Painting Woes (And Another Leak)

I like to paint.  It’s easy and fun and colors, whee!  Funnily enough, the walls mostly will be covered by closets and cabinets and stuff, but I like knowing there’s something pretty behind all that.

After trying the pink painted high up on the walls, with a pale yellow on the ceiling and upper walls, I discovered I vastly preferred the white over my head. Here’s the before:

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OMG PINK

White reflects light better and looks clean and fresh.  Luckily I still had the Zinsser Oil-based primer to cover the other colors.  It took one coat, plus two coats of Glidden Extreme White Semi-Gloss Exterior Paint to cover everything perfectly.  Yes, I used exterior paint inside.  I also used it on the cedar trim on the exterior, after priming with the Zinnser (which is perfect for cedar), and had a ton left over.  Since I’m not living in the space, and since the oil-based primer is also stinky, I figured, why not?  There’s time for it to off-gas before I move in, and the color is just what I wanted.  I can’t afford to waste paint, or really anything.  This is one of the reasons why the structure is a little odd-ball. 🙂

After I tamed the yellow and pink, I started trying for the look I wanted ~ a blend of pink, yellow and tangerines. I have a favorite skirt that I love that is pink and orange, green and reddish, and I want to try those colors in the interior.  I have a little pot of grass green for…somewhere.  Here’s what I have now:

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The colors!

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A cool blend on the side walls

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The wall under the loft. I like this area the best

I like it.  Luckily, the area I like the best, the wall under the loft (behind the cab of the truck) will show the most.  It’s pretty and not overwhelming.  Other than some touch ups, and maybe adding a little red at some point, and of course the moldings, the walls are finished.

Oh yes, the leak.  It’s not the roof, although yes, there was a small leak which is now gone due to the new roofing.  It might have been present the whole time but hidden by the bigger roof leak.  This new leak is actually through the door/skylight itself…it appears that the panes of glass and the wood joints have loosened with all the cutting and hoisting and general messing around (plus the door wasn’t built to be installed flat, of course).  But I have a solution!  Today I will go out and buy some more razor blades to clean the glass panes, sand off the extra silicone everywhere, and prime and paint the wood portions.  Once it’s dry, I will screw on to the face of the door, this stuff:

Polycarbonate Sheet

Polycarbonate Sheet from Lexan

A glass shop right down the street can provide a thicker product than is available at the big box stores, and will cut it to size, and cost less than buying it and using an expensive saw blade (which I don’t have) to cut it.  Plus, they will do it right, lol.  Yes, I am farming out some of the work.  And glad to do it.  And yes, it’s another expense, but a necessary one.  I’d always known I might have to go this route, so it’s not a surprise, and I’ve had time to figure out exactly what is needed.

I don’t know if I’ve already shown how the exterior looks now, all painted up and finished, so before I get to work on the skylight, here’s a few more pictures:

So you are all up-to-date.  I’m off to buy those razor blades and a saw blade for finish work.  Be well!

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Windows and Glorious Light

This post consists mostly of pictures, as I actually remembered to take shots of most of the major steps.  Maybe this will help someone…who knows?

Neither window leaks, and for that I am grateful.  I’m OK with using them now instead of the wood windows, and in fact I think they look pretty cool.  They were so easy to install!

I did take the time to CAREFULLY drill holes in the plastic bottom, to allow water to drain more easily, as especially the slanted one could otherwise overflow and start draining into the interior.  Several heavy rains later I can attest to it working. 😀

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Cutting the test hole for the window in the loft.

I wasn’t sure where to place the loft window exactly, as originally two very large wood framed windows were going to fill the entire space.  I didn’t want it to be too high so as to hit the trim on the outside, nor too low for esthetic reasons on the inside.  Hence, the exploratory hole and a lot of measuring.

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After measuring inside and outside for a good placement, I used my circular saw to cut out the rough opening.

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View from outside.  The placement is good both inside and out.

The front is so ugly and boring still….

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The RO still needs to be framed. Yeah, I did it backwards.

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Framing and flashing is in

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Loft window installed!

