Tag Archives: painting

A halfway hallway

Back in the midst of our bedroom painting party, I thought we may as well get something going in the hallway as well. We had the paint right there, along with rollers, brushes, a step ladder, paint trays, screw drivers, paint stirring sticks, drop sheets/towels, sore arms and long faces. So why not?!

The hallway is a little dog leg of doorways and no space for much of anything, but that was no reason to neglect it any longer. That last patch of apricot-beige was calling – loudly – for some help.

Problem was… this.

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Yep. Cracks. Plastering required. And maybe even gib…

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Undeterred, I checked out the rest of the hallway and decided the front “half” was in ok condition. Just a few minor plaster touch ups needed. So I convinced Andre to get the plaster out again (ooooh he hates that stuff!) so I could start painting. It was easy enough that I could have done it myself, but I know that if I show any interest in getting acquainted with a new skill I’ll be in the thick of it in no time. I know my place, and I’m sticking with it!

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But first, a proper before from back when Master W wore smaller shoes, and Miss E still needed a blanket by the door for stroller walks:

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Actually these aren’t a true before because all those doors and all that trim were once far from white too.

But, a couple of nights and kids at kindy/in bed daytime hours later, and the walls were joining in with the lighter, brighter and fresher theme.

Here’s how it looked after the first coat. I wanted to get some more photos today with the morning sun streaming in here again, but I missed the little window of time due to dropping off kids and enjoying my coffee a little too long…
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So today – minus the sun but still plenty light enough!0829_2176 0829_2177 0829_2178 0829_2179 0829_2181 0829_2182 0829_2184

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Furnishing is a little sparse and/or temporary… the print was destined for our bedroom but didn’t look right there so I tacked it up out here out of the way and there it has stayed! It’s nice to have a reminder of the first home we owned, right by the front door of the first house we own! It cost about $7.50 to print at Warehouse Stationery. Cheap art!

The mat is really not right for this space but it’s doing a good job of minimising grubby footprints and reminding us of our time in Fiji. These mats are handmade by the villagers in dozens. It was one of these or a hand-carved turtle. I want to go back for the turtle…!

My lovely outside door mat is from Tea Pea Design – I snapped it up in their big sale a while back.

The little strip of ugly above the laundry doors will be my motivation to continue with the rest of the hall. But it means plaster dust in a very central part of the house which we can’t close off for too long (there’s a bathroom at the end which we all kinda need!). I’m working up the courage, and it may take some time…
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Beyond the painting… I’m mulling over some wall hooks so I can artfully hang my best coat and stylish scarf to wear everywhere I go. And more artwork… and plants… for the walls – not for me to wear everywhere I go.

Have a lovely weekend!

PS. dum de dooo… dahhh dayyyyy…. scroll up…. up…. up….. see it? The sneak peek of my next project? Sharing next week some time.

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Master bedroom makeover: Moving in

I started writing this post a week ago, almost to the hour… and then big things happened and this blogging and renovating and home decor part of my world fell out the bottom. I think I might start hauling it back up… but no promises I won’t drop it again!

Because in the whole scheme of things it is the last thing that matters, BUT I’ve come to realise too that these small and unimportant things can be the things that help when the big and important things get to be too much sometimes. I was picking up mess around the house yesterday afternoon and realised that if there’s one thing that might possibly keep me able to function if my world flipped it would be having my house in order. When kids are yelling, the phone is ringing, the dinner is boiling over and there’s a whole host of things spinning in my head, the first thing I’ll do (apart from making sure the kids are yelling over nothing!) is tidy. Then, and only then will I answer the phone and try to save the dinner and write myself a priority list (all at the same time, because if my house is tidy I can do everything!).

So, with that… back to last week:

I feel lots of things writing this post. Relief is the big one though!

After three months of living across the hallway in a room that every member of our family has now called theirs for a time, it feels truly amazing to be back in our room to stay. Last time, we’d nearly finished painting the walls. That was a big step in progress for me. It made me feel like we were really getting there!

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But then there were the windows. We grabbed our opportunity on a Saturday about 3 weeks ago. There was 14% chance of rain. But this is Auckland in July, so that was pretty good! We took it.

