Rag Rolling

20140810_093358Now that hockey season has started (if you have kids that seriously engage in the sport, you know it requires about 13 months and billions of dollars a year), I will have some weekends to myself as Andy travels or hosts for hockey showcases, championships, and tournaments. Lucy plays while Gracie values the dad-time. Sometimes I go, but sometimes I need to sit out to allow their full bonding time. This weekend, Andy had two hockey dad house guests for a weekend kickoff to camp. I was hoping to get the walls and floor done with my copious spare time. Ha!

20140715_201112I have heard two schools of thought on stripping wallpaper: those who think it’s a nightmare and those who think it’s relatively easy. My opinion is somewhere in the middle but I will tell you, my mind has been changed about stripping all the wallpaper in the house. I heard about a secret weapon called a paper tiger but I couldn’t find one, so I just peeled, squirted, peeled, wiped, rinse, repeat. Because this job alternated tasks and I am doing this alone, the tool belt from SafetyGirl was really quite essential for keeping my screwdriver (scoring) and cleaning rag right near where I was working.

As I was stripping, one of the wall sconces fell off the wall and nailed me in the forehead. Luckily the wires remained nutted and the bulb didn’t break. “I know Daddy built you, light fixture, but Daddy ain’t here. I have no trouble tossing you in the garbage.” Remember my fear that I would find something amiss under the wall sconces? I kind of did – when the paper was removed last time, that second layer was left on and the new paper applied over it. It was almost impossible to remove.

I have to give credit where it is due: my dad was the king of repurposing and making things work. My mom is the queen of doing things right. I have to assume my dad was the one who left the traces of paper there.

The stripping took about a week of after-work work. Saturday I wiped down the walls, patched the dings, sanded, and primed. I used the half mask respirator when I sanded. If you’ve done drywall work before you know the value in this. So nice not to have to remove dust from my hair, nose, eyes, skin – you name it!

20140816_145517coverallI was going to rag-roll a seafoam glaze coating over white walls but the glaze ended up turning the very pale paint a warm beige. I am ok with that. I experimented and used a wet rag and the additive method, rolling the rag by hand, then scrubbing when almost dry, to smooth the pattern a bit to look more organic. That job was beyond a mess and I was glad to have Discount Safety Gear’s disposable coveralls. I wore one for the entire wall painting job, and I probably could have broken that down into two, the thing was so covered. The disposable rugged blue gloves were also a necessity because I would still have sticky glaze darkening my hands as I write.

An out-of-town friend was to stay with me Saturday night after spending time with her mother, which forced me to cdisp work gloveslean up mid-project. Gail ended up canceling due to a death in the family but I was very glad I was forced to clean for her arrival anyway. Andy invited me over to meet his friends, since I’d be available. Oh, and can I pick up a bottle of tonic water on my way? Mrs. Ford likes vodka and tonics and she may come out. Really?!? Picking up groceries for another woman? He said, “I’ll pay you back.” “Oh, no you don’t!” I said. “I prefer the right to bring this up for years to come, rather than have the dollar.” I arrived, tonic in hand, hyperventilating with all that still had to be done. Lucy, Grace, and what seemed like seven or eight other girls (I think in actuality there were only three) ran to the street fair down the road while the adults visited for a bit.

20140817_190925Sunday morning, I looked at the bathroom with fresh eyes before church. The walls looked unfinished, so I used the same metallic textured paint to paint a border at the ceilings, then I filled it in with chunks of texture smeared on with a small scraper. I think I got the stripe a bit too wide but I like it anyway. Again with the gloves and coveralls. Since I was using found and extra paint and glaze, cost for this phase was only $2.50 for the patch.

Painting the floor still makes me nervous, because while the vinyl tile is a step away from gone, everything I read said painting it can turn out great, or a disaster, and I can’t afford to replace it. I am also toying with the idea of what is called a Chattahoochee floor, or river stone/pebble floor. I am reading conflicting reviews, however, on whether this is best done by epoxy, or mortar and grout. I think if I did this, I would overlay the existing vinyl tile with black landscaping plastic and work that surface. With the weight and stones hugging the toilet it would stay in place, but also be much easier to remove if I don’t like it. I will ponder the floor for another week.

I ended up being glad I stopped for Mrs. Ford’s tonic, even though Mrs. Ford herself didn’t show up. Andy made me the best gin and tonic I have ever tasted. Quality gin, fresh lime juice, lovely garnish. I could happily live in that man’s kitchen.

~BS

Ready, Set, Go!

Floor20140715_201112The single bathroom is a tiny space with peeling wallpaper and dark and outdated cabinetry. I have chosen to start here because it should be relatively easy to freshen this room quickly. Call it my warmup, if you will.

I propose to paint the flooring and cabinetry, remove some of the outdated accessories, and add new fixtures. All over the course of four weeks. Sounds pretty simple. I’ve done my homework on what is needed to paint the vinyl flooring but until I’ve removed the wall sconces, I’m not sure what I am going to be getting into electrical-wise. We’ll find out together!coverall

The products I am going to feature for this room are SafetyGirl’s tool belt, sold on our SafetyGirl, Construction Gear, and Discount Safety Gear websites; and disposable coveralls, sold on our Discount Safety Gear and Construction Gear websites. Some other stuff I will use on our site will be featured in later room blogs, but I will also be using a respirator, gloves, and safety glasses.

