Continued Progress on House Painting

Joe and Vincent were wrapping up the Stock Street side when a young man stopped Joe to inquire about working. Elijah had well groomed locs, his pants were belted at his waistline, he spoke articulately. The next week he was part of the crew painting my house. His first task on my house was touching up the Stock Street side. Great job. He and Vincent really seemed to hit it off, working well together.

In week one, rain was forecast everyday. They loss one day to rain. In week two the forecast  was sunshine, low humidity, high 70s, no rain. Perfect summer painting weather. They lost two days to rain, 20200821_113450but the bigger blow was an injury to Vincent that will prevent him from continuing to work on the project.  Elijah now has big shoes to fill and from what I’ve seen so far he is up to the task. I’ve learned that Elijah is a graduate of Job Corp and he had joined a painter’s union.  He’s like a sponge. He wants to learn and he is humble. He has great basic skills and a strong work ethic grounded in wanting to be a high achiever. The young man already has his LLC, a company name and logo as at 23 years of age his aspiration is to own his own paint company. I have no doubt he’ll meet his goal.  We need more young people like Elijah to support, promote, and elevate.

The order of what was going to be painted has changed. Since my last post all sides of my house have been touched. The back of my house gets full sun early and it last well past quitting time, so the guys have been tackling the back and neighbor’s side together. If not for Vincent going down and the rain they would probably be finished with the entire house this week. The dormers really slow things down as Joe does not rely on my gutters to support his equipment. It’s a two-man job with one painting (Elijah) and the other bracing the ladders (Joe). They’ve started arriving earlier to capitalize on the shade as the asphalt shingles really put off heat, which I can testify to when I replaced the siding on the dormers.

The rear dormers are 100% complete. Only the Incredible White on the lower part of the rear needs to completed. The neighbor’s side is 98% complete. There is a small patch at the front gutter and dining room window that needs the Sea Serpent, but it will be easy to hit when they apply the Sea Serpent to the front. The front is 80% primed. I actually joined in on the painting by refreshing the basement/foundation color. Stock Street side looks even better now.

Rain came Thursday as forecast, so the day was cut short. Thanks to hurricane Laura it looks like Friday and Saturday are going to be a wash out too. As they were leaving Joe yelled if weather permits they may work Sunday. Barring more rain the house should be complete by mid next week. I’ve visualized these colors on my house since 2017 when I tried to win the HGTV Urban Oasis Giveaway House from that year. I had my color scheme before I had my house, but I found the perfect house to apply them to. My house’s outward potential is manifesting before my eyes; another vision coming true.

I Was So Close To Getting It Right

Close only counts with hand grenades, so I put out a call for help to my go to jack of all trades guy Tom.  He already had plans that day, so I went back to a blast from my past, my former neighbor Bill.  I didn’t expect him to drop everything and rush over to my house, but that’s exactly what he did.  When I called him I was in route to Home Depot to pick up the wood Lowe’s failed to deliver and the 10′ 2x4s. He beat me home, but fortunately I had mistakenly left the back door unlocked so he was able to grab the plans from the basement.  I didn’t think he’d work so fast and I failed to say don’t use those uncut 8′ 2x4s, but by the time I got home he used all of them.  Sadly, I still don’t know how to measure for a bird’s mouth cut.

Bill decided to alter the plans by adding two additional rafters, one on each side of the door opening.  I’m still not sure why the door needed more support, but I figured what’s the harm and I had two extra pieces from the 10’ers that were already cut in half.  He also added some bracing cut from the waste left by his using the 8’ers.  The last pieces involved with the rafters were the Voerhang (overhang) plates, which are attached to the outside of the outer rafter.  They needed a 23 degree angle cut also and Bill did this as well, but he cut to match to the angles of the rafters and he had me nail the flush to the rafters.  I was pretty confident that was incorrect as it didn’t match the picture in the plans.  Beggars can’t be choosers, so I let it go as he was also willing to help me put the OSB roof sheating.  I definitely would have struggled doing that by myself, especially the large center piece.

After Bill left I studied the plan to figure out exactly how the overhang plates should have been installed.  They should have been nailed perpendicular vs. flush.  The 23 degree angle should have been cut across the face of the board vs. the side.  My miter saw could make that cut.  Unfortunately he used my last two boards and all the stores were already closed due to Covid-19, so  his correction had to wait until the next day.  Without this correction the side panels would not have attached flush.

