Oh My Stairs!

June 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm (DIY, House renovation) (, )

Whew, finished our stairs a few weekends ago. We’d taken up the carpet; cleaned, sanded and oiled the middle part of each tread and riser, and painted the outer parts of the treads and risers to match the skirtings.

Let me just say, this work was a pain with the kitties around. They always want to be with us – either to ‘help’, get cuddles or just hang out. They are very social!

The next stage will be the downstairs hall floor. We now know our only option is to shut them in the sitting room with their necessities just after our dinner, then oil our way to the base of the stairs. Then J and I will be upstairs for the evening (at least the loo is on the upper floor ;-))

Good thing the OSMO Polyx Oil dries in 10 hours or so.

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Still a long way to go

August 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm (DIY) (, , , )

The big news is our stuff was taken out of storage a few weeks ago. I’m proud that we did it all ourselves. The only worrisome piece of furniture was the long sofa, but we “somersaulted” it from the van to the sitting room over moving blankets, and “walked it” where we couldn’t somersault it.

The sitting room was professionally decorated and we’re now in the midst of doing the floorboards. Rather experimentally, we’ve decided to paint them with Holkham Linseed Oil paint in Chocolate colour. It’s natural and non-toxic so we’re really happy with that. Unfortunately, the stuff takes aaaaaages to dry. I assumed that “24 hours in prime conditions” just meant 19-20C and dry. WRONG. It turns out I put the second coat on too soon, so goodness knows when it’ll be dry enough for us to put on the finishing coat of OSMO Polyx oil.

We decided to do the floor in two stages to avoid finding a new home for the sofa (this would be impossible — the dining room is full to the gills with the rest of the sitting room furniture and the rest of our boxes). In the meantime, we have hooked the Topfield up to our little tv and the office/guest room is also our temporary sitting room. 🙂

Given that we still have a whole other “half” of the sitting room floor to complete, it’s a total guess as to when we’ll have our sitting room back again. Waaaa!

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Main Bedroom Nearly Done

July 9, 2007 at 4:50 pm (DIY) (, , )

The main bedroom is nearing completion. We’ve removed the woodchip from the walls and ceiling, had the ceiling repaired and skimmed by a plasterer, then we painted the ceiling, coving and skirting boards*, put up lining paper*, painted*, scrubbed the floors, and oiled them.

The photos feature two of our eBay bargains, a restored Victorian fireplace and an Edwardian wardrobe (lined in some lovely cedar!).

* work still in progress

The paint on the wall behind the wardrobe is Cotswold Stone by Green Paints. They are soybean oil based, low odor, and better for the environment and people. The paint seems great apart from the fact that it’s not quite the colour we saw when we chose it from paint samples! However, we’ve decided to live with it!

For the floors, we chose against the standard “sand and varnish”. We’ve sanded floors in the past, and it’s just soul destroying. The prep takes forever, it creates a huge dusty mess, uses loads of electricity, costs tons to rent the machine — and it always takes longer than you think. Furthermore, it strips the floorboards of their character.

So, this time round, we’ve decided to go with the rustic and natural look. I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we like it. The colour of the boards in the photos is their natural colour, darkened with age. The lighter boards show the colour pre-oiling.

The boards have been scrubbed clean (-ish…the coal dust is really impregnated), allowed to dry, then then oiled in two coats of Osmo Polyx hardwax oil. This stuff is great! It’s environmentally friendly and super easy to use. Plus, I’m almost embarrassed to say, but we both kinda like the smell!

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