staining the wood trim

As you can see, we tried many mixes of stain to get the wood color just right.

And in the end, we decided our perfect wood trim color is ….

Continue reading “The Color of … Wood” »

Ahh…Saturday morning. Time to start up on the master bedroom again after a two week hiatus. One of the weekends we were busy visiting family for the holidays. The second, we were working on our friend’s condo. I mixed some stains and tested them on the back of a wood trim. Tig was cleaning and stripping the paint off the base trim with his newly built Infrared Paint Remover.

Several hours later, we were not satisfied with the wood stains. The trim in the bedroom was not of high quality. The grain was wildly different from one piece to the next. The stains only magnified it. Noon rolled around, I looked out the window. Sunshine, clear skies, temperatures of 70 degrees.

Continue reading “Walden Moment” »

what is it?

You may have wondered from a previous post, what the heck is that? Well, it’s an IPR. What’s that, eh? An infrared paint remover.

People have been trying to devise ways to safely remove paint for years. There’s always the nasty chemicals that do a pretty good job, but they’re nasty chemicals for a reason.

Continue reading “The IPR” »

I posted about a month ago some of the problems we’ve had with the master bedroom.

So yes, it would be cool if all the trim were bare wood (no paint) and just finished with a nice stain or oil.

no, she's not scraping with her fingers, but with a specialty scraper blade head.

Since that realization, we stripped over 95% of the paint off the “difficult trim” (all around doors and windows) and stripped about 40% off the baseboards.

Continue reading “The Neverending Bedroom Saga … Finally Ends” »

Let’s face it. Plaster sucks. Some people may think horsehair plaster is sacrosanct, and all the fervent restoration folks will want to kill me for saying it. But I just don’t like the stuff. It’s really dusty and flaky, and a pain in the butt to fix. Originally made of lime, horse hair, and gypsum, it was used extensively throughout our house. Drywall and joint compound is much easier to work with. And much easier to sand, since they make “easy sand” versions of joint compound.

Our bedroom ceiling had a fairly large crack in the ceiling.

Continue reading “Sealing Ceiling Cracks” »

Pictures of the grueling and often ugly process.

Before - the plates sneered at us from the safety of the previous owner’s protection.

Continue reading “The Excorcism of Ghost Plates” »

tig painting

Some of you may wonder at the lack of blue tape in the above picture.

Continue reading “Look Ma, No Blue Tape” »

In John Rush’s classic book on remodeling, On Time and On Budget, he states that a designer (and I’m paraphrasing here from my notes, so please excuse the inexact quote) “picking out the correct hardware is going to cost a lot of money in relation to the item’s cost…Homeowners working alone often get confused and pick the safest thing possible or the thing they saw in a stylish magazine…Your renovation project should have an integrated design. Consider hardware and lighting fixtures the final voices added to your house.”

Continue reading “Bedroom, Design and Bling” »

As part of Serena’s design brief for the master bedroom (see “Bedroom, Design, & Bling”), we needed a new ceiling light. When we first bought the place, there was only a blank canopy plate that covered what once used to be a light. I upgraded it, by putting up a temporary light (and wall switch - don’t get me started on all the pull switches that were originally throughout the house).

temporary light

This may not seem like an upgrade to some, but that’s besides the point. It provided decent lighting when I used the bedroom as a workshop. Now, it’s a bedroom and hence it needed adequate lighting (read - mood lighting).

Continue reading “Bedroom Lighting” »

Tig likes to think of himself as an engineer, but I think in the eight years that I’ve known him, there is a budding artist. He loves taking photos. Last year, on our trip to Paris (pre-house), he took this amazing panorama of the Eiffel Tower.

setting up the frame

Continue reading “Artist in Residence (hint: it’s not me)” »

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