Monday, December 22, 2008
I really wish they made a smaller version that I could fit into corners. I am now resorting to chemicals. Last time I used a less toxic chemical stripper I tried Ready Strip. Unfortunately, I wasn't thrilled with it, so this time I am giving Soy Gel a shot. I am starting with a less toxic stripper since the room has pretty much no ventilation right now. I am starting in one corner just to see how it does. If it fails, I may just put it off until spring and resort to Zip Strip. Once I get most of the paint off, I am going to go back through with "furniture restorer" (thanks to Shane for his suggestion in an earlier post). One thing that makes stripping the woodwork easier is that it all seems to have been originally finished in Shellac, which is really easy to remove. I will be refinishing it in shellac if I ever make it to that point.
In the meantime, I have been messing with something that has bugged me since we moved in, the gouges in the floor in the doorway to one of our bedrooms. My theory is that the whole house was carpeted at some point and that it wasn't removed all at once. As a result, the floor was sanded and refinished at different times. The other option is that someone really half-assed it. Regardless, I started sanding it to see if I could just get it to be less obvious. In the end, the stain proved tough to match (I probably should have cleaned up the sanding dust around it before taking the picture as well). I think the issue was that the floors are just the natural oak and the surface finish has darkened over time. My best guess is that it is polyurethane of some sort. It's not perfect, but at least it isn't an obvious gouge any more.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Unfortunately, we are not lucky enough to have the original wood storms, with the exception of the basement ones. After we moved in and I had a chance to really look at these, it became painfully obvious how bad of shape they were in. The glazing had deteriorated so much on one that a pane of glass had fallen out and was slimply set on the ground and leaned against the window.
By the way, the floor under the windows is the alleged asbestos flooring in our basement. It is a lovely combination of dirty green and equally dirty tan. For some reason though, I still kind of like it.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
My next project promises to be the project from hell. During the great popcorn ceiling craze in Minnesota, someone decided it was a great idea to popcorn over the crown molding in the dining room. We have matching (unpopcorned) molding in the living room, which is quartersawn oak. Also, we will be painting the room something other than the teal green shown in the picture.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
For some unknown reason, I decided I wanted octagonal crystal knobs with brass bases. Also, I needed 9 that matched, and they had to be antique. My first stop was at Guilded Salvage, which I think is a great store. I found a set of 9 yellow-green uranium glass (actually made with uranium, type it into google) that would have been great. Unfortunately, they were $65...a knob. I decided to pass.
After searching dozens of salvage websites, I came across www.coolstuffiscoolstuff.com, aka Architectural Artifacts in Toledo, OH. Incredibly, they had exactly the hardware I was looking for, 6 larger glass knobs for the drawers and 3 smaller ones (2 for the linen closet and 1 for the laundry chute). They were extremely helpful and significantly less than $65 a knob. Hopefully I will actually finish stripping the paint so I can install them.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
When we bought the house, the tiny half bath off the master bedroom needed some immediate help. The brass drain pipe under the sink was so corroded I could poke a hole in it with my finger. It was also patched with duct tape...seriously. The original sink and mirror were also in rough shape. The sink was badly corroded and the mirror had a crack through it.
I honestly thought the sink was beyond repair so I started looking at every salvage store I could find in Minneapolis and on the internet for an exact replacement. It is a "Standard" so I figured it would be pretty easy. Fortunately, I couldn't find one and became determined to restore the original one. After cleaning and removing the rust, I used an epoxy called loctite hysol 1C which worked amazingly well. I finished it with a product called "Surface Repair" in plumbing white, which blended extremely well with the original color. I also found they don't really make drains for this size drain anymore, so I had to use a dremel to expand the drain until something would fit. The first time I reassembled it, it leaked in no less than 4 places. After some swearing, I regrouped and fixed the leaks.
Fixing the medicine cabinet was equally painful. I used Ready Strip to remove the six layers of paint it was covered in, which took seemingly forever. Once I got it down to bare wood (pine), I used Watco Danish Oil in Natural and Amber Shellac. Thankfully the shellac part of this went really well thanks to some tips I got at 3121 Park Ave during the Park Ave walking tour.