Tag Archives: paint

Spot of sun makes things grow

Warm pancakes soaked with Homemade maple syrup
Crocus and Hen & Chick poking up in the sunshine
2 little dogs excited to explore High Park
Cashmere, silk, mohair and merino together again and off the loom Continue reading

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progress is stinky business

We spent last night engulfed in a halo of floor adhesive fumes…not the best for a good nights sleep, but a small price to pay for the amazing progress on the third floor.

The drywall is completed. Paint has gone up. And now we are onto the baseboard trim and redoing the stairs.
It looks like hell right now, but have faith, it’s coming together.

3rd floor reno stairs Continue reading

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Let’s take a house tour…

We really poured our heart and soul into this project.  Every inch of this house had to be scrubbed, re-paired, re-plastered, re-painted and more!

After years and years of neglect and abuse in one ridiculous summer we were able to  (with help from many I might add) bring it back up to a level it deserved to be.

Great bones and lovely period details made this a restoration worth doing.

Now on to part one of the hour tour!


220 rubidge st

All exterior windows, trim and wood work restored and painted, new roof, new eaves and soffits, new furnace.


We found a great set of period appropriate doors on one of our road-trips, and brought them back for this place.

front entrance w stained glass and side light

They look like they have been here from the beginning, I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result!

Front entranceway

To the right a large front room with stained glass.

Front Staircase

Front stairs are painted Farrow and Ball’s Drawing Room Blue


The hall leads to living room area then beyond to kitchen, powder room and rear staircase.

Original 1800's wood staircase detailing

Original 1800’s wood staircase detailing

Original 1800's wood staircase detailing

Front Staircase to second floor

second floor landing

All floors, walls, ceiling, doors and trim freshly painted after all of the repairs.

2nd floor landing stained glass window

Stained glass window in landing and also in the front 2 bedrooms.

raised glass detailing on window

Raised glass detail on landing window

etched glass detailing on window

Etched glass detail

1800's iron grate

1800’s iron grate in hall originally for a stove pipe, now just a lovely period detail.

2nd floor landing

2 front west facing  bedrooms, 3rd middle bedroom and a 4th east facing bedroom overlooking the backyard.

Stained glass window detail in bedrooms
Stained glass window detail in all of the front rooms.

West facing large bedroom
West facing large bedroom.

Each bedroom features freshly painted walls, ceiling, closets, matchstick blinds and new decorator ceiling fans

West facing Large bedroom
Large Middle Bedroom

Large Middle Bedroom

large middle bedroom
Large Middle Bedroom
Large middle bedroom
Large east facing bedroom

Large east facing bedroom

Large east facing bedroom

Trim details original to the home

We were able to keep all the original trim details preserved and restored.

trims and molding details orginal to the home
Smaller west facing Bedroom
This is the only smaller sized bedroom in the home and our home base while renovating.

It features a great view into the mature maple tree outside and stained glass.


I have since moved the bed around and put up some shelving for our stuff while we are visiting.

There’s something about this little room that I just love!

Next time, bathrooms, attic, rear stairs and more!

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the bathrooms are finished!

Sunday night we pushed and pushed and actually got the bathrooms finished.  Thank you Natas for those amazingly delicious xtra large afternoon coffees, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Here’s a refresher of what we were starting with.

bathroom before

bathroom before

bathroom before

bathroom before

No words for it but NASTY!

Nasty no more…..Feast your eyes on the afters!

New flooring, new walls, new plumbing, new ceiling, new tub, new toilet, new surround, new fixtures, new baseboards.  New New New!!!!!!  Can you tell I am proud of what we have pulled off?!

finished upper bathroom

finished bathroom

  • Toilet, bulk purchase @ Peterborough Rona ($120 $70)
  • Sink, Toronto Restore ($40)
  • Stone counter top, Toronto Restore ($39)
  • Flooring, Ottawa Restore ($10)
  • Ikea apelskar taps, ebay ($25)
  • Ikea godmorgon cabinet and handles, As-is Toronto Ikea ($109)
  • Ikea godmorgon cabinet legs, now or never Toronto Ikea ($8 each)
  • Ceiling light fixture, Toronto Restore ($20)
  • Wall light fixture, Toronto Restore ($30)
  • Ikea mirror, re-purposed from our Berryman house (free)
  • Soaker tub, Oshawa Restore ($50)
  • Subway tiles, clearance Stone Tile ($1.14 a square foot)
  • Shower head and taps, Lowes ($79)
  • Curved Shower Bar, Buffalo Home Depot ($24)
  • Shower Curtain and rings, Dollarama ($2)
  • Matchstick blinds, Canadian Tire ($9.99)
  • Wall paint,  mistint Benjamin Moore ($8 one gallon)
  • Trim paint, Ottawa Restore ($50 18.9L)
  • Baseboard trim, Peterborough Restore (1/3 listed price @ homedepot)
  • Bathroom Exhaust Fan, Toronto Restore ($5)
  • GFI outlet with built in nightlight, Buffalo Home Depot ($17)
  • Aluminum wallplates, Belleville Restore (.75 cents each)
  • Aluminum vent cover, re-purposed from our Berryman house (free)

and now for the mainfloor!

