We’re fans of exposing things around these parts. Well, let me clarify, exposing old elements of our home (sheesh…get your minds out of the gutter folks….although Colby sometimes…wait…I’m not gonna go here). So when we last left off on this little ol’ blog of ours, we left with a teaser of sorts and showed you the old wood sheathing that we exposed in our kitchen, as kind of an accent wall.
And today we’re here to get down to the nitty gritty of “how the heck did that happen?!” Let’s just say, it was a bit of an impulse project. We had a few more pressing duties to tackle, you know, like STARTING our Christmas shopping. So while I was supposed to be taking care of The Campbell Family Christmas, Colby’s Saturday project was to investigate what was going on in our kitchen (now that we have the final piece of our appliance puzzle, the new stove, we’re itching to start remodeling and planning the new kitchen). We know there’s some wonky electrical going on, our entry leaks like a sieve when it rains, and we’re DYING to start completely overhauling our kitchen. Before we could space plan the kitchen, we needed to know what we were dealing with structurally. Like what walls are load bearing and what aren’t. So in one of Colby’s attempts to check on our electrical situation, he revealed a sliver of the kitchen wall beside the dining room.
The original plan was to check on the wiring and cover the missing sheet rock up with a piece of “temporary” trim (air quotes temporary because what is intended to be temporary around our house tends to stick around like a bad brother-in-law). But when we saw the old wood sheathing behind the sheet rock, we both kind of looked at each other with a crazy eye, and decided we needed to expose it…ALL of it.
Our kitchen isn’t original to the house. It was an addition back in the 70s while the rest of our home dates back to 1910. So that old wood sheathing was actually the old exterior to the house. Technically it wasn’t the siding but an underlayment of sorts. Regardless, it looked cool.
Operation Expose Yourself (Wood Sheathing) or #exposeyourselfwoodsheathing (glad we established what the hashtag for this project should be…phew) began. It really was a simple process. Demo always seems to be quick. It’s the putting it all back together again process that takes forever! We were terribly careful about removing the sheet rock as we weren’t taking down all of it including the trim, but just this wall section. So we carefully scored the sheet rock with a utility knife, along all the trim and around the outlets.
And using a pry bar, pulled the sheet rock away from the wall, breaking up the chunks as we pulled them off and bagging up the construction debris.
Goose even helped us out. Although, I’m sure he was just searching out errant cookies that may have ended up behind the fridge during a rambunctious round of cookie tossing.
After all the sheet rock was removed, I went back over the wall and removed all the old nails, including these tacks meant to hold back exterior tar paper.
The only blip we experience in #operationexposeyourselfwoodsheathing was dealing with the pair of outlets in the wall. Because we were removing an entire wall layer, both of the electrical boxes sat a bit too high. For one of them, we were able to cut and chip away at the wood wall enough to recess the box.
The second outlet was a little trickier since it was in a corner and over a stud (weird…I told you our kitchen was weird). To rectify, Colby just trimmed around the outlet using some scrap pine cut to the same thickness as the sheet rock. This allowed the switch plate cover to sit flush with the trim instead of sticking out 1/4″ or so.
With the outlets prepped, the last steps included tacking down any loose boards using the nail gun:
Why did I marry him again?! And installing some trim to hide the gaps between the accent wall and the other surfaces (wall, ceiling, floor):
We typically just use simple 1″ x 4″ pine for trim but sometimes it isn’t enough #thatswhatshesaid. In the case of the ceiling trim, we added a piece of quarter round that we had leftover from other trim projects to help hide the slightly larger gap. And for the record, we totally know how much of a mess our ceiling is. I cringe every time I see it and strategically crop it out of most pics. It’s coming down someday…hopefully someday soon.
And voila…a trimmed up, exposed old wood wall. I love that it kind of ties into the exposed wood floor that we’ve got going on in the dining room which is another one of those “temporary” fixes that has been there for three years now.
The old wood wall was a bit dirty and super dry. It lacked luster and I was 100% afraid that wood chunks were going to flake off into our cereal bowls stored near the wall and would mistakenly get confused for Corn Flakes. It happens. So I cleaned up the wall and gave it a coat of poly. You can see how the poly helps liven up the wall a little bit, giving it some color and brightness.
