Wednesday Renovation Recap: Little Items & Big Windows

Hey friends! This last week in renovation land has been slow and steady. There has been plenty done, but it’s been little items to prep for some big ones. We’re waiting for some materials to show up so we can install the windows, so while we waited we worked on a few other items.  By “we” I mean I did some painting and items around the house, while Andy actually worked on the house. Oh, I also took some photos for you of the house so this won’t be an instagram photo recap like last Wednesday.

First up, can we just discuss what a HUGE difference has been made since we moved in five years ago? I found this picture on my external hard drive and I was all, “ANDY LOOK. There’s a toilet on the porch.” Then I cringed because I remember having to blast that toilet with the power washer when we had to re-floor the bathroom right after moving in.

And from a similar perspective now. Awwww boo yeah.

This photo also shows one of the bigger of the prep items we had to do this weekend before the windows went in. All of those casings around the window openings are not the final casings for the windows. I asked Andy and he let me know these are actually called “wood bucks” not casings. I’m so super knowledgeable about these things *shakes head sarcastically*. These help hold the actual windows in place and will be covered by the window itself.

Wait for it…

Waaaiiitt for it….


Oh boy do I like our windows. These are two over one windows, i.e. two panes over one pane. We debated a three over one look but decided the balance of the house and the view of the field would be better with two over one. These windows are amazing and are easily cleaned by tilting (it’s the little things in life). The green will be what you see on the exterior of the house, and the interior is a basic pine but it’s a nice pine. Once the Vycor (window flashing) comes in we’ll be set to install and it will look like a unicorn party – both magical and unbelievable.

Next up came finishing up the soffit on the addition, trim and paint.

Because the steel roof reflects light so easily, it’s really hard to get a good shot from the road. Instead I took these while up on the original roof, after I finished putting a second coating on some of the trim. Oh, by the way, the paint color is Sage Brush Green if you’re interested.

Oh, and what else is this we started? Some work on the original house? Oh yes, you know we did. You can’t exactly put siding on when the original house is still junk. The entire exterior needs to be in working order, so when I was doing inventory on my soaps the other night I heard a loud BANG BANG BANG *crunch* noise right outside my window. Turns out Andy was pulling the soffit down on the original house.

That tiny window is the window into my office right now. Someday, oh someday, I’ll have a real window in there.

The final part of this weeks renovation update actually happened tonight, so I think it deserved a spot in this weeks breakdown.

Our front door!

I never wrote about it, but earlier this spring when I was in Marthas Vineyard for my friends wedding, Andy went to the Hammond Lumber tent sale up in Belgrade. He came home with some doors, including a beautiful solid douglas fir front door.

The swing of the door was wrong, so Andy took it out of the frame and changed the mounts so it would swing in to the right, instead of to the left.

It’s great knowing that not only are the windows going in soon, but we’ll actually have a front door to the house again. As far as those lanterns from our wedding in the garage? They might just stay there forever.

We’re fancy like that.



Return of the Claw {Hand}

I’m covered in white paint, caulking and a few rogue glow in the dark stickers as I write this. My claw hands from painting are cheering to say I am finally done – for today. Among the things I painted today included the first coat on the kitchen, the first coat of the ceiling in the laundry/pantry, painting trim in the laundry/pantry, 2 coats of white on one wall in the guest room, and two walls base boards. My day consisted of a few more things than that too. Let’s recap. Why? Because I want to remember this day.

FYI – this is going to be a doozy of a post, and a combo update of both the guest room & the kitchen.

This was before claw hands came into play and before I realized my hair was white from paint – not stress as I guessed at the end of the day. As well, I apparently loaded the dishwasher with something too tall, so we had to run it again. Ignore the dishes in the background. I’m happy to say that it’s taken care of now.

Why so much paint? I decided to whip out the white 5 gallons of Sherwin Williams ProMar 400 we had left over from the common room and paint every. single. thing. that needed to be white today. I still need to finish 2 walls in the guest room but that will require moving all of the furniture out of the room, so that will have to wait.

My day went as follows:

  • Wake up at 6:00.
  • Let the dogs out.
  • Feed the dogs.
  • Caulk the kitchen, until I ran out.
  • Load the car up with GoodWill donation items.
  • Let the dogs out to go to the bathroom again. It was probably a bad idea to let Rosie have that small Jack-Be-Little Pumpkin last night. Winnie seems ok.
  • Load the dogs up in the car and head to Lowes to get more caulking and paint rollers.
  • Turn around a few houses down and drop Primrose off at home because she farted something fierce in the car from the pumpkin and I am not having that. Yes, I just wrote that as a key bullet of my day. Be glad you weren’t there.

  • Roll down all the windows in the car.
  • Finally get to Lowes.
  • Find out there is a GoodWill donation center in the parking lot of Lowes and get excited.
  • Buy said items at Lowes.
  • Chase my receipt down the parking lot because the wind decided to blow immediately as I left the door, and the receipt was in the paint tray I bought. I looked cool. Winnie licked me excessively as I got in the car. A family laughed.
  • Drop items off at GoodWill. Winnie barked at the attendant.
  • Go to tractor supply to get dog food. Winnie jumped around in the car with excitement when I walked out with the bag.
  • Get home & lay out bought items. Yes, that is a 100% biodegradable paint tray and it made me stinking happy, so I bought one to try. I kind of love it.

