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Thursday, July 31, 2014

stripping hardware

we've been living without doors in the finished part of the house, since we moved in. it's my job to paint them and get them ready to be put back on....painting doors is not one of my most favorite things to do...so they're not finished yet. i did however, get the bathroom door painted and ready, but its not installed yet. why???!! well, the hardware for the doors has about 235 coats of paint on it. and before the doors go back on, i really wanted to strip the hardware. the hinges, knobs, locks and any other metal parts that go on the doors. some of it is absolutely gorgeous! you can see some of the detail under all of the paint, and i really want to get them back to bare metal, so all of the detail is showing. i've been researching ways to do this....and i really don't want to use a chemical stripper. one reason, with so many layers of paint, i think it would take A LOT to get it off and i don't want to risk the chance of the chemicals eating or pitting the metal...just because there are so many fine details on it. two, because it smells SO bad...and i dont know how many times i'd have to actually strip it. so i kept looking for another way to do it.....and i read somewhere you could put it in a crockpot, filled with water...put it on high for about 8 hrs and the paint will just sort of peel off...sounds easy?!

i REALLY want doors on the bedrooms and the bathroom...so i got all the hardware together this morning and brought it to the shop with me. put in an old crockpot we have, filled it with water and put it on high. i went to check on it about 3 hrs later and you could tell some of the paint was starting to bubble. so i grabbed a hinge out of there and sort of scraped it...gently, with a flat head screw driver. ITS WORKING!!! the paint is super gummy though and i think i'll have to get a fine wire brush to get all of the paint out the crevices and small detail areas.

here it is this morning, before the crockpot, with the 283 layers of paint on it..you can see that some of the hinges are the cool detailed, steeple hinges and will look amazing back to bare metal! the 'normal' looking hinges (in the first photo) aren't original...i'd like to find more of the steeple ones or even some that just have the amazing detail carvings in them, to replace the 'newer' hinges that were put on at some point. but in the time being, i'll strip them and put them back up.


































after 3 hrs you can see some of the paint floating on top of the water...AND this water smells absolutely horrible! i dont know if lead paint has a scent...but i'm sure there are layers of lead paint on the hardware..and it smells so bad...i feel like vapor is going to be really bad for my body???!!! maybe i should wear a mask while i scrape it?!


 i pulled one of the steeple hinges out, because they have the most detail on them, and i was excited to see what it looked like! you can see the paint is starting to soften...

































and here it is with just a little scraping....you can start to see the fine detail coming through paint...

































i'll get a wire brush tonight and bring it with me tomorrow and start scraping the rest of the paint off. i may still have to use a little bit of chemical stripper to get the gumminess of the paint residue off...we'll see...i'll let you know.

we have this same detail on all of the window pulls, and alot of the door knobs and door plates. so i think i'll be using this process alot during the restoration...its pretty easy so far!

Monday, July 28, 2014

kitchen porch

all 3 of the porches on the house need extensive work and repair, but the kitchen one is the worst. its been so neglected that its actually starting to pull the foundation away from the house. we need to get it taken off before winter and get the foundation repaired. the two porches on the front of the house we plan to restore and keep as is...but this one, i'm sort of thinking of doing something a little different. i want to do one thing on the exterior thats a little more modern and different, without really changing the look of the house...AND keeping with the period (somewhat) and style of the house. i'm thinking of doing a porch still...with a pergola. i think that would look so cool and give the house just that little touch of modern, but still old. and then i want to incorporate that into another part of the property...probably over the garage door. i love that look!

here's a look at it...its the porch in the back left corner.

























you can see how the foundation is basically pulling away and crumbling, because the porch is practically falling off of the house and pulling everything with it.




like i said, this porch is in the worst shape. most of the wood is rotten and would need to be completely replaced. the ceiling leaks terribly because the roof of the porch has so many holes in it.

































