Archive for November, 2009

A Painting Marathon

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Man, are we tired! We have been on a painting marathon for the past week. We made quite a bit of progress, at the expense of sleep and perhaps some sanity.

We started on Sunday, the 22nd by doing some last minute patching and sanding. Then we got to work priming the ceilings and walls in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and front hallway. Once again, we’re using BIN primer to seal the weird smell that the house has and also to block some water stains on the ceiling from when the previous tenant’s kids overflowed the bathtub. Of course, this means working the whole time with our respirators on. Tina and I started by roughly cutting the edges of the ceiling in the hallway. Once we had made a good amount of progress there, Tina started rolling the ceiling and I climbed up on the counters to cut above the cabinets. I had to bring the paint quite a way out from the wall because the frame on the 18″ roller we were using prevented us from getting above the cabinets. Once the ceiling was done, it was on to the walls. Again, I cut and Tina rolled. The cats complained loudly from the basement, where they were forced to hang out. After about 5 hours, we decided it was time for dinner so I headed out to pick up a couple of burritos. When I walked back into the house, I was hit by the powerful odor of the primer! We checked upstairs to see if the air quality was any better but it wasn’t. We took our burritos down to the basement and enjoyed them while sitting on the bottom step. This is what our life has become. After a quick dinner, it was back to work priming. We made another big push and got the walls finished up around 11. What a long day!

After a long day of work on Tuesday, Tina and I got home from work and got started with painting the ceilings.  The poor cats were shuffled off to the basement for another night. Once again, I cut and Tina rolled since she’s much better at rolling than I am.  It took a few hours, but we managed to get the first coat on in the hall, kitchen, dining room, and living room.

After work on Wednesday, we stopped by Benjamin Moore to see if they could match some samples of paint that we thought would look good on the walls downstairs.  Unfortunately, they had closed to get a head start on their Thanksgiving partying (more on that below) so we headed home to get some painting done.  It was another night of ceiling painting for us. I put the door back on the guest room so the cats could hang out in there. After a couple of hours, they became increasingly vocal about their displeasure. We gave in and let them out to wander the house. The first thing Baboi did was climb up the ladder with me and dip his tail in the paint bucket. What a helper! I finished up the cutting around 9:30 and headed to the grocery store to pick up supplies for our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner while Tina completed the rolling.

After a fantastic and relaxing Thanksgiving day, we got back in the swing of things on Friday.  We headed back to Benjamin Moore to see about getting our paint samples matched.  We were trying them because we had a buy 2 get 1 free coupon.  As soon as we walked through the door, I had a sinking feeling that no good could come of this.  We showed our two samples to the woman at the counter and asked her for a sample quart of each.  She stopped chewing on her broken teeth long enough to mumble something toward us and got to work mixing up our paint.  We wandered around looking at samples and couldn’t help overhearing the younger clerk going on about how smashed he was yesterday. Finally, our paint was ready, but the lady had mixed one quart and one gallon. We explained to her again that we wanted a quart sample and waited for her to mix the other sample. Finally, we got what we were after and headed for home to see how it looked. While the color match was spot on, once we got it on the wall, we realized it was far too red. We decided to head to Sherwin Williams to see if they would match the coupon. Our friend there said he would so we decided to see if they had any colors close to what we were trying to match. I found one that was pretty close called Nantucket Dune. The manager suggested that since it was so close to the color we were trying to match, we give it a try. We took our sample quart home and put some on the wall. It was exactly what we wanted! I dashed back down to the paint store with my Sketch-up plans to order the paint. Since it was so close to closing time and we weren’t starting until the morning, the manager said he would mix it up first thing and I could pick it up then. He also suggested we use two different paints – Duration for the kitchen for durability and ease of cleaning and the less expensive and easier to apply Cashmere for the rest. Once I got back home, we finally got started painting the trim, which we had planned to have finished by dinner. Fortunately, we’re only painting doors and windows since the baseboard trim has already been ripped out. We wrapped up just after midnight and headed to bed to rest up for another big day of painting.

Our big push to get the trim done was because Tina’s parents had kindly offered to help us on Saturday. I headed out early to pick up a few supplies for the day and grab our paint. Tina and her dad got to work painting the west wall, the north wall of the kitchen, the hallway, and east wall of the kitchen with the Duration paint. Tina’s mom was filling some holes in the closet trim and the side door casing. I got started ripping apart the upstairs bathroom. I removed all the wire shelving from the closet, removed the towel bars and mirror, and ripped the baseboard trim out. Then, I patched all of the holes and dents in the walls. By late afternoon, the kitchen crew was finishing up so I ran out to grab some pizzas. After dinner, Tina’s parents headed home and Tina and I cleaned up and spent the night doing some chores.

On Sunday, Tina and I tackled the rest of the dining room and living room with the Cashmere paint.

