This past month has been a whirlwind of sprinting to get things ready for the floor refinishers who began work this week on Monday. Amazingly, by the skin of my teeth everything was ready to go by 8am Monday for the sanding, staining, and sealing mayhem to begin, but not without a few hiccups along the way. When we last left off, the two smaller bedrooms upstairs had nearly been fully painted, with only some trim and touch-up work left to be completed. The shelves for the built-in bookcase in the medium, and Kit’s favorite, bedroom still remain to be painted (hopefully I will get around to finishing them before September 1st when my not so new housemate moves in), but otherwise the rooms look finished and the colors have grown on me.
The ensuing sprint of painting the first floor began in earnest at the end of June with the Living Room. Over a week or more leading up to the inevitable task of spackling, sanding, washing, and then finally painting we debated over what color the living rooms should be. We both agreed that a two tone scheme with the lighter tone on the ceiling would work, however picking a paint color that appealed to my Arts and Crafts Style desires (I continue to be in love with a vibrant earthy red called “Tuscan Rooftops”), that did not look awful against the mottled gold of the light fixtures proved difficult. I became dead set on a nice earthy green color called “Green Willow” and its twice lighter tone “White Moss”, nevertheless I was convinced (kicking and screaming) by Kit, Josh, and my parents (thanks for teaming up on me guys) to use the green elsewhere and instead use the blue palette of “Cold Snap” and “Soft Blue” that Kit had picked as it complimented the stained glass of the built-ins and doors so well. We barely did it, but with early morning starts we successfully painted the whole room despite the frightening discovery of hundreds of pimples in the ceiling paint, which appeared after we rolled the paint on because the previous painter did not clean and prep his surface correctly (the pimples luckily shrunk back as the paint set up)…not to mention he/she couldn’t be troubled to remove or tape the light fixtures before slopping paint all over them.
After painting was complete we cut up and rolled up the maroon carpeting to reveal the splotchy, but still way better than thirty year old wall-to-wall carpeting, oak floors. The carpeting and padding remind me of why I hate carpeting so much…it made my skin crawl carrying this stuff out. Luckily my trash company takes all sorts of things including rolls of carpet!
The house actually has two types of hardwood floors, the first floor has the fancier (and Arts and Crafts appropriate) quarter-sawn white oak floors, and the second floor has the more pedestrian, but still nice, straight sawn red oak. Perhaps this was done to showcase two different floor finishes as part of being a Master Model Home, or it is some odd hold-over from the 19th century where more expensive materials were used in public rooms, either way it adds a bit of character to the place, not to mention the stair treads which are each one large slab of oak.
For the foyer and second floor hall (as they are one connected space) I got my way, and Green Willow was the chosen wall decoration. For the time being, as there is no crown moulding like in the living room, we went with the soft white ceiling treatment, much like the bedrooms upstairs (although I am beginning to have reservations about it). To keep the second floor hall from getting too dark, as it only has one light bulb and the window at the landing to illuminate it, we used “Tea Party” which was the next lighter shade of the “Green Willow” hue. Your eye struggles to see the difference except where the two meet on the corner of the stair landing, and it definitely kept it brighter.
Finally, only just two weeks ago (as we ended up doing some other work…planting trees outside instead of painting) we successfully tackled the dining room and finished taking up the carpeting and its tack strips. Another color debate ensued with the final decision to use my original living room scheme of “Green Willow” with the lighter “White Moss” on the ceiling to keep things a bit more simple. The dining room will likely be the last green used in the house, as the current mint color in the Kitchen…which will be remaining until next year…looks pretty scary when you open the door and see the two rooms in concert with one another. As luck would have it…damn you painting gods!…the Dining Room had the best and easiest to paint ceiling (we did that first) followed by the nightmare that was the walls. Guess who never cleaned the walls in addition to the Living Room ceiling before they painted? So yet again we were dealing with the pestilence of paint pimples, only there were easily four times more of them than the Living Room ceiling. We figured out how to identify them before painting most of the dining room walls and scraped of the delaminated paint, spackled and sanded again. There were still over a hundred that we didn’t find, but luckily they shrunk down to nothing after the paint set.
All in all I am glad we were able to paint so many rooms in such a short period of time, but will certainly be taking a break from it to try and get some other projects started like planting the couple dozen plants I have just sitting over at my parents house, removing some vinyl siding and stripping/painting the exterior, and doing some repairs to window and door sills.
In other news I bought a dining room set. Table, 6 chairs, and buffet all circa 1910 craftsman style in solid oak…for $300! Some refinishing required…