Rains 20200426_223708were forecast for Thursday, so I decided to move two of the T1-11 4’x8′ side panels to the basement, so I could cut and paint them.  One of the best things I learned by going to the Camp Washington Wood Shop was how to use a straight edge to guide a circular saw cut.  These panels were too big to run through my job site sized table saw, plus the side piece cuts were at angles, 23 degrees, according to the plans.  I didn’t need to find the degree as the plans showed the low side measurement at 20 1/4″ drop.

I made my measurement and used my clamps to hold the string from my chalk line at the top, while I pulled the string to my mark to strike the line.  I’m not sure what this tool is called, but I used it to find the distance from my saw blade to end of saw plate.  I laid the end of that tool on my chalk line and placed my straight edge next to the end of the sliding ruler and clamped it to the board.  I repeated this action on the opposite end and then checked various points in the middle.

The only bad judgement I made is that I stacked both sides together and tried to cut both boards at the same time; I figured they weren’t that thick.  About a third of the way through the saw got bound up and kicked back at me (scared me a bit).  Not deterred, I left the boards clamped together and altered the depth of the blade to only cut through the top.  Once done I lowered the blade to cut the second.  This action meant only setting my guide once, virtually ensuring both would be cut the same.  With the cuts made I pulled out the paint, which I got from Lowe’s.  I bought HGTV’s Weathershild by Sherwin Williams.  It’s paint and primer in one, so one coat.  I have so drunken the HGTV coolaid.  Take a guess what color?

 

 

Your Opinion Matters

Anyone else going stir crazy?  My mind is grappling with this unprecedented event that has shaken the entire world.  I still have client work to keep me seated at my desk, but the stay inside order is nerve wracking.  Thank goodness the weather is improving, to allow for legitimate outdoor work.  I’ve already done my first grass cut and now I’m going to tackle painting the cement foundation that my fantastic handy-man Tom repaired last summer.  I was going to pay him to do it last year, but temps dropped before he could get to me.  It’s my project now.

As I’ve shared many times over the two year restoration HGTV provided their professional designers for the color scheme of my first floor and exterior.  I copied everything, but the front door color (couldn’t do pink) from their 2017 Urban Oasis Giveaway home, my favorite house since I became a HGTV junkie.  The exterior of my house will be Sea Serpent with the trim done in Incredible White, both Sherwin William colors.  What I love about Sherwin William’s website is they offer coordinating color suggestions, so I have decided to paint the foundation and I’m torn between Uncertain Gray and Lullaby.

Let me know what you think?  Voting window closes April 2.  Got to catch a no rain window.

 

 

It’s a Wrap

All repairs to the walls/moulding damaged while trying to install the office door were corrected and the final moulding around the inside of the room was installed.  This marks the completion of the final room in my house.

In addition to completing the office, I was able to take extra door trim to dress the basement exterior (not doing anything to the basement side of basement door) and kitchen exterior doors.  All of the closets have been dressed, except for the kitchen pantry and guest bedroom closet  (intentionally left off) with floor and inside door moulding.  This means the inside restoration is a wrap.

I held a Birthday Open House to celebrate the occasion on Saturday and was amazed by the number of people; colleagues, clients, friends, family, that came to see the work that had been accomplished.  Approximately 40 people braved the torrid rainfall and gusty winds.  It was a proud moment.  I absolutely loved showing her off and I was overwhelmed by the 100% positive feedback I received.  It was humbling, but my inner soul was enjoying the praise.  The flow of people was constant throughout the 3-hour event and I was so busy giving tours that the only picture I have as evidence of the wonderful afternoon is the haul of gifts received.  Also overwhelming; I haven’t had that many gifts to open at one time since undergrad graduation.

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I was asked what is my favorite room in the house.  It is the hallway leading to and including the guest bedroom, all done in tribute to my mother that I so wish were alive to share this moment with me.  She’s been gone almost 20 years and the void her death left is still strong.  I adorned the hallway with pictures of her from childhood through early adult and the guestroom walls are filled with more items in tribute to her.  I am my mother’s only child and because I made the conscious decision to not have children I wanted her pictures and awards to have life.  Once I’m gone I don’t know if anyone else will care.