Here’s the up close and personal glamor shot:
And from afar with the refrigerator back in place (and Goose not giving it up in the great cookie search):
So now that we’ve exposed the wall, what’s next? Well, Pandora, don’t mind if I do open that box you have right there! Colby doesn’t know this yet (surprise baby!) here’s what I want to do (in list form…naturally):
- Take down the ceiling. I just…can’t…take it anymore. We hadn’t anticipated doing this but I think it’s time. Plus, it will help us determine whether or not we can take down the entry wall and the laundry room wall in our big remodel.
- Paint the kitchen gray like the rest of the open areas in our home (we used Baywaves by Valspar).
- Install the new kitchen ceiling (I’m dreaming of planking it kind of like this, this, or this)
- Finish painting all the baseboards in the kitchen along with the new, accent wall trim.
- Build in the refrigerator making some storage shelves above (possible painting the side of the built in with chalkboard paint).
- Build some pull out shelves for the 20″ space between the refrigerator and the accent wall.
We do intend to completely gut out our kitchen, change the layout a bit (we really want to open it all up to make space for a GINORMOUS kitchen island), and even install new cabinetry. So I’m trying not to do too much in this space right now or (knowing us) we’ll just throw away that lid to Pandora’s box and just do the kitchen now. But if we can break down the whole project into chunks (like replacing the ceiling now), that’s one less thing we’ll have to do later and helps keep our kitchen usable in the process. But we’ll see where we end up once we pick back up on this project, probably post Christmas. I’m notorious for changing my mind.
Pssst…Next week I swear I’ll have a few little Christmas-ie posts for y’all (am I allowed to use y’all when I live in Maine?!). Is it sad that I’m just getting around to my Christmas projects? Please tell me some of you are just starting your shopping and wrapping now too?
Do you ever watch the TV show Holmes on Homes? We do. All the time. Not that we ever watch it on purpose, it’s just one of those shows that’s always on. A few years ago, right after we bought our little fixer upper of a home, we were watching an episode when Holmes started yelling in the homeowner’s bathroom, “It’s not vented….rip it out!” Referring to the shower. For some reason, that line stuck with us. And for an even odder reason, we tend to yell it at each other when we’re working on house projects. #oddcouple Case in point, blog topic du jour, our front porch demo.
Oh yes, with ever sash pull that came out and with every rotted piece of trim annihilated, we yelled “IT’S NOT VENTED…RIP IT OUT!” Our poor neighbors. I don’t know how they deal with us. Anyway, the porch demolition day was a breeze! Maybe it’s because this was the first demo day we’ve had in over a year….or maybe it’s because this is the first demo day that didn’t involve plaster and lathe (you can read all about our previous plaster and lathe removal project back here when we gutted out our master bedroom). But this demo day was all about (1) removing all the porch windows and (2) removing all the rotten, nasty wood. We started by removing all the sash stops….both the lower sash stops:
And the upper sash stops (go baby go!):
Now, for normal windows, ones that are functioning, when you remove the sash stops the windows would theoretically fall out. But with our porch windows there was water damage and warping and windows painted shut (my bad on that one). So it took a little bit of elbow grease to get those windows out. Thankfully I brought my muscle to demo day. #willworkforbeer
Colby’s a window removal champ. And for the sake of full disclosure, Colby has the ins. He’s a window guy. As in it’s literally his job. He used to be the Andersen Window sales rep in our area before he switched over to the Brosco side of his company’s operations. Now he sells Windsor Windows. So Colby knows windows…like KNOWS windows. He’s always getting called out on service calls or sent to window trainings in North Carolina. So this little project, which I can see how it could scare off some people, is like second nature to him. He even knows windows enough (and old homes enough) to number the windows and their locations after removing them to make sure each gets put back in their right spot since there’s nothing even, level or square in our home.
After removing the windows, apparently I got a wild hair. I have a few of those mixed in with the (gulp) gray hairs! I can’t say I was ever in love the lower paneling. I wasn’t even “in like” with it. “IT’S NOT VENTED!” Out it came. We were kind of hoping to find old balusters behind the paneling but no such luck. But we did find some old planking that I’m envisioning sanding down and painting.
