Sunday, November 21, 2010

Most wanted

Demo complete

The eyesore closets are gone. All three of them. Now only the debris remains--and there's lots of it. (And some of it fell on me as I was tearing the last closet down. Oh, also, I hit the light bulb with the big piece of wood pictured below...oops.) But it is amazing how much bigger the rooms seem now, even with all the pieces of closet scattered around.

Though I'm happy the closets are gone, removing them has revealed all kinds of new work for us to do. For instance, there are many holes in the walls from the unnecessary number of nails and screws used to build the stupid closets. Seriously, who needs to put this many screws this close together?

Then, there's the mystery pipe in the corner. What is/was it for? Where does it go? I have no idea, and I have no idea. But it's there, along with a hole in the floor, a hole in the ceiling (that I imagine bats might fly out of), and some lovely water damage to add to the unending list of water-damaged areas.

Still, the closets are gone! Right now, nothing else matters.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Like a rainbow

This is a windowsill in the guest bedroom. Lots of shades of paint have lived on this sucker. It was once tan, then teal, then reddish pink--and that was all under the top layer of off-white that Keith scraped off. But when all the scraping is done, the painting begins. And when the painting is finished, it will look beautiful. Like this:

The baseboards in the guest bedroom are complete, and they look so shiny and new. Can you believe that not long ago they looked like that windowsill?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Say hello to my little friend

Meet the reciprocating saw. Good for demolition. For instance...

The crazy former owners (CFOs) built two closets on either side of a small room in the back of the house. While all their other DIY attempts were low quality, something about the closets inspired them. Maybe they really valued their clothes, but for whatever reason, they built these closets so sturdy that we were starting to wonder if they kept people locked in them. Needless to say, it's been some work tearing them down. Keith spent a day dismantling one, and I spent Veteran's Day trying to tear down the one pictured above, which was even more sturdily built than the other one.

I realized, sadly, that I didn't have any before pictures of these monstrosities. But luckily, there's yet another one in another room that I do have a picture of.

Imagine two more of these, except they were faced with fake bead board, painted white, and had mirrored sliding doors. The CFOs even covered up half a window to build one of these things. I seriously don't understand those people. But at least they gave me a reason to use my awesome new saw.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Wonderful discovery: A hardware store three blocks from work
Purchase: One bottle of Brasso
Use: Polishing the door hardware throughout the house

Step 1: Brass plate on the swinging door to the kitchen is completely black.

Step 2: A little Brasso and elbow grease reveals some shine.

Step 3: A little more Brasso and elbow grease makes it pretty.

It's not perfect yet, but what a difference. Soon all of our doorknobs and hinges will shine like new. This is the satisfaction I've been searching for--a little work for a lot of payoff.

I am officially horrible at this.

I have not been doing a good job updating the blog at all. We finished the baseboards in the guest room, and I was excited to post pictures until I pulled the blue tape off the wall and the paint came with it. One step forward, two steps back...always. I bought the tape for delicate surfaces and had used it without a problem in other parts of the house. I'm not sure what made the guest room paint different, but it is...and it sucks. I guess it's a good thing I didn't really like that paint color anyway.

I am discouraged and I need to be inspired. So here's my inspiration: I proposed to my mother that instead of the usual Christmas gifts of books and DVDs and electronic devices, I would give her a list of home renovation items we need and she could pick one or two to get us as gifts. My list will be my inspiration, because I can't install the bathroom light until the bathroom is remodeled. And I can't install the porch light until the porch is finished.

Motivation/Inspiration/Christmas List

1. Bathroom light

2. Porch light

3. Doorbell

4. Clawfoot tub shower set