Archive | July, 2012

Police take notice

30 Jul

Here’s one of our neighborhood feral cats keeping the state data storage center safe from robbers.

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Pack nap

28 Jul

The cats and dog all have favorite napping spots in each room. They really love to hang out in the monkey room (my office). This is them each in their favorite spots as happy as can be with sunlight and a breeze for optimal napping conditions.

Done door

28 Jul

Well, I finished the kitchen door. Yay! Or yay. It looks MUCH better than it did, and when I have the top two panes of plexiglass replaced with glass-glass, it will look even better (I couldn’t scrape my overpainting off the plexiglass without scratching it all up, so I figured I’d just wait until the glass guys come — next week — and put in real glass).

The Yellow Magnolia color was yellower in person than on the chip, so I added some gray-green paint that I had hanging around and that made it more of what I was looking for (which, apparently, was something very close to the color of my bedroom doors).

I polished up the doorknobs, and found some brass doorplates on ebay, and the door looks tons better. The mortise lock is not properly attached — I think it was previously held in place by paint. So I’m going to try to find longer screws for it.

The best thing about this is that I get to cross it off my list of things to do this summer — and there are only a few little tiny things left to be done by moi. The rest (electrical, stripey hallway papering, exterior canopy repair and painting) are things beyond my skill level and that I’m waiting for pros to do. All I have left are a few tiny painting projects, and then I’ll be done for the summer. Woo freakin hoo!

The door:

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Door progress

25 Jul

I got a random orbital sander (an el cheap-o number from Harbor Freight Tools) and sanded the door down. Then gave it a good coat of grey primer (had it hanging around). I decided to use a golden marigold or some such color (don’t remember the precise name) from the MS collection at HD. I put one coat on just now — I got exterior semi-gloss enamel. I was wishing for a chartreuse and the color (at one wet coat) is yellower than I wanted. I’ll see after a couple of coats and when it’s dry, but I may have to add some green to it (I have plenty to choose from) and make a custom color.

It looks better than it did.

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More on door (or more off door)

22 Jul

I finished using the heat gun on the exterior of the door today and started the interior, but need to just sand both sides now. I’m going to have to pick up a new small sander (with dust bag) and do the sanding this week. Hope to be able to get the glass changed one day this week, too.

I also polished (and boiled) the lovely brass doorknobs. I got these at a flea market several years ago and had never given them a proper polish, so now they’re lovely and shiny. Will lacquer them up before re-install. The rosettes are toast, though, so I’ll see what I can find online to replace those.

I’m thinking a chartreuse color for the door.

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Stripping the kitchen door

21 Jul

One of the last remaining projects on my list for this summer is to strip the awful old paint off the inside and outside of my kitchen door, get the two plexiglass panels replaced with real glass, give it a good sanding, and paint it up. Today was famous paint stripping weather, so I got started.

My tried and true stripping process is: Step One: use the heat gun and get as much off as possible. Step Two: go over the goopy old varnished bits again with the paint gun. Step Three: use a power sander. Step Four: use chemical peeler to get off anything that remains IF you’re going to stain it. If you’re going to paint it, skip step four and go straight to patching (if you’re fancy) and painting.

So today I did Step One on the bottom 3/4 of the exterior side of the door (opted to keep it on the hinges so I can lock up at night). You’ll note wide swaths of leaden blue that remain. They are one with the door and will be basically invisible when the door is painted. No need to get hung up on getting smooth bits off when the object is to repaint the door.

Oftentimes people wonder, “what do they mean when they say look for ‘laddering’ to determine if you have lead paint?” Please examine exhibit A for some fine examples of laddered old lead paint. I’ve been using the gun without a mask, because I believe that lead dust only effects babies. My last remaining brain cell may disagree.

Voila’: Hope to finish the gun portion of both sides tomorrow. My sander died when I did the pocket doors last summer, so have to get a new one before I can get to Step Three.

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Embassy Style

21 Jul

There used to be a flag pole mount in the window over the front door, but I think it must have come out when the new storm windows were installed. One of the 1975 photos shows an American flag flying over the front door, and I remember the flag pole mount being there when I first moved in (I tried to put a pole that was too small in it, and then abandoned the whole flag thing when it didn’t fit).

But now with my nice blue stoop, I wanted to fly Old Glory. Never one to do things by half measures, I decided to install two poles, so I could fly the American flag plus others. I’ve got the English flag flying right now in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee. I’ve also had the French flag up for Bastille Day, and have an Olympics flag coming soon. I figured if I have long-term guests from other countries, I’ll fly their national flag, too.

It looks like an embassy (which also kind of reminds me of the house next to the Royal Tennenbaums), and I love it!

On a how-to note: I installed the two surface mount pole brackets in the granite sill by first drilling pilot holes with a masonry bit, then using concrete anchors and screws. I went through two complete battery charges per bracket mounting. It was hard, slow work. I tried those blue masonry screws first, but they were useless, so a neighbor showed me the correct method. Those babies aren’t going anywhere — they are SOLID.