Lots of grain, lots of pain

We’ve not really been blogging much recently. Sorry, have you missed us?!

“What’s been stopping you entertaining us with your witty musings” I hear you cry. In a word, dear reader? SANDING.

The sanding box of doom. The sight of it makes my heart sink.

The sanding box of doom. Just the sight of it makes my heart sink.

Now, I am the Queen of Underestimating at the best of times but this time, woah, holy moly, that’s some serious work. Every single bit of wood in this house (except the ‘we’ll do it next year’ study and bathroom) has been lovingly rubbed, smoothing the way for a more elegant future.

I don’t think we realised just how much wood there was in this house or how fiddly sanding it all would be.

Original architraving and skirting is certainly stunning but the nooks and crannies hide varnished crimes that stubbornly refuse to be shifted.

We also never realised just how evil the sticky reddy brown varnish would be to get off. We were originally quite joyful at the lack of gloss in this house and yet half way through would have given anything for some simple gloss to go at!

We’ve spent weeks covered in icky red dust. Weeks covered in a film of skank. Weeks wheezing and puffing our way through misty clouds that gets EVERYWHERE! And don’t even get me started on the state of our poor hands.

Of course, we had an added problem – our plasterer. I’m not sure its possible to have found a tradesman who was messier or more inconsiderate. There were dribbles and lumps of plaster everywhere – we would frequently disappear behind clouds of plaster dust only to emerge angry and swearing.

He had also managed to get PVA all over the woodwork, and that stuff clogs up a sander faster than drunk chavs in Maccie Ds on a Friday night.

So, the plasterer has become He Who Must Not Be Named because of the extra mess and time he has cost us. Throughout our sanding ordeal Oly has very nearly needed anger management because of Him.

And yet, triumphantly we have now finished the sanding. Woohoo!! It honestly feels like a bit of a turning point.

Clearly sanding isn’t all we’ve been up to but it has totally dominated – we reckon we’ve done about 60 hours each.

We’ve actually just had a week of leave and are now absolutely exhausted, not having stopped work till about 10pm each night. We’ve really just returned to work for a break (Oly even started a new job today!)

There are however more exciting things we can blog about and will do soon. For now, we’re just giddy to see the back of the sanding.

So the next time you have a friend or family member embarking on any type of renovation, don’t offer to give them a hand with the painting, do some emulsioning for them or even suggest a paint party* – just help them out with a bit of sanding, they’ll love you forever.

purvs corner Haworth*We did consider telling our friends we’d get the pizza and beers in if they’d come to our Rub-Down Party.

Decided against it in the end, sounded a touch pervy.


Filed under Prep

20 responses to “Lots of grain, lots of pain

  1. Wow, I sooo feel for you guys. We sanded our staircase and banisters and it took for ever (around 250 hours to finish the job!) My fingers are sore just from thinking about it! Just keep reminding yourselves about how much better everything will look and feel when you’ve finished!

    • We’re totally cheating by painting most of our staircase and banisters!! Thanks for the encouragement; sometimes it’s hard to even know where the end of the tunnel may be, let alone see the light!!

  2. curt

    Cute post. Loved it! And if someone asked why I painted all the woodwork – I’ll point them to this post. Glad it’s over for you.

  3. OMG, I feel your pain!! I HATE sanding! The red sticky gack reminds me of when I sanded the varnish off my living room floor. Bad stuff, and stinky when it got hot from the sander. I mentioned to Eric that my blog friends in Yorkshire are actually WORKING on their house and getting things done. You guys have lots of energy. Maybe you can inspire us to get busy!

    • I’m glad it seems like we have lots of energy!! Actually we’re just a little crazed with determination to get all the main work done by Christmas – we want our lives back so are trying to keep up the momentum. Stay tuned to find out if we actually make it!!

  4. Jo

    I hate any kind of demolition especially sanding which never seems to be totally finished (until, of course, you’ve sanded a hole in the veneer layer). Can’t wait to SEE your progress. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  5. Haha a “rub-down” party sounds hilarious! Well done for sticking it out 🙂 You’ve certainly got more patience than myself! x

  6. housenumber59

    Welcome back – I have missed your posts! God I hate sanding. Sanding and filling are the bane of my life!! Are you sanding the walls after they have been plastered? C x

    • Oooo, I’ve been missed, thanks!! We’re only sanding walls where we’ve really had to -eg where we’ve had to do little repairs. It’s not as bad as sanding the wood work but is still too much for me to bear to do thoroughly. We’re just gonna get on with painting and hope it hides a multitude of sins!

  7. Enjoyed your post. I know what you mean about sanding. It’s a lot of work renovating/restoring an old home. Ours is 1920s – the work never ends. I’ve been googling for a cement plasterer here in Melbourne today. Let’s hope I find someone better than your guy. I’d be furious about that mess.

  8. simplythenest

    Yikes! What a mission. How are you going to finish the wood? Bet it looks gorgeous. Bit late, this (sorry!) but Home Strip takes varnish off really well – poultice with clingfilm and then rub with steel wool and water. More prep but less dust.

  9. So true about the paint parties! No one took up my offers to hang drywall or strip doors instead, but I’m painting all my trim, doors, and radiators and some furniture for my family at once with an airless sprayer. If you can get it in your neck of the woods, I’ve recently been very happy with SoyGel to remove paint and old varnish.

  10. Pingback: Hallway, stairs and lobby reveal | Making a house our home

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