Tag Archives: mud

Hit the deck!

We finally did something for the house that wasn’t just a repair… scratch that, it was a repair/replacement, but less necessary than a boiler, or sewer, or toilet, or everything else… but it’s something we can enjoy (not that a sewer isn’t enjoyable when needed). The house finally has a balcony/deck on the back instead of a ridiculous set of rickety stairs.

From this:

To this:

And yes, no stairs now – we hotly debated the feature – but maybe they’ll come later if we [I] really can’t live without them. We do have yard access through the ground level/basement, and it is nice to not have mud tracked on the deck and not worry about the dog getting loose (fingers crossed, he’s a jumper). So it is very much an extension of our living and dining space (right off the kitchen). I’ve lost the view of the back yard from one of the office windows, but I can still see the garden out of the other, and otherwise it’s just the treetops – I’m cool with that. It stretches the length of the house, but only comes out 10 feet, so we barely lost yard space, and instead gained a good shady spot underneath where the hammock will be.

And this spring has been so wet, that I wouldn’t have been sitting out in the yard anyway, so it’s perfect timing…

The whole thing was entirely done by others – that’s a first for us too – there was going to be too much engineering/working at high-ish height/expertise beyond our ability for us to tackle it ourselves – and that was a nice change – sign some papers, permits, payments and in a couple of weeks it’s done. (Well, not 100% done as we’ve got to seal/stain/something TBD it in a few months.) But even if we had buckets of money, I think I’d still prefer to do the work we can do to houses ourselves – at least while my limbs work enough.

There’s been a bit of a shitstorm going on as well – some electrical problems, air-conditioning problems, family matters, work, and quite literally with the dog – he got massively ill and had to be hospitalized a couple of times last week – we still don’t know the whys, but the hows are slowly getting better – gave us a massive scare.

So we’re all enjoying the moments when we can – thankfully it’s been cool and dry lately (when it’s not raining…).

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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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Filed under home, home decor, recycling