Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Eating the Elephant

Last January when I generated my "To Do in 2016" list I broke each project down by task, however small.  (What is it they say about eating the elephant bite by bite?)

But now that I'm in the throes of redoing my front room, I find I left some obvious steps out.  Other steps that I had rejected I've put back in, and there are tasks to complete that I had no idea about seven months ago.

Beginning with something that was always on the list:
  • As much as it goes against my conscience, I'm going to paint the woodwork in the front room.  
Yes, even after I've stripped it. In that room the old dark woodwork is depressingly heavy, not elegant.  It's a sun room, really, with ten windows plus the glass in the door.  It should be fresh and full of light.  I'd thought of reshellacking the trim a paler shade, but it'd be too similar to the gold-toned wall paint I have in mind.  And now that I've worked at it for awhile, I know it'd take way more time and effort and wood refinisher to clean up that woodwork than I physically have.  So despite the inner voice whispering that it's immoral to paint over old woodwork, that's what I will do.

  • I ended up stripping the paint off the exterior door frame.
Why on earth didn't I realize I was going to have to do that?  That's what happened four years ago when I redid the back entry door, only that time it was from the outdoors in.  I mean, just try aiming the heatgun at the inner woodwork only, and not have the outer trim paint start to bubble and swell.

The great thing is that it came off beautifully.  Seven or eight hours straight I put into that, totally on a roll.  

And joy of joys, while doing the exterior I found the possible answer to a question that's been nagging me for years.  In some future, dreamlike time when I have the money, I'd like to replace the 1980s-vintage aluminum windows.  But, I wondered, did the Previous Owners Minus One leave the original brickmould hiding under the metal trim, or did they pry it off and throw it away? Brickmould is scary expensive.  I found that out when I had to buy new to go around the renovated back door.

But there above my front door, until now overlooked, I discovered the original brickmould.  And it continues under the metal cladding on each side; they didn't cut it off.  If it still exists there, isn't that a good sign it's still there everywhere else?

  • I told myself I wasn't going to demount any of the front room woodwork to strip it. 
I changed my mind on that when I saw how difficult it was going to be to clean up the lintel above the front door and sidelights.  And realized how much easier it will be to strip the muntin casings to the left and right of the door while they're down.

I may pull down the muntin casings on the front and west sides as well.  Since I'm painting the woodwork the cracks don't have to be as clean as if I were shellacking.  But if it's too gross in there, they'll likely come down, too.

I can't demount the side casings--- the POs-1 covered the plaster with 1/2" drywall and the wall surface is nearly flush with the trim.  Try getting those casings off without destroying the wall!

  • As I noticed when I took down the door lintel, I've got a job ahead of me with drywall tape and spackle before I can paint.  
As in the kitchen, it looks like they used wallpaper in lieu of drywall tape. Fortunately I've got tape and joint compound.  Or I do, if the latter hasn't gone moldy.

  • I'm also going to have to retape the joints in the ceiling, and paint over the repair.
I don't know what the ceiling was like after they converted the porch back in 1932 or so.  Beadboard, maybe?  But my POs-1 put up sheetrock, and the joints are a mess.  (Funny how for years you don't notice things . . . )  I have to take care of it before I paint.

I'll try to pull off a sample of the old ceiling paint and match it on our laser scanner at the store.  I'd rather get a quart to match instead of having to repaint the whole darn thing.

  • I'm going to wait to prime until I have the wallpaper stripped and any holes in the drywall patched.
I mean, why not?  It'll be the same primer for everything, so why not do it all at once?

3 comments:

Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

I hope you shellac any exposed wood before you paint it. It makes a huge difference if you ever change your mind and want the wood stripped in the future.

Kate H. said...

Well, true. I've thought of that. I'll see if I have enough of the canned kind from the store instead of using the roll-your-own good stuff I mix up from button lac from Shellac.net. I have to keep this project as low-budget as possible.

Though I admit I slammed a coat of primer on the frame around the door without shellacking it first. Losing daylight and needed to get it done . . .

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