Friday, December 31, 2010

Endless days of painting

After ripping up the carpet we could finally start painting - I wanted to paint before getting the floors done so that and spills wouldn't matter. Alas it was not meant to be -  painting is time-consuming! Three little words - "paint everything white" - sounds so easy, but boy was it time-consuming. Here I am 6 weeks later and still not nearly done!

Here's the list of what needed to be painted, and progress so far:

  • ceiling
  • walls - 2 coats
  • skirtings, window frames, door frames (needs a few more coats), sliding door (needs a few more coats) - painting from the dark wood means a coat of primer plus three - five coats of semi-gloss on top of that. With a brush. Being very careful to not paint the walls with semi-gloss = many many hours!
  • pine-panelled wall

  • ceiling
  • walls
  • cupboards - they need one more coat but I just can't face the enamel paint right now!
  • skirtings
  • door frames
  • window frames
  • doors
  • laundry - as above except I need to get 2 layers of wallpaper of the walls before starting anything!
  • back of laundry door

  • ceiling
  • walls
  • cupboards doors (need one more coat of semi-gloss) and frames
  • skirtings
  • door frames
  • window frames
  • doors (need one more coat of semi-gloss) 

  • as for first bedroom

  • walls (one coat done)
  • ceiling
  • door (primed)
  • door frame (primed)
  • window frame (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)
  • shelves (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)

  • walls (one coat done)
  • ceiling
  • skirtings (primed)
  • door frame (primed)
  • window frame
  • door (primed)

  • skirtings
  • ceilings
  • walls (after removing wallpaper)
  • back of front door (primed)
Wow that is a long long list! Luckily my mom has been a saint and has spent many days helping me. 

Here are some progress pictures (not necessarily in any order):

Above: living room after painting. Believe it or not, this is not a before picture! Please excuse the mess, we were in the middle of painting the bathroom and everything somehow migrated to the living room - plus of course there are things everywhere that don't have a home yet...

Above: first bedroom after painting - again, excuse the mess. Hopefully you can see how much brighter the room looks with a fresh coat of white paint. I used a colour called Lexicon Quarter White by Dulux (colour matched with British Paints).

Above: kitchen progress, as you can see, the cupboards still need a last coat and I need to paint the window frame white. At the moment I am borrowing my parents' bar fridge which is very small and freezes all my veggies :( but I have a new fridge on the way. They also had a spare microwave but as you can see it is HUGE! It's a convection oven and I'm not sure where I'm going to put it once the new fridge comes, as it is currently using the top of the bar fridge to rest on, and I have too little counter space as it is!

Above: living room sliding door in progress - it needs one more coat of semi-gloss.

Above: pine wall painted! Excuse the awful picture - it was about 11pm by the time we finished painting.

Above: iPhone pic of my floors in progress. I stopped by to see the stain and asked my floor guy (Terry - who was awesome, by the way!) to make them a bit darker. The finished product is probably still a bit lighter than what I wanted, but they still look fantastic.

Above: Toilet painting in progress (that's my mom bending over in the foreground). Look at the difference in the old paint (left wall and under the cistern) and the new bright white paint! Unfortunately now the cistern looks really yellow :(

Above and below: bathroom painting in progress. The two shelves under the window have sliding mirrors over them. In the top right corner I scraped some paint that seemed to be blistering, only to discover that it was wallpaper that had been painting over! It appears that the whole bathroom is like this, but luckily it was just this corner that was coming loose.

Below: bathroom ceiling after being painted. This is an old type of 'exhaust/extractor fan' (there is one in the kitchen as well). I don't really know much about it, except to say it is UGLY - as you can see, this is after the paint job, and it is really uneven. It seems like it is made of plaster. Long term I will definitely get rid of it and the one in the kitchen, as both rooms have electric extractor fans as well.

Below: bathroom door with a coat of primer. Love the gold shower :P For the moment I am not going to do anything more to the bathroom.  Of course the tile is quite dated, but it's in pretty good condition and I don't mind it too much actually.

Hmm and I think we're up to date! In the next few days I hope to finish all the doors, trims etc in my room, bathroom and toilet so I can screw the light switch plates etc back in, hang my cupboard doors and install lots of hooks etc so I have feel a lot more organised!

Next weekend I am swimming the Pier to Pub race with a friend. I am horribly unprepared but I think it will be fine as I have always been a strong swimmer.

Then the weekend after that I will be heading to Port Campbell to attend my old house mate's wedding.

So I'm don't think I'll get much done in the way of painting, cleaning and organising in the next few weeks!

Broken promises...oops :(

Well I clearly did not keep my promise to upload some progress pictures - oops. In my defence, I had awful internet access - tethering my iPhone to my computer while waiting for my broadband to be connected, which was more frustrating than not having internet in the first place - thanks Three for your awful awful reception!

I had my broadband connected on the 22nd December, which gave me approximately 10 minutes of FAST, RELIABLE internet access before having to pack up to head to my parent's place for Christmas. I got back yesterday, and am trying to summon the energy to get back into the painting routine again...

And now for some pretty pictures...well, not exactly pretty, but getting there!

