Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You Say Shoe Molding, I Say Quarter Rounds

Although shoe mold and quarter round are words often used to describe the same thing - the trim strip between the floor and the baseboard - they are technically a little different.  Quarter rounds are based on a true radius, so they are, literally, a quarter of a round.  They have a nice profile that adds a terrific finishing touch to the flooring and baseboards.  Shoe molding, on the other hand, has a narrower profile and is not based on a true radius.  It's a great choice for some applications and it is a bit less pronounced, but we are using quarter rounds in Glenlochan.  And, per the previous post, these will be painted to match the base board and not stained to match the floor (another personal choice issue).  Unfortunately, most of the quarters rounds have been here (see below) for the past two months and not painted and installed yet:

Behind the couch was the only place we could store them even partially - they are 16 feet long and very awkward to move.  We did install quarter rounds in a select few places already - behind the toilets and sinks for example (see below), since it would be too difficult to do after the toilets were in place - but most of the rooms are completely sans the trim.

So, this past weekend was "quarter round painting weekend" for me.  I managed to get every inch fully primed and also painted with one coat of paint - 8 long pieces at a time, and the breezeway was the perfect place to set up three saw horses for this long project.

Although they all need one more final coat of paint, I'll apply that right before we install each piece.  Otherwise they will get too dinged up in the pile of painted quarter rounds, below, and will need too much touch-up.

Now, we just need a weekend of good weather (and not 13 inches of snow like we experienced in Philly this past week) so Rob can set up the saw outside and get these cut, and installed.  That installation will, of course, produce even more nail holes to keep me busy and out of trouble.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Philly Post: Warming Up and (Thrift) Score

On the last weekend of our long break from renovations, I decided to start getting back in reno shape.  Dip my toe in the water, so to speak.  Make sure that next weekend's full blast of work in VA wasn't too much of a shock to my system.  I've been itching to tackle stripping the wallpaper in the Philly - half the house is outfitted in old - verrry old - wallpaper that is faded and stained.  It's lovely (note, below pictures were taken before we bought the place - these are not our furnishings..).

I didn't really want to spend the weekend stripping paper, but I was curious to find out just how much of a job this was going to be.  Wallpaper runs throughout the downstairs, up the stairway and throughout the upstairs hall, too.  The upstairs was already peeling in places, so that seemed a good place to start testing the "strippability". 

I've stripped a fair amount of wall paper over the years but this was the first time I was attempting to do so from plaster walls, not sheet rock.  And, for the first time, my tried and true method (saturating the wall with cheap fabric softener) failed me.  One hour in and this was the progress, argh.  The upstairs hall smelled lovely, however (and still does!)

Rob helpfully researched wallpaper stripping on the internet (he hasn't yet made it off the couch and felt no compunction to get back in reno shape) while I continued to pick at the paper. He quickly discovered that when wallpaper is more than 40 years old and the fabric softener method fails, a steamer was recommended.  Because I wasn't ready to run out and rent a steamer, I decided to try the next best thing - my trusty steam iron.  I placed a wet towel against the wallpaper and steamed the heck out of it.  The results were great - the wallpaper came off in large strips where it had been steamed.  This is about 15 minutes of work:

Final score:  wallpaper 1, me 0.  The iron is really just too small to do large areas quickly, but it was a helpful test to confirm for us that a steamer will work great to strip these walls.  We'll be renting a steamer for a week when the time comes, but I'll continue to do a little here and there with the iron until we are ready for all of it to come down.

In other news, I did make an awesome find at the thrift store - vintage port glasses.  Note - these are not wine glasses, they are port glasses, so buying them did not negate my mission to pare back on the number of wine glasses we own.  And, since we've recently re-discovered port and hope to experiment with sherry, the find was timely.

Who could resist these cute, yet elegant glasses?  Not me, and especially not at 99 cents each.  A full set of 8.  Although they looked a little coated and sticky, er, dirty and scruffy, in the thrift store and Rob expressed doubts that they'd clean up okay, I was confident (and right).  They are now quite pristine and sanitized.  A great score!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Still Veggin' and Tin Ceiling

We've taken laziness to new heights over the past few weeks.  We are the consummate couch potatoes and frankly, facing a full five day work week for the first time in over a month is challenging.  The body depression I've so artfully made on the couch might actually start rebounding if I am not on it for five full days.  I know the dog will miss me, for sure.

During all this laying around, er, rejuvenation period, not much has been accomplished on either house in my view, but Rob would disagree - he's been busy "conceptualizing" and researching - all from the comfort of the couch.  I've just been laying around.

I've ginned up the energy to write a post, but I'm fading fast.  This couch gets the best of me every time, luring me in and sapping my strength while the body depression cradles me in comfort.  I have a few "catch-up" posts in the hopper - which I'll try to get written despite my lack of energy - and one is the installation of the tin ceiling in the study.  Bare ceiling pictured here prior to installation of the tin tiles.

We special ordered the tiles from Metal Ceilings Express.  We opted for the nail up (not drop in) since they were being installed between the coffers of the ceiling.  We selected a beautiful gold color to play off the stained glass window, the vintage light, which is trimmed in gold, and trim in the room.

Rob was able to install these by himself in less than a full day. We did invest in a heavy duty "paper cutter" like the kind the elementary schools used to have (and maybe still do, but they seem kinda dangerous in retrospect - they looked like they could chop off a hand, and probably have).  Remember those?  Well we have one now and they cut tin tiles like charm (and I'm sure I'll find future use for it).

We are very happy with the finished product - striking but charming, it's the look we were hoping for.