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Loft window viewed from the outside

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Janky window trim

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Aaaaand, the finished window. Please ignore what’s happening up with the white drip edge.  It was fixed later.

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Finished back window from outside. Metal trim is for protection from water, but I’m not sure I like how much of it shows.

So.  Water intrusion is a huge bugaboo for me.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, water gets into simply everything, and then causes rot, rust or mold.  I do NOT want any of those in my new home!  Since I have so very much unused metal flashing, I decided to try to utilize it to keep water on the outside.  The way I installed it, water goes from the roof, down the outside of the flashing, into the window flashing that sticks out, and then out the sides.  Since neither window (nor the door, which I did the same way) leaks, I guess it worked.

The only thing is, there is so much metal above the rear window!  I’m considering cutting some of the left-over T1-11, painting it to match the body, and cover a good portion of the upper metal. I don’t know…anyone have any ideas I can consider?  I don’t want it to be too different from how I did the other window and door. Whaddayathink?

 

Plywood Plank Walls

Here’s the thing.  Originally I was going to use the old barn wood somewhere in one of my builds, but after years of being stacked out in the weather it is all too far gone.  Plywood cut into planks (like you see on floors sometimes) seemed like a reasonable substitute, cheap, and easy to use.  Turns out this is all true.  It also turns out that if you use really really low-end plywood, the end result is not the sleek look I was expecting.  Instead, I’ve ended up with a rustic, cottage-y looking effect, which actually looks interesting.  So instead of this look found on http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2012/09/painted-plank-walls-finally/:

Plywood Plank walls

Smooth and lovely plywood plank walls

we have this:

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Interior walls up. The corners will have molding to hide the spaces!

It might be difficult to discern in the picture, but the walls are far from smooth.  Instead, each of the planks show what I like to call “personality”…bowing, sticking out a bit, and different textures.  Visitors and curious bystanders tell me it looks fine, so we’ll go with that.

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Caulking the plywood planked walls

A cool thing happened during this part of the build.  Those metal bars that angle up the walls?  In the way the entire time I’ve worked on this place.  I was more than pleased when the planks slid behind them and into the small space between them and the studs perfectly.  As in, I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d actually tried.  Lucky, lucky.

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Walls going in behind the metal bars.  And yes, that’s Leo photobombing.

I used 3″ screws to attach each board to the studs.  This house will be bouncing and jouncing on rough roads and tracks, and I don’t want anything popping loose.  I did my best to sink the heads and cover them with a silicone/latex caulk to hide them, but I wasn’t always successful.  Likewise with the ceiling.  Normal caulk like you would use in your normal house, didn’t cut it.  There was too much shrinking and cracking.  The caulk I used works better under these circumstances, and is relatively easy to smooth, and to build layers as needed.  It paints well, too.  Overall, I’m happy with the results.

OK!  Here’s the rub:  I wanted to mirror the colors on my favorite skirt, a lovely combination of oranges, pinks, yellows and greens.  It’s very summery and cheerful.  However, translating those colors to this space is not going as I envisioned, and here is the current look:

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OMG PINK

Yeah.  not what I was looking for.  Pepto, anyone?  The lightest pale yellow on the ceiling and upper walls just looks like old, yellowed white paint.  Argh!  What to do?

To start with, I’m going to paint over all the yellow with a bright, shiny white.  I realize glossy paints bring up imperfections, but this whole build is one giant imperfection so that really doesn’t matter.  Glossy paint reflects light, and in such a small space, light is very important.  Even that pale, pale yellow has visibly reduced the amount of  light I perceive.  I’ll paint the white down the walls to about 2/3s down, covering much of that pink.  At that point, I’ll start blending in the yellow.  Below that, I’ll blend in the oranges with a touch of red, and blend those down into the pink area.  I’m hoping for a sort of sunrise effect.  We’ll see how that goes!

Feel free to share your painting horror stories if you like in the comments.  We’ll all understand and sympathize.  🙂  I’m off to work some more on the new roof now, so talk at you all later. o/

 

Bad Juju

I know it’s 7 years bad luck when you break a mirror, but what’s the penalty for breaking a window?  Dammit.