While ripping down the paneling we did find a little surprise. Sadly, it wasn’t a can full of money (we’re still waiting to find that) but a ginormous old bees nest. Nasty (she says in her best “honey badger” voice)!
The only other thing we removed in our little demo project was the old, aluminum that was covering up the wooden sills. Here’s the before:
And after removing it:
I wasn’t kidding when I told you we had a water/rot problem going on. Theoretically, the aluminum should have been protecting the wood sill from water damage. Instead, the aluminum was up against the sash, the silicone bead wore out, the sash/aluminum warped and tilted towards the windows, resulting in water seeping underneath the aluminum and pooling along the bottom of the sash. Hence the rot.
In the span of a day we managed to take down all the windows, remove all the rotten sections of wood, and make the paneling disappear.. We still have to take down the porch ceiling, but one thing at a time. Rain was looming. Leave it to us to pick the rainiest weekend of the summer to remove and repair our porch windows….doh…so we didn’t get around to porch ceiling removal. Windows first.
Our porch looks so weird without any of the windows! I kind of like it. I’m almost sad that we’re putting the windows back in it. But I love those windows and their old hardware. Besides, we have the deck for outdoor living space and it will be nice to have an enclosed space for chilly fall days or rainy spring mornings. Ah…I can taste that porch coffee now! I may like the windows, but I’m pretty sure Goose is going to miss having a front of the house perch for squirrel lookout!
He spent the day on high squirrel alert! Next up on the porch renovations, wood repair. You can kind of get a sneak peak of the process in the Goose pic above with all that putty on the old, wooden window sill. But we have a few other quick and easy DIYs coming at you as well. And of course more Goose cuteness!
Pssst…Okay, so I have to give a HUGE shout out to Beckie at Knock Off Decor for featuring our West Elm inspired lamp makeover! You can read her post here.
So we’ve shown you the progress we made with the bathroom vanity(a Craigslist buffet find, that we modified, and then painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore) but we haven’t yet shown you the bathroom progress. Game day bucket go boom:
We’ve been busy bees. Can you tell?! We not only removed the “temporary”, been there for three years, painted plywood vanity this past weekend, but we also patched the walls, and primed the entire bathroom. I’m a little sad to see the yellow go, but am uber excited about the new paint color, which is all up. I just need to snap a few pics of it to share with you all. Hint hint, it’s super fresh and clean…some might say it’s “minty” fresh. Did I do that (she says in her best Urkel voice)?! Anyway…while I was busy painting away on the new buffet turned vanity, the Colb-ster was hard at work prepping the vanity area, first by removing the old vanity. The hot tip for vanity removal…turn the water off.
You don’t want to flood your bathroom. I know an indoor swimming pool has always been a dream, but just not on the second floor…directly above the living room tv.
The second hot tip for vanity removal…score the caulking on all the vanity trim/back splash areas before trying to remove them. This makes trim removal easier since it breaks the paint/caulking seal.
Same goes for the sink. Don’t just try to pry it out, score the caulking around the sink first. It’s pretty much the only thing holding that sink in there so scoring it with a utility knife breaks that seal.
Since Colby and I are both big fans of salvaging wood, Colby removed the vanity piece by piece as much as he could. We’re always coming up with new projects and ideas for salvaged wood and love to recycle wood and trim pieces instead of buying new. Who knows, an old bathroom vanity may become new bedroom shelves someday.
Same goes for the baseboards. We had a decent amount of sheet rock repairs to do in the vanity space, which meant carefully removing the baseboards (scoring the caulk line first with a utility knife and then prying it off with a hammer). We’ll later put the baseboards right back where they were, re-caulking, and touching up the paint.
With the vanity and baseboards removed, it was just our usual sheet rocking/mudding/sanding song and dance. We’re getting to be pros at this.
It may be hard to tell in the above pictures, but the reason why Colby sheet rocked right over the lower half of the wall (where the plumbing is coming out of the wall) is because the wall there has always been uneven and adding a level of sheet rock levels it out. Way back when we first demo-ed our pink and ugly bathroom and re-sheet rocked it, Colby installed a piece of plywood behind where the mirror would go, underneath the sheet rock. This provided a nice solid surface to hang mirrors from…good idea. Bad idea…not leveling out the bottom half of that wall. Doh! So we took the vanity removal opportunity to rectify the situation.
