have rubbed off on me. My painting fever is closer to low grade than raging though; I didn’t even paint a whole room. Let me explain…

I bought & moved into my house three years ago (almost exactly). It needed and still needs a lot of work but I’m not that knowledgeable or skilled in home improvement stuff and just don’t have the time to learn everything right now. I do, however, know how to paint. This old house has plaster walls many of which are covered with layers and layers of wallpaper. A hundred years of wallpaper topped with a few layers of paint. Ugh!

A couple months after moving in I was ready to tackle a wallpaper pealing/painting project. Or so I thought. Armed with a spray bottle of vinegar & water, a ladder, and a scraper I dug into the excitement that is taking down wallpaper with the enthusiasm of a naive first time home owner. It was quite a process. I spent weeks cutting, scraping, and spraying just to scrape some more and then sand and wash and scrape again. Turns out that glue does not let go easily. To add to the fun bits of plaster came off with the paper especially around the door frame. That required patching and more sanding. After at least a couple months one wall was cleared of that obnoxious paper, a small wall at that. I adopted an “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality and decided against scraping wallpaper from the remaining walls. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

This is where I drew the line on scraping wallpaper.

This is where I drew the line on scraping wallpaper.

Fast forward a couple years and I’ve done exactly nothing with that wall. Well, I did roll some leftover paint on it sometime in the spring of 2014.

That's home unimprovement right there.

That’s home unimprovement right there.

I’d feel worse about this if the rest of my room wasn’t so…interesting. It’s got a circus striped wall, a door to no where, and a tree. Yes, a tree.

striped wall door to nowhere tree wall

Real sexy right? There is one wall that is just plain white too. That’s boring and normal though so I didn’t bother with a picture. Plus I didn’t want to make my bed. In case you’re wondering, the one wall I scraped was blue like the tree wall and the circus tent stripes.

Now, two and a half years after starting this one-wall project, I found myself with a free day. Paint time!

hooks After some prep of course. I was very tempted to just paint around those hooks but then remembered my co-blogger’s frequent rants about her house’s previous owners (aka Those Lazy Bastards) and their poor paint jobs and I just couldn’t. Heck, when I was done painting I strongly considered leaving the hooks off. The pile of jackets, hats, and scarves on my bed talked some sense into me though.                       painted behind door

Despite the fact that I only painted a small section of my very awkward room I feel like I accomplished something and it’s still quite an improvement. As the new school year begins and the inevitable chaos takes hold I can look at that one corner of my room and know that eventually it can all be this good.

painted patch wall painted top of door

Maybe I should've prepped just a little more and tried to cover that there ridge.

Maybe I should’ve prepped just a little more and tried to cover that there ridge.

Chicken pox wall

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I’ve been spackling. There are sooo many holes, it’s crazy!

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To help with this I got a new toy!

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Yeah buddy! Sanding goes so much faster now. I love it. That’s right- the key to my heart = power tools.

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Clearly I still need to get a mask. The sanding creates insane amounts of dust. Those awesome goggles are from Chemistry lab! I’m kinda pumped to be using them again.

I need to wash the walls & ceiling again then it will finally be time for color. Woo woot!

Home Improvement Bastards

After returning from vacation I had 3 whole days before school started with no work. I was looking around my office and decided that would be enough time to paint it. I now know this was extremely optimistic. I wanted to have a place while in school that would be pretty and mine and a sanctuary. Besides the previous owners did a terrible job painting. Terrible.

It’s like they just ran out of paint. They just stopped!

Painter’s tape is for losers.

Missed a spot but the curtains will cover it.

I don’t even have a comment for this.

So I started with the basics. Sanding, so much sanding, and patching, so much patching.

My faithful helper surveying the situation

Things were moved and covered.

Covering things = cat tent

And then three days were up and school started and I was back to work. My office was in worse shape than when I started and I was busy as could be again. Every chance I got I was plugging away at painting.

Got the ceiling and first color (gray) on the walls

Eleven days after I started I finally had all the color on the wall and the trim work done.

With a fresh looking office I went off to Ikea to get a new addition to my desk. That of course required assembling.

My helper doesn’t have a look of confidence!

The desk is put together and I replaced all the outlets and outlet covers to be a very crisp white instead of a painted over (bastards) cream. I’m waiting on the final reveal though. I have a plan of doing a Pintrest craft this weekend for one of the last touches on the office. Stay tuned…things could get interesting.

Doctor Who, Home Improvement and a Scrap of Knitting

Home Improvements

Let’s start with the home improvement bits. If you remember I bought a house back in March/April. It’s lovely. However now there are, like, house things to be done – some of which I haven’t the faintest idea about. I already mentioned my yard (or lack thereof). So I was looking around and got the bright idea to paint my interior doors. They really do need it. The door on my office was multiple colors and the bathroom door was covered in so many years of hairspray that it just look terrible and is never coming clean. I thought this would be a fairly uncomplicated project. I planned on popping the doors of the hinges, taking them to the garage and slapping some paint on them. Easy, right? Well little did I know they used terrible paint on my office door (the first one I went to paint). As soon as I started washing it off old paint started peeling.

Figure 1 Can you see the different paint colors?? What were they thinking?

Figure 2 The start of trying to get the old paint off

Figure 3 About the point where I gave up

Yeah, I think the pictures show pretty well how it went. Did you know you can get a whole new door for around $50. Apparently you can. So at some point after the last picture I decided I had enough. I just painted over what was left. Before I made that decision I did try some stuff that was suppose to help my peel the paint off. It helped a little but it was still fighting a losing battle. I figure sometime in the future I’ll invest in some new doors. It doesn’t look terrible in fact it looks far better the having two paint colors but it doesn’t exactly look good either. I’m still debating painting a Tardis on it!! Luckily two of the four doors I wanted to paint do not have this problem. They should be much easier to paint. Or so I think right now!! I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Knitting

At the beginning of summer my co-blogger and I decided to learn to knit. She just finished a really fun hat. I just started learning and my first go around didn’t quite work out.

I was attempting to do a ribbed pattern. Turns out I was not moving the yarn correctly back and forth so I ended up wrapping the yarn around the whole project. Oops. I frogged it. Now I’m starting over with a “sampler scarf.” Basically I’m practicing several different stitches and because it seems like a waste of yarn not to make something I’m going to make it into a scarf. I’ll post some pics when it’s long enough. I think I’ve finally got the idea now! You knitters – hats off – it’s tricky! J

 

And Finally DOCTOR WHO!!!

Yeah buddy! Saturday the new season of Doctor Who premieres on BBCA!

We are super excited around here! If you didn’t pick up on it both my co-blogger and I are fans of the show. Really it’s all her kids’ fault. If you’ve been reading our blog you might remember the Halloween costumes, the Dalek cupcakes, the incident with Scott Ian, the Tardis scarf, the bowties and seeing John Barrowman at ComicCon.

We both also follow, fellow WordPress blogger, Geekritique who is posting quite a lot right now about all things Doctor Who! It’s awesome!!!!

This is especially exciting because this is the first season that I’ll be watching as it’s playing as opposed to on Netflix or Amazon. Plus it’s a new Doctor! Aren’t you so excited?!?! You should be…fun filled geeky weekend is just a few days away!