Sunday, February 01, 2015

Merry Christmas - now let's paint...

On Boxing Day, David and I decided to finally get back into house decorating, after a few months of taking a necessary break (you really do just run out of steam). And that break was spent mostly in the garden (but now I desperately need a sunny day to get back into the garden after leaving it to it's own devices for a few weeks - weeds and mega-blooming veges and crazy amounts of sweet peas, anyone?).

Painting, it seems so easy. You walk into a room and think, with just a lick of paint, this room will look amazing. And it does, but, well, what everyone seems to forget (or what they don't tell you) is that there's actually quite a bit of prep work involved. Like sanding down everything that is being painted so that the paint will stick to it. Taping off areas that you don't want paint on or that will be painted a different colour. The undercoat. Waiting. Hopefully no need for a second undercoat unless you're painting a purple pantry cupboard and door and so moving onto the first top coat. Waiting. Second top coat. Waiting. Taping off to apply first top coat to walls. Waiting... aaaaand, you get the point. It's not as easy or as quick OR as inexpensive to do as people nonchalantly talk about in casual conversation. And once you start, you can't stop until it's done. Otherwise it'll never get done.

So, we moved everything out of the kitchen/dining room and.....GO! As always, some before shots once everything was removed...

When they were tiling the bathroom, I was playing around with the tiles as a 'splash back' for the wall where the kitchen sink is and they pretty much fit perfectly. So they actually did those at the same time. It used to be a dark red colour - the sliver of colour you can see in the photo above between the door and the draw/cupboard. Already that area looks so much lighter! But, just wait until you see it painted and that awful cooked-liver-purple gone from the window frame.

The beautiful rimu flooring above I discovered when the builders were taking out the wall. The floor was actually covered by a thin hardboard which was then painted the cooked-liver-purple colour (the last of which you can see in the bottom left corner of the photo above). I started pulling up bits of board from the original doorway and would you believe it, beautiful wood! And it wasn't that hard to pull up either since it was just nailed down around the sides.

We pulled it all up (bar the corner one because we were planning on putting paint cans on it during the painting) and realised we could sand and varnish it and it would look beautiful (it does!). It was what we were planning on doing in the hall ways and bedrooms anyway, so that was that flooring issue solved.

The one was wasn't quite solved yet was the kitchen flooring...

Above you can see a square of cooked-liver-purple sticking out into the dining room. That was where the original kitchen range was (the skylight above was where the chimney would have been). This was removed long before we ever got the house, but the hole was then concreted in. The second issue was the fact that the original kitchen tiles had been stuck down directly onto the wood floor. So our luck with the ease of pulling up squares of hardboard was over.

There would be no beautiful wood flooring in the kitchen. We couldn't be bothered. So, while we had wanted to avoid getting flooring put on top of the wood, it was going to be the best option.

We wanted to avoid any faux wood next to real wood though so we are going with vinyl. It's not in yet (that happens tomorrow!!), but I can't wait for it to be done as that'll be almost one of the last finishing touches to that room. And, most importantly, there will officially be no more cooked-liver-purple in my life (except in some of the bedrooms. Why people? WHY???).

Well, let's get a white undercoat on shall we (after we've sanded down all surfaces of course, and taped off sections we don't want paint on etc...)

Phwoar! That looks much better already!

Don't worry, I did do the purple cupboard and the other kitchen cupboards.

The back of the door needed 2 undercoats (it only has one in the photo above) as did the purple cupboard and the panelled wall in the photo below.

I think at the stage in the photo above, all surfaces had had at least 1-2 undercoats. We then painted the ceiling, the kitchen walls, the cabinet sides, the skirting and the panels on the dining room walls with 2 coats of St Clair quarter - a white with the tiniest touch of grey in it. This is the trim colour we used on the bathroom ceiling/skirting and the lounge ceiling/skirting.

We had also undercoated both hall way sections when we had done the lounge and then finished them both off this time around entirely with St Clair Quarter, to keep them as light as possible.

Then we taped off the panelling in the lounge and put Aniwaniwa Half onto the walls, continuing the colour from the bathroom and lounge (these same colours have also been used in the bedrooms).

The walls had had two coats of Aniwaniwa Half at this stage and we had gotten up eagerly on the morning these were taken to pull off the tape. But not before photos of course :)

The first section of hallway finished in St Clair Quarter above. And below, peeling back the tape... how cool does it look?

