Super Active Sunday

Last Sunday was crazy busy.  We had all hands on deck!  There was the usual: me, J, little L, my mother-in-law S.  Then my sister and her husband came by, S & B.  Then a family friend, R.  So we had a full house and everyone was put to work.  And yes, watching miss L counts as work/helping with the house.  Here’s a quick rundown of some of the bigger, more interesting things accomplished:

1. Mudroom/Laundry area was prepped and painted. The same blue-tinted white as the main entryway, Frost (Behr), since it is also an entryway.


2. Pantry cabinet was painted. This cabinet is not technically in the kitchen but we wanted it to tie into the kitchen rather than the mudroom/laundry area.  We decided to use paint to make that distinction – it is now the same color as the upper kitchen cabinets.


3. Entryway was drywalled.  With the electrical rerouted and tucked away, it was time to put up the drywall.  You can read more about the entryway progress over here.


4. Lower kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts were painted.  This was the main task for Sunday, but when everyone decided to make an appearance it became just one of the many tasks. Yay! We were able to borrow a paint sprayer from my MIL’s neighbor.  We set up a little spray booth in the garage and J went at it.  Two coats on the back, flipped over, two coats on the front.  We painted the backs first on purpose so that when they were flipped if they weren’t 100% cured any smudges would be on the back/inside the cabinet where it wouldn’t matter as much.

Getting a sprayer was hands down the best decision we’ve made throughout this whole renovation.  It cut the paint time by a quarter (or more!) and resulted in a smooth, even finish.

The spray booth
Inside the spray booth, half the fronts still drying.


All the fronts, transferred inside to finish drying & curing in a more controlled environment (e.g. fewer bugs and less dirt).

J has been hard at work all this week so the updates will just keep on rolling in!  In the next couple weeks, we should be able to post the first few final before & afters, from start to finish.  I’m excited to see the side-by-side photos once things start coming together!


Paint: Main Floor

With the upper floor painting complete (or nearly, we still have doors and base & case to paint), we move on to the main floor.

Paint Prep

If you recall from Base & Case Main Floor, we removed the chair rail from the former-dining-room-now-playroom.  One, because the chair rail was installed poorly which made the whole house look bad.  Two, as a playroom, chair rail was a little formal.

When J tackled this room, the chair rail took with it a good portion of paint and drywall.  It was suggested that we bite the bullet and simply re-install chair rail rather than deal with all the patching which most likely would end up showing through the fresh paint anyway.  We looked at a few pics on Pinterest and decided a chair rail the same color as the wall would be one way to dress-down a chair rail.  However, in the end, J wanted to at least attempt a repair.  So here we are:


I took a putty knife to the peeling areas and scrapped off all that was willing to go.  Some areas ended up looking a lot worse but mostly it was just the edges that grew a bit.  A thorough sanding to get off any stubborn remains and then cover in spackle.  After drying there was more sanding, more spackling, and a final sanding.  Currently, it feels quite smooth.  I don’t think, upon feeling, that you could tell there was chair rail or a giant patch.  We’ll have to see if visually it shows through the paint.  However, I am hopeful.  So far I have been quite pleased — and surprised — by how well Behr paint covers.

Moving right along.  The front rooms had this dramatic texture.  It was clearly some sort of spray on texture that was globby and a bit overdone in my opinion.  I’m all for an interesting/textured wall but this was a bit much.  S had the idea to take a power sander to it and that turned out quite successful.  She was able to bust out about 30% one morning and J finished the rest during the week.

And ta da!  A wonderfully spotted wall.


And a glorious close up.  It is smooth to the touch but neither J and I would be disappointed if some texture shows through the final paint.  A little interest on a plain, flat wall is welcome.


The last room to prep on the main floor was the half bath.  Return in your mind to the days of the green wallpaper and the monstrosity that remained after I attempted to remove it: Bye Bye, Wallpaper.

Again, it was suggested to us that we consider installing beadboard on all the walls to hide the torn drywall rather than attempt to cover.  S was going to take a stab at repairing it but thought the effort wouldn’t be worth the payout (time consuming and would still show through paint).  Similar to the chair rail, J and I took to Pinterest to get some inspiration for beadboard bathrooms.  We decided a dark beadboard up to the window paired with a white upper wall would look nice.  But again, like the chair rail, J and I wanted to at least attempt the patches.

