Two Happy Places

After a three year absence, Saturday I returned to my favorite Cincinnati event, the Ohio River Paddlefest  the nation’s largest paddling celebration.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day for kayaking.  I have not kayaked since the 2015 event, so I was hopeful it would be like riding a bike and it was.  Since the last time I participated the route changed and the course made longer, 9-miles.  They were expecting over 2,000 paddlers.  I dropped my kayak at the launch site on Friday, so I didn’t have to get up extra early on Saturday.

20190803_075340.jpgLaunch time was between 7 – 8:30a, so I was definitely towards the end of the pack when I started.  I packed PB&J sandwiches, a 32 oz bottle of Mango Gatorade, and a frozen solid Vitamin Water, Energy flavor to keep myself nourished, since I didn’t have time for breakfast.

I like to paddle to the beat of the music I’m listening to.  I had my Pandora station shuffling between about a dozen artist and I was crossing my fingers there would be a good mix of slow and fast songs.  It balanced out, but I did use each commercial break (about every 4 songs) to take a drink and bite.  Fatigue started kicking in at what I’m guessing was about mile 6 and then the most perfect song came on, Natalie Merchant’s, Where I Go.  It was all about letting your mind go while at/on the river.  I abandoned 20190623_181456paddling to the beat and just enjoyed a leisure pace to the finish line where I was greeted with a giant happy face.  I most certainly was.  After grabbing a combo meal from the Red Sesame food truck, I loaded my kayak and headed home.

One would think I’d be too tired to do anything else, but once I got my kayak back in its perch in my basement, I changed into my work clothes and headed to the Wave Pool Wood Shop to continue working on my headboard.  Being at the Wood Shop is as peaceful to me as paddling down the Ohio River in my kayak.  I have truly been bit by the wood shop bug.  This Saturday was particularly busy with, mostly females, working on projects.  Smell of wood filled the air as it seemed everyone had something to sand.

I was bound and determined to get the back portion of the headboard done that day.  Wood Shop open shop is Wednesday and Saturday.  I thought I’d have this portion done in one week (two 20190803_171432.jpgdays).  This Saturday marked the third week, but man was it worth it.  I’m not going to go into too much detail as I’ll do a dedicated post, but I’m so proud of how the back turned out I actually posed with it.  Folks that know me, know I don’t do photos.  I’m torn on leaving it natural, allowing the poly I’ll apply to pull out the colors or staining all or some of the slats.  I’d love to get some feedback from anybody readying this post.

Shopped closed at 5p.  I was showered and in the bed ripping ZZzzzz by 7:30.   I was sore, tired, but oh so happy.  Enjoy the additional photos of Paddlefest and put it on your calendar for next year.  I’ve always done this event by myself (kayaking is a great single person activity), but I’d love to have someone join me next year.

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Master Bedroom Complete

The Magnolia Market sign that was my “sign” to move forward with purchasing my house has finally been removed from its box and hung on the wall of my completed master bedroom.  Yes you can stand and applaud.  Unfortunately the Silos doesn’t carry the sign anymore, so no link if you were interested in purchasing.

After completing my Pinterest dresser project and putting the trim up around the small storage does I became obsessed with putting the trim up around the rest of the room.  Amazingly most of it was on the same two pallets in the basement and as with the door trim it, for the most part, just needed Murphy Oil Soap wipe down and the Howard’s Feed and Wax.  There were a few pieces that I felt needed the Restore-A-Finish product, but I managed to knock the can over and wasted almost all of it.  Not wanting to run to a store, I started using the end of a pint of Minwax, Early American, stain I had bought for the kitchen floor.  I used steel wool, in the same fashion as the Restore-A-Finish.  It worked as well and maybe even better.   Every original piece was numbered, so putting them back in the right place was no problem.

The only challenge to the floor moulding was one section in the front dormer.  All of the electrical outlets in the house were original cut into the moulding.  That is no longer to code, so I knew those sections would be problematic.  Over a year ago, I stumbled across a YouTube segment from This Old House that showed how to patch wood trim.  I had recessed that in the Rolodex in my brain, knowing that I’d need to put that knowledge to use.  Amazingly my Master bedroom only had one outlet in it.  Per today’s code I now have 12.  Using the video as my guide, I did a pretty darn good job with the patch.  Their moulding was painted, so they were able to hide the patch completely.  I didn’t have that luxury, but I still think it’s pretty negligible.

With the floor complete I turned my sites on the windows.  I sent the front dormer window as a tease on the last blog.  It was the easiest of the 5 to restore.  My new window seals are thicker than the originals, so I knew I would need to cut the bottom off every vertical piece throughout the house.  Again, I thought I’d need to hire my finish carpenter, Tom, to do this for me, but my confidence and comfort level for using my miter and table saws has soared since working with him and taking the Wave Pool Wood Shop class.

