Day 15 Renovation Adventures: Sanding Walls and Electric

Today we continued to sand the wallpaper walls. The orbital sander is working well, except that the entire house is now covered in sanding dust. Tomorrow I’m going to decide if we continue to sand or go back to scraping. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but we are running short on time so the walls need to get finished one way or another.

reno day 15

We are hoping to start painting on Monday which means the drywall needs to be finished up by the weekend.

A few of you asked about the orbital sander.

Bosch_Orbital_Sander

It is a Bosch 3725DEVS 3.3 Amp 5-Inch Random Orbit Variable Speed Sander with Dust Canister. Specs are below.

  • Powerful 3.3 amp motor handles the toughest applications
  • 4,500 to 12,000 orbits per minute; removalable auxillary handle for close-quarter work
  • Micro filter collects up to 120% more dust than conventional dust bags
  • Hook-and-loop pad for quick sandpaper changes

It works very well, but the dust bag is not really adequate for the job we are doing. If I was to buy a sander for a big job I would get one with a dust bag that had a round tube instead of an oval. With a round tube you can attach it to your shop vac and really minimize the dust. For a job as big as ours the small canister can’t keep up, but for smaller projects it works great.

drywall

We are hiring someone to help with the drywall repair since there is so much of it and we aren’t really experts at drywall. But we started closing up a few walls in the bedrooms.

drywall_repair_PEA

I also tried to take down this mirror from a hall closet door today. All our doors are being painted and so we needed to remove it. Unfortunately, it had been painted along the edges so when we pulled it off it shattered. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I was bummed because I really wanted to reuse the mirror in my closet.

hall_mirror

We have an electrician (and good friend) coming tomorrow to help with the kitchen which is a hot mess of wires. (Pun intended)

lighting_holes

We have the holes drilled for the ceiling lights (the big light box is coming out) but we might decide to put in more lights once we get the first set in.

open_soffit

We also have a small (ha ha) issue with this box which use to be hidden by the soffit. Since we demo’d the soffit this box has nowhere to go which is a big-ish problem.

We have a few ideas, but hopefully our electrician friend will help us figure it all out tomorrow.

While I was gone this weekend I realized I haven’t shown you much of the house that we aren’t tearing up right now.

gate

I absolutely LOVE this iron gate on the side of the house. It isn’t in the best shape, but it has so much character it is awesome. One of the reasons we decided to buy this house is that it is on a street where every house is very different. I’d love to show you all the different styles on our street, but that might not be the best way to make friends with the neighbors.

I really like that every house seems to have a story and history to it and I feel like this gate is just part of our story.

sad_tree_fruit

See this lonely little green fruit? It is hanging from this pitiful little tree. I think the tree might be dead, due to the fact that it only has 3 leaves and one sad little fruit. But I’d love to save it if possible.

sad_tree

Do you know what kind of tree this is? Any ideas on how to “save” it?

Tomorrow should be a big day with the electrician coming and a day closer to moving in!

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This is part of our ongoing renovation project for our new home in Florida.  Our goal is to be done by Thanksgiving or else.  Follow the daily accounts of our real life during this DIY renovation process here.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Day 10 Renovation Adventures: Mysterious Cabinet

Renovation Adventures Day 10

Yesterday I mentioned we are going to remove a built-in in the family room.

When I first sized up the project I thought it would easy-ish. Easier than wallpaper removal, harder than busting up drywall with a sledgehammer.

builtin_before

I carefully removed the glass shelves, glass doors, and modeling around the outside of the cabinet.

builtin_reno

I was hoping that we could save the cabinet and use it in a different room.

The molding was a bit of a pain to get off but it came off in good shape.

When I pulled the bottom part of the molding we made a discovery.

builin_hole

The brick under the built-in, well isn’t there. The built-in was built over a hole.

built_in_brick

There is also a loose brick at the top of the built-in. I’m sure that behind this brick we’ll find some kind of treasure, I’m just hoping it’s not the furry with a long tail kind.

