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Paint & Doors & Trim Oh My!

24 Jun

(Late late post, 3/27-ish)

The flooring has been laid and it’s time for the finishing touches! We once had some general contractor friends tell us that finishing work is most often… not finished. They were of course alluding to our naΓ―vetΓ© having our first ever contractor to skimp on us unknowingly. They ever so kindly graced us with their experience, referencing that the budget is usually exceeded by the time the little bits come, but the clients’ wad has been blown on all the in your face pretty stuff, that it’s sneakingly undone. So we hired them to do the finishing work for us and we’ve never looked at a room the same. Even the hidden pieces. Lesson learned, there is no way I will let my wad be blown until it is finished. 

   Now, let’s get that trim on so we can move all our shit out of the kitchen and returned to it’s proper place (meaning where I want it to go πŸ˜‰)! For this full house project we needed 500 feet of trim, and every foot needed to be painted! Yes, 500′!! We bought them in 12 foot pieces, making less cuts needed so to save James a few trips to and from the miter saw. Well, we couldn’t just lay that all out and do a full sweep worths of painting, so there were stages. Some of this 500′ was done previously (back in January, to be able to move into our bedroom,) when we had naked floors that didn’t care if I dripped on them, making it slightly less painful. At the time we only painted enough trim to complete the two bedrooms, and now that all our belongings have been moved in we have a bit less open space and must take caution with the paint and our flooring, get crafty Desiree. (I’m seeing a trend in my attire πŸ€”)

Paint. 😫 Smoosh them together for easy and quick rolling. But then, don’t forget to scooch them apart, without pushing one off of the horses they are hanging onto for dear life, to paint those little top ridges too. Wait to dry. Repeat for two more bundles. But. Nailed it! Of course we didn’t get away without a few paint samples on.. hair of, I’ll just say their initials are Lily and Beau, due to tight circumstances from having to pass under and around this tight knit space. Nail guns are fun!! It’s the little things.Now that’s a finishing touch! On to the next task. 

It’s time to replace all the doors, all 5 of them!! And wouldn’t ya know it, two of them had to be special ordered, the door frames were built in some random measurements that no one carries! So we decide to wait until they come in to paint, trying to get it all done in one swoop.  You all must know how tired I am of painting. Well, one of the two doors arrived and the other was going to take a few weeks so we tackled what we had and figured I’d get to the last one when it gets here. 


Hahaha!  πŸ˜” It’s been hung for a couple weeks now, chilling naked on its hinges, blue tape and all! And I talk about putting forks in it, shame!
Now that this is posted, I suppose I must finish it. Hold me accountable!! 🎨

Climbing up the DIY Ladder

24 Mar

Editor’s note; if you haven’t, or have, read these 2 previous blogs, well you don’t have to now, per say, but I highly recommend just taking a quick glimpse at the pics. It’ll help string this whole project together. 

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/414

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/371

As I’ve mentioned previously, most likely a few times, our path to homeownership began with having little to (leaning heavily on this), no knowledge. The amount we’ve gained is immeasurable. Our tool collection has become quite impressive, considering we started out with, I’m sure, nothing more than a few screwdrivers, a hammer, maybe a couple of those picture hanger things and measuring tape, we’ve officially come a long way! And with every project, every new piece of the puzzle there’s almost always that one tool you don’t have so you buy it out of necessity, because you can’t use just any screw, saw, drill or nail gun and so on. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. That’s not how it works with building. Sure, you can buy the cheap version first, thinking you’ll save some money, only to replace it later with the real deal, so spend the money now and thank me later. This cycle is vicious and necessary until one day, suddenly, you need a bigger tool box, a bigger garage, with peg board and shelving Oh My!

This wall/tear down/shelf building/closet project has been our biggest so far. I guess I should say James’ in the way of a start to finish, piece by piece, on his own, project. Tackling this closet, goes like this; tear down the unwanted, redirect two outlets and a switch, frame it out, drywall, mud, apply that wonderful knock down texture and install the door. Easy enough yeah? 😐

Stage 1 and 2, βœ”οΈ. I’ve basically become his assistant at this point on, hold the drywall while he cuts, hand him tools, find tools for him, ( I hear a lot of, “Babe, did you see where I put the..) and cleanup duty. Which is how I know where to locate almost anything since they are finally finding their way home!! So while I’m not needed I’m chilling. Guilty tv, writing, reading and the likes, but I get to watch him work.

Working his way around the electrical. Installing the drywall, cutting the pieces to fit the outlets just right. The way he seamlessly goes from one tool to the next, handling them with such confidence. Even when he just stands there, visualizing how he’s going to assemble the door, frame by frame, mapping it out in his head, and I gotta say, it’s sexy as fuck! πŸ˜‹ And I’ve only heard a handful of curse words followed by, “nothing a little caulk and paint can’t fix.” That’s a comforting theory to have in the back of your head at all times. 

