Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bedroom work

Using "Master bedroom" is a stretch, although it is my room and I am the master.  At one time the previous owner felt the same way and did make it a "master" bedroom by tearing down the wall separating the two rooms. Except only a portion of the wall came down.  We have happily lived like this, but I know soon I will need to build the wall back up. If not for decorating purposes and not for privacy purposes, for resale.

To premise, I have not gone to my day job since mid Jan. The contract ended in Dec. We traveled a bit to here and here.  I did set up a schedule with myself, walking to work and spending a few hours there doing admin stuff.  And then returning home to do some sort of home thing. But going in 5 days a week has turned to 3 days a week.  Temperature drops. Forget it, Ill get job status from home.  For all my "free" time, I need to be accountable for it. I need to accomplish house updates, purging and organizing.

I was able to make good progress on the kitchen. Besides putting up brackets for the reclaimed wood shelves I have done all that I can do until I make a 4 hour drive to Ikea for the pantry.  Then I'll treat myself finish off the kitchen w/ this West Elm prep counter. Love it. Have been eying it for a year. Patiently waiting.

So I started to paint.  Tried the stairway hallway, and I'm on the fence about that. Tried some samples in the dining room. Blah on all of them. Found a colour for my bedroom so made that a priority.(Again, this colour keeps changing. I only like it sometimes; when it looks nude & ballet slipper pink. But when it looks mauve, I wonder what the f' is wrong with my paint colour picking skills. I don't like mauve. )

Painting music: Sounds of Yo-Yo ma. So dramatic. Perfect!

My tunnel vision is painting and by the time I realize I should have chiseled away 30 years of other paint, I've got my wet brush stroking over the old stuff.  I accept this and realize my cutting in skills are not as atrocious as I thought and claimed. Its my foresight and preparation skills that are lacking. With a bumpy baseboard and wall like this, cutting in is as good as it can get. (this is the stairway, but the entire house has layers of paint and cracks)

While I continue to paint (sorry for all the boring paint posts, but really, it keeps me accountable) I reconcile my lack of preparation work with the fact that I don't LOVE these colours, so when I decide to paint again, I NOW know I should do a little bit more planning and scrapping.

I have to wait for the two walls, corner and baseboards to dry before I get to the other side. While waiting I finally found the gumption to pull off the mirror on the closet door. This thing has always bugged me and the one time I lamely tried, I feared 7 years bad luck. But with more time on my side and the discovery of the nail through the door I figured out how it was mounted, and not a few minutes later, down it came.

The main door requires a trip to the restore. Or some plywood. The previous owner must have had a dog and wanted it to have in and out access. On the left you can see the opening in the door and partial wall and opening into the next room. Look closer (on the right) and you can see where the door meets the wall and how uneven the wall is, the 1/4 inch gap closes in the closer to the bottom of the door frame. A job for my contractor, when I commit to the wall build up.

The beginnings of my room update and the to do list:

Fix broken glass pane
paint trim WIP
paint baseboards WIP
remove mirror woo hoo!

Paint walls. WIP
paint blue splotch on closet door.
Remove two shelves on other walls (which hold pictures, just because the shelves were already there, but they have to go.). Make a gallery wall instead.
Remove hardware (door handles and plates) in order to remove years of white paint.
Refinish hardware
Find a new OLD door or fix hole in door.
Create some kind of headboard.
Build wall.
Or insert french doors.
Revamp closet - either open up middle section to expose window. Or....
Mount a tv on the wall w/ a wooden console thing under it. Wow did I just write that, Im so anti tv in the bedroom. But I love a hotel room with TV. Small house means I may need this, my getaway place.
Paint ceiling. BUT first remove that bubble popcorn ceiling paint. Yuck (Will probably never get around to do this, but it should be done)
Install ceiling light - electrical work (probably wont get around to that either)

And once all the bedroom stuff is done then purchase these washed linen gray sheets by Eileen Fisher. Swoon.  And a darker gray textured linen duvet cover @ Restoration hardware.  See how my coping skills work ... motivate myself to finish a project w/ some pretty final touches.


  1. "I wonder what the f' is wrong with my paint colour picking skills."

    Trust me, you are NOT ALONE. Picking paint colours looks easy and fun on decorating TV shows, but it's freakin' HARD. I'm an artist, and I know colours, I can see which tints have more yellow or red hues, and I have a pretty good sense of how bright a colour might look, but from a swatch to the wall, it just never turns out how I thought.

