Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ah, setbacks

If there's one thing I know for certain, it's that Mark and I do not have a future in floor refinishing.

We spent six agonizing hours on our hands and knees staining the floors yesterday, and when we went back this morning, prepared to put the first coat of polyurethane on, they looked like garbage. So terrible, I couldn't bring myself to take a picture for you. We basically stood there with our mouths open. Mark is taking it worse than I am. He said he wanted to cry, and for a minute I thought he was going to.

The problem appears to be that he didn't get up all of the varnish when he was sanding the floors. So, the stain didn't soak into those areas, leaving the floors streaky and blotchy. Soooo, Mark is spending the day re-sanding the floors, and (kill me now) I think we're spending tomorrow re-staining them.

I will be spending today in the fetal position with my blankie, and if you ever hear me say we're moving again, just punch me in the face.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Well, we're officially three weeks into Phase 1 (which we estimated would take two weeks), with about two more weeks to go. Why do these things always take longer than planned? The good news is that Mark and I have only wanted to kill each other one of those days. Not bad.

The worst part is finally over - the plaster dust. Holy God, the dust. Mark may loathe textured walls, but do I ever understand why it was invented. You just spray that crap on and call it done. Instead, we've spent countless hours plastering cracks and blemishes, and sanding them, and replastering them, and sanding again, and on and on trying to make them look perfect. And you know what? That's impossible, which is very unsettling for an anal freak like me. And we've sucked enough dust to have surely taken a couple of years off our lives.

I've finished staining and clear-coating all the interior doors. They look like this (which is also how the floors will look):

And best of all, we got our new refrigerator, courtesy of Mark's mama. It's a behemoth in our little kitchen, but it's oh so pretty. It will look like it belongs someday, when we redo the kitchen. Behold the dream fridge, surrounded by garbage:

Now we're on to paint! Then refinishing the floors which have already been sanded (by Mark) and taped for painting (by me, which resulted in numerous muscle aches and a 3-day limp). The joys of remodeling!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Phase 1 underway

Can I just brag for a minute? I have the handiest husband ever. He can fix, build, or replace anything even if he's never done it before. He just figures it out. I'm in awe of his man skills.

First up, he installed crown moulding (something he'd never done before) in the three bedrooms other than the master, which is part of Phase 2. He also skimmed this entire bedroom with plaster since it was the only room that was textured (weird), which to him was unacceptable because "it's so 80s."

Doesn't it look professional?! The moulding will be painted white, btw.

Then, he closed up a doorway from the kitchen into the hallway, because when we do the kitchen in a year (God willing), we plan to use that spot for more counter space. So we did it now so the hall can be completed.

This is our little entryway.

See that door on the left? That's our coat closet! I haven't had a coat closet since I've moved out of my parents' house. In every place I've lived, the front door just opened up into the middle of the living room. I'm so excited. No one wears coats in Southern California, but if they did, we'd be ready for them.

Mark already replaced the coat closet door (and all of the bedroom doors) from regular white hollow doors to that beautiful wood. Tomorrow I will start staining them all darker, to match the floors that we're staining when all the plaster work is finished. We also ordered a new wood front door, but it won't be arriving for 6 weeks.

And, I don't have a "before" picture, but he replaced a hideous gold light fixture that cleared the front door by less than a centimeter with a recessed light.

This is what every room looks like right now...

Filled with tools and sawdust and mess. It's chaos.

See those paint swatches to the left of the ladder? We've decided on the darkest one for the living room. It's Babbling Brook from Olympic, cause I just gotta do the no VOC thing, and I love it!

So much more to do before we can actually move in, but we're moving right along. Hopefully two more weeks!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We're In!

Well, not completely. After what seems like eternity, we were finally able to get into our new house on Monday afternoon.

It smelled weird, and the reality of all the little (and not so little) things we have to do really set in. But we're so excited. Luckily since we're renting our current house, there's no hurry to get everything out, other than the very real threat of two mortgages. Who needs money! So the plan is to do any plaster work, sand and restain the hardwood floors, and paint the main rooms before completely moving in. We'll see how it goes.

The kitchen is worse than I thought. I spent all of yesterday (minus a couple of swimming breaks!) scrubbing it, and I still didn't finish. I don't thinking cleaning was a priority for the previous owners. Seriously, my arms are sore. What I really want to do is take a sledgehammer to it, but alas, kitchen remodel is not in the budget right now.

On a positive note, we found lots of little gifts throughout the house left by the sellers.

Lots more pictures and updates to come!