  • Caulk the kitchen.

  • Paint the first coat of white on the big wall in the guest room. The other two purple walls will be white too eventually. You can see the colors I was testing to use on the wall in this post, about the guest room, from a few days ago.

  • Paint the first coat of the ceiling in the laundry/pantry, and paint the trim. Decide to keep the trim on the darker wall on the left the same color and nix painting the trim white. Make a mental note to touch it up. I still have yet to write a post about painting the laundry room. When we moved in it was teal. Then I primed it white. I only recently painted it. Four years later.

  • Sand down and paint the end cap of the cabinets in the kitchen. Lose said photo of end cap completed. So only give you photo of it before.

  • Paint the second coat of paint in the guest room while singing far too loud to country music. Consider becoming a world renown country star. Decide against it as I might put everyone to shame in Nashville. Conclude I best just finish painting.

  • I look up  at the ceiling, at those glow in the dark stickers that I have hated since we moved in – and always assumed they would be a gluey mess to take off. I decide today is judgement day, and grab the putty knife.

  • Much to my happiness, and my Chuck Norris threat of impending doom, the stars to fall off with much less than a simple scrape. I ask myself why I didn’t attempt this four years ago. I also take a look at the floor and note how many paint splatters are on it from previous owners. We’re saving sanding that for the big renovation.

  • Pull out the big guns and finally focus my attention on painting the kitchen. I decide to give it a once over in white first, which will cover everything enough so I hopefully only have one coat of the darker Behr paint I’ll be using for the final. Hey pst, – see, the end cap of the cabinets is painted white now. I paint the kitchen as the sun is setting so I get all sorts of crazy different photo lighting.

  • In the midst of painting I take a break to do dishes, which are purposely hidden behind the fridge in these photos. I pat myself on the back for being clever. Except all the other counters are trashed anyway from moving everything around. I continue painting until I’m done.


All in all I completed painting of the first coat in the kitchen just in time for A Prairie Home Companion on Maine Public Radio at 6:00. That’s twelve hours from when I woke up. This includes a one hour break for lunch and a brief nap. I can’t believe I just pulled an 11 hour day (so far). I’m pretty proud of myself.

Now, time to enjoy my favorite two hours on Saturday night and a warm cup of tea and maybe a grilled cheese for dinner. Why? Grilled cheeses don’t involve knifes.

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t grip one right now.

As for tomorrow? We’ll see how long that day goes. I plan on finishing the kitchen, doing a second coat on the ceiling in the pantry/laundry, touching up all the trim and then…then…we’ll see. Maybe I’ll actually write a post on the laundry room transformation…

…and sleep a little more.

No I won’t. The girls will have me up at 6am for breakfast. Plus, what can I say, I’m a sucker for the quite hour I get in the morning to myself.

Happy Hard Work!



Be Our Guest {Or Maybe Wait A Few More Weeks}

Not that this has anything to do with this post, but does anyone else find networking one of the most awkward things ever? I am loud, talkative and boisterous around people I know, but I crave alone time, and introverted when it comes to networking. The thought of walking up to someone I don’t know anything about, without someone introducing us, and having to talk about myself and ask them mundane generic questions makes me crawl out of my skin. I’m working on it. I only ask this because I attended two networking events tonight. They were good, but I really need to get out of my shell. I never, ever, thought I would say that sentence.

The point is, I do well in small groups of people. Which leads us into our guest room renovations, because I love when people come to visit overnight.

While Andy was mudding our kitchen, I was in the back room painting. Oddly, the room we refer to as “the back room”/”guest room” is actually the center room on the front of our house. This graphic might help. When we moved in, this was essentially the layout (not to scale) and color of each room. The pantry was white, with one bright teal wall. The brown of the living room should be imagined as brown paneling. You can see more on that here, and here.

When we moved in, this room was a very purple nursery. We also have these weird “basement” windows over the entire house. The only normal windows in the house are three in the living room. Real windows will exist. I’m hoping to re-use some of these windows as cold frames for extending the garden growing season eventually.

Also in this room is a cute white built in. I’m hoping to save this for use in another room. It, like 90% of other items in this house, are not centered and balanced.

As much as someone else might love it, the purple wasn’t my cup of tea. So, over the last few weeks I’ve had a few color samples up on the walls that I loved initially for the pantry area but were too odd in natural light. My favorite was Koi Pond from Sherwin Williams. In direct sunlight it read as a weird goldish-beige. In indirect light it showed as a beautiful soft green color. Since the front of our house gets very little natural light, the guest room was a great place for it.

Once we renovate completely, the guest room will become my office/craft room. In fact, this is what most of the colors will look like after all of our pre-renovation updates. The only reason the bedroom is staying blue is because that’s Tom Cruise’s bedroom, eventually our bathroom.

