Well we’re in the home stretch!
Finished the living/dining room and hallway. The bedrooms will get their first coat of oil tonight and then their white maintenance paste tomorrow night.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Paint process in general:
Are you ready for the official before and after?!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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! 🙂
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!
We FINALLY have running water at the house! Some excellent news in a really sad week for us. This all could have been A LOT worse – but it was still pretty bad. I’m certain the only way this could have been even worse is if we were having to actually live in the home while we had no running water. Also heads up, this post is a long one.
“How did it all begin?” You might wonder. You might also wonder why I would ever buy a house without running water or how I could get my home loan, knowing the lender wouldn’t go for it.
Well, for starters….. I have a well. That in itself should lay the ground work for the clusterf*ck that we have embarked on to get water. Now typically a well is not a BFD – most generally whoever owns the well has information about it like depth, age of pump in the well, location of well, age of well, etc. Most folks actually spend some of their time ensuring their well is safe, working, and dependable. Well, not the folks I bought from. They didn’t know anything about their well system, except the fact that they got ‘free’ water from it. But, in the inspection process I did my due diligence. I learned all about wells, well pumps, bacteria, ecoli… anything that could make owning a well difficult. And to be honest the well was/is still a huge ‘plus’ for me. I got the water tested and figured out what I needed to do to prolong my pipes, appliances, and make sure I was drinking the safest water possible. In fact, the ONLY concession the seller gave me was a $750 reverse osmosis system for my kitchen sink (it’s basically a few step filter system to ensure that drinking water is 100% perfect).
Okay where was I? Ah yes, why would I buy a house without running water? Well, the only time I saw ‘water not functional’ was on the official appraisal – and I actually found the fix with my realtor. A switch had been turned off by MY sewer guy that powered the socket that the pump was plugged into! Excellent fixed it! Well, on my final walk through I noticed the seller had ‘fiddled’ with the pressure switch (that tells the tank it’s full), but after the awful contract we had, I didn’t push buttons at close and the seller actually said it was working. And it did work for 1 flush of the toilet. Then the pump burned the socket out and ta-da! no water on my first day of possession. Remember that communication while under contract has to be the WORST process ever – so they never heard I fixed the water – they decided to upgrade the pressure switch for me… so nice.
Repairing a well or the well system in my case isn’t usually a big deal, if you have all the information you need. In my case, I can only use one well company because my well is not permitted or registered and only the good folks at Geowater will work on my hillbilly clusterf*ck. I know, I get it – I think we’ve all established that I love difficulty let’s continue. Well I first had Geowater come out to see what was going on. We established the electrical was shite – something we really started worrying about in terms of safety for those big amp items. The root of the no water problem was the pressure switch was installed wrong – house warming gift from ma and pa hillbilly. That incorrect installation told the pressure switch on the jet pump to ‘fill the tank to 25psi’ but the pressure would only climb to 20 psi and would never fill – thus the jet pump ran for so long that it burned out the socket it was plugged into…. because the breaker didn’t know to trip……
Anyways. Okay now we have three issues; I have no water, my jet pump is broken, AND the electrical is not set up to support a jet pump safely. Perfect.
12 EASY Steps to fixing the well water:
It only took me just 2 days shy of a MONTH to make these 12 steps happen…..
New Well System:
Anyways! yay water! I think by 2018 I’ll have ‘free’ water again 😉
Well, we are 3 weeks underway of getting the farmhouse – livable.
Here are the things we have done:
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:
Are you ready for some dramatic before & afters?! Pretend I’m shouting it like Oprah though. ARE YOU READY?!!!
First, background – I decided to switch rooms at my apartment and make the bigger room a guest/craft room while using my smaller room as a bedroom. I’ve lived with this arrangement for two weeks and I LOVE it. I’m bummed I didn’t do it sooner, but then again I might have not appreciated a craft room if I had just ‘always’ had one.
Roll that B&A footage!
End result: CRAFT PRODUCTION UP 10000000000000% !!