BEGINNING THE FIRST FLOOR REMODEL:Demolition, Drywall and Floors
Livng Room Renovations Begin
After finishing the workshop construction and passing the inspections, we could finally move some of our junk (or treasures depending on who you talk to) into the shop and begin work on the first floor. I was very eager to have a comfortable living room, so that we could have some friends visit in comfort and maybe even walk around barefoot without worrying about stepping on a nail.
Here’s what it looked like when we started:
Before anything could get pretty in this house, it had to get uglier first! We wanted to keep the wainscoting. We removed the first layer of wallpaper in one section to reveal panelling. Down came paneling to reveal layer upon layer of wallpaper. When I began removing the wallpaper, the plaster started coming down. A new plan of action was quickly formed…drywall over the plaster. This was a huge timesaver, because I didn’t have to keep stripping wallpaper! I did love seeing the different layers of wallpaper, some of which were pretty interesting. I found myself inventing stories about the lives of the people selecting each of the different wall coverings. We also pulled up the lumpy, stained carpet. Yay!
The drywall went up fast, but it felt like the sanding lasted forever.
Almost New Floors
The floor was one of our bigger challenges. The floors on the first floor all had multiple layers of paint and I wanted a more natural looking floor. The floors also had a fair amount of damage; deep scrapes, rusty nails, holes from some wood eating bug that must have once inhabited the home. I decided that I wanted to embrace the character of the floors (aka damage). There were a few spots where we had to replace some boards and patch some holes. We harvested some floor boards from the attic so that we could better match the wood on the patches.
I wanted all of the floors on the first floor, except the kitchen and powder room to be the same, so we tackled all the painted floors on the first floor. Sanding, sanding and more sanding. We rented a floor sander and bought tons of sandpaper, but could have used more. We donned our filtering masks and got to work. This is where it got fun for me. A couple of hours in, Brad got sick and stayed that way the rest of the weekend. I burned a few calories that weekend, along with burning a couple of spots on the floors when I didn’t move fast enough! Ah, more character for the floors.
I decided that I wanted to give the floors a beachy feel – faded distressed wood. The distressed part came naturally. We applied an off white stain to the floors, then wiped a good part of it off to give the wood a little bit of a bleached feel. Then we put a few protective coats of poly urethane on. We used an oil based finish because it is more durable than the water based clear coat, but this has the effect of yellowing the floors a little, so the floors ended up a slightly warmer color than I was looking for, but I like it. I love the texture! We put grey paint on the walls prior to doing the floors.
Finishing the Look
We tiled the fireplace, after repairing water issues related to the chimney. But that’s a whole blog post for later. We made curtain rods from plumbing parts and bought curtains. That post is coming too. We also made some art work for the walls.
It’s been about a year since we refinished the floors and we’ve actually purchased a sofa and chairs. Here’s how it looks now, although I’m sure this won’t be the last of my changes!
Check back for a post about the fireplace makeover. Click here for our post about making the coffee table. Some things survived the make over: the wainscoting, all trim work and the ceiling fan. But most importantly…we can walk around in our barefeet now!!