Tuesday, 8 March 2011

"Character Property"

My husband and I live in a house that is 199 years old. Since moving into the house with him, I have wanted to put my "Stamp" on the house. We have been hesitant to do too much renovation as we know we want to move back to the States and will sell this house at some point in time. Sooner than later perhaps with the potential of his job moving him anywhere in the country with a weekends notice. Last week I decided enough was enough and it was time to change the 'purple room' to the 'Green room' The purple was quite dark and we would have to paint it neutral to sell anyway. I know, in many peoples minds green is not a neutral color, but it is the color of nature and blends in well to the view of the garden (yard, see previous posts). I can say, the green has lightened up the room tremendously and I am glad that I did it. However, it is a 'character propert' which is the salesmans term for a money pit. After prepping the walls and ceiling appropriately for painting with a quick cleaning, I started to apply 'magnolia emmulison' from top to bottom. I double checked with my husband that we were replacing the carpet and pulled that up as well. No I did not paint the floor, but it meant I did not have to worry about drips. One very sore shoulder and a load of paint later ceiling, walls, doors, window frame, skirting boards, the whole load had a nice cover of magnolia. The bright purple was hidden away aside from the drips left behind by the previous painer on the radiator. Very enthusiastically the next morning I opened the can of 'mellow sage' paint and put a rough coat on the walls. I attempted to do the edging free hand but remember, this is nearly a 200 year old house. The angle between the ceiling and the walls is neither sharp nor straight and my wobbly line only made it more obvious. Simple enough, I will mask off all the trim work and ceiling as they are sufficiently slathered in magnolia. Another day of painting, another sore shoulder at the end, but no pain no gain and the room was looking fab. I even taped off the trim in the door to paint a little green trim as there was a few drops of paint left in the can that would have only dried up and gone to waste. Again, the next morning, excitedly went into the room to get the tape down and look at my nice clean lines. My husband had the day off work so it should have been an easy day picking out flooring, go to the gym, nice meal afterwards... No stress right. Wrong! As we peeled away the masking tape, sheets of paint came down with it. Not only my magnolia paint, but the white paint and anything else under it. Bare plaster was exposed on the ceiling! As we took the tape off the door, whole sheets of magnolia and my neat line of green lifted away as well. We were a bit disheartened after the experience but we continued with our plans anyway. We went to 4 different stores looking to see if anyone carried the flooring we already had as we would only need one or two more boxes to finish the room. Ever the environmentalist I again tried to do it with materials we already had. No such luck. We did however find laminate flooring for £4 a box covering 2+ square meters per box. B&Q was discontinueing a number of laminate floors and we took all 6 boxes. Enough to cover our room, however not the exact color we wanted. So we raced to the B&Q store on the other side of town to see what they had. If they had more of the flooring we just purchased, we would have bought that for another room and looked for the darker flooring we had originally planned on for my little green room. We made it to the store 5 minutes before closing, great time to get in and check out the flooring. As you could expect the discontinued laminate we purchased in the other store was not here. They did however have flooring in a different color at a decent price as well. As we only drive a little Audi TT and it was already stuffed full, we would come back another day to purchase this flooring. I have scraped and sanded the ceiling and given it a fresh coat of paint, the door had to come off the hinges as sanding over my head or on a ladder was not working well. I guess it is ok, since the door was in the way for laying the floor anyway! I am trying to lay straight sheets of laminate flooring in a room that has no straight walls. I have made a few cuts and they have worked out pretty well so far. I'll let you know how the last row goes in! Until then, I am off to give my property some more 'character'!

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