The sheen of the new living room has not worn off – I still get pleasure from just walking through it. Which is good, or course, because walk through it is about all I do, on my way to the next job: the hallway. This ended up being a bigger job than the living room – Strangely, since after all it’s just a hallway, the hallway project ended up taking close to 60 hours to complete.
And did I say – at finishing the living room – that it was brutal? Reflecting on the little finish pieces: finish carpentry over an odd edge, and thresholds and transitions?
Well, a hallway is ALL edges and transitions and thresholds, and odd angles! And it was particularly ugly to begin with. I’m afraid some bad stuff went down there – there were blood stains, and a hole in a door. There are blood stains in there now, too, but at least I know these came from me.
Putting the wood down was rough. I started by undercutting all the door frames in order to slip the wood under them. Naturally, I later ripped the old door frames out and replaced them. And then cove molded those, because they were ugly builder’s stock frames (and because I apparently love molding). And then ripped those, too. But I digress.
I had to make the decision on the fly to use thresholds for all the rooms rather than trying to run the wood contiguous, both of which imply completely different techniques, neither of which I know how to do. Karim did a great job of cutting and installing the floor, although we had to get YouTube to teach us how to install the last pieces, where nothing can be ‘snapped’ into place.
Given all the molding and door frames and beading (and as you shall see in a moment, molding details), I decided a new saw was in order! Yay! New Tools!
I’d like to say that after the saw purchase, things went much more smoothly, but right now I’m nursing a finger that I absolutely hammered full bore. And the callouses on my knees are getting callouses. And while easier to make, the cuts still have to measured perfectly before bringing the glory of the new saw to bear. And I did mention in an earlier post that I am a bit of a perfectionist? ‘Nuff, said, about that. And, I actually do feel a little unfaithful to the miter box I got for Christmas. Sorry, Santa!
i decided to re use old doors rather than buy new. But, they were all ugly and mismatched. Sand, prime, paint, repeat begins here. Also, I detailed the doors with a picture frame molding (thanks, new saw!). This is actually a relatively easy thing to do that makes a big difference. This idea came from the ‘Pretty Handy Girl’ (although I don’t think she is as handy as me! And possibly not as pretty, either).
I tried a treatment on all the door hardware: lightly sanding, then priming and using a metallic spray paint.
But what I started to say was that the finishes were ‘brutal’. Mismatching molding, uneven surfaces galore, flooring that would. not. match. up…with anything around it. Small corners of terror. Sand, prime, paint, repeat. Mud, sand, repeat. Caulk like crazy, clean like crazy (remember, the caulk does not stop coming out when you stop pulling the trigger!).
It dragged on and on – the floating drywall cover into the scary entrance into the attic (mud, sand, prime, paint), new smoke detector, the light fixture (tape tape tape! prime, spray paint), repairing nail holes (did you know you can use a nail to drive another nail, if you are very careful?… mud, sand, caulk, paint), and the ceiling (how do I always forget the ceiling?)
But in the end I prevailed and the finishes started turning out nicely.
I put up a picture rail, which I have always thought is a super-elegant touch.
This is not ‘picture rail molding’, which looks like this and is a very traditional treatment which was intended to keep plastered walls from damage.
Anyway, it’s officially done. On to the next job.