Realtors

Find out more about realtors working in the West Adams area of Los Angeles

Resources, ,

I’m sure there are other realtors working in West Adams but here are the two we know personally. They also both live in West Adams. I think it is an advantage to work with a realtor who personally knows the area you wish to buy in.

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Comments { 0 } August 13, 2003

Antique Bricks

A resource for antique bricks in the Los Angeles area

Resources,

bricks

Over the last three days we have been frantically looking for antique brick that will match the original bricks on the porch. While I was doing some searching on the internet yesterday I remembered that the recent LA Magazine had mentioned a stone store which sells high quality stones for construction projects – Bourget Brothers.

I gave them a call to see if they carried bricks. They do. They also happen to be conveniently located in Santa Monica so I visited them this morning and I think I’ve found a match. Heather and I will be returning to the store this afternoon to take a closer look and purchase the 100 bricks we need to continue our porch restoration.

Comments { 2 } August 22, 2003

Silent Paint Remover

Stripping paint with an infrared heat paint remover

Products, Removing Paint

In an online forum someone posted a link to an episode of “This Old House” which used a product called the Silent Paint Remover to strip off paint. They were using it outside of a house but I thought I would try it inside on my woodwork. Silent Paint Remover uses infrared heat to soften paint. It’s environmentally friendly. There are no chemicals involved, it works at a low enough operating temperature to prevent plumbic (lead) gases that may be present in the paint from being released and like the name says, it’s silent.

The first thing I should say is this product isn’t cheap. It’s $375 to own it or $22 a day to rent it. It’s not widely available retail yet. I ordered it directly from the manufacturer and it was back ordered for 2 months.

It’s fairly easy to use. You plug it in, turn it on and hold it over the area you want to strip for 20-60 seconds. There are adjustable bars on the side to help stabilize the tool. It covers about a 12″ x 4″ surface area. The paint will start to bubble up or blister and smoke as the Silent Paint Remover starts to work. Then you need to take a scraper and scrape off the paint. It works! It cut through about 8-12 layers of paint right down to the wood. I think this process goes a lot smoother if two people are doing it, one to loosen the paint and another to scrape it off. I was also happy with how light in weight the Silent Paint Remover was.

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Comments { 13 } October 3, 2003

Recommended Reading

These books have been invaluable during our home restoration

Resources

These are the books that I refer to time and time again:
Bungalow Kitchens
Bungalow Bathrooms
Bungalow Colors Exteriors

Other great books:
Outside the Bungalow
Inside the Bungalow
Dare to Repair

Magazines:
American Bungalow
This Old House
Old House Journal

Websites:
American Bungalow Magazine’s Online Forum

Other home restoration websites:
HouseBlogs.net

Comments { 1 } October 5, 2003

Under 18 Layers of Paint, We Struck Douglas Fir

Restoring our beautiful Douglas Fir woodwork, built-in china cabinet, plaster walls and hardwood floors

Before and After, Removing Paint, Woodwork,


Built-in china cabinet before and after with Lulu.

The dining room was the first room completed in our house. This was before we started writing about our “adventures” in home restoration on the web. So, you don’t get to read all the gory details about how we almost killed each other selecting a paint color for the walls or how I caught the wainscoting on fire.


Dining room before restoration and after.

The woodwork was covered in about 18 layers of paint. We got to relive each decade as we stripped the paint away. There was a groovy 1970′s phase with purple woodwork and hot pink walls.


In the before photo, I had started to strip the paint from the wainscoting. You can see just how dark the original mission finish was.

I had originally intended to paint the dining room a deep burnt red color. We went through 9 different shades of red trying to find the “right” one. After the first 2 paint jobs, David “loved” everything no matter how awful it looked.


Before and After

In the end we settled on this warm golden color, Shelburne Buff from Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection. Several people have tried this color after seeing our walls and been dissatisfied because the color wasn’t gold enough.


Dining Room After

When a wall is painted a dark color like red, it will need to be primed before a new color is applied or else the dark color will bleed through. Lots of people out there probably already know this, we didn’t. The red undercoat has altered our color. Our walls are not a true Shelburne Buff. But, we are very happy with the color…whatever it is.


Dining room After. The light is from Restoration Hardware. We have since purchased an antique fixture off of eBay but have not installed it yet.


