0 Prepping the Living Room and Office

This series of home posts are events which occurred in the distant past, please bear with me until I catch up to the present.

First off, I’d like to thank those of you who took the little pole at the bottom of the First House Tour Post. As mentioned, the pole results dictate the room order.
I will begin with the Living Room and Office and make our way to the bathroom- saving the best for last.

Let’s dive right into the Living Room. When we moved into this dump fixer-upper we weren’t exactly positive on how we wanted to set up the living room area. Since it’s a longer space- we’re talking 16.5 feet in the living area and 11 feet long in the additional space. One day back in April, probably mid-painting, it struck us that extra area could be segregated into an office/sitting area.

Through the dilemma, we prepped for paint anyway. The second trip to the store (the first to purchase new locks) was to spend about $20 at the dollar store buying gallons of bleach, mops, buckets, gloves, painters tape, and plastic sheets to get our clean on and prep for paint. Boy was this place filthy. Thank goodness the previous owner left behind an equally dirty vacuum so we wouldn't have to use our nice one for that filth.

The first few days of ownership were spent cleaning the mass amount of spiders with their webs, dust so thick ‘clean me’ wasn’t cutting it, and bleaching the walls multiple times trying to get rid of smoke residue from many years of cigarette house abuse. After cleaning the rooms, they were somewhat less of an eye sore.
We didn't bother cleaning up the fruit punch spill since we knew the carpet had to go anyway.

Our method of cleaning: basically wearing gloves, and putting a strong mix of bleach and hot water into buckets using the mops to clean the walls. It was quite effective and seemed to cover more surface area than rags. The mop was also a good choice as there was an extension on our cleaning tool for shorties like me who have a hard time reaching the top of the wall. Plus at $1 we didn’t care much if the heads broke as they were planned for disposal anyway.

As I mentioned before, the boyfriend had a hard time not tearing anything down while I captured some befores. One of the first things he tackled was taking down the curio cabinet to open the space up even more. He was so quick I didn’t even have the chance to capture in-progress photos. 

I’ll try to explain while being photo-strapped. I did learn that in order to take something down (without destroying everything else) is to figure out how the object is attached. In our case, we started by removing the acrylic glass panels. Next, he detached the inner and outer shelves on each side. Then, we peeled away the sticky tile- it was super easy since the adhesive was quite old- with just our hands- well technically I had gloves on as I’m a germ-a-phobe. 


This process had us finding some exposed screws.

*The pry bars were my birthday presents and the other tools were already owned.


We then used the drill to remove all the screws. He did the drilling while I held the unit to prevent it from falling. The case was being a bit stubborn so we took pry bars to it gently prying the wood from the paneling. And success:

We kept the acrylic, which just needs a bit of cleaning, if we ever need it for a future project. We also donated the side shelves to my pops for shelving in his kitchen. I believe the rest was garbage or firewood.


We then removed all light switch covers, disassembled the curtain rods, removed interior door handles taped and put plastic bags around the exterior door handles and thermostat. Lastly, we cut the plastic sheets to fit each window and taped them in place, we also made a make-shift door way into the kitchen. 
It was too dark inside to take pictures of bagged and taped windows, but here is what it looked like outside.

We did not cover the carpet as paint mess was welcome since we knew we would remove the carpet someday. All the trim in the entire house was also removed gently with a pry bar. We opted to paint the whole house at once, except the kitchen so the entire house cleaning and prepping took about a week and a half (nights and weekends). One last tip: it doesn’t hurt to do a once over just to ensure everything is removed, covered, and generally prepped for paint.

What about you, what is your paint prep method?

P.S. I was not paid or perked from any of these vendors, we just happily picked up the supplies necessary for the job.

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