Tag Archives: floorboards

Reclaiming the Garden

Yes I know, where are the DIY stories? What a let down, right? Well, what can I say except that I’ve been stuck indoors wishing the rain would sod  off so I can get stuck into the garden. The good news? Well it’s finally gone and I’m out of excuses.

Building our garden has taught me three important things. Firstly, if you order a skip then it becomes a beacon for any of your neighbours that you’ve never met to pop over and say ‘hello’ quickly followed by ‘do you mind if I pop this enormous item that I can’t be arsed driving to tip in there’? I’ve also discovered phantom skip dumpers, who wait until we’ve gone to bed, then ever so quietly drop in un-needed bikes, boxes and even the odd frying pan in the dead of the night.

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Cleared Garden

Secondly, I’ve learnt that when visiting a timber yard it’s best not to turn up in your smart work attire. They’ll quickly figure out you’re an imposter and bamboozle you with enough timber jargon to make a lumberjack uncomfortable. Also, if they say talk to ‘Dave’ in the yard with the measuring tape, don’t assume the security guard who also has a measuring tape is called Dave….he’s not and doesn’t take kindly to being called Dave.

Decking Frame

Decking

Build a door

Finally, when navigating a trolley full of heavy plants through a nursery, beware of the Yankee candle display. It’s likely to be hidden from view, but just at the right level for you to knock it over.

Having learnt those important lessons I am pleased to say we’re done. Well almost, but at least we can now sit outside without feeling like we’re in a car park.

Garden Decking

Top of the Table

Sometimes things don’t look quite as good as they once did. You might think that I’m referring to that lady from TopGun, but no I’m in fact talking about the TV stand I built a while ago. Epic it was, made out of old school floorboards and proudly holding up our TV like a trophy in the living room.

Then we moved home and it looked kind of awkward and out of place. We pretended it was a sideboard table for a bit, but who were we kidding, this was destined for the skip. Then we discovered these amazing hairpin legs and decided that perhaps we could save this little DIY project. The worktop was still awesome and would make a perfect coffee table, which we certainly still needed. So we decided to erm, remake it into something else. See what I did there.

Hairpin Table Legs

We ordered our hairpin legs from some dude on eBay who makes them to order. A week later a little note from the post man popped in the letterbox to say they were ready to collect.  So off I trotted to our Post Office to pick them up and marvel at what a great job I’d done finding them. Only I was presented with a very small envelope instead of our four table legs…erm, shit, I’ve ordered very small legs, but then thankfully I saw the error. “Excuse me Mrs Post Office lady, but I pretty sure we live at number 78 and this letter says number 76, unless of course it’s filled with money and in that case I’ll keep this letter” I smirked. I thought this was hilarious and brilliant, but Mrs Post office lady didn’t think so at all. I should point out I didn’t know if this person was actually a Mrs, or by the look of her a lady for that matter, but hey I needed these table legs so I kept it friendly.

Reclaimed Tabletop

Hairpin Table Flowers

Finally armed with the correct four table legs and can of Hammerite spray paint I was ready to go. It took four very light coats to get it just right. I’ve spent a fair amount of badly used spare time watching MTV ‘Pimp my Ride’ and I noticed they baked the cars after spraying to harden the paint. To replicate this I used our airing cupboard to bake the legs for 24 hours and it worked a treat. Next up I ripped off the old table top from the TV stand and re-painted the edges. To assemble I used a few 25mm screws to fix the legs in place and hey presto we had a new coffee table.

The story so far

…….and we’re back! It’s been ages since we blogged anything and that’s because, erm, we were enjoying cocktails in the Summer sunshine working on our house project. You may remember we undertook a bit of a fixer upper earlier in the year and I’ll be honest it has been challenging. We may have fallen out a couple of times over paint colour and I might have hammered some nails into the wrong place, but hey we’re finally starting to get there.  In fact, we’re finally starting to unpack some of those long forgotten boxes with mumblings of ‘oh yes, I forgot we had a lamp’.

So here’s a little photo blog on what we’ve been up to over the summer…

The first day
This is when Anna threw up in her mouth and I got weak legged and slumped to the floor. I don’t think we quite knew what we’d let ourselves in for. I won’t lie. It was a dark time.

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Floorboards
Underneath the carpet should be floorboards right? Wrong. We had chipboard and underneath that some very large holes. There’s a whole floorboards post on dealing with that issue.

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Stripping paint and getting dusty
If there’s one thing I loathe it’s stripping paint. Not just any old paint though, there must have been 60 years of the stuff there. It took ages and our reward? The chance to repaint it all over again.

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Starting to see the light
So after fixing the floorboards, replacing the windows, re-plastering the walls, re-painting everything and all the bits in between we’re finally starting to see the light. Almost there with just a kitchen and all of upstairs to finish.

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We’ve Been Floored

Seven days ago, we rolled up our sleeves and started the ultimate DIY project. You see we’ve upped sticks and moved further down the coast to Shoreham-by-Sea, to take part in what must be our biggest fixer upper experience. So without doubt, we will now be cluttering your social network feeds with shiny, happy scenes on how well we are doing fixing up an old house.

So all good right? Well not entirely, it’s an old place and we are a little rusty on DIY skills. Plus, there’s currently no kitchen, so odds are blogging about food might be on the slim side these next few weeks.

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We started with the floors. We’ve always wanted big dark stripped down floorboards, like we’d seen in all those fancy magazines. That should be easy to acheive? Just rip up the carpet, a quick rub with some sandpaper and job done…oh, how wrong we were.

The carpets were pink, so Barbie or an old lady with bad taste clearly lived here before us. They needed to go, so off we went ripping it up and pretending we weren’t inhaling 20 years of dust. We discovered chipboard under it. Yes that’s chipboard, not big lovely solid wood floorboards. Two hours later and garden filled with chipboard, we finally got down to the floorboards. Only there were holes everywhere, hence the chipboard. By this time, our dreams of a large wooden floor were dwindling quickly. Secretly, I was now thinking that maybe pink carpet wasn’t such a bad idea.

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A trip to our old friends at the reclaimed timber yard was clearly in order. We manged to find loads of matching floorboards to fill the holes. Bingo right? We’ll let’s say, I learnt a valuable lesson to never nail floorboards down in the middle. It’s likely there’s a water pipe there and you’ll knock a nail into it…or three nails, on three separate occasions if you’re me.

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Sanding the floorboards was fairly easy, but super boring. Up and down the grain of the wood all day long, only breaking the mundane task when you get to change sandpaper. Although, I did get a top tip from a mate to mix the sawdust with a bit of PVA to make a natural wood filler. You just rub it into the gaps and carry on sanding. Genius.

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After a spot of varnishing we managed to whip those floors back into shape. Whilst it was hard work, it was well worth it. The floor turned out great and I now have a new best friend in the local plumber. Plus, I have a garden full of pink carpet, give me a shout if you’d like it.