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Now this week… In the early afternoon we could see the rain was coming and the freezing temperatures weren’t helping the paint dry very quickly. So we taped up some plastic drop sheets over the gaping holes and filled the room with windows. Then began a few days of tedious top coats, and a few nights of lying awake in fear of the temporary windows giving in to the stormy weather (yep we picked the worst days of winter for this!) and flying off to cause an accident somewhere in the next suburb over. This is how it was for me at least. Andre had no trouble sleeping!

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The storm died down, we finished painting and scraping, and on a dark and peaceful night we had real windows back up again! Following that we had a little floor touching up to do, where the old wardrobe framing had been. We gave it a quick sand and some coats of high gloss poly. (Our preference would be a Low VOC sealer like we used when we redid the whole floor in the kids room, but they don’t appear to come in high gloss to match the rest of the house.)
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Once we put up the blinds, curtain rods and our sheer curtains, we moved on in!

Let me open the door…

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I won’t even begin to list all that still needs doing or replacing – in terms of furnishing and decorating we’re at about 8%. I’ll save that for another day, along with sharing some of the details like where we found a door handle to match the others in our house, the wall lights we found and made over, and the obvious “what are we doing about a wardrobe?!”.

Because right now, I’ve got something to be doing about that wardrobe situation… and a house to tidy!

Have a lovely weekend x

Master bedroom makeover: Painting progress

Total silence from me in no way means nothing is happening ’round here!

It’s all happening, just as fast as it can. Sometimes I get frustrated that it’s not fast enough… but for various reasons of work, weather and a weekend off, this coming weekend will be the first in six that we get more than a couple of hours to hit this master bedroom renovation.

I’m hoping for some dry weather so we can remove the windows for sanding and painting. But if we don’t get that, there are plenty of little things like putting outlet covers back on, installing some “new” wall lights, and planning and possibly materials shopping for the wardrobe.

But first, here’s a mass photo drop of our plastering and painting progress to date.

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Have a lovely weekend x

Master bedroom makeover: The ugly beginnings

Almost a year ago, I showed you our master bedroom in it’s best looking state – rather embarrassing to say the least. But now the demo is done and I’m excited for the ideas floating in my head and can’t wait to show you an after that will erase all memory of how it has looked for almost 4 years. Yep, we do things slowly!

First to happen was removing the old sliding door that we never bothered to slide across because it was such a cranky old thing. Now we have a glossy white hinged door and despite it missing a door handle it’s still pretty awesome! A door on your bedroom after four years is a big deal.

Note: These next few photos most accurately show the current colour of our bedroom, and believe it or not… it was once worse. Just wait…!

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(A saw hanging in your front entrance… totally normal)0508_0013So with that done, I was itching to get stuck into the wallpaper. I just had to know how easy it was going to come off.
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Short answer: not that easy. So I ignored it for a few more weeks.

But then we finally moved out into the “green bedroom” and the excuses weren’t cutting it anymore!

So, here’s what we “started” with this time last week. An empty room with beige painted bubbling wallpaper, ugly light fittings and a behemoth of a useless wardrobe. (Plus a spare bed that has nowhere else to be, and a writing bureau that is awaiting its fate on Trade Me.)
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It’s a good feeling to use a hammer and a crowbar on a room you have no attachment to, despite sleeping in it for years! And despite Andre’s nervousness about me wielding such tools, he showed no reservation when he came home last Thursday and saw I’d got started. He was into it and there was nothing left for me to do…0508_0970 0508_0975 0508_0997

…but sweep up the mess. Don’t let this next photo fool you. Neither of these two did any sweeping (I just caught them having a very short-lived sweeping lesson), although to be fair, the little one did a great job of helping me cart all the pieces of timber and gib out to the trailer.

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But that’s where all the fun ended. Because now we have the mammoth task of getting all that nasty twice painted wallpaper off.

But first – something else a little scary ugly.

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Not only is our room now a hideous apricot-beige, but prior to that it was purple… complete with glow stars. I can only hope it was once a young girls room. Before that it appears it was green, and originally it was wallpapered with storks (thankfully stripped by some poor previous owner, but we found a remnant stuck under the sliding door pelmet).

But we are moving on!

