Saturday, March 31, 2012

Come On In

Our foyer is a mecca for small projects. It's been the room that has had many updates and changes, but changes that only we, as homeowners, really notice. When we first bought the house the foyer looked like this:
Since then, the floors have been bleached (to get water stains out), sanded, and poly'd. The ceiling has been painted, the walls painted twice (the first color we decided was too dark). We added a doorbell cover and a new light fixture. We cleaned all the wood and hung some pictures on the wall. And although it’s a room we've done a lot of work to, there is still a lot that needs to be done.

About 8 months ago Jon started sanding the spindles on our staircase. I finally got around to finishing sanding them and then did one coat of paint. That made such a big difference and with that I was determined to get that project done. Three coats later (sanding in-between each one... ugh) the railings looked brand new. Also, since we decided to paint them bright white, it helped show the true color of our walls. We painted the foyer an off-white color (Glidden Clam Shell) to keep it bright since it does not get a lot of sun.

Another small project we did recently in the foyer was change the base board radiator covers. I know, I know, doesn't sound that exciting. But let me tell you... Jon and I were literally jumping up and down after we replaced these. They have been the one thing in the foyer that since the day we bought the house we wanted to change. The original ones were not only rusted and caked with old flaky paint, but were also HUGE. They were 10" tall! (That is 2” taller than the standard size.) This covered up some beautiful old wood work and immediately drew your eye down instead of blending into the room.

As you can see, they were a definite eyesore. So, when we were at Lowe's this weekend, we decided to bite the bullet and replace them. If you’re looking for them at Home Depot or Lowes they are under the plumbing section. They sell two types of set ups, complete and dummy. We went for the dummy ones because we did not need to replace all of the pipes- just the covers. In our mind, ripping off the old ones and screwing in new ones sounded pretty easy. However we did end up hitting a few road blocks. Issue one? Cutting these things is TOUGH. A jig saw works well if you can get the cover firmly secured to a board or bench, but as we went along we found that plain old metal snips worked the best. Jon got quite a hardy hand work out and the edges are very sharp when cut, but since they are covered by the end cap that's not too much of a problem. Issue two? The old base board (specifically the section in front of the stair well) would not come out. We were not moving the pipes, and the bold base board had a 2 1/2 inch deep top and bottom so you could not pull the backing out from where it was (think a C wrapped around the pipe). We ended up having to snip the old base board top off and pull the backing down an out from behind. (A job that was a MAJOR pain in the butt and caused some minor hand injuries.) Needless to say, it took a little longer than we expected to finish this project, but we got it done.

Way better! We still have a lot of small projects to work on in the foyer (one being sanding and painting the kick-boards of the stairs). But since we got these few done we are feeling pretty good about keeping the ball rolling and completing this room soon. Plus, all these small projects are starting to really add up. Check out our foyer now!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! Sounds like a pain in the rear for sure! The new radiator cover looks great! I agree, the exposed millwork you found is a nice detail.

    Keep up the good work!!