Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not as easy as it looks

With a new year comes new ambitions. First, of course, I wanted to get back to blogging. Here I am. Mission accomplished.

Second was to start spinning through some of my lifetime stash of fiber, rather than buying more. One bobbin down, lots more to go. One mermaid-colored leaflet mitt knit (except the thumb), another to start.

More important than those ambitions, though, is an overwhelming need to get back to working on the house. Driving back from my Christmas trip to Arizona I had ample time to contemplate my many, many unfinished home renovation projects. (Anyone who has driven between Las Vegas and Reno can tell you that, although the high desert is beautiful, there is a lot of it.) I desperately need to finish something. I decided that the something will be the front hall.

A couple of years ago I pulled off the top layer of wallpaper and scraped off the popcorn ceiling. About a year ago I began scraping the next layer off the walls. That's when I discovered the many alternating layers of questionable wallpaper and gritty fossilized paint. I tried scraping. I tried wetting and scraping. I tried scoring and slathering with heavy duty chemicals and scraping. Although some layers came off in patches, so did the paper surface of the drywall. Hmmm...

I shifted my attention to the flooring. In a criminal act, the previous owners had glued faux flagstone vinyl directly to beautiful honey oak hardwood. I spent many hours slowly scraping the vinyl off the floor, hoping to preserve the wood below. At some point I escalated the war and bought a heat gun. Slowly (very slowly) I am scraping away the remaining petrified glue.

With the new year I am once again attacking the walls. I am now the proud owner of a Wagner Power Steamer. Fill that puppy with water and it steams away for what feels like hours. The result of my first go with it tells me that wallpaper steaming will not be my only needed new skill. Hopefully drywall repair will be covered in the home improvement class I am signed up for. I went out on the internet for advice. Most folks said to hire a professional to fix any damage you do to your drywall before painting. My favorite advice was from the guy who said to try a fancy faux-finishing effect so it looks like you meant to do it.

Yup, I meant to do it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Sharon said...

Your house has so much potential and yet so many projects to get it there. I've seen what you did for the fireplace and I have no doubt that you will find solutions to the rest of the house's needs. You know, of course, at some point you will have so much of yourself invested, that you will never ever be able to move.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

You are so driven Amy! I wish I had a modicum of your energy. Its such a nice home, so much character, and it fits you so well.

Mim said...

Our house has reached the age to start redoing it. I'm afraid that neither one of us has the same ambition as you. Some day we must.

magnusmog said...

wow - such a lot of work, I can't wait to see how your floor turns out :)