Redoing the Hardwoods Part 2

It has been a LONG week since I first updated about our hardwood redo.  After spending 30 combined hours sanding, I came by the house on Tuesday and realized in the daylight – we had missed some spots under the dust/dark lighting. I wasn’t super bummed, but it was just hard to think through what the next steps would be.  Would we redo the whole floor with the drum sander? That would be okay, but it would mean re-renting all the tools again – $$$$$$.  After asking a flooring friend, we decided the edger was the way to go.

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You can see the varnish still on the corners/sides of the boards. BLAST.

I spent 6ish hours on Thursday edging out any left over varnish that was on the floors.  It was primarily in corners of boards since the boards had been worn to different heights over the 61 years they had been in that house. The edger is a b*tch of a tool to use also because you have to bend over and move your arms back and forth – basically imagine the most awkward position ever and add a high power sanding tool.

The next step was the screen buff. Now I’ll admit, anytime I’ve seen someone running a buffer it looked pretty damn easy. Like just lightly moving it back and forth – no effort. Well, actually using a floor buffer for the first time is pretty much like having a heavy tool jump out of your hands and twirl around like some sort of giant angry cat that is trying to escape your cuddle….. Thankfully, my dad came by just to see if there was anything he could help with – he had to not only run the buff for more than 70% of the time, but he taught me how to run the buffer with control.

I seriously can’t believe how hard it was to control a buffer. Totally surprised.

Anyways after the screen buff (which took much longer than also thought due to the wood filler that I was too liberal with) I had to clean and mop the floors.  Again, Lois swooped in and helped so much to get the final push done.  We had to dust the walls, the door knobs, everything had dust on it. Then we mopped with special ‘pre-oil’ wood cleaner.  It was a long day at the house, but it set me up for success in the next step.

Finally, I get to put oil on my damn floors. I used a paint roller to apply the oil, which had to sit and absorb into the floors for 15-30 minutes. Then I used my good old friend the buffer to first buff the oil into the floors with a red pad.  The final step was using terry cloths on the bottom of the buffer to clean any left over oil.  The results were AMAZING.

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Contrast of bare wood vs. oiled wood.

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I had one of those moments when I was done and could see the oil where I felt like crying, because I was so fucking happy I did this even though for the entire past week I have felt 100% insane. I still have three bedrooms to do, and then apply some white paste as the final ‘coat’ of oil.  It will probably result in a little more ‘milky’ and I’m really excited to see how it comes out in the end.

 

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How to Restore a Metal Medicine Cabinet – Before and After

It’s Friday! Woot! (Well technically I’m writing this on a Thursday, but still the excitement is there!)

Today, I figured I would share another little piece of the bathroom before it’s huge debut.  One of the the things I loved about the bathroom was that it had an original steel medicine cabinet.  However, like EVERYTHING else at my house it had been severely neglected and thus was in pretty poor/gross looking shape.  It was rusted out and just looked like you would not want to put your toiletries anywhere near this thing.

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GROSS

So most things can be saved if they are rusted, unless it’s rusted through – then you’re S.O.L. and have to think about replacing.

Step One – Deciding if your rusted metal can be saved:

One good way to see how extensive your rust damage is, is to get a coarse grit sand paper and gently (at first) start to sand out the rust.  If you see the metal starting to shin through, no clumps of rust deteriorating and no holes, then you should be able to turn a rust situation around.

NOW PUT ON YOUR SAFETY VENTILATION MASK AND GLOVES!

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Step Two – Sanding

Depending on the current finish and extent of the rust damage, you will need to determine how the best way to sand your metal will be. For the cabinet, I hand sanded the entire thing (yes, your arms will be exhausted).  Since the cabinet was pretty delicate I did not want to use power sanders and dremel tools on it. I started with a coarse 60 grit sanding block (easier to grip and get in weird spaces) and sanded the entire cabinet – rusted or not.  I did focus heavily on the rusted areas, buffing out any rust that remained.  Then I used a 100 grit paper to smooth out any transitions from the original paint.

