Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bathroom Upgrade: Part 1

It was high time that we made the decision to paint our main bathroom an updated color. I've been hesitant because like the patio chairs we were gifted, our the room is perfectly acceptable. With a Koehler toilet and pedestal sink, a jetted tub, custom tile work in the shower/tub area and good quality marble flooring, the space isn't too shabby. I really shouldn't complain. But it's pink. Yes, pink. And gray. And sponge painted. I can totally deal with the gray, being an on trend neutral, but pink? Sponge painted? I just can't get down with that.

Actually, I've been getting down with it for quite some time. We've lived here for a couple years now, and it's really not that bad. It's pretty enough, but like animal prints and stirrup pants, pink's just not my thang. So I took the plunge. By plunge, I mean I simply chose a coordinating gray paint that would provide a simple and inexpensive upgrade. The problem is, we aren't ready to change the flooring or shower tile, both of which contain a combination of pink and gray. For one thing, it could be an expensive modification. For another, I'd like to tackle the job myself, and I need to do some major research before diving in. Finally, we're not certain we'll remain in this house forever, so we're trying to complete projects that will be the most cost effective.

Long story short, I started the upgrade today. Here's what our main bathroom looked like before I started prepping:

See? It's not so bad. I really think painting the walls a light gray will go a long way, though. I also plan to replace the faux vine arrangement thingy to the left of the mirror with some DIY artwork or another, different, thingy. I'm also getting rid of the three frosted glass shelves on the wall opposite the sink. I'm considering a towel bar, but I'm not sure I can committ to having the right towels clean and display worthy all the time. I'll definitely fill the space with something (maybe some more DIY artwork).

Below is a close-up of the floors. It's really dominated by gray, but there's quite a bit of pink veining throughout. Can anyone offer any ideas on downplaying the color combination without having to change the flooring? A larger rug is the obvious choice, but I'm not sure what style to go with. Plus, I'd love to add a new color to the mix, but I just can't put my finger on the one that would coordinate. Any suggestions?

Here's a close-up of the wall in all of its sponge-painted glory. The gray I chose is just about the same shade of gray you see there.

Today, I removed the fixtures (except the lighting), cleaned the walls and molding and spackled the holes that were left. Here's where I'm at now:

When I removed the mirror, I found this. Exciting!

I'll keep plugging away for the next couple days. Before I can crack open that paint can, I have to prime. Ugh. These projects are really trying my patience.

Like I said, any suggestions on adding a new color into the mix (or any other suggestions) are certainly welcome.

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Say It and Spray (Paint) It

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I was planning on spray painting our office chairs. They were just inexpensive, black, plastic chairs from Ikea.

Now, they're inexpensive, yellow, plastic chairs from Ikea. 

For this easy peasy project, we chose Satin Hubbel House Golden Maize by Valspar. First, I dusted the chairs off. Then, I primed them using Primer Gray by Valspar. Here's what one of the chairs looked like after an application of primer:

Finally, I applied a nice, even coat of maize. I would recommend priming anything before spray painting. Because I applied a good coat of primer, I really only needed one good coat of paint. After about an hour, I was able to handle them enough to bring them inside. I don't plan to sit in them for several days just to make sure they're cured up enough, but for now, I'm enjoying the view.

What do you think? I like how they provide a(nother) pop of color without overpowering the area. Did you notice that there's a couple things missing from the shelves? Two of our wedding photos are being framed at Campbell's Paint and Wallpaper, a custom paint, wallpaper and framing store owned by my aunt and uncle, Mary and Mike Ray. They'll be back in a few short days.

Here's my to-do list for the month of August:
- Spray the patio chairs that were given to us by Rich's grandparents
- Recover the cushions on said patio chairs
- Paint the bathroom for a quick and inexpensive upgrade

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spray Painting Vegetables

Today I spray painted an artichoke. Don't worry, it was ceramic.

In the last several days, I've made two trips to two different TJ Maxxes. Both times, I oogled some white ceramic bric a brac including an artichoke and an elephant. Today, on my second trip, I nabbed the artichoke. I walked away from the elephant not because I wanted to but because I wasn't sure he'd fit in the spot I had in mind. Plus, I walked away with four arms full of stuff. (Rich was with me). We picked out two metallic birds, three nesting hyacinth baskets and the artichoke.

