Friday, June 27, 2014

House Renovations

OK-so I started this post, then stopped and resumed several times. It is now June 26-several months after all my renovations :), and I'm thinking about getting back into blogging so I've finished this post up willy-nilly and am moving on :)

April something:
I've been thinking about blogging (for quite some time now) but it is so hard to recap an entire year that I keep putting it off (and instead I repeatedly look at all of your blogs, which most of you are needing to update as well- I have nothing to read!).

So, rather than update, I will just start with today. Maybe I'll get around to posting about the last few months, but maybe some months all you can do is survive.

So, today:

My kitchen is a bit of a mess (don't worry boo, you can still paint your cabinets :)  )

I am supposedly "nesting" (apparently that happens to prego people, and I am one of those). I guess so if "nesting" is this:
K says: your kitchen is 80s, white cabinets would be better.
Me: OK, I will get white cabinets
Painters: We will not bother giving you a bid, it is exorbitant to paint cabinets
Aunt P: It is super easy to paint your cabinets
Me: I am a super do it yourselfer (note to self, you have never actually done anything yourself other than rotate your sprinkler heads after F showed you how-that was apparently overly empowering and misleading). This is going to be so fun, I will get in touch with my artistic side! (I have no artistic side)
Lots of people: are you getting the nursery together?
Me: I thought babies slept in pack and plays in the corner (not trying to be weird, I actually thought (and still sort of suspect) that this is reality)
K and sisters: (horrified) No, you must have a nursery, and a crib, etc.
Me: OK,  I will get a nursery
Family: while you are painting nursery, paint the whole house (seems reasonable)
Painters: it will be 1 billion dollars to do all of your projects
Me: I think I will sit in my bathtub in my beautiful bathroom and forget about the rest of my crummy house for the next three hours
Me: I am a super do it yourselfer, who needs painters? I am going to home depot!
3 hours later: I have removed all cabinet doors, and started scraping texture off the walls of the soon to be nursery, feeling a bit manic. Made the following note to self: do not tell anyone what you are doing, don't let anyone come over for the next several weeks, bc they will for sure panic, and that will incite panic in you.
O: comes home from work, looks around, goes downstairs to his chair and does not move for the rest of the night.

So, that was the start of some lovely projects :)

I have now got things under control a bit. Here is a basic how to in case you want to paint your cabinets etc:

Day 1: removed doors

Day 2: sand doors (it turns out, sand paper matters, use 100 or 120 for the first sanding). I sanded by hand and that was not bad-it did not take too long.
Day 3: lady at paint store says sanding is 80% of the job. I go straight home and re-sand. I then dust off doors, clean with crud-cutter, and lay out all doors in main floor. (O actually was persuaded to lay out all the doors for me, which was absolutely the best thing in the world bc I cannot bend over and straighten up much on account of my sciatic nerve problem)
Day 4: primer coat 1 on the back of doors. I used Benjamin Moore Advance primer (pricey, about $50 a gallon, but it is supposed to be the best and has no fumes-important as I am expecting) After priming one door I thought 1. "oh no, what have I done, this looks terrible!" and 2. "I am going to die, this is going to take too long, I better paint faster" (not smart. faster = even worse painting, and I was not too great when going slow).
Day 5: primer coat 1 on the front of door. Noticing there are lines everywhere. It turns out-brushes matter. Get the correct brushes! (naive me was considering just using those black foam 97 cent brushes, ya, not a good idea. I also just pulled out some random little roller brush I had, again, not a good idea. Went to home depot and got the not Good, not Better, but Best roller brush, the one listed for smooth surfaces, this was much better for the next coats). Also, it turns out that you will see brush strokes with primer, no stress.
Day 6: primer coat 2 on the back of doors. This time I wised up and had Dance Moms going on my ipad so I would not rush through the job.
Day 7: need to prime 2 coat on front of doors. Panicking because painting in the grooves is really hard. Wondering if I have made a major mistake in doing this project (actually, I wondered that rather regularly...) Watched youtube videos all morning, felt empowered, wisely chose to only paint half the doors (what's the rush, I had to keep reminding myself)
Day 8: Finished priming 2nd coat on the front of doors. Doing much better, way less dribbling going on. Still, slightly concerned about my abilities to actually paint these doors without them looking extremely craft-projecty. Again, wondering if I have made a serious mistake.

