Welcome to the The Mud room. I briefly spoke about the mud room in one of my very first posts here. It is a rough looking room. You can check it out but remember this was post clearing it out and after a light cleaning. Now we have some more concrete plans for the room itself and we will be using it primarily as an entrance and some extra storage.
The positive thing about having a room like this is that it seems to encompass almost all of the problems we have with the rest of the house. For instance, in the master bedroom there is cracks that run all along the seams of the walls where the walls meet the ceiling. Or the windows and door frames are covered in 8 layers of paint (that may be a slight exaggeration). Or some serious nicotine stains in the dormer upstairs and in the master bedroom. My grandpa smoked and usually outside from what my grandma had told me and that was the rule as long as I knew. But I’ve been told that some years ago whenever they had company the company was just allowed to smoke in the house. Different times. And finally, the flooring needs to be replaced in the kitchen at some point. All of these problems exist in one room in the house—the mud room. Why is that positive you ask? Well because it’s such a grim room with lots of problems it can serve as an experiment. Anything that is done to try and fix it will be a massive improvement, so if we try something and it doesn’t quite work out we can try something else until we find what works.
We recently had insulation put in since there was basically no insulation in any of the exterior walls. We had cellulose blown in which meant that from the inside the insulators drilled fairly large holes every sixteen inches between each stud. They were nice enough to fill all the holes that were made in the majority of the home’s walls, but it was certainly going to need some sanding, refilling and more sanding which equals more dust. One thing I have found that infuriates me during these renovations is the amount of seemingly pointless cleaning. A lot of cleaning only to move forward one step and clean more. I enjoy cleaning my home from time to time and I definitely appreciate spending time in a clean space; however, to clean knowing I will have to clean what seems like the day after (and is the day after in some cases) is exhausting. Seeing as I have never had to sand and reapply drywall compound to cover holes the mudroom is good practice for that and it is in a location that is separate from the rest of the house. I can leave the mess (somewhat) until I’m ready to come back to it.
The current use of the mud room is mainly storage. We have only really just begun using it as the main entrance. There was an old car situation in the driveway. I may have mentioned before that my dad is kind of a hoarder so there was this old 1950’s Lincoln in the driveway taking up a lot of space and keeping us from parking right at the back entrance. It sounds cool to have a classic car in your driveway but it wasn’t. It was left pretty decrepit and racoons and various other vermin were using it as a home during the winter. I was afraid to walk past the car in fear of some rodent jumping out in his or her defence and latching onto my face. Everyone thought I was crazy, but animals were definitely living in there.
Anywho, we have been using the mudroom to store many gardening tools and supplies. These are only some of the things because some of them are outside in the yard. Why not use the garage? For one because we didn’t have access to the garage due to the classic car situation. The garage is quite huge. It’s a garage large enough to fit a mid size vehicle I reckon. Why don’t we park our tiny electric car in the garage? Well the garage is so full of stuff that only one person can stand in the doorway and that is about all that will fit and that might be pushing it. It’s packed from floor to ceiling. It’s filled with antique tools, power tools, lots of lumber and just generally junk. Because it is “in the family” we agreed that as long as the garage is cleaned out by the end of August this year (after said classic car has been moved) there won’t be any problems. Perhaps I’ll chronicle the garage clean out. Should be interesting.
Here’s the breakdown so far. Derek’s mom Joanne and I sanded down all the holes from the insulation, we sanded the door frames and the window frames. By the way when there is lots of sanding like this and in places where the layers of paint have been globbed on pretty thick, stapling sand paper to a block of wood will make the job a little easier and speed things up. It helps you sand so that you are level with the wall and it’s more comfortable to grasp.
Derek also began filling in those large cracks in the wall. There were also some large gaps inside of the pantry. I think this room was added onto the house and so there has been a lot of shifting and settling happening. The structure is safe though. Once that is all filled in it would be great to paint it and have it looking clean so I won’t mind storing food there.
I have this weird phobia I’ve realized while living here and at my apartment in Toronto. I don’t like not know what is behind walls. One time in my apartment when Derek was putting up a shelf, he screwed into the wall and we could hear something falling inside. It freaked me out! Back to the gaps in the pantry. Because I can’t see inside of these gaps and it appears to just be a black abyss I’m afraid I’ll go to the pantry and reach for a potato only to never be seen again. Or this is my more realistic concern–I’m afraid I’ll go in reaching for that potato when suddenly I’ll see this gigantic spiders leg poking out then retreating into the abyss when I approach. Ahhhh! So many nightmares have been had. Mostly I’m afraid of centipedes and spiders popping out, scurrying and scaring me to the point where I run screaming in the other direction.
I thing a good coat of clean paint will help to ease those nightmares. The type of paint used will be important in this room. As far as I can tell what is currently on the walls, this brown puke colour is latex I think but covered in nicotine stains. This other teal green though is oil based. I used the cotton ball dabbed in nail-polish remover test to determine this. If the paint comes off with the nail-polish remover then it is latex, if it doesn’t it is oil based paint. What we need is a sealer that also primes.
Ideally what I’d like in this mud room is some hooks for coats and things above the radiator, a bench for sitting and storage under the window and maybe some shelves for more pantry storage. Nothing extravagant, just practical. The reason we want to use this as our main entry is because back in 1945 and the 50’s most houses didn’t have much of an entry way. And often the front door was only used by visitors. There’s a large closet in our entry way, but when you walk in you are essentially in the living space. There’s not much room for maneuvering especially in the winter.
That’s what’s on the agenda now. As usual I will keep you all updated on the progress. Catch you later neighbour.