Paneling, what paneling…?

I’m feeling quite the amount of bravado (bravada?) then real triumph about certain parts of our home fixing upping – especially the kitchen sink and oak floors.  But though I’m still on the fence about keeping the knotty pine paneling, I just blasted some cheap 1970s shite out of its misery.

paneling-done-flash

I looked at several blog posts about people filing in the cracks of cheap paneling to make it look like drywall.  A few of them claimed you couldn’t tell it was ever paneling!  But many of them you could – it looked awful.  And there are message boards full of testosteroni contractors saying it could never work – it would just look like patched paneling and worse than it was before…

…but my friends (in Ira Glass’s voice) it can be done.

(Well, as long as you don’t suck at patching and have giant reserves of patience).

But wait, let’s back up.  In the beginning, I wanted to rip out the paneling and replace it with drywall.  This would have been easy and not that expensive. But I don’t have a truck and I don’t have friends with a truck (and I don’t have friends here at all, but that’s not the point) and I’d have to rent one (trucks not friends) or pay for delivery (again of the drywall, not friends).  If we were better organized and not living in the house while we rehabbed it (that really doesn’t matter, but in my head it does) we should have rented a truck once and bought a bunch of drywall and backerboard and lumber all at once like we’ve done before.  But I’m also trying to be as conscientious about waste as possible (and we have to pay a fee to trash things like paneling) and the paneling still functions as a wall, so it stayed and got a face lift.

This is the closest thing to a tutorial I’ll probably ever post:

(I didn’t even stop to take a before picture)

Peel off stickers and wash off the disgusting gooey bits and boogers.

Sand/scuff/gouge up paneling – a few swipes of 80 grit paper will do it.

Tape all seams and channels with mesh tape.

paneling-taped

Add joint compound in thin layers, sanding in between.  Repeat and repeat and repeat more than you want to.

paneling-mud

paneling-mud-full

Prime the hell out of it – I used BIN, followed by a coat of latex primer – you could prime beforehand, and maybe you should, but the joint compound adhered really well to the “wood” for me.

paneling-primed

Paint.

paneling-done-full

paneling-done-window

Done.

(But I still need to come up with a plan to make those hollow sliding closet doors less awful).

We’ve been banging on the walls and floors around it and my patched paneling is holding up fine – it might not hold up forever, but hopefully long enough until I find a friend with a truck.

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You should probably get that checked out…

I’m not one to worry about medical issues unless I know with absolute diagnostic certainty that I do have something to worry about.  I probably don’t fret much because I was a sickly child, or because I now have enough chronic but minor “let’s keep an eye on that” issues that I expect I’ll spend many more years partially broken down and mildly miserable until something really big comes around to finish things off.

And then the other day I felt something strange on my ear.  I picked at it for a bit and it didn’t come off.  My heart started to race a little and I began counting the times my ears got pustulous sunburns, and wondering if I’d get an extra elfin-looking prosthesis just for shits and giggles.  I got up to examine it in the mirror and then got entirely distracted* and forgot about it for a day or two.  Then I remembered and finally got up in there with a flashlight and extra hand mirrors.

It was lumpy and hard and a strange skin tone that wasn’t quite my own.

I figured it was more likely to be some sort of ageing barnacle, so I flicked a little harder at the thing with disgust.

It came off…

I’m pretty sure it was a glob of Liquid Nails.

plaster schmear

(My home improvement crust usually looks more like this).

But I do sometimes worry about the day when I can’t do much with my hands.  I’m already unable to knit, sew, or type for more than an hour or two at a time, and I have to take frequent breaks due to various wrist and finger and hand barks and whines.  So I need do as much fiddly-fingered work as I can now.

 hex-a-sketch

I’m plotting some hex quilts I’ve been thinking about for some time now.  Some may be “art” pieces that I probably won’t share, while some of the fabric sketches (quilt-a-doodle-dos?) might end up for sale.  We’ll see if my fingers can do the talking as well as the walking…

I ordered some dye-cut hexes to take the easy route.

Hexagon-tiny

I didn’t quite expect them to be this small.

I hate rulers and their confounding fractions – give me metric!

*I probably should actually worry about this.

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Of bastards and bathrooms…

Someone, or ones, stole my credit card info and attempted to ship $2,300 worth of Home Depot shite to Nevada.

(I don’t live in Nevada)

It’s a bit disconcerting to think that it might be possible that they knew I was working on a house, and thus I might not notice.

But they don’t know me that well.

I don’t shop there because of their right-winged evil overlord.

I’d post a warning about where my card got hacked, but it’s the same one I’ve had for over a decade of online shopping and automatic bill payments, so it could have been a security breach in one of a hundred or more websites and utility companies.  Well, at least not right-wing fundraiser sites, or skanky porn, or games, or psychics, or…

But thankfully the evil corporate anti-everything good about life and humans credit card company had my back, so someone/s in Nevada didn’t get their new what… deluxe chainsaw?  big-ass grill?  swirly tub?  giant refrigerator?  or lots and lots and lots of nails?