    Even when I have a sample, and I've painted it on a large square cardboard or sheet, and have it in the room, it's always a bit of a surprise once there's 10x more of it all over the walls.

    I'm slowly getting better, and I've started to just "go with it" and accept that the colour(s) I've picked so far are "close enough" to what I was after.

    One of the best ways for me, is to find pre-painted rooms and find the colours for them. Ikea showrooms are really good for this, since they have the wall colours written in with each display.

    I also tend to stick to colours within my "historic colours" from my Beauti-Tone colour book (sample swatches). All of the colours in the 3 page spread work well together, so I aim to find similar ones, or use some directly out of there.

    Also, pretty much any colour you choose will end up having 3 looks: day colour, evening colour, and night colour. Your lamps can affect the colours quite a bit. I use a mix of CFLs and 40w clear incandescents, but the light can make the walls look more yellow or green.

    1. I didn't know finding the right colours would be so tough!

  2. Also, your cutting-in skills are pretty damn good. I am too impatient and I just prefer to green-tape everything (which takes a while, but then I can easily do 2 coats and not worry about the edges.

    If you want to minimally improve the old crusty paint look (90% of my trim looks similar), you can just quickly go over the high spots with a sander (or by hand). Deep holes can be quickly spacked (nail holes mostly), and just concentrate your efforts on door casings, and things at eye level. My baseboards in many spots are REALLY bumpy and flaky, but they're close to the floor, and most of the time, you don't really look at them, or the bulk of them end up hidden with furniture.

    Another quick tip: gap-seal all the ragged edges and corners with Dap (AlexPlus acrylic latex "silicone") It's super cheap, and it helps to make crusty or ragged corners between mouldings/walls blend in really nice. I've gone through probably 20 tubes.

    1. I'm going to have to get some "spackle" paste...I have 4 large screw holes to fill...can't hide them with paint! I think if I had even scraped off some of the paint clumps, it would have been better. Thanks for all the ideas!

    2. I would suggest Lepage's Poly Filla Instant (which comes in tubes with a red cap). The filler is about the consistency of toothpaste, dries fast, and sands easily (and it's pretty cheap). I use it on drywall and mouldings to fill nail holes.

      If you want to patch paint flakes, you can also use drywall compound, and just trowel it on thinly, and sand it. It's not the best way to fix the problem, but it's much better than trying to scrape the paint, and ending up with an even worst flaking chipped mess.

  3. Man oh man, I'm just gonna keep filling up the comments section. Hope you don't mind.

    I have a suggestion to fix your door. If you can find a matching one, great (2 panel doors are fairly easy to find, but you'll find that the hardware locations probably won't match up, and it might be a huge pain in the ass to get it to work).

    If you're handy with a router (or you know someone who can do this for you), what you can do is carefully route-off just the moulding detail on one side of the bottom panel. You need to guide the router along a straight edge (a board with a straight edge on it), and measure carefully. You can't get all the way into the corners with the router, so the small corners left have to be cut out with a chisel.

    Once this is done, you can remove the old panel, cut a new one, and tack it into place. Then you can either mill a new moulding, or buy one that is pretty close, and install it around the edges like a picture frame. Use some acrylic latex (paintable) silicone along all the cracks, and then paint it.

    If you can't do this, you might be able to cheat and do 2 thin panels of hardboard (the stuff that is only 1/8" thick) and glue one on each side (trimming it carefully to fit).

    1. Doors are up your ally aren't they. I recall a few of your posts about refinishing founded doors. Hardboard - yes, I don't want to use plywood do I ;). Appreciate the suggestions!

    2. The problem with trying to use plywood is that you won't find sheets that are strong enough or thin enough to use for this repair. When plywoods are really thin, they tend to end up bowed or flexed in some sort of curve, and it could make it really difficult to install. The hardboard is sort of like a super strong MDF board, and it will stay flat.

      I haven't refinished any doors yet, but I'm a professional cabinetmaker, so woodworking is my "thing". I'd love to salvage old doors for my house, but all my existing doors are too far gone to repair (even for me, and I can do just about anything), and I'd need to find 8 matching doors, which will be hard. I might end up buying cheapo repro (hollow) doors, or building my own.


Another 100 year old house renovation

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