Our DIY House Renovations: Weeks One and Two

The work has begun! I mentioned that Matthew and I had decided that we has four main projects to do on the house before we moved in:

Refinishing the hardwood floors

Painting and adding wainscoting

Putting up a fence 

Renovating the kitchen.

Well, we decided to tackle the floors and the painting first so we can start moving furniture in.  Our first weekend started in the hardware store.

We went to the locks first because we knew we wanted to change out the locks and the door knobs from gold to silver. Luckily there were kits that included two deadbolts and knobs and we found two kits with the same code so the all the keys matched! 

While Matthew and Craig (Matthew’s childhood friend and our roommate) went on to tools to get started on the floors, I went to the paint to look at what colors I wanted. I ended up getting samples of Sherwin Williams- Sea Salt, Armitage Gray and Origami White. 

We are very happy with the colors and I can't wait to see the house finished, but here is a sneak peek! 

As I was putting up the sample paint all over the walls, Matt and Craig began tearing up the shoe molding and the baseboards- because we are adding wainscoting. Once I finished painting the sample, I helped tear up the boards as well. 

By the end of the first weekend, we had most of baseboards are off so we can go ahead and start sanding! 

We had planned on going after work to do some more projects on the house but we both ended up with a cold and did not make it back over to the house until the weekend. 

On Saturday, we had an appointment with our insurance company which took most of our morning away from us. However, we purchased our paint and tools to remove the wallpaper. Once we arrived at the house,  I worked on taking down the wallpaper in the kitchen while Matthew finished sanding the staircase. 


For the wallpaper, make sure you get a very good scraper! This sharp tool really helped me tackle that wall. I used the tiger claw tool first to perforate the wall in order to get my gel under the paper. I started with a small section to test my process. After perforating, I sprayed very generously with the gel then lathered it into the wall with the sponge. I highly recommend glasses during the stage as the gel splattered back at me. I then let the gel soak for ten minutes, followed by another good spray of the gel. Then I began scraping. The paint and wall paper came right off! 

Meanwhile, Matthew vacuumed up all the debris from tearing off the base board. Then he started his firs round of sanding.  We rented an orbital sander from the hardware store and started with 36 grit sand paper for the hall way and the rooms. Matthew chose the orbital sander opposed to the belt sander as it is good for newbies like us. He says it will require extra labor afterwards for old floors like ours because there are areas the sander will not get and will need to go back and get those areas again with the Dremmel (which he used on the steps with 60 grit). 


Sunday, we went to Home Depot first thing to rent the sander. Both my uncle and Craig came to help us out this day and we finish painting the living room and got two bedrooms sanded! Matthew is planning on going to the house through out the week (week three) to prep the rest of the rooms for sanding and I will be taping off the rest of the first floor to finish painting. Our hope is that we can get the sanding and painting completed next weekend..... Stay tuned!