I love that we’ve got an awesome independent lumber yard, hardware store, and green building supplier in our town (and that also probably proves extreme gentrification) but I can’t always afford their stuff, or rather, none of them stocks the really cheap stuff.

(If my credit card thief shopped at one of those stores he just might have gotten away with it.)

But sometimes cheap is okay and historically accurate.

So I did our half-bath floor in a pinwheel mosaic tile from the other big box home improvement store.

halfbath-tiling

Though the floor we removed was already tile, it was ugly – creepy 1970s van stripes – and broken in places (thank you original owner for installing tile on thin-ass plywood, but at least it was easy to remove) and underneath was un-salvageable linoleum.  We had been prepared to live with the room for a few years though, and it was the lowest priority to re-do, but then the toilet broke inexplicably, and it made sense to go ahead and replace the floor before we put in a new shitter.

half bath before

(bathroom before when we first looked at the house – the previous owners left out their crap).

We reused the old vanity but gave it a fresh coat of paint, replaced the semi-non-functioning faucet, and replaced the fake wood triptych-mirrored medicine cabinet with a new one that is utterly cheap, but made in the USA, so it will do well enough.

halfbath-crapper

We still need to install said medicine cabinet, add the towel and TP holders, paint some more, attach the floor trim, hang some art, sew or knit some curtains, and add a plant or something.

Along with the vintage-looking tile, the peach paint* throws the whole thing back to the 1950s, so hopefully the house feels good about it.

halfbath-paint

And it glows.

*Paint is Mythic brand and I love it – not stinky and well-priced for non-toxic paint – color is Benjamin Moore’s “Hathaway Peach.”  Tile is American Olean.  (I didn’t get anything to endorse this stuff, but I’ll gladly take some free paint or coupons if offered…).  The former ugly but perfectly functional medicine cabinet goes to Habitat for Humanity, and the plumber took the old faucet and toilet for recycling (as least that’s what he said he’d do with it…) so it was a remodel with only one bag of trash.

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Floored

I went on a floor sanding and refinishing bender recently and I am still recovering…

floors-diningroom

…but the dining room and my studio room are now mostly done.

Only four more rooms and three hallways to go – will I or won’t I endure?

floors-half-sanded

floors-studio

We had a guy in the other day to look at something that seemed to be beyond our abilities.  He came somewhat unexpectedly as people are wont to do in this small town which leaves me occasionally on edge since my work (not work, work) clothes are the shrunken bits thrown in the charity bag (I can’t find my stash of work clothes!) and I don’t want to be seen in busty gut-baring teeny t-shirts and sweatpants with burst seems.  We were in the middle of sanding the dining room floor by hand – with little electric sanders, so at least with the aid of some power…  he smirked and said “well you could do it that way, but I’d rent a sander.”

No f*ckingshit you’d rent a sander – most people would.

But floor sanders are big and heavy and use a lot of sandpaper and cost money to rent and we can only do one room at a time since we’re living in the house, so for about $10 worth of sandpaper (and a whole day) I can do it myself.  (And I mostly did it myself since N quickly looses interest/endurance on these sorts of mind-numbing vibrating tedious tasks, and I’m able to call up the genetic reserves of my peasant ancestors from time to time).

And I also like the way it looks.  In our old house, I sanded a few rooms by hand, and a few with a sander – the floors done by hand still looked old in a good way – they had more depth and patina and character.  The ones done with a sander looked 1,000 times better what they had (and a heavy grind down really was necessary) but they were a little too clean and bright even though I matched the stain with the old.

I also chose to use a hard oil wax product on these floors instead of polyurethane.

floors-hardoil-wax

That one gets another smirk from the work guys – “you could use that, but nothing wears like poly!”  But poly looks a little bit like wood in plastic coating and I wanted something a little more rich and velvety.  Again in the old house we used poly – the oil based stuff so it would take on a bit of an ageing amber tone – and I liked it, but after four or five years I was finding a few flakes and scratches and I was able to repair a few areas, but I felt sick to think we’d have to go through the whole business of sanding and re-coating the entire floor in a few years.  But I could eat these words since we’ve only had the hard oil wax for a week* and I’ve no idea how it will hold – especially once there’s a four-footed creature about, and dinner parties.  But I should only have to hit the worn areas with a fresh coat every few years instead of the whole sanding down and re-sealing business.  And this stuff doesn’t require buffing like old-timey wax.  So we’ll see.

floors-before-and-after**

You could be wondering how the linoleum  floor patch looks now?

kitchen repaired linoleum

It’s holding up just fine – the rug covers about half of it, but it still gets walked upon plenty.

We’re still looking for new rugs though…

But this linoleum will  certainly not be saved…

floors-bad-linoleum

…and is a tiling project next on the list.

*I coated a few broken steps with it a couple of months ago and so far the test areas have held up well.  And for the record, it’s Fiddes Hard Oil Wax in “American” tint.  I got it online, but it can also be had in a few actual shops in Brooklyn and other hipster places in the states (it’s a British product).  I used two thin coats with a bristle brush and I’m contemplating a third, maybe of clear, in the highest trafficked areas.  It stunk a bit, but much less than the common brands of oil-based stain, and it dried in a few hours, but I waited to put rugs and furniture back in for a few days.