From the front window, I moved onto the side trio of windows.  The two smaller windows proved to be a challenge because the replacement windows had a gap greater than the window stop trim.  I always felt that these windows were ordered too small.  It’s hard to describe and show in pictures, but I needed to close the gap on the sides of the small windows and to do it I took an old door jamb to give me the “L” shape I needed to lay on top of the existing house framing.  To date this is my finest table saw work.

With that obstacle conquered the rest was easy.  Clean, Wax, trim a little of the bottom and nail in place.

The rear dormer window I intentionally saved for last.  Even my window installer was perplexed with how the trim would go back around this window.  During demo this window completely fell out and apparently we tore out, or it never existed, the framing.  With the drywall install there was no exposed framing to nail into, just the edge of the drywall.  To make matters even more complicated the drywall came about 1/2″ more at the bottom. I basically needed to frame out the window before I could frame it with the original moulding.

I devised a plan in my mind that involved using the original moulding from the trio of windows in the bathroom that mirrored the trio in the bedroom.  I saved this window for last because I had to make sure the bathroom wood would not be needed to correct a cut mistake in the bedroom.  Since that install went flawlessly, I was ready to put plan into action.  The two vertical pieces that went around the large window of the trio was slightly wider than the moulding.  I created the perfect 1/4-1/2″ reveal and it was thick enough that it gave me something for the window stop trim to nail to. Since the bottom drywall protruded out further than the top, I used shims to build out the top.

With the build out complete I was able to proceed with installing the seal and apron.  The seal had to be in place before I could install the vertical pieces.  I put the top piece on first, but when I went to dry fit the first vertical piece I discovered the piece was too short.  The replacement window was longer than the original.  The first window installer put in the new framing for this window and he must have made the opening larger than the original.

I had plenty of extra door frame moulding left, but I had already cleaned up the original and I was only a couple of inches short on each side, so I decided to splice two pieces together using scrap pieces for the built-in dresser.  I’ve learned to throw nothing away.  The trim around the dresser was slightly lighter than the window around the window, but I didn’t care.  I was impressed with my thought process and splicing technique.  Most people will never see it anyway given it leads to a private area of my home.

With the patched moulding installed, my master was complete.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to add a light on the outside of the closet.  In the two weeks of working to the moulding, Mr. McGhee made that happen.  I took the original light fixture from the 1st hall, which matched the ones already in the bedroom, but installed an LED Edison bulb to keep the heat discharge from impacting the paint.  I also bought a rug and for my seating area from Overstock.com.  It fits in perfectly and is made from recycled jeans and jute.  I bought a 9×12, same fabric, different color and design for under my bed, but it’s on back order.

Check out these before and afters, followed by a video tour.  I have truly created an oasis.  I’m writing this blog while listening to vinyl jazz LPs.  LOVING EVERY MOMENT!

 

It’s A Wrap – Another Space Complete

20 months in (I can’t believe that) and I now have TWO spaces completed in my house, minus a missing strike plate. My first floor bathroom is complete with accessories and doors. This project has truly been an emotional roller coaster with highs and lows, twist and bends. I was in another low and I got a newsletter email from Chip and Joanna and decided to click through the latest offerings at the Magnolia Silos. I’ve been thinking about placing something in the blank space above the toilet and I found it, a JDH Iron Design sign stating: The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be.

There is one vision for my house that I have not been able to have manifest and even though I know it is out of my control, I can’t help but feel that I’m lacking something that is blocking it from happening. This sign will be a reminder, every time I see it, that perhaps I’m not lacking anything. What made it even better is I got to pick it up in person thanks to a business trip to Houston that started a day early with a quick overnight in Waco. I needed that trip. Three hours, each way, in a rental car with my Yolanda Adams Pandora station blaring; two hours in the most positive place on earth, Magnolia Silos; dinner at the best Mexican restaurant I’ve eaten at, Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant; and breakfast before heading back at Magnolia Table. Yeah, I’m riding another high. I had the spring menu Lemon Blueberry Pancakes with Lemon Butter (heaven) and pepper bacon (not too peppery) and Pecan coffee (brought a bag home it was so good).

Back to the bathroom. With the mirror project complete, the only thing left were the doors and floor moulding. I got the entry door hung before my father came to visit, but I had not installed the lock. My Dremel tool broke, so I couldn’t get the plates recessed fully (that’s a tweak I can do when I’m bored after the whole house is a wrap), but the lock functions. This door is painted on the inside and stained on the outside. I wanted the locks to match the setting, so I purchased two of the same locks: Dynasty Hardware Round Bed / Bath Privacy Pocket Door Latch Satin Nickel and Dynasty Hardware Round Bed / Bath Privacy Pocket Door Latch Aged Oil Rub Bronze from Amazon. I even took the extra step of splitting the colors on the door jamb by staining the outside half and painting the inside half.

