Updates & Answered Questions

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m starting to wind things down on the blog for the year. I always love this time of year, but since Matt and I don’t celebrate Christmas (you can find out why in this post), it has nothing to do with a holiday. I love this time of year because it’s a time of reflection on the past year, and planning for the new year. The beginning of a new year always makes me giddy with excitement. I love new beginnings and fresh starts. I love new goals and renewed vision. This time of year for me always feels so….cleansing. That probably sounds silly, but that’s the word that comes to mind.

Anyway, all of that to say that I won’t be posting much between now and the beginning of next year. At the very least, I do hope to have one more music room post showing all of the basics finished, including my black walls. But since I still haven’t finished the wainscoting or painted the walls, that might be next week. But I definitely will not be posting after December 23rd, and I’ll be back on January 4th. Since it’s not a holiday for us, it’ll be a low key working blog break for me. I hope to get ahead on some house projects, and I’m also working on a blog redesign which I’m hoping will speed up my blog and make it less glitchy. I hope.

But for now, let’s talk about sconces, painting methods, and dropcloths! 🙂

I still don’t have light bulbs for my sconces, but I did want to show you how the sconce looks with the hole from the optional pull chain covered. Evidently, I did a poor job at explaining in last week’s post how the hole is covered.

music room pocket door bookcases with brass sconces - 4

Since the pull chain is optional, the sconces actually come with a little plastic plug that fits right into the hole. It’s silver, to match the original sconce color, so I just needed to paint it, clear coat it, and then pop it right into the hole.

music room pocket door bookcases with brass sconces - 5

Easy, and done!

I had several people ask me why I didn’t use my sprayer on the bookcases, and how I got such a smooth finish.

music room pocket door bookcases with brass sconces - 2

To paint the bookcases, I used a brush to do all of the corners (i.e., “cutting in,” just like you have to do on a wall), and I painted all of the flat surfaces with a 6-inch paint roller for smooth surfaces. The key with this method is that you have to do one section at a time. In other words, you can’t do ALL of the cutting in and then go back with the roller, because then all of the brushed-on paint will be dry and will have brush marks. Instead, you have to paint all of the corners with a brush just in one section (i.e., one shelf), and while that paint is still wet, finish up the flat areas with the roller. You have to get the roller as close to the corners as possible, and roll until it blends away the brush marks. Another key is to use microfiber roller covers instead of foam, and make sure it’s labeled for smooth surfaces. I’m always very pleased with the results that I get from this method.

So why not spray? The short answer is that I hate using a sprayer inside. All of the covering and taping and draping that has to be done before you can spray inside is such a hassle, and takes so much time. Plus, any time I drape this room (which I did one time while working on the drywall) and cut off the air flow, it puts a strain on our HVAC system since the intake is just right there in the hallway. And I know some of y’all will think I’m crazy, but I just really enjoy painting with a brush and/or a roller. The only reason I ended up using a sprayer inside on my kitchen cabinets is because I was having an awful time getting the sheen to be consistent with anything I brushed on. I really had no other choice but to spray in that situation. But when I paint with white paint in a satin finish, I never have problems with consistent sheen when using a brush and/or roller.

And now the biggie…

Why don’t I use drop cloths?

When I show pictures like this, I always get comments about my floor.

music room progress 6

I totally understand the concern. I do regularly vacuum my floors with my Shop Vac so that the loose dust is taken care of, but yeah…my floors are a mess. Most of the white is drywall mud, but there’s also some paint and primer spots mixed in as well. And yes, most of that could have been avoided if I had only used dropcloths.

So why don’t I use them? Drop cloths and I just don’t get along, and in fact, the plastic ones are just flat out dangerous for me. I slip on them, my feet get tangled in them, and they are such a hassle to get unrolled/unfolded. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve almost slipped and fallen because of plastic drop cloths, and on two occasions, I actually did fall. I’m continually getting my feet tangled in them, or getting them stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Dragging tools around on a plastic drop cloth is impossible, as any power cord or air hose that drags behind will catch the drop cloth and pull it. Trying to move a ladder across a plastic drop cloth is equally as infuriating for me.

I really can’t express how much I hate plastic drop cloths. Canvas ones are much better for me, but I’m still a danger around them, and they’re much more expensive. For me, the best option is the paper that you tape the floor, but even that poses some issues for me. The bottom line is that I’m a danger to myself when working on dropcloths, so I don’t use them unless I absolutely have to. And since it’s my house, and my rules, I don’t use them in my house. 🙂

Obviously that creates more work for me where my floors are concerned, but since I’ve been anti-dropcloth for many years now, I knew this about myself way before we moved into our house, and way before I removed all of the green carpet and refinished the floors. My opposition to using drop cloths is one of the main reasons I decided to seal my hardwood floors with Waterlox instead of polyurethane. Waterlox can be recoated at any time without the need for sanding, and you can also repair spots without having to do the entire floor. So my plan all along has been to finish the basics on each room (ceiling, walls, trim), clean the floors, do any spot sanding needed, and then add one or two additional coats of Waterlox to freshen up the look of the floors.

