Front rooms renovation, day nineteen

I’m sitting in my living room while I write this. On my couch. Without the plastic.

I have reclaimed my living space!

Which, as you can probably guess, means the painting is finally finished. It took me two days of work to get the sizable front rooms dolled up and then another day to clean up and mostly put back together. Some of the pieces don’t fit and some pieces are missing, but this puzzle looks so much better.

Here’s a quick reminder of how these two rooms, living room and dining room respectively, looked when I first moved in.

Soak that in for a moment. Hole in the ceiling. Popcorn flaking down. Bird’s nest on an already hideous ceiling fan. Bad curtains. Dirty doors and baseboards. Faded (and horribly painted) peach walls. You can’t tell in these photos, but the master bedroom door is also the peach color that I’ve come to despise.

Now time for the painting reveal. We still don’t have the light fixtures up and our furniture and decorations need some love, but it goes without saying that there’s already considerable improvement.

This paint has made all the difference in the world to this old house! Brightened baseboards and doors. Brighter rooms. Accent wall to tie the separate rooms together rather than clumping them into one. Plus, I love my simple white curtains…which are just flat sheets from Walmart. Eventually, I’ll be adding an accent color around them but I’m still working on that.

If you have any questions about my renovations so far, please leave a comment!


Front rooms renovation, day sixteen

It took me three days — three days — to finish painting the trim, windows, and doors in the front rooms. Then, it took a mere three hours or less to prime the walls.

No, the priming isn’t perfect and no, it wasn’t easy to get pictures of the rooms with everything piled up in the middle.

However, I can rest easy tonight knowing that I’ve gotten this much done and tomorrow (unless something more important comes up) I’ll finally be able to put the colors up on the walls. After all this time anxiously waiting, it’s actually going to happen. I have a bit more work to do following that before the front rooms are actually “finished”, but it’s too huge of a milestone for me not to be proud of.

The best part of what I’ve gotten done so far is repainting that old gentleman of a door. He looks so nice all dressed up, doesn’t he? It took me three coats of paint on the interior and two on the exterior. I left it at two for the outer part so it’d retain a bit of a weather-worn look, similar to the rest of the outside of the house.


Looking ahead — far, far ahead — I found a nice little surprise while I was painting the guest room door. I lifted the edge of the carpet under the door (it was already torn from the floor a bit, presumably from the same dog who scratched up three of the doors, stained the hardwood with urine, and chewed up a windowsill) and found that there is, in fact, hardwood underneath! Time for me to begin researching how to remove carpets!


In the meantime, I’m really hoping I can get someone in who knows how to fix the issues that have been caused by the new ceiling. I was so excited when I first realized that the Ceiling Guy was going to simply slap a new ceiling over the the old one because it would cut down on construction time by a lot. However, an issue that I didn’t expect (because I simply don’t know about this stuff and am learning as I go along) is that the vent inserts and light inserts are now so far inset into the ceiling that I’m currently stuck staring and the holes and unsure what to do. I have a few different options on how to proceed, but I’m tracking down an expert opinion first.

But Ceiling Guy, you kind of screwed me.

Front rooms renovation, day twelve

The ceiling is finally finished! I could sing and dance and drink until I fall down!

The husband unit and I spent the entire day preparing the dining room and living room for painting and then he painted the ceiling. It was after sunset once he was finished but it was as if a weight was lifted off of our shoulders.

In the next couples days I’ll begin painting the trim, doors, and window frames. They’re all going to stay white — I’m simply trying to bring them to a cleaner look since they likely haven’t been touched up in decades. The new door is likely to take a considerable amount of work but I’m determined to conquer it. My goal, though ambitious since I’ll have to work alone and in-between other obligations from here on out, is to have all of the painting done in a week.

Tonight, however, I’ll revel in this major milestone reached!

I could be making a very bad decision

I’ve been plotting how best to avenge my lost time from the lengthy ceiling repair. I may be making a mistake, but I’ve decided that I’m going to repair the leaking walls in the breakfast nook and storage room myself. Yeah, I know, it’s crazy.

The guy who was originally going to work on it stopped be a couple days ago and told me that he’s learned that someone actually dug out behind the walls and did the exact thing he was planning on doing just five years ago. So, to me, that sounds like it isn’t where the problem is coming from. This sent me off on a quest to learn what my other options were. After some research and a bit of poking around in the rooms in question, I’ve found that not only is the inside of the wall in the breakfast nook not sealed, but neither rooms have floor edging installed.

The latter was a bit of a eureka moment for me. The last time we had a major downpour, these two rooms leaked and it seemed like all the water was coming from the bottom edge of the walls rather than the walls themselves.


