Monday, June 21, 2010

Removing Newel Posts

You guys didn't seem to be big newel posts haters like me, but maybe when you see where they were you will understand why they were so hideous. They were here:
That was the view from the kitchen. This is the view from the living room:
I mean, really, what the hell? Why? Really, why did they put those there? I always thought it was the dorkiest thing in the world. Well, okay maybe the dorkiest thing in the world that was in my house. I should have put a big red arrow on that first picture to show where I sawed through them. But it was at the skinniest part near the bottom before the grooved part starts. (Like the bottom of a human leg calf before a weird round ankle bracelet.)
I was telling my father-in-law today that I used a hacksaw and he made fun of me, but I explained that I could hold both ends and change arms and use all different muscles without overtiring any particular muscles. I guess most people would use a regular saw or even some sort of electric saw. I did pull out a really old jig saw that the in-laws gave us last year, but it was very loud and vibratey and it scared the crap out of me, so I immediately nixed that whole idea. I have used a jig saw before when I installed the pet door, but that one was a modern one that I had borrowed from Carole and had polar plugs and whatnot and wasn't scary.
Oh, so anyway, I used a hacksaw and did it by hand and it wasn't that bad. After I sawed through the skinny part, I just had to jiggle and yank on the newel posts to get them out. As I said in the original post, they were attached to the frame by some sort of large staples. After I yanked out any staple pieces that were stuck in the wood, I sanded the whole frame. You can see in this next picture where the base of one of the newels posts was:
After a good sanding, which made crazy dust fog all over the place, I cleaned up all the sawdust and filled the little holes and grooves with wood putty:

The weird wood putty that I had said you had to use an oil-based primer before you could paint with latex paint. I really do not like oil-based anything except food. Oil-based paint requires all sorts of brain damaging chemicals for clean-up. That's why when I have to work with oil-based stuff, I just plan on throwing everything away afterward. The paintbrush, the rolling pan, the roller brush, whatever. It's gone. I refuse to clean that stuff. I have few enough good working brain cells as it is.
I did a preliminary oil-based primer coat over the putty and the corners, where the roller wouldn't reach. (Also you can see how the kitchen table used to be positioned in this pic.):
After that dried, I rolled the whole frame. Then I threw away all the oil-based stuff. After that, I painted the corners with my latex paint and when that dried I rolled the rest and this is my finished result:

As you can see, we repositioned the table. I added a little lamp there, sort of cafe style. (I'm going to get a better lampshade.) I love how everything turned out. The whole kitchen seems larger now. I just want to add a little runner rug to really cozy the room up.
One last thing: When I pulled out my roll of sheet plastic, there were two pairs of scissors down in the box. I was wondering where all my scissors were.:


VioletSky said...

a) those are actually balusters - don't mean to be pedantic, but I had a whole different vision in my mind with newel posts (which are the ornate posts at the top or bottom of a staircase or at the bend in the staircase)

b) I obviously didn't read your post very well - sometimes that happens when I read it after work and am a bit bleary

c) that is totally a stupid feature - am surprised you put up with it for so long.

d) great job!

geewits said...

~~Baluster. Okay that sounds like a stupider word for a stupid thing that was in my house. I'm just glad they are out. Oh, me too and thanks!

Lolo said...

Great job! It looks great!

Jazz said...

Wow, that looked like a prison cell with fancy bars. And yep, it was just stupid. And since it was a pass-through, I thought the posts were on the sides so you could actually, um... pass something through. Much much better.

Big Brother said...

I seem to remember that they were all the rage all those many years ago. Doesn’t mean that they weren’t ugly then, just like they are now. Minimalism is much better, and doesn’t go out of fashion, like avocado appliances and orange carpets... nice job.

geewits said...

Thanks guys, I'm so happy with the results.

XUP said...

Wow. If I were ever going to marry a middle-aged woman, I'd want it to be one like you. It would be great to have someone this handy and creative around the house.

Carole said...

Gee, looks beautiful! That spot just shines now and it opened that space up SO much! Funny about the scissors. haha

geewits said...

~~You wouldn't like all the yummy meat smells in the house when I make me roasts or ribs.

~~Yeah from now on, I'll know where to look when I can't find scissors.