Of course, that plan wouldn’t work for everyone. If you have carpet, or engineered flooring/laminate that can’t be refinished, or hardwood floors coated with polyurethane, you obviously need to use drop cloths. But with my flooring situation (real hardwood floors that aren’t stained, and that can be easily sanded and topcoated with another coat of Waterlox), and given my issues with dropcloths, my method works for me. 🙂 I am anxious to get these floors cleaned up and recoated with Waterlox, but I still have quite a bit of work to do in these rooms before that can be done. But as soon as I get my music room walls painted, I’ll at least clean all of the drywall mud off of the floor. That will make a big difference in there.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda Adney
    December 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Good job…All of us are grateful for the break…I feel like I know so much about you and I seem to remember last year your explaining why you and Matt don’t celebrate but I don’t remember…So if you don’t mind…why…just getting to know you better…and by the way…I agree on the drop cloths…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Merry time off to you and Matt, Kristi. Cheers, Ardith

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Interesting that I feel the beginning of each year is new and fresh also. Some years I come close to making my goals and other years (this one) not a chance. This has been a year where a lot of time and effort has been spent helping ailing parents so not much has gotten done on our home front but you do what you have to do, right?

    You should be proud of all you have accomplished in your home and finishing the condo project! Well done. Enjoy your hiatus and I will look forward to your new blog and all you have to share in 2016.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

      I second what Sue said, right down to the ailing parents and parents in law. I have to work hard not to be frustrated about the lack of projects getting done on my home front. But, I’m seeing very clearly right now that I will wish for the time spent with parents way more than did I finish a particular project?. (My sweet MIL passed away last week…[email protected] 100 yo!) So its a fresh lesson for me: pay attention to the really important stuff so you aren’t left saying “I wish I had…” Ok, enough of the life lessons! Great job, Kristi – you are truly an inspiration to so many!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    December 17, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Hi Kristi, I know I have often made comments about the floors, but I do totally agree with you about drop cloths. I have take some doozy falls because of them. I just remember you using some kind of heavy paper that you taped down when you were working in the kitchen. I think that is what I would opt for if I had to cover the floor. I am guessing you do not celebrate Christmas for religious reasons. Has it always been that way in your family? I don’t know anyone, other my Jewish friends who do not celebrate Christmas, so I am always curious. Have a relaxing break and hope to see the music room soon. Blessings

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rebecca B
      December 17, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Hi Kristi, I’m curious too …. I sort of feel like I know you from reading your blog. So I am curious why you and Matt dont celebrate Christmas. I know some people feel that celebrating Christmas with the trees and gifts is celebrating a pagan holiday instead of celebrating the birthday of Jesus so some people do not celebrate for that reason.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Rebecca B
        December 17, 2015 at 11:46 am

        Oh – BTW, I totally agree with you on drop cloths. They are way very inconvenient. I would rather have to clean the mess later.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        December 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        Last summer, in June, Kristi had a post about her personal life and beliefs. You can find it under the Q and A tab.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Kristi Linauer
        December 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

        That’s exactly the reason. Christmas (or “Christ’s Mass,” or “The Mass of Christ”) was created by the Roman Catholic Church as part of their effort to convince pagans to become Catholics by convincing them that they could keep their pagan celebration of Saturnalia. They took all of the customs of Saturnalia, dressed them up in Catholic meanings, and rebranded it as a “Christian” holiday.

        There’s absolutely nothing Biblical about Christmas or any of the customs associated with it. Jesus was born in the fall, not in December. 🙂

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Mrs. David
          December 17, 2015 at 4:38 pm

          Amen and Amen!

          Add me to the list of those who do not celebrate for those exact reasons. It’s not as uncommon as you might think.

          YHWH Bless You 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      I grew up celebrating Christmas. It was just a few years ago that Matt and I researched the origins of Christmas and decided that we, as Bible-believing New Testament Christians, didn’t want to celebrate it anymore. I shared the nutshell version in this post: https://www.addicted2decorating.com/20-random-facts-about-me.html

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Using dropcloths,
    Coming from a family of professional painters and having our own commercial painting business, I agree. Plastic is downright dangerous and cloth, well they never stay where they should However, I really like taking the time to tape down floor paper…the stuff they use for laying laminate floors. Comes in big rolls, usually rust red or beige in colour. Go to HOme Depot or Lowes and ask for it in the flooring department. Saves a lot of time and work in the long run.Just a suggestion.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda H
    December 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Kristi, I hope you and Matt have a wonderful break. I’m looking forward to more great posts in the new year!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lori L
    December 17, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Kristi – are you and Matt by chance Jehovah’s Witnesses? Just a thought as you don’t celebrate Christmas. Your house is beautiful! And you deserve a break! ❤️