It was David's idea to do the panelling in the trim colour, and it's such a lovely feature I think. If we have panels, we may as well make them stand out a bit huh? Not everyone is lucky to have a feature like this but you could get the same effect with masking tape if it was something you really wanted (though if we had had just plain walls, I doubt we would have done it at all).

Next up, some beautifully sanded and varnished floors, but oh the dust...


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lounging About...

I really love our new lounge. While we've since needed to rearrange a bit (with an impending little person needing some accommodation) it's still such a nice room to eat breakfast in in the morning. To lounge about on the couch in the sunshine, to read a book or knit in with the french doors open, listening to the chooks have their conversations, the wafts of honeysuckle breezing in and a cat or two wandering past every now and then for a pat.

It wasn't always this way...

Initially we had thought that the far corner (where the wood panels are leaning in the photo above) was sinking slightly, as when you stood in that corner, it felt lower than the rest of the house. What had actually happened was when the room had been turned into one (a few owners ago) the wood beam flooring had somehow become strained and had started straining upwards in the middle of the room. So what we thought was the corner sinking, was actually us walking over a small hill and down into where the floors should properly sit.

So, the builders took out the middle section of floor, released the pressure (taking away the squeaks at the same time!!) and miraculously made the floor level again.

It was never hugely out of balance, but it's nice to have that fixed now. Also, since we were always going to carpet this room, they took a few floor boards to use to replace the two small spots of dry rot we found in the house after we moved in, to keep the same flooring throughout.

And then we stripped the window sills back to their former natural wood glory. (New lights were already in at this stage as you can see in the photo above).

They aren't by any means perfect though. Borer has had a party in them (as well as some more wooden flooring as we found out over Christmas when we were sanding!!) and previous owners have decided to try and bog up the borer holes and paint over them to make them go away. Ummm, borer needs to be rid of first guys, just sayin.

So, before we varnished the wood, throughout the whole house, we directly treated it and did a general bug bomb, then used proper wood putty to seal up the holes and then varnished. Again, the window sills don't look like they were made yesterday, but we actually kind of like them that way. It shows a bit more of the history of the house and since it's not a new house, I don't think these things should look perfect anyway.

Below is the room the morning before the carpet went down. Isn't it lovely? Don't worry, the rest of that old carpet went bye bye as well...

Dulux St Clair Quarter was used on the ceiling and trims and Aniwaniwa Half on the walls. We have that lovely little panelling detail in most corners of the rooms in the house and David thought it might be quite cool to leave them the trim colour as well - I couldn't agree more.

You can also see that we've not sanded back the wood around the french doors yet. They are a much darker wood anyway (they would have been reclaimed from elsewhere when this room was first remodelled) and while we will eventually, that hasn't happened yet. Luckily it's just a wood stain, rather than actual paint.

And the carpet goes in...

I cannot tell you how soft and squishy and lovely this room is to walk in now. My original idea was to go with a natural brown colour, to be a bit more in keeping with the wood flooring in the rest of the house, but we couldn't find the colour we wanted with the durability we wanted.

We bought this steely blue grey, short pile sample home with us, including a bunch of others, and really fell in love with the colour of it. Initially I was worried about the room maybe seeming too dark with a dark carpet, but the room is so light anyway, and the lighter colours in the carpet almost seem to reflect light back up. We also have rather colourful taste in the things we put into rooms, so we felt that it would actually be fine. And we love it!!

A sneaky peek at how the room looked with some furniture in it. I won't show you the full room since we're moving things around now and we've not put everything up on the walls yet, but it's such a lovely room that has had rather a huge transformation right? No more green racing carpet for a start...


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Walls and Doors and Bits and Bobs...

A few (slightly boring but essential things) to bring you up to date before we continue.

Gib goes onto the new wall in the lounge...

Then it gets plastered, ready for paint...

Frame goes in for the single cavity slider in the hallway (so we can shut the top half of the house off from the bottom if we want to - great for keeping in wood burner heat during winter...).

Cavity slider goes in...

First section of hall way pinex boards come off so the builders can straighten the walls...

Hallway walls go back on - nice new smooth gib...

That photo. I love that photo. Talk about perfect timing.

End of hallway cavity slider is gibbed and plastered in...

Original coving is put back in and everything is plastered and smoothed, ready for paint...

J (& D)