Archive | February, 2014

Wallpaper progress on my 12th anniversary in the house

28 Feb

I moved into my wonderful dream home twelve years ago today. My how time flies! I don’t have any photos of the house when I first arrived (due to a 2006 computer crash that cost me all the photos from 2002 – 2006), but let me tell you, it looked a lot different. All the walls were white (except for the hallways, which were papered in a dingy damask). Most of the floors were painted brown with lead paint or had very gross industrial carpet on them. There was no kitchen. Most of the rooms had live gas for a stove and a couple had wall-mounted sinks. (My house had been a rooming house for single men for nearly 70 years and each man did his cooking in his room). There was one bathroom.

I had grand plans to totally renovate the house from roof to basement in ten years. I also had a job that paid about double what I’ve been earning for the past several years, so needless to say, my plan did not go according to plan. But even though the ten-year mark was two years ago, I have kept up a fairly steady pace of renovations, plugging away and doing what I could (or what I foolishly thought I could) do on my own and hiring people to do what I couldn’t.

Ever since I moved in, I’ve longed to do the hallways/staircases over. They were dingy. The paper was peeling. The walls were cracked. The stairs were painted brown with strange (but functional) black rubber stair treads. And now, twelve years on, they are nearly finished!

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Good friends are coming tomorrow to risk their necks hanging the paper (and prepping the wall) in that terrible coffin corner. Then I’ll have a bit of touch up painting to do, and our work will be done. I know what needs to be done for the chair rail installation, but I do not have the patience, skills, tools, or ability to do it. So I’m going to hire a handyman for that and hope it will be done in March.

Am also going to start painting the stair treads and spindles this month, in anticipation of choosing a carpet for the stairs and having it installed in May.

This wallpapering makes me deeply, profoundly, inexpressibly happy. It looks great and I am SOOOOO grateful to my several friends without whom I could not have done it (sounds like an Oscar acceptance speech). So lucky to have great, daring friends!!!

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Paper hanging in progress

19 Feb

Here are the in-progress photos:

Paper hanging extravaganza

19 Feb

It has begun. The hallway project to end all hallway projects: hanging two different wallpapers (plus a chair rail of some sort) in the very tall, very inaccessible hallways on the 4th/3rd/2nd floors.

I began by scraping loose pieces of paper from the walls and paint from the trim. Then I removed the fire extinguisher hangers at the top of both stairwells and patched the holes (one patch is still in progress). Primed the walls with Kilz, as I feared that the 40 years of dinge, cigarette smoke, and home improvement dust (and regular old dust) might seep through to the pretty new paper.

Painted the moldings and doors and papered what I could on my own on the 4th floor, then called in some very brave and generous menfolk (the ones who did the stripey hallway a few weeks ago), one of whom clambered up on top of the scaffolding platform (Baker’s scaffold) I bought from Home Depot for this project. The platform cracked when stood upon. It was terrifying. AND we needed to put a 10 foot ladder on top of the scaffolding on the stairs. God bless that Patrick for having the guts to do that — he said he felt very comfortable on the platform, but I think the bystanders were plenty nervous.

I keep messing up with inserting the photos, so I’ll have to do separate posts.

Here are some before photos:

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