The linen closet door took some effort. It had to be stripped as it was already weighted down with previous layers of paint (I saw yellow, mint green, and two shades of white). I started with the outside, thinking if I got tired of the project I could shortcut the inside. I used CitriStrip Stripping Gel (see Battle of the Strippers post), which I let sit overnight. I had a thick nylon brush with steel bristle on the end that I used to remove the paint from the decorative grooves. I wasn’t sure I had enough stripper for the other side, so I decided to try out my new Ridgid belt sander. It didn’t make a dent as the paint, despite its age, was gummy and it gummed up the sand belt. Fortunately I had just enough stripper to get the majority of the paint removed. Since I didn’t get it all removed I put a coat of Kilz primer on the inside before the actual Sherwin Williams ProClassic in Incredible White. I should have probably primed the outside also, but I just put two coats of the ProClassic.

I bought new hinges from Amazon because the originals were too rusty and added a robe hook that matches the sink and tub faucets, also found on Amazon. The linen closet had a white glass knob on both sides, but the entry door had white on inside and clear on outside. I loved the level of detail by the original builder. Unfortunately I’ve misplaced the strike plate, so the linen door doesn’t catch and close completely. I’m sure it’s around the house somewhere, so I’m not going to rush to buy a new one. I did that with the pocket door hardware and found the original packs in a box marked paperwork about two weeks after they were hung.

The last project was the moulding and this was my first venture into a coping saw cut. I have not installed my vice grip on my work bench yet and coping without something holding your wood is hard. One of my favorite YouTube video people is SeeJaneDrill.com, so I watched her coping video several times to learn what to do. I did the first cut by hand, but did the second one on the scrolling saw at the Wood Shop. Can you tell the difference? Both worked fine and the reality is the corners won’t be seen. I used traditional miter cuts for the shoe molding and painted it black, Tricorn, same as mirror.

The final touch was the addition of a oil diffuser for the left side of the sink. I’ve been looking for awhile and I found the perfect bottle at the Magnolia Silos. It was adorned with a white wax stamp, perfect for my decor. The scent is Linen: Lemon, lime cotton, jasmine, orange flower, lavender, clean musk, and amber.

So with Joanna’s (@JoannaStevensGaines) favorite scents filling my air, that bathroom is a wrap.

Click on links below to see all the post related to the 1st Floor bathroom.  As an amateur (albeit advanced) DIYer and newbie interior designer, I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished on this project:

September 28, 2018 – February 9, 2019

The Rest of the Story

As Seen In My Mind’s Eye

 

Dead Space to Closet Space

There is one TOTALLY complete area in my house, the master bathroom linen closet.  I’ve been psyching myself out.  The piles of trim and moulding in my basement has had me overwhelmed, so I’ve been avoiding it until this week.  If all the trim reinstall goes this smoothly I’ll be the happiest DIYer on the planet.

For those that have not been following the entire journey or if you need a refresher, the linen closet in my master bath was dead space behind walls that was revealed during demo.  Thanks to Pinterest I got the brilliant idea to replace this crawl space closet (I have two others that are even bigger) by inserting a dresser into the wall, see inspiration, in my master bedroom.  This meant I was able to relocate the door and moulding  and use it to create the linen closet in the bathroom.  I had to patch the missing floor and frame out a wall to create the space.  Check out the picture slideshow at the bottom of Have I Said Lately How Much I LOVE Restoring This House post.

The moulding and shelve brackets from that closet have been sitting in my master floor, with nails still in them waiting to puncture my foot, since December.  I thought it would be quick pull them out, use my tried and true Restor-A-Finish clean-up method, and nail them up in new closet.  Unfortunately I learned that the new closet was actually wider by 6.5″, so the shelve and moulding would be too short.  What to do?????

20190319_200734Three weeks ago I started taking a Beginner’s Woodworking Class at Wavepool located in my neighborhood.  I joined the wood shop too, so I’ll have access to tools I don’t have and an expert to help me with my ambitious future woodworking projects (a desk,  dining table, headboard, and refreshment stand).  In the first two weeks we covered tools I’ve used regularly, but thanks to Scotti, our instructor, I learned better or proper techniques and I got inspired to start tackling my moulding projects.

20190401_213830I started by hanging the shelve brackets.  I didn’t concern myself about the gaps on the end of each center bracket because there was still more than enough support for the shelve.

To clean up the brackets, I just used Murphy Oil Soap and water.  The moulding I cleaned with the denatured alcohol in preparation for the Restor-A-Finish, but they didn’t look like they needed it.  Instead I wiped them down with Howard’s (same company for the Restor-A-Finish) Feed-N-Wax.  This company makes an awesome line of products.  The Feed-N-Wax worked GREAT, so much so that I used it on the door too as it was in far better condition than other doors I’ve restored.  I will most likely do this process (Oil Soap to remove dust and Feed-N-Wax) on more doors in similar condition.

