Saturday, 30 January 2010

The quarry tiles

Most of the downstairs of the house is tiled with red quarry tiles. They would have been quite shiny and more red initially, but when we got the house many of them were coated with a dark waxy/grimy gunk. We tried washing them, and Matt attempted using a couple of commercial products designed to strip tiles back, but neither worked. It looks like the only thing that will help is good old elbow grease, and a razor blade.

So Matt started the mammoth task of stripping them back, one by one.

As you can see, it makes a huge difference, but is very labour intensive. Once they're done, we will have to consider applying a wax or some sort of coating to bring them back to life.

They still don't look perfect but they're much better. It's very slow progress though. Won't be finished any time soon, that's for sure.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Kitchen - before and after

Okay, these aren't the most dramatic before and after photos ever...most of the improvement is due to the new stove (thanks Mum!), but the walls are much nicer and clean...and what you can't tell from the photos is the improvement in more musty mould!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The painting continues..

My brother came down from Auckland at the start of the week and he and my mum spent the bulk of the week painting the interior walls. It was a mammoth task and we could never have done it on our own. The main bedroom looked so much better without the purple (above). And painting the hallway/stairwell made the whole place so much lighter..

Boo got a bit bored midway through the week, as were so preoccupied, so we ended up shipping her off to Karly... for a bit of a retreat.

Matt had the unlucky job of standing on builders planks in the mezzanine between our bedroom and the office and painting that wall..while Arch finished the stairwell - you can see how filthy the 'cream' walls were in this photo (and that's AFTER scrubbing with sugar soap)..

Then we were almost done!

Next step moving...

Monday, 25 January 2010

The fireplace

One thing Matt was adamant about when we moved, was that he wanted to strip back the paint on the concrete fireplace, as he reckoned it was never supposed to be painted. So once everyone else was underway with the painting, he got stuck in with a wire brush and some paint stripper.

It took the most part of 3-4 days to do, it was so slow, and fairly toxic. But he's really happy with the end result:

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The cleaning and painting begins..

Once the reality of how filthy the house was set in, we started the big clean. With Jo and Alistair's help and copious amounts of sugar soap, we washed down every wall and surface in the house. After a single wipe the cloths were black. It was truly hideous.

Matt had to scrape mouldy paint off the West wall too..

Boo and Digby tuckered themselves out:

I ripped out the shelves in the spare room:

Then Matt couldn't wait any more and cracked open the Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in pure gallery white (NO TINT!)...

It wasn't until the paint started going on, that you could really appreciate how dirty the walls were, and how much of a cream colour they had been painted with.

In no time at all, Alistair had started with the roller, and we felt like we were making progress..

Thursday, 21 January 2010

January 16th - the grim reality.

Having been given the keys to our new house, we trotted up to have a look - this was the first time I had really seen some of the rooms, and the first time we had had the chance to look closely.

When I review these photos online, they don't really show just how dirty and sad the house was. There was a musty mould smell when we walked in - particularly strong in the laundry, but generally throughout the whole house.

The grime on the wall behind the chimney was actually in heaps of places throughout the house..

I had never seen such an archaic stove - the top was all rusted, it was feral.

Fortunately, although they previous owner had installed a piece of shit cheap as kitchen bench and cupboards (and not bothered to replace the stove), he had been too miserly to update the kitchen cupboards - such a relief, as they are really lovely. You can see the black grime on the walls here again..

..and that space beside the stove is the gap for the fridge - hmmm, might have to rethink that, ours will never fit.

The tiles had this really strange coating, so Matt took some photos to take into a DIY store and get some advice on fixing..

The windows were so skanky, we could hardly see through them..

..that is black grime at the edges of those steps.

And it turned out the main bedroom was painted entirely in purple!

But again, fortunately he had left the woodwork alone.

The bathroom smelt gross, damp and musty.

And the cupboards in the spare room were painted a strange yellow.

The toilet cistern upstairs was broken and the cork tiles were rotten and smelly.

And the black grime in the stairwell had left an odd circular shape, presumably outlining a mirror or painting.

The walls in the laundry were covered in mould. And the cork tiles were again rotten and mouldy - most weren't even stuck to the ground anymore.

So, it was a bit of a shock. What had we done! Where to begin?