So!  Change in plans.  After the shock and horror wore off (could have been minutes, could have been hours ~ time stopped. JK)  I went in search of the new-fangled plastic, double-paned windows I’d purchased for the original TH.  Confronted with using either huge 3′ by 5′ suckers or more reasonable but smaller than I’d wanted windows, I went with a 31″ by 21″.  Now, here’s the thing:  I’d already cut the rough opening in the wall and flashed it, not to mention having to redo the framing.  Nooooo…..

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Rough Opening ready for the large wood window. Yes, that’s copper sheeting.  I was going to put that on all the window openings for a bit of style 🙂

Patching went ok, but now the back of the building doesn’t look nearly as good.  The patch is really obvious right now, and I don’t know if all the caulking and painting necessary will change that.  Plus, water entry is now more of a risk.  Such a bummer!  At least restructuring the framing went quickly.

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Restructured and patched Rough Opening w/o the copper sheeting, as it won’t show in this type of window install.

The upside of this huge change in plans?  Installation was a breeze, and I immediately had an opening window complete with screen.  That was cool. 🙂

Then the snowball effect kicked in.

As I stood there looking out my new window (yay) I contemplated the other two windows that were going in next to it.  No way.  Two old-fashioned (but cool) wood windows inches from a modern plastic window?  Nope.  I looked at the stack of double-paned choices and compared them to the framing already in place.  Nope again.  I just didn’t want to do it.  The single, smaller window surprised me with the amount of light it let in, so right there I decided one was enough.  This decision opened up changing the interior layout I’d planned on, so I spent the night obsessively redrawing plans.  Because of course.  And that wasn’t all, as now that I wasn’t using wood windows in the rear, I got really hesitant to use them in the front…and after checking to make sure double-paned plastic framed windows can safely be installed at an angle I’m going to do that.  So much less light, so much reduction in views.  A hell of a lot easier installation, so little risk of more breakage.

So a lot of changes, a bit of heartbreak, and much work later, here’s what things look like now:

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Framed, flashed and installed.

Before I go, here’s the latest pictures of Leo hanging out in the new place:

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Leo barely fits through the door opening, but likes to look out.

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Leo on the ladder outside. Doesn’t he know not to stand on the top???

 

I’m still working hard on the walls, and painting.  Stay tuned!

A Door Makes It A House

First of all, I want to make it clear that my door isn’t the best.  It’s a bit wonky, and I have to tug on it to close it.  There are some gaps that I’d prefer not be there.  It’s kinda beat up and scarred.  But, it’s on, it closes and locks, and it’s mine.  I made it happen.  In a year full of not-great things, this is something good.

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Applying weatherstripping to the door

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Exterior door trim

With some helpful ideas from a friend, I hid the siding mistakes today.  I had just enough cedar trim left to do it so I guess it was meant to be.  My friend suggested it be painted, but I don’t want to take the time right now.  Hey, it’s cedar, so it can wait, right?  So now the only thing left on the exterior that really needs to be addressed is the portion under the door.  I’m letting ideas marinate and will finish that part when a good idea shows up.  For now, it looks funky but eh, ok.

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Using cut-down cedar trim to hide siding mistakes

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Closeup of unpainted cedar trim

The skylight is nearly complete enough for now, as well.  I went with white EPDM sealant for the corners and edges instead of trim, and I think that was the right choice.  That stuff is MESSY!  By far the goopiest, stickiest, glueiest glop I’ve used yet….and my hands were (and still are) covered by the time I was finished.  I really hope I can sand it smooth/er as I wasn’t able to make a nice bead with it.  It blends so well with the white paint that it isn’t too obvious, so I’m not letting that bother me.  One clasp is on, and I’m going to get another for the other end to ensure a tight seal against wind and rain.  No pictures because the window panes are still filthy.  So much light comes in from just that window!  I love it.

