Sunday, January 31, 2010


As I recently mentioned, I've had the urge lately to get painting. The boring beige that covers most of my walls has worn out its welcome.

I thought I'd start with my dining room(/office), so I picked out a colour. It's a small room. 'It'll be easy', I thought. 'A quick project'. Right.

To start things off, I wanted to fill some of the nail holes that the last paint job had just painted right over. So I started in one corner. 'Hmmm, what's this bubble?' I wondered. And then, all of a sudden, I was looking at bare plaster, as years and years worth of paint layers came sliding off the wall in large sheets. This is what de-lamination looks like, boys and girls:

(notice the stack of paint 'sheets' piled on the window sill)

So I turned to my trusty friend Google for advice, and together (along with some further detective work - AKA scraping) we decided that it's most likely the result of (hopefully old) water damage, as evidenced by the water stains on the plaster, and some mildew spots in the area below the window sill. Plus the cracking/peeling problem I first noticed seems to just be mainly around this window, which is also directly underneath where the porch roof meets the wall (remember my fun flashing adventure?).

Anyway, to tackle it properly, I've first got to get all the loose bits off (basically scraping until I'm out past the edge of the water marks). So I decided to make a game of it, a little something I like to call 'who can carve the biggest slice?' And guess what? - I won! Fun times, let me tell you.

It's a good thing I was the type of kid who loved peeling sunburns.

(And for those of you keeping score at home, under the beige paint I found dark red, more beige, pea soup green, emerald green, and peacock blue. None of which are going back on the walls once I get this project back on track)

At this point I think the next step is just to clean it up, patch with wall compound, and then prime it all (and hope for the best). And I'm REALLY hoping it's just this section of wall that needs so much work...

So much for a 'quick, fun project'.



  1. LOL! I had walls like this also. Isn't it fun uncovering old homes secrets?

  2. Just found you by way of Tearing up Houses (still in Oct reading her numerous entries) and it looks like you are having fun along with the hard work.

    Glad to see that you are going about things in a logical fashion - getting the structure under control before doing major decorating projects that might get ruined by later structural work. And you have totally proven that ingenuity, organization and color can get you through not being able to do major decorating right away.

    I had some thought about your back of the house is now the front problem - I like the idea of moving the front door from the side to the front of the little bump out and the big wide steps down from a deck. But I would take the deck out to the corner of the house - so it would match the roof that goes to the corner. It kinda looks odd in the mock up picture. And I'm not sure I would do a glass door in your climate - not sures it really suits your house either. I'm hoping eventually you plan on painting a color - I am so tired of white houses - and you can do a wild color front door to coordinate and add interest.

    Good luck - it looks like you have a great place and wonderful support (Dad & your ladder holding friend sound priceless). Can't wait to see what you do next.


  3. Hi Cheryl,
    Thanks for all your great comments!
    Your ideas for the front of the house sound exactly like what I'm planning: the deck should go to the corner of the house, and I definitely want to paint the house a better colour (though I'm not sure of the timeline for that, yet). As for the door, I'm planning to recycle an older wood one (once I find something suitable) - something with a couple of small glass windows at the top, perhaps. I think that's the best way to suit both the style/age of the house, and my budget!

  4. Glad you found my way late comment. Sounds like you & I have similar taste - or at least have the same sort of logic going on!

    Good luck on your hunt for a salvage door - I guess you will have an easier search than many people looking for an old door since you will be making a new opening and don't have to fit an old opening.

    And if your paint outside is in good condition that at least allows you look around for colors that you think look good and work in your neighborhood. Picking a paint color in a hurry is totally stressful.

    Love the dining room - can't wait to see what you do next!



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