We haven’t seen our builders since Monday (we knew we might not). It seems all three built-ins will be ready early next week so I think they are waiting until they have a bunch of things to do. I’ve noticed they really like to be busy.

Yesterday and today I finally got some color on to some walls. Chris and I had decided that it would be best to paint between the barn boards of the old family room wall, so that’s how I started. Then when I rolled on the paint, it turned out it covered pretty well, so that may not have been necessary.

At first I was a bit doubtful about my choice of Whisper Yellow. Even though it’s a fairly mild buttery color, compared to what was there before (kind of a cream/tan/not quite yellow) it looked very yellow. However, once the whole wall was Whisper Yellow it looked very nice. I’m glad, because we bought five gallons of Whisper Yellow all at once to do the family room (2 coats, large room). It was pricey and non-returnable, so it will be Whisper Yellow.

I put the first coat on the old wall yesterday and the second coat today. Also today, I put a first coat on the end wall of the family room where a built-in will go. Only some of the paint will actually show so I didn’t have to paint anywhere near as much as I did, but I was kind of on a roll (literally as well as figuratively) and Chris wasn’t around to stop me. I’m sure for the second coat I’ll only do where the built-in won’t cover.

I left space at the top for my brother (hopefully) to cut in. Everything looks pretty good, although it’s discouraging to think about how much more remains!

Happy Veteran’s Day to any veterans reading this!


Monday, 11/7 – A Door, Baseboard Molding, Windows, and Paint!

Last week was mostly taken over by the floor guys. On Tuesday and Thursday nights, we stayed at yet another home away from home — my mom and dad’s house. We are so lucky they were willing to add five people to their household to help us out! These were school nights, too, so the kids had to take over the kitchen table to get their homework done and lunch bags needed to be unpacked, Thermoses washed, etc. Many thanks to Mom and Dad for their hospitality.

Our wandering ways are over now, though, and we have beautiful floors. Also, if you’re ever having your hardwood floors redone, try to find someone with this “dustless” system. We didn’t end up with sawdust everywhere, or even anywhere. They did put up plastic, but there was plastic when the plaster guys came too and we’re still finding plaster dust on things.

The big items of the house project are complete; we’re down to smaller carpentry work. Today Jamie and Mario came to wind things down. Just a word on timing: the contract with our builders estimated job completion for sixteen weeks after foundation signoff. Today was eleven weeks after the start of the entire project and there’s very little left to do. It’s the opposite of a cautionary tale about a house project!

Mario installed my sewing room door and its trim. A minor crisis was averted when I heard that the door should swing into the sewing room when in fact it should swing into the bedroom so I don’t end up with wasted “behind the door” space in the cozy (i.e. smallish) sewing room. In the bedroom, the door will open just a bit over 90 degrees; no furniture could go along that wall anyway, so there’s no real waste. There’s no handle on the door yet, but that’s the easy part.

Baseboard molding was added to the new rooms. It looks very good, adding a real finished look to things. It’s pre-primed white, like the window trim in the new rooms, to help make painting a bit easier.

There have been little packets of screws in each window since the windows went in. Jamie had said to leave them there and they’ll be put to use later. I’m not sure the purpose of these screws, because we’ve been using the windows for a while now, but they must have one. So today, their time has come — Mario started putting them into the windows.

So that’s a door, baseboard trim, and windows. The “paint” part of the title was mostly me with some help from Chris. We are now able to move furniture onto the floors and we would love to put the TV back on the wall of the older part of the family room and move the TV table (with all the electronics) back where it was.

However, we’ll be painting the entire family room so it looks consistent and we have to paint part of the ceiling in the old part — there’s new plaster there since they cut away the bay window and had to put in a new beam. It wouldn’t make sense to put our TV and TV table back and then have to paint around it, so getting this part of the family room painted is a priority.

Last night I prepared a bit and today, I painted! I used a brush to paint primer (Kilz2) on the edges of the ceiling and then, rolled on the primer. There are decorative beams across the ceiling so I was able to break up the rolling job into three parts without leaving a weird edge to dry. I don’t love painting, and for some reason my thighs hurt (I seem to do a weird rocking motion that uses muscles I don’t normally use), but it looks decent. I know because Chris would tell me if it didn’t!