Tomorrow I’m going to start working on the interior again, starting with the ceiling.  The seams in the plywood should be easy to fill with putty, and then it’s getting a white paint job for now.  I definitely think a super-glossy color is in it’s future.  Once the ceiling has a decent paint job, the upper kitchen cabinet is going up.  I’m not sure what will come after that ~ perhaps the walls.  Sitting there looking at them this evening, I decided to fake-plank the walls with painted plywood strips.  I’ve seen that done on floors to a really attractive effect, and I see no reason why it won’t look just as interesting on walls.  It’s a quick and cheap solution, and I already have spare plywood I can use.  The wool is finally settling so I can’t let it stay up with just netting to hold it in place, dang it.

Leo is again in the habit of coming in and hanging out with me while I work.  I love that he is so comfortable in the space, and that he climbs the ladder to come inside.  It’s very cute and gives me another reason to smile. 🙂

Still Awaiting Batteries, But Found My Kitchen Cabinets

So I’ve done a possibly bad thing, but for a good reason.  My terrific Insurance company sent me the check to fix my poor lil scooter, and I’ve gone and used some of the money for Oliver’s Nest.  I have time to get Saxith (yes, I name all my vehicles) fixed, but I don’t know if I have a lot of time to get my truck house finished.  Seems like a no-brainer to do what is the most important *now* and wait on the rest.

I was at another local ReStore yesterday looking for exterior primer, and found the perfect kitchen cabinets, and after measuring and thinking (I even finally sat right down on the floor in contemplation, LOL), went for it and bought them.  They are in perfect condition and are the perfect size to hold most of my kitchen goods, minus food and large equipment, which I’ll keep in a separate pantry area.  They are likely from an older home, as they are old-fashioned looking, with lovely glass-front doors.  The hinges are loose and need adjusting, but undamaged.  Of course they could use a new paint job.  I really like the small, rounded shelves at the ends  Here’s a picture of the upper cabinets:

This section is 13" deep and 30" tall, giving a respectable 16" between it's bottom and the countertop below.

This section is 13″ deep and 30″ tall, giving a respectable 16″ between it’s bottom and the counter top below.  Normally there is an 18″ space, but everything is smaller in Oliver’s Nest.

The other section is technically also an upper cabinet, but will instead sit down on the floor, on a base I’ll build.  This section is a corner unit, 24″ by 24″ with another set of little shelves attached on the left side.  I’ll have to remove the top shelf and part of the left-hand top of the main cabinet as the sink will sit directly above and is fairly deep  All the pots/pans/smaller cooking supplies will fit.Here’s what this part looks like:

Once set on a short base, this cabinet will tuck under the counter sink, on the floor.  I might even create a flat pan/cutting board storage in the base.

Once set on a short base, this cabinet will tuck under the counter sink, on the floor. I might even create a flat pan/cutting board storage in the base.

This view was taken standing behind the cabinet.  The flat part along the upper side is the glass-front doors.

This view was taken standing behind the cabinet. The flat part with the blue tape is the glass-front cabinet doors.

I’m also doing research on backup cameras, as I have zero visibility behind me.  The Beast is wider than most other vehicles, which means I simply don’t see them behind me unless they cast a shadow….not good!  Changing lanes is “thrilling”, and backing up is downright frightening.  Wide field-of-view, low-light/infrared cameras are available for very little cost, and as there’s no stereo installed anyway, I’ll just look for one that has a monitor included that can be used to show the camera’s view.  I don’t know how to tell if the truck needs new speakers.  It doesn’t make sense to get a whole system and not be able to use a major function, so I’ll look for good quality speakers on sale, just in case.  I don’t know how to install any of this, but will give it a go to save on installation costs. If anyone out there has recommendations on any of this electronic stuff, please feel free to share. 🙂

Oh, I want to mention that the rerouted fuel intakes are working as intended.  I filled the front tank a few days ago and the flow was smoother and faster, and no leaks.  Phew.  Thank you, Son, for your help there, I couldn’t have done it without you!

So it’s off to paint I go.  This is all so exciting to me!

May your day go well ~

Parker

Still Going Tiny (Picture Heavy)

My new Tiny Home in process.  Heavy metal bracing to support the build safely and securely.

My new Tiny Home in process. Heavy metal bracing to support the build safely and securely.

The bed is a full 8 by 10 feet, and the cabover frame is 8 by 5 ft.  Plenty of room for a Tiny Home.

