Thursday, January 13, 2011

Prepping for Battle

I'll be the first to admit that I have come to think of myself as somewhat of a DIY Home Improvement Veteran. I've done my time in Homeowner Hell and survived with a little more know-how (and know-not, if you get my drift) in the ole' noggin.

So why was I surprised when we didn't get everything accomplished this weekend that we set out to do?

Because I had forgotten exactly how much TLC you have to give an old house to bring her back to life -especially when 40+ years of tenants/owners are factored into the equation.

Enter Exhibit A.

Yes, that is only half of a windowsill, and you can literally feel the draft wafting in from where I was standing taking these photos. I was literally seeing our hard-earned dollar bills flying out the window.

At some point in time, the roof leaked, and our best guess is that it affected the ceiling a little, the drywall a bit in the closet, and perhaps this windowsill. None of which accounts for the fact that there was no caulking whatsoever around any of the "new" windows in the house when we bought it (I say "new" because the previous owners installed new windows but kept the old beat-up trim...).

If this wasn't water damage, I don't know want to know what caused it!

Enter Exhibit B.

I think, at some point in time, someone tried to break into this room, because it looks like several doors (with varying heights in handles) has been installed, leaving us this lovely hole - right where our new handle needs to eventually go.

Thanks to our friends spackle, wood filler, and caulk, however, these beauties were looking great in no time!

We had to use alot of wood filler to fill in the windowsill.

And still ended up having to use a little spackle and caulk to get things nice and smooth!

The doorframe, however, went quite a bit smoother.

So, we patched, sanded, caulked, patched, and sanded some more on Friday and Saturday to start whipping this room into shape.

Even the ceiling got patched and sanded!

Barley, as usual, supervised.

Tom took down the last of the closet door tracks (and the last few items in the closet). Boy, was it good to see those annoying sliding doors go!

Before painting, for the best adhesion it's advisable to clean the surface to be painted - whether with soap and water or TSP-alternate cleaner.

But what if you're getting ready to paint really, really rough wood like our paneling?

Rather than scrub down the wood and then wait days for it to dry, we just whipped out our handy Dyson ball vacuum (which we're still in love with, by-the-way), and used the bristle-brush attachment to go along and get any particles and dust off of the rough wood. It worked great - the bristles knocked loose any particles or dust, and the vacuum just sucked them right up! It was probably the easiest and funnest part of prepping (although for some reason I have tons of fun patching and sanding things too - weird, I know).

Afterwards, it was time to cover up the carpet so we didn't get any ceiling paint drips onto it. Since we were also planning on painting our baseboards, we had to tape those off, too.

We laid out our dropcloths and went around the baseboards, slightly overlapping the painter's tape and tucking it underneath the quarter round for the best protection and coverage possible.

After all our prepping, this is what the office looked like:

Then it was time to paint! Stay tuned for that tale of our seemingly-never-ending painting adventure (and the deets on the disasters we ran into (oops!)).

We're wondering: what's the craziest thing you've had to repair while prepping a room for paint? Got any stories to beat our half-windowsill-and-crazy-doorframe one?

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  1. Good Lord, that's a lot of work! And a lot of damage that went unrepaired! This is going to be a huge before and after.

  2. I had some ca-raaazy big holes in the walls of my place that my bro had to patch with that mesh stuff. I've also gone around to the beat-up trim and tried to fill in the old dog scratches and who-knows-what-else marks.

    I can't wait to see this room transformed! I really really like the design and texture of the paneling and I bet it's gorgeous painted.

  3. Wow! You guys are amazing for getting all of that done in a weekend, but it looks like you're ready to start the transformation. So excited to see everything with a fresh coat of paint!!!

  4. We had a leak down the wall in our guest bedroom. We had to rip out the tile and insulation in our master bath shower which was above the guest bedroom to find out where the leak was. Turned out it was leaking through the old shower tile grout. So, we had to redo the shower, then re-drywall a good chunk of the guest bathroom wall, and finally, I could paint! What a mess.

  5. Wow, those are some serious repairs! I was actually hoping you would keep the paneling wood, but I know it will look wonderful painted.


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