Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kitchen Backsplash pt 2

Yesterday I laid the grout for the backsplash. The float I had was too big so I had to use a mud spatula and the grout was runny so it was a messy job.

Here are a few after pictures:

I guess now would be a good time to unveil the new island we got:

In two days I'll seal the grout.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kitchen Backsplash pt 1

Yesterday I began working on the kitchen backsplash. I put this off for a long time because I thought it was going to be a real pain to install. It turned out to be quite easy. The only thing is, once you start you cant stop so it gets a bit tedious after a while.

Here is a picture of the first section, most of the cuts were just cutting the tile in half for the top and bottom of the diamond portion. The only other ones were around the outlets and a few at the ends of the walls. I'm using 4x4 Country Beige travertine with a 1/16th in. grout line.

Here are a couple after pictures:

We will be hanging corbels under the edge of the cabinets on either side of the hood vent, that is why some of the pencil trim looks like it's missing on either side of the framed in area in the picture below.

The black circle is the water line for a pot filler.

This afternoon comes the grout.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Sorry that it's taken me so long to get a post together. A lot has been going on lately. We had to get our other house emptied out so we could put it up for sale. This took over a month, we have way too much stuff. We didnt have anywhere for it to go so we ended up getting a booth at a new antique mall that opened up here in Woodbury. It's worked out quite well as we've sold a lot of the extra antiques we've collected over the years.

I have managed to get some work accomplished on the house though. I finally wired up a light in the upstairs bathroom. Tiling the shower and finishing the bathroom is the next project I have lined up. I should be able to start on that by next weekend.

One of the projects I was working on is the Nursery. My wife is pregnant and the baby is due in late spring so I had to get this room completed.

Here's a couple of before pictures to show what I started with:

The paint was flaking everywhere so I had to scrape and sand very thoroughly to remove it all. I also had to frame out the doorway to the laundry room that is seen in the picture above. You can also see some holes in the wall that needed patching.


Then I primered and painted everything.

Here are a few after pictures:

There are still a few things left to finish off. There are a few pieces of trim left to install, there are still two small holes in the wall to fix, the doorway and door to the laundry room needs to be primered and painted, the steps to the laundry room need to be built (the ones in the picture are temporary), the electrical in the entire room needs to be wired, the oak chest needs to be painted white, the floor needs to be painted, and we need to find a nice large plush white rug. We also need to get a mattress for the bed and finish decorating.

The other project I've been working on is the kitchen backsplash but I will save that for the next post (tomorrow, not 3 months from now hopefully!).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Living room wallpaper

I've been working on the living room for the past few days. Here is the last picture I posted of the living room back in june.

Just after this I had done a lot of work on the room but was then diverted off to other things so I left the room unfinished. There were at least 3 layers of wallpaper on the walls and multiple coats of paint between at least 2 layers.

The original plan was to remove all the wallpaper and paint the walls. This proved a lot more difficult than we had originally thought.

The ideal solution wold have been to buy some awesome Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper and hang that over the old wallpaper, but because I'm not made of money that wasn't an option.

The solution I found was paintable wallpaper. The plus is that it's cheap, we got it on clearance for $10 a roll. The minus is that you have to do twice the work, first wallpaper, then paint.

I had gotten as far a wallpapering about 70% of the room before I had to move on to other things  a few months back. Since we spend most of our time in this room I decided it was time to finish it.

First I patched up a few areas of the plaster that needed it.

Then I rolled on a coat of wallpaper primer.

And then I installed the wallpaper.

Once the wallpaper was dry I was able to paint. First I painted all the trim, then rolled on the paint, then cut in. That took longer than I had anticipated because the trim paint took a lot longer to dry than I thought. I think it's because it's semi-gloss. I'm used to satin, which drys fairly fast.

Once it was all dry I moved our furniture in.

I have not done anything above the picture rail yet, there is wallpaper up there that needs to come down then I'll paint it a very light tan, almost white.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Front porch issues

Our front porch is really getting bad. I dont think I'll be able to hold off on fixing it for much longer. The other day we went out for a while and came home to a large section of the ceiling laying on the porch. I didnt get a picture of the mess but here is the hole.

Once I cleaned up the mess I decided to go ahead and patch the floor in front of the door since I was already out there.

This hole has been there a while, I've just had plywood over it. I had brought some old tongue & groove boards over from the house in Griffin last week for this purpose.

It's just a band-aid until I can get out here and rebuild the entire porch. I may throw a coat of paint down in the meantime so as least it will look better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunroom Interior

I had family over this past weekend for a big cook-out so I had some things I needed to finish up before then. One of them was the sunroom. The doorway between the sunroom and living room was still not framed out, none of the french doors were hung, and I still had nothing on the walls.

