Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why My Hands and Shoulders and Other Various Parts are Sore, in case you wondered...

It feels like it has been a constant flurry of activity around here. Every moment I haven't been at work has been filled with something...whether it was continuing to work on the floors, runs to the hardware store, runs to do laundry (as I am still waiting to get a washer & dryer of my own), attending fun housewarming parties for other friends who have recently moved, or prepping far too much food for Thanksgiving.

The best part about all of it has been time with friends and family, though I will confess that seeing so much progress on the house has been pretty exciting as well. The floors are *thisclose* to being finished. For all intents and purposes they are livable now.

Hand scraping two rooms was a big job and I couldn't have done it without some great, great help. After the scraping, a coat of lacquer thinner mixed with acetone was applied to clean and smooth the floors. I could have gone the route of renting a sander to use, but I really didn't want that "new wood" look. I wanted the character of the floors to match the character of the house.

After the floors were clean, 4 coats of Satin Polyurethane were applied. That process took several days. Because of the house's layout, that meant I had to be out of the house for two nights while it dried, or be permanently trapped in either the bedroom or the kitchen, which was not an appealing though. So, I packed a bag and crashed at my mom's for a couple of nights.

The floors look gorgeous! I am so completely thrilled with the look. The satin finish gives the a great sheen without being overly shiny and gave the color a nice boost. We did find some matching lumber and that will be stained and distressed and woven in to the area of the patch in the near future. With any luck that will look pretty close to seamless when it's finished. I also may decide to scrape and patch the little hallway area between the bathroom and bedroom too, but that all can wait a bit.

Next project related to the floors will be to put trim back up around the baseboards. It's all purchased, just needs to be painted, cut, and installed.

This last weekend, with some help, I got the living room and dining rooms painted and the furniture moved in. Lots of things still need to be arranged and hung, but it's already feeling incredibly homey. And, I moved the TV out of the bedroom and back to its rightful place in the living room. Hopefully this will dissuade me from staying up too late watching TV!

Living Room in Progress-Harbor by Valspar

Christmas tree in progress too!
Hard to tell, but it's kind of a minty blue. My aunt said it looked like a big Tiffany Box.

From the Dining Room into the Living room. The Dining Room is Brushed Suede by Valspar.

Starting to get the built in filled.

New dining chairs from Kirklands are a dark brown and blue brocade.

Still need to get things hung...

The only room I have in mind to paint now is the kitchen. It has a nice buttery color in there now, but I'm itching to paint it a color  reminiscent of an old blue canning jar. But, I think I'll take a little break before I do that and decorate for Christmas!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Loading up, loading in, loaded down...

So, moving day has come and gone and I am just now getting around to a post.  This MAY have something to do with the continual hours of floor scraping, cleaning, and body dumping (okay, so it was just surreptitious night-time old carpet dumping, but that sounds lame) that have been going on.

Bottom line is, I'm pooped! And yet, there is still much more to do, so I can't stop just yet.

On Friday night, hours before moving day was to begin, I sat on the living room floor, covered with with yellowing varnish dust and had a mini-meltdown. I cried, I must admit (which is nothing shocking) and was adamant that we must rent a sander and stop doing this foolishness by hand. Thankfully, calmer and less emotionally charged head prevailed. Yes, our hands were cramping, yes I was pretty sure my lungs were filled with dust, but we could do this and it would be much better (and safer, seeing as how power tools are not our forte) to do it by hand.

You may recall the original state of the floor...

My friends were a total blessing that weekend, as G & L stayed late at the house and cleaned everything up in preparation for moving day and sent me home to get a shower and some much needed sleep. Unbeknownst to me, as they were leaving, G & L smelled gas and called the gas company. Of course, their first response is that they have to come shut off the gas completely until a serviceman can get out the next day to check it out. So, the move started in a house with no heat and no hot water.

I managed to wake up early enough to finish packing just as my other wonderful friends and family showed up to help start loading trucks and minivans. I couldn't believe how fast it all went! I guess that's the difference having a lot of help can make.

By noon we were at the house with most everything moved inside, getting ready to take a much needed pizza break.

My bedroom got all set-up and, thanks to a little help from L a couple of nights earlier, it was even painted. I still need to do some touch-up work, but the color is Valspar's Metropolis, a pleasant gray color. I will be accenting with pink and white. Yes, it's very girly. But I'm a girl and I don't have to try and man it up for anyone. :)

Metropolis (but nothing like the Cronenberg film)

This house definitely has some odd things about it. The mammoth closet in the bedroom is nice, but the fact that there are only 3 outlets and they're in very inconvenient places is not.

Mammoth Closet...a small person could live in here.

The bathroom could have probably been a bit larger and the closet a bit smaller since they back right up to each other. This would have allowed for some sort of storage in the bathroom. As it is, I am struggling to find places to store my makeup, deodorant, contact lens case, and curling iron.

The kitchen cabinets were all made by hand and are very interesting in their set-up. The cupboard where I keep my glasses is particularly interesting. They're also pretty short, so I'm making good use of the pantry in the utility room for a lot of items. The kitchen was the first room I unpacked, as I couldn't feel settled until that was out of the way. It still needs painting and decor hung up....and some random wiring checked. There were two light fixtures in the kitchen in the middle of walls that seemed to have no way to turn them on. Conversely, there is a light switch in the utility room that seems to serve no purpose, unless I am secretly controlling the power to someonelse's house, which could be pretty funny considering how many times I have flipped it on and off.

After everything was moved in, I called the gas company and they discovered there was a leak in my furnace. Lovely. Also, strangely, the serviceman blew out the pilot light on my water heater, though there was no issue with it and he had already turned off the gas to the furnace, so there was no danger.  Luckily, my realtor had suggested I have the seller purchase a warranty for these types of issues during the first year. So, after some run-around on the phone, they sent out a plumber...which was of no  use...and finally a furnace repairman. It took two days, and the furnace guy relighting my pilot light, but everything finally got repaired and things were much warmer.

Nearly a week has passed since the move-in, and while I would LOVE to have everything done (as I apparently don't deal well with upheaval), a lot of progress has been made.

scraping in progress

The kitchen and bedroom are unpacked (if not organized just perfectly yet) and the living room floor is completely scraped.

You can really see the difference when you look at the line between the dining room and living room. The dark side is the dining area, which we will start scraping in the next few days. At least that room is about 1/3 of the size and doesn't have any old tile adhesive on it!

post-scraping and smoothing with acetone & lacquer thinner

You'll notice the nice patch in the floor. This is part of the history of the home, as it used to have a gravity fed furnace that transferred air via a large vent in the floor. We're going to find a closer match to try and patch it, but it will always show...which I sort of don't mind, as it is a part of the extensive past of the house.

Le Patch

The *hope* is to have the floors completed (scraped, oiled, patched, trim put back down) before Thanksgiving, as I will be hosting it for the first time and would really like to have things set up so we could have a normal, relaxing day!

I really have to thank my friends and family again. They made moving a breeze and are STILL helping me get these floors, and some other smaller issues, in order!