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28 May

Here’s my new true blue stoop!

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It took one weekend to fill the cracks and put on two coats of Drylok oil-based masonry paint with portland cement. This stuff was heaaaavy on the brush (due to the cement, natch) and stunk to high heaven, but it’s promised to keep things dry over there. Fingers crossed.

It took another weekend (this one, Memorial Day weekend) to paint the doors and the stoop. It might have gone faster if I hadn’t stopped to chat with everybody and their brother (and their dogs) that stopped by. As one friend said, “you’re never alone when you’re painting your stoop.” True dat. I love chatting so I had a great time shooting the breeze with everyone.

Total cost: $215 (plus 16 32 [math is hard!] hours of my labor)  

  • 2 gallons Drylok oil-based with cement: $60 (have a smidgen left over)
  • miscellaneous foam, caulk, patch stuff: $15 (have a lot left over)
  • one brush: $10 (will last a few more years at least)
  • 2 gallons Behr exterior paint/primer combo: $60
  • 4 quarts Behr exterior paint/primer combo: $70

Paint colors: Martha Stewart’s Azurite (main darker blue), Darkening Sky (lighter blue on trim) and Tailor’s Chalk (to be seen on canopy)

I LOVE the way it came out. It REALLY stands out from the others (now I can just say, come to the blue door to my guests). Nearly everyone who passed by said how great they thought it looked. Not everyone, but nearly everyone. 🙂

Dark Shadows Door Bell

2 Apr

Now that I’ve lived here for ten years, I figured I’d get a doorbell. When I first moved in, I did have one — a wireless one. My next door neighbor had the same model, and we always got each other’s rings. So I took it down and figured people would knock, Skunkie the dog would bark, and I’d hear ’em. That worked pretty well. Trixie is less of a barker, so I’ve missed a few people who have knocked when I’ve been out of earshot.

I got this spiffy wireless model “with chimes” at the Home Depot yesterday. It has two different rings for two bells — so one is at the bottom door and one at the top, and then I know where the person is by the chime.

It takes D batteries, and the only ones I had in the house were old. Like I moved them here old. Probably 15 years old. They still have a little juice in them, so the doorbell works, but it sounds like something out of Dark Shadows. It’s kind of groovy.

I had already installed the multi-chime buzzer and didn’t have an assistant for this recording session, so I’ve recorded — for your listening pleasure — the single chime pressed a few times. Cat screaming in the background is a bonus track.

DRAT — I can’t upload sound on my freegan version of WordPress. Oh well, you’ll just have to imagine how it sounds — or come and visit!

$6.50 of curtain magic

2 Sep

I had made drapes to go on the pocket doors. I used some of the gorgeous dark blue brocade fabric that I used for the curtains in the living room (parlor, parlor, parlor). They look fabulous on the windows. They looked kind of lame on the pocket doors. I had to take them down for paint removal anyway, and I had the brain storm to put them up over the false door/coat rack area that lives next to the main doors. What a good idea!

A couple of years ago (December 2008, to be exact), I put up some hooks to hold coats in the false door. So today I went to Home Depot and got a closet clothes rod ($6.50) to hold the curtains. It makes a HUGE difference. It looks great with the other door curtains. I thought it might be too much, but pas de tout. I have to hem them and do something about the goopy paint remover that got on them, but those things will happen later. For now, I’m enjoying having that little doorway out of sight.

Done, done, and done

28 Aug

Pocket doors — done. Phew! What a difference it makes to have them nicely and neatly wood again instead of that hideous white paint. I have a sneaking suspicion that they might have been in a lovely wooden state prior to the previous owner (who was a realtor) putting the house up for sale — I think she may have had a “paint it white” frenzy to prepare it for sale. Sigh. Best not to even think about that.

The important thing is that they’re done; they look great, and I can cross that off my project list (this gives me immense satisfaction). And here’s how the two rooms look with the doors open, and in case we’ve forgotten…. here’s where we started:

Pocket doors — finished on living room side (yay!)

27 Aug

So here’s my proven Gudenov paint removal method for doors:

1) Scrape off as much as possible with a heat gun and metal putty knife
2) Use Peel-Away 7 to remove remaining paint and varnish — this is especially helpful on molding and curvy carvy bits.
3) Wipe everything down with mineral spirits, using steel wool
3.5) If you’re really nit-picky, you can also wipe down with denatured alcohol
4) Use dental picks and sand paper to get up any other resistant areas
5) Give up on getting the corners of molding totally clear of paint

I’ve tried so many different methods, but that seems to be the best — fastest, least amount of muscle power, and with dramatic results.

I’ve now put one coat of stain and one coat of wipe-on poly on the living room side, and I think that’s how they’re going to stay. When they’re totally dry (next weekend), I’ll polish them with Burt’s Furniture Polish.

And now, to the dining room!