Thursday, May 26, 2016

This is why you never leave me unsupervised.

No, like seriously.  Don't leave me unattended or I pop the bubble in the old paint and try to remove all the flaking wallpaper.

And then the old and ruined plaster crumbles off and I have a 12x8" hole.

And then I end up at Home Depot ten minutes before they close with a five gallon bucket of plaster.

A few layers and a week later, it fills in nice.  Meanwhile, I find another mass of loose wallpaper near the door and obviously pick at it.

The archaeological dig is fascinating!

Eventually I manage to get paint on the actual walls.

And stain the wood for the trim.  I am beyond happy with how this looks.

Three layers of paint later, I try to hand the wainscotting.  Welp, metal nails don't want to go in through the plaster, and the walls aren't flat enough for Liquid Nails to make enough contact.

That is a full tube of glue.  I ended up taping it to the wall and maybe the top left third ended attaching.  Will the next pieces manage to stick up?  Who knows!  But I haven't burned the house down yet.  I just want something that will survive 3-5 years while I restore some of my savings and redo the kitchen (which takes much higher priority).

Oh, the flooring has finally started!

Sunday, May 8, 2016


I bought a house exactly a month ago.  As I understand, it is a Queen Anne Vernacular style of Victorian house built in 1890.  It has fantastic spaces and enormous potential, and it is going to take me forever to fix it in true Victorian form -_-; And, as a wonderful coincidence, my friend Yana lived in it growing up, as it belonged to her grand mother and then her aunt. I really hope to get all of the information about it from her soon, including old pictures.

The attic window look out over Talleyrand Park directly at the Bellefonte court house.

The first main project we are tackling is the floor.  Paraphrasing Les Luthiers: Por que la gallinita dijo parquet?  POR QUE?!?  The parquet has been around longer than Yana's family can remember, and was stuck down with way too much tar. While yes, I have more experience that one person could ever need in removing bituminous materials, this is way too much to dissolve.  Luckily, it is so old and vitrified that I've been able to chisel some of it off where needed.  Dave and I plan on leveling it out as much as possible before laying a floating laminate to get us through the first several years until I can recover from the purchase and install a substantial hard wood floor.

Unfortunately, there may be a bit of a Pandora's Box in the walls.  A) the electricity is overlaid and may or may not be grounded.  This isn't a total problem since it is easy to rip it out and wire it correctly.  And I'm ok with it being superficial since that will allow me to put in as many outlets as my little black heart desires.  B) There are a couple of dodgy spots in the plaster.  There is this one specific patch behind a kickboard that is a good 1/4" thicker than the surrounding wall and is starting to crumble.  On the wall opposite of this patch was a radiator that missed a significant number of paint layers over the decades and also looks questionable.  The closet they installed in the corner is built around the previously existing kickboard, and half a sheet of the same bead board is installed opposite of it next to the front door of the room. We are considering continuing the bead board in a chair rail around the rest of the room in order to hold the walls in for a few years until we have enough money to go whole hog on each individual room.  Yes, I know this is a dangerous proposition and that most people forget and never come back to do it right, but I really need to get this floor serviceable so we can finish moving in.

There are things that must be done, things that need to be done, things that can be done, and things I want to do.  Budgeting for all of these is going to be a bitch, especially when all of these can be done for right now so we can use the space, well and can last a long time, and mega super upgraded for ever.   nnnnng