Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Farmhouse Renovations & DIY Part 1

Totally un-fitness related, future husband and I have been working a lot on renovating his 100 year old farm house, which is charming, but was sadly renovated in the 1970's with green carpet in the kitchen and wood paneling throughout. Yikes. While I wish we could just hire someone and have it all gutted and finished in a month (how I miss having a dishwasher), Travis really wants us to do as much of the work ourselves as we can. Which makes total sense, this is what he does for a living. Why would he want to pay someone else to do it? So, we squeeze in the projects when we can here and there between our jobs, coaching, training, family events, and his Army career. Which makes it feel like NEVER. But, hey, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

So far, we've replaced the roof on the house/garage, replaced all of the windows throughout the entire house, built a back patio, and tackled most of the upstairs: we built a master bathroom out of a closet, gave the doors a facelift with paint and new trim, replaced all of the hardware (door knobs, hinges) and light fixtures, laid new carpet and painted all of the trim and that damn wood paneling - which  has been a HUGE improvement. 

Before and after painting the Master Bedroom 

The carpet upstairs was terrifying, a blood red and and weirdly faded in some places to a burnt orange. The paneling was about as dark and dreary as you could get, floor to ceiling everywhere. 

I'm not kidding when I say I developed tendinitis from painting it all. We're hiring someone to do the downstairs. Or he's buying me a sprayer. And giving me more back rubs.

Here's a peak at the closet we turned into our master bathroom ...

We converted one of the bedrooms upstairs into my dressing room, since almost all of the bedrooms lack real closet space. 

The 1970's called and asked for their brown paneling and red carpet back ... 

It just took coats on coats on coats. Getting into the grooves of the paneling was the most painstaking part. It required a high-nap roller and a good brush, and lots of going up and down the ladder. It was super nice not having to worry about getting paint on that carpet though since we were just replacing it. 

Once the paint was on there, the paneling looked exactly how I wanted it too! 

I love the look and feel of painted paneling and think it fits the house. 

All of the furniture upstairs I purchased at flea markets, thrift store and antique stores and refinished with chalk paint. I have a neat old dresser for the master bedroom I'm working on now with milk paint. Kind of excited! Painting furniture is MUCH more fun than painting paneling!

So here is my dressing room, one of the only furnished rooms upstairs - the master bedroom still just has our mattress set laying on the floor and the soon to be guest room is a storage closet for the moment.

Here's the dresser I was working on out in the garage along with the mirror. I'm obsessed with this mirror. Oh, apparently sandpaper, especially high grit sandpaper, scratches mirrors. *blonde moment*

So, I love this space. 

Things I've learned through this process already:

1. It's a process. The joy is in the journey, and not the final destination. 
2. Flat paint can't be used on high traffic areas, like trim or doors.
3. Flat paint shouldn't be used in high humidity rooms, like bathrooms, either. 
4. Chalk paint needs to be finished in something more durable than a soft wax, like Poly.
5. Shower curtains don't really work in showers. They work in tubs. 
5. DIY is fun and rewarding! But, requires patience and time and knowledge. Or the realization that you'll make a LOT of mistakes along the way, and be more knowledgeable for it. ;)

Maybe in another 6 months I'll have an update on the downstairs. 

Like a dishwasher?!


  1. i bought my house back in may and have found that my blog feed has transitioned from exercise blogs to my DIY blogs. I've learned SO MUCH by just reading out people's tips and "lessons learned" which has given me confidence to take on bigger projects. (single so i dont have someone to bounce ideas off of or fix my mistakes, thus it takes longer to decide for any type of changes) Good luck and look forward to more photos!

  2. Looks great! I was wondering what colour did you use in your dressing room? Love it!

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  4. This farmhouse renovations DIY looks great. DIY is kind of fun and you can learn many things while doing it. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. You've probably seen those insanely high-priced greeting cards made from handmade paper with leaves and flower petals meshed into it.TeddyWay

  6. funds than forecasted, stressing you with incidents, errors and code violations, and leaving you having a kitchen that may not necessarily end up being as functional or attractive as you'd been assured at the begin of this project.  construction contractors los angeles