chipping away: room one, floor 3!

Turns out that this whole “redo the third floor” thing is taking a lot longer than we originally allotted.

<queue laughter from seasoned old house owners >

Also turns out that nobody but us was particularly concerned that it was taking so long.

<now queue guffawing>

At this point I’m thoroughly convinced that moderately priced contractors could make a real killing by a) showing up and b) not being crazy. That’s my latest million dollar idea for anyone who wants it. Go forth, renovate, and avoid riffling though people’s mailboxes!

The first room we’ve (mostly) finished is Mr. Melliroo’s office. His space was the most critical, as working at the dining room table was getting old (and his ergonomic set- up was…uh…large).

At the start of our tenure, it looked like this: (wish I would’ve taken better photos, but I was obsessing over lead paint poisoning, obviously.)


While I lobbied to keep the linoleum, nobody else saw its charm. It also wasn’t  fastened to the floor w/ anything other than grime, so I think that earned it some additional demerits. It’s currently classing up our back yard, while we wait to haul it away over the weekend. I’d be tempted to leave it for decorative purposes, but don’t want to entice the neighbors. They’re big fans of the fire pit and frequently challenge themselves to ignite the non-flammable. DEP came one day to say hello.

The second incarnation of the office looked like this. It involved a mess that managed to be both dusty and sticky, then dusty and leaden.


After everything was  skim coated, we painted.  Or, more accurately, we sealed/primed/painted.  We used Zinnser’s Gardz Problem Surface Sealer, which *says* it can be used as a primer.  It created a very slick/shiny surface. I wasn’t hugely fond of the way the paint went on over it. Not sure if this is b/c paint adheres differently to plaster (downstairs) than it does to fresh drywall. We also had some adhesion problems, which I think had to do w/ not using an actual primer *and*using painter’s tape…but jury’s still out on that. For the next room, I sealed, primed, and painted, so we’ll see if the adhesion is better when I do the trim.

The Huz puts on the inaugural roll. The color was much less creepy mustard by the time I did three (!!) coats.


Then we moved along to the men-diy-floors extravaganza. It featured some gummy stain, mineral spirits, floor wax, and quite a bit buffing. Did I mention that we own a professional floor machine now?( It sands!  It buffs!  It tries to flee from its operator!) We also just bought a cheapy handheld buffer, b/c apparently you can never have too many buffers…

The floor boards under the linoleum were in middling shape, but salvageable. I mean, people intentionally buy engineered wood that looks “reclaimed” so we should probably get some kind of aging-hipster authenticity points for having neglected wooden floorboards..

Mr. Melliroo buffs his way to freedom from his dining room workspace.


The Huz then painted the trim and moved the furniture moved in. W/ the exception of some (annoying) touchups to do around the windows, he’s good to go.

He’s got his “ergo” set-up by the window, complete w/ peely paint.


The well-traveled couch was pilfered for the sake of nostalgia. So danke to the Mixmaster for donating the first piece of upstairs furniture. I was skeptical of its coolness, but stand humbly corrected!


What we used:
Paint: Martha Stewart – Yam (MSL083), color-matched for Behr
Trim: Martha Stewart – Heath (MSL212), also matched for Behr
Floor: Minwax – Dark Walnut
Floor Wax: SC Johnson paste wax

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