Wednesday, March 30, 2011

to-do list frustrations

My weekend-to do list was way too ambitious, which left me frustrated because I couldn't cross off much. But I started some smaller projects that will be finished within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully...

Took the picture Sunday when we were in Williamsburg to grab some food and beer...


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the roof

We didn't do any work on the house last weekend, at least not ourselves. When we bought the house last year everybody cautioned us about the condition of the roof. And it was indeed bad but fortunately no major leaks!

I went to Pennsylvania for the weekend to do some horseback riding and relax. Also enjoyed watching others taking lessons out in the sun, even got a little tan and added 3 freckles to my face.

First picture shows the roof sometime last week, the second picture shows how it looked yesterday. Look at the mountain of rubble in front of the house, there's even more in the back. The old roof consisted of 4 layers of asphalt shingles plus the original wood shingles which actually helped to keep the water out...


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Yes, that's right OMD not OMG! The Eightes were calling us last Tuesday when we saw OMD play at Terminal 5 in NYC. Great show and some songs brought back long lost memories...But this is should not be a review of the concert.

After the show we bought an OMD poster. It actually seems to be a limited edition print, it has "109/200" (109 of 200?) written at the bottom. Framed it Friday night while waiting for Fringe to start.


Also framed these two little posters I bought at 20x200 . The left one is a map of L.A., the right one is a map of New York by Aaron Straup Cope.


Monday, March 7, 2011


Let there be light! At least a little bit in the hallway...

This is the door leading from the entry vestibule into the hallway. I was always curious if the small panels above the door are glass. They are painted and when I tapped them they sounded like glass but there was only one way to find out. Before I started working on the fireplace last Saturday I put some stripper on one panel and let it sit for a couple of hours. And it is glass underneath the paint. Why would somebody paint it? It made the hallway look so dark. Can't wait to start making that door pretty again. Right now it is quite beat up although you can't really see that in the pictures. And the hallway needs to be painted too...

I was also able to finish some other little things in the living room on Saturday. There was a big area that had been patched on the ceiling and wasn't painted yet. Also there were some smaller water stains on the ceiling of the bay window that needed some touch up paint. The source of the water coming in had been fixed a while back and I already primed the stains with oil based primer. It is official now that every surface in the living room has been painted.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

finished fireplace

The fireplace is finally finished! We're not sure yet what to hang above it and what we'll put on top of the mantel.


Quite a difference from what it looked like when we bought the house.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

fireplace door

Back in September I bought a fireplace door/summer cover on ebay for only $30. Although it was white in the ebay pictures it arrived spray painted gold. P picked it up and when he brought it home I immediately told him that he got the wrong fireplace cover. Upon further inspection, comparing the pictures from the auction to the real thing and the obvious paint smell we came to the conclusion that someone painted it before we picked it up. Just one more layer of paint that needed to be stripped off. Luckily a layer of spray paint is nothing compared to what felt like 100 layers of paint underneath. I worked on stripping the cover for months. Ok it was only a handful of weekends with a big break in between because I got so sick of standing in the basement and scraping gunk of that thing. Everything was treated various times with stripper and I always let it work its magic overnight. The bigger pieces were fairly easy to work with. The small detailed piece took some time because I had to scrape out every nook and cranny.


This is how the cover looked when I finally stripped off all the paint. After that I used heavy duty scour pads to take off all the excess paint and stripper that was still on it. I tried to sand it as well but didn't like that the sanding paper took away the nice texture of the cast iron.


On the pictures from the ebay auction you could already see that one corner of the frame was chipped off but I thought I could repair it and once it would be spray painted it would not be visible anymore. I bought a self adhesive body patch at my local Autozone. The adhesive would not stick to the back of the frame so I had to glue it on with liquid nails and used three clamps to keep it in place until it dried.


A friend gave me a package of Bondo Glass fiberglass filler to start rebuilding the shape of the frame.The texture was kind of hard to work with so I took another trip the Autozone and bought some lightweight body filler which I knew would get the job done. In 2001 I did a similar project with mesh, body filler and spray paint to repair the roof of my very first car, a golden 1989 Honda Civic which I drove around LA while I was doing an internship in Santa Monica Ah, the memories...


I used the lightweight body filler to build up the shape so that it will match the existing. It actually took a couple of steps to get it right. Apply body filler, let it dry, sand and then repeat until you're happy with the result. After that I primed the fireplace door/cover and spray painted it black.


The whole project cost less than $50. Yay!

- fireplace door $30
-adhesive body patch $6*
-lightweight body filler $7*
-Krylon Indoor/Outdoor primer in black $1.25**
-Krylon Indoor/Outdoor spray paint in black satin finish $1.75**

*no sales tax added
**got the paint with a 75% discount because the store I bought the paint from closed down

The cover has not been mounted yet. Hopefully I will accomplish it the coming weekend. Stay tuned for pictures of the finished fireplace...
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