The Home Office: Now & Then

Yesterday, John primed the smallest bedroom which will be the home office. The room faces south, and for most of the day, sunlight pours through the window.

At this point, the time consuming prep work has been completed and the room is free of dust from sanding.

He’s ready to apply Zinsser PrimeCoat 2 with an 18″ roller.

John starts rolling at midpoint and then moves up. By starting in the middle, he won’t have too much primer at the top or bottom of the field. The excess primer can easily be rolled out from this starting point.

He stops 2″ from the floor and ceiling. (Be sure to vacuum the floor before starting.) The last thing you want is to accidentally touch the floor and pick up dirt and dust in your roller, which will be rolled back into the field, and almost impossible to get out.

We always cover floors with .7 mil painter’s plastic which is 12′ wide and 400′ long. We also use it to hang from doorways to seal off rooms and drape it over personal items. Otherwise, everything will be coated with spackle dust.

The cozy size room now has flawless walls.

Once the walls are rolled with the 18″ roller, John takes his 9″ roller and fills in the 2″ gap at the bottom and top. Of course, he keeps the roller a smidge above the subfloor so he doesn’t pick up and dirt. Even after vacuuming, there will always be something on the floor. You can always leave 1″ unpainted at the bottom because baseboard will cover it once installed.

Also, he always has several wet towels and tile sponges along with a 5-gallon bucket half full of clean water so that he can wipe the roller edges of excess paint. Otherwise, you’ll have railroad tracks.


Remember when the same room looked like this? I took this photo two years ago when John had already removed at least 250 books stacked 8 feet high which had blocked the entrance.

We could not open the door. Literally, when I put my hand on the door knob, the door would not budge. We wondered for months what was stored/hoarded in the room.

We asked “Bill” what is the room. He said, “My Ham radios are in there.” At one time, when he could actually squeeze into the room, he sat at a table and spoke to people all over the world (before Internet).

When John carved a path into the room, he discovered the Ham radios, packed them up and took them to one of many storage units.

Bill was very clever. He made shelves 3/4 plywood (3′ x 4′) and screwed 12″ lag bolts into the ceiling joists which allowed more space for him to stack and load more books. He did this  in every room in the house. They were basically suspended ceiling bookshelves. The weight was so excessive that it made the ceilings convex by at least 1/4.” Once John gutted the house, he replaced a couple twisted ceiling joists and he used a planer on the others to correct any major visual or structural flaws.

2 thoughts on “The Home Office: Now & Then

  1. Every time you post before-and-after photos I’m struck by how fortunate it is that the two of you found this house. Someone else lacking in your vision, patience, and talent would have likely thrown up their hands, bulldozed the place, and put up a cookie-cutter “nothing” of a house. Instead you are breathing new life into a classic treasure.

    Well done!

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