Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


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Condo Before and After Shots

Since the condo is officially on the rental market and after all the talk the last few weeks of all the work that we’ve been doing to the condo I thought it was about time to show you some before and afters.  Since I’m new to this blog thing and didn’t get before shots (in my defense most of the work started pre-blog) I tracked down the original MLS photos from when Ken bought the condo back in late 2009.

Some rooms are more drastically changed than others, personally I think it looks much more updated in person than the pictures convey… but maybe I’m biased.

I actually like the original exterior shot better...

I actually like the original exterior shot better…

So maybe not the best photo to start with since the previous agent took a better exterior shot… but it’s a condo there is only so much we can do to the outside… Moving the agents car before taking the photo so it’s not in the lower corner should have been one of the things done.

I'm not sure you can tell in this picture but there used to be nasty wallpaper

I’m not sure you can tell in this picture but there used to be nasty wallpaper

In addition to removing the wallpaper and painting the walls, the weird wood window valance was also removed (Ken literally just grabbed on and pulled it off), as was that old corner TV. We stopped short of de-almondizing the kitchen.  We completely realize this badly needs to be done.  But we’re renting and that’s a huge expense… so almond EVERYTHING is.

Another room from the kitchen facing the living room

Another room from the kitchen facing the living room

It’s easier to see the nasty 80’s fabulous wallpaper that used to be in there from this angle.  Also, is that a corded phone?!  We don’t even own one of those.

dining room

Right off the kitchen is the dining room which got a fresh coat of paint, more modern curtains, white trim and a brushed nickel chandelier in place of that old brass one.  (extra points if you can spot Chloe’s photo bomb)

living room

living room

This room’s biggest problem was the furniture layout, it didn’t make any sense, we also removed those wall mirrors, replaced the carpet painted the walls, and the trim (that wood piece didn’t get done before the photo shoot… the TV was too heavy)

master bedroom

In addition to saying adios to the toothpaste green color in favor of a dark cool grey, we also painted the trim white and replaced the carpeting.

second bedroom

second bedroom

One of the bigger projects, in addition to patching all the walls (we mainly used this as a gym and some weights may have collided with the wall), painting the walls a more neutral color, and painting all the trim; Ken also made this awesome built in desk in one of the two closets.

upstairs bathroom

upstairs bathroom

Another de-wallpapering project.  The previous owner LOVED their wallpaper! This room got a coat of a cool light gray, white trim new doors and just to the left of this shot used to be a brass shower sliding door.  (Eww it even had frosted glass)  That was removed in favor of a bowed out shower curtain rod and modern white, and gray curtain.  I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of the new shower but I have an old one just to give you nightmares…

AHHHHHH!!!!

AHHHHHH!!!!

Here’s some bonus photos I don’t have before’s of:

upstairs hall.  Hello pretty white trim!

upstairs hall. Hello pretty white trim!

downstairs hall, the white trim and new doors look fabulous if you ask me

downstairs hall, the white trim and new doors look fabulous if you ask me

another de-wallpapering project

another de-wallpapering project

I have mixed feelings about the half bath. Granted this is a terrible photo.  We picked this paint color out two years ago and just got around to putting it up.  Now neither of us like it… it may be safe to say we hate it (which is odd because as you know orange is my favorite color).  I’m pretty sure if it went up when we first bought it I may have liked it.  Hopefully whoever rents it likes it better than we do.

So what do you think?  Two months of hard work, better before or after?

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The Easiest Way to Paint Doors

During our “Operation Rent the Condo”  one of the things on the list to make the place as pretty as possible was to replace all the old flat panel wood grain doors with white 6-paneled doors.  I originally thought this was going to be such an easy project – I mean they sell the doors already white and pre-drilled so all you have to do is hang them right? WRONG

The Best and Easiest Way to Paint Doors | Hicks House

For starters because our condo was built in the early 1980s, or just because of the way it was built each doorway is not identical to each other.  If you are buying pre-drilled doors this is a big problem as they will not line up.  So we bought the ones that were not yet drilled – which although cheaper required a lot more labor from Ken to get them ready.

Measure each door, mark where the hinges go, where the knob goes, router out the hinge holes drill the knob hole.  It was a big production.  However it happened pre-blog so there are no photos of all that.

Perhaps the most helpful of tips though is how we painted the doors (yes you still have to paint them – even though they look white they are just primed).  I thought the idea was ingenious, and even though Ken said he didn’t come up with it on his own I’m giving him credit anyway :-).

Step 1 –  Drill 2 screws into the bottom unfinished part of the door and one screw into the top unfinished part of the door only about 1/4 to 1/2 way.  You are going to use the screws to balance the door on sawhorses so no surface of the door is actually touching the sawhorse.

Top of the door with one screw

Top of the door with one screw

Bottom of the door with two screws

Bottom of the door with two screws

See how the door is balancing on the screws?  This is important, you’ll see why in a minute.  Don’t worry about the little holes this will create as once the door is hung you won’t be able to see the top or bottom edges.

Step 2 – Paint the door.  We used Beher Ultra Premium Ultra Pure White Trim and Door paint in Eggshell and rolled all the flat parts of the door then did the panel cut outs with a brush making sure to get the corners real good.

Step 3 – Flip it!  That’s right you don’t need to wait for it to dry because the door isn’t touching anything!  Here’s how:  On the end of the door that has two screws, pick up one screw in each hand just enough so the side with one screw doesn’t lift off the saw horse.

Pick up the two screws

Pick up the two screws

See how the door is balanced on the one screw?

See how the door is balanced on the one screw?

Flip it 180° so the unpainted side is pointed up and then rest the two screws back on the sawhorse.  You can know pain the other side while the first side dries.  I know, my mind was blown as well.  My husband is a genius.

Three doors set up all at once.

Three doors set up all at once.

We had more than 6 doors to do and only room to do three at a time, so we also came up with a neat way of drying them in order to free-up the sawhorses.  Again the screws came in handy.  Ken tied a wire around the top screw then we stood them up on the bottom two screws and tied them to some sort of pipe hanging from the ceiling of the garage.  (This made me nervous but I was assured it was OK and nothing bad happened)

Drying station

Drying station

If you’ve ever tried to paint doors by resting it on the sawhorse or worse not taking it off the hinges, this method will change your life. (for the few times in your life you have to paint doors anyway)