The bed is a full 8 by 10 feet, and the cab-over frame is 8 by 5 ft. Plenty of room for a Tiny Home.

I haven’t given up.  I can’t give up.  My mother’s passing left me with nowhere to live while finishing up my Tiny Home, and I need a place to live, right?

Since the Original Oliver’s Nest isn’t even close to being liveable, I turned my attention to the truck I purchased to tow it….he (yeah, I know vehicles are normally a “she” but look at this beast!) is going to be transformed into the new version of Oliver’s Nest. I’ve even named it; meet Buster Poindexter the truck, also known as The Tonka (named by the guys who generously welded on the supports, created huge watertight storage boxes, and fixed the hole in the floor on the driver’s side).

I spent ALL of the money I made selling stuff in the house, plus did some bartering, to get the truck fixed up and welded, and to buy a cool hitch-mounted scooter carrier.  Here’s the link for what I bought: http://www.discountramps.com/tiltingmotorcyclerack/p/ACR-MOTORCYCLE-CARRIER/   I purchased the 410ACR, the 400 pound capacity carrier.  I had to really do my research to make sure I got something that is compatible with a scooter as opposed to a motorcycle.  The engine placement and the width of my Genuine Buddy are different than any motorcycle and some ramps simply won’t work.  This one should make it possible for me to load and unload my scooter by myself on the road.  I decided to go with a hitch-mounted carrier instead of a trailer to make parking easier.  If I owned one of those great, fully enclosed metal toy haulers, I’d have used it for its added storage capacity, but my solution is simple and elegant.  Here’s some pics I pulled from the web showing the ramp:

Saxith (my scooter) will fit snugly and safely behind Oliver's nest on this carrier.

My scooter will fit snugly and safely behind Oliver’s Nest on this carrier.

410ACR tilting rack

It’s lightweight enough for me to handle by myself. Important for a woman living alone on the road.

2008 125cc Genuine Buddy

Saxith, my 125cc Genuine Buddy scooter that frees me to travel without taking my home with me 🙂

ANYWAY!

Back to my revised Tiny Home plans. While Poindexter the truck was being welded by my awesome new friends Zack and Patrick, I worked on the framing and interior plans.  Here’s what the rough sketches look like:

Everything I need to live.  the bed area isn't shown, but will be 7 1/2' by 5

Everything I need to live. the bed area isn’t shown, but will be 7 1/2′ by 5″, over the cab.

Framing Diagram

Compared to the original Oliver’s Nest, this framing is simple! Going to use lots of metal strapping as this home will be extremely mobile.

It’s hard to see, but basically the shower/toilet area is in the upper left corner, the kitchen in the lower left area, the HUGE closet takes up the upper right, and the pantry, bench storage and steps are located in the lower right.  The entry goes between the pantry and the kitchen (on the passenger side).  a 40 gallon fresh water tank will sit under the kitchen counter, and I haven’t decided yet on the type of toilet I’ll use.

The framing will be done in two parts, a lower, “permanent” truck bed with insulated floor and walls, and an upper “canopy” that will likewise be fully insulated, and where all the windows will be located.  I am making it so the canopy can be removed to sit on jack stands if necessary, but as this will be my house for an extended period of time, removing it isn’t really a concern.

In between selling off stuff to fund my future, sketching plans, and dealing with some severe anxiety about life in general, I’ve had to go through my belongings to pare down even more.  I still have things I will keep in storage for the future, but even those have been reduced.  I probably won’t live on the road forever, and I hope to have a little place to hang some family pictures in some gorgeous old frames, and I have some books I just can’t part with, and would be very difficult to replace.  Craigslist, Half.com and Ebay are my friends in this downsizing.  I found that some of the books I am selling go for several hundred dollars each!  I’m glad I got to read them, and now they can be sold to help me financially and help someone else learn.  That works for me.

This is a long and picture-heavy post, I know, but so much is going on!  I could even continue, but I’ll save it for another day and another post.  I hope my current situation and solution is helpful to someone out there….as an alternative to being homeless or being trapped in a crummy rental place.

Peace, my friends. 🙂