Monday, April 16, 2012

The List, 2012 Edition

Proposed 2010 List
  • stripping woodwork
  • removing old wallpaper
  • paint walls and woodwork
  • level yard
  • retaining wall along front sidewalk
  • french drains
  • fix gutters
  • repair driveway
  • new back patio pavers
  • Restore the 5 sash windows
Finished in 2010:
  • finished the dining room (included wall paper and woodwork work for this room)

Proposed 2011 List

  • remove the poured concrete patio/sidewalk and replace with pavers
  • fix the gutters and dig french drains
  • prune the out of control fig tree
  • remove old plants, till/level the yard, and replant grass
  • build a shed for the grill, mower and other lawn care tools
  • remove door to bathroom and frame in wall instead
  • strip paint off the fire place brick
Accomplished in 2011
And finally, the 2012 List
  • strip the wall paper in the front room
  • strip the wood work in the front room
  • build a shed
  • paint the front room
  • level the front yard
  • landscape both yard
  • build retaining wall
  • install paver patio
  • repair driveway and add pavers
  • repair plaster in bedroom
  • strip paint on bedroom woodwork
  • paint bedroom
  • finish plaster repair in office
  • finish stripping woodwork in the office
  • paint office
  • repair 5 sash windows
Not listed are the projects in the bathroom and basement. Our bathroom will eventually be totally renovated, and the basement will eventually be finished (with a bedroom, some storage and a bathroom/laundry room).

Realistically, we will finish the office, and maybe one additional room in 2012. We'll get the shed built, and maybe even some work in the front yard. I think these steps will really make this place start to feel like it's finally "ours."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What's Your Favorite Primer?

So far, we have used Zinsser's 1-2-3 and Sherwin Williams Multi-Purpose Latex Primer. We've had recommendations for KILZ® Water Based Primer, Gardz and Benjamin Moore primer.

Our walls are original lime-based plaster with newer lime-based plaster patches. There are a few places where a previous owner hung sheet rock over the plaster. I'd like to used one primer for all surfaces, including woodwork.

What's your favorite primer? Or is there a primer we should definitely avoid?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Light Bulb Review

Light bulb review. Really? Not something I expected to write about. But. I do like a nice light bulb. And, unfortunately, my favorite bulb is an incandescent. I love GE Reveal light bulbs.

I've seen those hybrid bulbs popping up more often, and have been pretty curious. The color of the light seemed OK in the gym bathroom, but who knows how that would look at home.

Today, I had a chance to try them out. When I was working in the future office, I was reminded that the overhead lights had burned out. So I picked up a two-pack of GE Reveal Hybrid bulbs. Basically, these bulbs are a compact florescent bulb inside of a halogen bulb.

The light is neither as WHITE as the regular CFLs, nor as soft as my beloved Reveal (original) bulbs. I'd say it's actually a little bit yellow. But. Better than a regular CFL.

I know light bulb technology will continue to improve. I just hope they can recreate that light that I love so much!

Office Plaster Saga

Yes, it deserves to be considered a "saga." Because this plaster repair job has been weighing on my mind, overwhelming me, and forcing me to reach beyond my skill set. After consulting the hero next door, I had a plan.

I grabbed what I needed from the basement, and thought "This is blog material- better grab the camera" only to discover my batteries are dead. All of them. Even the batteries from the fridge. Both sets of rechargeables are useless, because the charger cord frayed.

So pardon the quality of the photos- I had to use my computer's built in camera. Side note: my computer's camera takes mirror image photos. To correct this, open the photo in Preview, select the Tools menu, and scroll down to "Flip Horizontal." Tadaa!

I didn't feel like I needed *everything* painting related, because I was just going to paint a bit beyond the repaired area. I didn't even use a drop cloth, or put paper on the floor. I did keep a damp rag handy.

Anyway. First, I washed the whole wall with TSP. That was an improvement right there.

Now I can see that there's really not much left to do. Just sand a bit here, and spread on just a bit more plaster here, and there. Of course, the picture isn't so impressive...


None the less, I'm feeling a lot better about my chance at not totally failing this project.

Another side note: Did you know that primer can go bad? This primer is about a year and a half old- maybe closer to two years. We used it in the Dining Room. Anyway, the white primer had what looked like mold on the inside of the paint bucket lid, and globs of RED, CARMEL and BLACK goo. I flicked the big ones back onto the lid, and left the little globs, since I have to go back over the plaster anyway. I figure I'll sand it all off, then.