Above: a reminder of the original living room - moments before the carpet was ripped up.

Above: a sea of brown...the first bedroom with brown trim, skirtings, doors and carpets

Above: the hallway showing the door leading to the kitchen. Ripping the top layer off the wallpaper was easy! Getting the bottom layer off was much much harder, and we've probably only done a quarter of what we need to do in the hallway.

Above: living room from kitchen - no more carpet! Those are pine floorboards underneath the carpet - not the best, but they will look a lot better than that horrible carpet.

Above: carpet tacks (I don't know if this is the correct name, but it's a strip of wood with little spikes sticking up that is nailed to the floor boards around the perimeter of a room to hold the carpet and stop it from moving from side to side. I borrowed a crowbar from a friend and worked out a system to prise it up - not hard but very noisy (hammering the crowbar) and very repetitive :(

Above: carpet tacks out!

Above: first bedroom cupboard with a delightful custom built in shelving unit. That got ripped out quick-smart!

So a quick summary of what we  (myself, my mom and dad) got done on the first day:
  • ripped up the carpet in the living room, bedrooms and hallway
  • ripped up the carpet underlay and discovered a couple of 1c and 2c coins from 1981! So perhaps the carpet isn't original to the 1978 building? Or perhaps the house wasn't built in's a mystery!
  • pulled up a gazillion staples out of the floorboards
  • pried off all the carpet tacking around the perimeter of the rooms
  • pulled up a lot of nails left in the floorboards where the carpet tacking splintered around the nail that was holding it in
  • ripped out the shelves in the bedroom cupboard
We didn't pull up the lino in the kitchen/dining/laundry area because a) the building inspection said there might be asbestos under the lino, and b) in the future I would like to do a full kitchen renovation and I didn't want to spend money getting the kitchen floorboards done when the location of the kitchen cabinets and walls would change, and the floor would have to be redone anyway. Besides, looking at the hideous lino is a good motivation to get the kitchen done!

This post is pretty late, and we have made lots of progress since, but I'll divide it into readable chunks!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Checking in

Yes I am still here - it has been an epic process of painting, moving furnitue, boxes and all the miscellaneous junk that seems to multiply just when you think you've moved the final carload! My old place is clean, my new place is a mess.

Highlights from the last few weeks:
  • discovering that it takes approximately 3 hours to paint one coat of semi-gloss on all the trimming in one room - yes, just one room! That includes skirtings, cupboard door frames, door frame, window frame. The upside is that I am becoming a lot more precise and a lot less messy at painting trim without painters tape (not worth the effort in my opinion!)
  • Getting my pine floorboards stained and polished. They look fantastic and it makes such a big difference to the feel of the place. I was aiming for a colour similar to John and Sherry's mocha floorboards, but I don't think I quite got the message across to the floor guy. Never mind though - he was extremely helpful and efficient and very good value.
  • Meeting some of my neighbours last night which turned into an impromptu multi-house tour. Neighbour number one "C" purchased her place two weeks after I bought mine. Her place was virtually identical to mine, but not anymore! She's in the process of gutting the kitchen, laundry, living and dining spaces to open it all up - exactly my long term plan. Then we happened to meet neighbour number two "G" who has the only unit in the block which has been renovated. She invited us in to check it out (after everyone had been over to my place to compliment my floorboards of course :) ) and I was absolutely blown away. I couldn't even comprehend how her place was laid out compared to the original, it was so different. So now I have lots of ideas for my future renovations!
  • Using my teeny tiny kitchen - I am borrowing a bar fridge from my parents and boy is it small! And I'm borrowing a microwave from them too and boy is it HUGE! And I really didn't have much counterspace to begin with. Anyway I think I can cope for a few weeks and I can look into buying a decent fridge at the Boxing Day  sales.
My immediate plans for the next few days:
  • unpack all kitchen and bathroom boxes
  • paint last coat on kitchen cupboards
I can't post any pictures at the moment because I don't have any internet access at home yet, and my phone is perpetually on roaming (grrr Vodafone and Three!) so I can't even email the pictures from my phone to myself to get them only my work computer to be able to post them up! I will put some on a USB stick tonight.

Pictures tomorrow, promise!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Homeowner: it's official!

So I've taken the plunge and signed on the dotted line, and now I owe the bank hundreds of thousands of dollars...yikes!

What is it about owning your own home that is so attractive to so many Australians? It's more than just having the freedom to hang pictures wherever you like. Although that is something I am definitely looking forward to!

Here are some pictures from the listing:

Above: front entrance

Above: kitchen - not much storage!

Above and below : living room

Above: bathroom
Above: floorplan

It's one of 10 identical units - 2 bedrooms and a garage, with a decent sized courtyard. I'm told it was built in 1978, and it seems like virtually everything is original.

My plan of attack for the moment is to:
  • rip out the carpet - it is in really bad shape, and it's not a pretty sight!
  • get the floorboards stained and polished - they're only pine but I figure I can always put floating floorboards over them if they don't wear well in the future.
  • paint EVERYTHING white - walls, ceilings, door frames, skirtings, window frames and of course that awful 70's orange pine panelling.
That should keep me busy for a while...

x J x