First thing I did was frame out the doorway. First, I made the sill.

Then I framed the doorway and installed the french door.

 I used some original plinth blocks on the inside. I dont have any spare fluted casing though so I had to go with plain for now. I will be having some milled to match the original down the road, once I do that I will replace these and install rosettes in the upper corners as well.

I also installed  the french doors that go to the hallway and to the deck.

All of these french doors are salvaged. The doors that lead to the hallway and living room were a pair that came from an old 1906 farmhouse that was being torn down. The smaller door that leads out to the deck was one I found online for free.

As with the screen doors, they all fit the width but not the height of the door frames. These were all too long though and had to be cut down.

I found a really great mortise lock while at a flea market, I got it for $3. It has a dead bolt built into it. I installed it into the door that leads to the deck since this is an outside door. I used an antique set of rosettes and door knob to give it more of an original look.

I still need to find an escutcheon for the dead bolt part of it and finish sanding around the knob. I had to use wood putty to cover the old holes in the door.

The other major undertaking was the sunroom walls.

Some mold had appeared on the inside walls of the sunroom. This was because of a drainage issue that I am working to take care of. I scrubbed the mold off with bleach then primered the inside of the walls.

As you can see in the above picture I also had to run all the electrical  in the walls first. I also sealed all the cracks with expanding foam.

Then I insulated the walls.

I was going to use grooved plywood on the walls but instead went with a press-board material that looks like cedar planks.

There is still a lot left to do in this room. I need to insulate the ceiling and put up beadboard, install all the window trim, then paint the room.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Old letter find

I found an old letter from J. A, Aycock whom I believe to be the original owner of the house. I found it, of all places, online on e-bay. The letter is to a John W. Park. He was an attorney and was also president of the Georgia Bar Association.

The letter was about Mr. Aycock not being able to repay a debt right away. Not sure what he would have needed an attorney for but I sure would like to know. It's dated June 14, 1902.

The really interesting thing about the letter is that it is written on Mr. Aycock's letterhead. As it turns out he was a contractor and woodworker. If he was the original owner of the house and was the builder then that would explain all the nice wood moldings in the house. I've been told by locals that there used to be a lot more elaborate moldings in the house "the likes of which they've never seen before". Unfortunately they were all stolen when the house was being rented out by the previous owner.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Screen Doors

With fall coming I realized that I better get to work on the window screens and screen doors. There's nothing like opening up the entire house on a nice fall day.

But there's a problem...The only original screen door on our house is the upstairs balcony door:

It's going to need some sprucing up but it's in good shape otherwise.

Unfortunately, all the other screen doors are long gone. I had some other old screen doors in storage at our other house so I went and checked them out. As it turns out they were the perfect size width-wise for the house but two were too short and one was too long height-wise.

I found the front screen door in a trash pile at the curb in front of an old house in Hampton, Ga. It's 36" wide and 79" high, it needs to be almost 87" high so I ended up adding 4 1/4" to the bottom and 3" to the top.



Then I installed it after sanding and painting it:

I will be replicating the decorative corner brackets that the upstairs screen door has and install them later.

The next screen door was the kitchen door. This was a left over door from our other house. It was 34" wide and 82" tall. This is the correct height but the bottom was cut crooked so I had to trim it off and then add a 1" piece.

Then after sanding and painting I installed it:

I will replicate decorative brackets for this one also.

I'm holding off on the third screen door for now, it will go on the sunroom door. It's 30" wide and 7" too tall. Cutting it down to the proper height will only leave an inch or two on both ends. I dont think this will look good so I'm just going to set it aside for now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kitchen projects

We've had some rain so I've turned my attention indoors for a while. There are lots of little projects in the kitchen that need finishing up.

The window weights in the big kitchen window were broken so that was the first thing I did. The window casings were already off from when we gutted the kitchen so it was fairly easy to remove the window and re-rope the weights.

The sill was damaged so I removed it so I could repair it. I didn't get a picture of it when it was broken but it had split on the left side about 6 inches to a knot and broken off into a couple of pieces. I glued and clamped it back together and put about six 2" nailgun nails into it.

Here is a picture after I filled the knot hole in with putty:

Then I filled in all the cracks and holes with wood putty:

All that's left to do is give it a final sanding and reinstall it.

The next thing I did was finish sheetrocking the kitchen. Here is one of the areas that wasn't finished:

And here it is finished:

I also finished the area above the kitchen door:

Now all that's left to do on the walls is mud, sand and paint.