Posts Tagged renovations

My, what a productive weekend (or two).

Posted by on Monday, 26 April, 2010

As any of you following me on Twitter or as a Facebook friend, you already know we spent the majority of the weekend working on the master bath and bedroom, in hopes of getting it to a completed state. In actuality, it really wasn’t JUST a single weekend though, as we’ve been working on the bathroom and bedroom for a total of about 7 weekends now; albeit non-consecutively.
To give you an idea of what we had to start with, this is what the master bedroom looked like before we moved in, 2.5 years ago:

From Renovations

Note the platform bed in the center, which was built -into- the floor, and fully carpeted. In order to even move into this room, we had to completely remove the carpeting and then demolish the structure of the bed. This demo required the use of a reciprocating saw, as it was a very well built platform which previously had supported a waterbed. That demo work was accomplished around January, 2008, just before we’d moved into the house. It took a few more weeks of cleaning debris and installing hardwood floors before we could even sleep in the master bedroom (we had commandeered the guest bedroom for a month or so just after we moved in).

Once the hardwoods had been installed, we moved our furniture into the master so we could at least utilize the room as it was intended. And that is how it stayed for the next two years while we worked on the downstairs living room, kitchen and bath, as well as the upstairs guest room, craft room, and office (not to mention the whole house paint and partial residing work accomplished last year). Part of that delay was simply due to the fact that neither Jean nor I had a good idea for the bathroom colour, which we really wanted to do in tandem with the master bedroom work because of the open floor plan of the two rooms.

Adding to the delay, the fact that the previous owners had (likely twice) painted over the original 1947 wallpaper, making for removal a complete impossibility. Yes, we tried every method. In the end, we opted to retexture rather than bring the room down to studs and re-drywall it all. So, we took two weekends a while back and began applying skim coats of joint compound on all the walls. I soon found that troweling a smooth coat was going to be as difficult as removing painted wallpaper, and we opted for a more venetian plaster type texturing, which mean rollering on mastic, and then another weekend of sanding down the peaks to get that final subtle texture.

Cue another few weekends passing, and we found ourselves with colour choices, and some minor motivation, briefly negated by the fact that the red-base we needed to get the bedroom wall colour was out of stock. So last weekend we were only able to tackle the master bath completely, leaving the master bed for this past weekend. So we dug in and primed both rooms from floor to ceiling, then worked our backs to the breaking point putting up navy blue in the bath… both on the walls as well as on the ceiling. You can see the difference in the pics here (note the original walls were a cream, so the only difference in the first picture is a brighter white due to the primer):


From Renovations


From Renovations

With the success of the bath under our belts, along with the need to finish off the trim work, we buckled down this past weekend for more hard work to hopefully get the master bedroom completed as well. Saturday was long, but saw two coats of deep red hit the walls, and final trim work done in the bathroom. Nothing ground breaking, just solid hard work through the day. Sunday was touch up work on the walls and ceilings, plus baseboards, trim, window, and door work in the bedroom to get the nice balance of cream to the dark red. Come 6:30pm Sunday evening, and we were cleaning, placing furniture back, and mounting a new shelf just under the window to act as a cat perch, so the little buggers can look out the window again without having to keep a moving box for them to sit on…. cue a load of pictures being taken coming from some pride in having -finally- completed the task that has literally bee looming over us since we moved in two and a half years ago:


From Renovations

Now, all we need to do is work on a closet organization solution for our loft area (which we use as a walk-in closet, dressing area), paint the same loft, paint the stairwell to the loft, the butler’s pantry between the kitchen and loft stairs, the laundry hallway, the upstairs hallway, and the upstairs guest bath… which may seem like a LOT to you all, but in retrospect of all the other projects we have done, we have solidly eclipsed the halfway mark and all other projects now seem minor in comparison. Who knows, we may actually get this house done in under the 5 years I expected the renovations to take!

For those of you who want even more pictures of this, and other renovations, you can check out my Picasa gallery here:

A party and more tin…

Posted by on Monday, 28 July, 2008

We didn’t get much accomplished on the house this weekend, but what we DID do made a large impact.

After narrowly escaping house work on Saturday, Jean and I made our way out to the Kennedy School in NE Portland to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Her husband had rented a room in the school (now a McMenamin’s of course) and set it up with a buffet as well as Mahjong and poker tables afterward… sadly, we were both beat and had to call it a night around 9pm. We did have a great time, however, and look forward to seeing both Doug and Sunny at a Bite of Oregon in a few week’s time…

Sunday I finished installing the filler panels and cornices for the tin ceiling, so all the tin is finally up. I also stained some molding to finish off the beams where they meet the wall, but realized too late that I screwed up my angled cuts and will need to buy more molding to redo them all. Sigh, I even second checked it all before cutting everything. I must have been tired when I was working on that part…

Jean then took over and started painting the previously stark-white beams. Two coats down this weekend and she’ll pick up next weekend with the faux finishing part to add a wood grain texture and glaze to add some much needed depth and complete the look. Even only partly done, though, the beams are really starting to tie in the room. I hadn’t realized HOW much the white beams made the room look unfinished. The two coats of brown are already a HUGE improvement. I can’t wait to see how the faux finishing works 🙂

The link below will take you to the Renovations album on my Picasa page:


Weekend renovation recap, now with more power!

Posted by on Sunday, 6 July, 2008

So, after much hemming and hawing, I decided that a nailgun was in order (even before elmunadi suggested it). My thumb has thanked me repeatedly since. I had initially wanted to do the ceiling the ‘right way’ but the frustration and fatigue, not to mention flat thumb, seemed to want to hold me back. So, Jean and I went to Lowes around noon to pickup more paint (this time for the foyer and kitchen) along with a miter box and a cordless nailer.

Seriously, this is the BEST power tool I have ever bought. Yes, it was $359. Yes, it was worth every penny. In the time it took me to install half the field in one section with a hammer and nail, I had installed the field tiles in the remaining 3 sections of the ceiling. All that’s left now Is the filler and cornices, which I should be able to get done after work over the next week.

Here are some more in progress pictures:

For those playing along at home, I picked up the Paslode 16ga. Angle Finish Nailer from Lowe’s:

Yes, I probably could have gotten it cheaper online, but really, I needed and wanted it -NOW- so I could feel at least a little productive before the long weekend was over.

This is a seriously awesome tool. I first saw it in use on a DIY show a few months back, and have since seen it on numerous other HGTV and DIY Network shows. I figure if they use it, it can’t be all bad… and so far it hasn’t let me down. It has already paid for itself in the lack of frustration and fatigue…. and no thumbs were harmed in the installation of the rest of the fields! What more do you need?