Monday, October 6, 2008

All trimmed out

Another moderately productive weekend, I'd say. And a few lessons learned, of course. I can already see this is going to be a long post, but hey-- at least there's pictures!

I know I mentioned our newly purchased and primed crown for the kitchen-- "crown" is really stretching it; it's a large cove molding. Anyway, Adam and I spent Saturday cutting and installing it.

I don't know if you've ever done crown, but it's a little insane. We knew that the bottom of the molding had to be against the fence of the miter saw if we were going to get consistent corners. But somehow we missed the fact that cove has a top and bottom-- one side's thicker than the other-- and we were trying to flip the pieces over rather than move the to the other side of the saw or just move the saw. We were being lazy and stupid. But Adam finally got in a groove, and things moved right along.

Once we realized that there had to be a better, easier, less stress-inducing way to do this, we ended up using DeWalt's tutorial for cutting crown, and I found this one pretty helpful, too.

To install, we used our handy-dandy Harbor Freight stapler/brad-nailer twofer that we got for $18 with One Project Closer's coupon. It's been a GREAT addition to the tool arsenal; we have a larger Porter-Cable finish nailer, but it's 15ga, it's so heavy and cumbersome and provides such a kick. For these little projects, the 18ga brad nailer is lightweight and easy to handle when you have to hold your arms up and crick your neck to see, and the tiny brads don't tend to split the wood. It is awesome.

Anyway, we got it up there and I spent yesterday caulking and putty-ing the nail holes.

It looks like it has the pox. This (the caulking, not the pox!) brings me the newest addition to the tool box-- a new caulk gun. The one we had was the 99¢ blue one that everyone has in their kitchen tool/junk drawer. In fact, ours either came from Adam's dad or my dad, making it probably a minimum of 15 years old and a maximum of 30. When I used it on the porch, caulk was constantly oozing out and I didn't feel like I had a lot of control over the bead. Ok, ok. I suppose this might have something to do with the fact that I had no clue what I was doing.

But caulk guns are inexpensive even at the top end, and if there's one thing I've learned from this house, it's that the right hands can make cheap tool work; but a cheap tool in the wrong hands is a fucking disaster. So I splashed out on a $5 model that advertises "no-drip technology."

I couldn't see any difference; I stood in Lowe's for a while with a cheapo model and this one in each hand, pulling the triggers and watching them work and...I don't know. But whatever the difference, it's a good one. It absolutely did the trick. My beads were smaller and smoother and the tip stayed pretty mess-free. (I'd like to also point out that caulking is just about the most important part of finish work-- I cannot BELIEVE the difference it makes between looking halfway legitimate and looking like a monkey did the work.)

One bit of a disaster, however, is the space above the broom closet. This closet was a modular afterthought.

As you see, the gaps are too big for the crown to attch to anything on one side, and there's a gaping hole below it on the other side. The side in the first pic is also severely bowed. My solution? Liquid Nail, baby. The bowed side will be more difficult, but I started by gluing a scrap piece of poplar in the other side's gap:
I'll wait for the glue to cure and then glue these two piece of crown together and then to the ceiling and closet. Then I'm sure there will be creative caulking and puttying. We'll see.

Another little kitchen miracle...drum roll...Baseboards!
Not having ragged bottoms and ragged tops has made a world of difference. For this project, we did have to bust out the big finish nailer. These baords were just too much for the little guy.

We also tested some countertop trim profiles on a scrap piece of oak (no decision yet), and I primed the laundry room. Or well, I started to prime the laundry room.

That paneling is a bitch! Or, again, wrong tool wrong hands...I was using a regular roller with a regular nap, and this left nothing in the grooves between "panels." So the whole room turned into one giant "cutting in." I gave up at this point and will buy a thicker napped roller and see where that takes me.

And we changed the battery in my mom's car...OH! One other weird thing. The kiddo was at camp all weekend. But when I woke up this morning, the stuffed teddy bear that she won at the fair last week was laying splayed out in the middle of the bathroom floor. I'm sure the most likely answer is that one of the cats dragged it in there; it's as big as they are, but lightweight. Still, there was no evidence of claws or teeth on it...I like to believe that our little girl ghost who goes from the kitchen to the bathroom at night has taken a shine to it :-)


Just A Girl And Her Craftsman said...

This so inspires me as I'd love to get started on my kitchen. Congrats!

Jenni said...

I was just complaining about the caulk gun I was using the other day. The different guns do make a difference.

Sandy said...

Great job on the crown molding and the baseboards!