Monday, December 17, 2007

Painting Prep: Living & Dining Rooms

Well, I finally got around to starting the work that needs to be done in the dining room.

I, like most American 22 year old male college students, spent my Saturday night scraping loose paint off of a dining room ceiling. Oh, what an adventurous life I lead!
Look at that mess!
Check out how big that pile of paint chips is! (note feet for scale) (fyi, size 10) I also finished scraping off the residual joint compound from the walls and ceilings where I removed the extra walls. Here's a photo of the living room ceiling, ripe for sanding. The job got a lot easier once I started spraying water on the walls and ceilings before I started scraping. The joint compound became much softer and easier to scrape off.

Step 1: Spray water onto unwanted joint compound.Step 2: Scrape your heart out.Step 3: Repeat.

Woah, tangent! OK, back to the dining room. Today, after one of those five hour Sunday afternoon naps, I made a trip to 'the Depot' for some more joint compound. I patched up the holes in the ceiling left from the paint that chipped away. Now all I need to do is sand, re-mud where necessary, sand, texture, prime, then paint. Is this considered the home stretch yet? I filled all of the nail holes in the walls, but I still need to repair two big cracks. I just want to paint already! I've had the dang paint for months, gah!

I'm kind of up in the air about what to do with the trim in the dining room. The trim was all replaced (poorly) sometime before I got here. The wood is stained, but it is of an inferior quality. You can see stain on the oak flooring in all of the dining room pictures from when the p.o. stained the inferior wood. Yet another reason to thank the p.o.! The windows were painted at some point, but I can tell the wood was originally stained like the living room. So what do I do? Should I (a.) paint the inferior wood white like the rest of the house, or, (b.) use the inferior wood elsewhere in the house and replace it with better wood stained to match the living room. This option would require me to strip the windows.

Either way, the picture rail needs to be replaced. I've already removed it all from the walls. This piece shows the original stain color. There were a couple chunks of it missing from where walls went in during the duplex-ing process. I'm planning on using the old stuff I removed somewhere else in the house, but I'm not sure that I want to use the same picture rail back in the dining room. What if I was to switch it out for some crown molding? Would that be a bad idea? I just think that the crown molding might look more finished than the picture rail. The picture rail was about a quarter inch down from the ceiling which I didn't think looked very good. That little quarter inch gap lead my roommate to say that I should 'replace that crappy crown molding'. If I was to put the picture rail back up I think I'd pull it down a half inch so you can tell it isn't just 'crappy crown'.

Decisions, decisions. Let me know, loyal reader, if you have any opinions. I'll have plenty of time to think about it all while I'm mindlessly sanding ceilings and walls. Good times.


We are in said...

A picture rail!?! Well, thank you for solving what was a mystery to me. I had no idea that a picture rail could be that close to the ceiling. I'd always believed they were a foot or so down the wall. Now I know what that "crappy crown" is that is in our entryway.

When I got up on a ladder to paint it I realized that it wasn't a stain on the perimeter of the ceiling - it was a shadow. The profile was all wrong! And then I wondered why anyone would use a chair rail for crown molding.

Huh! I learned something new today. Thanks!

kathy said...

I say paint all your woodwork white. Stripping the windows would be a drag, and you don't know how they'll turn out. And don't put that picture rail back up. Go for a nice simple crown molding.

Wish I could've done something like this while I was going to school...

Amalie said...

We always called that a plate rail...My grandmother kept decorative plates up there.

I wish we could strip and stain our windows and other trim work. From what I understand, if the pieces were originally stained, and weren't sanded to bare wood when they were painted, the paint should all strip off with a heat gun, infrared paint remover or chemicals (I assume there's some lead in there...?). I think it CAN be a fairly simple, if time-consuming project. However, if they were like ours and were either originally painted or sanded all the way, then it's much, much, much more difficult. Wood is so porous, and the oil-based trim paint is such a bugger that it soaks into the wood, and it can take an infinite amount of sanding to get it off. Some people I know of have had luck coaxing the paint out of the wood with mineral spirits or certain strippers. It's not always impossible, and is still a potential item on our agenda-- for way down the road after I've enjoyed living in a halfway nice house for a while!

Oh-- I also recently saw on another blog (can't remember whose!) painted white trim coated with amber shellac...And I have to say, it did a pretty decent job from the pictures of looking like stained wood...

Vickie's Life In The Victorian said...

I just bought a Victorian in Logan Utah (I did go to college here many years ago, but am not in college now... if I had bought this then.... I wonder if it would be finished).

We just closed last Friday and are beginning our restoration project. This building was once a sanitarium built in 1900 and now is a converted five plex. I may wish I was your age after of few months of this restoration! Good Luck

Jayne said...

Totally off the subject, but I just gotta know: What's the tat say??

Nate said...

It says "Love Honor Truth" which are the three ideals of my Fraternity, Sigma Nu. I got it about two years ago so I'd always be mindful of my values!

Jen said...

My vote is....Use the picture rail and the crown.( about 4-6"apart)
it will make the crown look larger, with proper painting/staining techniques.

I was in Architecture School for about a year and 1/2 back in the early 90's. I didn't have a life, let alone time to remodel a house. I don't know how you do it.