Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Day 26 :: wash. floor. white.


I'd got myself pretty nervous about the next step in our floor adventure, with the sanding I had the support of my main man {so I could blame him if it all went to shit!}, the sealing step was easy, stinky, but very easy... this next step, the whitewashing, I was on my own here, if it looked terrible I had only one person to blame... Feast Watson. Ha! Kidding! {sorta}

So I started in Angus' bedroom {otherwise known as the test room} right where the bed will be going. I had aligned myself with the professionals, and pooh-poohed the lambswool applicator, instead I'd chosen to go with the lambswool roller, more difficult but if it was good enough for the pros, then it was good enough for me.


I knew as soon and I started rolling that this was not going to get me the finish that I was after. I had one of those 'oh shit' moments and grabbed the paintbrush to brush out the nap marks. Thank goodness it looked good once I'd worked the product along the length of the board, making sure that my brush strokes weren't showing...


On the downside though, I'd set myself up for the unenviable task of bending over and rolling and then brushing out the nap marks for the ENTIRE. FRIGGING. HOUSE!!!

But being the trooper that I am, that was exactly what I did... it took me EIGHT. FRIGGING. HOURS. But by god I did it, and it looked totally gorgeous when I was done.


Then came the difficult part, another coat? yes? or no?...


I've subsequently decided that yes, it needs one more whitewash coat before I start coating it with the clear satin varnish, and I've also made the time to invest the twenty five dollars in the lambswool application pad that they recommend you use. I now have my fingers crossed that it gives the finish that I'm after because I don't fancy the idea of the roller / brush experience again soon.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Day 24 - Before & Afters


There has been so much happening in the last week that i've not had the time to write about it, but I have been taking photos! I've spent most of the last week at the house painting trim... I'd paint all day while the kiddos were at school / nanna's house, then head back once Cam got home from work to paint until 10 o'clock, head home fall into bed, rinse and repeat. As you'd imagine, I gave myself a big cheer when I finally finished all of the trim {well except for the second coat in the main bathroom and the main loo, but shhhhh I'll get to it later this week}

The main thing is that all of the windows, both coats, were finished last Thursday, which meant that I could go ahead and order the new window furnishings; and the trim on all of the floorboard areas I finished today, now to remove all of the {gorgeous} purple tape and clean off all of the floors ready for varnishing.

So, wanna have a look?

Angus bedroom window before,


... and after


Daisy's bedroom window before,


... and after


The lounge before anything was done,


... after the floors were sanded back,


... and after all of the trim was painted.


Everything is starting to look so much brighter and whiter, and it will be getting more so once the floors, walls and ceilings are done too.


Sunday, 25 August 2013



This photo was taken last weekend, before the posts and timber verticals were built, but I wanted to show what we were dealing with when trying to design our pool fence. The regulations cover a 900mm span around the 1200mm non-climbable pool fence, which means that we were going to have to either have a really high fence, or a heap of changes in heights in our fence to take into account our many height changes...

After much brainstorming, we decided to take the level changes out of the equation by extending out deck to include a boardwalk - you'll see how this is going to work once we get that part of the fence installed.

Instead of trying to tackle this one ourselves, with our already large workload and time constraints, we decided to cough up the cash and employ the big guns... enter builders Brent and Bernie stage right.

These guys were awesome! They built the extension mostly in a day, and did so much work above and beyond what they were 'required' to do. While taking the old boards off the original deck, so that the extension will look seamless once we deal with the differenced in the timber ages, they discovered a broken {and dodgily repaired} pipe to the spa, then in the process of fixing it, they also discovered that the existing deck hadn't been supported properly, and so installed an extra load-bearing post to fix that too. I tell you, these guys are IT!!



I wasn't around on the Friday to take the finished photos, and by the time I got outside with my camera on the weekend, the deck was being dismantled {but don't worry, it was just decking boards that can be screwed back on} so that Cam and Dad could work away all weekend... but I am super impressed with the work that the boys did, it's built so well and looks just beautiful, and I especially like that they were able to incorporate my modification of adding a secret door to store my pool stuff in, I just love how it all came together.


