Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All of a sudden

Last week I put tile on the hearth and the paint elfs (my parents) stopped by to help with the living room. Once the inspector gives the okay for the fireplace the wall around it can be finished with tile and all that will be left is the floors. Well, and the door trim, and the french door needs some work, and the cabinet doors are still in progress, and the breakfast bar hasn't been started. Well it looks a lot closer to being done anyway. Put the order in for the maple floor today. The day of having a living room is near.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Nothing has been done on the house lately because I just spent three days doing something much cooler. The pictures are from a 3 day class called Natural Finishes. The class went over interior and exterior building finishes. Day one (and picture 1) earthen finishes. Earthen finishes are basically clay, sand and water. Straw, animal hair, cotton tails, etc. can be added as filler and to improve the structural qualities. My yard is mostly clay so I'm looking forward to making a greenhouse or cold frames covered in this. Day two (and picture 2) covered lime plasters. Lime plasters are similar to what you can find in most houses for drywall but have some additional qualities and some drawbacks. The biggest drawback in my mind is the cure time which can be several months for a thick coat, only a few days though to get painted or plastered over. An earthen finish coat covered in a thin lime plaster makes a durable exterior finish. Day three (and picture 3) covered paint like finishes. From milk based casein paint and clay based coatings that can be made at home to commercial products that can be ordered.

On the left the underlying earth coat can be seen and on the right is a topping earth coat with some iron oxide for color. The middle is a lime wash, also known as a white wash.

This is a lime plaster with a thin coat of pigmented water added before the outside of the lime cures. That is how frescoes are made.

This is a small square of sheet rock with a clay based paint.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Other peoples work.

It doesn't look like anything to brag about. The new fireplace was installed yesterday. That means that the wall can finally be finished. In the upper left corner there is some paint visible from where the south wall and part of the west wall was textured and painted last weekend. The fridge got moved into the kitchen in the process. Now that is something to celebrate. Before I can use the fireplace and inspector needs to come and sign off on it. The next project will be to build a hearth and clean up for the inspector. Hopefully I'll be buying hardwood floors by the end of the month.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The thing about grout is that once you start there is no stopping. Even two hours into it when you don't think that you can hold your arm up anymore there is no break because there is a time limit. Once the grout hardens it better be where you want it to be. I tried something new, it was a sealer that got added to the grout instead of water. It had very specific instructions on not adding more liquid but the bottle didn't have enough liquid for the grout mix. The thicker grout is mixed the more difficult it is to get it in the gaps between the tiles. All that is past now and there are only a few minor problems that will get fixed by the matching caulk that came with it.