The closet is wider, so I needed to extend the floor moulding center piece and for that I used a piece of the moulding that was on the opening (door) side.  I decided to not trim out the inside of the door, which freed up some extra moulding.

To extend the moulding I cut one end of the long piece to a 45 degree angle and glued the 6.5″ extension, also cut at a 45 degree angle to it.  I used a product called Insta-Bond, that my carpenter, Tom Milfeld, told me about.  I’m not 100% sold on this product; I’m batting 50/50 on it holding, but it held on this and you can barely tell where the splice meets.

Next up the shelves.  Only one of the two were still in the house and unlike the brackets I could not use the original due to the bracket design.  Instead I went to Home Depot and bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of pine ply-wood and had them cut it in half and down to 64″ in length (only way to get it in my car, otherwise I would have taken it to Wavepool to cut).  To make the front edge look finished, I also purchased 1/4″ x 3/4″ pine moulding that I glued and pin nailed to the plywood.  I thought I wanted extra wide shelves, given I will only have two, but once I saw the first in the space I decided to rip it down to 18″.  Still 2″ wider than original.  After a dry fit they were ready for staining.  Tip (I did not do and should have): sand the pine moulding after it’s installed.  1) to get rid of any glue residue and 2) that brand seems to have a waxy film on it that does not absorb stain well, which I knew from past projects.  I was just eager to get this done and didn’t take the extra time.

I used Zar wood stain in Early American that I bought from Sherwin Williams for the kitchen built-in.  This was a great way to see if I had been recommended the right color and I believe it is, so I’m anxious to start working on the built-in again.  Britt Sang, door painter/stainer, used Minwax Polyacrylic on the inside of my front door and gave me the leftovers.  I decided to use it on the shelves, just to protect them a bit. I had never used this product, but will use it again on the built-in.  It was very easy to use and, unlike oil-based polyurethane products I’ve used, did not smell and dried fast.  I applied three coats, sanding lightly with 220 grit sandpaper between each coat.  It only needed 2 hours of drying time between coats, so this part was done in a day.

They recommend allowing 24 hours before actual use, but I placed in the closet and throw in two sachets of lavender to hopefully nix the faint chemical smell.  I did wait before placing my contents.  Thrilled with the end results and re-energized to tackle more.

20190403_075552

All I Wanted For My Birthday Was A New Front Door

When I received an offer on my childhood house and the buyer asked for a three-week close I realized I hadn’t dealt with my front door.  Several times over the course of the year it was front of mind, but each time got pushed aside for various reasons.  When I finally put in the order I was told it would take 8 weeks to manufacture.  Before installing it would need to be stained and painted, another 10 days.  I did not want to host an Open House with a boarded up door, so I cancelled my planned Holiday Open House and set my sights on a Birthday Open House.

The original door is wood and 40″ wide.  The side lights were built with 12 individual beveled pieces of glass on each side.  Only 50% of the panes were in place.  Early on I looked at having the side lights rebuilt, but one side was too far gone and the cost for just the glass would have been $1200.  Apparently due to their size they would need to be hand cut.  I was not stuck on wood for the door, but I was stuck on the 40″ width.  As I’ve shared many times, my goal is to restore the house, not just renovate.  She was built with a big door, so she needed to maintain her big door in my opinion.

I understand there are all sorts of maintenance issues with wood doors, but to my advantage my entry is covered preventing the door from getting direct exposure to sunlight and other weather elements.  I was willing to go with steel or fiberglass, but unfortunately 36″ is their standard width.  If I was going to need to go custom my preference was wood, which became my focus. I was also not willing to lose the arched, beveled glass transom above the door.  Several local door installers that looked at the door told me everything had to be replaced and I was not buying that.

I found several wood door manufactures on the Internet, but became focused on Simpson Door Company.  I was told Simpson was the Chevy of wood doors.  Moderate in cost and reliable.  I started mocking up various door designs from their website  They did not offer the exact 6 panel design of my original door, but they had some close enough options.  Recreating the side lights with twelve individual pieces of beveled glass was not an option.Simpson Door Designs_Page_1Simpson only works with authorize dealers, so upon entering my zip code on their website I got a list of businesses that carries their brand.  I contacted several, most never called me back.  I had already started doing business with Hyde Park Lumber for my trim and they were on the list, so I ordered the door from them on October 23rd.  I selected the door and sidelight mock-up on the upper right.  Hyde Park Lumber doesn’t paint or install, but they referred me to Britt Sang of JM Painting.  The door will be stained on the inside to match my existing moulding and painted on the outside.  Sidelight Incredible White and door Harvester, both Sherwin William colors.

The door color is my only departure from the HGTV 2017 Urban Giveaway color scheme.  They had a pink door, which I just could not do. Harvester was not my first choice.  I wanted They Call It Mellow, but apparently yellow has fading issues and they do not offer that particular yellow in an exterior paint.  A very helpful store clerk helped me select Harvester.

