Friday, February 25, 2005

Back to the More Difficult Projects

Paint is great: instant change and instant satisfaction. I’ve got the painting bug and want to tackle other rooms in my house. I’m trying to resist, for now, and refocus my efforts on the two areas in progress, the kitchen and the stairs.

I’ve painted the kitchen cabinets white and replaced the handles with cobalt glass knobs. The room is vastly improved. (I wish I had taken some post-paint pictures.) The next two projects are removing the painted over wallpaper and replacing the kitchen counter. I have the tools to tackle the wallpaper; I just need to get started. I’ve made the decision to build and tile a countertop. I found that the Ortho Start-to-Finish Cabinets & Countertops had some fairly easy to follow directions. I ordered a used copy from Amazon. (By the way, I just learned that I have ordered 92 items from Amazon in the last three years. Are they a publicly traded company?)

I am gathering the items needed for the countertop. Actually, I am still working on finding the first item on my list: cobalt blue, matte finish tiles. I visited two tile stores on Monday, Florida Tile and Louisville Tile. Florida Tile carried only one blue tile. It was cobalt blue, but with a glossy finish (will show scratches) and the tile only came in square and bullnose pieces. I would prefer a tile line that includes corner caps and other sorts of trim. Louisville Tile carries a nice line of matte tiles that come in a variety of shapes, but no cobalt blue. The closest is military blue, which is about the same color as the blue laminate I was able to find. The shade is too muted for my tastes. I’ll visit Mees and another tile store on Saturday. Does anyone recommend an online tile dealer?

The second project in progress is the staircase. I cleared the first of the two glue-covered stairs. One stair remains, but I have made no progress since we brought the new cat home last week. Instead of renovating, I’ve spent my evenings patrolling the house with a squirt bottle, ready to break up fights. Actually, I’m just using Mimi as an excuse. I need to get off my duff and start scraping the bottom stair.

After the glue scraping is complete, I am a little unsure on how to proceed. My original plan was to remove the carpet backing from the remaining stairs with a sander. Next, I would sand all of the stairs and refinish. However, upon a suggestion from Gary, I am considering not sanding at all. I can remove the carpet backing with the heat gun and scraper (I’m hoping it will be easier to remove than linoleum glue), then remove the current finish from the stairs with solvent, and finally stain and seal. Are there any drawbacks to that plan?

So, while I’m dreaming of painting the guest room lavender and wallpapering Mike’s office, I need to buckle down and work on my more substantial projects. Does replacing the bathroom faucet count as procrastination?


Anonymous Gary said...

If you follow my advice and use alcohol to re-amalgamate the original shellac finish after stripping off the crud then you won't be able to stain the wood because the shellac has sealed it. I suggest you sand the rubbed and goo wiped finish with fine sand paper (220 grit) when it has dried (use a palm sander or do by hand)to make the surface smooth and put another coat or two of shellac down. The finish will most likely be quite dark and amber colored. If you are in Dayton anytime soon let me know and I can show you the stairs that I did this way. After shellac, you rub the surface with fine steel wool and wax polish to protect the surface and make it slippery smooth. Then you sit back, pour a drink and laugh as your cats try to chase each other up the stairs!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Angry Republican Mom said...

Wow, Gary's post really answered some of my questions regarding my "beaded" old shellac. Off to Menard's for some alochol! lol

Another tile site is I loved their tiles whar I was at their show room!

6:29 PM  
Anonymous brian heckel said...

good advice gary. i use alcohol and get shellaced any time i get stuck sanding ::))

6:56 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Mimi is such a cutie! A new cat is an excellent excuse. In fact, ANYTHING is an excellent excuse for procrastinating.

11:03 AM  

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