After patching and repairing the workshop walls last week, we finally dived into the most rewarding part of that process – paint! Although there were moments of waffling and weakness on our chosen paint chip, Scott convinced me to stick to our guns (and go with our guts), and our walls are now the perfect color. Actually, I’m going to say it’s my new favorite color color; mostly green, a little blue and a good dose of gray. It’s Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore, and we had it color matched to Valspar Optimus paint in an eggshell finish:
Since switching to the Optimus paint line about a year ago, our room-painting-conversations always go a little like this: whoa, I think we can knock this out in one coat! Followed by gah, I just love this paint. It’s, like, so smooth. We’re big, big fans, and while we used to be afraid of an eggshell finish, it really is just right. Our past preference has always been flat, as any wall sheen will highlight the – ahem – character in our old drywall. This paint looks flat, but with built-in durability for those two meatballs running amok in our home.
The paint had barely dried before we were installing our workshop wish list item – a wall mounted vacuum! As a part of our ongoing collaboration with Ace Hardware, they asked us what product would really kick our home projects up a notch, and we quickly agreed that the Craftsman Clean N Carry Wet/Dry vacuum would be the perfect workshop companion. The workshop + this guy = true love:
It hangs on a handful of anchors, with one of them going directly into one of the supports of our pocket door frame. There were two lengths of hose included, but because this space is just under 6′ wide, the smaller of the two reaches all four corners of the room! Cleaning up any small projects will be a breeze, and we gave it a good test run by attaching it to our orbital sander during a workbench wood refresh:
We were concerned before it arrived that it might be too big for the room, but it tucks up against the wall surprisingly well, and should we need to use it elsewhere in the home, it easily comes off the wall holder and is light enough to carry by hand. All of the attachments tuck into a small compartment below, making everything self-contained and organized – which, as you know, is where it’s at. This guy is going to be a future-projects game changer, for sure.
We’ll be back later this week with another workshop addition, but for now, how about a bit of Ace Hardware cash for your own home projects? Together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through this Friday, April 17th at 5pm CST; simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Good luck and happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. That handsome noodle at the top is an added bonus.
There was no back wall demolition this weekend, only a text from our contractor confirming that the door and transom are officially on back order – which is especially confusing, because wasn’t that the case last week and the week before then? We have a lot of questions, like, how does a standard size in the most popular model become a back order? I’m glossing over this quite a bit, but, just, UGH.
We could dwell (we’ve been dwelling), but for the sake of positivity and moving forward – always a good thing! – let’s just skip ahead. Let’s talk about the workshop!
The workshop is the DIY heart of this home, and it is a mess. A mess!
When we first bought our home and shared how everything in our home connects, there was a time when we weren’t sure what this room would be. Maybe we it would become part of the kitchen? Maybe it would be a huge pantry? It’s obvious that didn’t happen, but what has made the most sense for us over these last couple of years is utilizing the space as an indoor garage – a workshop of sorts.
It’s no secret that Chicago winters are notoriously cold, and as our garden/basement unit is now a rental, we needed this storage for non-freeze supplies such as paints, glues and caulks. At the same time, a rotating to-do of home projects had us wishing for a dedicated space to get fussed up, a space where, in the midst of January, we can have everything at our fingertips to complete a project without pulling on our coat (and hat and gloves and boots).
The walls were navy blue upon move in, and slowly, we’ve been wading through our mess to spackle here and there – because, why not? The blue tape was never stripped from the ceiling by the previous owners, and add that to our pocket door installation, we had a lot of repair work on our hands.
Despite its title of a workshop, we still want it to be a room that we love. We will, after all, spend a lot of time in here – whether it’s picking out sandpaper or making cuts on the miter saw. I’ve been holding up paint swatches for the last few weeks, asking Scott his thoughts on this versus that, and we’ve finally landed on a really pretty gray-green-blue, Stratton Blue, by Ben Moore.
We’ve only painted test patches around the room, because first, we have to prep! After emptying the space (all of our stuff is living in the garage and guest room for now), Scott and I spent the weekend finishing up the drywall mudding, sanding (and sanding and sanding) and pulling up the previous baseboards. We installed and continued our 6.5″ baseboards throughout this room, giving it the same attention we would as the main areas of our home. The window got its very own sill, and the ceiling received coat after coat of fresh paint, too.
The workshop goals are to have a place for everything and everything in its place, with the garage being the home for oversized tools, outdoor equipment and much larger project-ing. We see it as the space where we make quick cuts and lay out smaller painting projects, a space where we can access the sandpaper and wood glue without sacrificing kitchen drawers. It’s a smaller room – coming in at 6′ wide by 10′ long – but its pint size build is truly like a little gem, tucked away.
The prep is often times (okay, all the times) the most tedious and least fun, but what a difference it makes! I still need to caulk and spackle the trim, but the groundwork has been laid. When you walk in and turn right, you’ll see our flea-find work bench. We imagine a long shelf above the table and art above that (because, pretty!), with ample room to spread out and, you know, tinker:
To the left, we’ll have wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelving! The shelves will be loaded up with large and small bins, with everything contained, wrangled and beautifully, gorgeously in order:
It will be a simple room, but a room that I think will quickly become a favorite. I’ve been dreaming of the day I can walk in and find the wood glue without cursing, and because the kitchen sludge is in full effect, we just might get there sooner than I would’ve thought.