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Nope. We’re just plain ole Bible-believing New Testament Christians. 🙂 If you scroll up just few comments, I explain why we don’t celebrate Christmas.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen R
    December 17, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Wonderful stuff this year Kristi, thank you for sharing, enjoy your break!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Gud Jul to everyone here. The winter solstice is fast approaching, the traditional time of feasting and rest for the folk of northern European heritage. Enjoy the time off – see you in the new year.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Your music room is coming together beautifully! I absolutely ADORE your idea to make “pocket” doors – genius! Enjoy your well-deserved break. I hope you and Matt get to spend some quality time together. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I use card board instead off drop cloths. I save big boxes and flatten them. When I’m painting, I just push it up against the base board and it catches all my drips. As I move along the wall, I just move the card board with me. I always have a damp rag available to wipe up anything that goes beyond the edge of the card board. Because its rigid, it doesn’t bunch up and provides a great surface on which to set the paint can or roller tray. I also use the edge of the card board as my boundary for shoes off or on so I don’t track paint beyond the edge.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Whenever I use a drop cloth, I end up making a bigger mess because I step on a spilled spot and then track it all over the place!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I agree that drop cloths can be deadly!! On the other subject, I celebrate Christ every day with my words and deeds- how I treat others. Have a great rest of year and I look forward to a new year of posts!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Understand on the drop cloths, i cant use them either. I did see an hgtv show where they used masonite boards in 4×4 cuts and reused the boards in different rooms. Always enjoyable to read your blog…keep it up!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 18, 2015 at 11:17 am

      I also use masonite instead of drop cloths. Learned that trick when I was an engineer for the phone company – the contractors would come with their huge rolling tool carts and all their supplies and they’d plunk down a piece of masonite first before unloading everything. Thin, lightweight, but makes a solid surface that’s safe to work on and cords and tools roll smoothly across.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandra Shearman
    December 18, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Christi wishing you a lovely break.
    Love everything you are doing. I don’t renovate but just love reading about other peoples stories, looking forward to reading next years post. Love from Western Australia.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela B.
    December 18, 2015 at 9:09 am

    ENJOY your break! You deserve it! And I LOVED reading your fun facts post! I knew I liked you for more than your renovation posts! And I’m enjoying everyone’s suggestions on drop cloth alternatives

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I totally understand you not celebrating Christmas. I kind of feel the same way, that it’s just too commercialized – or …basically that it’s just another month. Whatever we/they ask for or receive in Dec. is not much diff than if it was Nov or Jan. It’s a world of buy-what-you-want. And people go into serious debt, for…what. It’s lost meaning, not just the religious side of it, but even the wait-until-Christmas side too. I am missing the “spirit”, I know, and I’m NOT a Grinch, I LOVE giving people things…maybe just not when a calendar tells me to. Ok, now I sound like an old lady, I’m not!
    Q – does the rest of your family celebrate? How do you handle that? You don’t go to dinners, or buy/receive anything? I find most people, esp my family, wouldn’t understand an opt-out.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alexandra Geiger
    December 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Oh my gosh the floors!!! I work in a theater making, well, stuff and you gotta roll out this material on your floor, Kristi: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Americover-3-ft-x-200-ft-3-mil-Temporary-Self-adhesive-Carpet-Protection-Film-CC36x200/203635244

    Cover the floor in cling plastic! It’s a life saver. Roll up the mess!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy Williams
    December 24, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I’m with you on the dropcloths! I have tripped over them a million times! I switched to the heavy duty butcher block brown paper on a roll that is sold at both Home Depot and Lowes. Another alternative is red rosin paper. Both are easy to lay out, tape down and can stay down for weeks! You see it protecting new floors in homes under construction all the time.

    Your time is very valuable and you should think of it as money. Covering the floor with butcher block paper or something similar may be more cost effective in terms of time and money than having to repair the floor when you are done.

    Love seeing the progress and I’m excited to see the completed room!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 24, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I will use this break of yours to catch up on many, many of your posts that I temporarily put into a Addicted To Decorating folder. I’m way behind but don’t want to miss any of them. Have a lovely and healthy year’s end!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 24, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Wasn’t sure how else to reach you, but wanted you to know that I think the website has been hacked! I got notification by Bloglovin I had one new post, and was so happy to see it was from your blog. Then I clicked on, and it was a very short blurb with link to a blinds website in Australia! I took a screen shot and will gladly email it to you if you Send me your email addy.
    Hoping you and Matt are relaxing and enjoying. Happy New Year!
    Nycpetite at AOL dot com

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 29, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Your updated website is amazing! I like the way the posts are so easy to scroll through the latest posts!

    Enjoy your break and looking forward to your new year projects.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    December 31, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Just wanted to give you some feedback on the new blog look. I really like having the most recent post up in it’s entirety on the home page. One less click on a busy day with a slow connection makes a bigger difference than you’d think! 🙂 Happy New Year to you and Matt!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 2, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Two questions! Were you able to finish up your niece’s room? Also, will you let us know when your (I think-) grandmother’s house ends up on Fixer Upper? 🙂