At $7.99, I thought this gal was a steal:

Since the shelves are white, I thought I'd spray paint it. What better color to paint an artichoke than that of an avocado? New Avocado by Valspar to be exact. First, I gave it a couple coats of grey primer. Then, I sprayed'er down with several coats of green yumminess.

Pretty, huh? I can dig it. And the birds?

There they are. Aren't they the cutest? As far as I'm concerned, they're Turtle Doves. All of you bird experts out there, don't try to convince me otherwise. I almost bought just one, but Mr. Duncan's voice kept ringing in my ear:

One's for me and one's for Rich! You can't get any more sugary sweet than that.

Next on the spray painting agenda are our two ugly, cheap, plastic office chairs (one of which I'm sitting on right now). Then maybe I'll finally get to spray painting those patio chairs and recovering their cushions. Definitely before going back to work. Definitely.

From a practical standpoint, this room is doner than done, but realistically, I'll be adding and tweeking for a while. How do you like the artichoke? Have I inspired anyone to paint a vegetable? I thought so.

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stain Reaction: Part 2

As you know, I missed the Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition by a week. Because I wanted, no, needed, to participate, I decided to host my own Pinterest Challenge.

I actually got two projects done this week. I stained a small wooden table that I got for next to nothing and I stained a wooden library file cabinet that I craigslisted for $50. Actually, I got it for free since my parents gave me the money for it!

My original pinspiration was this project. I was looking to gel stain something since I'd been hearing so much about. That didn't work out so well. Not wanting to make another trip, I purchased a stain that's somewhere between a gel stain and a more traditional stain. I went with  Minwax's PolyShades in Mission Oak (satin finish). The PolyShades line provides stain and polyurethane in one step.

This is what the file cabinet looked like before I began:

This is the cabinet part. It's not really on wheels -- it's perched on a creeper.

These are the legs.

First, I had to take the hardware off the cabinets. I tossed around the idea of adding new handles, but everything else had to remain intact for utility purposes, so it just made sense to keep things as they were. The process was much like the process for the small wooden table: sand, clean, stain, wait, rub with steel wool, dust, stain again, wait.

During some of the wait time, I was able to spray paint the legs and hardware. I used Rust-Oleum's Silver Hammered only because I had it on hand from spraying some floor vents. I sprayed two coats because the first one was very uneven. I kind of already knew, but this project confirmed that I'm a very bad spray painter. I don't know how this is possible, but I am. I'm very heavy-handed in some areas and the extreme opposite in other areas. I know two coats are typically recommended, but it was bad after the first. Luckilly, it came out pretty well after the second coat.

After waiting the minimum amount of time the can of stain recommends, I reinstalled the hardware onto the drawers. Rich and I lugged each piece into the house very carefully. Once inside, Rich reinstalled the legs to the bottom of the cabinets. We then played around with where to put the cabinet. We liked it under the window, but then we would either have to eliminate one chair (which we're considering anyway) or put one of the chairs on the opposite wall (which didn't suit my fancy). We finally decided to keep it in the spot we originally planned: under the stenciled wall art I made.

Why does it look like I took this picture from the ceiling?

Here's the view from the door.
And just for good measure, here are two more random shots so you can see the rest of the room.

So far so good. I borrowed from the living room.

The closet -- We purchased 2 of the same bookcases as the
ones on the opposite wall in the desk area. They fit perfectly
in that small space.

The entire project cost me about $28 which included stain for about $10, steel wool for about $3, sandpaper for about $3 and three $4 foam brushes. I already had the spray paint, so that cost me something about two years ago. If you count the $50 my parents spent on the cabinet itself, the project cost about $78 total. Not bad. I couldn't find anything very similar, but comparibles sell at Crate and Barrel for anywher from $200-$800.

Now that the office/craft room is basically complete, what do you think? I think I'll leave well enough alone for a while, but I might spray paint the plastic desk chairs. I'm thinking either a dark teal or a mustardy yellow. Good idea or bad idea? Do you have a preference either way?

