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The First Indoor Project

January 21st, 2014

Well, we have finally started working a little on the interior of this place.  Eventually the entire thing will be redone, but for now we at least want to paint and redo a few things to make it easier to clean. It’s not as simple as just throwing a coat of paint on the walls. There’s also a debate going on about whether we just want to paint the floors as well, they’re currently painted subfloor or if we want to put down flooring while we’re at it.
Painting bedroom
There is electric baseboard heat that needs removed, new floor moulding to put in, along with sanding the ceilings & walls because the previous paint job was less than stellar and there are lots of roller nap marks. All the moulding needs a good sanding as well, it wasn’t sanded after the finish was applied so the grain of the wood makes dusting/cleaning impossible. All of this is why we’ve been putting it off, we needed time when we could dedicate a good amount of time to this project, and this is only the beginning…

Do you have any home improvement projects in progress?

Light at the End of the Tunnel

October 15th, 2013

We’re so close to getting the garage/barn painted, so very close.  Most likely I’ll spend most of today putting an extra coat of paint on much of the trim, the upstairs window and doing a few touch ups.  We have invested hours and hours of time painting this beast of a building.
Most people gave us a crazy look when we said we were going to paint it black, but we were inspired by black barns we have seen in our travels.
garage  1
Unfortunatly the projest isn’t 100% complete and won’t be until next year. On the back of the barn there’s a lean to that has a clear plastic roof (well, it’s so old it’s no longer clear). It needs replaced, but we don’t have time to do it now. We also can’t reach the upper middle portion of the main wall with the roof in place. We painted much of the back of the barn, but some of that painting will have to wait until next spring when we have the time to replace the roof.
garage  2
But we got 80% of it finished. Luckily all the parts we can see from the house are done. Originally I thought about painting the door to the side room a different color, but I didn’t feel like buying more paint. I may do it next spring though. I was thinking bright yellow, robin’s egg blue or maybe a limey green for the door.

If you had to choose a color to compliment a black/white building what would you choose?

Friday Favorite: Sprucing Up

October 4th, 2013

Back in Ohio, we had pretty much redone everything in our house to make it just like we wanted.  Moving to Maine meant we were starting at the beginning once again.  We haven’t really done any sprucing up besides cleaning until last week.
working into the night
Our garage/barn is desperately in need of a coat of paint.  It probably could wait a few years, but by that point the siding would have needed ripped off and redone.  Eventually, it will be sided in cedar shakes or something else.  We didn’t want to do that in a year or two, so we decided to paint the garage to keep the siding viable for another 10 years or so.  We had the same issue with our garage in Ohio and the paint was still going strong after 11 years with no sign of new siding being needed.
Painting 1
We finally settled on black as our color of choice, the red barn color just isn’t my thing. Black barns with white trim were fairly common back in Ohio.
Painting 2
Mr Chiots washed the garage well and we got started. It’s tedious work, painting the grooves in the siding with a paint brush, we’ll use a roller on the main walls. The garage is two stories high at the peak, so we’ll probably rent a little lift for the weekend to reach those spots safely.
Painting 3
Painting 4
It’s not necessarily the job we would have chosen as our first project, but it needed to be done. Hopefully next we can paint a few walls inside the house, though after painting this we might not want to paint for a while.

Any big home improvement projects going on at your place?

New Porch Posts

May 8th, 2012

Our front porch posts have needed replaced for quite a while. We never really liked the old ones because they didn’t really fit with the style of our home. They were kind of cottagy and our house is a traditional cape. I always knew what I wanted in their place, but we just never had the time to get them replaced; until this past weekend.

Pre-made porch posts can be quite pricey, hovering around $60-$100 each. We didn’t really like the look of plastic ones either and wanted real wood. Finally, we settled on using wooden 4 x 6 posts with trim detail, which Mr Chiots made some trim from 1 x 6 boards. Everything was primed, caulked and given many coats of crisp white paint. The results were quite nice, not bad since it cost us less than $100 to do all six posts.

They now look fantastic with our freshly painted shutters and foundation. Hopefully in the next couple weeks the rest of the trim and the doors will be painted and the entire project will be finished.

I must admit, the fresh facelift for the house makes the gardens look even better! When all the rest of the outdoor to-do’s are finished I’ll give you a tour of the house and gardens (since so many people have been asking for it).

What is one thing you’ve been wanting to change about your house but haven’t gotten around to it yet?

A Facelift for the Cottage

March 26th, 2012

Last summer, painting the shutters, doors, and foundation of the house was on the to-do list. Then we purchased the lot next door and spent our time getting a new edible garden space ready instead. As a result, the painting never got finished but we enjoyed a lot of great homegrown vegetables.

Since we have had such warm weather here in NE Ohio this past week and the soil is still too wet to work, we decided to get a jump on painting in order to mark a few more items off the “to-do” list. Off came the shutters, down came a few doors, and we were off.

We found this fantastic little sprayer that hooks up to an air compressor. It uses pint jars for the paint. That way you can use a few different colors, or in our case, primer and paint. Simply close up the jar when you’re not using it. It’s called the Critter Paint Sprayer and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It turned a job that would have taken me hours with a paintbrush into minutes. It’s also made to be repaired and comes with a parts list for each part, I can certainly appreciate that!

Our current shutters were painted green by me the first year we moved in (10 years ago). They were starting to look a little dated, not to mention they were faded and shabby looking. I settled on black as my color of choice for the shutter/doors a few years ago figuring it would be a classic look with our tan siding.

The foundation was also given a fresh coat of paint. I’ve always read that using a dark color on the foundation anchors the house to the garden. After one coat of paint I stood back and was amazed, it’s completely true. Not to mention, the plants and flowers look fantastic up against the dark background. I think the green was competing with the plants all along.

The exterior doors on the house were also in need of a fresh coat of paint, most of them were peeling and they were getting quite faded as well. Most of our exterior doors aren’t covered with porches and thus they take quite a beating. After a fresh coat of paint and some new knobs I couldn’t believe how nice they looked.

The weather has once again turned too cold to paint, so I turned my attention to scraping the loose paint on the exterior door trim. Not a fun chore, but a necessary chore. I’m all about getting the job done right, even if I don’t plan on being here forever. We inherited a lot of “good enough” jobs when we purchased this place and I’d never want to pass any of those along to someone else. (if you don’t have one of these painter’s tool in your toolbox I’d highly recommend getting one, I love it and use mine all the time and not just for painting).

There are still four more doors that still need a coat of paint (I know we have lots of exterior doors), when the weather wArms that will be the first thing to get finished so it can officially be crossed off the list. In the mean time, we will be replacing all the porch posts as a few of them are completely rotten. It’s a good thing they’re not structural! We’ll be going with square posts painted in white with a little bit of trim detail.

Overall, things are shaping up nicely. It’s nice to see the house getting whipped back into shape. We’ve spent so much time focusing on the gardens the last couple years that the house has been slightly neglected. My neighbor even stopped by the other day to tell me how much she liked what we’ve done. If I had to pick a favorite house color it wouldn’t be tan, but you live with what you’ve got. I’m more of a cedar shake, dark bluish gray, or a crisp white when it comes to the color I most like to see on a house.

What’s your favorite house color?

If you’ve got a lot of painting to do – invest in these tools. For not much money you’ll save yourself tons of time and a lot of hassle!

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.