It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

20141129_20392320140719_132720Over the weekend I scrubbed the house and put up the tree (to the left, to the left, doesn’t it look great!?). I promised myself I would not start a new project yet, but I had a spare hour on Sunday between church and my mom’s apartment Christmas party. So I donned the disposable coveralls, disposable face mask, and started stripping wallpaper from what will be my library. I know, it’s an obsession!

This room is the twin to the living room, and I will simply be stripping wallpaper, painting the walls and trim in the same colors as the living room, and polishing the floors. You can see the before photos here. I may need to purchase some furniture for this one. Aside from that, this room should not cost me anything additional. I’ll go through the steps with you here, though.

I will be using the coveralls, the knee pads (when I go over each parquet square, the sticky pads really save my middle-age knees!), our Purdy rollers and Merit Pro paint brushes (still going strong!), and disposable gloves for painting.20140719_132736

Laying Carpeting: Part 2 of 2

Here we are, already mid November. I had hoped to finish this room before the end of October. I had to be careful with the carpet, as it required one seam and there is a pattern. I made sure I measured twice and had a sharp blade on my cutting knife.

20140719_13265120141102_111441If you plan to lay your own carpet, this is a really helpful link: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-install-carpet/index.html  I was pleased to find out that my plan of laying the padding perpendicular to the orientation of the carpet was spot on. However, I had not thought to staple the pad’s seam, so I am glad that I read this tutorial first.

To cut and lay the actual rug, you measure the room at its longest point and add 3”. Take the carpet to a larger area (if possible) and notch the back at both sides at that length+3” point. With any luck, you will have help with this part. Roll the carpet back up with the backing facing out, and mark the point with the notches. Finish rolling, and take the carpet back inside. Roll it out flat and cut it to fit, again leaving about 3” extra next to the walls. If there are seams, make sure they are straight, put down a piece of seaming tape, heat the tape, and press the carpet seam into the tape. Place heavy objects on the seam as the glue dries. Seams should run parallel to the room’s main light source, with pile for both pieces headed in the same direction.

20141102_11150220140719_132626Now start with one end of the room and attach the carpet to the tack strip. Work one side.  Trim excess with a wall trimmer and then a stair tool to press cut edges under the baseboard trim. Stretch and attach to the strips at the opposite end of the room. Do the same for the two other sides. Sounds easy, looks easy, right? I rolled up my sleeves.

I immediately succeeded in wedging the carpeting in another room and being unable to move it, when I was trying to cut it. I called Andy and he came over the next day to help me with that. Then we took it to the sitting room (new room) and unrolled it. Since it had a repeating design (what was I thinking?!?) we had to make sure it was straight. That took some lifting and shifting. After we had it positioned, I stretched, tacked, and wedged, while Andy laid on the carpet (pressing out the wrinkles) and drank coffee (supervised). What a lucky girl I am! I am glad I had the knee pads, because without them I probably would not be able to walk today.

20141101_165134The seam was tricky, and you are to make sure the nap of the fabric is the same for each piece of carpet, which I didn’t do, because my remnant wasn’t big enough. But I did make sure the carpet was cut at the same part in the pattern both sides of the seam. I did a good job there. I think as soon as I have more money and time, I will replace that small extra piece of carpet with the same vinyl plank flooring I want to put in the bathroom upstairs, so that carpet and its seam will go.

Andy left to take Lucy to hockey while I finished up, while Grace   volunteered at the library. I am going to attach before and after photos of the entire room here so you can oooh and aaah! Next week I will start on what will be my living room. I will remove the carpet and wallpaper, polish the wood floor, strip the wood trim, and paint the upper walls. I will feature the half-mask respirator as well as poly gloves, and ToughChix gloves. I will again be using the paint brush and rollers from Construction Gear.

Meet SafetyGirl

I20140719_094724n anticipation of restoring my new-to-me home, I brought some Safety GirlDiscount Safety Gear, and Construction Gear products home last week. Happily, I got a Friday commute text from my boyfriend that his daughter had decided to rip up her bedroom carpet, that I should stop over, and he was otherwise speechless (him speechless is as close to a medical emergency as you can get). Upon entering the house I could barely make my way to the voices coming from some random crevice upstairs – furniture lined the hallways and sat in the middle of every room. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello?
He: Up here! Can you squeeze through? Or did you have chocolate today?
Me: I think I got it. How did all the heavy wood furniture get downstairs?
He: Lucy carried it.
Me: By herself!?
He: Yes.
Me: I’m impressed.

There he stood, delegating and watching like a good dad. The old carpet was up already, showing beautiful bare hardwood. Engrossed in her work, Lucy pried tacks and staples out of the floorboards. I vaulted back downstairs to get the glovesdisposable knee pads, and tool belt that were already in my car. “Hey! Try some of this stuff out!” I threw her my bag of new goodies. She was a good sport, especially since I wasn’t sure whether to put the knee pads on horizontally or vertically. I let her do her thing. They protected her knees from stray nails for sure, but one helpful bit of information: don’t put them on bare skin. I think I lost points for that one and she won’t have to shave her knees for a month. Needless to say, adhesion with these knee pads is top-notch. If you put them on coveralls or pants as they are intended, they will last through the job or until you wash the clothing. Note to self: read the instructions before using the product.20140719_094745-MOTION

The gloves fit her like, well, a glove, and kept her hands safe from the sharp tacks, as well as blisters from the pliers when she pulled up the staples.

The story has a happy ending: Lucy finished most of the impromptu bedroom makeover before her sister Grace got home from almost a month abroad (another story for another day). There is some finishing work to be done, but with both girls working together, it will get done quickly. And with products from SafetyGirlConstruction Gear, and Discount Safety Gear, it will get done safely – except for that knee thing.

Afterward: Because Lucy and Grace are under age, I changed their names and forwarded this to my BF for approval. He suggested his alias be something along the lines of movie-star worthy, with authoritative muscle and a heart of gold. He will be known as Mutt. Simply because I can. But he shared that after Lucy removed the knee pads, he put them on himself and said he loved them. They were convenient, easy, and didn’t hurt a bit when he removed them.