Day 9: look into spraying cabinet doors. Idea was quickly discarded as internet mentions this is not something for a beginner to attempt.
Day 10: painter over for upstairs project offers to take doors away to be sprayed and fill in knot holes while at it
Day 11: bid is quite inexpensive for spraying doors, decide to do it
Day 12: sanded doors with 220 grit sandpaper to remove some of the dribbles (and noticed all the shocking sloppy parts where I dribbled everywhere. It was confirmed to me that sending the doors off was a very good idea).
Day 13: sent doors off, happiness :)
**don't panic if you are doing this yourself-I only painted an hour or two each day, you could make it a marathon and do it much faster

So: at this point it has been about 2 1/2 weeks, (I had some days in between where I did nothing, or other projects). With the primer I used, I could do a coat every 8-12 hours (so front, then flip and do back about 8-12 hours later), so I could have done this considerably faster. Also, if you have two people working on the project, it would go much faster.  I also found out from the lady at the paint store and the painter at my house that I only needed to do one coat of primer-at least with my doors and the primer I used, so all in all, I could rather easily have done all of this in 2-3 days had I been more organized, focused, and not doing so many projects at once :)


while this was going on, I was also working on a few other projects:
cabinet boxes:
Day 1: sanded, again, even though this is supposed to be a super major part of the process, it was actually really fast and not a big deal. Cleaned cabinet boxes with crud-cutter. (this stuff is pretty good!)
Day 2: wondering if I should remove the hinges from the door (F thought I was insane for even questioning this, however, there was a little wiggle room on where I could rescrew them so it seemed like a valid question in my mind. Of course, I followed F's advice and removed them in the end. LOVE my cordless drill :)  )
Day 3. Taping off: I spent 3 hours taping! And I did not even have to be careful because my walls and trim will be painted after I paint the cabinets-so I really only had to protect the floor and counter tops, but it still took forever!
Day 4: spent 2 more hours taping! (I did run out of painters tape, so I had to switch to regular masking tape, which I then ran out of, then had to switch to using duct tape to tape the brown paper stuff to the floor-that added about 20 min I'm sure, duct tape is hard to tear. PS: O's car was in the shop so he took mine that day which is why I could hardly run over to home depot to get more tape)
Day 4: decided I would have to move some things out of cupboards (I did not want paint dribbling on my china. Stacked stuff willy nilly all over the floor and table) (sigh, so typical of me, I should approach things in a more organized fashion). 
Day 4: yes, same day-started priming. Primed for 3 hours, only about 1/3 of cabinet boxes. Ate nothing but cheetos and string cheese and a few broccoli florets (no car and I'd taped all the appliances shut) a tad depressed, I collapsed on my bed and played sudoku for 2 hours.
Day 5: primed 1/3 more, much more efficient this time
Day 6: finished priming, very efficient. Painter sees it and OKs it! (It was here that I found out I did not need to do another coat of primer, I was so enthused, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, only 2 coats of paint, I can do that easy!!)

Now: I have been sitting around, for days on end (2 1/2 days actually), with my kitchen all taped closed, waiting for the painter to drop off the paint!! I'm getting a tad bit antsy to get painting so I can get into things again. (also, everytime I turn around Owen is getting into the microwave etc, which I then continuously retape.... this cannot go on!)
-again, if you were going for speed, you could do this part in 1-2 days, also while you are painting the doors

Days 7-9: painted cabinet boxes. Did three coats of paint (the painter kept giving me all these pointers and telling me I had to do the third coat), did a light sanding between each coat, also, wipe with tacky cloth after each sanding
Day 10: hung doors with K and F- in case you ever do this yourself, leave the hinges in the cabinets, I put them all in a bowl and that made it a bit harder bc each one had to be adjusted as they got all mixed up!


after: (just wainting on knobs)

Day like 40: ordered knobs, then they came in the day I went into labor (I picked up writing this post about three weeks after I had Benny) and I have yet to pick them up (I did eventually pick them up, about 6 weeks after I had Benny). I'm excited to get them all on though, (By the time I finish this post I bet I will have them up and can include a pic) (It is now 8 weeks and I am hoping to get J to come by and help me put them up tomorrow) :).

