Renovations, Phase I of Too Many to Count

Let’s start off with a little before and after-ish photo comparison.  I wanted to give the front porch a little freshening, so here is Front Porch Freshening, Phase I:

Phase I consists of a coat of Yellow Raincoat by Benjamin Moore on the front door and a “haint blue” also by Benjamin Moore that I can’t recall the name of for the porch ceiling.  We also got a new mat with a bright floral print.

Phase II will include a new light fixture, door hardware, replacing this wooden swing with a family heirloom, and new address numbers.  Phase III will be stripping and repainting the porch floorboards.

Eventually, we will paint the whole house and trim a different color, but that will not be till it needs it.  This white paint and blue trim are not my favorite, but we have placed “exterior painting” on the Phase 800 list.  So we’ll get to that later sometime.

As promised, here is a demolition shot.  The laminate was very easy to remove.  Wayne carefully pried off the quarter round molding so we could reuse it.  Then it was just a matter of unlocking the sections, stacking them roughly according to length, and hauling them out.


There was only one bad spot (photo below) where someone had taped down a rug and a bit of the wood was pulled up when the tape was removed.  Fir is pretty soft, so there were a lot of small dings and dents as would be expected in an almost 100-year old house.  I call that “character.”

I feel better already.  The original floorboards are running LONGways, which is the right way.  That laminate was laid CROSSways, which may have been necessary for new flooring laid over old, but it bothered me.  Probably more than it would bother most relatively sane people.  But anyway, IT IS GONE.img_9686

In the rooms that were carpeted, we had a little more of a challenge.  Once the carpet and pad was out, Wayne had to pull the tack strip, and we both spent a good deal of time pulling out the staples they used to affix the padding.


At this point, all the ceilings and walls are painted and all old flooring is removed with the exception of the kitchen and office tile.  We’re still debating what to replace that tile with.  New tile?  Maybe just paint the original wood if we can get the tile and backer board up cleanly?  We won’t know till we get back from Louisiana and embark on Phase II.

One hundred percent of the original wood flooring that we’ve exposed is in excellent condition and will just need a little patching and spot priming before we lay the new coat of paint.  The mystery deepens:  Why, then, was it covered up with carpet and laminate?  For extra warmth in winter?  Bad taste?  Hatred of all things old and filled with character?

We considered hiring a crew to come in and strip, sand, and reseal the wood (something I’ve been told and firmly believe is best done by pros) but didn’t have the time or budget to do so.  Since we both actually like the look of painted wood floors, we decided to just repaint them.

We are using Pratt & Lambert Porch and Floor paint in an oil base for durability.  We chose the color Anthracite, which is almost black.  It reads as black, but it’s really a very dark charcoal with a navy undertone.  This paint requires the use of a respirator and LONG dry and cure time, so we got all the floors painted (two coats!) before we left for Louisiana to gather our belongings, giving that second coat a good couple of weeks of cure time.

Wayne cut in around the edges of the rooms, then he rolled a section and I brushed it out with a wide brush.  The brushing after rolling was necessary because the roller created tiny bubbles that burst and left tiny circles when it dried.  We found that out with the first coat upstairs, too late to fix it.

The front two rooms and upstairs are now off limits, so we’ve moved base camp (our mattress) to the office and are only able to access the house through the back door.  We can still get to the kitchen and bathroom, though, so it’s not posing a problem.

We picked up our rental car and will be heading out for Louisiana soon.  We’ll rent a large U-Haul truck and pack up all our goodies and be back in a couple of weeks.  Loading a U-Haul in Louisiana.  In July.

Now’s a good time to talk about weather.  Our new house has NO AIR CONDITIONING.  But it’s cool.  Because it’s literally cool in the summers here.  Open the windows, get some good cross-ventilation going, and it’s just lovely.  One of the huge pros about living here is the reduced energy usage in the summer.

Here is a before and after painting photo of the living room.  Remember the beige walls and plastic laminate flooring?  GONE.  Also, the inside of the front door is now sporting a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray.

We placed all of the carpet, padding, and laminate flooring at the curb.  It was a pretty gigantic pile.  We tried to place it neatly so that passers-by could see what it was.  Not surprisingly, since it was in pretty decent condition, we got a few knocks on the door asking if we were giving it away.  We were able to give away the vast majority of the pile to people for reuse.

All of the curtains and rods that we took down were donated to the local thrift store.  We ended up with a small pile of pieces of flooring that were too small to use, tack strips, and the like that were picked up by Waste Management and taken to either the landfill or the recycling facility.

Next installment:  See Wayne rip out more flooring with his bare hands!  This time, TILE.

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