Monday, August 22, 2011

Dining Room Progress

Hello, hello!!  I'm finally here to update you all on the progress of our lovely dining room!  I'm so excited!  This was our first project where we did more than just paint.  I grew up in a family that DIY-ed practically everything, and Sonny grew up the opposite, but he has always wanted to take up carpentry.  So when we were discussing doing some sort of molding treatment in our dining room...I pushed for DIY and told him this would bring him one step closer to being a carpenter and owning cool power tools....and he was in!

So after cruising the blogosphere for something that we could mutually love, we decided to do a board and batten treatment around those freshly painted aqua walls.  After much research on cost and measuring and a lot of winging things and one spontaneous "let's do it THIS weekend!" from Sonny....we were on our way.  The problem was...we had no idea where to begin.  The solution was....we have kick ass neighbors who totally know what they are doing and who are awesome and let us borrow all their power tools.  We were THISCLOSE to buying our own, but thought that this was our first project and we didn't know what we were looking for in power tools that we should take advantage of our generous friends.

So Shaun so graciously came over to help with his miter saw, nail gun, tool box, and brain.  And, get this...he got his miter saw for Christmas and he has never used it.  Meaning, the man let us use his cool tool when he had never used it himself!  Wow...kindness literally seeps through their pores, I tell ya. 

The first thing we did was to put up the baseboards.  Well actually...the first thing we did was have Shaun show Sonny how to use the miter saw.  Well, actually....the first thing we did was have to read the manual because like I said, Shaun had never used this tool either. 

This was a fun experience.  I especially love how the saw reminded you to not saw your fingers off.

Excellent advice I'd say!

SO then the next step was to do the baseboards.  After a few practice cuts we were ready to go!  Shaun showed us how to miter stuff and nail stuff and do all the kinds of stuff that we needed to do stuff.  It was so amazing having him here.  It would have taken us twice as long to get started and learn how to do it all ourselves.  Here he is showing us how to use the compressor for the nail gun.  Man that thing was loud!  You gotta love that we have the soundest sleepers in the world in our house....those kiddos didn't even flinch at all the noise.  I will never be worried about Peppers barking again....that compressor was 10x louder.

All our materials were the pre-primed MDF that most of the blogosphere suggested that we use.  It probably would have been cheaper to get large sheets and cut them down...but it saved us alot of time having everything pre cut and primed.  And since Sonny only has nights and Sundays free....time is super valuable to us.  So in a way, it's a savings!  Woot!  Way to rationalize!  Anyway, for the baseboards we used the 5" pre-primed MDF, and measured, mitered, liquid glued, and nailed.

Remember...all our work is done between the hours of 9 and 11 my pics are always going to be a little dark and ugly.  And I'm sure my other neighbors really appreciated the saw and the compressor at 10:30 at night.  Sorry neighbs.  When we were putting up the baseboards...we realized we had a little problem to solve.  Our townhouse is an open floor plan, which meant in this room we had a few outside corners to deal with.  We were replacing the baseboards in just the dining room...which meant we had smaller baseboards meeting up with just look at the picture....I'm finding it hard to explain:

See how that's a little bit funky?  The new boards would be going about 2" above that molding, so if we mitered it to meet up with the old molding, then the top half would be mitered and open....much like how this miter is hanging open now.  Yes we could have very carefully and surgically mitered the bottom 3" and left the top 2" straight...but that would have taken a long time to get that juuuuuuuuust right, so we came up with this solution:

Oooooo.....action shot!  Yes we sawed it square with the wall.  This ended up being my job while the guys sawed and nailed.  I didn't mind.  Although I have to say I was less intimidated by the power tools than by this hand saw.  I kept envisioning my hand slipping and me slicing through something.  There were no kind reminders not to slice appendages off on the hand what if I forgot!  ACK!  I like this idea for the corners though.  Yes they are exposed and squared so you kinda have a funny little wedge...but I think that it works for this situation.  I forgot to get a pic of what it looks like...I guess I could go take one really fast, then re-download it, then edit it, then show you....but Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is almost over so I only have mere minutes to finish the post ( life....glorious!) so instead here's just and extreme close up from another picture:

I think it will look great once it's caulked and spackled and painted.  The only people that will notice or comment are the people I told (so.......the world right now) and rude people.  So if you're reading this....don't be rude.

We are still truckin' along on this project...but one thing I can take away from that first night is that if you have friends or relatives that know what they are doing and you don't, TOTALLY take full advantage of them.  We learned so much from Shaun that first night.  His help was/is truly invaluable.  He even taught me that the red numbers on the measuring tape were every 16," which is helpful when marking studs.  Did you know that?  I had no idea.  And I worked in kitchen design and it seems like something I should have known!  So this is our phase uno....and I'll show you our progress later on this week.  Just want to give one last shout out and a thank you to our most wonderful neighbor and friend....thanks Shaun!!

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