20171222_141439When I purchased the house the right side of the door, where all but two of the 12 panes of glass were gone, just had a flimsy piece of particle board covering it.  The left side was not much better, but the all of the remaining glass was exposed.  I took some scrap plywood I had and covered both sides. I tested out my exterior paint color, Sea Serpent, and put house numbers on in yellow just to see if I was making the right move by departing from the HGTV design.

The house was more secure, but it was not weatherized.  Never could I have imagined that I would be living in the house, during winter, with the original door.  After the first week of really cold temps I had to break down and tape plastic over the sidelights in the inside because I could literally feel the cold air climbing up the stairs and reaching me in my master suite.  I also purchased a MAXTID double door draft stopper to plug the two-inch gap at the bottom of the door.  Tolerable solution for the 8-10 weeks I’d need to endure while waiting on the door.

The door was scheduled to arrive on December 17.  Britt was ready to receive.  I had delivered the paint and stain to him.  He had a family vacation already scheduled for Dec 27-30, but felt he could get at least one side done prior and have the door finished with time for curing by the week of Jan 7.  My installer, Doug with Sentry Doors and Windows, was cued up to install that week.  My Birthday Open House was going to happen or so I thought.

The door didn’t actually arrive until Dec 19, but due to late arrivals by Hyde Park Lumber delivery the door did not get to Britt until December 26th, a week lost.  Even with 20181226_105624that Britt said he could have the door completed by January 10th.  Needless to say I was PO’d with the delivery debacle, so I went to Britt’s shop on the day it was delivered to see it first hand.  To my disappointed the wrong side lights were on the door.  There was a single half panel instead of a two window half panel.

Fuming PO’d now, so I go to Hyde Park Lumber to find out what went wrong.  Apparently they entered the information right in their system, which was provided to the distributor.  The distributor, unfortunately sent the wrong information to Simpson.  At this point I had no choice but to live with the door as I was not going to live another 8 weeks without a proper door.  GREAT customer service can cure a bad situation.  They offered to pay Britt’s fee for painting/staining, which I accepted.  I leave and call Doug to schedule a January 11 install.  A few hours later I get a call from Tim at Hyde Park Lumber.

Not only were the wrong side lights entered, but they were also the wrong size.  It meant the door would be too small for the opening.  Now I had no choice, but to wait another 8 weeks.  I was told Simpson rushes for no one.

When I agreed to keep the wrong side lights, I explained to Tim the condition of the current door.  He listened and with this forced delay offered to order a temporary fiberglass door and pay to have it installed so I’d have a secure and sealed door during the wait.  While I accepted that offer initially, after sleeping on it I woke the next morning and called to stop that process.  I did not want to risk damage to my transom window with a temporary door.  Instead I asked if he could cut proper size pieces of wood, so that I could better seal the sidelights and pay for the install of the actual door.  He agreed and went a step further by offering to send a contractor to board them up.  Again, GREAT customer service can cure a worsening situation.

The contractor came that day to look at the situation, told me he’d bring insulation in addition to plywood the next day.  He called the next day and said he couldn’t make it but would come, Monday, Jan 31.  He never returned, but I took his idea, went to Home Depot and had them cut the proper size pieces and I put them up myself.  100% improvement.  As for the Open House it will have a spring theme.

 

We Make a Great Team

Tom returned to help me with more projects in the kitchen.  I’m trying to get the floors cleared in the living and dining rooms and a major pile in the way are the boxes with the cabinet crown moulding.  Tom will hang that for me, but the backsplash, which will go to up to the ceiling above window needed to be installed first.  I am about burnt out on tile projects (still need to finish first floor bathroom and haven’t started the master), so when he offered to install it for me I jumped.  At that time I told him I was doing a small subway on mesh tile and he said he could knock that out in a couple of hours. Well, I got the mesh part right.

MSI Bianco Arabesque 9.84 in. x 10.63 in. x 6mm Glazed Ceramic Mesh-Mounted Mosaic Tile (10.95 sq. ft. / case)After going to the Tile Shop, Floor and Decor, and Lowes I found exactly what I had in my mind at Home Depot, MSI Bianco Arabesque mesh tile.  It was only $7.89 per sheet in the store (higher price online), but I had to go to 3 different stores to get enough for the project.  TIP: unless you go to a place like the Tile Shop, that will get you multiple cases from the same “lot”, always open the boxes and check the coloring of your tile.  The first Home Depot had the full quantity I needed, but despite all stating they were Bianco different boxes had different tints forcing me to go to multiple stores in hopes I’d find enough of the one I liked.  The tile I selected looked to have a tint of blue around edges, while the other looked brown like this image.

I decided on a charcoal grout due to the dark gray, marble-like, streaks that run through my quartz counters.  I got the grout from the Tile Shop.  They carry Superior Pro-Grout Excel, which is fast setting, color consistent, stain-resistant, and features excellent crack and shrink resistance.  I also thought it would compliment my blue cabinets.  The first thing tackled was putting the knobs on the cabinet doors.  Tom had the perfect measuring gadget for that.  We still need to do the pulls, but mine are longer than standard, so his gadget didn’t work on those.  I was much more concerned with the tile.