When we first saw the house there was no main floor bathroom, just a place under the stairs to put junk in.  This is how it looked in all it’s busted up walls, rotting floor and failing plaster glory!


and now we have a new two piece that matches the period style of the house!

finished downstairs bathroom

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slowly chipping away

What with the broken and sprained toes, extreme heat and summer flu Dale and I are not really at our renovation best, but the show must go on. We had planned on cleaning up our huge scrap pile in the back yard, broken cupboards, old plaster and lathe, nail filled boards, garbage bags full of crap, basically a total eyesore.

worst backyard ever

worst backyard ever

There was no way Dale was going to be able to manage that with a broken toe, and no way I was strong enough to lift that crud on my own. It didn’t look like cleaning the backyard was going to be possible…until we got the bright idea to hire a day laborer. God bless Kijiji!  It’s pretty easy to find someone who can come help out on short notice for all sorts of trades and jobs.

Dale put in a call the Wed before and Sat morning both the dumpster and our guy was there!  We supplied all the tools we thought he might need; crowbar, prybar, hammer, safety glasses and gloves and he brought the muscle.  Demolition and clean-up isn’t fun for anyone so the less  boredom and micro-managing the better!   I like to make sure there’s lots of water and cold drinks handy (no one wants to have to ask for a drink all the time), a radio to help pass the time, a place to wash up and  a good lunch.

While our handy helper was outside getting things cleaned up we decided to tackle some of the less grueling jobs while waiting for the plaster to dry.

The narrow stairwell to the third floor poses some challenges and we have to make furniture choices based on what can go up there.  With that in mind we had gone to IKEA earlier in the week and picked up a KIVIK sofa.

kivik sofa bed from IKEA

The back and arms are completely detachable so we can totally fit this up the tiny stairwell.  The bed is a queen size and super comfortable and there is storage in the arms for all the bedding!  Plus it’s slip-covered which is always good when you have animals.  Best of all, it was on sale!

If you know Dale and I you also know we love a bargoon.  Ikea has 3 great ways to save money, lemme share.

Method one, find the As-Is department.  Every store has an As- Is section where bump and dent materials can be found.  Stock moves fast, is replenished daily and is already assembled!    This sofa was a display item and we were able to get it for 60% off.  The store usually removes all slip covers so the sofa’s look pretty shabby and forlorn, but 90% of the time you will find the matching slipcovers neatly wrapped up with the curtains and bedding in the same As- Is department.  If you are patient and know what you are looking for chances are you will find it within a month by looking here.  I find things in the flat pack boxes offer the best savings, since they aren’t already assembled and no one really has the patience to figure out what those names mean it’s pretty likely that you can find the closet or shelf or bed of your dreams by being that patient one.

Method two, shop on Wednesdays!  Every Wed each Ikea will feature some items drastically marked down.  Each store features something different so check out the locations online under Wacky Wed.

Method three, there is another discounted section called “now or never”.  This is where discontinued products go for final clearance.  The Ikea near us has a tonne of these amazing oak cupboard doors right now for rock bottom prices.

ikea fagerland doors

If you’re not so keen on all that wood, these doors would also be great  for a painted kitchen look.

Ikea also sells stone countertops, sinks, faucets, appliances and range hoods in the as-is, and who’s kidding who, you know you are going to scratch or ding it anyhow during installation, ha.

tiny room

big sofa, tiny room

Here’s the sofa all put together again in the small front bedroom.  We picked up that amazing 30’s patchwork handmade quilt at the Lakefield outdoor market held ever Sunday Morning.  We’re finally going to be giving up sleeping on the air mattress and start calling this room home until we start to work on the attic loft.

While I was cursing IKEA assembling the sofa, our helper was making quick business of the backyard and finished in record time.  He had packed the dumpster remarkably well (you have to stack and pile things neatly rather than just whipping everything in willy nilly if you want to make the most of your space) and there was loads of extra room in there for the rubble we knew we were going to pull out of the rear stairwell.

Dale had been busy taking all of the interior doors off, removing the hardware and hinges and we just needed to get them all outside for painting in our clean and tidy backyard!  Goodbye nasty yellowed wood, hello crisp, clean and glossy white!

painting doors

8 freshly painted doors

We have a Wagner airless spray gun and while it uses a lot of paint, it does give amazing smooth coverage in just one coat.  We bought ours on clearance from Home Depot (make sure all the parts are in the box and the filters aren’t used and clogged though before you go home) and oddly enough saw another one at the Lakefield Outdoor Market  for $100 (pre haggle, no tax).  There are good deals to be found.  Our tarp came from Princess Auto, hands down the best place to buy deeply discounted hardware  items that you don’t necessarily need to last.

head painter

Head painter

How happy is Dale to have some space to work in the yard again? and even better to not have had to clean up all that trash and scrap himself? Almost as happy as I am to get out of the house, sit down and put my feet up!

take 5

site supervisor

oh we are quite the handsome twosome these days….