So the weekend was spent on the 'invisible' work of installing the structural support elements to carry the weight of the next part of the fence... and by invisible I mean that they worked so hard all weekend and there's really not much to show for it now that most of the decking boards are covering what they did {frustrating, hey!?!}


So this week, my backyard is looking a little worse for wear, the pool filter is not working {I think due to an air lock} the spa needs emptying, cleaning, and refilling, the decking boards are still off all over the place, as the weekend passed much to quickly and my main man had to get back to his paying job... so I think that there will still be a few more instalments to this story before we can do the big reveal!


Monday, 19 August 2013

Day 15 :: the pool fence - part one











Finally this weekend we were able to make a start on the pool fence. There are two vital things that need to be completed before we can move in, the pool fence, and the floors. Everything else is just a bonus... we've finally secured our building permit, so we were finally able to get on to phase one of the pool fence build.

Cam tells me that this part is the one that he has worried about the most, whereas I haven't given this one a second thought, dig some holes, put cement in the posts, and attach the aluminium panels. Whatevs!

In reality it was a little more tricky than that, we've been drawing this on paper for weeks {probably months actually} and it has slowly evolved to its current state. We have a lot of climbable objects near the fence, due to the landscaping features around the pool, so we've had to allow for the clearance in the regulations... eventually we came up with the idea to cut some of the panels so that the upright part can be sunk into the ground, then a full panel goes above that, ensuring that the bottom panel can't be lifted out of the ground. To do this though, we needed larger posts, and it worked out perfectly as our posts could be matched to the timber uprights that we are using for one part of the fence...

The only snag?... we ended up being one post short, so we haven't been able to fix the timber vertical section in yet. I'll get an extra one this week, and then next weekend we'll be able to move to phase two of the fence.

I can't wait to see it all come together, it's one thing to draw it on paper, but to see your ideas actually becoming a reality is such a rush :)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Day 12 | Wednesday


Just like last week, I've been unable to do anything out at the house, the sanders just create too much sawdust to even think about washing the walls yet, which also rules out any painting. My hands are itching to start painting everything white, but alas, not yet.

In a bid to make myself feel like I was doing something, Mia and I took a trip to our local Bunnings today to buy the products for the floor...

Cam and I have finally committed to doing the whitewash floor, as we both love the look of the raw pine boards, but I just know that they will yellow and darken once the varnish goes on, thus losing that look that we love.

When I originally wanted to do the floor boards I was totally convinced that we would stain them a dark brown...

    [image from here]

... but by all reports, they show all of the dust and dirt, and I don't want to spend my entire life trying to keep my boards looking shiny and clean.

As the weeks have gone on, our vision for the boards has got lighter and lighter, until we've finally landed on one coat of white wash, followed by two to three coats of satin varnish.

So, as I was saying, Mia and I went to find out which products to use to get the desired result, and ended up with...

... and while this lot of goodies just cost me a small fortune, I will admit that I am very, very excited about the prospect of this floor coming into fruition.

I just need to wait until Friday to get sanding again... I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop, riveting isn't it!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Days 8 - 10 | Our Weekend

edge sander

As soon as I walked through this house I knew that I wanted it to be floorboards throughout, the bones were all there, and it was just a minor thing to remove the slate and carpet, sand the floors back and refinish them.

Sounds so easy doesn't it. Even the guy at the bunnings hire desk said {and I quote}"it would have to be a really big house for you not to knock it over in a weekend".

See, easy! Two days work and we'd be done.


First lesson, best not to listen to the moron salesman at the bunnings hire desk counter.

So far we've done two-and-a-half days on the sanders and we have finally finished the first pass, meaning the floors have all been sanded back to raw using a really coarse grit paper, the holes and sap lines have been filled with wood filler, and the back half of the house' had a second pass with 60 grit paper.

first pass

during first pass

dexter the commercal vac

I am so glad that we are doing this before we move in, the dust is everywhere. It's layered on everything, and no matter how well the bags are done up, it just gets... everywhere. Luckily we borrowed my Dad's commercial vacuum cleaner {now named Dexter} and it has been fantastic. He sucks up everything, and holds heaps in his tummy.

While Cam spent 4 hours using the drum sander with 24 grit paper, I was like the little dental technician  following him around with Dexter, it made the job a lot easer when we kept cleaning up the dust as we went, especially while trying to get every last bit of old varnish from the floors.

