Tag Archives: dust

What I know or thought I did but still don’t

 bowbanister

I’m wrapping up the worst of the house, meaning almost all of the walls and ceilings are repaired and painted, and floors refinished painstakingly by hand.

I am an experienced fixer-upper, but I still don’t understand the darkest secrets in the universe of home improvement.

Such as:

I never could predict just how much hard wax oil I needed to use per floor, and ended up paying in shipping small cans what would have cost for the large can.

The smallest room used the most paint.

grey walls

Despite its trendiness, I like yellow and grey.  And that yellow door is the living room color – the living room is the largest room, yet took the least amount of paint…

And we still haven’t figured out which room is for what – this room will probably be N’s office, though it may be my “studio” but it is a really tight space – the other wall is pretty much the right margin of the pic – but it has the best natural light.

We did end up covering the knotty pine paneling in one of the rooms, and the room is much better for it, though it will stay in the living room for now.

green walls

And though I’ve previously held an unyielding “choose paint colors for the middle of an ungodly dreary winter” stance (meaning only warm tones on all walls) I went outside of my comfort zone and painted cooler hues in these last few rooms and I really like them.  The color of the smallest room, above with the yellow door, even has the terribly depressing name of “November rain.”  But I would prefer rain in November to some icy slop.

Every time I sand wall patches or floors, despite how well I meticulously seal up the room, I’m blown away about how much dust still escapes and ends up in rooms on the opposite side of the house.

Dusty wheel

 And I hate the fact that I now have to do a thorough furniture-moving, rug-lifting deep clean because I just did that, and everything is fresh and new but now looks like dusty hell.

What is left?

A full-bathroom re-do (more thoughts on that soon) that will either be a placeholder just-work-with-what-we-have-and-slap-several-coats-of-paint-on-everything for now, or a reexamination of the budget to see if we can contract some of the work out – it’s not a major job, but the floor is the worst part of that room and it’s a major pain in the ass.

Improving the “finished” basement that really isn’t.  It needs a floor and a new/improved ceiling* and is ripe with the shit version of paneling which we will likely paint, but again, the budget and our energy levels will play a huge role in its outcome.

It’s got some snazzy vintage fixtures though.

basement light

(And  sadly, I don’t think those are our fingerprints and dust – we haven’t touched the things…)

Improving the yard – we need a bigger garden with better deer fencing and possibly pooch fencing, and some attempts at landscaping.

And then 89, 783, 2311+ weekend projects – tiling the kitchen backsplash, painting closet doors, stripping room doors, installing some thresholds, touching up paint, touching up paint, oh, and touching up paint, building shelving, insulating random little places, hemming more curtains, etc., etc., etc…

etc., etc., etc….

curtains

(And maybe I should add ironing curtains to the list too…)

*Anyone have ideas for improving a drop ceiling on the cheap?  It’s got those large rectangular panels, so I can’t just replace them with something interesting like record sleeves… cover with fabric or textured paper?  Paint?  The current panels are stained Styrofoam and I don’t know what stained them or continues to stain them, I want to get rid of them but hate to toss them in a landfill, and the new ones are only marginally better and more than I want to spend…

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The things behind the radiator

I’m thrilled that our new-to-us house has radiators.

But they aren’t much to look at – just a single pipe covered with  a smooth boxy cover rather than an ornate cast iron multi-piped lovely.

The cover around the one in my office wiggled though, and didn’t sit flush against the wall.

radiator-the radiator

So I jabbed some pliers around behind it and found yet another pile of child detritus – further evidence of the slobs who owned the place just before us.

radiator-recent crap

But the cover still wouldn’t go flush with the wall, so I fashioned a slim jim out of a thin piece of aluminum threshold and went to town on the thing, once again playing archaeologist

radiator-motherlode of things

And unearthed a many decades mother-lode of kid shit.

More precisely, shit from the kids who were in here in the late 1950s to early ’60s (along with the last people here from about three years ago).

radiator-not art things

There are kid scribbles (properly on paper this time, not the walls).

(And I’d rather not think of what could have been munching on the paper.)

radiator-pencil things

The pencils that perhaps created scribbles.

radiator-old maid things

Part of a deck of Old Maid that could now never be won.

radiator-food things

Food things that have no business outside of the kitchen.

radiator-baby things

Correspondence that confirmed the owner’s identity (with an addition that could been viewed as ironic commentary on today’s ridiculousness of availability and popularity of weapons in this country and the truly terrible acts of kids killing each other).

radiator-knitted thing

Play things and a knitted thing – and it feels incredibly familiar to me – I may have had a doll sock just like this one…

radiator-red things

Cheery red things.

(And I almost bought a vintage toy tin washtub with these same little clothespins at a flea market recently, but though the design could be considered charming, and had in fact charmed me momentarily, ultimately I was disgusted that something like that was made to give to a child (girl) to play with instead of a book or a microscope or something enlightening and useful and creative and educational… )

radiator-precious things

And little once precious things – perhaps given to a child once they were deemed crap.

(Yes, I did get a little excited for half of a second when I thought the tie clip could be gold…)

radiator-puzzle things

And things that don’t make sense without other things.

radiator-butt things

And evidence of what I thought were nicotine stains on the walls (though this too could have been a teen-child act of hiding her/his own evidence…).

radiator-animal things

And finally a few random toy things that were played with by a far-from-child again for a few minutes…

And if you spotted the snakeskin, that was my contribution to the mess behind the radiator rather than a living snake leaving it behind.  I think part of the reason so much shit ended up back there is a perpendicular breezy window.   Moments after I took a picture of it, it blew out of my reach.

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