we'll salvage the spindles and railings and detail spindles, to use to repair some of the rotten ones on the other porches.....and i'd really like to try and salvage the big posts and use them in the pergola design. i was looking around for some ideas on how to design it and found a couple that i thought would look really cool with the house....


































































i think something like this with some of the original architectural pieces from the house would look great! and then add the same sort of detail over the garage door, like this one....

























seeing we're on a time schedule and have to be mostly done with the 'big' stuff on the house by end of october....we'll just take the porch off this summer/fall and repair the house and then most likely wait until spring to build the new one.

i'm really excited though....the vision is all coming together!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

exterior colors

i mentioned in the last post that i was narrowing down the exterior colors for the house....exterior colors are so much more difficult than interior colors! they change drastically throughout the day. we're going with sherwin williams for our exterior paint and so i started choosing colors from their palette....i'm not very familiar with their colors, so i ended up putting 12 swatches on the house. and in the end, decided none of them were quite right. i gravitate towards benjamin moore colors and am quite familiar with their palettes...so i chose 3 of those and had them color match. in my head the whole time, i wanted a greyed out, but vibrant shade of blue/green for the main part of the exterior. there are so many lovely colors....but alot of them look very different on the exterior. i'm really excited that i'm able to do a more colorful scheme, seeing its a victorian house. but getting that main color JUST right is the most important. and then build the accent colors around that.

here are some of the swatches that i put up.... i really liked all 3 of these, but they were a little too blue for what i had in mind..not enough green in them.

























and i don't know where the hell these colors came from....this is what i say, when they look SO different on the swatch card, than they do up on the siding! we're talking BRIGHT! but these have more green in them, like i originally wanted. but still not right.

























and here are my benjamin moore colors that i chose as the last 3 swatches. and i love all of these, but decided to go with the viscaya. it has the perfect amount of blue and green and grey. it'll be a beautiful blanket of color to add accent colors to!


























do you see how rough this siding is?!?! goal is to start pressure washing (very carefully) this coming week and then start scraping whats left of the paint and then start priming. sherwin williams has this great product in primer that hides a little bit of the 'alligatoring' and chipping of the paint thats left on the siding. i've been using it inside on the trim as well. its called peel-bond. its supposed to keep old paint from chipping off and the new paint to adhere strongly to the old paint. theres just no way of getting all of the old paint off the trim or the siding. so we need to have a strong base for the paint to stick to. its almost like a glue consistency and is sort of an opaque white-ish color. so needless to say, the primer on the exterior will have to be hand brushed on. its way to thick to go through a sprayer. we'd love to just replace the siding with new...but its not in our budget for a while. so with repairing, prepping and painting the existing...we're hoping it'll last a few more years until we can replace it. but i guess anything will look better than it is now, right?!?!

here are the accent colors i've chosen...this summer though, i won't have time to do all of the detail painting. that'll have to wait until next summer. so basically right now the house will be the main color and i'll paint all of the trim and detail just one color, until i have more time to add the other 4 colors.
main house color


main trim color for windows and fascia


this is going to be the storm window color


































this will maybe be the soffit color and some of the porch accents


































in the 2 peaks of the house, we have a pretty sunburst pattern, i'm thinking this darker tone of the main color

accent color on small detail and spindles

another accent color for small accents



here are the 7 colors together


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

kitchen island

i can't BELIEVE its almost been a month since i've done a post!!! i've had alot of people ask why i haven't done any lately....well...we've been pretty busy trying to get things done at the house. most of the trim is now put back on upstairs and i finally (after a long break) started caulking and priming it again this week. i've also been putting swatches on the exterior to find the color for the main part of the house... and just doing some final detail work in the house.

our duct work isn't completely in yet...so the last few days have been SO awful at home. i'm really hoping we can get it all installed by this wknd, so we can get some air conditioning in there!! although, with all of the broken windows, and missing windows with poly or plywood over them...we'll lose more than we put out. but it'll feel at least bearable!

