Here's a recap of our whole weekend as it pertains to our unusable kitchen:
Friday morning the plumber and electrician showed up to move the gas line for the range, add some light fixture boxes, wiring for the range hood and split up two of the four circuits that run the whole house. While they were working I continued scraping the texture off the ceiling. They felt bad for me. That's when you know it's bad, the contractors are pitying you.
The ceiling was covered in some ugly texture and I probably wouldn't have done anything about it except there was this faux medallion around the light fixture and I wanted to put a hanging fixture there and it wasn't centered over the island and you see where this is going, and it's not good. I went on the forum at OldHouseWeb and the helpful people there told me that I should be able to scrape it off so I gave it a shot. In typical Tricia fashion I was looking at the ceiling one minute and the next minute I was standing on the island with a spatula in my hand and a febreze bottle full of water in the other. I happily scraped for some time this way and the ceiling soon looked like this:
And the floor looked like this:
Then we cleaned the floor for twice as long as it took to scrape the stuff down in the first place. This time I was smarter and I got some moving boxes from the attic and put them down all over the kitchen floor. Anyway, I managed to get the rest of the ceiling scraped without incident.
Then Friday afternoon I lured Chris with the promise of burritos to my formerly favorite lighting store to choose some fixtures and we stared at catalogs until past closing time without any success. It seems our price range is VERY limiting for the three fixtures we need.
We also went to Harbor Freight to pick up a rotary cutting tool for my other project, 'The Hole'.
Saturday morning I awoke with tons of motivation for the very exciting kitchen project, but I just needed breakfast and a few things from the Home Depot. This can never end well. We ended up being out for nearly half the day and it wasn't even a successful trip. The masonry supply place was closed so we had to go to the Home Depot twice. That place is like a time warp. We also went to a decorating store to look for metallic paints for the faux finish I'm planning to do on the ceiling. I told the nice woman that I am planning to hang Anaglypta on my ceiling and paint it to look like tin. First she told me that they don't make Anaglypta anymore which is weird because I just received 10 rolls of it from the ups man, then she told me that they won't be carrying metallic paints anymore. Bust. At least they had wallpaper paste, so I got some of that.
When we got back to the house Chris screwed up the ceiling with the plaster washers.
He's very thorough. I tried my hand at skim coating. I did a small section. It was messy and hard to get the hang of, but I was satisfied with my first attempt and I had to get ready to go to a folk music festival, so I couldn't mess around all day.
This morning I sanded the skim coat test area and realized that it was actually a really terrible attempt and I was going to have to do something about it. The people on the old house web forums seem to love the Magic Trowel, so I thought that maybe it would save me. Since I needed to wait three hours before Sherwin Williams would open I decided that I would work on the hole.
It seems that holes of this variety get bigger before they can disappear, and this is what the hole looks like now:
There's a section of header that needs to be replaced because of rot and I'd like to add some reinforcements to two of the studs that have some water damage. Also, the hole needs to be cut for the range hood vent before I can start the plaster work. I pulled out some nails and took some measurements and then I got out my new rotary cutting tool to even up the remaining header after I tore out the rotten parts. Within seconds the bit broke and flew across the room. Naturally I had no other bits, so I went downstairs to find my reciprocating saw and I had no blades for that (I guess I haven't used it since Grand St.), so I just sort of pottered around until SW was open. I couldn't go to HD for bits or blades or we could have had a repeat of Saturday.
I returned home triumphant with the Magic Trowel and... it worked like crap. I was so frustrated, and I couldn't understand why everyone loves this stupid thing and I can do a better job with a taping knife and... if you take the protective cover off the magic trowel it actually does work like magic. I finished skim coating in no time flat.
All this while Chris was sealing the flat roof over the stairwell on the side of the house. He's a champ. If you saw the size of the window he shimmied out to get onto the roof, you'd be impressed.
Tonight we went to some friends' for a fabulous dinner and then we came back and I sanded the kitchen, I felt oddly compelled (like by the power of satan). I'm pretty proud of it. I'm not sure how good it really is, but it must be better than it was before, right?
I'm finally getting to bed now. Tomorrow is a vacation day for me so I can work on the kitchen project. I'm definitely still in the part of the tunnel where I can't see any light except from behind me. Why was I so eager to do this again