Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Seven

Before my day of rest, I had painted the walls in the office and dining room.....well, most of the dining room. The new bit of wall where the fireplace used to be only got one coat before I ran out of paint, and looked decidedly patchy as a result:

Today was Monday March 30, 2020, and the paint store was open again - with reduced hours due to the present covid-19 situation. This area looked much better after a second coat of paint:

And even better than that after I parked a bookcase in front of it.

Time to re-build the office....this process took longer than you might think....

With the desks out of the living room, it was finally time to put this area back together. I wanted to photograph the floor before we covered it with a rug. I am very pleased with the repairs; there is no evidence of a transition between original and new hardwood.

Rug and couches aligned...the rest of the furniture and the proper curtains are still pending...

I still need to re-install the glass doors at the front of the fireplace...more on that in due course.

The shoe rack is still missing the top panel and the cabinet doors, which will be installed after the paint is cured.

This space will be occupied by our Telibox....if I can ever get it back out of Amy Sheep's bedroom...

At some point in this madness I snuck away to the workshop and put the first coat of black paint on my display case. I was pleased with how it came out - this is not the finished look, but it is not far off.

I applied most of the black paint with a four (4) inch roller, so I was mostly able to keep it away from the accents that I painted white a couple of days ago.

There was some very slight bleed in places, but I can fix this after the second coat of black is applied.

Next time around I will be working on the hardwood floor underneath this pile of junk:

To be continued...

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Six

It's actually Sunday March 29, 2020 while I'm writing this. Yesterday was my twelth (12th) straight day of working on the house, and today I'm having a rest....although I did re-install the three window blinds in the office and dining room and re-hang the clock on my way to my desk.

Yesterday was painting day part two. We are painting the walls in the office and dining room with Benjamin Moore Natural Cream flat, to match the living area, hallway and kitchen. It has long been a tradition in my family to paint some kind of "picture" on the walls immediately prior to painting them....and Ruby Sheep took this to a new level:

Here's the view of the office after the first coat of paint was completed....Ruby's drawing was obliterated in the process...

While the first coat of paint was drying, I went back down to the workshop to see how the display case was coming on. The original cabinet had some poorly-applied green paint on the accents (shown below). I want to develop this concept for my own design.

My color scheme calls for part of the accents to be painted white - so I decided to do that bit first. Since the cabinet has already been painted with white primer, the accent paint does not add much contrast. You can just about make it out in the in-progress photo below:

While I had the white paint out I also put the final coat on the cabinet doors. I'll leave them to cure for a few days before I install them.

After that it was back upstairs to put another coat of paint on the walls in the office and dining room. Since it is the "weekend," Amy Sheep was around to help with the cutting in.

Came out great!  This project is now very close to completion.....watch this space!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Five

it's Friday March 27, 2020, and it's painting day! I spent the first few minutes sanding off the excess wood filler at the hardwood flooring I bolted down yesterday, then I covered up this area with brown paper - I'll varnish this area next week, hopefully.

Onto the office/dining room. Started by painting the ceiling, two coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove flat:

Then it was onto the French doors for the first of two coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss....

....all the new baseboards....

...and the window stools got the same treatment.

While the semi-gloss was drying, I went down to the workshop and gave the display case a good going over with 220 grit sand paper. Then I applied a coat of primer/stain blocker to the cabinet and both doors. I have something special planned for the final paintwork.

The shoe rack cabinet doors were painted with primer earlier in the week and were ready at this point for top coating with more Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss.

After this, it was back upstairs to put a second coat on the French doors and baseboards, which came out very similar to the photographs above. I was well and truly cream crackered by this point - this was my eleventh (11th) straight day of DIY with only a few breaks for monopoly, cluedo etc. Still, I managed to summon up the energy to cart the rest of the tools and other crap from the living room back to the workshop with help from Amy Sheep.

When this was done we declared the living room side of the project complete, and we tore the shrink wrap off the couches and put them back into operation. Tomorrow I will paint the walls in the office and dining room and move the desks back.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Four

We've been here before. Back on January 10, I had my replacement boards all cut and fitted, but the leveling compound wasn't very level...

I dealt with this as best I could - a combination of the diamond-encrusted screaming wheel of death and a silicon carbide belt on the sander was all it took, and this was all accomplished while this area was wrapped in plastic.

The original plan was to install the new boards with a combination of nails into plywood subfloor, and construction adhesive at the leveling compound...or both for that matter.

The floor went in easily and I weighed it down over night.

This is where it gets interesting, because the next day I discovered that the construction adhesive was a total failure...and this is also where I went back to working on the living room side of the fireplace, covered the mess shown below with a rug, and forgot about it. Well, two-thirds of that is true.....research ont tut' interwebs tells me that I had not waited long enough for the leaving compound to cure...and that the adhesive cannot bond under these conditions.

