Old House Maintenance Series: Part One

I love our house.  It is big and beautiful, with a full brick exterior.  It has so much character with beautifully stained wood accents, unique window sizes, and a lot of its original character.

But with original character you also get old plaster walls and cracks and gaps.  Which means an entry point for bugs and cold air, and an exit point for heat and energy.  So I have embarked on a caulking project, and have completed one room so far.  It only took me three weeks, but hey, I’ve made progress!

The one room I’ve done is our office.  I’d say out of all the rooms in our house, it needs the most TLC.  The one benefit it has, however, is hardwood floors.  When we moved in there was carpet down but it wasn’t actually stapled.  So we knew there had to be a hidden gem underneath.  The floor could use some care of its own, but I can save that for a future Old House Series.

Back to what I actually DID do in the office.  The walls are a very rough texture and are uneven in some areas.  There are gaps between the wall and the baseboard and some of the window frames.  There is also some kind of situation happening where the wall meets the ceiling in some parts, which concerns me a little.  But I only have so much time to worry, so caulk was the answer.

My supplies:

Acrylic Latex Caulk with Silicone (The kind you can paint in just 30 minutes.  I have aspirations of touching up areas with paint where I got a little caulk-crazy.)

Caulk Gun— The one I have is lime green.  I bought it when we first moved in, and I like to call it “my” caulk gun.

Miniature Scaffolding–this is pretty handy–check it out on Amazon.  We got it as a gift one year from my husband’s parents, and as you can tell by all of the different paint colors, it has been put to good use.

And then just some wet and dry towels to clean up as you go.  Both walls and hands get messy.

caulk-mess

 

I set up my little scaffolding and got busy with the wall and ceiling cracks first.  I learned that caulking above your head can be very difficult.  I wasn’t trying to make the caulk bead perfectly smooth, but I also didn’t want it to look like a complete disaster.  It was just hard to keep my hand steady, and then that combined with the rough and bumpy walls, it was nearly impossible to smooth out.

scaffolding

caulk-gun

The baseboard turned out a little nicer.  Some spots had pretty big gaps between the wall, but I caulked all around the room to make it look uniform.

caulk-and-baseboard

There were a couple of places it was more difficult to maneuver my caulk gun around, but that also means those places are really not seen or noticed.  So I was a little less cautious.  I even got creative and used a paint brush to apply the caulk in those tricky spots.  Overall I feel really accomplished, and as silly as it sounds–I am excited to do more caulking!  It’s something pretty simple that can go a long way.

What small wins have you accomplished in your house?

 

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