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The hallway was previously this hazardous, dark, grungy place. There was a huge cabinet that protruded out into the hallway, just at head height, right next to a door. I would consistently hit my head on it and then one incident in the middle of the night I just grabbed a hammer and smashed the cabinet to pieces. With that out of the way the hallway renovation began. 

This space was a very inexpensive but big transformation reno project. The hallway and stairs cost approximately $300 to complete. The biggest expense in this room was the bead board and trim which came up to about $150. Since it was a small space, we were able to save money by not needing to rent a drum sander and just used a belt sander to finish the floors by hand.


When I finally took down that darn head busting cabinet, besides being very satisfied, the space immediately felt a lot more open and inviting.

After a lot of patch work, we primed and then painted the walls and ceiling. It always amazes me how a simple coat of paint can completely transform a space. 

To start off the bead board, I first cut a 4'x8' sheet in half;  this leaves me with one straight edge to reference and a more manageable piece to cut to length on the table saw.

I used construction adhesive on both the wall and back of the panel to secure it.

To hold the panels in place for the glue to dry, I pinned them in place with a brad nailer. Pro tip: to avoid surface evidence of the nail only punch them into the grooves of the bead board and not on a flat surface.

I also attached the trim with construction adhesive and brad nails. 

We then capped off the bead board and trim with a piece of primed mdf. Again, brads hold the pieces down securely enough till the glue drys and that provides most of the hold. We didn't bother trying to make everything straight, we just followed along and embraced the contours of the wall. Any gaps between the trim and the wall,  I filled with white silicone caulking. 

Before refinishing floors its advised you take as many precautions as possible to mitigate and control any air born dust and fumes. This is important because stripping and sanding the floors is a messy job and can be hazardous to your health, especially if the paint contains lead (which is very likely in older homes.)

We contained and sealed the area with plastic drop cloths and pointed a fan out a window to create negative air pressure in the space. This will force air out side rather than through the rest of the house. 

We chose to use paint stripper to do most of the tough work to help reduce air born dust particles but in return you have to deal with a nasty chemical. So make sure you're in a well ventilated room (fan running on full blast) and wearing a proper respirator, gloves, glasses and clothing to cover your skin- it burns!

Pour a generous amount on and sit back, wait and watch the stripper do her work ;)

Then scrape it off; this is the best and worse part. The best part because you get to reveal the original wood that has been hidden for generations and the worst part because its a very messy, hazardous and gross job. To help, have a cardboard box or something with a sturdy edge that you can scrape the guck (AKA old paint and paint stripper goo) into and off your scrapping tool.

Then once you remove all the guck you have to clean the area down with rags to remove any residual stripper. At this point, after all that work, the floors are still no where close to being done and  they look just as bad. The next step is to sand; we started with a very low grit (60) and worked our way up to 180 grit with the belt sander. Starting at a very low grit will make quick work of cleaning up the wood. I usually start sanding against the grain then with the grain to clean up all the scratches. Note: Sanding against the grain is very aggressive and can damage the wood, so just be aware and get comfortable with your sander to see how much pressure you need to apply.

To clean up the edges I chiseled the bump of paint layers flush with the wood, and then hand sanded all the chisel marks away.

Once the wood (that probably hasn't seen the light of day in generations) is all sanded and you can take a step back to see what you have uncovered... it always feels really great! :) Except that there was this one random rotten section in the shape of a circle. I have no clue how that could of happened but we needed an idea to fix it.

I came up with inlaying a log I found on the farm.

I outlined the log and used a router to remove the material.

I then glued and pushed the log in the hole. Once it was dry, I used a router jig to make the log flush with the floors.

Then filled the cracks with 5 minute epoxy and black powder.

Finally after finish sanding up to 220 grit and an intense clean we were ready to stain the floors. We used Minwax Puritan Pine.

We then sealed the floors with 4 coats of water based satin polyurethane, sanding and cleaning in between each coat.

At this point we were looking for a light fixture that would look nice and work in our space. The area where the light fixture is located is low and close to the stairs, so not a lot of fixtures would work. On our search we found a couple contenders, but they were quite expensive. So, we decided to make one instead. I chose to make it out of copper piping because its extremely easy to work with and it can age and patina beautifully.

I fished the wire through the piping before attaching all the pieces with expoy. I fumigated the copper in ammonia to help expedite the patina and make it blend in with the other older hardware.

I used the CNC cut out the housing for the fixture.

And found these male screw attachment pieces that will connect the arms of the fixture to the housing. 

The light fixture design is very utilitarian; the arms direct and light up the paths you can take in the hallway and spread the light as a whole within the space. It was super easy to build, is an interesting element and only cost around $30 to make! 

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