After Colby finished the mudding/sanding process, I gave it one final sand, and primed the entire bathroom.
I know I didn’t necessarily have to prime the entire bathroom before re-painting it, but our yellow walls were super bright and I didn’t want to take any chances of the new paint color not covering it. And after all, primer is cheap at about $15 a gallon compared to our favorite Benjamin Moore paint at $45 a can.
So stay tuned for details on our freshly painted, minty bathroom. I should have those pics coming at ya early next week…or maybe tomorrow if I’m on my A-game. Let’s just say…the color doesn’t disappoint and I’m not one to ever choose the lightest shade on a paint chip!
Pssst…So what about you guys? Any painting projects going on in your neck of the woods? Or bathroom makeovers going down? Do share! We LOVE hearing from you all!
This weekend was a whirlwind…wait…uh…no…not really. We got snowed in this past weekend thanks to winter storm Nemo. Neither Colby or myself left the house the entire day on Saturday, but we stocked up and prepared for the storm Friday night. And by stocked up I mean we came home with a case of beer (Long Trail’s winter classics variety pack…mmmm mmmm good) and a couple gallons of paint. We got our DIY on this weekend…our guest bedroom DIY on, which when we last left off looked a little something like this.
We got some serious work done in the guest bedroom this weekend. It’s starting to really come together and I can’t wait to share all the details with you all. But as much as I would like to jump right to the painting part of this story, we gotta back it up a bit and go down undah…undah the floor. There’s still a little demolition to be had in this room when it comes to the flooring. We still had to take up the sub floor.
We had originally left the sub floor in this room since it was void of cracks and was nice and smooth, meaning it would make demolition debris and sheet rock compound dust much easier to cleanup off the floor. So we left it there for now knowing perfectly well that it would eventually need to be removed before laying down the wide pine planks for flooring. It was just one layer too many for this space. And this weekend was the ideal time for removal…just after drywall sanding and before painting, since you don’t really want to make a demolition mess after you’ve cleaned up and painted a room.
And the sub floor removal went pretty smooth and relatively quickly. It was as simple as using the claw end of a hammer (or even a pry bar) to hook underneath the sub floor:
And then pry up the pieces (while Goose relentlessly photo bombs):
This was my best action shot of Colby’s demo work:
I love how I captured some of the pieces flinging up into the air while Colby pried the floor apart. #photogeniussaywhat
After prying up all the sub floor pieces and tossing them into a heavy duty trash bag to take to the dump, the next step was nail removal. In our DIY relationship, Colby loves to make the messes (demolition, wood working, heavy construction) and I like to make things pretty (painting, trim staining, decorating). The other hat I also wear…nail removal.
And boy were there ALOT of nails in that floor to remove. Lucky for me I enjoy a good ol’ tedious task such as this (I’m totally serious…I’m not sarcastic at all…ask Colby…I could remove nails all day long…you should have seen me in nail removal heaven after we removed all the plaster and lathe from this room). And nail removal is easy using the claw end of the hammer to gently pry up the nails.
After the floor was removed and all the nails were pulled, we cleaned and swept up our mess while Goose protected us from the dangers of squirrel attacks.
Goose is good like that…he’s always protecting us from squirrels…and the men in brown (UPS guys…and their trucks). And no, we don’t normally keep our window open during freezing February temperatures. We just find it easier to remove construction debris through the window rather than drag it through our pseudo clean house. Don’t believe us? Just check out this video of yore when we made a game out of throwing construction debris out the window. Told ya!
After cleanup was all done, we were left with a ready-to-be-put-back-together room. FINALLY!
