Tag Archives: home



90% of the wood in our 100 year old house has been painted over the years. for whatever reason the dining room was left untouched. we’ve contemplated stripping and refinishing all the trim in the house to make it brighter but it’s just too daunting of a task.

it feels so wrong to paint over the 100 year old wood, but it must be done.

adventures with a hundred year old house and light fixtures.

adventures with a hundred year old house and light fixtures. I.

ah, the fun of owning a hundred year old home. the light in our kitchen started look like it was ready to drop down from the ceiling as the screws keeping in place were coming loose.

based on past experience, i had a hunch the screws were simply screwed in the ceiling with no junction box.

turns out, i was right!

looks like i get to spend the afternoon tearing into the ceiling! the extra “fun” part about old houses is you never really know what you’ll find when you start digging around.

adventures with a hundred year old house and light fixtures. II.

the easiest thing to do would be to put in a special retrofit kit that has a box attached to a bar that extends so it can be secured to the joists in the ceiling. that plan was foiled when i opened up a hole and discovered the ceiling is actually drywall hung on 1″x2″ runners that are secured to the original plaster ceiling. the standard kit won’t work because it doesn’t assume you have 5 inches of plaster and lathe and drywall sitting between the joists and opening. fun times.

now i have to go “all in” and rip out the old plaster and lathe and whatever they are attached to get enough clearance to put in a junction box.

the only question is, which way to the wires run up in the ceiling? if i make the wrong decision when i start removing wood with the jigsaw i’ll sever the wiring.

i’m feeling lucky. i guess.

adventures with a hundred year old house and light fixtures. III.

i’m lucky. i guessed good and didn’t nick any wiring.

adventures with a hundred year old house and light fixtures. IV.

since there’s no room for the retrofit kit that’s secured to the joists i have to go with the second best option of using a box that has little wings which swing out and secure the box to the drywall. i won’t be hanging a ceiling fan off this box but it’ll be good enough for most light weight fixtures.

adventures with a hundred year old house and light fixtures. V.

five hours and an epic number of trips to the hardware store later – mission accomplished!

there’s probably a half dozen fixtures around the house that will need similar work and i’m sure each will be unique in their own little ways.

The Compleat De-Pinkification.

The Compleat De-Pinkification. I.


now, if only someone would buy and fix up the dilapidated victorian next door that you can see through the window which is in foreclosure.

yes, the windows still need some work. BUT STILL!

The Compleat De-Pinkification. II.

look at that – NO HOLE!

and i think you have to look pretty darned close to detect the patch.

so, so, so happy to be done with the this project.

day 2608: the family that paints together…

day 2608: the family that paints together... I.

The Great De-Pinkification, continues

we actually have a pretty good system worked out that saves my back from too much abuse. kris cuts in the trim on the floor, i cut in the ceiling and high parts she can’t reach, odin rolls in the bottom half and i do the top.

day 2608: the family that paints together... II.

now that we all have our specialized “finisher” roles – maybe we should start a painting company, “three snowdeals and a ladder”.

so long, prettiest in pink mud room.

so long, prettiest in pink mud room.

soon, finally, the prettiest in pink mudroom will be no more! i would have never guessed we’d live for five years with another home owners color preference.

i made short work of the hole in the corner with some spray foam, drywall and lots of joint compound (i think sprayfoam might be the duct tape of aging home repair ). inelegant, but it’ll last until we get around to doing it right.

also, much replastering of corners and cracks and whatnot.

whenever i do plaster work ( and i’ve done a loooooooot of it ), i always wonder what happens to the plaster particles that end up in my lungs. probably totally safe, right?

now, what color to go with…