We have been busy here at the old SB. With highly anticipated guests set to arrive tomorrow for the weekend, Manny and I doubled down over the past week and a half, and I’m happy to report we have some serious kitchen progress.
But first, let me back up…
(Manny contemplating his plaster hair post-drywall-sanding.)
When last I left you, we were sanding. And sanding. And sanding. I may have mentioned that I dislike the task of sanding drywall. But Manny looked pretty great with plaster hair.
When we finally finished sanding drywall, it was on to the ceiling. And I cannot say enough good things about the beadboard planks we went with. I was super excited to have a ceiling again — but I was dreading installing the new one. Manny and I both thought it would be super hard.
It couldn’t have been easier, though. We went with Armstrong’s Woodhaven beadboard ceiling planks. They come in 5″ x 84″ strips that you install to furring strips using the included installation clips. Basically, they’re tongue-and-groove and you just insert the little clips into the grooves.
(Manny cutting the planks to size using a miter saw we borrowed from my stepdad.)
Seriously, I will stop just short of saying a monkey can do this. If you have a cordless drill and a miter saw, though, it could not be easier. Heck, even if you don’t have a miter saw you can do this — a hand saw will do the job, it just takes longer. Hands down, the toughest part was installing the furring strips — and it wasn’t even hard, just tedious. In about eight hours, we novice DIY-ers managed to install 135 square feet of ceiling. And it was WAY EASIER than installing 4′ x 8′ sheets of beadboard would have been. However, the Woodhaven system is more expensive. (It’s about $110 for 30 square feet of Armstrong Woodhaven ceiling strips.) But when we thought about the ease of installation, the professional results, and the amount we’d save doing it ourselves over hiring a contractor, it seemed a no-brainer. As an aside, I was quoted $1200 by a pro for beadboard ceiling installation; we did it for under half of that by buying and installing the ceiling planks ourselves.
Just how big of a difference does the new ceiling make? I think this picture says it best.
I’d also note that Manny installed the light fixtures! Last week the electricians came to finish the electrical boxes now that the drywall is done, and they offered to install all three lights; but the ceiling wasn’t up so I could only have them install one — the Tiffany-style pendant in the breakfast nook. We had to do the other two (both schoolhouse style fixtures from Home Depot) — and, once again, it was actually pretty simple after watching a few youtube videos.
By the time the ceiling was up, it was, of course, time for paint. We went with Benjamin Moore Simply White on the walls, and I bought Benjamin Moore oil paint in a semi-gloss finish in a purer white for the trim.
Now, by the time we got the trim, Manny was back at work, his weekend-warrioring behind him. I, however, am on spring break. So I did the trim. No biggie.
EXCEPT… I was not aware of some of the differences between oil and latex paint. I mean, I know the basics — I specifically asked for oil paint (mostly because the trim had previously been painted with oil and I didn’t want to prime and paint over it with latex). But seriously, oil paint is a beast. It looks great (and, really, I’m a sucker for Benjamin Moore paint and think it’s really worth the extra cost). But this stuff is pernicious. It gets on you and you CANNOT GET IT OFF.
(A look at the other side of the kitchen space, which will have cabinets soon! We’re especially digging the door, which I painted hunter green using porch and floor paint. One coat and that baby was ready to go. I almost chickened out and painted it white, but Manny convinced me to stick to the script — I’m glad I did!)
I wasn’t prepared for the tribulations of oil paint, stupid as it sounds. I seriously thought I could wash it off of my skin, or scratch it off as I usually do when I paint with latex. Nope.
I foolishly tried to wash the brush after finishing for the day. This did not clean the brush — I know now they make special stuff for that. All it did was get oil paint all over me — I was in it up to my elbows by the end of this experiment.
Showering only made it worse; I was a sticky mess and, still, I could not get it off. I sort of panicked — I felt claustrophobic and I literally showered until we ran out of hot water. Then I put socks on my hands and drove to my mother’s house. She has Pond’s Cold Cream — and that did the trick like nothing else. A little bit of Pond’s and I was free from my oil-paint prison.
Anyway, painting complete, we have been in the process of restoring order to this poor little bungalow. My mother kindly helped me today with some of the cleaning and we made incredible progress. I’ve been cleaning as we go — sort of — but still, renovations are messy. Furniture aside, blinds, light fixtures, wall, base boards — all of it becomes a dusty mess.
More updates to come as we assemble the cabinets. We also need to install new crown and add some base boards to the half of the room that got the new drywall. But we’re on a roll at this point — and I’m looking forward to finally getting to more of the fun stuff!