Archive for June, 2008

Party Preparation – Floors and Walls and Patio – Oh My

In early May we had a party to celebrate Chris’ getting his green card.  A three-year wait is finally over.  Thank GOD!

To prepare for this momentous occasion, we decided it was time to address several issues that’s been hanging on. 

  • Painting O The Walls – Well some of them.  We decided to put some color up on the walls for the party, and patch / paint the ceilings in the living room.  This was all done before we had the floors refinished – so that the re-finishers could pickup any spills or drips.  We were going to paint the base and crown trim as well, but after having our Electrician put in another outlet in the dining room and looking at the wood that he cut out for it, we’re going to try to strip them.  Just as well – we didn’t have had the time to do so for the party. Northeast corner of the living roomFor the living room we chose a Mustard yellow to go along with the exposed wood trim and floors.  The color is Behr’s Ripe Wheat.   You can see it in the finished photos above.  One thing to note is that the white ceiling shown there used to have cracks all over, and a bad area in the far corner (near the dining room door and window) that I had to patch.  I became quite proficient at fixing the cracks.  Per the advise of a fellow Vallejo-an (Jim Rutherford) I used the angled end of a can opener to make a V-shaped trench along the line of the crack, then I used some short drywall screws to pull the plaster back up to the lath.  This worked for the most part – there were a few areas where the cracks are still visible.  But, as with the floor, it’s not perfect – but authentic.

    Dining Room Paint Job - Photo 3We also painted the dining room prior to the party.  We went with a shade lighter than the living room, again by Behr called Stable Hay — I guess we’re doing a barnyard color theme.   This color combination gives a good flow to the overall color of the two rooms, and doesn’t shock in the transition.  Also by having a lighter color, the room has the perception of being a little brighter.The unfortunate thing about the dining room is that we’re going to have to probably repaint it because we have to take down some ancient wall paper.  In preparing the room for painting I noticed one area over one of the windows into the Conservatory that was bubbled up.   When I pulled off the bubbled wall paper I saw the dreaded black-mold.  Luckily I think it’s pretty much confined to that one wall.   I can say that with some certainty because I’ve pulled the wall paper off near the light switch for the room and didn’t see it there. After looking at the walls in detail, we’ve decided that we should try to get the wall paper off of all them.  Luckily it didn’t take too much paint to prep the room for the party.  As in the living room, I patched the ceiling cracks as well.
  • Hardwood Floors
    Floor Refinishing - Sanding - 1
    Floor Refinishing - Sanding - 2 Floor Refinishing - Staining
    Floor Refinishing - Sanding All Done

    - After getting quotes from 4K to 8K it just wasn’t in the budget to hire it done.  Back when we first bought CDK, I had the silly notion that I could refinish the hardwood floors myself.   In my zeal to get things accomplished, I had started sanding the dining and living rooms, then quickly realized it just wasn’t something I knew enough about to do.  So for the past 11 months we’ve been living with partially sanded floors. – Not Good –Now, thanks to the Tax Man’s refund check for this year, we got two of the rooms refinished in time for the party.   We hired Tony Galicia of Galicia Hardwood Floors to refinish the floors for us.  He came highly recommended by our friend Ryan and Rebecca.  They used him for their kitchen floor and it looked beautiful. To the right are some pics of the floor sanding.

    After the sanding of them floors, we still had to deal with the pet stains.  I tried using various solvents – White Vinegar, Peroxide and bleach.  in the end they were lightened, but not gone.  The worst spots are in the dining room – right in the path to the kitchen door.  Oh well – it’s an old house.  These are character marks – right? 
    Floor Refinishing - 1 - Stains
    The stain we chose was what we dubbed the Galicia Special.  It’s a mixture of stains that Tony mixed up to help hide the stains some more.
    Floor Refinishing - All Done - 1  Floor Refinishing - All Done - 2

  • New Patio - Photo 1New Patio - I think this project is the one that has turned the nicest for us here at the Casa.  Chris and I both are please with how it turned out.   The best thing about it is that we both worked on it and feel it to be something we did together well.   It’s not too big (12 x 12), however it does make for a nice cozy room. It took us about 4 weekends to do the job (not including the 3-4 that I spent planning).  The only thing left to do on the patio is to purchase / make some good cushions.  I won’t go into details here – check out the  New Patio Photo Review Page for details.
  • Electrical Work- We also took this opportunity to have some electrical work done at the Casa.  The ever-so handsome Brandon came by and gave us a new outlet in the dining room, added some to the basement (for Low-voltage lighting transformers), added a light to the outside of the Garage, and installed the fan for the stove hood. After living with the Casa for a while, we found where we had some electrical use issues that we hadn’t thought of when I drew up the plans for the re-wire effort pre-movein.  It never dawned on Chris and I how bothersome NOT having a single outlet on a wall would be in a room.  That was remedied by adding one in the middle of the dining room wall that’s shared with the kitchen. To prepare for the party we also wanted to add some low-voltage outdoor lighting to the patio area and to the back deck.  Brandon professionally isntalled the light-fixtures for the back deck.  Nice little low-voltage numbers from Home Despot.  See it here – Surface Deck Light - however ours is in bronze not black.