Hall Ceilings and Floors Refinished

The drywall contractor arrived as scheduled to install drywall on the 2nd floor hall ceiling.  In 3 days the job was competed as expected.

The first 2 pictures are after the 1st day.  The 3rd picture shows the scaffolding I used to paint the ceiling and upper walls in the stairwell.  The drywall contractor was nice enough to loan me the walkboard that is on the left.  The last 4 pictures are after the ceiling was painted.  Here is a before just to show the difference (same location as #7 above).


There was a significant hole around the light fixture with lathe, plaster and insulation visible.

The stairwell light has also been replaced with one donated by my brother and sister-in-law.  They are renovating a house and did not need the light.  It needed re-wiring which is what Dan is doing here:


And here it is installed:


After the hall ceiling was painted, work began on refinishing the remaining floors (half were refinished earlier in the year).

The 1st picture shows the drum sander that easily removed the old finish.  The 2nd picture shows Dan using the edger and the 3rd picture is from the bedroom looking into the TV room after the floors have been sanded.

And here are the floors after they have been stained and polyurethane applied:

The 1st one is the tv room; 2nd is bedroom; 3rd is bedroom looking into the tv room; 4th and 5th are of the hall; 6th is also of the hall at the base of the attic stairs.  The bottom attic stair was refinished as it protrudes out from under the door and is visible (and needed refinishing).

So now it’s time to paint the quarter rounds and reinstall them then paint the hall and TV room walls.  The carpet on the front stairs has taken a beating so will be removed.  If the wood on the stairs is in decent shape it will be refinished otherwise the stairs will get re-carpeted.




TV Room

After 6 solid days of spritzing water and scrapping, all the wall paper on the ceiling and walls is finally removed.  The walls had been painted twice (over wallpaper) which made getting the water to the plaster difficult (there were about 6 layers of wallpaper).  The green wall was especially challenging but it is now done.  I filled 5 contractor bags with wet wall paper.  The garbage men will be a bit surprised when they pick them up.

The plaster is in really good shape.  The finish on the ceiling and walls is much smoother than in the other 2nd floor rooms.  The seams between the ceiling and walls and the corner seams are also in good shape (except for the corner in picture 5).   So some patching will be required but not much.  I had to skim coat the other rooms but I don’t think it will be needed in this room.  So once the patching is done it will be time to paint the ceiling.  The wood trim in this room is in the best shape of all the rooms in the house.  So it will just need to be washed then caulked and painted.

The contractor will be here in the morning to install drywall on the hall ceiling.  That will take at least 3 days after which I will paint the hall ceiling and then it will be time to refinish the floors (before I paint the walls).


2nd Floor Hall Trim and TV Room

The wood trim in the 2nd floor hall has been scraped, sanded, washed, caulked, and painted twice.  It was tedious to do so I’m glad it’s done.

The first picture is of the hall bathroom door and the door to the attic.  In the 3rd picture you can see the plaster on the ceiling where the wallpaper has come off.  The drywall contractor will install drywall on the ceiling next week.  In the 4th picture you can see the paint color I plan to use on the walls.  It’s a bit too dark so will mix it with some white first.  The quarter rounds will get re-installed after the floors are refinished (the quarter rounds still need sanding and painting).  All the door knobs have years of paint around the edges.  That will get removed after the floors get refinished.

So tomorrow I plan to start stripping wallpaper from the ceiling and walls in the TV room.  As with the other rooms, there are probably 6+ layers of wall paper on the walls and ceiling.

The last picture is of the cover over the fireplace.  We hope to find a small and shallow enough gas insert/logs to put in the fireplace in which case the cover will get re-purposed or displayed somehow.


2nd Floor Hall and Back Stairwell

The walls on the second floor have been skim-coated with drywall mud and are now ready to be painted (after the wood trim gets painted). Here are the before:

And after:

The front stairwell has drywall walls without wall paper so no stripping was required.  The back stairwell however had wall paper on the walls and ceiling:

The wood squares on the left wall were to cover openings to the sink on the other side.  Notice the wires just hanging on the back left corner.  And of course the wall paper hanging from the ceiling.  This was the most run-down of all the rooms I have tackled (except for the back porch).  The wall paper needed to be removed from the walls in preparation for the drywall contractor to hang the drywall ceiling.  So Dan installed some scaffolding so I could reach the upper walls.  After removing the wall paper from the walls I decided it was easy enough to also remove the paper from the ceiling so I went ahead and did that and refinished the ceiling and walls while the scaffolding was in place.

The paint color is a light sage green.  The crown molding was re-purposed from a prior room renovation.  The electricians will be here in October to re-wire the light and put the wire in the wall.

The right wall is bead-board, the front wall is drywall and the left wall is plaster.  The lower halves of the left and right walls are bead-board and they still need to be painted (after the scaffolding is removed).  There are some plumbing pipes running down the lower left wall which I hope to get a handyman to re-align so they are more out of the way.  But now the stairwell upper walls are good to go.

I plan on delaying the painting of the hall walls until after the hall ceiling drywall is hung and the floors are refinished.   So the next project is the TV room which involves stripping wall paper from the ceiling and walls then refinishing them.


Office Essentially Done

The cabinets have been painted and the cabinet doors re-hung.  Here are a few before pictures (the brick in the next section of pictures is behind the stove):

And here are some after:

The doors for the built-in still need painting and the interior of the broom closet (left of the brick) still needs renovating.  But Dan has moved into his new office and is using it.  The cabinet doors and paint touch up will wait until I have a slow day.

The focus has been shifted to the 2nd floor hall.  It is relatively long (one section is 13×3 plus more sections that provide access to rooms).  As with the other 2nd floor rooms, it had multiple layers of wall paper on the walls as well as the ceiling.  I have opted to hire out having drywall hung on the entire hall ceiling to avoid having to deal with 2 stairwells (front and back).

