Monday, June 25, 2007

Wheel Grease, Part 2

From the time we purchased this house, we knew there were hardwood floors hidden under the carpeting in two of the three bedrooms. The third room with exposed hardwood has a floor which is in decent shape. It's a bit worn, but doesn't need to be refinished. The big question is what kind of shape is the hidden wood in? Oh, and I removed all the tape and paper protecting the woodwork and windows after painting. Here is where we start the adventure into the unknown: crappy carpet on the floors.

How crappy is it? Well, the main carpet is in OK shape - it's not worn through or anything like that, but it's skid-mark brown. In the closet was what may have been original carpet from the house or a remnant added at a later date. Below is the wonderful closet carpet which was tacked down around the whole perimeter of the closet. Orange and brown isn't much better than all brown.

As I tear out the above pictured section, I'm hopeful. It looks good, and only has the staple holes for damage. The carpet in the closet was really a bitch to remove due to all those small staples, but I managed. I rule, remember.

So far, so good. The carpet is half-removed except for the tack-strips. Still no damage which would explain why the previous owners covered the flooring. No water marks, no rot, no pet stains. Even the carpet looks clean underneath, which surprises me. The padding is still in good shape considering it's age. I'm more worried than ever as to what may be hiding on the still covered floor.

Amazing enough, NO DAMAGE! Just normal wear & tear, but not even enough to warrant refinishing the floor. I'll give it a good cleaning and then put something on it to protect it's finish and call it a day. There aren't even any noticeable wear patterns in the floor. This means the floor still covered with carpet in the master bedroom will be in crap condition... In all, painting and removal/clean up of the floor took 5 hours, including breaks while paint dried. Tomorrow I'll install the new outlets and switch plates, put in the new blinds, and have it ready for my daughter to spend her first night in the "new" room. It's only a guess, but I would estimate that the changes I made to this one room have increased the value on the house by over $1,000.00. Once all three bedrooms are done I'd bet the value goes up by around $5,000.00 total. They just plain look soooooo much better it'd be a solid selling point.

Squeeky Wheel Gets the Grease

My daughter has been asking (bugging, whining, and complaining) long enough about her bedroom. The carpet is ugly, the paint is horrible, and there are nail holes everywhere. If all I were going to do is paint and remove the carpet, life would be easy. There are enough dings and layers of paint meaning the best option for me is to re-texture before painting. This brings things up to current "style" as well. Sunday morning, everything was removed from the room.

Here's the starting point. I've already removed the closet doors and the shelving. Nail holes were patched.

All the trim was covered up, but I'm leaving the carpet in place (for now) because it's old and crappy. It's also going to protect the hardwood flooring which was covered up a decade or two ago. At this point, I'm just hoping that it's still in good shape. Either way, it'll still be better than the current carpet.

The next big step is to texture the walls. I tried a different mix than I had used previously. Up till now, I've always taken standard drywall compound in gallon buckets and thinned it with water to the consistency I want. This time, I got the powder mix. This should be less expensive overall, and I don't have to worry about using the compound before it dries on me. So far, it's not bad. I think the mix was a little thick, but still workable. Here, you can see the larger "splats" which are still wet on the wall. As it dries, it turns off-white and matches the current paint.

Paint the walls with a brush and roller? No way, a sprayer is the way to go! I used this one a few years back in renovating a condo and love it. In the time it takes to paint the four walls in one bedroom I was able to paint two bedrooms, a hallway, two bathrooms, a living an dining room, and a kitchen. All walls and all ceilings. Seriously, that's not an exaggeration as to how fast it is. For as fast as it is to paint, it is just about as long to clean. For a small room (bathroom), I'd probably just use a roller and brush.

10 minutes and a 1-1/2 gallon of primer later, the room is done and drying. The annoying thing with how fast the sprayer is is how long I have to sit and wait for the paint to dry before doing the next color. I gave it 1/2 hour and sprayed the ceiling white. I'm giving it a few hours before hitting the walls with the color. The sprayer uses a bit more paint than by using a roller, as there is overspray and all the paint in the hose. Either way, for a large room or series of rooms, the extra cost is wort it. I find that I also get a smoother appearance than compared to rolling paint.