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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bigger pictures for lights

Wallpaper Removal

Removing wallpaper is a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. A small room took me two days. You will need the following:

  • Spray bottle
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Razor Blade
  • Putty Knife
The process is to score the wallpaper, but you don't have to. The wallpaper needs to be sopping wet then you can remove the first layer of the wallpaper. Once that part is off you can spray more solution onto the remaining paper...this way removing the paper part a lot easier.

You can see the wall paper, then the yellow part is the remaining backing of the paper. You will essentially be taking of the exterior of the wall paper then the paper part.

To mix the solution you will need really hot water (2 parts) and laundry detergent (1 part). Its best to do this when the weather is cooler otherwise the solution will evaporate. To do this you will need to spray the solution onto the wallpaper, make sure you cover the outlets below and the ground because this will get sticky and messy. Once you let it sit for 10 minutes you should be able to use a razor to remove the outer layer. It will take several tries. Once you have it down to the bottom layer it will be much easier to remove. Continue to do this until its done. The wall will need patching so make sure you use some spackling to cover up holes and dents.

Mowing Your Lawn - The Old School Way

I was debating between  gas powered lawn mower and a hand reel mower. One is powered by gas, the other is a manual rotary blade. It is a small yard so it is the right choice for me. I can use it any time I want because its quiet. It doesn't pollute, nor does it require any gas. A good article about mowing is

I recently bought a hedge trimmer, hand reel mower and a leaf blower.

The mower I bought was Its not bad, but I kind of wish I spent the extra $20 for the greenworks one. I was struggling as to figure out whether or not to leave the clippings, but after reading several articles it seems ok to leave the clippings there... in fact its actually good for the grass.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Upgraded Lights

Kitchen with new switches done before patchwork by our Electrician Daniel Flores
Before recessed lighting we only had a single light

After he installed recessed lighting it changed the way the room looks

Den before and after with newly installed lights

Doggie Door

I installed a doggie door this weekend. I thought it was going to be pretty straight forward, but it ended up being a little more difficult that I thought. I ordered a doggie door from Hi Tech Pet - the PX1 medium sized dog door.

General directions for installing a doggie door on a flat door is:
  1. Figure out Height and Width
  2. Cut to size and maybe even a little bigger
  3. If the door isn't hollow you will have to cut little inserts for the screws to go into, otherwise the doggie door wont be very strong. 
  4. Screw the door in

If the door was a flat door it would have been easy, but it wasn't flat...therefore not as easy. The door had indentations. Chances are yours will not be flat either. You will need to follow the above steps, except that you will also need to create little wood inserts to make the door flush against the doggie door. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Repainting the Cabinets

So we decided to take on the daunting task of repainting our cabinets - which have layers of paint starting since 1940. The paint may have lead in it, so we need to be extra careful with sanding. The best bet is to not sand, but the layers of paint over the years require some sanding and new hardware (handle and hinges.) The hinges are really stuck due to paint. The way I've gotten some of them off is by using paint stripper and then using a hammer and chisel to create a gap then using the hammer and chisel you can pound it out. I found a good DIY article that I followed. I used something that was semi-gloss because these cabinets are being used in the kitchen and need to be able to stand up to the abuse of daily use and kitchen grease. We used Behr paint that has primer in it already, but we've found that it'll still require several coats in order for it to look good.

The other project that we will be working on is documenting how our electricians will update our old 1940's electrical system - panel box then lighting.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Updating Nasty Knotty Pine Paneling

So we're working on updating a 1940's house - pretty much all original interior and exterior stuff. There is a lot to upgrade and work on . As we work on upgrading the house I will also post ideas of things we want to do. Since the knotty pine paneling was popular in the 40's it is in the den of the house. The cool thing is there is a hidden gun closet behind the paneling. The crappy thing is it reminds me of a cheaper version of what I imagine Anchorman's Ron Burgundy's den looks like - no rich mahogany or leather bounded books. Anyways one of the websites I stumbled upon is a great example of how you can change things up with paint to make it look more spacious and up to date.

Notice how much of a difference it makes for the couple's room. It is really really spacious looking. Also doing what they did probably didn't cost much. The most expensive thing was probably the wood flooring from Ikea.