April 29, 2010

Bead-Freaking- Board

If you need to play catchup on our upstairs bathroom renovation project, there's a review here.

I've methodically, maniacally applied stripper to the upstairs bathroom bead board over the past few weeks.  In the morning before work, I slather on the thick, goopy orange smelling stuff to about 5-6 boards.  By the end of the work day, the prehistoric vinyl adhesive clumps have softened up enough to scrap off.  Most mornings, however, I totally forget, and end up slapping my forehead when I get to work.

After many weeks,  I. AM. FINALLY. DONE. STRIPPING. BEAD BOARD. For anyone else refinishing bead board or other wood that's recovering from hideous vinyl panels? Go get yourself two wire brushes, a hard one and a soft one. You're going to need them for all the bits of goo you can't get off with your scraper.

Despite all the effort, we are in the 'Even though you've been working your ass off, it still looks like shit' phase of the project. Which is a REALLY annoying place to be. The first coat of primer can't come soon enough.

The next step?  Use an orbital sander to get the last bits of adhesive off and make a nice, smooth surface for the primer.

April 26, 2010

Back Porch Demolition

It's beginning to look like it might almost, some day, be an actual porch where we can sip pinot noir while laughing gently at something funny our friend just said: Oh, would you like some more guacamole?  Let me go whip up another batch.  Those darling tea lights? We found THOSE at a flea market.  Yes, yes it IS amazing what a coat of paint can do.


April 20, 2010

Missing Spring Thunder Storms

image courtesy of Docksidepress. All Rights Reserved

I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and never slept better as during that area's copious spring/summer early evening thunder storms.  I always thought thunder sounded like god moving his furniture.  Heavenly. 

On the other hand, during the really bad ones, my mom took refuge in the basement, clutching a battery-powered radio for information about the storm. We slept while – and perhaps because – she made deals with god about keeping the house upright and water tight.

We don't get many thunderstorms in western Massachusetts.  Why not?

April 15, 2010

Back Porch Demolition Continues!

Mr. Man peeled off the vinyl siding and removed the windows (four screws were holding them in.) He then used a crow bar to remove the plywood from the inside and dismantled the wood framing.

April 13, 2010

Vintage Cashepots<-Last syllable rhymes with 'Hose' not 'lots'

I hate centerpieces that you can't see around or through. I found these GREAT off-white cachepots at a local thrift shop. They're the perfect size and height for a table centerpiece that adds some color without obstructing the view of your in-laws.  The bouquet options at the grocery store were sparse on Easter-eve, so I added some lively daffodils from the backyard.

This is the first time I used my mother's wedding china (Gold Florentine by Wedgewood) which she lovingly packed up and sent me many years ago. Mom, you should stop reading this post now. Seriously. 

Mom! Look! Over there! A giant plant sale!  

Is she gone?


Instead of hand washing them, I put them in the dishwasher. 

April 10, 2010

This Post Not Appropriate for Young Children

The demise of the lamb cake.

April 6, 2010

Who's Gonna Cut The Lamb Cake?

Mr. Man's god mother is a fairly well known (around these parts) Italian-American grandmother. And she loves her godson. She loves him so much, she made him a cake in the shape of a lamb.  Seriously.  A lamb.

Who's going to cut the lamb cake?

April 4, 2010

Wall Paper Removal from an Expert

My Uncle is a professional painter of home interiors.  Because I've seen his incredible work, I asked him to tell me the best way to remove wall paper, so we could avoid doing this again:

 Here's what he had to say:

"I've removed enough of it to be able to tell you that each paper behaves differently. I like to use a product like DIF which penetrates the backing paper and loosens the glue. Use a four inch wide scraper - looks like a big single edged razor blade.
1. Pull off all of the colored face of the paper. If it is tough, go to step two.
2. Buy a "paper tiger" which perforates the surface of the paper and allows the DIF and water mix to penetrate.
3. Work on a 9 ft sq area and keep moistening the surface with the DIF mixture.
4. Then, use the four inch scraper to remove the base of the paper.
5. Scrub down the walls, using some more DIF mix and then hot water. I use some of the green fibrous nylon scrub pads along with a big sponge. ALL the glue must come off - if you paint over glue, it will curl and flake up and then you'll have a situation which is difficult to correct.
6. Using a lightweight spackle, fill in the nail holes, gouges and rough spots using a three inch spackle blade.
7. Sand out carefully with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper. I use a circular motion to avoid making a depression where the hole has been filled. When you run your fingers over the sanded spot and feel no bump or raised edges, you're done with sanding.
8. If there are gaps or cracks between baseboard and wall, you'll need to caulk, then prime, then paint the baseboards.
9. Using blue masking tape and a 1.5 inch putty knife, apply the tape to the tops of the baseboards, then run the putty knife over it to adhere the tape good and tight.
10. At this point, it's your decision whether to prime the walls to cover up LOTS of spackle and/or a deep wall color. If you go for the wall paint, apply two coats. I use a 2.5" angled sash brush and a nine inch wide by 3/16" pile roller."

PHEW!  I'm exhausted just reading that list!!!