Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Poor House

Chris has said a few times that this house was probably in better shape BEFORE we got a hold of it. I've always argued with him, because we really do try to do a good job. But, after taking a quick look around, I'm beginning to think he may be right.
The plumbers notched floor joists, cracked drywall, cut through phone lines, and then left the fittings either too high or too low. We installed hexagonal mosaic tiles in the bathroom, but since it was so cold when we installed them (pre-HVAC), the grout has since started cracking! That really shouldn't be too upsetting since it is stained with plaster dust anyways. My advice - never use WHITE grout. That is, unless you are exceptionally clean, don't own a dog, cat or ever plan on walking on it. Seriously.
There is damaged plaster with drywall replacing it that needs to be finished, a gaping hole in the foundation, a few stray holes drilled here and there, an outlet pulled almost out of the wall (still not sure who did that one), and then some paint drips on the wood floor in Natalie's room (I KNOW who did that one). It's funny how the smallest things add up to a really big mess.
Oh well, such is the way it goes.

So, a few questions...
1. What product is best for covering drywall gaps to match a smooth plaster finish? Any advice on technique for doing this?
2. What is something that can take out the stains in white grout? I've tried bleach, Lysol, Soft Scrub...even toothpaste. And what is a good way to keep them out? We water sealed when we finished the grout, it supposedly lasts 15 years. Any other ideas? I've even thought about putting some sort of stain on the grout to change it to a more user friendly color...would that work?
3. What would be the best fix for the holes in the foundation? It looks like we are going to have to fix it ourselves...argh. Any advice here would be SO welcome.
4. What will remove latex paint drippings from Polyurethane finished wood floors without hurting the finish?





An uninvited visitor - He/She actually stayed in the food bowl until I ran back with the camera. After all that, the flash delayed and it decided to leave.

Halloween Fun



6 Comments:

Blogger Gene said...

1. What product is best for covering drywall gaps to match a smooth plaster finish? Any advice on technique for doing this?

Do you mean the seam between drywall sheets? Or patching a larger hole? Either way, the key for a smooth finish is to build up slowly in layers and wet sand the final coat to smooth out and imperfections. Then go back and fill in anything you missed the first time and wet sand again :-)

3. What would be the best fix for the holes in the foundation? It looks like we are going to have to fix it ourselves...argh. Any advice here would be SO welcome.

How big are the holes? Big enough to be structural, or small enough to just be an annoyance and entry for pests?

4. What will remove latex paint drippings from Polyurethane finished wood floors without hurting the finish?

This will sound too simple, but just scrape it off. Use a clean putty knife at a shallow angle, and gently scrape it off. If you're really worried about the finish, use your thumbnail. Latex paint is really pretty soft and resiliant, and will scrape off of most smooth hard surfaces quite easily.

You'll notice I skipped #2. I haven't the slightest idea.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. I usually just tape and use mud (highly recommend the low-dust kind). Our plaster walls actually have some texture to them, and whereever I've patched is smooth.
2. Try the magic eraser-I think it works wonders and have used it on my white grout when nothing else has worked.

5. If the paint is recent, it actually is surprisingly easy to get up. I usually just grab a wet paper towel (no soap or anything) and rub. The longer it cures, the harder it is to get off. We have natural stained wood and the wood had been recently finished (ie. last few weeks)

12:20 AM  
Blogger King of Kentville said...

I will take a crack at question #2... If the grout is stained bad you may not be able to get all the stains out no matter what you use or how hard you scrub. There are products that are made to repaint your grout lines but I haven't used them (I think one of the other bloggers has used it in the last month but I can't remember who) You said the sealer was supposed to be good for 15 years but all the stuff I have used says you may have to reapply every so often. A quick way to test if you need to reseal is to sprinkle water on the grout lines. If the water beads up you are ok, if it disappears you need sealer.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Latex paint on hardwood- I like GooGone for any paint spills. For the holes by the floor register- you can buy small oak plugs in the aisle in Home Depot and Lowes where the stair parts and spindles are- if they don't
fit, you can shave off the diameter. Tap them in with hammer and chisel off the excess at the top,finish with a spray urethane product. Your foundation looks like poured concrete? I would get some bricks and brick fragments and some quikrete mortar mix and fill in the gaps by the pipe, leave some 1/2-1/4" on the top plane, then stucco over to match the concrete when the bricks are cured. I have no idea about white grout, except that Housemade found this stuff that paints over dirty grout this week.
Good luck- hang in there.

7:25 AM  
Blogger John said...

1) I don't know anything about plaster, but Gary at This Old Crack House (http://thisoldcrackhouse.blogspot.com)does. Check out his blog or email him; he is a great resource and willing to help.

2)Sorry, once again, I don't know much about grout. If it's cracking anyhow, you might consider scraping/grinding it out an using a different color. Yeah, I know, that would be a LOT of work, but it might be worth it.

3) I need more info. I'm assuming you have a crawlspace like most folks in Arkansas and not a bonafide basement, and the holes are above ground, right? How big are these holes and what is the foundation made out of? My first guess is you can do it yourself unless the foundation has failed and the house is collapsing. Do you have any pictures?

4) Latex paint likes to peel if given the right kind of encouragement. I don't know how big these drips are, but I'd use my finger nail to scrape it off. Or, something plastic like a credit card. We've had some dribbles too, and they came right up without hurting the floor.

Sorry I wasn't more help, and good luck!

9:17 AM  
Blogger C&C said...

As for the foundation, I would say the hole is large enough for a medium sized dog to get through. You can see the foundation hole in the picture of the HVAC unit. The HVAC guy kind of centered the unit to the hole so it would seem to be smaller.

-chris

8:22 PM  

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