Home Improvement: Things to Do During the Finishing

Finishing work is the longest part of any home renovation project, and it involves the materials and elements that cover the guts of your property, from sheetrock, plaster, floors, and moldings to cabinets, fixtures, and appliances.

This is the part of the job where the carpenter, the first workman to arrive and the last to leave a site, is center stage. He directs the installation of all the new items and repairs whatever can be salvaged of the old.

After the rough work is done, the finish work begins. This is the most important part of a remodeling and renovation project, because it involves all the things we handle, see, and use every day.

Because the finish work takes the longest, there may be days when you think you are making little progress. The metamorphosis is slow, but your active participation will move things along.

Below are some things to do during the finish work:

(a) Sandpaper everything in sight. Old wood trim invariably needs some smoothing, especially where the paint has chipped off. New wood moldings require sanding joints and mitered corners.

(b) Fill in holes and undercoat newly installed wood. I always hire a painter to do the majority of this work, but accomplishing part of it yourself could save the pro time and you some money.

(c) Wipe down existing doorways or window frames with liquid sandpaper, which eliminates the need to sand old woodwork before repainting. This marvelous product dulls the finish so that the new enamel goes on better.

(d) Help with the painting if you like. Just take time when you roll or brush to make it a professional job.

(e) Polish all the old brass hinges and return them to their proper places.

(f) Wallpaper. This is one of my favorite jobs. It’s therapeutic as well as being visually rewarding at the end of the day.

(g) Line all your cabinet drawers and shelves with leftover wallpaper, or buy a pre-pasted roll to do the job.

(h) Clean up! This is a job anyone can do. Just bring your own broom and you’ll be welcome anywhere.

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