I left Tom to work on his own, but after a couple of hours saw that my choice of tile was posing more challenges than the subway he thought I was getting.  I decided to jump in and basically from the stove right I laid the tile and from the stove left, including working around the window he handled.  He has measuring and eye balling and precision cuts down to a science.  It took about 6 hours and we actually worked together on the section above the window.  I handled all the grouting the next day.  The end results are pretty fabulous I think.  Exactly what I envisioned.

Tom also connected me with the best painter EVER!!!!!  I met Teresa Ferrari last year and she will be running a new coffee shop opening in the Camp (Camp Washington for those not intimate) very close to my house.  I had no idea she has a painting business.  She came dressed in what I would consider “good jeans”, a nice sweater, and suede boots and when she left you wouldn’t have known she spent 3 hours painting.  Not a drop on her, not a drop on the floor.  20190104_170626.jpgWell not until Milo, my dog, decided to step in the paint and track it around the 1st floor.  She didn’t tape down dozens of plastic drop clothes.  She got all the closets, the guest bedroom, the hall, touched up all the bad spots left by the other two I paid to paint, and painted the trim in the kitchen.  I am so sorry I didn’t know about her sooner.

There is a saying that God my not be there when you want him, but he’s always right on time.  After the devastating set back with my floors, Tom and Theresa have been an absolute delight and I feel brought into my life just at the right time.  I truly feel our paths were meant to cross in order for us to do something even greater together.  I think Theresa and I should apply for the First Time Flippers show.  Just throwing that out into the universe to see where it lands.

She’s Going To Be GORGEOUS

Tom is THE MAN!  I prefer to write post that show certain projects from start to finish, but in this case I was too excited to wait.  The built-in that I saved is going to be absolutely gorgeous when it’s all finished.  Tom has made my vision for restoring this piece come to life.

For those that remember my Armed with 2 PB&Js, Vitamin Water and Gatorade post you know my house had a built-in that stood in the way of my open concept kitchen/dining room.  I loved the piece; it was one of the many cool elements that made me fall instantly in love with my house, so without question it was going to be saved and relocated.

Once freed the cabinet was going to be located next to the refrigerator, which means that the left side of it will be exposed.  The sides weren’t meant to be shown (hence the word built-in), so they were not pretty.  For months I stewed over what to do until I furniture-18022-2received an email from the Wooden Nickel, which showed a picture of a pine hutch they had for sale (now sold).  I went to see it in person and the idea was born.  I decided to take strips of wood and frame the sides, like you see on the hutch.

Now a normal person (I’m not normal) would just nail on four strips of wood.  I wanted it to look original, intentional, so I wanted the inside edge to have the same profile as the doors.  This is the same profile I put on my kitchen cabinets20180405_194421.jpg and master vanity.  This built-in was really the inspiration behind many of my design choices, so I had to make her right.

Before I moved I got my former neighbor to help me rip down in thickness and width new pieces of pine I bought from Home Depot.  I purchased a router bit that would give me the rounded affected from the doors and he used his router to add the profile.  I bought a router last year and it’s still in the box.  Now was not the time for a crash course.  One thing I learned through my floor restoration is that new wood will not stain the same as old wood.  Then I remembered I had a supply of old pine planks given to me by my friend Joan.

Her wood was covered in a thick, shellac like, coating, but Tom, the Man, Milfeld was able to run it through his planer (my next tool investment) and use my router bit to create the same strips, but with old pine.  My friend’s building is about 50 years older than my house.  He completely understood what I was going for, so while I unpacked more boxes, he got to work attaching the strips to the sides of the cabinet.

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Now it’s up to me to get her across the finish line.  I’ve got to get the tile work finished on the first floor bathroom, but I’m biting at the bit to get her finished.  I still have a few more surprises to share in the final reveal, so stay tuned.

Fevered Pitch

I truly feel like a dog chasing its tail.  Since accepting the close date of November 19 I don’t think I’ve been to bed earlier than 1:30 am; frequently at house til 3:30 am.  When my cousin Alex can’t go let my dogs out, I’ll pull two shifts.  Arrive about 8 am, work till 4-5 pm, leave to feed and let out dogs, and return around 8 or 9 pm to resume work.  I’m exhausted, but progress is being made.  Here’s an update:

New Mailbox. 

20181108_172537Simple project. I wanted to have a mail slot added to my new front door, but since that is weeks away and would have to be added on site by my installer (manufacturer won’t do it)  I decided to search the Internet for a locking mailbox and I found this one on Wayfair.com.  It was easy to install and matches my light fixtures.  I wish everything could be this simple.

Doors, Painting, and Drywall. 