I you decided to participate in the challenge with me, please add your link by clicking on the blue button below. Don't have a blog? Post a picture of your project on my facebook page and I'll post it here!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

I'm linked up with:

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DIY Show Off
DIY Showoff

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Cushion for the...Sitting?

Next on the agenda is an outdoor update. I don't have the greenest of thumbs, so this update includes nothing that photosynthesizes. What I do have is an eye for ugly patio furniture. A couple months back, Rich's grandparents gave us two gliding patio chairs and two side tables. What generous grandparents! What ugly gliding chairs!

Honestly, I didn't even know what they looked like before I passed judgement on them. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw what they looked like. They're not the ugliest things I've seen in my life. (This is.) Plus, they're in great condition. While all this is true, we've enjoyed their good qualities for long enough. The problem persists: they're just not my style.

As you can see, they're perfectly acceptable -- unlike those weeds growing in the cracks of our cement and the terrifying landscaping in the background. It's just, I'm a little adamantly opposed to any color that resembles what was so affectionately known in the 90s as "Hunter Green." Hunter Green is to Seedling as Daria Morgendorffer is to Quinn Morgendorffer.

I was always good at analogies. 

Anywho, I decided I would give cushion covering a go. I didn't agonize over the fabric like I did last time. Since I'm officially a fan of fabric.com, I visited straight away. Because I wasn't willing to spend a ton on the fabric, my options were limited, but I was fairly certain I wanted to go with a yellow pattern. I quickly found this indoor/outdoor beauty:

I love the color, and I love the geometric pattern. It makes me happy. I questioned my choice since I thought about it for just over 4.3 seconds, but I decided to go with my gut. I scored 3 yards for just under $30. I used a 15% off code from retailmenot.com, but I had to pay more than $6 for shipping since my order wasn't over $40. (FYI: retailmenot.com offers lots of coupon codes for lots of stores. It lists current offers as well as expired ones. The best one I found was listed as expired, but I tried it anyway. It worked! Let this be a lesson: try the expired codes! They might work!)

I plan to spray paint the frames of the chairs and also the matching table frames gray. I got inspired at a recent trip to Aco Hardware. (Inspired by a gray spray paint lid?)

Now all I have to do is wait for the fabric to come in. Wait. I have to wait?

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

P.P.S. If you decided to participate in the Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition a week late with me, please visit Tuesday and update me on your results. Don't have a blog? Just let me know what you did in the comments section and/or take a picture and post it to my Facebook timeline. I hope to hear from many of you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stain Reaction: Part 1

If you recall, I wasn't able to complete the "real" Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition -- the one hosted by Sherry @ Young House Love and Katie @ Bower Power -- because I was on vacation. I decided to give myself another week so I could participate! :)

I'm posting the results of my Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition results a couple (5 days) early. Don't worry -- I'm only cheating a little. I'm only posting early it because it was the simplest of projects, and I am going to continue the challenge with another piece of furniture -- the library file cabinet I craigslisted. I'll post the results of that project on Tuesdsay 7/17 like I originally promised.

I started with a simple, inexpensive table I bought with some other pieces at an estate sale. Here's what it looked like when I brought it home:

It was fine, but fine just wasn't gonna cut it. I lost a little steam on the office/craft room project, so it took a while, but I'm never one to back down from a challenge. I was determined to get 'er done.

I ran to Home Depot for a few necessities: gel stain and sand paper. It turns out that the Home Depot near me only carries 4 colors of gel stain: Ugly, Uglier, Hideous, and NotMyStyle. Bummer. Being the laid back, go-with-the-flow uptight person I am, I let out a heavy sigh. I really wanted to give gel stain a go. Oh, well. Such is life. I considered a couple options, but landed on Minwax's PolyShades in Mission Oak (satin finish). I really thought it best to stay at least 10 feet away from anything oak. It seems to be really frowned upon these days, but the color on the sample board at Home Depot wasn't all that bad. The product boasts "stain and polyurethane in one step." I was all about not having to go through an extra step. Plus, I was already at the store and wasn't about to go home and read reviews on the product. Sold. I ended up getting the stain, some sandpaper, and some steel wool, something the label on the stain recommended.

When I got home, I brought the table out the garage and got right to work. First, I sanded the entire table lightly.

