Monday, March 30, 2015

Stove face lift

God these photos look bad...but look at what i am working with.  I have been wanting to buy a new stove.  I found the brand NXR at AJ madison which does a cheap version of the viking stove which i love.  But i just can deal with getting rid of something that works just fine and spend 2K on a stove.  So whilst googleing i found a couple of things that i thought would be worth trying out.  First is the stainless steel paint which i just ordered online.  VERY SKEPTICAL.  Many many light layers later..Then the other product was a stainless steel film also just ordered on amazon.  Not sure on how it will stand up to the heat but as its on the glass panel on the front which stays cool we will see. Supposedly it's meant to work. Worst case i waisted 70 bucks but i think it turned out at the very least better than it was before and will do for a year or so till i can splurge on the new stove.

See the final product below.  Im still looking into replacing the knobs for a chunkier effect and with another cutting board strategically placed in front of the dash at the back i think it could pass.  Also helps that you get too see the new grey walls which make it almost disappear.

Also notice i made the window opening smaller, like a viking.  The easiest part was running a piece of chrome closet rail over the handle to get the industrial look.  Simple home depot purchase cut to size and threaded over the existing handle.  Thats a piece of the film on the table in front.  To be honest the film is the most succesful but was also the biggest pain.  Air bubbles the first couple of trys but just patience and applying very slowly helped.  The paint is easy but again just do very light layers.  It is by no means a viking stove but once its all "styled" right i'm hoping i can live with it.  What do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekend surrounds, plumbing miracles and a truck that worked


Can you spot the difference?  The photo on the left had the "u" bend and the one on the right doesn't.  You know why? that round orange thing, the pipe cutter, helped me cut that piece off.  Why you ask? Well i think in the last post i rambled on about having to move the base board to move the stove to move the sink...blah blah blah.  Here is what moving the base board looks like. This as with many of my projects is a cheat.  Instead of "sweating" the joint with a blow torch, which in my defense is did try, i simply cut the bit i needed off.  Now i did this as it was the easiest and low techy way to do it.  There is a whole range of new plumbing fixtures called shark bite.  Ill keep it short for those of you who don't care for the details.  Anyway they are push to fit, so you just need 1" of clearance and they push on to the pipes and hey presto you have a water proof joint.  Before doing all this i was in the basement draining the system and generally spending some time understating my boiler system.  A few other things in the pic if your interest.  Tin snips (big red handles) to pull the fins off.  Clamp pliers (don't know the real name, but they are so handy) and regular pliers. The the big orange plastic thing that looks like fisher price made it is a burning tool.  It takes the sharp edges off the pipe to make a cleaner join.  Still awake? Read on the plumbing really is the interesting part...

Now on the left you can see the "u" reattached with the shark bite fixtures.  They are more pricey than just copper that you would solder in to place but they is no risk of you soldering badly and leaking and then having to re drain the system.  The other photo is me very triumphantly removing the base board that i needed too.  This was a successful Friday morning!!  Interestingly enough the color behind the base board is a grey color, darker than i want to do but non the less there it is.  Its like the house knows me!

Me newly confident that i didn't flood the house, so i took to drilling a large hole through the wall of the house to move the gas line, not recommended but i really wanted to move the stove.  All went well and by lunch time on Friday i had got a lot done.  How to reward myself? A trip to home depot and then on to home goods.  Yeh this is really adrenaline causing activities out here :-)

Don't worry i haven't lost my mind and painted the walls pink.  This is spakle, it goes on pink and dries white.  This is another boring process shot of me filling the walls and somewhat prepping them for paining.  They are staying quite rough, to go with the beams and also because i can have them rough, how i like them.  Not to everyones taste, and in the city when i was dry walling and plastering i hated getting them perfect, so tedious, so its nice just to have a more crackled and hand done effect. The main idea was to draught proof.  Any large gaps i to spray foam in and the covered with plaster.  

