Monday, August 7, 2017

Bathroom Wainscoting (finally!)

Care to take a stroll down memory lane?! When the bathroom was in it's blue glory days. There was clearly a renovation at the peak of the monotone colored bathroom days. After looking at so many houses there was clearly a pamphlet with "would you like an all blue, pink, or yellow bathroom we have JUST the tile for ya (and matching tub/toilet/vanity)!"

The bathroom was riddled with mold and water damage, and the shower head was fit for the 5' and under we knew walls would be coming down in here. It was pretty cool to see, once we had everything ripped out, that at one point there had to have been a tub (probably claw foot...WHYYY did they remove it!) in it's place with a radiator at the foot of it. The dangling cut pipes in the walls were a dead give away.

The tub was leaking into the kitchen, which wasn't ideal, and the window was one shower away from crumbling out the side of the house. SO! we ripped it apart.


 OK, so we tiled the floor and the shower, installed the vanity and toilet and......stalled. Mainly because I hate trim, especially in an old house where nothing is straight and I have to Macgyver solutions.

We wanted to put wainscoting over the old tile glue. It wasn't the prettiest wall treatment, and bead board is clean, water resistant, and doesn't involve us having to tear down MORE plaster walls. Because, we are SO over that.

Something i've learned in a house that is not level, caulk is your BFFL.

SO, first I cut a piece of trim for the door and floor molding. We got a new miter saw as a wedding gift and I LOVE IT. Using it was further encouragement to finish this project...

The panels had a tongue and groove system on each end, so they locked into each other. I added some construction adhesive to the back of them, then after stacking a few  I put in a few nails with a nail gun to keep it in place.  

Then, I added ALL the caulk, to the edges, joints, and nail holes. Sidenote: although the packaging said to use caulk for the nail holes, i'd use woodglue next time. It shrunk too much and showed the holes still after a few applications.


I used a Dremel to cut small holes in the panels for the electrical (we will be installing electric heat in the bathroom), and the sink pipes...still pretty amazed that I measured the location of those holes right the first time *pats self on back*.

Then I added a piece of trim around the edge, using my nail gun (love that thing), and caulk. 

Finally! Time for paint! The panels come in a prepainted white, however it was a little creamier than the white that would be the trim, which would have bothered me. So I painted it the same color, 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint.

During that time, I also started working on the walls, which were in rough shape, I took off the remaining pieces of wall paper, washed and sanded them down.  I also replaced the light fixture, mainly because it was so huge and the bulbs were SO hot that whenever I worked close to it I couldn't stop's what it looked like, light is turned off because when it's on it has the light capacity of a million suns. Or so it feels...

Photographing light fixtures is impossible, just trust me it's better than before :)

Wall color is Revere Pewter (love the color, used it in the master bedroom as well), Trim is Polar Bear.

OMG, much better.

SO, what's left for this room? Still working on some patching on the ceiling, then that'll need a coat of paint. Then it's just hanging some pictures & towel hooks, and installing the heater before winter! We have noodled the idea of a glass shower door as well, so that may be in the cards...down the road.

All in a weekends work!

Monday, July 24, 2017


Oh, haaaaaaaaaay guys. It feels like just yesterday I was here writing the last post but NOPE a straight up month and a half has passed and omg why does summer ALWAYS move so fast! Those precious summer days...which brings me to my next topic: getting things done in the summer and how impossible it is. There are a few reasons here, but the most apparent one was highlighted as I TRIED to finish the trim in the upstairs bathroom - WE DON'T HAVE AC (yet). I hung 2 pieces of trim and 3 panels of beadboard and about passed out from heat exhaustion. Now the MAIN reason it was SO hot in the house at that time is the topic of this post!

THE HOUSE GOT PAINTED! So, for about 3 days (however, it felt like a century) our windows (the only things giving us air/life) were covered with plastic so they could spray this bad boy. They were so cute when I told them we were dying inside though so NBD.

"so, uh, how long will the plastic be up we uh...don't have air conditioning" I off handedly mentioned to the painters while gasping for air.

That day they worked late into the night to be able to uncover a few windows the following day. FINGER SNAPS FOR ALLLL.

Anyways, onto the paint! As with all decisions that I am forced to make, I like to consider all the options in the universe and mull over it for decades before never actually making a decision. It's super efficient. I thought picking out a roof shingle color was hard but there are SO many more paint colors in the world! Like idk how this paint sample will look and THERE IS NO TURNING BACK.

So, I turned to pinterest and looked at ALLLL the houses i'd pinned before, 9/10 they were navy...and when they were navy there was about a 60% chance it was Hale Navy. We also walked the neighborhood and looked at roof color to house color and weighed the pros and cons for FAR too long before making the decision and second guessing it until they finally bought the paint. We are really good at this.

Here is the 'before' in all it's haunted glory. At some point in this house's life, stucco was put on OVER wood siding which makes me all sorts of sad. We noodled the idea of removing the stucco for like 4 seconds mainly because we were scared as to WHY they stuccoed over it? it damaged beyond repair and we'd make a bigger mess? Probably.

The first thing the painters did was power wash the house - which help TREMENDOUSLY to just make it look less horrible. Especially that foundation - GAH.

We added boards all around the house prior to panting. When we bought it there were only boards hanging in certain areas, IDK why, so we added a bunch to make it look a bit more finished off.