The furniture was hers, she loved the Victorian style.  I remember her joy when it was delivered.  The quilt on the bed is one she purchased during a trip we made to Gatlinburg, but barely used.  It was on her bed when she came home from the hospital for the last time, but she had me take it off when her meds made her vomit.  She feared ruining it.  I’ve stored it for the last 20 years.  It falls a little short on this modern thick mattress, but I don’t care.  I’ve saved it for this very moment.

The celebration did not end with the Open House.  I had about an hour to clean up for a 6 pm quaint dinner party with five friends that were joining me for the Najee concert at the Ludlow Garage.  Najee was my go to study music in undergraduate school, so when I got the email that he was going to be right up the road I thought that would be a great birthday activity.  His Najee’s Theme LP was one of the first vinyl records I played once I got my sound system set in my master suite, so I took the cover with me to the concert in hopes of getting it signed.  Thanks to Robbie Todd, the promoter that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since the World Choir Games, it was signed, “To Venus.  Thank You Love Najee”.

Reaching this moment is bittersweet.  I’ve been an emotional wreck all week (damn menopause).  My heart is heavy, the tears have flowed.  This project has consumed my life for two years.  Almost every vision I had for the house from my very first walk through with Joe Gorman, Executive Director of Camp Washington Community Board, have come true.  The two areas that are a disappointment, the kitchen floor and spa-like function of the master shower, are correctable.  I should be elated, but this milestone sadly coincided with being confronted with the reality that a person I held in significance and had envisioned enjoying this house with will never be a part of it.  I’ve restored a beautiful house, but now struggle with figuring out how my house will become a home.  She deserves to be filled with sounds of laughter and joy, not hollow solo footsteps and TV noise.  I hope I’ll be able to replicate January 11 many times moving forward.  It was a special day I’ll cherish for a long time.

I was also asked what is next.  I know I can and will fix the kitchen floor.  I’ll add a steam unit to the master shower.  I will finish my master bed headboard, make my dining room table and office desk.  Hopefully by spring a loan from a bank would have come through and I can enjoy watching a contractor paint the exterior and then start Phase Two of the vision, the detached garage.  With a slight tweak of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage, skill, patience, finances, to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

I was still cleaning up things minutes before the first guest arrived, so I did not have a chance to hang before pictures in each room allowing people to see the transformation.  Enjoy this before and after slideshow.

From Pinterest to Reality – Part 2

With the dresser inserted, I was eager to get the trim around it.  I would use the original trim that went around the door, but it would need to be cut down.

The first task was finding it in the mass of bundles.  There are two other short closet storage doors and of course I found the trim for those before finally finding the bundle for that area.  I had labeled them Master Closets 1, 2, and 3.  Honestly at that point I couldn’t remember which was 1 or 3.  2 was easy because it had graffiti on it and my before pictures showed me where it went.

Outside of the graffiti this trim was in really good shape.  Since I found all three bundles I decided to prep and hang them all.  Literally all they needed was cleaning due to all the dust, which I did with a bucket filled with Murphy’s Oil Soap.  I was prepared to do my denatured alcohol/Restore-a-Finish routine, but I only used the alcohol on the outer edges to remove paint and on the top plate of door 2 to remove the graffiti.  I did use the Restore-A-Finish in these areas, but what really brought these pieces back to life was the Howard’s Feed and Wax.

The obstacle on this project was cutting the trim down to fit the dresser and I was nervous about this.  There are no do-over opportunities.  That trim design isn’t made anymore and aged wood with the patina I had can’t be store bought.  I seriously thought about calling Tom Milfeld, but I put on my big girl pants and decided to do a trial run with some scrap wood first.

Forty-five degree miter cuts is rookie level, piece of cake.  Measuring the right length, especially for the last piece is my struggle.  I cut the left side first, followed by the top, which I intentionally made long.  When my first angle met up perfectly I cut the right side of the top and then the right side.  I failed, falling about a half inch too short.

That one practice run gave me the confidence I needed and I proceeded to cut the actually trim, SUCCESS!!!!  But now what to do with the gap at the bottom????

