I’m a painter. Its what I do. Literally, I’ve been painting for 30 years, and 20 of that has been decorative and home painting plus my own artwork. So, when it comes to choosing color, I like ALL of them. It is super hard for me to choose just one and stick with it for any length of time. I already want to repaint the living room and dining room, and they’ve only been painted for 6-8 years the way they are. So, I can get my kicks by repainting smaller spaces and testing color palettes in confined quarters.
I repainted our downstairs bath last summer, and just now am finally telling you about it. It was a soft robin’s egg blue. . . I thought it would be bright and clean looking. But, we have so much glorious woodwork in the house, that I needed to make it warm and rich to match the rest of the atmosphere. So, I chose a deep eggplant. The thing is, this isn’t just paint, its a metallic plaster. It feels like velvet to the touch and is super easy to apply using a Venetian Plaster trowel. The downside is that small people can easily scratch it if they find it compulsive and interesting to touch. But, it isn’t hard to repair and it is easy to paint over, too.
With the new wall color, I painted the ceiling to match the woodwork and put in a new mirror, also painted with copper undertones and charcoal gray. And lastly, new-ish towels and a side table for necessities.
Another three months between posts. It does suggest that we aren’t working, or I stopped writing, neither of which is really true. I write quite a bit, (just on other blogs) and we have been working quite a bit, just much slower these days. Will has dropped his nap, which means we have very little chunks of time to accomplish things.
So, it took us nearly 4 months to complete our downstairs bathroom. We started in February, just taking down the wallpaper. It was both dated and dirty. And, it was stuck on with epoxy or something equally sticky. I pulled it off in micro-bits after soaking it in warm water and laundry softener. At this point, I also tested Danish oil on the door to see if it would refresh the surface. Two coats did wonders.
By April, we had refinished the floor and put in a new toilet. You can see the large ugly hole that we had to fill in once we took out the cabinet sink. Bill keeps a great stash of scrap wood and he had enough pieces from our hardwood floors to patch the whole. The room was small enough that Bill did the floor in a weekend, really. Sanded and stained in a day and then took two more to get coats of polyurethane on it. Toilets are heavy, but not hard to put in. We had that part complete by Easter weekend.
By the end of May, the whole thing was repainted and ready for a sink. We used two different primers, one for the plastered walls and another for the wainscoting beneath. Two coats of primer on each surface and then two coats of paint on top of each of those. Plus, Bill caulked holes and cracks between coats.
In June, we put in the sink, refinished the window and placed the fixtures. Really, Bill did all of this. He took out the window and stripped the pink paint and stained the frame, which looks sharp with the mirror and the floor. We took out the old medicine cabinet and put it upstairs where it is more useful. Moving the mirror from upstairs down works for now, too. We bought a new light fixture a few months back when the old one died and I liked the placement of it. Even though it is off center, it works for me. All of the hardware is an oil-rubbed bronze.
The only thing left is to put in a new switch and find a way to put in an outlet. Like the dining room, this room has no outlets. For a powder room, it isn’t a huge deal, but it would be a nice feature to have just in case. Getting rid of more pink in this room was a big priority for me, and refinishing the floor just makes the room feel new. It is brighter and cleaner now.
The old toilet moved upstairs to our full bath, where it will reside until we get all new fixtures. The previous toilet had to be 60 years old and it was ready to retire. The half bath sink we put out at “Tiffany’s” where it “sold” quickly. (Shopping at Tiffany’s is our way of explaining how quickly things disappear if we put them at the curb. We have sold a lot at Tiffany’s over the years, but it is always fun to see when things go.)
So, our half bath is overall complete. We are working on other outdoor projects right now, too, and taking time to enjoy our family and the outdoors.
Here are a few images to give you an idea of how far we’ve come in 2 and a half years. We still have a ways to go, but our house has become “ours”. I’ll move through the images based on the order in which we completed the work.
We moved in during July of 2009, but since we were only renting (waiting on our loan to go through), we didn’t want to start any major work. We spent the summer cleaning out the house, pruning back vines and readying for our paint crew.
When the outdoor work was underway, we began by cleaning up the kitchen and sealing the pantry. We pulled carpet out of the laundry room, which I still haven’t show you.
And then we started the big work. Since the dining room looked as though it would be one of the easier rooms, we started there.
Next we worked on the library, though we still have yet to put in shelves.
Then we started upstairs with the full bath and alongside we painted the kitchen. It took us a LOOONG time to do the bath because we had to remove crappy wallpaper, which was adhered with caulk and a soldering gun. Just kidding, but it was put on eerily strong.
We stayed upstairs to work on the master bedroom and redid the ceiling in the dining room, not even a year later. Then we began the nursery and finished up with the living room, where we are still putting final details in place.
We’ve yet to redo anymore floors except for the master bedroom, though we did consider having someone else come in and do them for us. We are still debating what to do there. Such a big job for us.
We still have yet to put up the chandelier in the living room and attach the mantle, though Bill has completed it.
Once those pieces are in place, he will begin our bookshelves! I cannot wait to get all my books in place. I feel as though we still haven’t moved in because my books are waiting patiently in boxes all over the house. I’m not a hoarder by any stretch, nor a collector of anything in particular, but I do love books. And, thankfully, Bill loves building and working with wood, so this will be a great project for us both.
While Bill is working on the shelves, I have yet to finish painting and stenciling several areas in the house. I am also going to draft up plans for our garden. I’d like to get some flowerbeds in place this spring, for once.
Someone pointed out recently that we haven’t been showing what we’re doing right at this moment. (Sorry about that, there is so much past work to show, it’s hard to squeeze it all in.) Well, Bill’s next post will unveil the biggest recent project and we’ll walk through each day of renovation in fairly real time so that you can see how long it takes us to finish a project.
In the meantime, I wanted to show you what we’ve just completed — the upstairs bath. There are only two bathrooms in the entire house, and the one upstairs is the only full bath. When we moved in, the tub was actually brown with grime. Thankfully, my sweet husband scoured it for me.
The dark green wallpaper was peeling from everywhere and the ceiling had also been wallpapered to hide cracks (also peeling). The woodwork was dry, and the closet unmentionable. So, we got to work.
We started the bathroom renovation almost immediately when we moved in last July. However, we couldn’t do much at that time as we were waiting for the full purchase to go through. So, we removed the urine stained carpet in the closet and put 3 coats of paint on the closet walls to cover the dark green. It was enough for the time.
Once this spring rolled around, we got to work on the main part, removing wallpaper. It took us weeks to remove the paper, considering it had been put on bare plaster and bare sheet-rock in some places. Nothing takes it off when it is glued directly to sheet-rock. The only thing one can do is cover it, so we did. Bill, the everlasting plaster machine, loaded on 6 layers of plaster to cover wallpaper, cracks and divets in the walls. Then, I was able to prime and paint and stencil. We both restored the woodwork with our new favorite treatment, Danish oil. To round out our work, I repainted the light fixtures and sink brackets in hammered copper. If you notice in the top photo, the marble sink has two brackets underneath holding it up, or pretending to hold it up.
Our greatest treasure was finding an old marble topped vanity (matching the sink marble) to use as a counter and storage. The bathroom is oddly shaped, but big enough to hold a small dresser. To top off the new look, we got new sink hardware in oil rubbed bronze. Course, there was no way I wanted to change the sink. We think it is original, a small corner marble sink–couldn’t be more quaint.
Bill topped off the room by giving the floor a coat of polyurethane, and we called it done. Really, this is the first room in the house that is fully complete~ floors, hardware, linens, everything.