Okay this project was not planned.  I had two half used cans of paint remover in the city apt that i brought up with me on Thursday night.  No idea why but here we go.  So after plumbing and moving and filling and sanding the room all day Friday i thought why not just spray a little paint remover on here.  So thats what the first photo is. Removing paint is possibly the messiest thing to do.  Its disgusting. You can't get it on you as it stings your skin.  It goes everywhere, and once its on you have to work really hard to wipe it off. Just not a project to do unless you really have the patience to do it without any gauratee what would be underneath.  Why would i do this? Its was Friday at 7pm and i had nothing better to do.  So after scraping away it look like the first photo.  Not great but i thought maybe i could work with an antique white look??? But look at the second photo, its on the top right.  On the far right of the fireplace there is a tiny black rectangle at the top of the "leg".  This was under a very hard layer of white paint that i chipped off.  It looked like the wood was stained dark dark brown, or black.  It was 9 pm by this point.  No chemical was going to get the white/brown layer off.  SO i got the blowtorch out.  Should have been a heat gun, but needs must.  I went to town.  Heating that paint till it was a bubbling mess and scraping it off.  Went through two scraping knives.  BUT look at it.  Its amazing.  I love a black fireplace.  BUT an original, sort of Ebony fireplace, with all that patina and age.  Its insane.  Or i am.  Midnight i stopped, i figured tiredness, a naked flame and a wood house with a taxidermy deer in close vicinity was a recipe for disaster.  But i can't tell you how chuffed i am with that fireplace. If i was picking a fireplace to buy it would be this, and weirdly enough i built a fire surround for the city apt and its nearly the double of this.  That was three years ago, and thats just plain boring painted black.  I think you get the point, i love this surround.


What an amazing photo! yes thats my hand and a sander.  I know your so interested.  I took the damn photo so you have to look at it.  This is just to smooth some of the plaster lines to make them look "worn" in.  Yes this is how i think.  But look at the other photo.  That colour.  I would love to say i spent hours selecting the perfect shade of browny cream.  I looked at farrow and ball's colour card and had it matched to a cheaper paint.  Matt finish of course.  Once the paint goes on the room feels so finished, or at least it feels like a room you can be in.  I really lucked out with the colour, its warm and neutral and lovely all at the same time.

Action shot of me painting.  Some people use a brush.  Others use a roller.  I love me a pad.  Its like a big sponge that you wipe over the wall.  You probably get better coverage with a roller but the spattering and mess always bothered me.  So this is a really simple, quick way to paint walls.  So dear friends came over on Saturday to help paint, they hated the pads so after initially trying stuck to a brush!

So what do you think? 
Its obviously not completely done, but this is how the walls and ceiling should be.  There needs more furniture, more bits and bobs.  But on the whole you get the vibe.  There is a large jute rug then smaller animal skins over it so it doesn't become to hunting lodgy.  There is another skin on the way and i just really like layering all the rugs together. I really like sitting in here and looking at the ceiling.  Sounds weird i know but its so great to look at.  Im trying the light fixture suspended from the ceiling and i quite like it.  I think i may get another one for the right side of the sofa.  They are from restoration hardware, as much as i hate to have RH lamps as there is so many great vintage ones out there.  We will see.  I had originally planned this for over the dining room table but I feel like it will continuously evolved so there is no harm in wiring it in and trying.  I do like it coming down from the ceiling over the table.  Also i never imagined the odd furniture together but it really does, again for now.  The chocolate brown chair will probably move back into the dining room and i would love another leather arm chair but the hunt will go on for that.
Also the fire place needs it wood burning stove. Im researching as i have found this guy.  Totally ventless, the flu is "fake".  Im not sure if it looks that good in really life, or if I'm being seduced by the tea pot, but this is the top runner.  It will throw of some heat, give the ambiance of a fire, but the illusive crackle and smell of wood smoke will be missing.  This is about 4k cheaper than what i would have to do to install a real wood burning fire, and its better for the environment.  Just thought i would trot that fact out to sell myself a little more on it.  Again doesn't have to happen immediately but knowing me i will order it this week.  SO much more to write but I'm beat and wanted to get these photos up.  Would love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments...
Oh the truck didn't break down, it was a good weekend!
One more thing, here are the before shots of the two rooms before i put them together

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The weekend update...part two