anyways...on to what i intended the post to be about... the kitchen island! i knew i wanted an old piece of furniture for the island. we brought one home, it was in amazing shape..had beautiful legs and lines to it and LOTS of storage...but it was too big. i really wanted it to work! but when i decided to rearrange the shop and completely re-do the check out area...i decided to use it as my desk/check-out! painted it my favorite color and i love it!


so i went down to the basement at the shop to go 'shopping' and decided on a smaller buffet that a sweet older gentleman had given me...it was nearly falling apart and had to be rebuilt, but it had such pretty curved feet and it was the right size!

husband rebuilt it and we decided to use more of the ship lath boards we found on the exterior walls to make a reclaimed wooden top for it. i wanted a bit of an overhang so we could pull stools up to it. i painted the buffet with milk paint, because i wanted that chippy, old finish to it! i custom mixed a few colors and it came out to be shades of greys, beige and chalky white. i love it! once we got the top on, the wood was too light with the paint color...not enough contrast, so i stained it a deeper, richer nutmeg color. and that will blend so nicely with our wood floors in the dining room (once they're done!!). i wanted to add a touch of color, so i found some dark coral colored knobs, which is one of the accent colors in the kitchen and they look really pretty on there!





































i've been trying to find a place for a kitchen towel...i've been hanging it over the kitchen sink, but wanted to actually hang one somewhere....so i found an old rolling pin and decided to mount it on the side of the island as my 'towel rack'. we went to menards the other day, so i started scouring the plumbing section and hardware section to find something that would work to hold it in place, keep it pushed out about an inch and looked somewhat decent....i found these metal bracket things...have no idea what they're actually for, but they work great!

































the stools that i have for the island don't have foot rests on them...and once we used them at the island, we realized it wasn't very comfortable to keep trying to find a place for your feet. so we decided to build a foot rest on the island. i thought something sort of industrial looking and very simple would look good...so husband came up with the pipe idea. we found all the pieces we needed, put it together and attached it....its perfect now! i LOVE the look of the antique buffet with the reclaimed wood top, with the contrast of the new more modern cabinets, and stainless steel in the kitchen.

































and it still had an old tag attached to the back of it...and i've had other pieces with the same name on it...R.L. tollefson. from what i've found from researching, he/it was a furniture manufacturer in rochester mn around the early 1900's.

this is what i've found on it...


i love finding things like that still left on the furniture...a little bit of history :)


Friday, June 27, 2014

custom dining table

this was a project that was so fun! a gal came into the shop a bit ago and was looking for a dining table...i showed her what i had, but she was looking for more of a rustic, wheathered, reclaimed wood top....i told her that i could build it for her and do a custom...she LOVED that idea! so we started off with a few designs and found one she really liked and figured out color and size. she also had a set of 6 chairs that she wanted to use with it, so i painted those the same color as the table base and found some cool fabric for the seats.

if you've seen some of my other posts, about the 1870 victorian...you know that when we were gutting it, we found some really amazing old tongue and groove planks on the exterior walls...fir. gorgeous! we used those planks for her table top and it looked absolutely amazing!!











repurposed building goin' on...

i just finished up a bunch of new projects and got them out on the floor yesterday! its all about repurposing...and i love how they turned out!

i had this antique door and wanted to make a cocktail table out of it...and was in love with the color it was painted..so i left it the original paint. one side is a cool spring green and the other was a pale yellow. left the old hinges and door knob plate on it. it has lots of chippy goodness going on!



























i also have a bunch of these really cool old cabinet doors....some with missing glass, but this one had all the panes, so i turned it into a message board with some really fun knob hooks on the bottom! cocktails anyone?!?!





































and a couple of old spool tables. the other one i made last week sold in a few hours...so i thought i should make a couple more! found some really cool industrial looking metal castor wheels for the bottoms. they would make fantastic side tables or even a table on your porch!