Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One last reason why I hate wallpaper

Oh wallpaper, how I loathe thee.

First, you're hideous
Then, you firmly stick to the wall, coming off only in minute pieces of confetti
Next you must be scrubbed to remove traces of glue
And finally, your glue is never really gone, so you must be covered in oil-based primer

I talked to a handful of experts, and it turns out that even though I scrubbed the heck out of the walls to get all the wallpaper glue off, it's still a good idea to prime before you paint.

Wallpaper glue can become reactivated by water-based paints like the usual latex you'd use on walls, and cause bubbling and peeling and all sorts of mess I don't want to deal with.

Priming the walls with an oil-based primer seals in the glue and saves the day.  But nobody warns you that it smells horrible.

I bought the "odorless" oil-based primer Sherwin Williams offers, and went to town.  Coverage was OK, I suppose, but the smell was AWFUL!!!  Odorless, my foot!  We aired out the room for days and it still lingers.  Bleh.  Hopefully the normal latex wall paint will seal in the odor?

Anyways, now it's done and ready for pretty, zero-VOC paint.  Thankfully it'll be a while before we're hosting guests in here, so it'll have plenty of time to air out.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baseboards and Crown Molding

We've been busy in the guest room!  We removed the dinky baseboards and yucky carpet and got to a clean slate.

I won't give a play-by play of how we did the baseboards and crown, because I'm sure we didn't take the easiest or correct route, but I will give a few tips and some before-and-after shots.

Since we're getting new carpet, the question arose of whether to put up baseboards before or after the carpet.  Googling basically gave the answer of either, but it's a better idea to do the baseboards first.  I also figured I could be messy while painting them, and not have to worry about painting the around carpet fuzz.

We also discovered that the floors sag almost an inch in places.  Not enough to notice while walking around, but how do you place a straight board on that?  Turns out carpet will puff up to take up the space, so it's more important to be sure there's enough room everywhere to jam the carpet under the baseboards.

Those questions answered, we got to work!  The cuts were pretty easy, and the nail gun the neighbors lent us (thanks guys!) was a dream.

Then we moved on to the crown.  I bought a Kreg Crown-Pro Crown Molding Tool to help us manage the crazy angles.  It did the job, but it holds the wood in such a way that our 10" saw wouldn't make the whole cut.  Tommy's grandpa came to our rescue though, and lent us his 12" saw.

After that hiccup, cutting the wood was fairly straightforward.  The Kreg Crown-Pro came with a handy booklet that walked us through the process, and we never even made a wrong cut!

When we went to hang everything, some of the corners weren't amazing, but caulk filled them up OK and you can't tell anymore.

One tip for hanging - we made little pieces to match up in the corners with the piece we were hanging.  These helped us get the angles right and ensure all the pieces were going to fit together OK.

For the little guys that finished off the crown near the closet, we attached them to the longer piece with wood glue, let them dry overnight, and then nailed the long piece to the wall.

Tommy caulked all the cracks, and filled the nail holes with spackle.

Now it's time to get a final coat of paint on everything!

Making progress!