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I had always planned to cover it, which is why adjusting the front legs was crucial in Part 1.  I think I’ll have extra of the original wall trim because I won’t need to reinstall any in the bathroom area, but I wouldn’t know that for awhile, so I decided to go to my favorite salvage store Building Value to see if I’d get lucky and find some wide, old, trim.  I hit the jackpot by finding an old window apron (part that rest under the sill) in the exact color and with an outer moulding that was almost a dead match for mine.  All I needed to do was rip it down to the right height, 6″; right width, “29”; clean with soap water, and rub with the wax.  It fit and blended in like it was always part of the house.

I forgave myself for the poor paint job when I saw the finished product.  As with my mirror project, what I saw in my mind’s eye became a reality.  I am so stoked to find the rest of the trim and get it installed.  While searching for the door trim I did find the trim for the landing at the top of the stairs, so I cleaned it up too; water and wax.

In installing the top of the stairs I discovered once again the difference between drywall and plaster thickness.  The boards needed to align with the stair rail (I think that’s what that part is called), so I made my own shims from some thin pieces I had to build out the ends that needed it.

If all the trim cleans and hangs as easy as these pieces did I’m going to be one happy camper.  I’m hugely motivated to tackle more of this project.

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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

 

Last 40% Off Sale For Year

Sherwin-Williams is having their largest savings sale, 40% off paints and stains/30% off paint supplies, and this is the last time this year that savings will take place.  For that reason I purchased the 17 gallons of paint I need for the first floor.  5 gallons of their Drywall Primer, 5 gallons of their Eminence High Performing Ceiling Paint, and 7 gallons of their Cashmere in Low-Luster (eggshell).  I didn’t have any of the gallons tinted, so I can return any that I don’t use.  I padded each by a gallon, so I hope that will be the case.  I threw in some brushes and the total came up to approximately $550.  Without the sale I would be closer to 4-digits.

I’ve been using PPG primer, so I’ll be curious to see how theirs works in comparison.  The Eminence I will have tinted to Incredible White as that is the color for all my ceilings on the first floor.  I like to use Flat on ceilings, egg shell (low luster) on walls, and semi-gloss on trim. I’m allocating a gallon per room: dining, living, office, and guest bedroom.  The Cashmere will be tinted to multiple colors.  Incredible White for the kitchen walls and ceiling (kitchens and bathrooms I like a little sheen on the ceilings), Passive for the office and guest bedroom, Krypton for the dining room, and Swanky Gray for the living room.  My entire first floor color scheme is from the 2017 HGTV Urban Oasis Giveaway home.

On November 5 my hardwood floors will be refinished.  My goal is to have all of the painting completed prior to that day.  A tall undertaking given that up until last week I only had the 1st floor bathroom completely painted and the dining room only primed.  I had been focused on getting the tile done in the first floor bath as my tub re-glazing was scheduled, but with work commitments and high humidity causing the thin set mortar to not dry overnight I was forced to reschedule that for November 15.  The floor is down, not grouted, but I’ve now turned my attention to painting.  I’ll do a post on that tile job once the grout is down.

While I got free, professional help, in first floor color scheme (Designer, Brian Patrick Flynn designed the HGTV Urban Oasis 2017 home) I struck out on my own with the help of Sherwin-Williams and Pinterest on my Master SWEET (my upstairs suite is sweet).  Blue is my favorite color and I wanted a dark blue on my bedroom walls.  I typed dark blue attic bedrooms in Google and on a Pinterest site found Indigo Batik.  On the Sherwin-Williams website when you pick a color, they provide you with suggestions for coordinating colors, so that help my color scheme was created.

The master bedroom will have Indigo Batik on the vertical walls and Pacer White on the ceiling, angled wall, and entire dormers.  The Pacer White continues in the master bath in the dormers and on all trim.  Trim in bedroom area is natural wood, but because I created new spaces (laundry room and water closet) in the bathroom I put new trim that I will paint.  All other surfaces, not tiled, in the bathroom will have Icicle.  The bathroom vanity I had made is painted with Sherwin-Williams Naval same color Shiloh Cabinetry uses and my kitchen cabinets color.  Ironically the coordinating color for Naval is also Icicle, so I really feel I’ve made some good choices.  I look forward to sharing pics of the final colors.

I actually bought the paint for upstairs during a 30% off sale, so bottom line quality paint doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.