Third project: Nursery
Ok, just picking up this blog post about a month and a half after I started writing it :). Therefore, there will be less details here as I can hardly remember what I did.
First we scraped the horrendous texture off the walls-that is back breaking labor but only took about 1-2 hours per wall.

(you cannot tell but the painting was awful and the texture was beyond words!)

some texture removed

Next the painter painted the ceiling and trim and primed the walls
finally we (meaning K and F) hung the wallpaper. O and I figured out how to do it well enough that we hung two strips at the end :) It turns out F is a master wallpaper-er and K is pretty awesome at smoothing out bubbles and getting things lined up. Now that I have been involved in papering a small room, I find myself all agog when I think of the bedroom I grew up in (papered with very high ceilings and all sorts of angles!).
Finally K finished it off with some decorating. We got a crib (and now that i have a three week old babe I find that my initial thoughts, that babies don't sleep in cribs-is quite correct) (and still ocrrect 8 weeks later :) )and are using a rug, dresser, and rocking chair from M's old nursery (17 years later and they are still great pieces). Then we found these very fun shelving/drawer units at IKEA. Before the baby came K and I discovered how fun IKEA is!

Next projects:
today we purchased all the materials for a garden box and flowers for pots. Time to get moving on the yard again. Done-F came and built it with O and O filled it all up with dirt, here it is! (I plan to eventually have 3 of them, remove the grass between and put in stepping stones, get an elephant or rabbit topiary to put in the center box, and perhaps create and arch or fence from espalier fruit trees (perhaps more likely I will be moving by the time I get around to all of that, for now I will settle with just getting the sprinklers running properly).

still waiting for the rest of the little round tops to come in

We hope to get the main floor, and hall painted before the baby blessing-we have finally selected the kitchen paint color and will hopefully finalize the main room color soon! Finally done! J found an awesome painter and M found a great color for the front room (she spent hours pouring over paint books, houzz, and every traditional home magazine ever published). The end result: Benjamin Moore white dove (semi-gloss) for trim and beadboard throughout house, same but flat finish for ceilings, same but eggshell finish for walls in kitchen and hall, same but semi-gloss for kitchen cabinets, and Benjamin Moore Morning Dew in eggshell for living room walls. Yes, the whole white dove thing might sound like  it was easy-but we tested over 50 paint samples to come up with this scheme!!
Basically, the whole house looks new! We are thrilled with the progress and are moving on to the fireplace and mantle next!

when we first moved in and ripped the whole place apart

drywalled to cover the terrible texture

before we added the bead board and the new trim

all painted (I will have to take the photos in some better light so you can see the front room color and the bead board better)

Hallway before

hallway painted

And just for fun since I'm downloading photos-here is the changes to the front yard we have made-first removed the grass and made larger planting beds. Last summer we planted a few things and they are starting to grow! We need to add a few trees and some bushes etc so I'll update the yard at the end of the summer.

first moved in


 grass removed
grass removed

plants are starting to fill in!

And here is the fabulous bedroom and bathroom that we did last year.
The mural that inspired it all:

 We have added the trim and painted but still need to finish up with some dressers etc

I left K in charge and we came back to the most fabulous little space ever!



in progress:

And you have finally reached the end of this disjointed post (forgive the errors, I did not even have the heart to spell check)!
Next up... Benny!


Linnae said...

Phew! Good work! On the house, and on the blog catchup. Since we've always got multiple projects going on, it's fun to see we're not alone in our craziness. :) It looks great!

krista said...

Everything looks so good!! I am impressed with your DIY skills!! Your house is looking beautiful!!