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01 April 2012 @ 10:16 pm
Phase One House Renovation Complete!  

So here's what we started with:

So not awful, but not great.  The previous owner had been a pretty heavy smoker (check out the yellow outline in the picture above - and that's from after the whole house had been painted white in preparation for selling the place.  That's how nicotine-stained it got in that period.  Now check out the fridge:

Gah!  But we didn't really have the money to buy a new fridge right off the bat, so we had to figure out how to make that liveable.  (We do end up getting this fridge almost completely white.  I thought I'd taken a picture of it but I can't find it.  Of all the things we tried - like, four different cleaning products and bleach and vinegar and all kind of old wive's tales, what ended up working was a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  There you go.)  So first things first, we painted.  And in painting, we discovered how the previous folks had literally just slopped paint everywhere for the entire time they lived in the joint.

After painting, it came time to pull up the nasty old carpets.  Here's a better shot of just how gross they were.  (Of course, I think carpet in most cases is gross, but this carpet was especially gross.)

(As a quick aside, of all the jobs I've done or helped with the past month, my least favorite has been pulling up carpet and removing all the carpet tack and, I swear to God, literal hundreds of nails that had been randomly nailed in everywhere.  I have rarely felt as nasty as I did in that two-day span, but once we got it up, even the beat-up old hardwood underneath looked beautiful.)

We're not sure what happened to create that dark stain in front of the front door.  I hope no one died there.

Next up was a very long weekend.  We rented a serious business sander and used a few other hand ones, and we sanded those hardwood floors right down.

(Dad and Grandpa!)

As you can see, sanding requires some safety precautions.  Because there ends up being a lot of sawdust in the air.  (Check out our kitchen paint swatches in the background.  Which one did we choose?  Find out soon!)

Like lots of little ghosts.  Following sanding, we refinished the floors and put on polyurethane.  This is a time-consuming process.  You have to let a certain amount of time go by between coats, and afterwards you're not supposed to put any real weight on the floor for a week while the polyurethane sets.  When we were finished, though, we had much nicer floors.  We couldn't get rid of all the scratches and some of the darker stains, but things look a thousand times better.

In doing the floors we discovered that the white baseboards had been installed and the door jambs painted white after the carpet had been laid, which meant we had gaps between our baseboards and the floor, and a half-inch of gross wood at the bottoms of the jambs.

These are the sorts of little things you don't think about ahead of time, and end up taking a long time to fix.  We also had a problem with the corner between our walls and the ceilings.  Those angles should be 90 degrees, but the aforementioned sloppy painting over the decades had instead made a softly-rolling curve between wall and ceiling.  You could paint as straight a line as you wanted up close, but once you stepped back, it was like a wave.  So we put on molding up there, additional molding at the bottom of the baseboards, and I spent about four hours on my stomach sliding from room to room painting the bottoms of the door jambs.

Remember that dark icky paneling in the kitchen?  And the yellowed-white walls?

We ripped out the paneling and put up white beadboard, redid the chair rail and molding, added molding to the ceiling to match the rest of the house, and painted the walls...

...a pinkish/purplish (depending on the light) neutral!  Because for real, the yellow and chartreuse samples we tried looked awful on the walls.  Like, we're talking, dear Lord we live in a plague house levels of awful.

So that's it for now!  We've moved most of the furniture in, but there's lot of boxes everywhere, we have random unmatched curtains up, and we've yet to get most of our pretty decorations and such up yet.  But I'll get pics of those up at some point.  Mayhap.

a universal sigh: Community - Abed - i neverrrr watch tvnaushika on April 2nd, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Oh my god, the improvement! That's crazy! It looks so good now! That carpet was gag-inducing, lol.
Shannon: community chang anniekungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:47 pm (UTC)
It looks like a completely different house. And once we get the kitchen cabinets and counter, and the bathroom done? It's going to look amazing. (Those weren't "we have to get those done before we move in" improvements, so we're going to tackle them in the coming months.)

Carpet is gross. Old carpet in the house of a heavy smoker? Super gross.
nhpw: zoya grinnhpw on April 2nd, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Oh wow. Awesome job! I'm so excited for you!
Shannon: b5 crewkungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I am excited as well.
singer_shapersinger_shaper on April 2nd, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
Ooh, pretty! Job well done!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The lion's share of the credit should go to my dad, though, who has done awesome work.
sallycandance on April 2nd, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
Great job you did there! Are you already living/sleeping in the house, or are you currently just there for the home improvement stuff?

nhpw: space cowboynhpw on April 2nd, 2012 05:44 am (UTC)
<-------- was also wondering this.
(no subject) - kungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sallycandance on April 2nd, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Halima: ☄ take me sir; take me hardcartography on April 2nd, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
Woooow, that is impressive! Great job on the improvements!
Shannon: firefly crewkungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! We have some work still to do. And then the basement to finish...
Kit: fringe | olivia guntictactardis on April 2nd, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)

Shannon: fringe olivia cropkungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - tictactardis on April 2nd, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
enigmaticblues: parker thumbs upenigmaticblues on April 2nd, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
WOW. I stand in awe!
Shannon: communitykungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Although it's amazing just what a fresh coat of paint can do.
Holly: Mary/Eddie cuddleshollywobbles on April 2nd, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yay, exciting! It's looking good!!!
Shannon: bsg laura texturekungfuwaynewho on April 2nd, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
I know! Now we get to do the fun stuff: attempting Pinterest home improvement DIY projects.
(no subject) - hollywobbles on April 2nd, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ghanima sun: olivia smileghanimasun on April 3rd, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Wow that all looks great, you did a lot of work so far. Looking forward to more updates!
Shannon: fringe astrid srskungfuwaynewho on April 3rd, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Right now our goal is just to empty out all our boxes of crap, LOL. (Why do I own so much random crap?)
Martine: Stock/Big Benla_loony on April 3rd, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
Scrolling through the pictures is like watching a renovation tv show!
I totally agree, that carpet is disgusting, I don't know if I could've touched it just judging from the pictures.
The floor looks great after all your hard work, and for the dark stains left maybe a simple rug o cover it (something like this since it's easy to handle, can simply be washed in the washer^^)?
Shannon: MS PAINTkungfuwaynewho on April 3rd, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we're going to have to get a few rugs here and there to cover up the parts we couldn't get all cleaned up. I'll definitely have to check out Ikea's website - depends on what the shipping is, though. Some stuff, it's like over a $100 to ship which I don't understand at all!
(no subject) - la_loony on April 3rd, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kungfuwaynewho on April 3rd, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - la_loony on April 3rd, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Anne Marieindigoviolet on April 6th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, decorating's always hard work but exciting :)

Baking soda/peroxide is the only thing that got rid of the smell when my cat peed on the rug, too. It must be some kind of magical wizard potion.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on April 6th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
The decorating part I'm having fun with, along with getting everything situated. I'm just not very handy, so that process was frustrating because it felt like I couldn't help much. But I think it turned out really well.

The fact that I have two cats is one of the main reasons we pulled up all the carpet, because cleaning up their...adventures is just about the worst.