So much happened this weekend i'm doing two post, yeah lucky you!  This maybe the more interesting installment anyway as I'm sure pulling plaster down is wearing thin.  After all that demo, and clearing up of the demo which is inevitably the worst part i needed a little instant design.  Im a craigslist addict, call it the thrifty in me (its a budget out of necessity not choice).  Anyway i saw some images of an old work bench and it was a 30 min drive further upstate from my house.  I dragged my unsuspecting friend David with me, this was after waking him up at 7 am to do a run to the dump.  Yes these people choose to be friends with me. I'm eternally grateful and very blessed.
In a barn at the end of a muddy track, which i had my doubts about ever getting out of again, and especially with my luck in regard to the truck over the weekend, was the below bench.  Covered in straw and in the company of 2 horses and a rather freindly old cow.  A nice old man showed me it blissfully unaware he was in the presence of a gay who needed a new kitchen island!  So that was that and in the back of the truck it went. I did ask if i could take the cow too but he just chuckled.  Thats for another weekend.  The truck made it up the track and we made it home safe and sound.  
The bench is so SO perfect.  Its almost the exact same shape as the other table that is in the kitchen, so they will sit together, one solid structure next to the other more beaten up and weathered.  Im thinking this one at the height it is and then the other one is lower so you can sit around it.  Or the other one will be raised up to the same height so its like a bar you can sit on stools around.  All in good time.  I will mess around with these again and again i am sure.

This photos a little blurry but the editing and filtering photos are on insta, here I'm just going for it so you will have to excuse my terrible grammar and sometimes odd photo.  Those top two drawers are like the old printmakers drawers repurposed in there. So its full of little section for things. I love things.  I already adjusted it a little so the cutting knives go in there.  I can't wait to get all ocd and organized stuff in there. 

Heres a clearer shot.  David is a cleaning matching so he scrubbed it down, then took a light sanding block and rubbed it all over.  Then conditioned it with a beeswax so it looked amazing after all his hard work.  Space at the bottom for pans, cutting boards on the right....Oh and its the perfect place for tea! Im so so ready to paint the kitchen but i need to pull the horrible stucco ceiling down in here.  Im just finishing puling old plaster out of the living room so i got to rally up again for this room.  Its like a knock on effect in here.  I want to replace the sink, see the story below.  But before i do that i have to move the stove and gas line, but before i do that i have to move the base board heat.  Thats this weekend.  Im going to sweat some pipes and move the base board heat, then ideally get the stove moved, so that i can then do the ceiling and move the sink and then paint....phew that all seems a lot but little by little.

SO another craigslist hunt ensued later that day on saturday.  This took us into conneticut to what was an abandoned house, see that me in camp, look hard there i am.  Well this turned out to be the wrong house but anyway you get the idea.  In the basement was a sink very similar to the one below on the left. I love these giant old soap stone sinks. The grey, the size, the stone, all great in my books.  I didnt take a pic of the one that was in the basement, it was cracked and not in good shape, and also been badly patched with what looked like concrete.  All of this would have not normally stopped me, but there was three of us, and there was no way in hell we could move it.  Were people stronger many years ago? Or did they care less about breaking a finger under a stone sink? I admitted defeat on this one and gave up.  It was a good try for a really great sink, and i was trying to do something different that the white farmhouse sink. But that is what i am going back to i think.  I have toyed with the idea of old galvanized wash buckets but at the end of the day i still want some elements that look polished and together.  We will see what happenes but for now i am back to the white butler sink, not a bad option....i will continue to search craigslist, eBay and all of that.

soapstone sink 

Other than that there was 2 stops at home depot as i feel is going to be the norm. I purchased a very exciting new vacuum cleaner that i am sure i will destroy within weeks, plaster dust i am sure is not the best thing for it, but the shop vac was just not cutting it.  As i mentioned David is a cleaning machine so he mopped and cleaned and vacuumed the day away. I was so happy about that.  I like to rip it apart but my patience was wearing thin on the clean up.  Oh we also stopped somewhere in Connecticut and some nice families house and i got a bed frame, the old spindle kind.  It was a double but i attached it to a different from to fit the queen.  I will post a pic another day about that.  The whole upstairs of the house is really just going to have to stay as it is for some time.  Im just focusing on getting beds there for workers, i mean friends.  Side table, lamps will come in time and i love getting all of that so I'm in no rush.   This coming weekend i would like to get through it without a trip to the mechanic, so lets all cross our fingers that the truck (miranda she has been named) makes it through without costing me any more money.....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The weekend update....part one

SO this weekend was my first proper commute up after work.  I was lucky enough to get out on Thursday and head up, taking Friday off.  As someone who has always traveled through Penn station, i finally realized what a difference a train station that is beautiful can make.  Grand central really makes all the difference, and re-confimrs what a disaster penn is.  The escape from the city starts soon as you get to the station!
So all was smooth, the truck started at the station like a dream, it was still there and all was great, more on that later..

