Stoop Update

So April & May happened and now it’s June.


The problem with taking long breaks between posts is there seems like an insurmountable amount of info to share. Things may have been quiet on the blog but they certainly haven’t been quiet at home. Here’s a random photo dump for ya.



That happened. These are actually ‘in-progress’ shots from the shop. The final coat is a white skim coat. It is now lying in pieces on an air mattress in the guest room. True story.

Arch? CHECK.

Then this happened –

Getting the sandblaster

Yup. Rented a legit, professional sandblaster to take care of the iron work.


Sandblasting was, honestly, kind of a pain in the ass. It’s a very long story that deserves a separate dedicated post. Basically, I couldn’t find anyone to blast the railings in place (job is too small & annoying), so I did it myself.

Spoiler alert! It turned out pretty awesome.

iron before & after

Railings? CHECK!

Now, onto stripping. The wood portico needed all the paint stripped, so first I tried a chemical stripper. Mediocre results.


Heat gun definitely worked better.





The metal lentils above the windows got some attention from the grinder with a wire wheel attachment. The grinder worked better than the wire wheel on the drill driver.


Untitled Untitled

Finally, the hole in the step got some new mortar.


This, my friends, is actually the only thing 100% completed on the list. Lets all say a little cheer for that.

So much left to do but that’s where things stand right now.  I go back to court for a final time at the end of the month, so here’s to pushing hard to get things completed.

What’s new with you guys??

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45 Responses to Stoop Update

  1. DAMN! That’s a lot of hard-core stuff you’ve been hard at work on! (Though I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything less from you–you are amazing and hard-core like that! :-D)

  2. kmliving says:

    Nice overview of your solid progress on the front of your home!! Looking forward to the blasting post….

  3. Mercedes says:

    Cheers to progress! Can’t wait til you catch a breather and enlighten us on the mysteries of sand blasting.

  4. Stacy says:

    Love it, wow. Looking forward to the details. Such as what tools you used to get the paint out of all the holes after it is softened with the heat gun; the paint removal job looks quite thorough. Can’t tell what that big rack on the sidewalk is either. I WILL wait patiently!

  5. Um…holy crap you are a superstar. I bow down to your awesomeness.

  6. madeline says:

    congrats on your progress.
    i wasn’t going to share, but to my delight, you asked! Here’s what’s new on my side of the tracks:
    please share|like|comment and help raise awareness. MANY THANKS in advance.

    • DonaBella says:

      I would looooove for all the parents complaining about this, to go to their jobs and there be no place to park… AND have to get up 2 hrs earlier (time away from your own family) to try and find a “spot” — hahahaha! YOU would be right there parking in the available lot too without a second thought!! Recess is not the entire day – it is maybe 15 minutes. People need to get a clue – really! And why post that on here????

  7. Oh my word. That is some serious shit, you get props from me for sure! We are tearing apart our basement, and you might have your entire exterior done before we even get the junk moved out of that storage-y mess.

  8. J-C says:

    Wow, this looks AMAZEBALLS! It’s going to be gorgeous once everything is puttied and painted. I’d suggest using an epoxy wood filler in the cracks of the wood arch columns. They sell special kits for this that aren’t too expensive, and will last (weather) a lot better than just wood filler or caulking and paint.

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  11. Holy cow! You do not mess around. And these are all such big projects! Everything is looking great!

  12. Margaret says:

    Nice work, it’s looking really great!

  13. Steve says:

    You’ve made incredible progress! It would have probably taken me two years to get all of that done. And the results look so professional!

  14. Quite a long time ago I followed a link here from DIY DIVA and I read way far back in your archives (stalker! ;)) I LOVE what you have done with your home. And I am so happy you are back to posting again! I am sorry with your rough 2012. But I have been through something similar and you will make it out stronger and more independent!

    As for the architectural foam, I have not used it myself, but I think you made a great choice! As you said, you are not wanting to live in a time capsule, but you are honoring the beauty and design of the house and still making affordable choices! I think it’s great! I will be back to check in on you!

  15. Tony N. says:

    Wow. That project looks like a ton of work but it was definitely worth it. I especially look forward to your post about using the sand blaster. The before and after photos on that railing are amazing. You have quite the transformation taking place in front of your place. Keep up the great work.

  16. cara says:

    It all looks fantastic, Carrie. Very fine work. Color me impressed!!

  17. Ragnar says:

    BTW, lentils are something you’d find on your plate for dinner (biologically related to peas I think) *ggg*
    I’ve no clue if lintel is the right term for that precise part though… so I’m not just boasting my thorough knowledge of Englsh 🙂

    Anyway, spectacular work!
    How did the open-air sandblasting work out? The only sandblasting I’ve ever done was in a tiny enclosed box, so there was no dust at all.

  18. On the freakin edge of our seats here. You really called in the big guns on that blaster, but the results are awesome. If you want a chemical stripper I’ve been having luck with SmartStrip recently. It works well but needs a few applications. The best part is that it doesn’t alkalize the wood like PeelAway7, and doesn’t burn your skin like the other stuff. I’m always nervous about the heat gun when working on something that’s still install. I’m terrified it will ultimately ignite some dirt or spider’s nest behind the wood. But that’s just my paranoia. As someone who once spent weeks on a ladder stripping the moulding around our windows and door, I know the effort it requires, and your work is looking great.

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  20. Erica says:

    Just checking in to see how things have been going lately. Wow – lots of great progress. Happy for you! 🙂

  21. Brittany says:

    Wow, can’t wait to see the rest! 🙂 Love your blog.

  22. Christina P (NS) says:

    Where are you???!!! I check everyday to see the next update and each day I see the title “Good Enough for Court” I cry a little inside, I am on the edge of my seat to see what happened and what has come next.
    I am aware you have a life and are not required to blog but you have me hooked – come back please!

  23. Kristen says:

    Wow! All the work you have done is really incredible! How did you get the know how to do all this stuff? I wish I could do many of my home repairs myself. The renovation is looking great!

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