Today is eight weeks later, so if the leveling compound isn't cured by now, it never will be. I checked the fit of the hardwood flooring after painstakingly grinding all the old adhesive off the back of the boards with the ever-present belt sander.

The boards were then re-installed with more adhesive and nails. I had to bash in the nails in between Amy Sheep's telimedicine appointments.

Then I weighed everything down and went for lunch at the Black Bear Diner a few feet away at the kitchen table.

Today's lunch - a ham, lettuce and mayo sandwich and an orange if you're interested - didn't take all that long. I didn't want to disturb the flooring, so I concentrated on finalizing repairs to the drywall that was damaged when I installed my security lights.

I also installed new baseboard in the office - we weren't ready to commit to a style of baseboard when we decorated this room.

I think I bought 400 feet of baseboard for the living areas, office and kitchen...whatever it was, it I ended up ten feet short, so the section below the office window was made from some scraps of hardwood flooring which I ran through the table saw.

By now the adhesive had had a couple of hours to cure, so I removed the weights, and discovered....another failure. The sections of the boards which were nailed were secure, but the other pieces were flapping around like a syrup in the breeze.

At this stage I could have tried a third time with an alternative construction adhesive , but really I needed an immediate solution. This section of the floor will actually never be seen, because we will be constructing builtin-in cabinets in this area eventually. So....I took the cowards way out and screwed the hardwood to the concrete pad with masonry fasteners.

The new boards were proud of the original floor by 3/32" in places, so I started with the hand plane - this was hard work, but it would have taken much longer and been more dusty with the belt sander.

I cleaned up the shavings and hung a drop cloth between the dining and living rooms...

Then I taped the hose from the shop vac on to my belt sander and gave the new boards a good going over with a 36 grit belt; working this way produced very little dust into the air. In the future I will be trying to find the right fittings so that I can connect the shop vac to all of my power tools.

Red oak wood filler was applied to the nail holes and those unsightly concrete fasteners.

After that there was just enough time to apply wood filler and caulk to the new baseboards I installed earlier, and then it was my turn to drop unconscious from exhaustion.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Three

It's Wednesday and the floors are dry! I'm ready to be done with the living room and move on to the next part of the project....except one thing: Amy Sheep is doing the telimedicine thing in the office, and I can't make noise or potter about in the office or dining room without risking exposure to to the prying eye of her webcam.

So I just had to get on with finishing the cabinet doors quietly as quietly as possible.

After I was happy with the hinge adjustments, I took the doors back off, removed all the hardware and took them back to the workshop for wood filler and final sanding. Then it t'was time for us dinners.

Amy Sheep was still doing her being-professional-thing in the office après le déjeuner, so I went back down to the workshop to look for something to do. About 3 or 4 weeks ago, a friend gave me a display case - it was lying around in a house she was clearing out and would have been trashed if I did't take it. At the time I needed another project like a hole in the head, but the cabinet had potential....so I took it back to my garage where it hasn't moved since that day.....until now that is.

I could not wait to remove the hideous trim pieces, so I don't have a proper "before" photo. This picture was taken after the base had already been ripped off:

That's better - the base and top trim pieces where they belong - in the trash pile.

The trim had to go because (1) it's f&*%ing hideous (see above) and (2) I want to put the display case in the corner of my garage; the foundation sticks out in this area, so I have to accommodate that in the design of my replacement base.

To call it a "design" is probably a bit generous. It's a box made from a scrap of 2" x 6" lumber and a piece of birch plywood which was left over from the cabinet doors

Installed it doesn't look anything special, but it meets the design criteria of hoisting the cabinet above the foundation while allowing it to mount to the wall.

Slapped on a bit of plastic wood.

I made a replacement top panel from another piece of scrap birch plywood. It wasn't quite large enough, so I glued on some edge pieces I cut from a piece of old bed frame. You have to recycle what you can in these extraordinary times...

I also took out the mirror and all the glass panels and removed all the hardware. When the wood filler is dry, I will sand the cabinet down and paint it....watch this space!

I went back upstairs to put t'ettle on, and found that the day's telimedicine had concluded. After a cup of rosie and one of Ruby Sheep's fluffy cookies, it was finally time to tear down the barrier between the office and the living room....this was a profound moment in the project.

After that it took the best part of two hours to move our office into the living room. The telimedicine terminal and associated AV technology was fully integrated into its new home, all ready for another busy day.

Tomorrow I will return to working on the hardwood floor at the dining room side of the fireplace. I last worked on this area on Day #10. Wish me luck!