Inside your home stuff

Ah, that makes sense. Plus, the broker would of course charge a fee.


Is this topic exclusively for interiors, Millie? Or home improvement in general?


Home improvement in general is fine by me!



Snl Season 47 GIF by Saturday Night Live


Those poor books. Thanks, I hate it.


We took all the carpeting out of the new place and put in wood floors and area rugs. Now, the concern with outgassing of noxious things is still there, but much less so. Not really solving the problem, but modifying, maybe?


Take a look at products like Dricore. It’s a 3/4" thick subflooring made of an OSB layer on top of a plastic base. It’s made to be installed on top of a concrete floor. It traps damp or humid air beneath, so the room won’t be “basement humid”. You then install carpet or hardwood on top of it.

It really makes lower levels feel like upstairs floors. Except it can’t do anything about the lack of windows.


Painting walls. I need something that looks nice, wipes/cleans, resists scuffs, low VOC (I know that depends a lot on color), can be painted by an amateur and dries fairly quickly to touch. We have cats and their hair will get in anything that doesn’t dry fast enough. No matter how clean the room.

When we bought the house the paint looked great. Cool chalk texture. Turns out, it can’t be cleaned. At all. Any water and pressure removes the paint, which is a very thin layer. Even a damp sponge gently blotted won’t work.
Kid splattered berry smoothie all over the dining room wall. It’s clean, but looks terrible. Funnily enough, the little bit on the ceiling came off ok

We wanted an accent wall in there anyway. We’ll try to do it ourselves then figure out if we think we can handle the rest of the house in stages. But any recommendations for good painters in the Austin metroplex also welcome.


Not a pro painter, but here’s my repainting process:

Wash the wall down well. Not too soapy, use degreaser in spots if needed. You’ll want to get that weird paint off.

Primer. Do not skip, and since your wall had a weird finish on it, don’t rely on a paint-and-primer-in-one product. Depending on your wall color choice, you might want a tinted primer, but usually a high quality white primer is fine. I like Zinsser. Avoid Sherwin-Williams primer. Their paint is good, though.

Paint: choose an eggshell or satin if you want scrub-able. Sherwin-Williams low VOC products are decent in my experience. Benjamin Moore tends to be more expensive. I’m not a fan of Behr at all.


Oh no. I hadn’t even considered how the existing paint, such as it is, might mess up new coats. I see test patches in my future


I second all of that.


Good news if you are in Western Australia, you are now allowed to use a toilet plunger!!


Have you considered consulting a dietician?


Yeah, I mean, as far as I’ve heard, the off-gassing is only ever a big problem for people with immune/sensitivity issues or especially noxious materials. For the most part, things that are legally sold in the US can be installed with little fear, assuming you can ventilate the area for a while. Adhesives and other liquid goods are typically the worst.
But the issues with carpets as banks of allergens and other toxic stuff is well know. One study a fellow building scientist did a while ago - they taped off areas of carpets in homes then thoroughly vacuumed that square foot and analyzed what was in each one.
They found all the typical allergens you’d expect, but also in older homes they found toxins that had been outlawed for decades, like DDT. And lead, or course. Some of it was stuff that would’ve broken down by then if it was outside exposed to the elements, but since it had been tracked in, it was just there. Waiting for a little crawling human to stir it up. :frowning:


Oil for outdoor furniture?

It’s acacia. Mostly shaded except in the morning. Protected from rain except the big storms.

I think we used linseed last time but I’m not sure. Some parts have dried quite a bit. We aren’t interested in a varnish. @docosc and other wood working people- any thoughts?


You’ll probably have some folks suggest teak oil. Not a big fan. I like tung oil or tung / bees wax mixtire.


No screed joints? Not even shallow mock joints to give the cracks a place to hide?

[grasps for pearls to clutch, misses, delicately descends on fainting couch]


Nope. The house was built in 1987, and they didn’t do that then.

The second coat covered them. I can still see the texture when the light is right, but I know what to look for. I’ll sand the rest even more.

Once that side is done and dry, then I’ll move everything jammed into the other side of the basement over and repeat.