Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Reflection

I have been working on my medicine cabinet restoration.  I took the mirror out of the frame to: 1) protect it from stripper, and 2) clean the paint off of it.

So, I spent some time getting the layers of paint off that had been slopped over the edges.  I also started to consider having it re-silvered. It's already out, right? I may as well look into it, right?

The mirror isn't in bad shape by any means. But it is somewhat cloudy and there are some streaks.  It wouldn't be the end of the world if I left it as is.

I did find a place nearby that does re-silvering.  It looks to be a small company run out of someones home.  I have an email into them asking costs, turnaround time, etc.

We'll see.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Downspout

One of the previous owners of my house planted three lilac trees in a row along the side of my house.  In the Spring is smells very nice over on that side of the house, and the trees do a nice job of hiding the side yard.

A few weeks ago we had a huge storm come through with really strong winds. I had never experienced anythings like that in all my years living here.  While I was busy worrying about one of the huge, ancient oak trees in my back yard coming down....one of my lilac trees snapped off at the trunk.

This left a gaping hole and a clear view into my side yard. And while my side yard garden is nice (azalea, lilies, rose and clematis), my downspout is not.  It is really ugly.

You can see what remains of the trunk in the photos.

Even though new gutters are in the future, the downspout ugliness bugged me so much that I went out a few days ago and painted it (and pulled those weeds)

Much better.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How Much Do Strippers Make?

One day I decided I couldn't live one more minute in this house with the cracked, ugly Menards bathroom sink.  So, I took it down off of the wall and walked it right back to the alley behind my house (amazingly someone took it),

I then got a little curious about what was behind the drywall. Soon the drywall on one wall was entirely gone.

So, it seems, I started work on my bathroom.

This project has been slow going. Mostly because I can't decide how I want to go about it.

One thing was clear though.  All work hinged on me getting the salvaged medicine cabinet in my basement stripped and repainted.

Last week I decided to throw some money at the problem and make it go away.  So, I hauled that cabinet up from my basement and out to the back seat of my car. No small feat.  I then drove over to a small business that advertised paint stripping.  I had no real idea what they would charge to strip the cabinet.  The cabinet has a painted interior and the face of it is painted, but the back is not painted.  There really isn't all that much painted surface.  Before going into the shop, I set a limit of $150 in my head.

The estimate was over $240. Just. Couldn't. Do. It.  I realize strippers need to make a living too (who would have thought I would have ever typed that sentence in my blog), but that seemed quite high.  After all, I think I paid around $50 for the cabinet itself.

So I hauled that cabinet back out to my car and back home. And this weekend started work on stripping the cabinet myself.  It actually has gone very quickly.  After two days of very intermittent work (I put a layer of chemical on and go about doing my other business), I have it pretty much clean and ready for a last application of chemical with stainless steel.  I also still need to boil the paint off the hardware.

When all is said and done, I probably will have taken me a total of 5 hours of work.  There were three-ish layers of paint, one peach, one pink and the last off white. That was one well paid stripper in that shop, I'm thinking.

The mirror set aside to be cleaned and reinstalled.

The hardware - little shelf clips and two hinges

Friday, August 09, 2013

A Storm Door For All Seasons

The screen door on the front of my house is salvaged.  Some of you may not have lived through that saga as it took place a few years ago. At any rate, that door originally came with a glass inset panel.  If there was a screen insert it was long gone.  I wanted a screen insert.

It seemed like a pretty easy thing to knock off my to-do list, so a few weekends ago I went down to my friendly, local hardware store (Diamond Lake Ace Hardware) and talked to the guy that makes my wood frame storm windows.  He was pretty sure he would be able to make a screen inset panel for me.  I decided to duplicate the three sections that are part of the original glass insert.  And he told me that he would use that oh-so-cute three beaded wood trim that is normally found on vintage screen windows.

So not so long ago, I went and picked up my new screen insert. It turned out very well.  Only glitch I had was painting it; painting near screening is a nightmare.  If I had to do it over again, I would ask to be able to prime and paint the frame before the screen is attached.

The hardware on the door attaches the panel on both sides. You twist the hardware and lock it in place to hold the panel.  So when I got the panel home, I had to use my Dremel to make the grooves on each side for the hardware.

You can see the new insert leaning against the wall....and on the side the existing glass insert.

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