My goal for this room is to complete my transformation in about $200 and one month’s time. The look I am going for is a spa-type one. I understand with a smallish, oldish bathroom and only $200 I will not get the pebbled-floor walk-in oversized glass shower with multiple shower heads that I want. Maybe when I add a master bath…Use vanity

Use wallI have purchased latex porch and patio paint, and Bullseye 1-2-3 primer. I will need to sand the floor, clean it, maybe also buy a deglosser, and definitely find a clear top coat. The paint is the palest seafoam green latex and I think it was supposed to be acrylic-based so I am unsure how it will fare.  The cabinetry will be done using Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations in Espresso. None of these companies has compensated me, nor do I represent them. I would like brushed stainless hardware for the cabinets. The existing towel bar will need to be replaced with something more modern. I also want to strip and paint the walls. So far, I am up to about $150 in consumables. Paint brushes and rollers will round out my parts list. I can keep the existing shower curtain and liner, and tub if I give it a good scrub. I want to keep the room uncluttered so I will be removing the curtain from the frosted window. If I have budget at the end of this project I will replace either the medicine cabinet’s sconce lighting or the ceiling light/fan fixture.

To interject some heart into this post so it doesn’t sound so commercial, Andy went for his annual golf weekend with the boys since I last blogged. My heart is heavy; the night before he left we had to deal with some pretty big pain from a pretty important girl. Some days are simply filled with introspection.

~BS

Pandora’s Construction Box

Last month you were introduced to my small world. So far we have Mo, my mom who has moved to independent living. We have me, who will be updating the old farmhouse. We have my BF Andy, who lives with his two daughters, Lucy and Grace, about five miles from my house. We all live about 1-2 hours away from where I work (depending on traffic) at Online Stores. Construction GearDiscount Safety Gear, and SafetyGirl are the stores whose products I will be using during the farmhouse reboot. While Lucy and Grace fight over who gets to test the Mace pepper spray guns, I root through my box of goodies and try to sort out what I will be using on what room. Soon I will start in the bathroom and walk you through some of my projects with featured products, but since I opened Pandora’s box of construction and safety stuff, I took some photos and have some thoughts to share on a few products before I start.

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20140726_101018My sister is a nut for keeping her body pure. Since my dad died early of cancer from working hard as a construction foreman all his life despite a squeaky-clean lifestyle, I wanted to reassure her that I will not be breathing anything harmful. This respirator is only $13.31 and is very easy to assemble and use. There are also additional cartridges and filters to extend the life of this mask. It is comfortable, adjusts well, and was easy to breathe in. I will be using this when I use solvents and other chemicals.

Andy was with me when I opened the safety glasses. I got a couple pair because I couldn’t believe how attractive they all are. I’m middle-aged and I absolutely love the bifocals.20140801_192656 All of these glasses double as sunglasses. I know I work for this company and am supposed to say nice things about the products, but honestly, it is so easy. The Edge Kazbek pair sells for only $11.09. They are ANSI compliant, they block UV, and they look killer on. Andy, who wears safety glasses daily (he manages operations at a steel mill), tried on the Edge Reclus and said they were by far more comfortable than any other pair he’s worn, and would be great to wear for biking, too. I took a photo of the glasses so you can see what he means by the rubberized nose piece and comfort factor. The bridge is made of flexible notched rubber to seat properly without pinching. I bet these go missing from my house…

One 20140726_130824last item I dug out of the box while I still had enough energy to use them: shoe cleats. I put these on my lawnmowing shoes, as there is a hillside behind the house. They looked kind of small out of the package but stretched nicely to cover the shoe, and stay there. They were light. My feet dug into the dirt while I mowed the slopes. I am thinking they are going with me to the golf course and will be great in the winter, too.

3M 6000 Series Half Mask Respirator

by the Professional Power Tool Guide

Most of the time, when people hire a professional to complete an improvement or demolition project on their homes, they do so because something about the job makes it too complex or dangerous to complete themselves. While many people fantasize about being the kind of people that can complete these jobs themselves, the truth is that access to the proper tools and equipment makes it impossible in many instances. And then there’s always the simple fact that most of the professionals that you hire have spent years perfecting their expertise in one area or another. If you are attempting a demolition job that will have you working around potential pollutants or other hazardous materials, you will need a 3M 6000 Series Half Mask Respirator.

3M 6000 Series Half Mask Respirator

Many people are unaware that completing a construction project on their home puts them at risk for inhaling harmful substances that are kicked up during demolition and installation. Any time that a project has you working in a fairly enclosed space, you should always consider donning a 3M 6000 Series Half Mask Respirator. This will ensure that you will be able to breathe through the entire task without inhaling something toxic.

For people with older homes it is a real concern that opening up a wall or ceiling might expose asbestos, which can be very hazardous in the lungs and can even cause some forms of cancer. If you are attempting an improvement project on your older home, and you suspect that you might be dealing with asbestos along the way, it becomes even more important for you to protect your health with a 3M 6000 Series Half Mask Respirator. Even when you wear these masks, however, you should realize that they are no substitute with the proper ventilation and taking breaks in the fresh air.

If you’ve thought that you would be just fine tying a bandana around your face and neck, or donning the type of dust masks that you can find in any home improvement store, you should know that there are some particulates that are simply too small to be caught by these products. Take care of your health by using the 3M 6000 Series Half Mask Respirator instead. You don’t have to invest and arm and a leg, as the 6000 Series is designed to be effective and affordable. You can also by replacement parts separately to extend the life of the mask.