Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches

Ok so today has not been the best day. But the story, like most, is a bit convoluted so first we need some background.

Background

The boyfriend and I are now, suddenly, both working from home. (Unrelated to the plague.) Our “office” is actually the 350 sqft master bedroom that we instead put our computers and workbenches into. It is a big, open room and has served us well in this capacity for about seven years. (!!) However, with both of us needed to work at the house from now on, we decided to build some temporary (no damage to floors, ceiling, etc) walls to turn the 1 big room into three smaller ones. One office for me, one office for him, and a middle common area. It’ll look like this.

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Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches

My wall is done I am working on painting it, George’s has a bit to go.

Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches

Today I was going to put the finish coat onto the wall. We’re painting the temporary walls the same color as the real walls because... reasons.

Unrelated, when we redid the bathroom last year they removed a closet from the spare bedroom and left raw sheet rock there also because reasons.

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In my infinite wisdom I decided I should start painting the spare room while I’ve got the painting supplies out and have the paint. I mean... why not!? The room is currently a dingy tan color but hasn’t been on the high priority list.

Ok... background over

Well ok, so I go into the spare room (something I do infrequently) to start prep. I notice some minor paint flaking that had been developing for a while on the ceiling was much worse.

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Bummer.

When I first noticed it a while back I checked for leaks in the attic and didn’t see any, so I started ignoring it. But now it looked like I couldn’t continue to ignore it and needed to pull it down. And I found this:

Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches
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Shit.

Shitting shit shit.

Like three flavors of mold and some damaged plaster.

NOT what I wanted to deal with today.

I scraped off all the apparent previous repair and the underlying wallpaper (they finished all the raw plaster in neutral wall paper when the house was built) and soaked the area in bleach. Unfortunately I didn’t expect it to get so gross so fast and didn’t put down a drop cloth until about halfway through, so now I have a lot of moldy ceiling all over everything. Probably with lead.

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Hooray.

Everything bleached down and cleaned up, I brought out the Killz primer and coated the spot liberally. I’ll leave it like that for a few storms to make sure it isn’t leaking or getting worse, and then tape and mud it.

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Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches
Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches
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Finally getting to what I was there to do, I started painting the trim. Naturally the existing trim in that room isn’t the same color as all the other trim in the house, so now I’ve committed to doing all of it.

Joy.

While working on masking I noticed a weird pattern on the wall.

Illustration for article titled Houselopnic - unexpected headaches
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Sonofabitch! The previous owner (crazy) had apparently painted over the floral border.

Great. Now I need to decide if I can get away with putting down another coat of paint or if I should try my luck steaming the wallpaper off. We’ve had mixed luck removing borders in the past. Some of them come off without tools, others are essentially permanent, most are in between.

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Given I’ve never noticed this before I’m inclined not to pull that thread. Counterpoint though I can see where it is coming up in places. Still, steaming and removing that border is a massive scope creep on this project.

Oh and we have guests next week.

Ok cool..

Also while prepping I had to remove some doors that we were storing in there. Because of reasons two of our closet doors had been removed. Also the door the the “Nursery,” which we lovingly call the “Kill Room.” There is a story there, but I won’t go into it.

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To get into the “Nursery,” which is technically a small bedroom but we use as a closet, you have to go through the office/master bedroom... so we’ve always felt like it was sort of creepy that the PO kept her kids in there. They had to go through her bedroom to get to their room. Also her bedroom was a nightmare:

Yes, that is the same pattern on the everything. Also the drapes, outlet and switch covers. The door to the left is to the Kill Room. No sane person would do this.
Yes, that is the same pattern on the everything. Also the drapes, outlet and switch covers. The door to the left is to the Kill Room. No sane person would do this.
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The “Kill Room” as it once was. Best we can tell this used to be a 2nd floor porch that they converted into a bedroom some time in the 70s.
The “Kill Room” as it once was. Best we can tell this used to be a 2nd floor porch that they converted into a bedroom some time in the 70s.

ANYWAY, we removed the door a loooong time ago and I’d almost forgotten how creepy it is.

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First off: It appears to be an outside door, which sort of makes sense given that the room probably used to be outdoors.

Secondly: It locks from the outside. I’m not accusing crazy lady of locking her kids in there, but she certainly could have.

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Third: It appears it used to be hung the other way. They removed and filled the mortise box, put the hinges on the other side and fitted a new handle.

Fourth: It has the most ornate hinges I’ve ever seen.

Fifth.... I mean just look at it.

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So... plan is to remove some of the filigree and paint it white.

All of it. Even the window. 

I’m over it.

Ok... so wait what was I doing?

Oh right... painting... mold removal... and maybe some wallpaper removal.

Terrific.

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