Having a Blast

October 20, 2016

Be sure to read the end of this post because this project did not turn out as we expected!!

There are so many projects that make up the entire living room renovation. Like, so so many!

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you know we’ve been making progress on the stairs, which are in the living room. We’ve also shared some posts here: busting out the wood paneling, cutting through a brick wall, and finally building stairs! Other projects in this room include planing the beams, removing paint to expose the brick walls, adding a ceiling and recessed lights, building a cabinet/shelving unit, and installing new hardwood floors and baseboards. The stairs were first priority and while they are not entirely finished, they are functional! This means we can move on to other projects for the time being. We’re so pumped to install the wood flooring and ceilings, but tackling the brick walls had to come first — because hello MESSY.

We were hoping we might be able to use a paint stripper, so we looked up non-toxic ones that were safe for indoor use. We read great reviews for CitriStrip and tried it out. It took off the top two layers of paint..but not all seven. Ugh. You can see photos from this below…




We reapplied the paint remover over the blue layer, but it had no effect. Shoot!

Evan did a lot of research and found that sandblasting the wall was probably our best bet. We ordered most of the supplies on Amazon, purchased the abrasives from Tractor Supply, and then rented a massive air compressor from Home Depot.





Unlike our brick wall project, we actually taped off the wall with plastic to help minimize the mess. Some super fine dust still made its way through, but it certainly helped!



Below you’ll see the exposed brick…


Guess what!

We don’t like it. <insert bulging eyes emoji here!> I know, I know. Let me explain. We like the idea of an exposed brick wall. Unfortunately, the brick is not in perfect condition. We are afraid that it will always look a little incomplete slash dirty slash unfinished.

Here’s why we are remaining positive even though Evan put so much effort into this project: at least we tried. Now we absolutely know that it’s not something that is realistic. When you take on your own renovation projects, there’s always a chance that the plan will change (read: all the time). Heck, even if we hired out this project (we received a quote for $1500), we wouldn’t have known for sure that the brick wouldn’t be up to our standards until we actually paid for someone to come blast it. Being flexible is so so so important during renovation projects.

We do plan to paint this wall an accent color though to still add some fun contrast to the living room! Evan started building the built-in cabinet/shelving unit, and it’s looking so good! Cannot wait to share all those details.


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  • Reply Stacy G October 23, 2016 at 7:17 am

    oh no! What a lot of work that was. I think we all have a project or two where the expectation did not match the outcome. It is good that you are flexible enough to make a course correction and sail on.

    • Reply Courtney @ Foxwood Forest October 25, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks, Stacy! It was tough to come to this conclusion…but we rest easy knowing we tried! We’ll never wonder about that brick now. Flexibility is key when it comes to DIY renovations. 🙂

  • Reply About That Brick… – Foxwood Forest October 31, 2016 at 5:36 am

    […] feel like maybe we owe you more details on the whole exposed brick situation. Let me be clear…we really wanted to have one wall of exposed brick in the living room. You […]

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