Odd Jobs


April 10, 2013 by stpaulhaus


HA. I totally did that. Makes me want to get out the ol’ N64.

We are making loads of progress on the house in prep for refinancing. Some of those odd jobs that you forget about because you have lived with them for so long are finally getting taken care of. (sometimes it is nice to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at the house some of these things out).

  • Painted the hall/stairwell

It is the same color as it was previously, but I changed the sheen to satin instead of eggshell. The eggshell just wasnt holding up well–i know you are supposed to use satin or semi-gloss in hallways and stairwells, but I dont particularly like that sheen on a wall so i decided to go with egg shell thinking it would be ok–which clearly was not the case. The walls were really scuffed up, especially by the hand rails, and it just did not look good.


You may have also noticed that we were able to finally paint properly behind this light fixture that we put in awhile back.


It is actually starting to look like a finished space. It needs some art or something on the wall, but that is pretty much the last thing on my mind right now.

  • Fixing the hand rail

I still need to reattach the actual railing, but it is mostly done.


I picked up a couple 1x poplar boards to put behind the handrail. This makes the handrail much more sturdy.


The turn on the top where the railing curves and attaches back to the wall was a little tricky, but we made it work.  DSC_0074 DSC_0075

The boards were screwed in to the studs, and the railing will be screwed into the board. I actually used 2 8ft boards and screwed them together with my kreg jig to get a run that was long enough. I love you Kreg jig. There is no way this is going to pull off the wall, unless a 400lb man took a running start and leaped on top of it.

  • Patched the living room ceiling


This spot on the ceiling has been like this since I put in the pass-through (2+yrs ago?) and I just got to it now. There used to be an outdated speaker there. It was removed and quickly patched up just to cover it. I finally got around to mudding, sanding, and priming. It still needs another coat of paint. Glad to have finally gotten that done.

  • Repainted the front door


I had removed some of the paint from the front door which was a terrible idea to start doing because it will likely take me approximately a week to fully strip it. There were several layers of old paint on this door and my first attempt probably only took off about 4 layers. I ran out of stripper so it has been left partially stripped for the past couple months. I finally just decided to prime and paint back over it just to make it presentable for the appraisal. SIGH.  Ah well, can’t win them all.  I will hopefully have a chance to do this project the right way this spring/summer.

  • Decluttering the house

Adrian’s Mom, sister, and brother came over to help us made some headway in this department. We got several boxes of stuff packed up in the office already, and there are several more to go. After the appraisal everything needs to get picked through and sorted. I just don’t have time to do it right now so it all went into a box. I even had a chance to clear out the front porch which will get a little mini fix-up in the next couple weeks.  It is hard to use a 5ft wide porch for anything other than storage, but a have a few short and long-term plans for this space.


We will either put all the extra “stuff” in the basement or it will go over to a family members house. While they were here they also helped with some painting. Best family ever.

  • New “TV Stand” in the Office

We had the TV on an old chest that was really low to the ground. These speakers also flanked either side of the TV making a big huge wall of media awesomness–but it was time for a change. The room already has some large furniture in it with this very large bookcase from ikea, and this large desk also from ikea. I wanted something more airy on this side. I had plans to get our old tv stand (also from ikea) out of storage from Adrian’s brother’s house, but then I acquired this thing not too long ago from my grandmother:


This old sewing machine stand was nearly perfect. I had to cut some 2x4s to rest it on because the tv legs didn’t quite fit on either side of the middle top piece. I plan to paint those, but it will stay like this for now.


It looks great in here, and it is nice to see some floor space again. One major bonus is the fact that we can fit all the cords for the tv, dvd player, etc inside the cabinet. If I said it once, I said it 100 times, I HATE CORDS..so naturally I am very pleased at the moment.


  • Added trim to the stairwell window thingy


I have been meaning to do this for some time now but it really was never important enough to actually get it done. It looks so much better. I choose a very simple profile (1×4 poplar with square butted joints, a small sill that extends just beyond the side cases, and an apron below), in fact it is the same that I used on the dining room built-in and on the pass-through.



I used clamps to hold the trim in place while I nailed it in. I only have so many hands. DSC_0065


I had to devise a contraption to make sure the cats didn’t jump up there whilst the paint was drying.


Worked like a charm.

Other things I still want to complete:

  • Finish trim for bathroom mirror
  • Install the recessed shelving in the bathroom
  • Move pile of crushed rock to the front of the house for the future walkway (right now it is sitting on the empty lot on a tarp, not my idea of curb appeal)
  • Fix broken railing at the side door
  • Repaint the basement stairwell
  • Install new storm door at the side of the house
  • Stain the outside railing we built in the fall
  • Fix up the front porch
  • Install the mail slot
  • Clean, clean, and clean some more

So much to do in so little time. I think we can do it though. Please keep your fingers crossed for us.  I will try to keep you all updated on our progress over the next couple weeks. I will for sure be snapping some pics for the Facebook Page, and hopefully a final reveal of the bathroom makeover will be coming your way this week.


4 thoughts on “Odd Jobs

  1. all of your paint looks SO well done! i am envious!

  2. […] am still completely in love with this old sewing machine table that we are using for a tv stand.  That tv is extremely old and extremely heavy and extremely huge. We will probably be […]

  3. […] the house on all finish trim projects like the pass-through, the dining room built-in, and the living room window thingy. Instead of attaching each piece separately as you would normally when framing windows and doors, […]

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