More house progress.

We are on Day 11 of the rehab?  It’s all blurring into one LOL!   This weekend had some progress and some setbacks.


First off, the wallpaper is pretty much gone in the kitchen!  There are just a couple bits of the backing paper that I didn’t get off near the outlets John was working on this weekend.  However, there is a lot of glue on the walls I have to get off.  That’s annoying.

Here is the nook area all empty:


The bird cage is something I brought from home and hung up on the hook as predecorating 🙂    I think I will leave it there and fill it with some trailing greenery (probably fake).

I did find some broken plaster when doing the wallpaper:



It was a crack, but to repair properly, I had to take off any loose stuff, which made a big patch.  You can see concrete behind the plaster.  This house has concrete walls, not lathe or dry wall, which makes doing normally easy stuff hard. Like electrical.  John got a hammer drill and got one outlet sunk in the wall, but he is really have a hard time with the others than have longer lines that need to be channeled into the concrete with conduit.  He was really frustrated today and I think we may leave the remaining electrical boxes on the wall.  John wanted to make me happy by sinking them, but it isn’t worth seeing his frustration over it.  I want him to enjoy doing the rehab more than that.  So,  maybe I will decorate them or something. 😀

Here is the rest of the big mess with the wallpaper gone:




We also got rid of that scalloped border over the window and what a difference that made.  Shelley got me thinking about a pendant light over the sink the other day.  We hadn’t really thought about the lighting yet, but did a fun browsing trip last night.  I think I like this pendant:


Our walls are going to  be a pale green, so I think it will look good.  We also think we have a sink picked out:



It’s a granite composite sink.  I don’t want stainless. I want a white sink, but acrylic won’t hold up very well (IMHO).  Cast iron was an option, but what a heavy sink!  So, we saw the composite and liked the look of it.  Might be a different shape, but it will be white.

I had to work on the floors this weekend, too.  Normally I would leave these until last, but we have so much wallpaper to remove that we will be doing it after we move in and I wanted the floors done while the house is empty.  So, I rented a sander while John worked on electrical and moved some business stuff into the basement.  This is the worst part of the floor.



This machine is really, really heavy.  It’s an orbital sander, which I wanted to try because you can’t damage the floor like you can with a drum sander.


Badass.  Or is that safety first?

I did 3 grits of sandpaper over the floor.  It was a tough day.  I had to do it all in one shot, though, because we had to get the sander back from rental.   My shoulders were really tired.  Again, strength training has helped me so much to recover from this hard work!



The bad part looks much better now, especially for a 95-year-old floor!:


I patched some of the big scratches, then sanded that down and started putting down poly.  It will take a couple days to get that done.   So much work to do.

We did get our normal Sunday breakfast bike ride in.  We ride 20 miles every Sunday it isn’t raining.  John and I made a promise that we are going to take next Saturday off from rehab and do a Lake George ride.  Now watch it will rain LOL!


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29 thoughts on “More house progress.

  1. Kim

    Wow – you have made huge progress!!!
    I’ve never used one of those sanders but they look like they would require quite bit of strength!
    Glad you have decided to give yourself a nice ride next Saturday!!
    And, I love that pendant light you showed!!

    1. Lori Post author

      That sander was really heavy. It did a pretty good job. The floors definitely aren’t going to be perfect, but with an old house, I guess that adds some character??

  2. Fran

    The floor looks so much better now. As for the kitchen lamp I have two that looks like this in my kitchen.

    You asked if others were lost at the walk too. I wouldn’t know but wouldn’t be surprised. It wasn’t very busy, normally there are more walkers, but the ones that started with me (you can start somewhere between 9 and 12 am) were having trouble finding the right route too but since they were doing a longer walk we couldn’t help each other out.

  3. Helen

    So much work to do but I imagine it’s wonderful to see your vision come to life. You ARE badass! As you know my house was built in 1920 so it’s fun for me to see your solutions to things. Very, very exciting to see this coming along.

    1. Lori Post author

      I actually am starting to see the picture in my mind of the finished project, but we hit such a snag with the electrical. One of those times when you really *do not* like old houses. Especially since this room wasn’t originally a kitchen.