**The colors aren’t right in these pics – the trees around the house are throwing green light into the place, so everything – floors and walls – is a warmer, less yellowish more orangeish tone – I’d call the floors a bit of a warm pecan shade.  And those big black rectangles are naked radiators without their front cover pieces.

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Fried that squash blossom

Good god, this was a long suffering spin.

PRS-zucchini&blossom

And I blathered on so much about it…

Last year, I was thrilled to buy the wool – Pigeonroof Studios superwash merino in “zucchini blossom.”

Pigeon zucchini

I started to spin it.

PRS zucchini

I fantasized about pairing it with other yarn from my stash to become some sturdy socks.

PRS-squashblossom

I realized I spun the first bobbin backwards, so I got irritated and put it away.

I started spinning it again during last year’s Tour de Fleece.

I cut my thumb.

TdF-Wipeout

I blamed the wool and put it away.

I got it out to finally finish for this year’s Tour de Fleece.

PRS-zucchini-TdF2014

I made a three-ply and thought all was fine.

PRS-zucchini-3ply

I ran out of one of my three plies.

PRS-zucchini-not3ply

I am now done.

PRS-zucchiniwashed

I have 258 yards of a heavy fingering/light sport wonky 3ply, and 114 yards of a light fingering/fingering wonky 2ply.

PRS-zucchinitangle

(And we won’t speak of this).

And I’ll shut up about now until I have a finished item from it…

if I ever have one at all…

(Incidentally, I did fry up those blossoms and it was a mushy miserable failure, as are most of my neglected zucchini plants which are lousy with stupid male blooms).

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Feeling peckish…

I hate most fabric marketed to babies, or rather their keepers, since perhaps babies would really just like giant boob prints, but most of it is just pathetic and timid, too cartoonish, sometimes oddly and vaguely religious, too pale and sickly pastel, and just plain ugly (however I do like some vintage baby prints).

But this one caught my eye a bit ago, and I knew about an upcoming wee one that needed a sewn item.

woodpecker-fabric.com

(Michael Miller fabric, pic from fabric.com)

I don’t make many things for babies now – at first I made many things because I only knew one.  Then more people started having them, and then the first one got a sibling, and I couldn’t keep up, or the charm wore off, or they started to blur together in a drooling blob and I couldn’t remember what I’d made and for whom.

(My apologies to all of those second children out there.)

So I whipped up a little quilt for the wall, but it could still be used as a quilt.  I had a grand idea of massive three dimensional applique with crazy depth and perspective, but in the end I kept it simple – a bit of applique birds and leaves and machine quilting.

woodpecker quilt

I had to buy thread again too – you’d think I would have learned from the last time I moved and couldn’t find it…

But the paint is drying in my new studio room at the moment, and next will be a freshly sealed floor (and then it has to become the bedroom for a while while I work on that room) and then I’ll be able to unpack allllllll of my sewing things!  So I see that day not so far off in the distance now.

But back to woodpeckers – I’m a fan of them.

I like their almost jungle-sounding call.

And their rat-tat-tat drilling (as long as it isn’t the house).

And though I don’t like that they damaged our lovely Magnolia, I’m fascinated by the pattern that they made – almost as if the tree had ripped out stitches…

woodpecker damage

…or machine gun fire.

woodpecker damage with moss

Maybe the yard is run by Woodi Peccaroni, the ancient don of the fermented tree sap bootlegging era…

 

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Hot and bothered…

I’m busy and I’ve run out of pre-written or partially composed blog posts, or rather ones that aren’t just one big fatass rant.

It’s been hot and humid and I thought I could deal with it, but it’s been ramped up lately to tip me over into full brain and body stupor.

(The air conditioning in my car is broken and we don’t have any at home yet).

I actually had a bee in my britches a couple of weeks ago and it stung the sh*t outta me.

A bite in the ass does not make one work harder.

I’m sure lighting a fire under it will have the same negative consequence.

Out of some weird mid-life moment, I actually joined Facebook with my real name and it sucks… though I get to bully the old bullies back by choosing not to “friend” them back, but then I feel bad even though they sucked and made me feel like hell in the seventh grade.

The seventh grade is the seventh ring of hell.

I only had about 70 kids in my grade for all 13 years (kindergarten included) and I can’t remember 70% of them.

I’m getting PT for my knee and the place plays this “oldies” station that is the music from my formative record-buying years… it’s kinda freaking me out – too much of my past all at once.

With the near end of the World Cup, I am overjoyed to quit cable television and hope it nestles into its own hell ring.

I’m getting a lot of spam comments on this blog and it’s annoying the piss outta me.

I’m almost finished knitting a medium to largeish-sized project, recently sewed a small project, and thinking about ways to spruce up some ugly hollow sliding closet doors – we’ve got two sets of them…

I also just started to spin a bit for the Tour de Fleece.

PRS-zucchini-TdF2014

I will finish up this disaster from last year.

(One bobbin spun backwards, I cut my thumb while spinning the next, and it’s been picked up and put down too many times to count.)

I also want to spin some other things I didn’t get to last year.

I can’t find those at the moment though…

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