Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Brought Home A Stripper

In my previous post, I told you how my simple task of removing the wood trim surrounding the opening to the dining room turned into mission creep. Mainly because the dining room needed more than just a new trim, it needed a full shave.

So I began removing the wallpaper, which fortunately went rather well, with large sections easily peeling away. See below.

When I encountered areas of wallpaper that were too stubborn to pull off easily, I heated up the area with an iron first, then gently scraped from behind. To not muck up the iron, I placed a sheet of aluminum foil between the iron and the wall.

Here's some floral wallpaper I uncovered from circa 1962. Betty Draper would've love this.

Eventually I was down to bare drywall (dry barewall?), as shown below.

With the walls ready, I moved onto the dining room window and it's black casing. I thought using white paint on a black window would just not work, so I decided to sand the window first. This proved to be challenging. Although I could sand and scrape away the paint, it was hard work. I also left many dings in the wood with all that scraping.

So I began researching paint removal products. I eventually found Peel Away 6 at Lowes to try. It's not too pricey, has no harmful fumes and is non-toxic (it may be soy-based). On the way home, I called my girlfriend and told her I was bringing home a stripper. (For some reason, she didn't think that was as funny as I did).

Strippers are a mess, I learned. So take my advice... If you bring home a stripper, have plenty of paper towels nearby. I'm just saying. Anyway, I safely removed two layers of paint.

With the walls and the window bare, I was now ready to prime and paint.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mission creep

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted, I've been busy with my new job. I started working for a new company in August in a contract-to-hire position, and took a permanent position in October. It's a good place to work, with lots of challenging programming projects, so I'm very happy.

But in the interim, I've tackled two big projects at the KSModern home! I'll lead off with this post about the dining room project.

I've never been happy with the transition between the living room and dining room. Originally there was a half-wall that separated the room, with spindly little posts from the top of this wall to the ceiling. And on the living room side of this half-wall... faux brick. I removed that wall around 1998, I'd say. It looked better, and opened the two rooms up to one another, but with this renovation I made a poor color choice and painted the remaining trim a mossy green. Making matters worse, I carried this color into the living room on the baseboard.

This year I'd finally grown WAY tired of staring at this green trim, and in mid August I tore it down. Here's how it looked afterward:

You can just spot a bit of the green trim leaning against on the back wall. Ugly. So the idea was to remove this trim, add corner bead, patch it up with joint compound, paint it, et voila! It's done. But that's not how it turns out in the real world. Instead, I decided to extend this little project in the dining room. By continuing the sandy color of the living room into the dining room, both rooms would be linked and flow together better. Sounds easy to me. More pics below.

Above is the view from the kitchen.

This is a detail of the south wall.

After a night or two of joint compounding (compound jointing?), I was pleased with the result.

But as you can see above, I'd already taken a step into the dining room and removed a section of wallpaper. The mission in Mission was creeping.

In the next post, I'll tell you how I brought home a stripper.