  4. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    Have you thought about hiring someone to come in and sink those outlets for you? I know most of the work you are doing yourself but if it’s something you want done, maybe that’s the type of thing worth hiring out so it doesn’t bug you forever afterwards?

    I think it’s all coming along so well. It looks so much better just with the ugly wallpaper off. Plus I can’t believe how much better the floors look. Once those have been finished, it’s going to be beautiful. How exciting to see things start to come together. 🙂

    1. Lori Post author

      Yes, we are going to call someone to look at the outlets. I just might not be possible, so we will have to see. Not to mention we have to see how much the estimate is.

  5. Shelley B

    I was just thinking what Ali wrote – I’d have the outlets done. Over the (many) years of our marriage, I’ve realized that some things aren’t worth the aggravation of trying to do it yourself if the partner who is doing it is having such a struggle. Hence, why I paid a nice sum to a plumber last week to replace our water heater that is located in the attic (what a dumb place for it, but hello Texas). Also, I would not know what to do with concrete walls! That is a big challenge.

    Amazing how much better the floors look. You did a great job with that sander, and you should be proud of yourself for having the body strength to tackle something like that!

    My dream sink would be very deep, a single sink, and yes, probably cast-iron. The sink in my son’s townhouse is super deep and I am so envious! Some day…when we replace our counters, we’ll get my dream sink.

    Glad that you are looking at pendant lamps – I think it will add a nice functional decorative touch! 🙂

    1. Lori Post author

      Concrete is a challenge. We could leave things as they are, but we are going to have someone come in and look and see how hard it would be – and how much it would cost. With the slow market around here, we may be carrying our house for a looooong time and need to be careful how much we spend.

  6. Linda E.

    All I can add is, this house is oging to be beautiful when you are completed. Look ahead and know that it will be a wonderful accomplishment.
    So sad though, to see that for sale sign in your front yard.

    1. Lori Post author

      It would be nice if more people could see that sign instead of that huge giant political sign in the yard next to us…

  7. Biz

    Great job on the floors Lori – I’ve used a sander like that once (only smaller for our deck many years ago) and you are right – definitely an upper body workout! You guys have done great – makes me feel kind of lazy because other than our one bathroom, we haven’t changed a thing to our house in 13 years!

  8. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    I’m having so much fun playing catch-up! I love how much you’ve done so far! Fwiw, I think the “outie” outlet boxes are kind of cool–they give it a sense of history. But I’m just weird that way. 🙂

    I’m planning on the granite composite sink, too! Not that exact one, but similar. Or I might try reglazing my current enameled cast iron. In the end, it will probably be about the $$$.

  9. Satu

    You look very businesslike with the cover! 🙂 I love the nook because of the light. The house probably has many nooks like that?

    1. Lori Post author

      It has some interesting hidden places. We have a room on the opposite side of the house and the basement is like some strange labryinth.

  10. Lori's Mom

    Funny that you mentioned about the political sign. That is one LARGE sign! Biggest one I’ve seen that isn’t on a billboard! When I saw it, I thought that I would have to mention to you that you should move your sign nearer the sidewalk, but I figured you would notice the sign without my help!

    1. Lori Post author

      That sign is so totally ridiculous. I hate it. Then they park across the lawn next to it. Looks so lovely.

  11. Kathy W.

    Wow, you are a speed demon! The floor looks almost like new wood!

    Now you’re inspiring me to try stripping a floor in my house! (The realtor had carpeting laid to hide it–after she let the room painters drip white paint all over the ugly brown paint on the half-painted wood. so 3 different colors going on.) Did you have to use a hand sander to do around the baseboards?

    1. Lori Post author

      The floor does look much better. It still looks old, which is okay.

      The sander doesn’t go all the way to the edges, so you do need a hand sander. That was annoying and I didn’t get quite as far down to the wood with that, so I notice a little difference in color with the poly on it, but not bad. I used a semigloss clear poly.

      1. Kathy W.

        I love old wood! Unfortunately, all the floors in our house were treated differently–partial dark stain in the halls, with the outline of runner rugs in the (unstained) middle, warm/reddish stain in living room, paint partially covering a dark stain in d.r., fully (badly) painted floors in other rooms. (They even slapped dark brown paint over stained fir trim and stair parts for no reason.) Just what happens when you finally rip up all the carpet in a 150-year-old house!

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