So, anyway, with all the extra parts removed DH and my son attempt to remove the cabinet, but it is glued to the brick.

Continuation by The Happy Husband…

I tried to pry the cabinet away from the walls but it wouldn’t budge. I had to sledgehammer it out of its spot.
Cabinet Destruction
I felt bad about it because Toni spent so long carefully removing the fragile parts and we ended up having to destroy it. The unfinished section of the fireplace is a first for me.  Do you think it was originally intended to hold the wood for the fire? In any case, the cabinet appeared to have been glued to the walls and built in place. Another surprise.
Cleaned Up Cabinet
The brick will have to wait for Toni’s return but I did find a bit of a treasure for Disney fans. As I was sweeping up the debris under the cabinet, I found these Pete’s Dragon color form pieces. They are just Eliot and Pete but they’re probably from around 1979 and remind me of when I lived in Florida as a kid.

Petes Dragon pieces

I also took some ceiling fans down and peeled wallpaper. I know I’m a geek but I couldn’t help telling my oldest son that peeling wallpaper in this house reminds me of a palimpsest. Yeah, he wasn’t impressed either but I just got to use a serious SAT word on my wife’s blog…it really does remind me of that though.
Don’t miss a renovation update! Subscribe here and get daily updates delivered to your inbox.

This is part of our ongoing renovation project for our new home in Florida.  Our goal is to be done by Thanksgiving or else.  Follow the daily accounts of our real life during this DIY renovation process here.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Day 9 Renovation Adventures: More Wallpaper!!!

I HATE WALLPAPER.

reno day 9

That could be the entire post because it sums up my day at the house.

We didn’t have a full day because of other things going on, but most of today was spent doing three things.

  • Removing wallpaper/ wallpaper glue.
  • Throwing out more garbage.
  • Trying to remove a built-in desk.

I’ve been peeling wallpaper for NINE DAYS. I have twitching in my fingers and I can’t raise my right arm all the way above my head anymore. :-)

Most of the wallpaper is off and now we are dealing with the glue. The vinegar and water works great, we just have a lot of used to be wallpapered walls. Oh and the vinegar technique makes your house smell like a jar of pickles.

But here’s the best/worse part. As I was walking out of the master bedroom something caught my eye.

intercom_mbr

Do you see what I see?

intercom_closeup

Yes, that’s wallpaper under the paint. WALLPAPER.

It turns out the entire master bedroom is covered in wallpaper, covered in paint.

Minutes later, as if the house was laughing at me, DH notices writing above the fireplace where the mirror was.

fireplace_reno

It says “don’t paper this wall.”

Do you know why it says that? Because there is wallpaper under the paint in the living room. AHHHHHHH!!!!!

fireplace_wallpaper

There’s a strip hanging off the side of the fireplace wall that was under the mirror. We are going to carefully remove it so we don’t pull up any wallpaper under the paint.

Now here’s the deal, I don’t blame anyone for painting over wallpaper. If I didn’t have the issue with the carpet being glued to the wall and ripping up paper as we removed it, I probably would have painted over the wallpaper in this house.

Actually, I definitely would have painted over the wallpaper in this house.

I think I’ve spent about 50 hours on wallpaper removal… so far.

We aren’t finished.

We have run into a few problems.

Problem #1. There is a ton of glue on the wall. This glue needs to be removed before it can be painted. When removing the glue, paint is coming up creating a very rough and flaky surface that will need to be sanded, skimmed, and sanded before we can paint.

Problem #2. Some of the walls are in bad shape, especially in one bathroom. I’m not sure how we are going to fix it if we want to avoid replacing all the drywall in the bathroom.

Problem #3. I’m pretty much tired of wallpaper removal.

The lesson in this is… if you have wallpaper that is in decent shape, skim the seams and PAINT OVER IT.

