Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow

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Oh, hey! I forgot! About that wall I kicked…

I looked at the back of the piece of wallboard I kicked out of the bookcase.  It was stamped with a brand and instructions and a 1918 copyright.  The year our house was built! Pretty cool, huh? (Click on each picture to get to a larger size if you care to read it.)

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I got to kick out a wall! Like ninja style! It was awesome!

Ok ok, I exaggerate. But it still felt cool.

See, we’ve got these bookcases on either side of our fireplace and they’re not quite deep enough for the stereo components and other electronic gadgets we want to put in them. The bookcases had a false back but I could tell there was a good 10 inches of additional space behind them.  What was behind that back wall?  Bare lath? Rats nests? TREASURE?!!!  I had to find out.  I cast a sideways glance at Brandon, grinned mischeviously, and POW!  I kicked out the bottom.  Then POW! POW! I kicked the rest of the nails loose!  I was masterful in my kicking.

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What’s behind that wallboard? I must know!

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Nothing. Oh good.

So I took out the wallboard and took some pictures inside this hidden part of my house that hadn’t been open since the house was built!

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Ooh! I wonder where that hole goes! Oh, right. The basement.

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Here’s the underside of the mantle. Don’t be alarmed by the water stains. We did that when we washed the wallpaper residue off the walls.

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So, with the shelves back in we have room for the electronic wires behind the shelves. I’m going to clean up the inside and paint and make the whole thing presentable. But I’ve got some other projects pending first. And while I can close the cabinet doors and hide this mess, I’ll do it.

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Catching up: Kitchen part 2

Finally! Some photos of our kitchen looking closer than ever to being done! At least it looks clean and usable now.

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Ok time for before and after!

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Woo hoo!  I have my kitchen back!  We still have plans to add cabinets over the stove and fridge,  refinish and paint the existing cabinets, and actually paint the walls something other than white, but we’re getting closer!

[tags]cabinets, paint, plaster, future plans, kitchen, ceiling, light fixtures, flooring, dishwasher, drywall, refrigerator, photos[/tags]

A room in which to live: the Living Room

I wanted to take a picture of this before it got painted over. The living room and dining room both had this trim around the top of the wall.

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I had to do a lot of plaster work in this room. I’m particularly proud of reconstructing this corner that had crumbled away as the house settled.

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Here’s a before picture:
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One side of the wall over the fireplace needed some major repair:
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I started attacking the gunk on the floor with a new vengeance, doing garbage bag sized sections rather than grocery bag sized ones.

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Mom came over with some of my friends to help me put primer on the walls.

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We bought a new rug, cleaned everything up, and arranged the furniture and here’s the result! It’s not finished, but I can see the finish line from here!

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Phew! We can actually live in the living room now! Paint colors for the wall are being planned, also I’m going to restore the bookcases with leaded glass windows.

[tags] built-ins, photos, plaster, furniture, paint, future plans, ceiling fan, flooring, living room, fireplace, cabinets[/tags]

Catch up post: Kitchen, Part 1

Hello fans and followers of Our New Old House! It’s time for another quick update to bring you up to speed on what we’ve been working on the past couple months. Today’s post is about the kitchen. Lots to talk about there so I’ll split it into two posts. (Ok, I confess. I haven’t taken a final picture of our kitchen now that it’s finished, so I’ll have to post that another time. That’ll be part 2. Phew! I feel better having told you that.)

When I last blogged, the kitchen had a brand spankin’ new floor and we were trying frantically to get all the wallpaper scraped and the ceiling finished. The paint colors in the kitchen were… delightful.

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When we scraped the wall over one of the counters, we found this weird black stuff underneath that wasn’t on any of the other walls we scraped. Not even under the counter where we put the dishwasher in, which was right below that countertop. Anybody know what this stuff is/was?

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The funny thing about it was that when we painted it with primer, it bled through and came out just as messy and weird.

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But we forged ahead and painted over everything with tons of primer.
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(Seen enough of the back of Brandon’s head yet?)

After my friend Laura did an awesome job scraping this wall we found the outline of the original kitchen sink and the outline of some wood trim like is in the bathroom. Maybe you can’t really see it here, but use your imagination. Anyway, the shape of the outline matches the shape of the kitchen that’s now in the basement. We think that sink was originally in the kitchen and got moved downstairs to be a dump sink. I LOVE having a sink in the basement so I’m grateful.

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Let’s see… what else did I do?  Oh!  I put joint compound on the drywall on the ceiling.  There was a tricky spot over the stove and fridge where the drywall was about 2 inches too short.  I had Brandon cut me some 1-inch wide strips to fit in there and I glued them to the furring strips before putting mesh and joint compound over them.  They came out pretty good!

The gap:
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The drywall strips glued in place:
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Joint compound going on over the mesh:
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Almost done painting:
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Check back for part 2 when I’ll have some finished pictures for you!

[tags]ceiling, plaster, paint, drywall, photos, cabinets, kitchen[/tags]

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