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Showing posts from October, 2017

Decorating a Living Room with Knotty Pine Walls

Ever since we bought our old farmhouse, I've been slightly worried about how difficult decorating a living room with knotty pine walls might be. I shouldn't have worried. What a cozy-looking living room we have, with these 73-year-old solid knotty pine walls. Knotty pine walls are coming back into style. While there are many articles out there about how to paint knotty pine walls, we figured it was worth a shot to see what the space looked like finished, as we could always paint the walls later if we decided we couldn't live with them. So far, so good - I'm pretty happy with how our vintage knotty pine walls look in the living room at this point. I haven't hung any pictures on the walls yet, but as you can see from the living room photo above, the space actually doesn't have a dark depressing feel at all. The darkness of the walls and floors is offset by a white ceiling, light-colored area rug, and white trim around the floors, windows, and doors, which c

Community Compost, Manure and Mulch Piles

The community where I live shares a number of resources, among them being three big piles: compost, manure and mulch. The compost was just announced via Nextdoor to all our neighbors as being ready for the taking.  Since I'm new to the area, I was especially intrigued and went over to check it out. The compost and manure piles are quite large; the mulch not so much, but that will change as the fall season progresses. There is a ready supply of manure all year long due to the community barn, thanks to the four horses and American Spotted Ass who live there.  (I love the loud Hee Haw that the ass makes whenever its owners show up. We can hear him all the way across the field where we live, since our house is near the barn.) A handful of community members are the owners of the animals and share responsibilities for their care.  The manure is scooped from the barn and field and carted over to the pile, where it cures all year long for use in everyone's gardens. The co

Beautiful Wood Floors are Refinished

We called upon VanDyke Hardwood Floors out of Port Angeles to refinish our 73-year-old wood floors.  The beautiful and original wood floors extend the full upstairs of our house, covering about 1,500 square feet. VanDyke Hardwood Floors uses a BONA dust collection system that made a dirty job much cleaner.  As you know from my other posts, the previous owners of our house had pets that had left urine stains everywhere.  I was glad that the dust from sanding was being trapped inside the BONA dust collection system.  This kept the house mostly free of hazardous airborne particles that could potentially have caused us health issues, especially since we were living downstairs in the house while this work was going on. I was also careful to turn off our HVAC system while the sanding was going on, so that any dust that escaped would not circulate throughout the house. Most of the urine stains were removed simply by sanding off the very top layer of the wood floors.  Those tha

How to Get Dog Urine Out of Wood Under Carpet and Linoleum

One of the first issues I researched when we bought our house was how to get dog urine out of wood under carpet and linoleum. We knew that the former owners of our house had multiple dogs and cats. When we bought the house, there was a strong pet urine odor that deterred other buyers.  We were confident, however, that we could get the smell out and restore the house. And we did.  Here's how: Remove all the old carpeting and linoleum. It is amazing how much odor was removed just by hauling out the pee-soaked carpeting and tearing out the linoleum.  These floor coverings in our house were at least 20 years old, and had sustained damage from a number of pets. In tearing out the floor coverings, we could more easily see what kind of damage we were dealing with.  Below, you can see where the dog had peed and it soaked under the edge of the floor covering, which in this case was linoleum. Consider whether you need to clean the floor. One area of our house had old asbesto

How to Remove Wallpaper Border

Prior to painting the kitchen, I needed to determine how to remove wallpaper border.  Our wallpaper steamer was packed away somewhere.  Since this seemed like a relatively small job, I decided to go about it using a scraper and Zinsser DIF Gel Wallpaper Stripper.  Through trial and error, I discovered a few tips that made the job easier as I went along: How to Remove Wallpaper Border: 5 Important Tips 1. Score the wallpaper really well before applying  the wallpaper stripper. When I started out, I had only purchased the wallpaper gel. Zinsser makes a good product: When considering how to remove wallpaper border, I didn't consider the need to score the paper.  Scoring the wallpaper means scraping a sharp edge on it to break through the surface, which allows the gel to soak in better.  Unfortunately, the job took a little longer because the first part of the wallpaper border that I sprayed the stripper gel on didn't have any scoring in it.  Some of the border