The snow is finally starting to melt around the cottage, and its slow reveal is beautiful. I have never seen the place without its blanket of snow.  Look at the stone walls.  My property straddles this river so i have land either side which is brilliant.  

Here is another view looking up into the conservation land.  I haven't really realized just how beautiful it all is, a little slice of Narnia on my doorstep.  Lets get that antique gas street light in there somewhere for mr Tumnus.  The land toward the back heads up pretty steep, i can wait to explore little more

This is the room i was working on last weekend.  The dividing wall was next to come down, or just this side of it to try and contain the mess and dust (pointless, plaster dust gets everywhere).  It rather lovely as it looks with the lath revealed from the back, sadly it had to come down.

Its amazing how much crap it causes..

In an attempt to try and contain it all i have been putting a tarp down and then also card board to protect the floor.  At some point it all just becomes rubble.  There is a lot to be said though for going slow and trying to bag up as much as you go.  The pulling it down is the easy bit, the boring bit is bagging it up and lugging it out. 

Talking of lugging it out.  It was friday the 13th after all.... I had a great start to the morning, one truck load to the dump, all smooth, making great progress, up at 7am.  The battery light was on i noticed, but thought nothing of it.  Made a call to the garage and planned to stop by to check out the battery and replace it...all cool.  Off i go to load up a second truck load to the dump, driving the 5 mins to get there and the truck dies. Literally going alone and the dials all drop to zero.  Luckily i rolled off to the side of the road, and luckily i have roadside assistance.  There was some swearing also going on at this point, i was not a picture of calm under pressure.  After a few more calls (frantic?) to a few local garages i found a guy who would help me out.  The tow truck picked me up and we dropped off at the garage.  Then the nice mechanic took me home and i took my aggression out on the rest of the plaster.

As seen here

and here ....

and then finally here as the room is opened up.  Incredibly satisfying.  So anyway the day goes on and then the mechanic man picks me back up with his friend (?).  Everyone is so friendly, even if the friend did f bomb ever second word.  I think he was retired and bored so they wanted to come along for the ride.  Everyone who sees the house says how great it is, then goes on to say how big it is and how much work it is....yeh i get it.  Right now it not so much the house thats the money pit, but its the truck.  The mechanic, who is russian and has a resemblance to doc brown from back to the future commented on how "pretty" my truck is.  Not sure how to take that.  Also the bubbles on the side, i think he meant the flared rims.  Who knows, but at any rate he fixed her and she's up and running again and all worked out just fine, until the next problem.  After all that the room was pulled apart but i got to see how giant the living room is going to be !

Oh just pulling out some electrical work, wanted to keep this picture for future reference.

I had to put the deer head up, it was motivation.  Look how good she looks right there!! (its a he but i think he looks like a she, only males have antlers but  i digress).  Also i have been having some debate over where to put the fire place and actually funnily enough where the surround currently is works rather well.  Its between the 2 doors so for now it kinda looks okay.  I think i am going to go with a propane fire stove, this means no venting.  Its the most economical version that will work for me at the moment.  In an ideal world i would have the 5k to but the dura vent out the side and get a proper wood burning stove, but thats just not going to work at the moment.  Either way there is no rush so i am going to get the furniture in and see, by then it will be spring so it can probably wait till next winter.  What happened next?  well my friend David arrived for the weekend and he was amazing. We cleaned this room out, went to the dump and then vacuumed the crap outta the place.  I even got around to starting the plastering of the holes and using the amazing foam filler to block out the drafts.  Its amazing how long this stage takes.  We scrubbed down the ceiling and pulled out and enormous amount of nails.  Its going to be great, but i am so impatient, i want it done.  I have to remind myself this is the second weekend, as in 7 days.  So far, so good.

I kept a lot of the old lath as this will be amazing repurposed as a wall covering or ceiling or something? Oh and a candid shot of me puling the ceiling out...I have never seen water that color run off me in the shower, so gross after 165 years of dust all over you, with a little horse hair throw in for good measure.  The plaster back then was made with horse hair in it to bind it, and you could see it all in the plaster, i know you wanted to know that right?

All in all a really productive day and the room is really getting there.  Hopefully i can get i painted soon and furniture in there so the living room is set...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...