Wow, it has been a really long time since I last posted on this blog.  I hope my readers will understand that it is because I have been busy doing just what it is that house restoration bloggers tend to do with their time.


Since my last post, we got another apartment ready for rent.  This one is another larger one on the second floor.  This one had a ton of ceiling and wall patching (the previous tenant had anger issues, apparently).  The kitchen is a funny little room.  It was formerly a porch, and so the ceiling is low and the floor slopes downward.  Luckily the previous owners had built in supports to level out the floor.

For months, I drove by my neighborhood antique store’s parking lot where they keep items that are in rough shape.  I think this little upper metal cabinet was there for a year.  I finally realized it would be perfect for the kitchen.  Because the ceilings are so low, we could not have tall cabinets.


The floors had to be pulled up- think disgusting 70’s linoleum that hadn’t been mopped in 10 years.  We used these commercial floor tiles from Menard’s.  They come in a variety of colors but we decided to stick with neutral for the apartment.  They are super heavy duty and soooo cheap!  We love how they turned out and plan to use them in our own kitchen (hopefully within the next year)!



The sink came from the same parking lot!  It was NOT a steal, largely because of this brass faucet.  All that we had to do to this was clean it- we even kept the paint!

The metal lower cabinet came out of another old house that we own.  Originally I assumed I would try to remove the rooster decals ( I think they are from the 30s-50s?) but then time did not allow for that, and I actually think they are adorable and tie in to the green under the sink.  I have no idea if our 20 something male tenant shares that sentiment!


The rest of the apartment is fairly comparable to the others.  The floors on the upper level had been under multiple layers of plywood and carpet, and so were in perfect condition!  We sanded them down and put on new polyurethane.  Gorgeous!!  The light fixture is circa 1940s.  The fixture was covered in paint, was stripped and cleaned and looks just right in this space.


And back at the homefront, I began the long and crazy process of stripping paint off the trim and baseboards in our stairwell.  I am trying to decided if I just want to get it to the point where I can sand and put on a fresh coat of paint (there are currently so many layers that a lot of the detail has been lost), or if I want to go full out and get them to the point where they can be the original wood.  What you you all think?  How can I do this?  Any tips?

We are close to having the 4th and final apartment next door finished and rented out.  And then we will turn back to fixing up the exterior of Old School so that it can be painted (we hope in October).  Lots of work ahead, but it will be fun to be doing it out of doors this time of year.

2 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Cheryl says:

    I love the paint colors and kitchen sink. It looks great. I can’t give you any advice on the paint stripping. My 1925 colonial revival home I’m restoring, woodwork was originally painted. I know you must feel sad for me that I (jumping for joy) don’t have to strip paint. I’m sure you will figure it out and do the best for the house and yourself.

  2. Seth Hoffman says:

    That certainly has seens some wear and tear, but has a beautiful profile.

    Can you determine the original finish? Was it originally stained and shellacked, or was it perhaps faux-grain painted? What is the wood species?

    If it was originally stained and shellacked, you can probably return it to that, but may not be able to get all the paint out of dwants and nail holes. The handy trick for those is to use some brown paint close to the final stained color to touch them up. You can get great results that way.

    If it was originally faux-grained (a common wood finish in the Victorian era), or complete stripping is too daunting, I would seriously consider giving that a try. It requires a bit of skill and practice, but looks very nice when done right.

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