Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘chair rail’ Category

Countdown to party: T-minus 2 days…

Here’s where we were on Tuesday night. Party’s on Saturday. Can we do it?


I think we can.

We’ve made some good progress on the dining room. Here’s how the dining room windows looked mid-chemical strip:




And with chemical stripping done, waiting for wood filler to dry so I can sand it.


The rest of the woodwork in the dining room is coming along nicely. I finished stripping one side of this door.


And the rest of the woodwork on the doorways:


Here’s the kitchen doorway mid-chemical strip:


Brandon took off the door so I could get the rest of this doorway stripped. It’s pretty much done now except for some minor clean up of putty between the pieces.


And the kitchen doorway very close to finished:


In the living room we still had a section of wall that needed priming.


So Brandon primed it.


Also, I heat stripped the paint off the window frame and baseboards on that side.


There are still sections of the floor that need to have the carpet padding scraped off so I’ve been finishing that job this week.




Finally, in preparation for the party, I made a batch of cookies. Ok, really this batch was just to motivate myself to keep working. Well, ok it was to bribe myself to keep working. Whatever. Cookies rock.


Last night I painted the whole living room with the same bone white that is in the dining room. I was only able to do one coat, but it’s a huge improvement from the stark white primer. Tonight I’m going to finish scraping the dining room floor (finished the living room floor on Tuesday,) do a couple of touch ups on the wood work, and possibly heat strip the woodwork around the living room front door and front windows. Brandon started putting up the wallpaper border in the dining room last night and we’ll finish that tonight. Then Friday will be for arranging furniture and cleaning up.

Phew! There’s nothing like marathon house fixing!

Painting the dining room: Part 2

At one time there was a chair rail in the dining room. It’s gone now but I liked the idea of having two paint colors in the dining room, so I put masking tape over where the chair rail was and plan to paint the top part Bone White and the bottom part Merlot. A wallpaper border will go where the chair rail used to be. For this I needed a lot of masking tape.





Check back soon for Part 3 where there will be actual paint!

Painting the dining room: Part 1

I have big dreams for my dining room. I love the dining room. It’s one of my favorite rooms in the house and after living in a house for a while that didn’t have a dining room I remembered how much I love them when I saw the spacious one that came with this house. I want the dining room to have a slightly more formal feel than the cozy living room and the retro kitchen. To achieve this, I’ve picked out some classic warm colors (“Bone White” and “Merlot” with gold and bronze accents.) I’ll put a strip of arabesque wallpaper where there once was a chair rail and paint the top portion of the wall Bone White and the bottom portion Merlot.

The room has the original crown molding. Sometime in the 60s or 70s, the previous owners had the room paneled and the ceiling was sprayed with popcorn. Rather than having the crown molding covered and painted or something, they just popcorned right over the crown molding.  Yup, I cringed too.

Here are some “before” pictures of the dining room.  (And that’s not a bed in the middle of the dining room, it’s my piano and dining room table bunched together with an old polyester bedspread draped over them for protection.)




Here’s a closeup of the popcorn-stricken crown molding. You can see on the left I rubbed some off with my hand. I found out that it actually comes off really easily with water.


So I scrubbed…


And scrubbed…


And finally had it clean enough to paint.

I thought about stripping the paint off and restoring the original wood underneath but I already have too many wood stripping projects that are unfinished. I decided to spare myself this one and paint the crown molding with a layered metallic technique the paint guy at Menard’s told me about.

First I put up masking tape, of course.


Dutch Boy has combinations of base colors and metallic glazes. Here are the labels of the two colors I used so if you want, you can duplicate them.



I applied the first coat of the base color. “Keoki Coffee” is a rich chocolate brown. After a couple coats of this I’d go over it with a metallic glaze with little gold flecks in it and the result would be as subtle dark bronze.



It turned out pretty good! Here’s a picture with the masking tape still on:


Check back for Part 2: more prep work!

OMG… just… OMG… (Demolition day 1)

Wow. I’m exhausted. It’s been a helluva day.