As mentioned before, the garage needed MAS repairs before ever seeing a paint brush.

We built the doors down, got a new roof, and (finally!) added doors to a garage that has NEVER had them in the past (why tho?).

It took 2 guys three weeks (mainly due to rain delays) to complete the job. They had their work cut out for them too - BUT LOOK!

They did SUCH a good job. We matched the base of the house to the metal on the storm doors, but otherwise the blue is Hale Navy, and the trim is Falling Snow.


However, since the house looks legit now, the landscaping is starting to stick out like a sore that's nextish on the list. And that's going to be a BIIIG project. Dan already started by ripping out some shrubs while I was out of the country (QUICK trip to Croatia with the girls!). We need to grade the mudslides occurring around the house so water stops getting into our basement (FUN!) and edge/plant things everyyyyywhere. Anyone have some hostas/hydrangeas/anything they are looking to get rid of next spring!! I'm your girl!!

Friday, June 9, 2017


I guess I never really went over THE PLAN for the house with you guys! Like, what's getting done and all. Let's chat about that huh?!

OK Let's start at the front - our main door/entry area. It's a cute little room, full of windows and a screen door that has SEEN better days. The plan here is the paint the interior the same as the exterior, get the paint off the flooring and HOPEFULLY salvage that wood. New pendant light, and possibly a little bench seating area to casually read a book on.

Then you walk in and are greeted with our living room! Oh hi furniture!

Remember there used to be a door there? CRAZY (and not so functional)

So in here, we scraped the popcorn ceilings, skim coated the walls, painted errything (radiators, you are next!), and sanded the floors. This room just needs some styling tweaks that will happen like, later. 

The office! This room already got alot of work done as well. Painted walls, sanded floors etc.etc. We will get a new pendent light and a desk - right now i'm using what will be our dining room table LOL. BUT! The desk arrives this week AND I CAN'T WAIT.

Also, please excuse the box pile, leftovers from boxpocolypse that i've yet to tackle.

Turning around from the office you see this! Our dining room. OH HI BEAUTIFUL HUTCH.

The plan here is to just make it a nice functional dining room. We are refinishing the farmhouse style table for in here. Will get a new light and some chairs and VOILA.

 The kitchen, this room has a LONG way to go. The next few steps on the agenda are flooring (what? you don't have carpet on the floors in your kitchen?!) and drywall. We are getting a built in pantry built for around the fridge, and then we will order cabinet doors/countertops/backsplash etc.etc.etc.

Beyond the kitchen there was this little nook (8x10'). The previous owners had started a renovation in there about 30 years ago (and then...just stopped) to extend the kitchen. We noodled that...we also noodled a little breakfast nook area with seating...but what this house really needed? Another bathroom. Bonus points for a main floor laundry. 

Right now it's basically a tool storage area, but we have the plumbing and electrical work done in here. And that door leaning up to the windows in the last photo? That'll be the door into the room (we will frost the panes) so that light will still creep into the kitchen. This room will get done at the same time as the kitchen - flooring and drywall next! 

The upstairs bathroom is coming along! It's fully functional, which is a win. There used to be blue tile that ran up the walls halfway and left a not so cool glue effect. Since this is plaster, and we are sick of taking down plaster walls, we are going to install beadboard around the perimeter of the room to hide this. Also, that hole? Laundry chute. 

Other than that, this room will get a paint job post-beadboard, a mirror (hopefully this week!) and a new or updated light fixture and BAM it's done. Oh and don't worry about that ceiling issue, i'm going to magically become a pro at skim coating plaster and fix that all reallll niiice.

OH and the stair well. So first it was covered in carpet. We knew the landing was wood but had NO idea what lingered under those puppies.

No so great. A few broken treads, and all were covered in paint/glue/something unknown and gross. SO! We added new treads and risers to the growing to-do list. We knew this wouldn't be a 'phase 1' renovation project. Probably something we will try to tackle in the fall/winter time. We are going to try and match the stain to the window molding too, which will take mas trial & error rounds. SO! We decided to paint them for the time being. We used a porch paint which held up well (until the movers came in, a few touch ups will tie us over) and just color matched it to the walls on the main floor. 

The bedrooms upstairs are hosting a boxpocolypse convention, once those get sorted out i'll gettchaa an update there but OMG LOOK.

If you recall, when we bought the house it looked like:

I briefly mentioned this before, but we had to build the garage doors down 2'. The way the garage was built, there is a beam that goes across the center preventing garage door openers to be installed, which is a 21st century necessity. So, we built down the doors from 10' tall (LOL) to 8' which is a standard residential door height. Then, doors were installed and new siding was put up! It already looks 100 times better, but that'll double once the house gets painted.

OK what else? Um THE BASEMENT. This will likely be a next year project, but we want to make it functional. The ceiling height is semi-legit for a 100 year old farm house. There is enough space down there for a bedroom (maybe a bathroom if we are feeling extra crazy?) and a little sitting area or workout zone...noodling all the ideas. 

We also have about a decade of landscaping to do around here...since it hasn't been managed in a coons age. We've already started taking down some trees (that were literally growing INTO the garage roof) and brush etc. However, the previous owners have a mountain of concrete debris on the side of the house? Like broken concrete, but some strategically poured areas which makes me wonder WTF WERE YOU DOING BACK HERE GUYS? (and also omg what is UNDER that...) Here's hoping we don't uncover something gnarly in the process.