We left work a little early on Monday and made a huge push to finish the painting. By 1 AM, we had finished a second coat. After 9 hours of painting, we were done!

Of course, we had plenty of help from our cat friends:

Stacking Wood, Sanding Walls

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Tina and I spent a good part of the afternoon stacking some firewood.  We don’t have a means to burn it yet (aside from campfires), but hopefully, we’ll have a wood stove before next winter (and the wood should be seasoned by then).  We got such a great deal on the wood that we couldn’t pass it up.  It’s a little over a cord of lower quality hardwoods and a bit of pine mixed in for $43 and an afternoon of cutting, splitting, and delivering.  And, this wood has warmed me twice so far.

We also spent the day wrapping up the wall repairs in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway.  Tina has been working on the walls in every spare moment for the last week.  There were a lot of little nicks and dings all over, plus a few substantial spots of damage.  When we removed the suspicious piece of wood behind the telephone jack, we found a 5 inch hole in the wall.  We fixed that up with a mesh patch and Tina worked hard on that whole wall to smooth out the end of it where it had been pushed in.  We’re very happy with our nice, smooth walls now and I’m sure Tina never wants to patch another wall again!

The Office Closet

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Today, I spent some time working on a bracket to mount the closet pole to the sloped ceiling in the office closet.  Of course there are no studs in the walls where the ceiling meets the wall at a reasonable pole height so I needed to build an angled bracket and bolt it to the rafters.  Hopefully this works out. A view from below:

I also cut and installed the pine supports for the shelf.

One day I will get around to installing the pole and shelf, and maybe even paint the door so I can hang it again… One day…


Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Every shop needs a workbench, so I decided to start with a pretty traditional design for Tina:

No pictures of the completed bench because, like a good workbench, it was completely buried in tools and other stuff that I needed to get up off the floor.  Someday, I’ll build a  lower bench for cabinet work for myself.

Floors Arrive

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Today was a huge day for us!  Not only did we have the day off so we could make some significant headway on the various projects we have going on, but the wood for our floors arrived too!

Opening the crate in the truck:

All of the wood was quickly unloaded and stacked in the kitchen.  This is the pine and the hickory:


That’s a lot of wood:


The variation of character in the hickory is amazing!

After the wood was unloaded (with help from Erik from Terrene), we ran out and got some dinner.  Then, we sorted the wood by species and the hickory further by width:

All the hickory planks that were short enough were stickered in the guest bedroom:

The longer hickory (14′) and all of the pine (up to 16′) was stacked in the living room/dining room because that’s the only place it will fit.  The hickory smells so good, even better than the Eastern white pine!

Henceforth, carpet shall no longer be allowed

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

In preparation for the arrival of our flooring TOMORROW, I removed the last of the carpet in the house from the guest room.  With the upstairs rooms finished, we no longer need the guest room as our living space.  This time, I was smart and cut the carpet in to two foot squares as I was ripping it out instead of waiting until I was trying to fit it into the garbage bags.  Enjoy this view, it’s the last time you’ll ever see wall-to-wall carpet in this house:



Good News!

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Our hardwood floors have shipped!  We’ll get a call tomorrow with the arrival date!  Woo hoo!

Assembly and Deconstruction

Friday, November 6th, 2009

We got news this week that our floors would be ready to ship next week!  That information kicked us in to gear and forced us to prioritize our work to prepare for the delivery.  I spent tonight putting some of the table saw together so we would have a tool available to rip the planks when we started installing.  Having made some progress, I headed upstairs and Tina and I started ripping the linoleum out of the dining room.  What a project.  The adhesive is still pretty strong and we’re not able to get it off of underlayment with much success, so we decided to rip out the underlayment too.  We had much fun with pry bars and hammers.  The underlayment was nailed every three inches so it was a bear to get it up.  Thankfully, the underlayment wasn’t glued.  By the end of the night, we had a nice pile of the old flooring out on the deck.





The Saw Moves Downstairs

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

A huge shout out to Greg and Jared for coming over after work tonight to help me move the table saw downstairs.  After a quick tour of the house, we hoisted the beast and carried it down the cellar stairs and set it gently on its mobile base.  Thanks guys!


Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Well, I’m finally getting around to going through some of my pictures from Bolivia. There’s no better way to explain my experience than with photos! There are some on facebook:

I also posted some on my flickr page:

Here’s a preview:

Turns out you do NOT want to touch these trees!

One of our many guides for the day.

Storm rolling in.

We were literally covered with these little flies ALL day. DEET did not deter them :(

A woman dressed in traditional attire, waiting to perform.

Workshop participant.

Field transportation. This was one fun ride!!!

burning the forest to make room for crops.

Yup, that's a weed whacker.

More market. Those rugs and tarps are there to block the hot, afternoon sun.