It was great to have my best friend back home this week. Shawn and Michelle arrived safely at RDU in the pouring rain Monday night. Michelle said it was a bumpy night for flying and her Dramamine was not very effective for the last leg of the journey. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the northern locations who have been pounded by the rain and wind from Hurricane Sandy and the frigid snows in the higher elevations.
I left off my description of the sewing room makeover with the ceiling completed and the walls primed. Shawn was delighted to see the work in progress and she happily chose a new wall color, Sherwin Williams Unique Grey. It looks great and has just a touch of purple in it. Painting is very special when I know it was mixed by my very own daughter! I was scraping the last drops out of the can to get the job done but since we were painting the closet, we ran out of paint. Shawn picked up a second gallon the next day so we could finish.
The trim was magically painted while I was at work Thursday and it is amazing the difference a new coat of paint can make in a tired room. I had one unscheduled vacation day left for 2012 and decided to use it Friday which we designated “Flooring Day”. I guess I am writing one of those “how I spent my vacation” essays we all dreaded in school.
I was up well before the sun on my vacation day and started rolling out the underlayment. This does not have to be extremely accurate since we are not installing the floor on concrete and are not concerned about vapor barrier. In our case we are looking for the quieting effect. Roll this product out, cut it off, and stick a few staples in to hold it in place. Breakfast was a feast from Chick-Fil-A and I made sure Shawn had a full tank of Caribou coffee. She works better on a caffeine buzz!
The blue floor adds to the excitement of the next step where we get to see the real floor. Our first slow down came when we realized the entry door and the closet wall did not line up. Was I going to start ripping flooring on the table saw with the very first board? No, I was not. I went back with my flush cut saw and made some space under the door jamb of the entry door and the closet door to allow a complete board to slide under. It worked like a charm and we were off to the races. Shawn discovered on our last job the small tile pieces from our bathroom remodel are the ideal spacers around the floating floor.
It takes a while but as the sections go down, the job seems to become less tiring. Shawn loves to do the layout and measure the pieces so she has randomness in the seams. And she loves to use all the pieces with as little waste as possible. I do all the cutting in the garage to keep dust out of the house so I make a lot of trips up and down the stairs. It is my very own workout camp. I have to chuckle at Shawn’s cutting instructions. “This one needs to be a tickle longer than the line I drew”. “Cut that one a shade less than 16 inches plus one of the little lines on the tape measure.” “This one is a skosh less than 32!” I run down the stairs, cut the stuff, and run back up with it. And the system works for us.
This lady is a Keeper and she is always up to her elbows helping me with whatever project we tackle. Here we are installing the closet floor and she is verifying my latest cut matches her original specifications.
I had to do some rips on the table saw for the last row of flooring. Keep in mind 1/4 round covers a multitude of cutting sins and don’t sweat it.
I have never been good at cutting trim. The job gets harder when the walls are not absolutely square. My motto is do the best you can. Once the stuff is back in the room no one will see the trim anyway.
I estimated how many feet of trim we needed then headed to Home Depot to buy pre-primed 1/4 round. I cut it to 8’ lengths in the store since I had no idea how to get a wiggly 16’ or 20’ piece of trim home. For this job I figured we needed 64’. I laid those 8 pieces out in the garage and painted them so they could dry overnight and be ready to cut and install. Painting trim after it has been installed next to a brand new wood floor is not fun. We have added a finish nailer and air compressor to the tool collection and there is no easier way to nail the trim down. Just place the gun against the wood and press the trigger. I then go back with a tube of white caulk to hide the nail heads and fill in any voids at the corners. Things worked very well on this job and there were only 2 corners that needed some help.
Another DIY tip we have picked up on is our trim is always the same color. We tried a few paint schemes in the early years (pink, blue) and decided white looks best. We keep a gallon on hand and every room gets the same trim paint – doors, windows, and baseboards. This makes paint jobs easier to complete.
Here is a picture of my trim cutting station. The Work-Mate® was a gift from my father-in-law, Tom Eddy, in the first year of my marriage to his wonderful daughter. That is one well-used and very useful piece of equipment. The Work-Mate® I mean, not Shawn. And the miter box was my Dad’s, Woody Nichols. It was in the attic at Mom’s house for years, sitting unused. I cleaned it up, polished the rust off the saw, had it sharpened and it is my tool of choice for delicate cuts. Tom and Woody. There are two guys who would be a welcome addition to any home improvement team. Dad could do anything, even if it was a brand new challenge, something he had never tried. Tom is the same. They came from a time where men were men and just knew how to get the job done.
Note – the blue counter top is not part of my tool collection. That is Shawn’s Sewing Roly-Poly as I call it. We made that item for her sewing work and to make it large enough for her needs, I assembled it in the room. Rather than try to take it out of the sewing room, I covered it with plastic during the flooring project. I was very careful with it, believe me. And it rolls so easily on the new floor!
Here is a good shot of the finished job. Shawn approves.
A woman cave has to have adequate sturdy shelving just like a man’s garage. Shawn left a rough drawing on the table with some ideas and I looked at it several mornings in a row as I ate my cereal while she was away. We needed to add modular shelving to match what we placed on the walls several months ago. That would tie the parts together and give the option of rearranging shelves if needed.
Another project can be marked off the master project list! I think something for Michelle is next in the shop. Stay tuned.