 

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Step Three – Prep Cleaning

This is the MOST important step. You will want to ensure the entire surface of your project is 100% clean.  The best way to do this is to use a dry rag or vacuum to get the larger dust/paint particles out. Once you have done that, get a clean rag very very wet with Denatured Alcohol and wipe the cabinet down until it is so clean you could virtually perform some sort of surgery on there – NO PARTICLES, NO DIRT, NO UNEVEN/WEIRD SURFACES.  If you get to this step and find there is a significant uneven lip or not a smooth transition from paint to metal then you need to go back to Step Two.  Believe me, I know you will be tired and I know you will want to just keep moving forward, but if you don’t ensure your base is smooth and clean you will end up with something you HATE and regret not doing it right.

 

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go ahead and buy the gallon you’re gonna love this shit for all your cleaning needs. 

Step Four – Painting

Now the moment of truth!  You’ll want to tape and cover any surface you don’t want paint on.  That takes the most time.  Then you’ll want to make sure you have a spray paint that is meant to protect and will last.  I would HIGHLY recommend Kilz as a primer (if necessary) and then Rust-oleum for the actual color followed by a clear coat. This process will ensure that with proper cleaning and care, your metal will not start rusting again.  Now thankfully the dude has taught me how to spray paint like a professional in the past- this part can be hard.  The only two things to keep in mind are stay at least 12 inches away and keep moving with long smooth sprays.  Also remember, it doesn’t need to be full coverage the first time – in fact the slower you go and more coats you do the better the end result will be. Just remember to let each coat dry fully.

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first coat – notice it’s not fully covered. 
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getting there! still some uneven color but one/two more coats should do it!

Paint process in general:

  1. apply Kilz or other high quality primer
  2. apply desired Rusto color
  3. apply Rusto clear coat

Are you ready for the official before and after?!

Before!

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After!

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Seriously, can you believe that is the same cabinet?! I’m so excited to start using it.  Also keep in mind you NEED to keep your protective mask on the whole time otherwise you will get high on paint fumes – which is not safe or cute. I bought my ventilation mask from Harbor Freight – it cost $17 and I use it for everything paint related at my house since there IS lead paint in my home. Seriously HUGE DISCLAIMER!! If you have a home older that 1980 you should err on the side of caution and assume there will be lead paint in your house.  People saved/loved that nasty scary shit and it WILL HURT YOU. So don’t be dumb – buy some protective gear and wear it. 

Farm House Update: Week 4

Well it was a week of highs and lows all around. We lost Vladimir to a stroke on Wednesday, which just put a heavy cloud over the week.  There was a lot of grief and sad painting – I’m happy I kept working though, because now I feel like a lot was accomplished.

The Low:

I need a new main panel. F*&k! The connection tabs on the bus had been roughed up by the former owners and it’s such a severe issue the electrician (now that he’s involved) is going to replace the whole thing.  This will require a permit so because the garage wiring is so bad/not to code we actually have to disconnect the garage and cap it so the inspector does not fail the work. I just keep having flash backs to the listing ‘AS-IS’ – and indeed it is….. The photo below shows MY inspector complaining about a breaker that does not match…. no mention of circled broken tab on bus. I am learning a LOT about electrical work though – pretty fun. Except for the whole spending money part.

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The Highs:

Painting like a mofo –

Got the living/dining room in progress with 1 1/2 coats – still need to do the ceiling and the interesting trim on those cove ceilings.

Finished the bedroom!

Before – rusted windows, major plaster damage on windows, WHITE, wonky window treatments…

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AFTER!

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grey walls and new white trim.

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I again had to refinish another window since it was rusted severely.

Plus the bathroom is 99% done! In the next week or so I’ll post a total before and after on the bathroom. I have done so much work in here – it’s so nice looking now! 🙂

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The water works! You can read that post here.

 

I’ll post a home tour video here tomorrow of the top floor – while it’s in reno status. So stay tuned. We are getting so close!

 

Farm House Update: Week 3

Well, we are 3 weeks underway of getting the farmhouse – livable.

Here are the things we have done:

  1. removed all bathrooms that were not supposed to be there
  2. re-did the main bathroom on the first floor
  3. removed all debris from the yard/house
  4. starting painting
  5. hung window treatments
  6. got all new appliances
  7. installed new well system
  8. installed washer & dryer
  9. repaired all rusted windows
  10. removed paint from all window sills
  11. installed new furnace and water heater

