Thursday, 31 August 2017

Grouting and other bits and pieces

Well, I set myself a task to finish the grouting on the San Franciscan basement and got around to starting it about a week ago. I decided to use craft mosaic grout.
I liked that it was a nice grey colour like real mortar and that it's sanded, which I like the look of in real life... Oy!... What a mess it's created!

Grouting in progress with wiped portion below and newly added grout above the window.

I knew it was going to be difficult to remove from the stone so I tried to stick to the grout lines but that proved to be impossible. :)

As you can see, a lot of the grout remains on the stones. :(

Unfortunately, cleaning the stone proved to be as difficult as I expected, perhaps more so. A friend at the Greenleaf forums warned me that rubbing to hard on the Andi Mini Stone would knock off the texture and that proved to be correct. So I had to compromise and leave much more grout on the stone than I would have preferred to. I guess I will have to do some creative landscaping to cover up some of the really bad spots and then call it a rustic (very old) pointing job. :D  On the upside, they are definitely not pink anymore! I hope it looks a little better once I've sealed it. I'm still going to pick at it a bit before then though so that's a job that will have to wait.

Would I use this product for this application again. Unlikely, but I'm not sure what I would substitute it with so, I'll have to get back to you on that.

After cleaning - this section didn't turn out too badly.

After the grout dried, I finally got the coach lights to stick onto the uneven stone surface with a little help from my Greenleaf friends. It seems superglue is the only option for some jobs.

I would've made it a whole lot easier on myself if I'd just upended the building to attach them but I didn't think of that at the time. :)

But do they work?? Yes!

Of course I'm spending a lot of time at the moment asking myself what comes first the chicken or the egg. I have struggled on deciding what to attach first the basement ceiling/first floor or the basement floor I cut a couple of weeks ago. I finally decided to attach the roof and work upside down for a bit. I wanted to attach one or the other to give the current U shaped structure some stability. I am already cleaning up grout droppings every day, I don't need to help it along by having the walls flapping around every time I need to turn the building around for ease of working.

Of course I used the obligatory paint can weights and a level.. Very technical stuff. :D

I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Not so fast.. Time to paint trims. :(

I taped them all down to bits of office paper and took them outside for a spray of undercoat. I just feel like that makes it easier to paint the finish colour on them without doing umpteen coats.

I noted that the door trim that comes with the San Franciscan is all flat but I had a combination of replacement doors with routed trim and flat trim. Hmmm.. what to do. Well flat seems easiest so that's that decision made.
I filled in the routed trim that is fixed on one side of the doors with spackle.... Not a fun job! So for the trim provided for the inside of the door, I just turned it over and painted the back side which is flat. The purchased basement windows didn't come with trim so I cut some popsicle sticks to size for those. Problem solved. :)

I got bored with all this construction-y type work so I decided to do something a bit more interesting in the middle of it.. I skipped up a level to work on the first floor staircase.

 I taped off an painted out the risers, side and back of the stairs Antique White. Then I taped off again and stained the treads with an Oak coloured stain pen.

Then I added some laser cut decorative corner trims that I got from Earth & Tree. I broke quite a few of these removing them from the tape I stuck them to for painting. So I would advise buying an extra pack if you are boofy like me. :)

I decided to wear down the treads by sanding them back a bit. This is an old house after all and I do want it to feel very lived in. These stairs have seen thousands of foot falls in their hundred or so years. :D

I've seen several people do this on various blogs and I always loved the look. I still have some work to do on them and as I can see from my photos.. some touch ups as well. :)

Next step on these will be railings and newels. I've started the prep.

The newels and spindles will be white and the banister will be stained the same oak colour of the treads. My next decision will be where to put the Newels??
During my research I've seen some on the first step and some on the floor. I can't really say which one I like better but I'm leaning towards on the step... But that leads to a whole range of issues on the second floor.. such as how to attach the stairwell railing to the newel??


Friday, 4 August 2017

I wonder what's in this package? :)

I wonder what could be in this little box :)

I love it when packages arrive on the doorstep... and I've been waiting for this one for a little while now.

I finally won a miniature animal auction on eBay and my first purchase was this sweet little squirrel from Tina (teensyweensy13). Because every tree should have a resident squirrel right? :)

Oh my gosh he is so tiny! I'm in love!

Thought I'd try him out in the half finished San Franciscan tree. 

He's taking a good look around.

 He seems to like hanging out on the branches that have gigantic nuts. Squirrel heaven! :)

He has lovely detailed markings on his face, particularly around his eyes. 

 And his head turns in both directions.

 Why do you keep taking my picture!

He needs a name I feel... Something beginning with S as I'm a fan of a good bit of alliteration. :) But first I better get to work on finishing his tree!