20181025_110322I brought Ed Vach back to hang the last two door jams.  One was straight forward, original door and jam, but the entry foyer door was more challenging.  The original door was beyond repair, but it was the same size as the door that led to the upstairs space, which I decided to remove.  Same size, but different swing and hinge locations.  He worked his magic and I now have a functioning entry foyer closet.

Ed also jumped in on painting.  He put one coat of paint on the ceiling in the entry foyer, dining room, and office; Sherwin Williams Incredible White and the first coat of Krypton on the dining room walls.  My friend Joan helped me put first coat of Passive on the Office walls and the second coat of Krypton in the dining room.  It’s nice seeing real colors on the walls.  Since the frame around the windows is the same dark color as the molding I can see that the colors will work with them.  The HGTV Urban House that used these colors had painted trim throughout, so I was a bit concerned.

I’ve completed all prime paint now too, so hopefully by Friday of next week the whole house will be painted.  I move in the next day, so I sure hope so.

Brick Sealing

During demo I revealed brick in the master bath and closet, kitchen, and 1st floor hall.  It’s a soft, Chicago brick that was constantly dropping dust and crumbling; I knew it would need to be sealed if left exposed.  During the drywall install I made the decision to cover the brick in the master closet and master bath.  Prepping the brick for sealing was a task I didn’t have the time or desire to do and in the bath area it recessed about 1/2 inch from the drywall, which would have posed a challenge when installing the vanity.

20181022_160255I should have made the same decision about the wall in the kitchen.  I scrubbed the whole wall and it seemed the more I scrubbed the more it’d crumble.  I looked at several brick sealers and decided to go with Radonseal’s Lastiseal Penetrating Brick and Concrete Sealer.  I bought a gallon jug, which should cover 150-225 sq. ft.  The wall was 27 sq. ft.  Easy application process.  I bought a pump sprayer with a fan spray, put down plastic to protect floor and sprayed from bottom up.

The instructions said a second application may be needed and it certainly was with this wall.  A brush of my hand revealed more dust and crumbling mortar.  A second coat reduced it some, but not entirely.  I ended up applying the entire gallon bottle.  I contacted the company and they were very surprised such a small area needed so much.  I shared this picture and they said I should have tuckpointed the bricks first.  The wall looked and felt solid after the full gallon, so I believe their product worked, eventually, but his comment did give me concern looking ahead.  My stove would sit in front of this and I wondered if cleaning food splatter would be an issue.

The vast majority of the wall would be covered by cabinets, microwave and stove, so I decided to cover the wall.  Bold decision given my posing deadline and past experience with drywall crews.  Fortunately my friend Joan came to the rescue with a great referral and a young man, Ryan Fabel, joined the journey.

Ed helped me hang the drywall, but Ryan did the finish work. Once before I mentioned that someone told me his drywall man could finish an entire house and you’d have only a handful of dust.  When Ryan was done you couldn’t fill a thimble with dust and the wall was as smooth as silk.  I found the man to help me hang the last sheet of drywall in the guest bedroom.  Given that is taking place after my floors have been refinished I am elated by his skills.  He’s also an equally talented painter as he applied the second coat of Passive in the office and will clean up my poor cut lines in the Master bed.

The only exposed brick will be in the hall and it was the most sound of all locations.  I scrubbed it to remove most of flakes/crumbles and it only took two applications of the LastiSeal.  I almost wish the brick stayed dark as when the product is applied (right side of first pic), but it returns to its normal color when dry.

Master Bathroom Floor Tile

My soaker tub has been sitting in its box in the master bedroom area for months.  It had to placed in its proper home before the floor refinishers started.  I hoped to have it actually hooked up so Ryan could do the drywall, but I needed to get the tile laid first.  I found the tile on Pinterest and fell in love.  It’s an Italian porcelain tile made by Isla Fascino Italiano and is their King Wood collection.  I got excited when I found it at JP Flooring locally, but man was it expensive.  Not to be deterred I surfed the net and found it at Mission Stone & Tile at half the cost of JP Flooring and FREE shipping.  SOLD!!!!

20181101_134155The pressure to not mess up this tile was immense.  I started with finding my center lines in width and depth with my trusty laser followed by a dry run with 1/16″ spacers.  I bought that size for the first floor bath and it turned out the tile for that has built-in spacers.  They were not a good size for this tile, so I pulled the plug about 1 am.

I returned the next day with 3/16″ spacers (blue vs. green) and went to town.  I selected Desert Sand grout from the Tile Shop in Oakley with the help of a great sales person, Cari Branden.  The walls surrounding this tile and in the shower will be a basic bone (color) subway tile.  It looks fabulous and I can’t wait to see it next to my restored hardwood floors and with the tub resting on top.  Unfortunately my plumber’s truck broke down and this didn’t happen prior to Bob and Trish Roland of Roland Hardwoods starting the floor restoration.