Let’s talk about this drywall, in case you’ve never played with it. There’s the cutting and the resulting gypsum particles floating it’s fine ass as it likes, but oohhh no, that’s nothing. Next comes the mud. The application itself isn’t the worst but you can’t just scrape it on and be done, it has to dry and be sanded, (the sanding comes in handy if you’re a beginner bc it gives you room to fix what needs fixing.) It’s not just a one coat and done thing, there’s 2, maybe 3 rounds of this fun. Now that fucking dust, it settles on every damn thing. In ever corner. There’s no escaping it!! And the depths of which it travels! When the time comes for such an experience in your home, I’m sorry for your impending struggle, I offer this, only drape whatever furniture you plan on putting your feet up with that glass of wine, after you’re cleaned and showered yourself. Don’t waste your time trying to cover silly things as a bookshelf or entertainment center, it wont help. You must hide any utensils or cookware that reside the countertops, any. Tomorrow, well, cover that furniture back up! You may have to live with that horrible layer of dust for days, (unless you’re paying someone but then this blog would makes no sense) but hang in there! For every.thing.must.be.dusted! And I ain’t doing that shit more than once.
We survived the drywall and today it’s time to apply the knock down texture. The simplest breakdown, you’re shaking the hell out of the can while only pausing to spray and to scrape it down, repeat.

 

This is not like shaking a can of spray paint, it’s like arm day at the gym. πŸ’ͺ🏻Got it done, it dried we painted and all thats left is the door!! Well then the shelves but that’s not a worry.
We couldn’t buy a pre-hung door bc they’re all too big for the frame so James had to build it himself. Not the actual door, but the smallest they sell is still too wide for this frame. So he built in the door jamb, we had to trim about an inch off the width of the door, (thank you table saw) chisel in the grooves for door brackets, he ended up needing to shave a hair off the top as well. Door handle and catch and bam! (Hours, days and I guess a week or two later) It’s done!! (Minus the shelves)Fork βœ”οΈ

Trails and Tribulations of DIY

6 Mar

I’m going to rewind a few weeks and then circle back around to now. 
Our first major task of this home was to lay new floors in the two bedrooms. (There’s a link below to that adventure if you’d like something to numb your brain other than another Trump tweet story.) Prepping meant tearing out the closet doors and tracks. We also had a beautiful πŸ˜‰set of bifold doors in the dining room that was used to separate it from the closet area that housed the water heater, washer and dryer and, yeah, those had to go too. So we loaded up the truck and drove all 3 sets for donation to Habitat For Humanity, and, much to our surprise, they turned them down. Said they weren’t accepting any closet doors. Umm, its a donation dudes! Ok, cool, that was a waste of a trip. Back home they go to chill along side the house, covered with a tarp until our, inevitable, next run to the dump. 

Now the fast forward ⏩

Storage is a much needed addition inside this house. The closets are small and shelving is a must. It’s really hard to unpack boxes (I’ve had to reiterate to James) when there’s no where to unpack them to. This is of course, my territory. We added a shelf to the bottom of both closets, essentially making it 2 shelves,  I guess 3 if you count the floor. And I do and will utilize it as such. Regardless of numbers this produced an instant, needed change and I’m a fan of making the most of the space given. Now comes the walls in the rooms and how to utilize their space in the best possible way, again, my territory. I’ve always wanted corner shelves, and for whatever reason, it’s so hard to find reasonably sized and priced ones. I mean really! Almost every corner in a house is easily wasted space! At this point I am adamant about finding one. Google, Google, click, click. I’m unimpressed. DIY Google, Google, click, click. Ding! James, this could work. 

https://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/woodworking-and-crafts/corner-shelves/project,

He’s instantly on board. Check the list of materials and search to make sure we can buy them at our local Lowe’s and well, the door size in this tutorial is no longer available in stock, yes they can be a special order, but by then no money is saved, only spent. πŸ’‘James’ thought, “Let me measure those bifold doors we have outside.” Check!! It’s a match! So thank you Habitat for turning our doors away, (imaginary tip of the hat 🎩,) we are instead up-cycling. Our material list has shrunk.Several coats of paint and days later, (everything takes longer to dry out up here, everything!) its time to assemble.  Now to measure off and cut the triangles. In the tutorial it calls for 1 inch blue painters tape, well we have about 3-4 rolls of blue tape all around here and not a one is 1 inch, so we used masking tape, because we have it. Of course its pretty much the same damn color of the painted wood we’re cutting. There is a reason for the blue my friends! James cuts the first and I’m up next. Ummm, slight differential between the color lines aside, my jigsaw skills are dismal. Now kids, safety first. When working with power tools, protective eyewear is a must. I mean, it’s stated in every single handbook and on every supplies list on every project. So here I am, cutting my lines. The first one was ok, like, James went in and shaved off a bit for me, ok πŸ™‚ Then I’m coming in on my second, and well damnit if the sawdust didn’t suddenly amplify. . Eyes full of sawdust are now rinsed out and irritated, I am done cutting. I can clearly use some practice, but for this project, it’s on you babe. You can guess who’s is who’s πŸ˜”I mean, my lines painting, ace! Cutting, needs work. Next step. Build. We have our 4 shelves and our 2 doors. Need to attach the dowel on the one door to screw the other into. We glue the dowel on, drill the pilot holes and proceed to drill in the wood screws. First one, breaks off. WTF? Second one, breaks. Third, yep. Seriously!! Ok. We’d changed drill bits, drills, speeds. Finally figure out, wood screws cant handle the hammer drill. Trial and error doesn’t skip this project. Time to bring out the grinder!!You may have everything on the “supplies needed” list, but there is ALWAYS something else. After years and oh so many projects, its nice to have tools to sometimes pick up that slack or ‘oops’ that is bound to happen. And that bounty adds up after every ‘oops’ you’ve made before. We’ve fixed our current oops and its time to move on. I start drilling new pilot holes, and dagnamnit! I break off the drill bit. Aahh! That bounty we’ve built up has yet again come in handy as we had another drill bit the same size and thank you my Sanity Saint! If James would’ve had to go to the depot there’s a good chance Id’ve broke down in tears. I’m my own worst enemy and quick to blame myself. Sigh of relief. Game back on! Get the right drill setting and screw the doors together as intended. Shelving time. Measure distance. Level and screw. Minimal mishaps, only on the first bottom shelves (the ones I cut) so it’s ok, nothing a little caulk or paint won’t fix. By the end I’d happily (oh hell I did) pat myself on the back with how quick and comfortable I was with the power drill. Repetitive teaching, works for children and me alike. Alas, shelf. 1 of 2 is complete. And by golly this one is fucking awesome by my standards! 

