Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Bday Zui!!

Happy 29th Birthday, Zui!! We celebrated by taking the fam to Ko'olina. We had fun relaxing while the kids played their hearts out.
Zeya sure loves his daddy :)
This is what Zion did almost the entire time we were there...
What a handsome little bugga...
Zeya had fun playing with sand...
and, unfortunately, eating it too.
That night Zui and I went out to Cattle Company to celebrate. nice to eat a good steak.
Zui got Starcraft 2 and Avatar. He was pretty stoked.
Happy Birthday Babes!
I'm so glad I married such a good man. He is such a hard worker, plays with the kids, and is sensitive to my needs. I sure love him!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

That "Dog" Bathroom gotta go, literally

Finally getting around to posting about the great bathroom remodel. This project didn't actually take as long as we thought it would, but as you can see, it was in desperate need of getting done. When we moved in this nifty little sink was included/attached to our toilet! What a lovely surprise!

That was the first thing to go... we quickly replaced it with the toilet topper and admitted that this bathroom really had no sink in it. The bathroom was remodeled by the first owners--they took out the sink vanity and replaced it with this beautiful hot pink and green tiled dog bathing stall. The tile only goes up about 3 ft--so pretty useless for a normal person (not to mention the showerhead comes out of the bottom). Also, since this was meant to be a half bath, whenever you sit down to use the toilet you have to have one foot inside the shower--joy!
After serving its purpose as our paint/tool cleaning station as well as the "my kids peed their pants shower-off station," Zui began to tackle the project. Okay, turning the time over to Zui...

First I had to turn off the water and electric so when I cut we didn't have more problems. Set the saw to the thickness of the drywall and chopped off the three feet of puke ugly tile on one side, and scraped the tile off the drywall on the other two sides.

As you can guess there was tons of dust already in my lungs, time to put my mask and goggles on. Sometimes I think I can be superman and tuff it out, but it was getting pretty cloudy.

Luckily I was the young men's president in our last ward and became good friends with them, here's Nathan Fetner helping us a ton on this project. After the walls were down and the plumbing exposed we needed to clear the shower bed. There was tons of that pink tile and it was stuck to the mortar. So Nathan and I went to town whacking it with chisel hammers till all the pink tile was gone and we had a 3-4 inch exposed concrete slab sitting on top of the original floor level concrete. That was a surprise and we weren't sure how to get it out. I was afraid that the concrete would not come out even with the rest of the floor.
So we started sawing the slab with a diamond studded blade. We were hoping that maybe we could cut it with lines and use a chisel to hammer out the cement even with the original floor. Both Nathan and I looked like we got into a flour fight by the time we cut only 1 line each.

Unfortunately even with the door closed concrete dust got EVERYWHERE in the house, even managed to climb upstairs somehow.

Here's a picture of our cupboard after Jenn removed the doilies--yeah we had to dust everything.
So after getting frustrated that this cutting idea wasn't working very well, I decided to just take out some steam with a good old fashioned 20 lb sledge hammer.

Yeah, 1 hour later and the mortar was out. Luckily the do it yourselfers who remodeled it originally didn't use a very good bonding adhesive so it spider webbed and cracked without damaging the foundation slab.

After removing all the tile and concrete in our normal trash bin, and a neighbors bin (who's bin we broke because the load was too heavy) the bathroom looked much better already. **C&C of Honolulu replaced the broken wheel for free**

So the next step was tackling the plumbing. I cut the copper pipes with dad's dremel, sanded the cut pipes, fluxed (bond), attached the pipes then soldered the pipes with a $10 dollar blowtorch from City Mill.

Figuring out the size of the pipes, how much pipes, couplings, turn off valves, and all the other stuff was just as much work as doing the project itself. Luckily I had a sales rep at Home Depot who actually knew a thing about plumbing work and helped me get the right hardware I needed for my project. After finishing the copper plumbing I worked on capping the old ABS shower drainage and cementing a new ABS T-coupling for our soon to be sink drain. Once the behind the wall plumbing was done I got our new drywall measured, cut and screwed it into the 2x4s. Then I mudded the joints, let it dry overnight, sanded it all, and textured it with a knockdown texture.

Finally it was time to paint. I started edging the whole bathroom and then went in with the rollers. One more quirky thing about the old bathroom was that the door opened up into the hallway. Since the old shower stall was so large, the door couldn't swing into the bathroom, and instead sat open in the middle of our kitchen hall. I had to ply the door frame off, fill the hinge holes & door jam with wood filler, let it dry then reattach the frame to allow the door to sit on the inside of the bathroom and open inwards again. Little projects all wrapped into one.