I’m theorizing that I can tear down the sheet rock that’s covering the center blocks in the breakfast nook, seal the wall there as well as in the storage room, and install some edging in order to seal off the leak coming from the soil outside. Additionally, I’m playing with the idea of laying some faux stone tiles on the wall we’re taking the sheet rock off of. My hope is the mortar will add an extra layer of protection against the oncoming floods.

This could be a major waste of time and resources. On the other hand, it may be crazy enough to work.

Either way, it’s an amazing, hands-on learning experience for me.

Front rooms renovation, day ten

Now that I have my primer, paint brushes, and everything else I need, I’m severely anxious for the ceiling to be finished. However, it still isn’t!

Tonight’s the night according to the man who has been working on it for the last week and a half. I have a whole run down of when and in what order everything else will need to be done and it completely hinges on this guy sticking to his word. Don’t get me wrong, his work so far is amazing and everyone says he’s the best. However, it’s slightly frustrating when I keep tripping over stacked up furniture or am being woken up by grumpy cats declaring their freedom in order to return to the front of the house.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy with other tasks such as getting my deadbolts installed — finally. One would think I’d be in a bit more of a rush with this after the meat man incident, however I don’t have the right tools to do it on my own. Since a deadbolt has never been installed in either of the exterior doors before, I required a special attachment on my drill to make the holes in the door and door frame.

A really sweet guy from my grandpa’s lumber mill came out to help me. Seriously, this guy went above and beyond.

The front deadbolt went in without any issues, however once he started working on the side door (an old windowed door leading from the living room out onto our porch) all hell started breaking loose. Not only is the old door thinner and more fragile than the newer one, but it also appears that someone once knocked it in and then hastily repaired the outer edge of it. A strip of wood was attached to the edge of the door, which cracked and splintered under the pressure of the screws and drilling.

Needless to say, it rendered the deadbolt a bit useless was wasn’t the safest door to have on the outside of the house. After working with the door for awhile in attempts to reinforce it, the guy flew off to find a better solution. Honestly, at this point I was a little bummed because I was afraid I’d lose my adorable, antique windowed door. My obsession with natural light is going to get me into trouble one day, I swear!

Before I knew it, he’d returned with a new door. He led me over to the back of his truck to see it and I was beyond ecstatic to see that it was another old, windowed door like the one that was ready to be laid to rest! We hung it up after reaping the old one, switched out the knobs, and reinstalled the deadbolt. It needs a bit of cleaning and some paint, but this door is one handsome gentleman!


To make things even better, I’m left with the old door. Though too broken to use as a secure threshold, it’s still beautiful and can be used in a project or two in order to stay apart of this darling old country home!


Front rooms renovation, day three

Keeping myself busy while the ceiling is being worked on isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I can’t work in any of the other rooms because I can’t move around in them — everything from the front rooms is piled up to the ceiling!

So in the meantime, I’ve been getting the paint off of the only antique doorknob in that area. (Unfortunately, the knob to the guest bedroom has been replaced with crappy modern one.) Using the instructions I found on Design Sponge, I removed the doorknob from the master bedroom door and began soaking it in an old pot that I’ll be using specifically for doorknob repair as we renovate this crazy house.

I got a little impatient at times and kept poking the paint off with a chopstick. I must say that the pot of hot water method worked amazing! Now to decide if I should paint the back plate darker to match the color of the knobs. I have a little time to decide since I have to take them off again when I finally get to paint the doors.

While I boiled my knobs, I worked on my odd light switch. I bought new plug covers and light switch covers to match the random updated ones in the front rooms. Seriously, who only updates half the covers, leaves some others old, and leaves a few more uncovered? The tricky part came with the double light switch between the front door and one of the front windows. The area is too small for the default size of a switch cover, but the previous (aka old) cover was cut down to fit. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to deal with that noise. I went the simple route and cleaned up the old cover the best I could and slapped on some spray paint that matched the new covers.

It’s not a flawless match, but it could be much worse. I’m willing to do nearly anything to keep busy until we can move onto the next phase of our renovation. Progress makes me happy.


Front rooms renovation, day one

Despite my overwhelming discouragement after my last post, the fellow who was going to replace my ceiling did show up! It was already one or two in the afternoon and I had all but given up hope. After working for less than 8 hours, the three man team made some amazing progress! They’ll likely be done in four or five days.

They didn’t take out the original ceiling like I originally thought. Instead they covered the old one (popcorn and all…will that gross texture haunt me from its grave?) with new, fresh sheet rock. They even tried their best to level out the old ceiling’s waves. All that’s really left for them to do is secure a couple more places and smooth it all out.

Then I get my hands on some paint brushes and go to town primer every surface apart from the floor, fireplace, and built-ins in the living room and dining room!

The cats, much to my displeasure, love the plastic wrap.