Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coming Soon: Dinner on the Patio

In between painting the Great Room and the Dining Room (upcoming post), I worked on getting the garage back to a state where Gus (the car) could fit in.  One thing that needed to be done was something with this table: 

The side was found in Tom's car!  I pounded it on with a nail salvaged from the living room wall before I painted.  While I would have preferred to use a wood stain on the bare wood, I'm nothing if not resourceful, so I just used white paint from a can of flat (ew) paint the old owner left in the garage (big surprise).  It works for now.  I may seal it later... or paint it a different color and consider the white to be primer.  I literally just slapped two coats on in about 30 minutes and I like the rough look it has.  Plus, the price ($0) was amazing.

Why not?  The original goal was to use it a prep table or something for when we grill.  However, I'm currently thinking the driveway is a better place for grilling... because the above picture shows the backyard.  It's a postage stamp.  The good news is... we got a grill!  Tom dropped one off last night.  It's pretty rusty, yet I think it will clean up.  I hope... :/ I'll show it later when it's not so nasty looking.  

...what are your tricks for cleaning rust?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Colors Colors Everywhere

As you may recall, the paint job on the first floor of my house was rather garish.  To put it bluntly, it looked like a Perkins restaurant barfed.  Sorry, Perkins.  The best word in that first sentence, though, is "was" - the bad paint job is gone!  I spent about a week agonizing over colors to determine the perfect shade for the great room (living room + foyer).  The dark and gloomy colors were making me so cranky and made me crave sunshine so after considering 45 different shades of yellow, I settled on Summer Sun by Valspar (Lowe's).

I calculated 530 sq ft for the great room, so I bought 2 gallons of the Valspar Signature so I could do two coats.  Remember, anytime you anticipate needing to use two cans of paint for one job, mix 'em together to ensure uniformity!  I poured the two gallons into a bucket and stirred.  I filled my paint tray out of the bucket on day one, then at the end of day one, poured the mixed paints back into the paint cans so I could seal them up properly.  During the day, I had the bucket covered in foil to keep it clean.

Having never painted a room before, I think my first coat was a bit sparse.  In fact, the rose and baby poo-brown showed through a bit, causing the yellow to look highly radioactive.  After rereading some online tips, I put it on pretty thick the second round.  Wow!  Coat Two definitely covered the rose and baby poo-brown very well!  My technique was simple and developed after reading several websites (This Old House and TLC, which I pinned on my Paint Board).  I cut in with a slanted brush, then rolled those bits (plus a good five inch section adjacent to it) with a small roller going as close to the edge as possible, then rolled the rest of the party with a 9-inch roller.  It took 12 hours for the first coat and about 10 for the second.  That includes mini breaks as I finished each wall (snacks, phone calls, clicking on the Pandora music site to say yes I'm still listening to Meat Loaf)...

To refresh your mind, here's a before...

And here's an after!

Poly loves to be in pictures.  What a ham.

For now, I've purchased new sheers for the window and put the red shade back on the corner lamp.  I think the walls looks amazing, if I do say so myself.  :)  Redecorating coming soon! I'm very excited to finish up the dining room, now, and then decorate with a new color palette.  Speaking of which... here's a teaser about the dining room color...

What are your dream colors for your home?

Of course Lowe's didn't pay me to talk up their paint line.  I wish!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Unwelcomed Guests

One thing I do not like about moving to the south is the buggies.  No, I don't mean Amish buggies (I don't think they have Amish down here) and I don't even mean shopping carts.  I mean what they call "palmetto bugs" which in the north are cockroaches!  Ew!!

I've been blessed with a less than sealed up house, so I have had a few visitors over the last few weeks.  Three visitors, actually, have made their way into my home.  Poly found all three and they were quickly disposed of (by me, not by her).  I have little tolerance for creepy-crawlies that do nothing except bring germs into my house, so I decided to lay off the open door policy.

First, buggies like to eat, so I try to keep the kitchen as clean as possible.  Food is sealed up and put away and counters are wiped down before bed.  This is common sense, really.  I also try not to let dishes in the sink because when your name is cockroach, you probably don't care if the meal you have is a ring of slightly spoiled milk at the bottom of a glass.

Next, I bought some expanding foam at Lowe's and took care of lots of holes and cracks around the house (inside and out) including the place where the satellite dishes' cables came into the house (our bunny ears get better reception now, go fig) and the giant hole under the bricks at the corner of the garage.  I had no idea it would expand that much!  I could carve it down, although for now I just hide the lump behind two cactus.

The third and final line of defense was a concoction of Borax plus powdered sugar around the perimeter of the house and in places where buggies might fancy a little dramatic entrance.  The powdered sugar lures in the creepers and the Borax is supposed to kill 'em.  Horrible, I know.  I feel kind of bad.  ... I placed a bit on rounds of cardboard so I could slide it under the fridge and set it in cupboards...