So here we are, after the first round of scrapping-sanding-spackling:


We did run into one problem.  We originally used joint repair instead of spackle and it was too moist, causing the paper in the dry wall to get damp and bubble.  So we ended that and switched to spackle which seems to work just as well as it did on the chair rail.  Again, we will see how well Behr paint covers.  I still like the idea of half-wall beadboard to add interest to the small room and to tie it in with the kitchen which will have a beadboard peninsula.  So we will see where the half-bath journey takes us …


Last but not least, we painted the ceilings!  The final ceilings to be painted (for Phase I, the basement ceiling definitely needs help).  Nothing much to say here.  Two coats of Ultra Pure White flat ceiling paint and ta da!  Ten times better than where we started.


The end.  Stay tuned for the rest of the progress made this week and weekend.

Tile finds, part 2

Being the holiday weekend we kind of took a break. Plus we’ve reached a lull in the work schedule where we are mostly waiting for professionals (electricians, plumbers, carpeting, etc). We did go back to Floor & Decor to get some budget tile.

If you remember from our first journey there, they have clearance and bargain tile that is essentially cheaper than linoleum. So the old linoleum instead of replacing with new linoleum will now be tile. I’m excited to see how it all looks redone and upgraded.

Here’s the kitchen, mudroom, half bath tile. We went with a light gray. Light since the existing laminate floor is dark and gray so that it 1) ties in with all the wall colors we’ve picked out and 2) is neutral enough to go with anything else should we decide to repaint.

The kids bath linoleum wasn’t terrible but it could stand to be replaced, and with tile so discounted we went for it. A plain white since we’ll be playing with vanity and wall colors in a small area – really need something white to off set it.

Now just comes the hard labor of tiling all those floors. But we think it will be well worth it. Til next time!

Half Bath: an update

The last time we visited the half bath J and I had removed that green wallpaper.  Since then we pulled the toilet to finish removing the wallpaper.

Also, another great find (like that tile)!  We were definitely not planning on replacing the vanity.  All the cabinetry in the house is in fairly good shape just a bit worn and dated colors.  The half bath vanity though had been chewed and scratched by the dogs.  So we were planning on replacing the doors.  But then, The Home Depot special buy of the day was bath vanities.  I immediately forwarded the link to J after reading the daily email.  We ended up snagging this combo for roughly equal what we would have spent on doors plus shipping.  And in the words of the legendary Barney Stinson: “New is always better”.

bath vanity
Glacier Bay Delridge Vanity


And we get a new mirror!  The medicine cabinet in the half bath is actually attached to the mirror.  I was going to try to separate them and reframe the mirror but now we have a bonus new mirror!

Next step:  New flooring.  With the toilet and vanity out in the garage, we have direct and easy access to the flooring so they will remain in the garage until the old linoleum is replaced (probably with bargain tile).  Stay tuned!

Bye Bye, Wallpaper

The very first time J and I walked into this half-bath we knew the wallpaper had to go.  We also knew it would be no fun.  We’ve heard the stories of how tedious and frustrating it can be to take down wallpaper.  Well, have no fear!  It’s super easy these days.

We borrowed a steamer from a friend — thank you so very much! you know who you are 🙂 — which made it no trouble at all.  We steamed little sections at a time and the wallpaper just peels off, like the glue just melts away or something.  Excellent!

We did run into a few problems:  in some areas (especially the lower wall, as you can see in the picture) the wallpaper still took the paint with it.  I’m not sure if that was user error (too much or too little steaming?) or just the way that wallpaper glue interacted with that paint.  Either way, we have some sanding and patching to do.  Also, the window caulking was put over the wallpaper so we’ll have to get in there with an x-acto knife and cut out the little pieces still left.  Lastly, it looks like the toilet and vanity were placed after the wallpaper so we’re going to pull the toilet to get all the wallpaper off that back wall.  I opted to save that for another day when we have the supplies and time to replace the toilet same-day.  As for behind the vanity, that’s just going to stay.

Like many projects, it currently looks worse than when we began but as the old saying goes, “it’s going to get worse before it gets better”.  Now to pick a color for the walls … I’m considering doing a stenciled accent wall to jazz up the small space.  We’ll see 🙂