Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Evolution of the fireplace

The fireplace was deceptive. It looks kinda ok here, minus the giant gold doors that are totally ruining the proportions of it.
I've seen worse

Fun grime after removing doors

Yey clean!

 Because I couldn't leave well enough alone, and because I'm just wallowing in free extra time, I decided to paint the brick. It's scored brick, so it collects dirt and hair like crazy. I figured if it was painted, it would do less of that. So here we go:

First pass, just the brick faces. Interior and yucky sconces now pretty and black.

Did I forget to do those grout lines under the accent? Yes, yes I did.
And that's why paint fumes are bad for you kids.
Painting happened this weekend too. The two large rooms are done. Ceiling, trim, walls. Done. Everything in the place will be Behr's Turtle Dove on the walls. It's a light green that plays nicely with the pecan color of the floors. Also, green is soothing. Quiet tenants, quiet...

Floors bring hope. And dust.

The floors were sanded Monday and Tuesday of last week, and I oiled them Tuesday night. Having them done was HUGE and made me believe that at some point, this all might actually turn into something. They got up all the tar, just a little staining was left, but with the oil, it just kind of blends in so it's not that noticeable.

Ghost feet!


Prep work baby

It would appear that after I removed all the flooring I proceeded to prep the walls for painting for 6 weeks. Or something. I can't tell you what I've been doing, but it's been frickin exhausting. It's 12 tubes of caulk later, and I still need to do the kitchen.

The dining room had this really exciting patch of plaster and paint that apparently had a terrible fight and the paint decided to take it's cat and sweater and GTFO, because it just sheeted off the wall. I'd think I was done, start to spackle, then notice a tiny crack, poke at it, then boom, another 2 square feet gone. 

Not frustrating at allllll. *Goes down to the basement for another beer*
Note too the crown moulding in here and in the living room that had to be scraped because whatever monkey painted it did not prep the varnish surface correctly. Color me not surprised. Anyway, it's all curvy and a bitch to handle. (Wait are we talking me or the wood here?!) So overall, I would go into a room and make it look one thousand times worse than the before. TA DA!
This is really nice Beth. I love what you've done with the place.

Eventually I did manage to make it to the priming stage, which to my horror, due to my supreme anal retentiveness, included priming each joint of the acoustical tile ceiling, all 900 square feet of it. The lines were brown and they looked awful and made it look like a motel in which you'd get murdered. Not the look I'm after.

What's this? Oh just 3 hours of my life I'll never get back.
Don't worry, the Biebs is still holding down the fort. Even he can't stand to look at the awful paint job on these built-ins. Glass knobs? Slobbed with paint. Because the ten seconds it takes to remove them it just TOO MUCH. Sigh.

Next up, I finally start to make it look livable in here. Thank goodness.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Minor progress in the kitchen

The kitchen has been last on the list to get done because we were constantly in there making a mess with grout and concrete and whatnot. We did manage to put in the electric for the over the sink light, which will make it so much brighter in there.  Also rerouted the wiring for the outlets that had been in the gross surface-mounted conduit.

The wall is getting wainscoting, which is 2/3rds cut, thanks to my sister and her boyfriend.
Electrical that makes sense. Hooray!

Also, the cabinets are primed after another good scrub. The doors and drawers have gotten their first coat of paint as well, and the hardware is all painted black and looking fantastic.

I didn't hate the copper, but it was worn off in places and had some discoloring that would not come off despite my best cleaning job. The black definitely will look sharp (oh god, I'm turning into my father. WHO says that?!) against the cabinet color, Martha Stewart "Mushroom", mixed into Behr semi-gloss enamel. It's a medium gray with a hint of green. A good dirt hiding color...

Terrible cell phone picture, sorry. You get the idea.

Bathroom Progress

Tons of fun in the bathroom in the past month. First up, after demo'ing all the rotting wall structure on the control wall, it was rebuilt and a new valve for a single lever shower/bath faucet was installed - correctly, by securing it to framing, so that it does not jiggle in the wall every time you touch it, unlike my thighs. Framing anything in the house is challenging, considering all the settling, which means the walls, floors, ceilings are all at different angles. Good thing someone loves geometry!

I went with the same wall tile and pattern as my bathroom upstairs. I liked the way it looked and there was no need to re-invent the wheel. Besides, then I knew exactly how much tile to buy. Also, I scored a box and a half of the subway tile from Albany Historic Warehouse for 50% off retail, saving $60. Moral of the story - check local places like there or Habitat for Humanity's ReStore before jetting to big box stores for everything.
Tiling over Schluter waterproofing system in the shower. No more rot!
 And then there was the floor. 

Large beige/brown tile applied with mastic to backer board made of paper fiber (perfect for *wet* bathroom floors). 

Removal Level 1

Then 2 layers of linoleum glued over the original tile floors, which were broken and crumbling to due a cracked and disintegrating mud base. Perfect! Actually, it was as I had expected, so I wasn't too upset/concerned about it. After removing all the original tile (we were able to save half a 5 gallon bucket of them, either to donate or get crafty with) we then chipped/vacuumed away the failing parts of the floor.

A floor made of dust
A level floor at last!

After much filling in of cracks and waiting for concrete to dry, there was finally floor that didn't make me frown. I wanted a small field tile for the floor because the space is so small. It would also be easier to camouflage any remaining tilt in the floor. I ended up with 3/4" matte glazed hex, because that was the size in the overstock room at Best Tile. The tile was a little thin, which made it installing it a *bit* of a challenge, but it got done. We used the Schluter system for the floor as well, to reduce future cracking if/when more settling occurs.

We've since added in all the cut-in tile and grouted the floor, but I'm too lazy to download that picture right now. You'll just have to trust me that it looks good. Also, doesn't it look so spacious without the toilet and sink? Maybe I can just leave those out?