And because I love a good to-do list, here’s what remains on the “Operation Finish The Guest Bedroom” list:
- Prime the walls and ceiling
- Paint the ceiling a bright white (Benjamin Moore’s ceiling paint is my all time favorite)
- Paint the walls a taupe/gray color
- Install new flooring and poly the crap out of it
- Install, stain and finish baseboards, window trim, door trim and even the new door
- Since the attic entrance is in this room, install a pull down staircase and finish the opening (paint or stain, still haven’t decided)
- Add some sort of flair to the window wall (maybe a stencil, maybe a pallet wall, maybe some wallpaper…still deciding)
- Add bead board to the slanted party of the ceiling, painting it bright white
- Decide on and install a new light fixture for the space
- Make some curtains (I’m thinking white with some fringe or pom poms)
- Build a custom daybed for the space
- Turn a little dumpster diving find into a sweet little night stand
- Add some storage and shelving
- Art, art and more art
Whew….that’s quite the list! I heart lists! There’s nothing better than a list to keep up the DIY motivation and also keep me on track so I don’t stray. Although I did stray a little bit already and worked in the master bedroom and entry this weekend. Whoops! But it’s just because we ran out of materials for the guest bedroom, I swear! Excuses excuses. Tell it to the judge. What if I just start crying? I heard that gets you out of tickets.
Pssst…Any other New Englanders out there who chose to bunker down and DIY their way out of the storm? And holy crazy amounts of snow! How much did you guys get?! We’re guessing we got about 24″ which was light compared to most places!
Yesterday’s post was all about Eminem, I mean, prepping our bedrooms for demolition chaos and today it’s apparently all about the Ying Yang Twins because “Boom! It’s on!”. And by “Boom! It’s on!”, I mean we completely DESTROYED our bedrooms. Consider this the calm before the storm.
Colby completely removed the window in our master bedroom so we could just throw all the construction debris out of it onto the ground below, instead of trekking it through our house, leaving a trail of dust and debris behind us. With both rooms completely cleared out, we said a few words during the opening ceremonies before Colby took the inaugural swing.
And actually did a little damage.
My inaugural swing was a bit more for show. I’m like the inaugural first pitch thrower outer that just barely gets the ball to roll to the catcher. The ball may have even stopped with this throw:
You should know that this was the extent of my contributions in the demolition arena. Our demolition system consisted of Colby going to town ripping and tearing and I was responsible for the cleanup. After a couple of hours, we were already making some progress.
See that pile of construction debris on the floor in the guest room? That was the mess that Colby made and what I ended up picking up. Even the ceiling came down in both rooms.
And of course we wore the proper personal protection apparel including dust masks. Thank you 3M for saving our lungs! But anyway, as I mentioned before, Colby went to town in the rooms tearing down all the layers of plaster and lathe with a hammer and Sawzall combo. Meanwhile, I walked the mile, the green mile.
That’s the roof above our kitchen, which is just outside the guest room and master bedroom windows. While Colby destroyed things, I grabbed an armful of construction debris, climbed out the window, walked the mile the green mile, and threw the debris to the ground. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I tended to grab armfuls of lathe but scooped the plaster into trash bags. I must have made a couple hundred trips back and forth. Oh…and I almost forgot, the path on the roof, that green stuff, is the carpet pad from the guest room. We tried to protect our roof from getting damaged from all the increased roof traffic. We also utilized the old, blue carpet and made a target out of it down below.
And took a little video.
Shortly after this, we realized it would be much easier just to back the pickup truck into the bullseye position and throw all the materials into the truck instead of onto the ground and then into the truck. It’s way less fun that way but it got the job done quicker and easier.
It didn’t take long to fill the truck up this way.
Once the truck was filled, we took a trip to the dump which is only a few minutes away from our home. And as planned, we took FULL advantage of free dump week. Five trips to the dump later, our master bedroom looked alot like this:
Just about everything came down except for the old closet. That space actually had modern sheetrock so we kept it.
We left alot of the old insulation but some of it had to come down. There were some areas where the insulation was damaged from a fire way back when, other areas where it was missing altogether, and other areas where it was sparse. But that’s another post for another day.
It’s amazing that it only takes a day to demo a room and it will probably take about three months to put it all back together again. But that’s the fun part! I despise demo…absolutely hate it. I think it’s all the dust and displacement of the norm and did I mention the dust?! I hate the dust and the dirt and the mess! But once we finish insulating and put back all the sheet rock, I’ll be much happier. But I am so thankful that we were able to finish the demo in one day. It’s hard! Really hard! I still can’t stand erect and I feel like an old lady (so sore). It certainly made me appreciate my desk job!
Pssst…I promise, this is the last, let’s make a mess post for this week. Two is more than enough for one week. Back to something fun and exciting tomorrow, like bling!