It’s been A LOT of work.  Thankfully, Lois has been a huge help with most of these items – the yard looks 1000% better due to her. On the days we were able to tackle things together it felt like we got a lot more done than I would have ever imagined.  My Pops has been a major help in figuring out what we can/can’t do electrical wise and prepping for Connelly Power Co to jump in on some things.  We still can’t live there until we resolve the electrical issue for the water pump/well system. That is the most frustrating part, since we really can’t live there without water, but everything will be easier to work on, continue to deal with once we live there.  Right now, every moment over there has to be utilized 100% so I think I speak for everyone, but I’m tired.  I love working on the house and it is really rewarding and exciting, but it’s just hard to not have a bathroom to use there, or water to use – and it’s hard to drive back and forth to our apartment in Broomfield (30 minutes away). Eh, but why am I bitching? I fought super hard to do all this – just at a different pace I think, but oh well in a months time or less it won’t feel ‘so close, yet so far’.  Plus, a lot of the things I had planned on spacing out over 2 years will now just be done. So when we do move in we can literally just start enjoying it instead of prolonging some of this fun.

Moving forward I’ll being doing more ‘before and after’ shots on our progress – now that there are some really impressive ‘afters’!

Thanks again, Lois, Pops, Uncle Mark (MD Services – my HVAC/plumbing hero), Aunt Lori, and everyone else in their virtual support so far in helping us get this fixer upper livable!

Here are some photos of the recent happenings:

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Lois cleaned up the front yard and what a difference! So clean and pretty!
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just some of the yard debris we cleaned up – broken glass/car parts?
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it’s the simple things although it is still un-used due to no water at the house. 

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Leopold was in love with the house – and so cute on his house tour.
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A sight for sore eyes – new well jet pump and tank (note no longer in the crawl space under the stairs).
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‘oily beau hunk’ installs my cellular ikea blinds also Sixteen Candles joke. 
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new washer and dryer – thanks pops and cym! 
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window sill- i’m blue da bo dee ba de dow….. 
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look at the sexy new copper plumbing for my washroom…. rawwwr!
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before: yard cage for former tenants that didn’t pay rent…..
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after: bunny coop/chicken larvae den removed. just a nice space for appropriate plants.

 

 

Night of the Living Demo

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Well, it’s demo city over at the farm house. For starters we had to remove so much crap/trash the former owners left as well as just tear out some disgusting bathrooms and ‘enhanced features’ that were growing/rotting/squating all over the property.  That 30ft roll-off was packed to the gills. “Don’t let it go over the top!” Lois said 10 million times. And by jove we didn’t let the trash go over the top.

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Since I decided I would do a little refresh on the bathroom, things have gotten out of hand.  There will be a true transformation post about the bathroom in about a week, by the way.  This is a photo of me in my gas mask as I sanded, poured Xstripper all over the cabinet and tried to remove 5 layers of paint. 2 base coats were lead… AWESOME.

Here is the before of my ‘en suite’ aka the corner of a bedroom. Notice the lovely blue color scheme. The creepy  bathroom  was added into this bedroom in the 90s.  There was no water-proofing, no prep, and no attention to what a bathroom that is not supposed to be in a bedroom would do long-term.

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The hardwoods have massive holes in them from the shower drain and the toilet fitting.  Not to mention they are all warped and swollen from years of being under peel-and-stick linoleum. The plaster wall is ruined due to the hammer hole plumbing insert method they used.  It is the epitome of what someone who had zero money and had just enough knowledge about something would do. AKA homeowner’s special.

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Here is me in the bathroom again, because I worked on ‘refreshing’ the room with some new paint, I also decided we needed to redo all the caulking which led to sanding down the rusty window and repainting that too.  In fact, there was so much cleaner used it lightened my hair substantially lol 😉 26011364146_93c8378ac4_z

Ah and now the piece de resistance! The downstairs bathroom…. One of the creepiest, ill fit and just disgusting bathrooms I’ve ever seen, let alone owned.  Lightbulb in the shower? CHECK. Carpet? CHECK.  The well system is actually that cut out hole you see in the right of the bottom right comparison photo.  You could sit on the toilet and work on the well system…. efficient for sure…. That well system will be moved out into the new utility room now that the bathroom has been 86’ed from the layout.  Eventually we will put another bathroom in the basement where there is enough space to actually have one, but for now just having the appropriate space to work on the well system or that ejector pump.

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We still don’t have running water at the house, but hopefully that will be fixed very soon.  Thanks former home owner for breaking the pressure switch and jet pump the night before closing! Appreciate you!

Then on to electrical work to see what fun we can have next!

More updates to come… and more before and afters of the yard… DUN DUN DUN!