Other quirks – the guest room also has no door on it. When we moved in it had no door. I am completely unaware what actually ever happened to this door. It is an unsolved mystery. This said, the door to our current office on the other side of the common room has a door, and better light. You see where I’m going with this? For now, before renovations begin, I’m going to switch the two rooms (the office will be next to the bedroom). Our guest can actually have privacy, not be next to the road, and get some natural light. This also allows me to get used to having my office in the “guest room” area.

In order to prep the room for painting, I first piled everything on to the bed and away from the back wall. Then I sanded down the significantly rough spots. Once that was done and any rough nail holes were gone I caulked the 3,000 nail holes throughout the walls. The photo below is before I wiped everything, and sanded the caulked areas down. So excuse the technique.

Once the caulked areas dried I sanded them down smooth. By smooth I mean there was no major crazyness. Take that major, in this house, is relative. In other words it was a lot better and that’s fine by me. Because this room isn’t one of the main rooms we’re not re-taping & mudding in here before the big renovation. As it turns out, this room used to be BRIGHT red. The kitchen used to be teal. What on earth was going on around here in the 70’s? You know what. Don’t answer that.

After the “prep” was complete, I decided to edge out the window with the Koi Pond color to see how I liked it in a bigger area. As it turns out, I loved it.

One coat in and I was sure this was the color I wanted for my {almost} office. By the way, the sample size from Sherwin-Williams was about $5.00 and it gave me exactly two coats.

While this dried I did the first coat of apple green on the backside of the white shelving. Once all was said and done, this is where I ended up.

Here’s the shelving color during the day. It dried slightly darker than this.

Things left to do before the big renovation:

  • Paint the trim white.
  • Give the baseboards a fresh coat of paint.
  • Give the shelving a fresh coat of white paint.
  • Paint the remaining purple walls white.
  • Put up drapes over the closet, which is currently holding a piece of furniture to hold extra blankets, etc.
  • Switch the office & guest room.
  • Get better lighting.
  • Replace the bed & mattress (which will be brought over into the new guest room someday).

Hopefully I’ll get the kitchen caulked, and the purple walls painted white this weekend. Until then my friends. It’s time for bed.

Happy Painting, Networking & Napping,





This weekend I was mercilessly staring at paint swatches (this post) because I’m still trying to decide what shade of white to go with (yes, even as it’s almost Friday I have no idea what I’m doing). After that got boring, I realized our fan needed to be cleaned, badly. The fan happens to be in the main room to the house, off of the room I’m painting. It’s also where the woodstove is. This means the fan is running quite a bit to circulate either cool air from outside, or warm air from the woodstove. Due to it running so much it collects a lot of dust. Seems backwards, but it’s the truth. You know what’s also awesome? The popcorn ceiling.

There I was standing on a chair with a wet cloth staring at this mass of brown and gold with flowered light shades. That’s when I found a screw driver and decided to go rogue on those fan blades.

I realized with one blade down I should at least attempt to take a photo of the fan before. I snapped this in about two seconds flat, threw gently placed the camera down and went nuts with my screw driver – stopping short of removing the entire assembly. First, I’m well aware this might be the best photo you’ve ever seen in your life. Second, don’t be jealous of the crack above the door in the background. If you really want one of your own, jack your house up so it’s level. You might get one or two in a ceiling as well*brushes shoulders off*, we are ballin’ around here.

About 45 minutes later, the gorgeous flower light shades were in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning, and the fan blades had a nice coat of white spray paint on them. First I cleaned them with a super diluted soap/water mix on a damp cloth. Since these are wood I didn’t want to soak them. I made sure to dry them thoroughly, and left them in the sun for about 10 minutes to finish up. My first coat of spray was some left over white primer spray paint I had. After, I did 2 coats of white semi-gloss spray paint. Once they were dried to the touch I brought them back inside to put up.

Once I realized my original screwdriver was not only too short to put them back up, but I needed a magnetic screwdriver to hold the screw in place, I was slightly derailed. The next morning the tool saints had me walk into our back room, i.e. guest room, i.e. wedding storage room, i.e. craft storage room, i.e. shoe storage closet and lo and behold there was my longer, magnetic screwdriver *dance of success*. In about 15 minutes, at 7am, I had the fan blades back up and the floral glass in place.We don’t plan on keeping this particular fan, so I decided to just clean up the glass and not waste money purchasing new shades for it.

So instead of a gold fan with dark brown blades covered in dust, I now have a gold fan with white blades that are clean and a clean popcorn ceiling due to some serious vacuuming. You see those blue walls? That’s your sneak peak into the main room. Man, the suspense is just killing you. I can give you a spoiler – directly below that fan is a hump in our wood flooring so big my best friend thought she stepped on my sleeping dog when she stepped backwards and onto it. My dog was nowhere near her.

I genuinely find these things charming about my house, and I’m sure I’ll think fondly of all these things when their gone. It’s all the journey.

And that my friends, is six hundred and forty-one words on painting fan blades.

*takes a bow*

Thank you very much,