Spacious & Bright

After the living room ceiling was primed, the walls were next…

John started rolling the east wall. Before applying primer, you have to meticulously go over all walls to ensure that none of the screw holes are concave. If they are, apply more spackle, and then sand. Then and only then, start priming.

You don’t want to start priming and have to stop to fix miscellaneous spackle touch-ups. Go over the room, stick small pieces of blue painter’s tape to identify spots that need extra sanding. If you don’t do this, you’ll forget where you added a spackle touch-up and you’ll prime an unsanded spot that will show immediately. It will then be difficult, with primer on the wall, to sand off.

In order to fix it, you’ll create more work/frustration and you might throw your hands up in the air and say, “I’m hiring a painter.”

To solve this issue before it even starts, be METICULOUS, and go over the walls by testing any concave drywall screw spots by running your hand over the spackled drywall.

In our case, John used a lot of screws in the drywall because it’s our house and he did the drywall installation. In many cases, when a professional drywall team comes in to hang drywall, they use nails in the field instead of screws. Nails are less expensive. The nails, of course, create nail pops–due to not being threaded. Screws do not create nail pops.

So, if any of you are planning on building an addition on your house. When it comes to hiring a drywall business, request that they use 1 1/4″ coarse-thread sheetrock screws. Purchase a 25 lb square container at Home Depot (the price is $50 + tax). Provide the screws for the drywall team. If they purchase the screws, they’ll mark it up substantially. If you don’t care about the mark-up in material, let them buy it.

For DIYers, in bathrooms, do not make the mistake of using these same screws. They will rust and deteriorate over time, and snap.

The must-have painting extension pole makes the job easier…

A solid image…

No need to prime where the fireplace is temporarily concealed beneath the drywall. Soon John will cut the drywall around the fireplace and reveal it.


Time to roll the scaffolding to the other side of the room and start rolling the west wall…

The following night…

John did each wall in thirds. When he stopped for the first third, he “feathered” the wet edge to avoid sharp lines drying. Always keep a wet edge rolling a large wall.

Middle third…

Feathering second section…

Thinking about what color to choose for the primed walls…

Time for a new front door. This is the original door from 1954. (Looking down from the balcony.)

Yesterday morning (looking south from the balcony).


The Vaulted Ceiling & Changing the Bulbs

On Christmas day, John started rolling the living room with primer and an 18″ roller. (Ceilings are always rolled first.)

Since the house faces south, the natural light pours in through the two large windows.

I stood in the master bedroom’s balcony-area when I took these photos.

I’m thinking about the comfortable reading chair that will eventually be  placed in the corner of the balcony.

People either love painting or hate painting. John actually likes it.

When he spackled the whole house, a variety of people walked in and almost all of them would make a negative remark about what a “b***h” it is to spackle or “Don’t you just hate spackling?” I didn’t even respond. I thought to myself, none of them ever spackled a whole house so how do they know???

John likes to spackle especially because it’s his house we’re talking about–it’s sweat equity. It’s also a one-time spackle job.

The finished ceiling…

Boy, we think the primed living room looks real PURTY!

And when it comes time to changing the LED light bulbs in the high hats 24 feet up…I found Mr. Longarm on Amazon. John will bring out a 8′ ladder and use the bulb changer pole. Anyone who has a barn is familiar with one of these.





Sanding the Living Room

Happy New Year!

Now that the holidays are over and the new year is five days old we’re looking forward to finishing Brick House 319 in the next 12 months. Of course, not everything will be finished–it takes time to decorate each and every room.

We also have a lot to focus on with hardscaping (patio and pathways), landscaping and garden design. Oh, and we still need new gutters and a garage door and a front door–well maybe we’ll be finished by the end of the year??? Regardless, the blog will probably go on forever.

In the meantime, lets catch up since my last blog post.

On Christmas Day, John primed the walls. But first, he still had to do quite a bit of sanding (using sanding blocks) to smooth out the spackle edges. This is key to having flawless painted walls. John’s a perfectionist so he takes his time with prep work.

We’re lucky that our mason has loaned us the scaffolding for an extended period of time. Without it, we’d have to rent the equipment, which of course, would be another expense.

John used to buy the sanding blocks at Home Depot in packs of 3. They’re no longer packaged that way and are now sold individually. It might seem trivial but it’s not. When you’re doing a big renovation/rebuild and constantly buying, buying, buying at Home Depot or Lowes and building supply companies, everything adds up quickly.

In our situation, with John doing all the labor, we’re saving in a big way. If we had to hire painters, they would easily charge between $12,000 to $15,000 to paint the entire interior which is over 2800 sf.

Once the painting is finished, the scaffolding will finally be taken down. It’s been in the living room for over a year!



About the leaking French doors–the Feather River rep came out to the house about two weeks after we made the initial call to the company. We were under the assumption the rep would fix the leaking issue(s) on both sets of doors. Instead, he troubleshoots, discovers the issue and tells you how to fix it.

The business that we paid to frame the 2-story addition provided the window/door installers. The doors were hung incorrectly. Pads were included with the Feather River French doors which the installers didn’t even bother to use. They left them in the bag that was attached to the doors. Now we have to spend our time and more money (hire someone to help John) to take the doors out and hang them correctly.