Click on these links to read about aforementioned shitty floor installation and an abundance of painting. 
Home owners or aspirers welcome.

Settling In

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/319

Forks And Ladders

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/336

Settling In

7 Feb

We unloaded the trailer with the remainder of our belongings, all 4 fur babies included, on January 19 and this house, our new home, is slowly becoming just that. These first few weeks have been a fuckery of hurdles! We are still sleeping/living/eating/sitting, all cozy and together, in the living room, trying to keep the back two rooms as empty as possible for their complete makeovers. Here’s a before picture to prove their worthiness of of said makeover. 


All those delicious looking water stains, well, we assumed dogs lacking frequent trips outside to relieve themselves, and dogs were a good assumption as there were many remnants of tennis balls in the fenced in backyard, it just made sense. Luckily for us the previous tenants removed the assumably prestigious looking carpet and as this is a no carpet household they just saved us a step. During the inspection Mr. Inspector simply states, “Looks like this was used as a grow house,” with little to no shock or surprise. Turns out that the water stains were just that. Overwater much our little amateur friends? Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part, just ask any aspiring gym-goer in January. For me, right now, it’s paint. I want color. Color that flows and compliments throughout so I sit, and I stare at the walls for minutes on end trying to envision something, (with what seems like every possible paint swatch The Home Depot had at my disposal) anything to cover up this disgusting sea green blotched bleh and these beat down white walls. I’m finding it more difficult than our last house because here the walls transcend over and into the kitchen, two long walls spanning the length from front door to back. Ahhhh!!

So, I regroup and pick our new laminate flooring first, to compliment the kitchen tile that is already in place, and then proceed to find paint(s) to flow throughout the house. Let’s work from the bottom up so at least now I have a focal point. Find the flooring, find the paint. I finally settled on colors, plural! And by that I mean the lady in the paint department made a WOW comment to James when he gave her my list, and now, finally, we can get started on those back 2 rooms. A nice thing about these 2 rooms, with their wonderfully exposed floors, no stress about paint dripping or covering of furniture needed. Stay messy my friends. πŸ˜‰ Day 1, room number 1, (our bedroom of course) heads under way. After a bit of work I hear, “Have you seen Lily?” Well, guess who managed to find a loose board in the backyard? Yep, with her shepherd nose and curious mind she just walked on out. Luckily she was standing on the other side, (I speak Lily so I know what she thought was,) “Oh shit, I’m not supposed to be here! I’ll just wait.” It has now been decided that the fence will take precedence and steal James away from me starting tomorrow. Commence painting for today and all 4 walls, ceiling and closet get their first coat so we call it just before dinner. 

The next morning I get a call with some family matters and need to leave town for a few days and, well, James has a fence to mend/build so painting gets put on the back burner. Those 4 days I was gone James was building the fence. He planned on just rebuilding the sections that needed it but the weather was great and I was gone so he did a little more. And then when he thought he was done, a rotted post! Argh! Fuck it, just finish the damn fence, and damn it he did. This last week since he’s finished the fence have all been less than favorable outside weather so, I’ll say it, thank you Lily for showing us the faults in our borders at the right time. I may speak her language but she doesn’t speak mine so she’ll never know she did right by leaving the premises. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ• Paint on! Well, we did it! One room down, rest of the house to go! A complete remodel is chock full of tiny victories, innumerable amounts of high fives, setbacks and many, oh so many, trips to the (in our case) Home Depot. I’m pretty sure we will all be close friends by the end of this venture, or at least them and our dogs.

 Piece by piece. Box by box. Wall by wall. And when you look at the piece, open the box and see the wall. Fuck. More. Seems never ending. And that is something I’d like to keep up.
Tonight, we sleep in this bedroom, finally.