Their work is projected to last five days, Monday – Friday.  I was able to do some work, but now they are staining and coating the first floor, which means I can’t be there until for the floors are dry.  I’ll use that time to pack up Inner Circle and REST!

 

Today was a good day for a GREAT day!

Road trip!!!!  Today my bestie Joan and I made a trip to Mount Hope, Ohio to pick up my master bathroom vanity and what an AWESOME day it was.  Great conversation, beautiful weather (going, rained coming home, but nothing severe), we had so much fun as we always do on our road trips.  This makes the 3rd time we’ve hit the road together, but first day trip.  We did long weekends to Memphis/Nashville where we ate and museumed our way through Tennessee in route to a wedding she was invited to and San Diego to celebrate my 45th birthday where we were the only two people to fall off our Segways at the San Diego Zoo/Safari.   This was after we both talked smack about who we thought in the group would fall based on our tutorial before entering the park.

Our route took us through Newark, OH where from the highway I saw the giant basket that was once the headquarter for Longenberger basket, which sadly closed it’s doors just this past May.  I had seen pictures of this headquarter, but never in person, so we jumped off the highway to get a picture.  You know I’m having a good time when I pop a selfie.

20180829_125920My vanity was made by Homestead Furniture, an Amish owned store referred to me by Diane Sphar, owner of Ohio Travel Treasures, who host many great tours of Ohio’s Amish country.  We arrived around noon and before loading the vanity was given a tour of the plant by Ben Hershberger.  First stop was what I told Joan was the secret room.  It’s not a secret, but an awesome way for Homestead to dispel people’s image of Amish furniture.  The hall leading to the rooms is lined in hand applied gold leaf (they can do silver too).  Once inside there are 4-6 rooms of some of the most stunning and beautifully crafted pieces you can imagine.  Ben said if you can think of it, they can build it.  They create cutsom wood and metal pieces.

From there Ben walked us across the street to tour their actual factory.  In route you walk past a beautifully landscaped property and small lake.  I got great ideas for my future landscaping.

In the full loop of the factory, which included a cat walk where we can overlook men at work we got to see many pieces in all phases of production.  I was able to ask questions and got some great tips I will use when I create my dining room table, office desk, and master bed headboard (I have lofty goals).

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20180829_125020The tour ended at my vanity and it was just as I had sketched out.  I wanted a floating vanity 55″ long.  It seemed stores stocked 48 or 60, but not 55.  I decided to use the same shade of blue that will be on my kitchen cabinets.  Ben took us in the color matching room where he said they have over 2,000 colors.  They can match anything and all I provided to him was the Naval paint chip card from Sherwin Williams, which is what Shiloh Cabinetry, manufacturer of my cabinets, uses.

After two of their staff loaded the vanity in my rental van, we went for lunch (no roadtrip is complete for us without food) to Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen.  No pics, but we had the buffet and the best darn fried chicken, meat loaf, bread, and home-grown vegetables you can imagine.

The trip did not end there.  We left Mt. Hope and headed east to I’m not even sure where to look at mini bulldog puppies.  Joan and her husband Rick lost their beloved bulldog Chloe this year.  Joan found the breeder and we went to take a look.  Who could walk away from this face, so Poppy (current name, but not final – I’m pulling for Millicent, Millie for short) made the road trip home.

Apparently she’s already feeling right at home as Joan shared this quick video of her getting aclaimated to her new toy.

Now I’m super anxious to get the paint finished in the master bathroom.  It’s going to look marvelous!!!!

 

 

 

To Keep the Door or Leave the Stairway Exposed, that is the question????

20171119_143938Today, while my framing tutorial from my dad was still fresh on my mind, I set out to build the frame for the new door I purchased to increase the opening leading up to the master suite.  As I mentioned in the Doors, Doors, Doors post, I’ve hit my head several times coming down the stairs, so I was excited when I found this 30″ wide door at Building Valu that would give me additional head room.

However, after I removed the lathe and existing frame from above the current door opening I am having serious second thoughts about having a door at all.  By losing the door I gain about 20″ in additional height.  I will also gain about 3″ in additional width if I remove the existing frame sides.

Since starting my blog I have had over 2,000 hits and I have 27 followers, so I’m going to ask for opinions.  Should I have a door to close off the master suite or should I leave it open.  Sorry, I never took a picture to show the opening with the door.  The best picture to see the opening with the lathe is the Open Concept post (look on the left side of pic).  Without the door those steps, once refinished, would be worth showing off and the natural light from the window at the top of the stairs would cascade down.  Plus I gain wall space.  I’d probably never have the door closed.  One thought to have it is to filter out noise from house guest.  At my age any house guest I’d have wouldn’t make excessive noise.  Privacy isn’t an issue because you can’t see into the master suite from the bottom of the steps.  Sooooo, unless I can be given some serious arguments for keeping it, I think the answer is………leave the stairway exposed.