Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Get Handy!

I know a lot of us wait for someone to get things done for us.  A sink that is leaky, a step that is wobbly, holes in walls waiting to be filled.  Ladies and Gents, wait no more, YOU can do it!

I'm not sure why this is the image I see when I type "YOU can do it", but it is - so remember Uncle Sam's face when faced  with an around-the-house job!

I live in a beautiful old home that I am lucky to have.  It was completed in 1920 by a company who helped build this city and made it what it is today.  I love living in an old home, and couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.   The problem is, the people who lived in this home before me may have loved it, but they didn't love it true.  The hardwood floors were covered with nailed in particle board (whaaa?), walls were half painted, there was a garbage bag in place of a window.  You get the idea.  Slowly, my family (husband, father and myself) have been restoring this beauty.  This next project started with a light fixture.  

I found a beautiful light fixture at an antique barn.  Ten bucks.  Couldn't beat it.  My Dad saw the light and started rewiring the front porch so we could hang it.  I didn't even have to ask - now that's a Dad! The box for the light had been boarded up and the light moved to the side of the house prior to us buying it.  It took days longer than he expected (brick cut, holes in walls, etc) but the light was up.  The light shone bright on my hideous front porch ceiling.  It had to be fixed.  

This paint was make-shift for a few years - the original ceiling colour was the yellow you see where the light fixture should hang.

Older homes usually have wood panelling lining the porch ceiling and at one point my house would have had it too.  For whatever reason, it was replaced with particle board.  

I debated painting and stenciling it.  Maybe tin.  No... it would have to be wood panelling, true to the house.  And I would do it on my own.  

I shopped for wood slats or panelling, ultimately deciding on tongue and groove.  Most older ceilings have much smaller slats but I couldn't get the length I needed in the thickness (needed to be very thin and light) required.  

I bought the wood, quarter round and stain.  I brought everything home, remeasured my dimensions and cut all the wood (not the quarter round).  I used a little mitre saw I picked up at a yard sale, and guess what - I still have all my fingers!  After it was cut, I stained it prior to installing so I didn't have to torture myself staining something so far above my head.  

I borrowed my Dad's air compressor nail gun to install the panels of stained, cut wood.  It's big, heavy and noisy but it does a great job and is totally worth getting your hands on (borrow or rent) if you're doing a project like this.  The panels were just shy of 7ft, and I needed my husbands to help to hold them up, wedge the tongue into the groove and nail it.  

I brought the quarter round and the mitre saw to the front porch so I could cut each piece as I went along.  Angles are not my friend.  It took an insane amount of time for me to figure out what angle I needed and how to achieve that angle with the saw.  After installing all the quarter round I gave myself a giant pat on the back for sticking it through, not calling my Dad to come do it for me, and not compromising on the quality of work.  I lastly took a small paintbrush and stained any nail marks that left a hole big enough to see the unstained wood.  

That's it.  Four days*, $100.00, a lot of sweating and cursing - and I have a beautiful front porch that suits the home.  If you have a project you've been waiting (maybe nagging a little) to get done, just try doing it yourself - the results might surprise you!

*Four days with prepping/making meals, changing bums, cuddling, breaking up fights, running the household included. It might take a lot less time without so many little ones to chase around*


YouTube is a great resource for learning how to do things.  Watch a few videos related to what you'd like to do and give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. I like that your final picture says "voila" as though it were so easy! You've got the skills of a woman living cooer to HWY 7, I think you should move! ;)


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