Update #2: Living Room Walls and Floors!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the looooong delay–I wanted to save posts for once we’d actually FINISHED a project, but everything is taking longer than expected. (Well…. okay, longer than *I* expected. According to Rio’s much more experienced timeline, we’re doing just fine.)

Really, the issue is that it turns out that when you’re working on an ongoing project like a house restoration, you end up starting several projects at the same time and working on them simultaneously. Each one gets a little closer to finished, but none of them have a neat satisfying ending that allows us to move on to the next project.

To explain: the first part of the house we decided to tackle is living room. This took half of May and the entire month of June! Ultimately, the whole living room required a series of lengthy tasks (as explained by Rio in a previous post), but I tried to divide today’s explication into floors, ceiling, and then walls.

Here’s the living room as it looked on my first tour. To put it nicely…. it’s a cave.

But also, this is an old, old house, so the floor has decades (if not a whole century) of wear on it, so we decided that the first thing we should do is sand the fading varnish off the floor.

The added bonus for this is that we can stain it a lighter color, since this dark greatly contributes to the cave-like vibe of the room.

Sure the focus is supposed to be on the floor, but $10 says nobody hates these paint colors more than I do.

So, we rented a power sander, got suited up in our plastic work suits, and got to work!

In addition to keeping in all of your body heat, these suits are also incredibly flattering!

But look at how well that sander works!

Honestly, sanding the floor was the quickest task. We had a four hour rental, and we sanded that whole floor in 3 and a half hours. It still needs some hand sanding in a few hard-to-reach places, and we’ll still have to re-stain and varnish it, but before that, we moved onto the painting.

As I’ve mentioned (and will mention again and again) the living room was a bit of a nightmare. In addition to an incredibly ugly paint job, we also had to address some lead paint, a peeling ceiling, and a giant rotting section of the wall under the window.

I’ll let Rio write about the window repair since that was his project. The painting, however, we handled together.

Part #1: The Ceiling.

My parents were visiting, so naturally, instead of doing fun things like going to the beach, we spent at least three days scraping several decades of peeling paint off the ceiling.

Also, shout out to Mom & Dad–they were VERY thorough. The worst part of about this old paint is that you can technically chip away at it forever, but eventually we had to move on.

Here’s where we landed. SO MUCH PAINT scraped off the ceiling!!

Next up, we needed to coat the walls with a lead-blocker/sealant primer.

We would have needed to prime anyway to cover the horrible dark olive pain on the trim and cabinets, but the lead-blocker helps us feel a lot more confident about, you know, not getting lead poisoning.

We also painted the sealing with a different sealant that basically just glued the chipping paint in place.

Here’s the priming process:

I love all the photos we have of me working on stuff. It makes it looks like I’m working WAY harder than I actually am, haha.

Following the several-days-long priming process, we got to work on the actual painting.

Rio started a number additional projects during this time because it took us, ugh, several weeks to choose our paint colors. We wanted a semi-traditional looking sage color and in the process of fining one we didn’t outright hate, we collected 30 paint strips and tried a good 5 samples. Do I 100% love the color we ended up with? Uh…… it’s fine. It looks nice. Ultimately we just had to move on.

Also once the paint actually gets on the wall, you kind of like it just because at least SOMETHING is there.

We *almost* didn’t choose this nice shade of white because the creep who named the paint color called it “mayonnaise” which totally nauseated us both, but it’s the only warm white we could find so we went with it anyway.

So, with that, here’s the part of the blog everyone is waiting for: comparison photos!

Sorry about the construction mess–I’m still detailing the windows.


And that’s the living room–for now.

Next up, we have some work to do in the kitchen and bathroom, but then we’ll make our way back into the living room to stain and varnish the floor, fix the wooden ceiling beams, and figure out the best place for a standing lamp.

In the meantime, thanks again for tuning in!

Hope to be back in the next two weeks with more exciting ghost house updates!

4 thoughts on “Update #2: Living Room Walls and Floors!

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