Monday, January 17, 2011


arguably the most dated room in this dated prefab is the sunroom.  which is strange, because the house was built in 1976 and the sunroom wasn't added until the '80s.

we didn't touch the sunroom for the first year we lived here.  it was home only to the litter box and a kitchen table we were no longer using.  oh, and three dead plants that came with the house.

more previous-owner glamour shots.  my husband just said, "uh, look at that f**king nightmare."
the room faces south and, as you can imagine, it gets hot as hell in there.  presumably that gorgeous rock wall serves to hold heat for the house.  it's also a filthy, filthy dust magnet. 

the room is two stories tall, with windows spanning the whole southern wall.  there's a balcony on the second floor that opens from the office. the day we closed, we took down those dowdy little curtains.  and then we didn't touch anything, including those sad plants.  i desperately wanted to paint the paneling.  but there was SO MUCH WOOD in there it was hard to know where to even start (that's what she said).  i called in a couple of painters, who each wanted 400 dollars (!) just to paint the large window frames.  which was obviously a little out of my budget for the project.

in march, after living with it for almost a year, i finally bought some wood filler and started filling in all the knot holes.  i had read a post on young house love that optimistically claimed that we could paint the paneling in an afternoon.  which might be applicable if the wood had been even remotely in good shape, but this paneling was awful.  the finish was gummy from decades of baking in the sun. 

extreme close-up.  yikes.
 i thought we might be able to tackle it in a week, but we hated working on it.  we started with a quarter-sheet sander, which was totally ineffective on the sticky, bowed wood.  we then moved on to an orbital sander.  once we started sanding, the room became so sawdusty it was totally unusable.  so, for eight months we completely avoided it.  which is humiliating to even write because, otherwise, my house is very, very clean.

at any rate, we got our shit together and made a commitment to at least get it cleaned up before the end of the year.  over christmas break, we spent a whole day filling in the last of the holes and finishing the sanding.  then we spent another whole day cleaning everything.  every square inch of that room had to be vacuumed and wiped with wet, soapy rags.  then we primed with kilz oil-based primer.  after two hours, we realized we were both totally high and that we ought to open the windows.  oops. 

at any rate, we finally finished priming yesterday!

i am so thrilled.  it was totally worth killing all those brain cells.

i know all of my (three) beloved readers are worried about how i managed to paint those upper window frames.  slow your racing hearts, my loves.  i made my husband do it.  on an extension ladder. 

here are the next steps:
  1. pick another grey for the main walls; buy in a uv-resistant paint
  2. buy more of the paint we've used for trim (benjamin moore's simply white) in a uv-resistant semi-gloss
  3. pick a darker grey for the three steps leading down into the main floor
  4. paint the main walls grey
  5. paint the trim white
  6. paint the balcony and railing (white?)
  7. paint the three steps dark grey
  8. wash the windows
  9. replace kitty litter box (hopefully with the uber-sexy modkat litter box)


  1. You're a filthy, filthy dust magnet!

  2. AMAZING MAKEOVER! What can you do for a woman in her fifties?

  3. Dammmmn girl, that is a LOT of wood! Good going!

    And look at you! A blog!!! I'ma go subscribe.

  4. @Dan @ Manhattan Nest

    dan! subscriber #2! i just did a touchdown dance here in cubicle city.