Monday, July 12, 2010

The Money Pit...

"Here lies Walter Fielding. He bought a house, and it killed him."
Tom Hanks, The Money Pit

Sunday the painting continued. I don't know how long it takes to paint a room in a new house but I can assure you, it takes much longer to paint an old one! Yesterday was dedicated to painting the ceiling, baseboards, crown moulding, radiator pipes and entry ways (we have 4 doors in that room, we are door rich!). We decided that we are not going to attempt painting the window casings, french doors or mantle. Those things will take time, we need to remove the paint to get the beautiful details back. We can make those individual project for another time, right now I just want to finish so I can put the furniture back and have my house back in order.

Before we could paint the ceiling we needed to make some repairs to the plaster. Sometimes things hinder you that really shouldn't; we were so afraid of ruining the ceilings, or at least making it worse, that we just kept ignoring the problem. There are a spider web of cracks that have been repaired and the patch is starting to crumble and fall out, remarkably the original plaster is still in great shape. Matt found the following product at Lowes, he was very impressed at how lightweight it is. In time we will need to use plaster washers to secure a few places where the plaster is falling off the lath but for now it should hold and it sure looks a lot better than what we started with.

Matt also fixed a corner on the fireplace where the plaster had fallen off. Again, I'm not sure it's a patch that will last forever but after we paint it shouldn't stand out like it did before.

There are some touch ups that need to be made but we ran out of time last night. At some point Matt and I both decided that it was a good thing we didn't do this for a living! It's not our strong point and at times like these I do have to wonder what the hell we were thinking getting involved with this house. Then I look around and remember that the house is part of our family - we all have some strange love for it. It just wouldn't be the same if we didn't live here!

Have a wonderful week!


  1. Kathy, It is sooo way worth it! Keep up the good work!

  2. That light weight spackling is unbelievable. We use it for anything wall related. At one point we even used it as wood filler when we rebuilt our pantry (we were painting it when done) the stuff is amazing. Whoever invented it deserves an award.

    I noticed in some previous blog posts that your radiators look amazing. How did you clean them up so nice? Ours have really old nasty paint that doesn't seem held on well enough for an additional coat (one radiator is 8 feet long). We ended up just making or purchasing radiator covers for them.

  3. Josephine,
    I really love that spackle! Now we aren't afraid to tackle those ceilings.

    Most of my radiators are in good shape, which is remarkable considering some of the crazy stuff the previous owners did. My husband stripped the one in the kitchen and repainted it. I should post a picture of the one in our room - it's a peeling disaster! I'm glad it's upstairs where no one can see it.

  4. Kathy,

    Great job in the living room! Patience is a big part of restoration. It's not a job that you will see on Weekend Warriors, etc. People who have never had plaster walls don't understand all the care they need vs sheet rock. I go through the same conversation in my head some days -- why did I want a 130 year old house again? But, like you, the reasons are all very apparent. Keep plugging away at it and know we are doing the same in NJ!

    Your Friend,

  5. awe. this was such a sweet post, it made me want to work on my house/family member. I have been a total slacker lately as far as the blogging world is concerned! Thanks for inspiring me to take up my mantle again. ;)


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