Here are some pictures after the paper was removed from the walls:

The picture on the left shows where a significant amount of plaster was previously patched.  The one on the right shows broken/crumbling/missing plaster.  The good news is insulation was spilling out of the light switch opening.

Most of the walls have now been patched and skim coated.  That should be completed in a few more days.  Then the walls will be ready for the ceiling drywall to be hung and finished with a nice seam to the walls.



Bedroom and Office Floors Finished

The office floor under the old kitchen sink had some missing boards that needed replacing.  They are tongue and groove boards so fortunately some boards that I had salvaged snapped into the existing space.


Then the floors were stained and polyurethane was applied:

The bedroom is done.  There is still quite a bit of finish work remaining in the office but the part where Dan’s desk is located is completely finished so he can work there.

Our friend Bobby came over and helped to install the sink cabinet, sink, and counter top:

The spacer between the old and new cabinets will be painted white and as will the old cabinets.



Office and Bedroom #3 Are Painted and Floors are Sanded

After sanding, cleaning and caulking, the ceilings and walls are now painted.  Here is the bedroom:


The wall paint was donated by our friends (the color did not work for them).  It is a medium aqua.

And here is the office:


The color is a medium/dark blue/gray.  The room has lots of natural light so the color works well.  What I really like about the color and/or paint is it hid all the wall blemishes extremely well.  The kitchenette cabinets still need to be painted but we need to get Dan back into the office before the end of the month so the cabinets will wait.

The next challenge was the floors.  I decided to do 2 bedroom floors and the office floors at the same time – that’s about half of the hardwood floor area on the 2nd floor.

Here is the “Throne Room” bedroom #2 before and after sanding:


Here is bedroom #3 before and after sanding:


So they were the “easy” rooms.  “Just” the standard sanding.  The office / kitchenette were a different story.  They had 2 layers of linoleum with plywood between them over the hardwood.  After prying up the plywood and bottom layer of linoleum there was a felt like black paper firmly glued to the hardwood.  It would not scrape off.  And the heat gun barely worked.  So I tried sanding it off which did work.  I used an orbital sander to do the bedrooms which worked fine.  But it wasn’t beefy enough for the office floor.  So it was time to try out a drum sander which I had been avoiding as they can be tricky to use.  It was exactly what was needed for the job.  Here are some before and during pictures:

And here are the after pictures:

The perimeter edges of the office still need sanding and the damaged/missing boards under the sink need replacing but that should be fairly easy to do.  Then comes the staining and polyurethane.


Office and Bedroom #3 Continued

The plaster around the electrical outlets in the office have now been patched and all the walls have been skim-coated:

The plumber must have too much business as he never rescheduled the job so we enlisted the help of our friend Bobby.  The job was to move the lower right most water pipe to the left about 6″ so it would fit behind the new cabinet:


The wall had several holes and the lower wall/baseboard was actually tin.  So Bobby was able to turn the pipe without having to cut it then I patched the wall.  It still needs another coat of drywall mud but it’s looking much better.

I decided that I would remove the wallpaper in bedroom#3 and skim-coat it so that I could paint the office and bedroom ceilings at the same time.  Most of the paper came off fairly easy but two walls were pretty difficult.

Dan suggested we explore how good the brick is over the mantel (behind the plaster in bedroom 3).    The wall needed major repair work anyway so I took a hammer and putty knife and removed the plaster (major mess).

The lathe on each side of the brick needed to be trimmed so Bobby took care of that while he was here doing the plumbing work.  I was not sure how to finish the edge between the brick and the plaster / drywall.  It’s about an inch deep which is too much to caulk.  Thin strips of leftover kerdi board (from the bathroom reno) did the trick.  It provided enough substance that I could mud drywall corner tape to it.  So we will now have exposed brick in a guest bedroom.  The stove pipe access extends outward so will be covered with a decorative cover plate.

Today I finished skim-coating the ceiling and the walls.

Tomorrow I hope to lightly sand the seam between the ceiling and the walls then paint the ceilings.



Dan’s Office:

All  the ceiling has been skim-coated but the area around the light needs some additional work – that will happen tomorrow.  With a little light sanding in spots the ceiling will be ready for painting:


About half the walls have also been skim-coated:

Tomorrow I plan on patching and skim-coating the remaining walls then will get the trim ready for painting.  Have not heard from the plumber so it’s time to give him a call.


This light switch and electrical outlet are under a cabinet.  Drywall will need to be patched in before the wall gets skim-coated.   The below plaster also needed drywall inserts.


I was going to start taking up the linoleum but decided to leave it down until after the room is painted.  With luck that should happen next week.






Office and Bedroom #3

All the wallpaper has been removed from the office and most of the wall patching is done.  Still waiting on the plumber so the lower wall behind the sink has not been patched yet.  About 20% of the ceiling has been skim coated  (thin layer of drywall mud is applied to smooth out the surface)- hope to finish that and most of the walls this week.

We have moved Dan’s office to the lakehouse which means I can start renovating the room he was using (bedroom #3):


The pictures don’t show all the defects – old telephone wires running along baseboards; multiple layers of wallpaper on the walls and ceiling; crumbling plaster; etc.  The floor is in good shape – just needs to be refinished (no linoleum to remove!).

Here is some broken plaster over the hall door:


This picture shows some of the defects in the wall over the mantle:


I removed that wallpaper today and the plaster needs some significant re-patching – someone did some patching in the past.  This is what the ceiling looked like after just a couple of hours of using a putty knife to remove wallpaper (no water needed yet):


Fortunately the wall paper is coming off fairly easily in this room (so far).  The plan is to finish skim-coating the kitchenette and then switch to this bedroom while I wait for the plumber.