Monday, August 16, 2010

Where have I been/

Where have I been--thats a good question. Obviously not thinking about my blog. I had almost forgotten it when a neighbor reminded me. Took me a half an hour to hunt down the email address used, and the passwords, etc.

So, since I put in the kitchen shelves, I haven't done much. Except build one more set of beautiful walnut shelves for a basement apartment. Smaller than the first, but just as beautiful. I have also done some work on my own personal closet, making it much more "modern." That just means it holds more of my clothes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Phase 1 of kitchen finished

Today I finally finished what I'll call phase one of the kitchen rehab. The steps:

1. Wood trim on doors stripped and refinished

2. Wallpaper (which was painted over) was stripped off the ceilings and walls

3. Plaster walls repaired (cracks and gouges)

4. Repainted the walls

Last but not least was a set of shelves to tuck behind our doors. The problem was our cupboards just weren't big enough to hold everything. So, I used some more of my English Walnut stash to builda big set of shelves. The wood came from a neighbor's tree, which had Died. My dad and I took it down, and I had a tow truck haul it to a saw mill down in Salem. The sawyer (first time I got to use that word properly) cut the tree into two 8 foot sections that he then sawed into 1 1/4" slabs. Most of my investment of time was in getting the slabs ready for my project. $60 of planer blades and lots of time did the trick. I created the pieces, my Dad helped me put them together and glue them. Then they sat for 8 months in the computer room. I stained and varnished them this weekend, and then we "attached" them to the wall. I didn't want them falling down on top of my youngest son the first time he crawled up them like a ladder.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kitchen undergoes wallpaper removal

I feel guilty for being so negligent. I haven't been doing enough--or posting enough. Too much going on, not enough time...

But, the last few weeks I've been finding a little time to work on our kitchen. I've been taking off layers of wallpaper and paint from the ceiling and upper half of the walls. Thankfully, the bottom half of the walls has never been wallpapered. My trusty 4 inch razor blade on a big handle is the tool of choice. Rips right through it--giving my arms a nice workout in the process. It creates piles of brown paper/paint swirls. Sort of like using a wood plane on a block of wood--just a different result. Take a look!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Viktoria's garden close ups

One benefit of our flower beds and the wonderful flowers are the butterflies and the hummingbirds that come visiting. Take a look at the great pictures my wife took.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dad's contribution

Every so often, I'm fortunate enough to have some skilled help. My Dad was out here for a week in May and provided some very nice help. I have two exterior stairwells on my house. One leads to the basement apartment I rent out, and the other to a family room of sorts. They didn't have anything preventing little kids from falling down into them, and the city asked me to in essence fence them in.

So, after a lot of measuring, thinking and buying materials, the project got started. We had to attach "supports" to the old pipe handrails, and to the concrete. Drilling concrete is one rotten job, especially if you don't have a hammer drill. It is really good at burning up bits (even those made for concrete).

My Dad did almost all the work, and did a good job. My thanks to him. Maybe my homeowners liability will go down?? (wishful thinking)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kitchen Door/trim refinishing project

After living in our home 8 1/2 years, I've started fixing previous fixes. Sad state of affairs, but our tastes change, and we unfortunately recognize previous errors.

My latest project is to de-green part of the kitchen. When we first moved in, we repainted all the kitchen, and the cupboards. Taking after a magazine article, we used this beautiful apple green color on the cupboard doors, and other colors on the bottom of each walls. We also repainted the woodwork. Well, it was too much green, and the "other" color is too bright. Once we had a couple over, and they were looking at what we done, and they immediately assumed we had not done anything to the kitchen, and were cringing. I didn't correct them at the time.

So, I'm de-greening the wood trim around the 3 kitchen doorways, and I'll repaint the walls. I've got bigger plans for the kitchen, including subway tile, new countertops, etc., but those will have to wait.

So, I started with the door that goes into the dining room, and took off the trim, and ran it through the planer, the joiner and a sanding center to remove all the paint. Quick and effective. The door jamb and door were slower, and had to be stripped with chemicals. I did the door outside. I was half surprised to find the same beautiful gumwood veneer on the door that is found on the dining room side. Gorgeous wood, irreplaceable.

I used amber shellac to finish it off, which makes the grain "pop" out. Now I'm doing the 2nd doorway, which thankfully goes to a hall, and the door was removed, and reused long ago.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Finishing touches on the girls bathrooms

I have a bad renovation habit. I get things functional, and sometimes leave the project for other attractions and distractions. Case in point, the two bathrooms in our basement that my girls claim. Both tiny, previously worked on, but I never painted the walls above the beadboard or put a shower in the tub in the east bath. Well, a 14 year old isn't too interested in taking baths, so it was time.

So, I devoted a couple of Saturdays to the finishing touches. Price tag, around $200 for shower curtains, a few plumbing parts, a plastic (cloudy) curtain to cover a window, some hardboard to cover a really yucky ceiling. I saved on paint--using two different colors from our endless stock of 1/2 empty paint cans. They look good, and both are functional, but that doesn't guarantee they'll stay clean. Teenagers are teenagers.