Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Mattress & Last Week's Work on the Porch

This morning, my new mattress got delivered. This is kind of a big deal for me since I've never had a new mattress till now. I've always had the same single bed and mattress since I was little. My current mattress should probably have been changed over 10 years ago, but I've been used to it (and it's still in decent shape). That said, the new one is much more comfortable, and I really appreciate the extra 4" in length (80" rather 76") since I'm 6 feet tall.

I've decided that this is where the bed will go (across from the closet door). I had originally wanted it to be in the other half of the room, but because of the doors it would have been inconvenient/odd.

I was also surprised to see that if I had wanted to, I could have easily fit a king bed in here (this is a queen). In case you're curious, it's a Sealy Westington (semi-firm), and it was recommended to me by my friend Sharon who had been working at Leon's (a furniture chain in Canada) up until a month or so ago.

Here's the work so far on the Office built-in. Since this photo (last week-ish) the putty has been sanded, and the edges/gaps siliconed. I need to make 2 lengths of moulding for the bottom (the second one will be for the kitchen one eventually).

Lastly, I started tearing apart the porch (removing the aluminum siding) last week. The whole job took me maybe 30-40 minutes. There wasn't much holding everything in place. Most of the siding had only 4 nails per length.

As you can see, the house originally had a much more colourful paint scheme. Unfortunately, however, Removing this siding confirmed my suspicions and I'll be needing to scrap and replace all the bead board. Some of it is in good shape, but most of it has started to rot, and the current paint on it is oil based, and it has adhesion problems, blistering, and flaking.

Part of the corner post is also rotted, but it's only the outer portion (it's two 2x4s and only one is in bad shape), so I'm not sure if I'll just leave that alone or try to patch it a bit before I recap everything.

I'm also going to need to replace the two outermost boards on each side of the porch since they are badly damaged/rotted.

I'm not quite ready to replace the lattice yet, but you can see that it's also in very bad shape.

Parts of it are so bad that they are literally falling off.

I didn't do much this weekend, but I'm hoping that I can go buy the new t-g tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Before & After Post! Get Excited!

Alright, since buying the house, I`ve been looking forward to exactly this kind of post. I've compiled/edited a series of photos based off the "Day of Possession" photo set (pretty much the crappiest shots of the house exactly "as received", junk and all.

Since the Master Bedroom is as done as it's gonna get (until I get doors which won't be anytime soon, unfortunately), I wanted finished shots before I start moving-in some furniture.

Here we go!

Note locations of vents, light switches, and plugs that were pretty much all moved (except maybe ONE), as well as the refinished (painted) original floors, and antique lighting.

To anyone seeing the house today, it would look like all that was done was a coat of fresh paint, but the before photos really help bring things into perspective.

I hope you'll all enjoy these as much as I do!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Floors - Second Coat

I was surprised that painting the second coat took the same amount of time as the first (even though I did not repaint all the cracks this time). I am gonna say that the full-strength paint was harder to apply and spread less quickly than the thinned first coat, which seems to be the only reasonable explanation.

For the curious, the floor is roughly 250 square feet, and took 3 hours per coat. All of it was done by hand with a 3" brush (both coats).

But it's done now. I went through a bit more than 3/4 of the can, so I'll need to pick up another one to do the other two rooms (when I get to them).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wet Paint!

I've been both looking forward to, and dreading, painting the floors upstairs, but since I have a 4 day weekend (Monday is Victoria Day), and the weather is supposed to be nice for the next few days, I decided TODAY IS THE DAY!

I pretty much forced myself to do it, too. I moved all the furniture out of the room last night. This morning, I vacuumed-out all the cracks between the boards, then I taped all the baseboards and door jambs, and I went over the entire floor with a damp rag.

About an hour's worth of work:

I'm very happy with the colour match, but I can already tell that I won't be too fond of the high gloss (I didn't have a choice). The fumes from the oil paint are actually not that bad. I thinned the paint 10% with paint thinner (as per the directions), and that's mainly what I could smell.

Master Bedroom done:

I don't really know what happened with the colours in this pic.

This is probably the most accurate photo for the colour:

It's not visible in the photo(s) but I painted up to the door for the L Room and the Guest Bedroom.

Also, partially visible is my "bridge support" in the last photo. I made a 2x4 frame, screwed to the stairs, and there's also a platform in the bathroom. I have some large boards that can lay across the two sides creating a bridge over the hallway floor (so that I can use the shower). Otherwise I'll be using the washroom downstairs until the floor is dry.

ALSO (2): The floor will unfortunately need another coat. The white paint smears around the baseboards, as well as several of the crack-filled nail holes, and other repairs show through the paint (probably partly because it was thinned down), so hopefully I can do that on Monday?

More Doors

I saved 3 stunningly gorgeous doors in near mint condition and with the original old hardware and shellac. The only problem: they're all in sizes I can't use.


One is 24", one is 28", and the largest is 34". All my interior doors are 30". I will either try to use them somewhere else (maybe the garage staircase door?), or resell them.

They were in the trash just 2 houses down on my "other" street - the garage side (I'm on a corner, remember).

The finish on the middle door is really crackled (due to using the wrong kind of varnish over the original shellac).

Look at the beautiful hardware!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

House Numbers (Part 2)

I have come to love these old house numbers, and I've photographed quite a few of them. Several of these are the same vintage, while a few are newer, or older. Most have the same font, but I can see at least 3 variations.

The following are a collection of the bulk of the remaining numbers in my neighbourhood (roughly 25 blocks?) There are a few others I didn't photograph (since people were out on their porch, for example.

Also note the general state of disrepair on most of these homes. Some are nicely restored, others are literally rotting and falling apart.

I still don't know how to cut one of these posts with a "keep reading after the cut", so this will be a rather large post with 28 photos.

117 & 115 Fourth Street West
A series of townhouses/apartments. There were also numbers 123 & 125 (not photographed).

121 & 119 Fourth Street West

129 - Fifth Street East
This is a nicely restored Victorian. Original wood siding (in a dark pink).

129 & 127 First Street West
Townhouses with original doors, porch roof/columns.

A lovely number 142 on the historic Stormont Cottages. See:
York & First Street West

On the same building are a set of old enameled street signs (these are very scarce). Note that these are in different styles, both in the shape of the plaques and the font.

219 First Street West
Sadly this number is now gone, since the entire porch roof has recently been gutted. That nice original dentil moulding - gone. I'm not sure if the porch columns were still there.

224 Fifth Street West
A house just down the street from me.

227A - 227B First Street West

231 First Street West

248A Pitt Street
This is one right on a main street that I had never noticed until yesterday.

312 First Street West

316 Water Street

318 First Street East

328 York

40 First Street West
The historic Chelsey's Inn (built in 1820). See:

47 Fifth Street East

519 Bedford

138 Second
Amelia & Second Street East
This is a stunning Victorian in near perfect shape.

Augustus & Seventh

Fourth Street West & York

This is on the Historic Grammar School. See:

102 Fourth Street East / 341 Sydney
I'm not sure why this house has two addresses.