There’s always a bright side.
We’re still in the kitchen sludge. It’s just… well, there’s no other way to describe it. We’re at a point where we can’t move too far forward as we wait on the back-door-debacle, and we feel stuck, at a standstill. I want to roll out the rug so badly, but, um, we’re still not done with kitchen demolition! The wall-of-windows was and is half of the plans, and so, we wait. More on that in a minute.
But! Let’s talk about progress and real life. Let’s talk about trim! Trim ALL weekend! Although we’re unable to install baseboards along the back wall (I’m a broken record, sorry), we didn’t want that to hold us up on the rest of the room. While it’s such a seemingly small task (HA!), a few feet of trim – that finishing touch that changes everything – is really a two day job. In our case, here’s how that breaks down:
- DAY ONE. Measuring // purchasing // painting (while uninstalled)
- DAY TWO. Cutting // nailing // spackling // caulking // touch-up painting the trim // touch-up painting the walls
To be fair, this wasn’t a cut-and-dry baseboard job. We were put to the test in several instances, starting with that hole in the floor from the gas line we removed:
Scott removed two floorboards and used extra flooring (leftover from this) to properly patch the hole, and we were sort of able to keep the transition of baseboards seamless. We still need to put a floor reducer where the kitchen floor meets the dining room, but below, you can see that the trim under the cabinets is different – and much shorter – than that on the right.
Rather than our usual 6.5″ baseboards we have throughout the house, we needed something that would fit under the cabinetry. We chose a 4″ baseboard that had a similar look, and it was notched from the dining room to the kitchen to allow the height to match up at the corner. This is something that could have played out a couple ways. On one hand, we could have requested that the cabinetry be shifted to the left, allowing the depth of our usual 6.5″ baseboard to fit. On the other hand, what we did works, and for such a small area, we’re happy with it.
Our furnace was replaced not too long before we moved in, and of course we wish its resting place wasn’t in the corner of the kitchen at all. Challenges aside, we needed to use louvered doors to act as a vent, but we ditched the old for new, and we purchased solid wood this time around. You can see that I attempted to paint it by hand at first, then realizing how much of a time suck that was, I ultimately used our paint sprayer to get a perfect even coat:
The furnace opening is really close to the wall, so Scott ripped down the trim along the left side, including nipping the corner across the top. Also not ideal, but not that noticeable either, especially as we chose such a light wall color. We hadn’t realized how much that bare, half painted wood was dampening the overall mood of the space, but whew. White paint and trim helps – a lot! We shouldn’t be so surprised after our many Adventures In Trim, and yet, every time we’re all whaaat?
But then there’s still this: THE BACK WALL. Oh, this wall! As far as we’ve come, we can’t help but curse this ugly wall, in all its ugly glory. Behold, our primer-white door and drafty, dirty window!
Every part of our being wants to finish this room and move on to the next (work shop, we’re looking at you!), but if all goes well, we should have a new door this weekend. Maybe. We honestly don’t know. For fun, let’s do another breakdown!
- We had a glass paneled door that we wanted to use. The week before Christmas, we gave our contractor the green light to order the transom window and two sidelights as planned.
- The hope was to receive the window order by end of January, but as luck would have it, our windows became back ordered.
- They came in several weeks past due (mid-end of February), and our contractor came to our house to pick up the door we already had. His plan was to then go back to this shop, build the proper frame, and return to install everything in a few days.
- When he arrived for the pick up, however, he asked us what side did we want the sidelight to go on? To which I nervously laughed and said, um, both? This is when we realized that only one sidelight was ordered, and as a result, the transom window above was also made too short.
- It was so infuriating, that it actually became funny. Like, seriously, we all had a good laugh. (Renovation will make you delirious.)
- Sidenote: I’m putting this laughable moment lightly, but what was done was done. We felt like we were in the pinnacle moment of the story arc in a HGTV show.
- BUT! The thing is, despite our anger(?, confusion?), we think it was meant to happen. Hear me out. With all the bones in place in the kitchen, we realized that we didn’t necessarily want a swinging door anymore. In the summer, what if we wanted to keep the door open? Would it swing to the left or the right? Towards the inside or outside? Upon further discussion with our contractor, we talked about the possibility of a french door style sliding patio door, complete with a transom above. In this scenario, we’d actually have more natural light on that back wall.
- He ordered the parts with his distributor the next day, with the goal of a 3-week turnaround.
- Then, that fell into back order, too. This is the part where I’d like to say April Fools! (Not the case.)
- And, scene.
All of our fingers and paws are crossed that we’ll have good news by the weekend! In the meantime, we have started choosing paint colors for the adjoining work shop, and we’ve begun measuring for shelving. My dreams of organized sandpaper-by-grit and caulk-by-silicone-vs-latex and a-place-for-everything and everything-in-its-place will come true – eventually.
We’re (kind of) getting there!
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