Left work at 3:00. Brandon got a tetanus shot at 3:45. We met up with our realtor at the mortgage office at 4:30 to do the closing. Our mortgage person said closings usually take 20 minutes to half an hour, but the four of us are chatty people and we were actually there till 6:00!!! It was really fun, we got good information, and ended up with a house!

My mom called while we were there wanting to know when we were going to be at the house and what we wanted for supper. While I drove us back to the east side, Brandon ordered a pizza to be delivered to the new house. We picked up a few things at mom’s and then went over to our new old house. Before long, we received our very first pizza delivery at our new house!

Mom and her boyfriend, Craig, showed up with a pickup truck full of tools.
They took some pictures of us with our new house.
Craig helped Brandon fix the front storm door.
We set up a table in the house and sat down to eat supper.
Then we got to work!

First we pulled up the carpet. The padding underneath the living room/dining room carpet has crystallized under its fabric topside and has adhered lightly (more like crusted itself) to the wood floor underneath. Rather than spend the time to start scraping that mess up today we decided to leave the padding on the floors until the heavy work is done. Free drop cloths! The padding is actually really well intact and doesn’t pose a hazard for tripping over or anything, so it’s kind of a blessing in disguise. The padding in the back bedroom is another story. That carpet had its own padding attached to the back of the carpet. It was foam padding once. Now it is crunchy and brittle and pulverizes into fine yellow dust under our feet. The good news is that it was never tacked or glued down. We just lifted the corners it and folded right over. The bad news is that we were left with a very messy bedroom floor. You can see the back side of that carpet in the third photo here (the one with Brandon standing over the flipped over carpet looking somewhat incredulous.) The last picture in this group is a shot of some of the tack strips my mom tenaciously removed after we got the carpet pulled up.

Then we started pulling down paneling. Whoever installed it had added additional wood trim at the bottom that I had to remove from every wall before we could take down that section of paneling. Brandon said, “I can’t fault them for shoddy work. It was well constructed paneling at least.” I nodded and said, “Uh huh,” as I stuck a wonder bar under the side and wrenched it loose.


Here’s a picture of mom supervising.

I got tired of her staring at me so I turned her to face the wall and carried on with my work. 😉

There was a lot of paneling.
When Brandon removed the paneling over the fireplace he found a big hole in the wall, so naturally I took a bunch of pictures of it. There was insulation inside similar to the kind of insulation in between the joists in the crawlspace in the attic. I have no idea what this material is made of. I don’t know if it’s flammable and whether or not it should be used around fireplaces. If anybody has seen this kind of insulation and knows what it is, please get in touch with me because I have no idea what I’m dealing with here.

Here’s a cool picture of the back of the wall and the chimney. I stuck my camera inside the hole, facing the ceiling, and this is what I got.
We revealed some interesting patterns of wallpaper by uncovering the walls. But what we revealed about the shapes of the painted vs. wallpapered areas has presented more questions than answers. For example, was there a chair rail in the dining room? What was hung over the fireplace that had to be wallpapered around? Same question around the dining room windows. Those areas look like there might have been something decorative or furniture-like attached to the walls there. Furthermore, to the right of the front door in the living room the whole corner was painted white on top of the wall paper. They put a strip of 2 inch wide masking tape on the wallpaper level with the top of the doorway, painted the tape and everything below it white, and left the tape up. I’m wondering if there was maybe a make-shift coat closet built there, but the walls don’t show any evidence of having had anything nailed to them there to hold up the walls. When we reveal the floor completely maybe that will give us a clue.
There were once wall sconces on either side of the dining room windows. Here’s the footprint of one:
Some parting questions for today:

  • What is the brown color on the plaster walls? Is that some kind of surfacing material or old fashioned primer/sealer? It was never painted over when first installed and while parts of it have wall paper over it, the wallpaper doesn’t look like it could be original to the house.
  • Is it worth it to repair the broken wall over the fireplace or will it keep destabilizing? Should we tear out that section of wall and drywall it?

And here’s the collection of little knick knacks that my mom and I found:

[tags]carpet, chair rail, closets, garbage, paneling, photos, wall sconce, wallpaper[/tags]

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