As well as in a line out on the screened in patio...

I'm certainly no expert on bugs, yet I can say it's been a full week since I did my decorations and I've not seen any roaches inside.  Maybe it's a coincidence... although the borax concoction has been untouched inside except the bit under the fridge that some ants got into and then proceeded to um...die.  So...?

Have you had any luck with homemade bug!defense?  

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The other day, my friend Tom called and said he bought me some items at an auction.  This is Tom!code for "I bought several rooms at an auction and you can come take your pick of what you want in exchange for some light manual labor."  We have a great relationship.  :)

So, at 10am today, I headed down to this dusty, grimy, buggy place full of metal, wood, and everything in between.  Yikes.  It was a rather terrifying at times and absolutely hilarious in others.  I'm headed back tomorrow because I need to work off the goods I claimed...

I'm on a mirror kick and got a bunch of large wall mirrors to spruce up.  The tall one in the back and the oval one toward the front have the hardware to use on a stand, so I think I'll make something for them so we have a floor mirror in each of the bedrooms... 

I grabbed a few more picture frames... even though I just got four at Goodwill yesterday.  Yes, that's my bff the Valspar silver spraypaint - I used it on yesterday's frames and they look awesome (I'll post pictures as soon as I settle on where to hang them).  :)

There were lots of sewing notions and I found a brand new tin of German straight pins, plus enough bias tape to go around the block at least twice.

 These are metal bins that I plan to hang on pegboard (via S hooks) for a recycling station in the garage.  I kind of like the yellow, although I may paint them eventually.

These are sturdy wooden magazine racks.  I need to figure out how to incorporate them into one of my favorite Pins, although one needs to be devoted to my Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple magazine collections.

I was looking for a table upon which I can keep my sewing machine and instead I found several sewing machine tables!  This table was in the best condition; the included machine is modern-ish, yet worn.  I'll dig it out later and see how it works.  :)  Otherwise, I am hoping mine can go in (or just on top).  :)

Jackpot!!!  I found one of these bedposts earlier in the morning and spent the rest of the day keeping my eyes peeled for the rest.  The headboard was attached yet very un-salvageable, so Tom cut the pieces down so I can use them in a new construction.  Super excited.  The piece of wood behind is a veneered piece that has great potential.  We found several wood rails that I may be able to adapt...

 I'm still on a hunt for a lamp to go with the shade in the bedroom... maybe this one?

I grabbed this table to go as a grill station on the patio... it just needs a little TLC (the missing side is somewhere in Tom's car, perhaps?)...more picture frames on top.

I found some other odds and ends (spray paint, paint brushes, some metal baskets/organizers, etc)... and finally this slightly rusty gem from the 1930s:

 Do you like to go to auctions?  What sort of gems have you discovered?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ding Dong

Happy Summer!!!  We have just one day of school left (a Teacher Day), so I got started on my summer projects on Saturday.  Here's two:

One of the first things I noticed about my house is was the doorbell.  Crooked...yellowed...rusty... yet somehow not my thing:

Since the doorknob and deadbolt are brushed chrome, I wanted something of a similar hue.  Lowe's didn't have much in the way of brushed chrome selection (at least not in my price range), so I ended up buying a silver-tone one.  After turning off the power to my porch (I didn't fancy getting knocked on my butt just to pretty up my house), it was just a matter of unscrewing the top screws, disconnecting the wires from the old bell, and then connecting them to the new bell, and reattaching the new bell to the house.  Voila!  

While at Lowe's, I also picked up some Valspar silver spray paint.  It was under $5 and my intention is to use it on the dining room chandelier.  However, that is currently stuck on my ceiling so until it detaches itself, I thought I would use it to give the kickplate a makeover...

...because the second thing I noticed when I first saw this house was this brass kickplate:

Yowza.  Funny story - the bottom left corner was not screwed in.  There wasn't even a hole for the screw!  This happens a lot in my house.  I think the builders were lazy.  

Anyway, three coats of the spraypaint - dry to the touch between coats.  Totally dry in about an hour.  

The screws were brassy, too, so I decided they needed a paint job as well.  To keep the screws stable as I sprayed the heads, I poked them into a paper-towel roll covered in foil.  The foil was not to protect the paper-towel roll (I'm not that weird), it was so the roll wouldn't...well...roll.  In the picture below, there are only ten screws... if you're counting you know there should be eleven (#12 never being installed).  I found the missing little guy on the porch and poked him into the other end later.  

Once everyone was dry, I removed the painted screws by unscrewing them (they wouldn't just pull out)...

...and reattached the "new" kickplate to the door:


I think it looks pretty snazzy!  Although in this picture, the peaking-out doorknob looks brassy.  :D

What have you spray-painted new life into?