I don’t think I’ve ever used this many caps in a post, but I want to make sure I get my point across.

Rule 1. Never wallpaper anything in your house if you aren’t going to love it for fifty years.

Rule 2. Paint over wallpaper if you can.

Rule 3. Never buy a house with a ton of wallpaper you don’t like, no matter how much you like the house. :-) I’m kidding… kinda.

In demo news, the oven cabinet was removed today without incident. Yay!

oven_cabinet_demo

Our final big demo is to remove this built-in. Yes, it is nice, but we want to put our TV next to the fireplace so it needs to go.

Long story, it isn’t out yet. More on that coming tomorrow.

builtin_before

I’m headed out of town for a conference so I’m leaving DH and my blog assistant Jenn in charge of updating you on the renovation for the next few days. Go easy on DH he’s not a blogger or a remodeler. :-)

Don’t miss a renovation update! Subscribe here and get daily updates delivered to your inbox.

This is part of our ongoing renovation project for our new home in Florida.  Our goal is to be done by Thanksgiving or else.  Follow the daily accounts of our real life during this DIY renovation process here.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Day 8 Renovation Adventures: One Week!

reno day 8

It’s been one week since we closed on the house. Throughout each day I go from feeling like I haven’t done enough to feeling like we’ve done a ton in a short amount of time.

dumpster

Then I go out and look at the overflowing dumpster and realize we’ve done quite a bit in a week.

Today we spent a lot of time finishing up projects and planning. We had to pull up tack strips throughout most of the house and many times the nails did not come up. Today we removed the rest of the nails as well as a few remaining tack strips and some stray molding.

dining_room_molding

In the dining room there was border paper over wallpaper over wallpaper under board. The problem was that when I removed the wallpaper the part right next to the chair rail didn’t come off clean. It was actually jamming down into the chair rail pushing the chair rail away from the wall and creating a wallpaper filled gap.

We were able to remove the chair rail (without damaging it, yay!) and I was able to remove enough of the wallpaper to smooth out the section under the molding.

living_room_before

We also removed another mirror, this one over the fireplace. I think this is the last of our mirror removals.

living_room_fireplace

This one came off with a lot less wall damage.

In the family room there is a sliding glass door that leads to the room that will become the mud room. It had mirrored blinds covering the door. (I was wrong- one more mirror to remove!)

family_room_before

We removed the blinds today. We are eventually planning to remove the doors and create a wall with a small door, but that won’t happen until later on.

family_room_door

My dad and I took a trip to Home Depot today to figure out what types of tools we need to rent to remove the tile and thin set from the floors.

We have this rubber type covering on the family room floor. (see above photo)

We bought some chemical solvent that might work, but if not it will mean renting some crazy machine and removing the black unidentified stuff.

kitchen_lights

I also picked out my lights for the kitchen. There are the same lights I had in my other kitchen. I really like them and they are only $13 a piece. We mapped out the lighting plan on the ceiling. I’m still debating between five and seven of these lights. I bought seven just in case.

Amazon sells Globe Electric 4-Inch Recessed Lighting  in a ten pack for less than $11 a piece. If you need a bunch I’d save some money and order from Amazon.

Finally, we are still dealing with wallpaper. I had a painter come today to give me an estimate for the interior of the house. While I LOVE to paint, painting all the walls, ceilings, doors, closets, etc is too big of a job for me to tackle all at once and the house really needs to be painted.

Anyway, I asked him for tips about the wallpaper and basically he said just keep doing what I’m doing. I really wanted to get some kind of magic trick sort of idea from him but I didn’t get one.

I’m trying a few things out this week and will update you when the wallpaper saga is over and I’ve figured out how to conquer the beast.

Don’t miss a renovation update! Subscribe here and get daily updates delivered to your inbox.

This is part of our ongoing renovation project for our new home in Florida.  Our goal is to be done by Thanksgiving or else.  Follow the daily accounts of our real life during this DIY renovation process here.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.