We wanted to match the existing floor tile in the bathroom but it was too outdated and we couldn't find any so we had to scrape off the tile on 1/2 the floor as well. After lots of contemplation we decided against going with tile for the bathroom floor and instead went with some premium no-glue roll vinyl instead. Measured it all out and cut it perfectly without having to patch some areas. Here I am cutting around the toilet hole.

Installing drywall around the plumbing was like playing tetris. It was hard to find backer boards to screw the drywall into. But here's what the 1/2 turn valves and the sink drain looks like.

After checking one last time for no leaks, I mudded up the plumbing and installed the new vanity we got from Home Depot. Then reinstalled the toilet with a new wax ring and bolted it down.

Did the finishing touches around the edges with new baseboards cut at 45 degree angles to meet in the corners. And we silicon caulked around the vanity because I know my kids will definitely get water outside of the sink. And I was done with my project. Here's the before & after pics.

Total cost -- a whopping $353. Total time spent--1 week. Learning experience--priceless. Reward --The joy of knowing I did this! -- Zui


I'm trying to get caught up and post about all the projects Zui has been up to... This is just one of many. After 2 months of waiting, we finally heard our carpet came in. Rather than pay to have someone take out our old carpet, Zui did it himself with the help of his Dad.
It was pretty dangerous with all the tack strips sticking straight up, so I spent the night with Anjuli and Zion at Dad's house, while Zui stayed back and put Izaiah to bed.
Zui stayed up til 4am painting the banister and other finishing touches before the carpet would get installed the next day.
All the carpet was thrown outside on our lanai, then taken to the dump the next day.

I just had to throw this one in...Zeya is a pretty good climber now, and close to walking. He loves to climb up this little ladder and reach things on top of the counter. Hmm...I wonder who he learned that from?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Resurrecting a Table Set

Just before we moved into our new house (2 months ago) we bought a table off of craigslist: $75 for a solid oak wood table with an extension leaf and 6 chairs. It was definitely in need of some TLC.The veneer on the chairs was brittle and easy to peel off. The table had major stains and burns into the wood, and the upholstery was stained and dirty.

It became our work table for a few days. Then I got the itch to refurnish it. I'm still wondering what was wrong with my head. Here we are, barely moved into our new home that has a ton of remodeling projects needed and what do I do? Sell our perfectly fine (albeit, small) table and chairs to force us to refurnish the 'new' table asap. I thought it would take us a weekend to do...ha! It took us 6 weeks.

After taking off the veneer we found that one chair was completely eaten by termites! I began to wonder if this project was really worth it...
This is a 'before' picture, but after I had taken off the veneer. The first thing we did was take off the cushions and recover them with new canvas, followed by a clear vinyl for kid friendly use.

Still working on the chairs. Here's the termite chair after we added wood filler and sanded it down. Boy those termites had fun! We had to add wood filler several times because it kept sinking deeper into the cracks. Sanding the chairs took a looong time. Thanks a million to Carson, one of Zui's young men, who helped a lot on this project, as well as others around the house.
The first step to the table was to put on a paint stripper to get off all the old finish and polish. The stripper makes the finish bubble and easy to scrape off.
Next Zui took steel wool and scrubbed the table with laquer thinner to remove the last bits of finish. Then we sanded it down with a 60 grit and then 100, then 220.

Next we applied the stain. We used Red Mahogany to try to match the chairs that we were painting georgia clay (reddish brown).
So tired...most of our time working on the table and chairs was done between 9pm and 1am. Late nights, kids waking up at night, and early mornings made it hard to function during the day... not to mention we were still in the middle of several other necessary home remodel projects, plus trying to still unpack and keep up with cooking, laundry, and cleaning.
Staining from oak to red mahogany was a big contrast, but one that I'm happy with.
Getting closer... after we let the stain dry for 48 hours and applied a second coat, Zui applied the first of 3 coats of polyurethane finish. Inbetween each coat he sanded it lightly with 220 grit.
This table came with a cool Chinese motif. We weren't sure if we should stain it or leave it or spray paint it and glaze over.

We decided to leave the motif in the original oak color, but applied a chocolate brown faux glaze on top to help the design stand out.
After sanding...then priming....then spray painting...then top coating all 6 chairs we were ready to see the finished product!
It only took 10 seconds to realize that georgia clay does not match our new red mahogany stained table. Oh, I wanted to cry. Especially since Zui was the one that tried to talk me into painting the chairs leather brown instead of georgia clay in the first place...
Presto chang-o! Within the following week we took off all the cushions (again) sanded (again) and spray painted the chairs to leather brown, and then top coated...again...
and...VOILA! After many many hours of labor and many many cans of spray paint, we finally finished!!! Now we are enjoying our "new" big table :)