After. Our box beam ceilings and Lulu just because she is a ham.

More about the resources used in our dining room here.

Comments { 23 } October 21, 2003

Dining Room Resources

Resources,

:: Paint ::
Ceiling Color: Devine Maple from the Natural Blondes palette
DEVINE COLOR
website: www.devinecolor.com

Wall Color: HC-28 Shelburne Buff (sort-of)
BENJAMIN MOORE Historical Collection
website: www.benjaminmoore.com

After recommending this lovely color to several people we consistently heard back that the color didn’t look as yellow on their walls. We thought maybe it was because the walls were first painted a red color (a huge mistake) and the red tone was bleeding through. After further investigation, we realized that our paint color is actually a variation of Shelburne Buff – a mistake when our color was originally mixed! A happy accident because we love the color.

:: Stain ::
Read all about the paint stripping and staining process, the stain color and stain recipes here.

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Comments { 2 } October 26, 2003

Aw, LA is so Beautiful After the Rain

One of the reasons why I love LA...

Nothing Important


The Hollywood sign photographed from Runyon Canyon.

Comments { 0 } November 3, 2003

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

Sharing Christmas together in our little bungalow

Holidays,


Lulu and Oliver underneath the tree

A couple days ago I picked up a “Living Christmas Tree” at Osh to surprise Heather. Heather didn’t think we were going to get one since our downstairs is being renovated and we are leaving at the end of this week to spend Christmas with my family, so it was a nice surprise.

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Comments { 0 } December 14, 2003

Living Room Discoveries

Moving along with the restoration of our living room

Built-ins, Removing Paint, Restoration Diary, Woodwork,

In any restoration there are surprises, both good and bad. The good news? We discovered just how nice our built-in storage bench is. The storage bench, sometimes referred to as a gentleman caller’s bench, is a fairly unique feature in our neighborhood for a bungalow of this size. It was difficult to see the details of the hardware and woodwork because they were hidden under layers and layers of paint. Everything seemed to blend in with the white walls. We didn’t even notice the bench before we moved in because the previous owners had placed a huge projection screen television in front of it.

It never occurred to me that anyone would paint over a mirror! I felt the bench needed a tiny mirror hung on it’s back but decided to wait until we completed the restoration. Thank goodness I waited or else I would have shattered the original mirror when I hammered a nail into it.

We were amazed to find the amount of detail present on the hooks. Each hook has a tiny face on it.

The bad news? Someone drilled holes in the pocket doors and later filled them in with plaster. The only thing I can figure out is that someone put a chain through the holes and then added a padlock to keep that room secure. My neighbor told me that our house was broken into twice when the previous owner’s grandmother lived here. She added bars to the windows after the second break in.

I’m not sure of the best way to repair these holes? The plaster will need to be knocked out. Maybe the holes can be filled in with Bondo?

:: Read about the process used to strip or remove paint from our woodwork. ::

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Comments { 9 } December 20, 2003

Woodwork Update

Staining our Douglas fir woodwork

Restoration Diary, Stain, Woodwork

woodwork_01

Our douglas fir woodwork was been bleached with a wood and furniture bleaching agent to even out the wood grain. The bleach is brushed on, left over night and then washed off with water.

woodwork_02Woodwork after the bleaching

After the woodwork dries, stain is applied and then sealed with varnish. Read more about this process.

woodwork_03First coat of stain

We were trying to match the color of the woodwork in our dining room. The dining room, which is open to the living room, was worked on last spring. The stained living room woodwork matched the dining room almost exactly until the varnish was applied.

woodwork_04Layers of stain were applied to reach the desired color

After the varnish was added, the woodwork turned a different shade. The color is a deeper, richer red color, which I actually prefer. The woodwork in the dining room looks more yellow by comparison.

woodwork_05The color of the wood has turned redder after the varnish was applied

You only notice the difference in the color if you are a hypercritical homeowner and are standing in the dining room, looking into the living room. It’s not apparent from the living room looking into the dining room.

woodwork_06

We are going to live with the difference since the only other option, stripping off the finish and starting over, really isn’t an option that I want to even imagine considering. The walls are primed and if we can decide on the exact color of yellow gold, they will be painted tomorrow.

Comments { 1 } January 19, 2004