Friday, October 16, 2009

this old house

If you are like me, you have a running list of house projects that need to be done. Our house is 73 years old, and is always in need of something. Every so often, I reproduce the list, in a new font, perhaps in a different color, and I may even change the columns from "date completed" to "desperately needs to be done". I faithfully bring it up at the dinner table, we review the list, and Mike nods and agrees that yes, these things need to be done. And that is usually about as far as it goes. But wait, that's not true. We did spend all of last summer remodeling our kitchen! And I LOVE how it turned out, and am eternally grateful that my hubby jumped in to the project with great enthusiasm. I am just saying, that some of the things have been on the list for a really long time. Like the navy blue carpet in our bedroom. But I digress...

My tactic is to purchase the majority of the supplies needed to do the job, and keep them somewhat handy. And every so often, I will casually bring up one of the jobs. And every so often, Mike jumps on it. It is hard to predict when that will be, so you see, I have to be ready.

I have been less than subtly talking about the plaster problem in our front entry. The wall looked like it had leprosy, and chunks of plaster would rain down upon you every time you opened the front door. It was becoming a safety issue.

Mike gamely jumped in, one day, and started scraping. The more he scraped, the more of the lathing under the plaster emerged. The next thing you know, the old letterbox slot was on the floor. He dutifully did his internet research, to figure out how to solve the problem, and do it himself. He is not one to hire out. Mostly I love that about him, sometimes not so much.

With gentle prodding from me, he realized that THIS was a job for a pro. We called friends, who had recently remodeled a kitchen that had needed a lot of plaster work. And Mike found a guy, and hired him. And he just finished yesterday. Huzzah!

In the natural progression of things, I had asked Mike over coffee early in the week if he was going to paint over MEA weekend. Our living room, dining room, and hallway have needed repainting for nearly 5 years (at least, that is when it first showed up on "the list"). Now that the plasterwork is done, I suggested it might be the perfect time to paint. "I was planning on it", he replied.

Not wanting to spoil the mood, I took off down to the basement to uncover the paint I had bought several years ago, and secretly prayed I still wanted the same colors. 'Parmesan', for the living room, 'Cotton Seed', for the dining room, 'Winter Mood' (no, it isn't blue) for the fireplace surround. No drama, but when I want drama I will go and hang out in my sister's fab house.

We started in earnest yesterday, the walls have been TSP'd and holes filled, crummy window trim sanded and prepped, furniture moved and tarped, floor taped and drop clothed. Mike has the first coat on the hallway and also the ceilings. I will be the trim and door girl (until my back gives out and sends me directly to bed). If you have never been in my home, it has lovely old trim, everywhere-ceiling, floor. The ceiling trim in the living room has a wonderful scallop, so pretty, but a major pain to paint. Original, eight over eight windows (with all of the tiny trim in between the panes) and beautiful old doors. The fireplace surround has delicate dentil molding. The dining room has built in corner hutches, that will also need a new coat of paint. We will be teaching Charlie to paint, very quickly.

Wonder if there is a merit badge in it? My hubby certainly deserves one. Maybe I can whip one up for him to wear on his paint stained work shirt.

Pictures next week!


  1. I want to see pictures! I had to laugh at your blue carpet comment...we still have the light blue carpet, wallpaper and painted trim in our bedroom. So horrible. It was on our list for this past summer, but the flood took its toll on time allotted to projects. I am sure your downstairs will be gorgeous--it always is! :) Beth

  2. Photos of the new colors are a MUST. Seriously. Parmesan? Gotta see it.


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