Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reno's With Rosie - Goodbye popcorn ceiling!

The day started out okay with a nice cup of coffee, reading a book, lounging around in my pj's, but.....little did I know.

After a while I heard the sound of busyness coming from the kitchen, a lot of busyness and not the pleasant baking or cooking sounds that foreshadow some kind of deliciousness eventually making it's way onto the table. These noises had a very different feel to them, a bit like that hollow feeling of anxiety (or outright terror) that the "dum dum, dum dum" sound from the movie "Jaws" produces.

The sound of furniture being dragged around produces a similar feeling in me and probably in many other husbands out there. I find myself thinking, "oh, oh, this is going to be expensive!" or "So much for relaxing!" or "I think I'll drive to Jasper for the day." I think it's time I started listening to that voice more carefully.

Back to this particular day - after a while Rose popped her head in and very kindly offered to make me a breakfast sandwich, "you better have breakfast, we're going to take the popcorn stipple off of the kitchen ceiling this morning."

"Huh?" was my clever reply. "Sure, I just watched a video on You-Tube about it and it looks really easy. (Curses to you, You-Tube, what did you have to go and do that for?)

"I left it on the computer, come and watch it." Rose called out, "I'll get things ready and we can do it together!" 

"OOOOHHHH, how fun." said my inner voice, my outside voice wisely said nothing.

But I could see the writing on the wall and actually I was excited about getting rid of the 35 year old gross, greasy, smelly popcorn stipple that should never have been sprayed onto any ceiling, let alone a kitchen!

So I surrendered gracefully and dutifully watched the video filled with some good but obvious suggestions: spray ceiling with water, but not too much! Wear a dust mask, put down a drop cloth, don't damage the ceiling, hold putty knife at 30 degree angle, catch scrapings in a paint tray, etc, etc. 

"Hey, it's not brain surgery buddy!"

4 hours later - it was all, "wow, that looks great, but I'm pooped!" It took a few tries and a little compromise to find a good system for us but we settled on this: Rose sprays the water and wipes excess off the walls, I climb up and scrape the ceiling emptying the tray into the bag that she holds for me and then I go and rest while she sprays the next section and so on.

The hanging cabinet is coming down.

The biggest conflict was trying to get her to wear a dust mask, it went something like this: Rose - "I (cough, cough) don't, (cough, cough) need one, this house is (cough, cough) only 35 years old, there's no asbestos!" Me - "you need to wear one, look, I'm wearing one, didn't you hear him in the video, there could be asbestos, at least keep out of the kitchen while I'm scraping!"

But eventually she found an old one and put it on, (the top of her head) but it finally found it's way down to her mouth and that made me happy, she looked so cute.

We ended up scraping about 20 pounds of stipple off of the ceiling and it really brightened up the room. Last week on my day off we took down a floating cabinet that hung right over the counter, blocking a lot of light and making it hard to properly make use of the counter top. That made a huge difference and really let the light in and made the kitchen look more open and modern. 

A few weeks ago we did the gallery wall in the living room and converted an old coffee table into a dining table, (see previous blog posts) and painted about half of the house. Rose also got a hold of an old leaning shelving unit at the Re-store that we mounted in the hallway and now holds some of our antique book collection and some old cameras of mine.

So all in all, the renovations and redecorating are coming along nicely.

Last week we were lucky enough to have a friend in the machine shop business make us a cool piece of decor from an old gear that came out of a big truck transmission and it looks great in the living room! It kind of matches the huge train station style clock that we mounted over the mantle. 

Another interesting, (and weird) bit of decor that we added recently is my dad's old collection of bowling pins and bowling balls, I would call them, "quirky but cool." My father Ron owned "Continental Engineered Bowling Supplies" way back in the sixties and we kept a few things from that era so it's fun to be able to display them now in a place of honor. 

Future projects: as soon as we can get a hold of a big enough tile cutter we've got a whole bunch of tiling to do on the hearth in the living room, the kitchen floor and the bathroom floor and the tub surround, so we have that to look forward to, "Yay, Not!"

But the truth is, it's kind of fun to get these things done and they're usually not as bad as my overactive imagination makes them out to be, thanks to my lovely, creative wife. 

But when she married me, little did she know...... 


Sherry Lapka said...

Good teamwork guys!

Cynthia Victor said...

Awesome job. Did you know Pastor Doug that your beautiful bride could motivate people to achieve their potential!. With that clock neither of you can never be late for any engagement!! Well done Rose. Seriously, beautiful team work, well worth the time & effort.