Chris also painted Kilz2 on a red spot on the current family room wall which we think is sap coming through, as well as on some other spots. One coat wasn’t enough to keep that red spot down, so I repainted that later. The second coat seems to have done it, which is a relief. That red spot has bothered me for years.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to get some color on the family room wall – first coat! Our builders will be here tomorrow to install the first built-in if it’s ready. Otherwise Wednesday is likely. I’d really love to have painted before the built-ins and baseboard molding went in everywhere, but when the floors were scheduled for last week (and the prior Friday), that sort of ruined our painting schedule. But at least painting has restarted now!

I’ve reread this post and it has some clunky transitions (or lack of transitions), but better a clunky post than no post at all, I’m hoping.

Sunday 10/23 – Painting

I’m typing with Ultra Pure White paint on my fingers. I know it will all wash/rub off, but I just haven’t quite gotten around to doing that yet. I asked Chris for one of his older shirts and that’s a little bit paint-y too. It feels good to see things with a coat of paint, though!

We have a coat of “ceiling white” on all the new ceilings – dining room, family room, and sewing room. This is just in time; the electricians come for the final time tomorrow and it’s nice to have the ceilings done before they put the last pieces of the light fixtures in.

Steve was, of course, paint boss, instructor, and master painter. He did the entire ceiling of the back room (12′ X 50′, sloped); Chris did the sewing room ceiling. Thomas and I did some painting where the brush was needed.

Mom sanded the windows in the family room and dining room; Thomas and I did some as well, particularly the higher parts. Three of the four double windows in the back section now have their first coat of primer/paint; they were pre-primed so they already look pretty good, but of course another coat will be needed. We will keep working on windows — maybe by next weekend all the windows in that section will have at least their first coat.

Now we need to clear both new areas — the hardwood floors will be going in tomorrow and nothing can be in the way!

A new approach, plus painting (October 22)

A new approach — I’m obviously not doing well at getting a detailed blog post up with pictures every day. The sticking point is the pictures — unloading, selecting, fixing if needed, and getting them into the right place/format to get them into the blog takes way too much time! I still intend to catch up at some point, but I think to keep things going I need to not worry about sticking to the current format and at least writing a bit every day about the progress. The pictures will be here when they’re here.

So much of this project is done. In the new areas, everything is wired and just waiting for the electrician’s final work on Monday. All the windows are in (the final two we were waiting on were installed Friday) and most windows have trim. The septic pipes no longer go through the new basement, but around the edges. We have blueboard and plaster. The hardwood flooring has arrived and will be installed this week. One built-in is being worked on and we’ve almost nailed down the design for the other two. Everything looks really good. It’s amazing to see pictures from 8/22 when they started; we’ve come so far.

Yesterday, 10/22, was our first day of painting. My brother Steve and nephew Campbell came. Way back when we were planning this, Steve said not to have the builders paint. He would come, teach us all to paint, and help get it done. And now we’re at that point in the project!

We had sanded the ceiling before he came. By day’s end, the ceilings were primed! Also, the nail holes in the pre-primed window trim had been filled with wood filler, most of the excess wood filler had been scraped off, and some of the window trim had been sanded. Steve will be back today, and my mother is coming as well, for more work. I’ll report at the end of the day what we’ve done.

One of my focuses lately has been trying to choose colors for the rooms. Ceilings are easy; they’re “ceiling white.” For the trim in the new section, we’re going with “Ultra Pure White.” All the paint except the ceiling paint will be Behr’s Ultra paint & prime in one in the hopes that we can get away with just two coats rather than a priming coat and probably two coats of color anyway. All of the old window trim is an off white that we had matched.

My sewing room is going to be a little funky. I’m the only one who has to like it, so I’m going to have fun with it. For the walls, I’ve chosen “Celtic Gray” which really is a dusty green/blue color.

Behr™ 490E-3 Celtic Gray

For the trim, I’m choosing between “Stained Glass” and “Corsican Purple.” Yep, purple trim.

When it comes to the family room, I’m a little bit like Myrna Loy (Mrs. Blandings) in this scene from Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House. I want it to be yellow, bright and sunshiny and the color of butter. I’ve held up a stick of butter to my samples. I think the most likely winner for the family room is “Whisper Yellow.”

The kitchen wallpaper will eventually be stripped and the wall will be painted a deeper yellow. So far, “Spiced Butternut” is the front-runner.

The dining room is going to be blue, but every blue I’ve brought home in sample size so far has been a disaster. Now I have almost every blue sample card the store has for Behr and I have to rethink it all and find something, hopefully by next weekend.

And now I need to be off — more painting to do today, and Steve has just arrived! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but hopefully a picture-free blog post is better than no blog post at all.