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40 degrees and rising! part three

Shall we go upstairs?

upper bathroom

I know! I can’t believe that this is FINALLY coming together as well!

This upstairs bathroom was epic, sooo many joints and seams to tape and sand. So many uneven levels and surfaces, so many corners to miter and fit….soooooo hot and stuffy to work in. But look! Look at great it turned out! Next week we will install the vanity, fit the floor grates, and put up the mirror, shower curtain rod, and towel bars.

Check here if you need a refresher on how this bathroom used to look! HUGE STRIDES!

front bedroom

We also have 3 of the 4 large bedrooms patched, painted and fans installed now as well. Curtain rods, blinds, wall plate covers and storage/shelving will go up in all of these rooms next weekend.

middle bedroom

rear bedroom

and the little front bedroom with the most drywall work is almost ready to roll as well.

This room had a horrible built-in bunk bed/desk combo(the former owners solution to dealing with sagging plaster)that needed to come out. We repaired the walls right down to the lathe, rebuilt the baseboard trim and installed an overhead electrical box so we could install a fan which also meant a bit of tricky ceiling mud and patching. We ran out of natural light so the fan blades will have to wait for next weekend.
front small bedroom

This room may be the smallest, but it has the best breeze and the window looks out into the crown of the maple tree. I think its my favorite.

Last but not least, we hooked up the paint sprayer and went to town in the hallways, upper and lower!


Good bye depressing diarrhea brown walls. Hello Clean and Fresh foyer!

front stairs

It seems a bit stark with all the endless white, but I have to keep reminding myself that the punch of colour is on its way! Can’t wait to get the floor and stair paint on there, so lets see what you got to throw at us August, we can take the heat!

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40 degrees and rising! part two

Just off the kitchen (and under the stairs) was a long and narrow space the past owner was using as a closet to store trash and broken bikes in. Seemed like such a waste so we decided to put in a powder room. Laying the tile floor in this room was one of our first jobs but the walls were in such bad shape we had to do some pretty extensive drywall work . Once that was done Dale could plumb in the sink and toilet, install baseboards and trim and run some electricity.

powder room

powder room

These walls took 5 rounds of mudding and sanding, but last weekend we were FINALLY ready to put some paint on the walls. We still have to fasten the mirror to the wall, put up a towel bar, curtain rod and other small stuff, but we are far enough along that I can say we’ve got ourselves a powder room!

powder room tile

Love these etched tiles, the scale has a contemporary feel but the cascading floral pattern is a definite nod to the Victorian era . It was a nice splurge for a small room, $10 a tile from the Ottawa restore.

The Chicago style Pedestal Sink features a geometric shape and a beveled edge, making it work well with both the era of the house and the contemporary design style we are going for in the rest of the joint. The wide faucet deck provides plenty of room for soap and other toiletries and the built-in back splash should keep the walls safe and dry. The sink was purchased at a Toronto restore for $125 and included the taps, can’t beat that.

The shelf above the toilet was an original mantle taken out of a Cabbagetown home and scooped up on the annual yard sale weekend.

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40 degrees and rising! part one

So it’s been hotter than hell lately.  Seriously.

Dale and I did not factor in high heat and crushing dehydration when we set up our renovation schedule.  Most of our past projects have happened with snow still on the ground and in hindsight that is a far better time to be tearing out the guts of a house than in July and Aug.

Last weekend we were looking at temps of over 42 degrees and this past weekend we hit 45 degrees.  Hard to stay motivated and on track with this sort of heat bearing down on you..and no AC.
Still, I am so proud of where we find ourselves now.  Most of the drywall and mudding we had been struggling with has been finished, rooms are painted and flooring is in.

Lets start with the kitchen!

Friday was looking like this when we arrived…

While I was busy sanding upstairs  Dale got to work fastening all the cupboards to the wall, installed a floating shelf or two and finished cutting and installing all the baseboards and trim into the room.  I had already done a final sanding of all the kitchen patches and skim coated the walls so he got right down to painting the space as well!

We put the dolly to work and moved the fridge from it’s temp spot in the living room and unloaded the GIANT 1800’s cabinet off the U-haul Trailer and into the space. Things are a little pulled forward from the walls (so the paint can dry) but you get the idea.




We will put in a subway tile back splash next weekend, along with some metal shelves and task lighting above the sink and a cupboard or two above the stove and fridge.

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