I started off with the relatively easy job of filling each and every little punch hole, about 68,000 of them at last count, and scraping out the sap lines and filling them too. But after the first two rooms, it became apparent that if we wanted to make the job go quicker, I was going to have to jump on the edge sander. This was a little scary, as Cam had said it was really strong, but I must say it wasn't much different to most big sanders that I've used. It's a good thing that I like big power tools, because this one had some grunt, and bending over it like that was definitely hard work!

By tools down on Sunday we'd nearly finished the first pass, with only the hall to go {and then another 3 passes with increasingly finer papers} we decided to continue on the Monday. So my Mum was recruited to have the kids for another day {bloody curriculum days!} and we took advantage of our extra day with the sanders {having been given a faulty drum sander to start with} to keep sanding.

Just keep sanding, just keep sanding...

So Monday morning I got to the house, finished the hallway with the edge sander, then set about teaching myself how to use the drum sander in the test room, oops, I mean Angus' bedroom! It didn't take me too long to get the feel for that one too, so I spent a productive morning getting started on the second pass... then the electricity went out.

and apparently it didn't come back on until 2am the following morning. Obviously we had given up waiting long before that and returned to sanders back to Bunnings.

So next Friday and Saturday {and hopefully not Sunday} I'll be back on the sanders while Cam works away outside getting a start on the pool fence that we've finally got our building permit for...

In the meantime, I'll be buying some paint, nursing my hands and forearms back to health, and dreaming about what our beautiful floors will look like soon...

123, 4 + 5

If you want to see the rest of my inspiration and how the end result ideal has shifted, you can view my pinterest board here.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Day 3 :: Monday

Another uncomfortable nights sleep, this time with a sore arm, and elevated cortisol levels, we were back out on site at our house super early, the kids still dressed in jammies and dressing gowns.

Thankfully our builder was punctual, and we spent the better part of an hour working through the works that we needed him to do. While we were at it, Cam took the opportunity to have a chat with him about the slate at the bottom of the island bench, and given that Brent was a shop-fitter in his past life, he knew tons about our kitchen construction, and made some great suggestions on how we could progress forward...

Soon after he left, our kitchen looked like this...

kitchen undressed

... and soon after that all of the slate {and evidence of rodent activity} had been removed.

Woo Hoo!

No more slate.

I am very happy that my kitchen and family room is already looking so much lighter and brighter, and that's without any finish on the floor, or any painting being done.

I am starting to feel very, very good about where this project is going.

Soon after this, I raced around getting kids ready for, and deposited to, school. Then got my application for my building permit in, and then

nail punch

... it was back to a few more hours of this for me.

By the time I left this afternoon :

- my kitchen looked like a {cleanish} demolition site
- the staples in my bedroom, walk-in-robe, and mia's room had been punched down; and
- I'd finally remembered to put chlorine in the pool

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Day 2 :: Sunday


After an uncomfortable night sleep, we dragged our weary {and sore} bodies out of bed, bright and early. Made the kids pancakes, did a load of laundry, packed our {very large} lunchbox, threw the iMac into to car, and headed back to the work site our new house.

While Cam spent the morning chipping away at the edges of the slate around the island bench, I spent my day down on the floor punching in staples. Because the floor is pine {ie: soft wood} the construction has been with floor staples, not nails, so each staple has to be punched on either end until the whole top drops down below the surface of the wood.

So this view...

nail punch

This is pretty much what I looked at all day... needless to say, my staple punching got super effecient as the day wore on, and my arm muscles and knees, and bend at the back of my ankle, all got very, very sore.

However, dragging myself around the floor all day, did give me a chance to find nearly all of the staples that I had missed yesterday, and I was able to easily pluck them out with my trusty staple remover.

floor staple remover

Don't the right tools make all of the difference...

carpet removed

By the end of the day, we had:

- Punched down all of the staples in Angus' Room, Daisy's Room, the back hallway, and half of the family room.
- Evened off the slate around the edges of the kitchen.
- Removed a self-seeded tree that was in the way of the proposed pool fence,
- Moved a Bird of Paradise plant to where the tree had been removed, and
- Put in the string line for the proposed pool fence.

The kids?


They had been evicted from this room, and sent to a different room with a square of carpet and an iMac. When they tired of that, they got outside with Cam and took turns cleaning the pool with the net thingy... and when Mia took a walk through the shallow part of the pool with her clothes on, they got shipped to Nanna's for the rest of the day.