You know that little word we warn clients about? “Project Creep” Yeah, well our project crept it’s way into a full on remodel this week. What we formerly were thinking of as a quick facelift veered into the “we’re doing all this work so why don’t we…” conversation as we peeked under the vinyl peeling at the edges of the room as I was about to nail it down to paint over, talking about what a shame the plywood underneath looks so bad and can’t just be painted… it ripped towards the center of the room! When we saw how brittle the existing vinyl was we weren’t sure if paint would hold up (even that SuperPaint we love so much!) and we had no good way of fixing this tear in the most noticeable corner… So we decided to demo the floors with no plan for what to put in it’s place! (Can you feel my anxiety yet? I promise it’s palpable over here.)
So, after cleaning out the majority of the porch, I took the crow bar out and started peeling away at the perimeter thinking I was in for a super quick & easy demo based on how loose the edges were. Boy was I wrong! Whoever installed this used barely a stitch of glue at the edges and straight up slathered it on in the center. I had to bust out the floor scraper to get anything besides the edges up and even still it was slow going and the paper backing stayed put in most places.
While I worked on the inside, Chris worked on the most crucial detail, jacking up the front of the porch to be level again! The previous homeowner built the front on cinderblocks, positioned on the weak side, it turned out the reason the porch had sunken at the front was that the cinder blocks had cracked. So instead of dealing with a bigger issue, Chris really just had to replace the cinder blocks. It’s certainly not the ideal way to support a porch this large but it works. Someday we may decide to do something different with this 3 season space or put in something stronger if the blocks fail again but for now, we’re taking this simple solution as a win. The windows are almost 100% level and now all open & shut (except one stubborn one) and now our paint line for the color dipped effect will not look slanted!
After about 6 hours of scraping we took a break for dinner, then I got started in on taping the paint line with the laser level before it was time to call it quits for the Game of Thrones premiere. I used professional frog tape which gives a cleaner line with less paint bleed, I really recommend springing for this tape if you’re painting a clean line, especially if like us you are not painting both parts of the wall. Once the tape was up and it was only 8:15, I couldn’t help myself, I HAD to start painting and finally get to really see the effect on the room! 9:00 came and I couldn’t stop because I’d only just started the primer… so I watched the premiere through the open front door for a good chunk of it, coming in to sit down for the best scenes. It was a tedious job with all the trim, panel grooves, knots, & windows but it was the most satisfying late night project to complete (even though it was just primer) because I finally got a sense of how the room would feel with a solid on the bottom! I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little bit tempted to leave it white but that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting, would it?
Initially, I was INSISTENT on the floors remaining painted Dard Hunter Green with the walls to create that true dip dye look, which means either keeping it super basic with a better grade of plywood we paint or putting down something cheap enough that we don’t care if we’re just going to be painting it. But, the more I thought about it and actually considered what we’d like to have on the floors regardless of budget and the answer was – hardwood. Right now we’re looking at some reclaimed flooring, hoping to score some taken out of an old gymnasium we found that’s very well priced. We’ll decide whether we want to paint it or not once it’s installed and we can assess it’s condition, since we’re covering most of the floors with jute rugs it really doesn’t need to be perfect. Mainly, I’m hoping it coordinates well in tone with the walls but it looks like it might be a little more yellow than will look good with the pine, so that may drive me deciding to paint. If that wood doesn’t end up working out and I end up picking a wood tone, I’d definitely chose a dark brown espresso color to coordinate with the knots in the pine, this is my favorite trick when mixing wood finishes but keeping it from feeling like too much wood.
And speaking of floors, my rugs came in from Target and OMG I couldn’t be more pleased! Want a great hack for getting a huge patterned wall to wall seagrass rug that should cost a bajillion dollars on the cheap? (Trust me I’ve researched high & low!) Find some inexpensive area rugs or door mats and sew them together! You can use square, rectangular, round or really any shape if you don’t mind having some voids. I chose 3′ round jute rugs I found on sale from Target’s Opalhouse collection because I wanted to have open areas where the floors peeked through but still cover most of the floors. In combination with a coupon, this got me full wall to wall coverage of the entire room for around $250 which for that size is a total steal! To get a 9 x 12 rug with a similar weave (which was the largest size I found and only covers the middle section) would have cost $699+. And to do it professionally with the wall to wall seagrass matting I was inspired by? Thousands. I was really ready to make this idea work on a budget with placemats I am SO glad that idea didn’t go as planned and I sprang for actual rugs, I really love the look and the color which was an unexpected bonus and coordinates so well with my fabric. Big shoutout to our client & follower for sending us a larger rug from this collection to consider, we would have never thought of this if we didn’t see it in the “similar items” section!
This weekend I hope to be done painting, fingers crossed pick up the flooring, maybe install some, and get everything I still need to figure out, figured out. Having things unresolved during the process stresses me out and I don’t see myself “winging” another room ever again. Next time we do the challenge I’m figuring it ALL out ahead of time! And yes, I said next time because I am totally loving the hard deadlines to get my butt in gear on our house – there’s nothing more exciting & satisfying than finishing a project you’ve put off for far too long and I intend to let the One Room Challenge help me get more of those moments!