This room is in the least sunny corner of the house, and is therefore a bit damp and icky. So without going into too much revolting detail, in the extra icky parts like the back of the wardrobe and by the south side window the wallpaper came off super easy. No spraying, scraping or picking required. But fortunately/unfortunately (I can’t decide which because the first means less mould, the second means endless hours of work) in the rest of the room the paper appears to be well stuck and it’s a tedious process of removal. Which is why we’ve buried our heads in the sand not made much progress.

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The problem with painted wallpaper is it’s completely sealed and no amount of spraying any kind of solution is going to work until it’s given a way to seep into the backing of the paper. So the theory goes.

This strange looking tool is called a Paper Tiger and it’s specific purpose is to score the wallpaper so whatever you spray on will penetrate beneath the paint.

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At this point I can say it is definitely doing it’s job. The spray is getting under the paper. So far we’ve tried a detergent/cold water spray (just because I always have a spray bottle of that sitting around for everything from ants to cockroaches) and a vinegar/hot water. But either the spray or our technique or some other force is working against us and the wallpaper is coming away in the smallest peelings. I have not yet had the satisfaction of grabbing one loose edge and hauling from top to bottom. It’s a sad state of wallpaper stripping.

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So either we try something else or we keep chipping away for years to come. Either way, I’ll let you know!

But here’s at least some progress for you. I present to you… all four walls, as of this morning:0508_1126 0508_1128 0508_1129 0508_1130
Guess what we’ll be doing this weekend?!

A few weeks in an “insta”

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Progress has been making slow headway around here, which makes for little blog content. But there’s always little bits of projects on the go that end up on Instagram (@duckeggblueblog). So I thought I’d share them here in case you don’t catch them there. And there are a few bonus pics that haven’t yet seen the light of day!

So… starting out the back which is our current priority, here’s progress in pictures:

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Much to my delight we’ve also made a start on the master bedroom, finally replacing the cranky old sliding door with a more pleasant hinged option, and the nightmare of wallpaper stripping has begun…

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Besides this, I’ve set myself another six year deadline to get our travel albums completed. A few short weeks away is the day that six years ago we headed off on the adventure of our lifetime.

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As we lived the nomadic life there was a lot of talk about kids and houses and settling down – and suddenly here we are and I’m wondering if that “big OE” was really the adventure of a lifetime?! Every day is the adventure of a lifetime is it not?! In another six years, who knows… I might even be missing these days of endless demo and painting?

 

A quick weekend update on the patio

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Once upon a time, a very long time ago… this baseboard on the patio was all prepped and ready for painting. But then it rained, and winter arrived, and the paint was never applied.

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But I took a chance on the weather this weekend and got it done. A couple of minor showers weren’t going to stop me this time! I used Dulux Weathershield in Semi Gloss, and the colour is Eighth Friar Grey (a Resene colour). It’s the same as our painter used on the other baseboards, gutterboards and sills for the rest of the house, but this baseboard was hidden behind a raised garden bed at the time.

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Remember this first glimpse at our patio progress, and the funny story about the table and chairs?

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That was way back before we ripped up the lawn and resowed! And it’s not just the lawn that has come a long way. Here’s the patio now, after the addition of pavers, some planting, and my painting efforts from the weekend.

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I do need to get some bigger statement pots, to make this area more of a feature, and we also plan to try and get some moss to take in between those planters… we got it wrong the first time! Also, it’d be nice when the pavers weather to match the concrete some more.

But for now, the little patio is a great spot for al fresco lunches on a sunny day, and as the weather warms up some more it’ll be al fresco breakfasts too!

At the other front corner of the house, spring is helping things along with the perfect mixture of rain, sun and warmer temperatures. It’s a good time of year for gardeners like me – stuff it in the ground and sit back and watch it grow! That lavender is on a takeover mission… hydrangeas look out!

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Loads more happened this weekend – there was concrete, new deck posts, trailer loads of dirt and some waterproofed planters. I shall do my very best to share pictures in the next couple of days.

Itchy feet

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I’ve been working on the sequel to this. It’s taking me a while… picture me gazing into space with a dreamy look on my face as I reminisce about such good times. Such Good Times.

I also spent allllll of Saturday out painting the letterbox and gate. But it’s raining… I don’t feel like going out to get a grey and drippy picture, so you’ll just have to believe me. When it stops raining I will finish painting and you’ll get a fancy after picture – you’ll just have to be patient.

In the meantime, sing with me “rain, rain… go away… we can’t remember what to do on a rainy day!”