Garage Organization: The Before

Posted by John on October 8th, 2012

Happy Columbus Day!!  Or as my Italian wife calls it, “better than St. Patrick’s Day.”  🙂  Today we’re enjoying a day off from work together and will be getting some much needed errands done.  I’d really like to get cracking on a couple quick projects this week to keep me busy (or busier) in between car repair work. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been doing a few car maintenance projects like changing out my front brakes and rotors and changing my front differential fluid.  I’m not going to blog about the front diff fluid work, it’s kinda boring and really, really messy.  I’ve noticed that my work and storage areas are really getting cluttered and disheveled.  Actually the whole garage could use a boost in cleanliness and organization.

Here’s what it looks like right now.



It’s really not THAT bad, it’s just become an eyesore at this point.  The entire workbench area is a hot mess.


What do we have here?  Looks like my letterman jacket from high school.  I lettered in cross country.  Haven’t jogged since like 1998, for real!!  Not sure why that’s there.  I think it may have been in my car a while from some reason.  We’ve also got a couple mini propane containers, spray cans of polyurethane, paint stuff, a MAPP gas can.  You get the point.  I think the wall above this bench would make a great spot for a shelf, even if it is a little high up.


Also got my bucket buddy, which may be the greatest tool caddy invention ever.  That gray 5 gallon jug is filled with used engine and gear oil.  Need to get rid of that soon.  Couple rotor boxes and an extension cord.  I’m somewhat self shaming myself here.  I think it will give me a kick in the pants to get moving with cleaning this up.

The rest of the garage isn’t too too bad.  We STILL need to get some shoe organization going.  That’s high on my to-do list this week.  AND we have a timer switch for the outdoor lights that’s literally been sitting on my workbench for nearly a year.

The floors could stand to be re-epoxied, but that’s definitely not going to happen until at least the spring.  The first epoxy coat I applied right after we moved in is a bit blotchy.  The concrete absorbed some of it in certain areas and consequently it’s rough and porous in those spots.  The rest of the floor is very smooth and non-absorbant.  I think a second coat will do the trick.


If you’re thinking about epoxy painting your garage floors, I’d recommend it.  It’s not completely impervious to stains though.  The most common car fluids you’ll see under your car are motor oil and water condensate from the air conditioning.  Those are fine.

Break fluid though, not so much.


Note to self:  Next time I replace a brake caliper and bleed my brake lines, put down some newspaper.

Hope you enjoy your Monday!!  What are you planning at the moment?

Posted in Garage and Tools. Tagged in ,, , ,

Dining Room Wainscoting Wrap Up

Posted by John on August 20th, 2012

Finally.  We’re done the dining room wainscoting project.  Yep.  All done.  Well, except for some minor paint touch ups and a little bit of caulking.  BUT, it’s on a 6″ section of doorway baseboard molding, so.. technically, it’s not really IN the dining room.  So, like I said.  We’re done.  High five.

I don’t want to seem like we’re spiking the football here.  We posted last week when we finished up the painting and we got a lot of very kind comments.  I almost feel guilty posting about it again.  Almost.

We started the planning for this project back in February with an intro post.  We started the demolition and electrical work in March and April.  The actual trim carpentry started on May 15.  So, it took us about 6 months from planning to final brush stroke.  Yikes.  It was worth it.  Here’s a more thorough wrap-up of the work that went into the dining room.

Our Dining Room Wainscoting Project, the Cliff’s Notes.

A year ago, the room was completely unpainted.  We still have quite a few rooms in this builder boring state at the moment.

We started the upgrade process by adding some molding beneath the crown and painting it all semi-gloss white. Then we painted the room accessible beige by Sherwin Williams.

Then the rest of the process went like this…

– Removing the existing chair rail molding
– Adding a new outlet behind the buffet
– Planning the options, look and layout of the wainscoting
– Installing the poplar frame (1, 2, 3, 4)
– Adding the MDF panels
– Adding the bolection molding and capping
– Priming
– Painting

And now we’re all done…

You know you’re getting old when wainscoting is considered eye candy.

Couple things to note.  See if you caught this.  The dining room table is missing a chair.  It was in another room when I was taking the pictures.  Oops.  Lisa noticed.  I didn’t.  Also, we’re going to be adding some additional decor items at some point and eventually replacing the cellular window shades.  For now though, this is fine.

Any items you’re dying to remove from your to-do list?

Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects,Home Decor,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, , ,

A Look Back at our Old Bathroom; Before and After

Posted by John on August 9th, 2011

While looking through our old photos from our first home, I stumbled upon these pictures of our old bathroom before the big renovation.  For the record, Lisa would like me to stress that this was MY bathroom and not OUR bathroom since it was rehabbed before we got married and she moved in.

The before shots:

To say the bathroom was in dire straits before the remodel is an understatement.  The tiles were regularly falling off the shower wall.  The tub was only 48″ long, much shorter compared to today’s standard 60″ tubs.  Not like that mattered though, no one ever laid down in this thing, not while I owned it anyway.  You can clearly see there was an attempt to replace some of the tiles around the tub spout, but it was done poorly at best.  The plaster was chipping off the walls and falling into the tub.  I’m pretty sure the CDC would’ve condemned this “room” if they had caught wind of it.

If you look closely, you can see some plumber’s tape wrapped around the p-trap.  Yes, there is such a thing as plumber’s tape.  That plumber’s tape essentially became the p-trap after the actual pipe rotted through.  These pictures were taken the day of my “Demolition Party”  to capture the timeless nastiness that was my bathroom.  A few months before the demolition, I had decided to stop cleaning it.  What was the point?  If anything, maybe all the mold and rot would ease the demo.

The new bathroom was much nicer.

In addition to gutting the entire bathroom, I expanded the room length by one foot into the adjacent bedroom.  Although that third bedroom I borrowed space from was small to begin with, I don’t think I could’ve sold the house with such an undersized bathroom. The extra foot really helped.  I was able to install a full sized tub with a subway tiled surround.  The window was replaced with glass tile block.  The toilet is a top of the line American Standard Champion model.

The bathroom was still on the small size, but that’s just what you get with homes of that age in that area of Philadelphia. Sure beats the Green Monster.

Posted in Our First Home. Tagged in ,,

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