Then, I wiped the dust off. Then, I added one coat:

Then I waited overnight. Then, I rubed the whole thing with steel wool. Then, I added a second coat:

See that orange chair in the back? I've got big plans for him. (It's definitely a boy.) Don't lie. You're excited. Anyway, then I brought it in the house.

It's much darker than I thought it was going to be. I don't associate oak with anything that dark. Luckilly, I didn't have any solid color choice in mind. I was open to options. I like what happened. I'm not in love with the table. I think I've exhausted the point, but the table was cheap, cheap, cheap, so it might not live here long term. I was in need of something affordable to fill the space since I had already spent so much money on the room.

Overall, I liked Minwax Polyshades. I thought it was a good consistency (not too thick, not too thin), easy to apply (I used a paintbrush.), and affordable (under $10). I plan to use the same stuff for the file cabinet. I have to figure out how I going to apply it, though. I used my good paintbrush on the table, and I had to throw it away. I attempted to clean it with dish soap and laundry detergent, but nothing would take the stickiness out of the brush. I think I paid about $15 for the brush a couple months back. I've gotten some good use out of it, so it's no big deal; but I certainly don't want to spend another $15 on a brush I'm just going to throw away. I might try a sponge brush, but I'm worried about how it will turn out. Any suggestions? Please?

The next few pictures are udpated from the original curtain post. I considered using drapery rings with clips to hang the panels instead of threading the rod through the hem. I went for it. I also thought the fabric was dominating the window when I was just aiming for a pretty accent. I thought about taking them down and cutting one panel in half and making two panels. Instead, I took them down and folded each in half hot dog style. I then clipped the rings to the back of the panels at the hem and hung them back up. See how it gives the panels a more traditional pleated look without being too stuffy? The rings make the panels much easier to manipulate too I like it. Do you?

And because you're probably getting tired of looking at the same wall in that small room, here's a sneak peak at the desk wall. It's going to take me a while to fill the nooks with stuff, but it's getting there. The black table on the right will be replaced with the file cabinet I'm working on whilst you read.

It's almost done! Once I finish the file cabinet, the big projects will be complete. Then, it will just be a matter of getting some more stuff for the shelves and table tops and maybe putting something on the wall above the desk/shelves. (maybe a vinal decal?)

So what do you think? Is the stain I chose too dark for an otherwise light room? Are the curtains better now, or were they better before?

Update: Here's a before and an after shot of the curtains. Sorry about the dark after picture.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

How Pinteresting!

Whilst on vacation in San Diego, Sherry @ Young House Love and Katie @ Bower Power announced the Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition. Bummer! If you remember my last Pinterest Challenge post, you'll recall that the challenge tasks its participants stop pinning and start doing. Pinners get only one week to complete their project, so there's no putting off the project you decide to create. Shut up and commit! I'm all about shutting up and committing, but the bloggers announced the challenge last Tuesday, and I just got home yesterday! What's a girl to do?

This girl is going to participate in the Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition a week late. However, one of the best parts about the challenge is getting to see all of the awesome projects other bloggers completed. Part of getting to see everyone else's creations is sharing your own. While not a requirement, I think it's good practice to give a little to get a little. Therefore, I will simply offer up any one of my recent projects on Tuesday (maybe my curtain project, my framing project, or my stenciling project). That way, people can get pinspired by me as much as I will by them!

Anywho, for this project, I've decided to finally tackle the table and/or the library file cabinet I've been wantint to gel stain. Notice I said and/or. I don't want to get too ambitious! Chances are good that I'll try the table first for several reasons: 1) It's simpler. No handles, no drawers, no harware. 2) It was cheap. I bought 2 green chairs, an orange chair, and the table for $150. If each chair cost me $50, the table was free! Technically, the file cabinet was free (thanks to my mom & dad), but I care about the results way more. 3) It'll be good practice. I really don't want to ruin that file cabinet, so I'll use the table to get my oopses out of the way.

I've been reading a lot about gel staining at the many home improvement, decorating, and DIY blogs I read, but I found a good step-by-step tutorial here, and I pinned the project here. Since I'm just linking my hundreds of very few readers to the Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition, y'all aren't getting much of a chance to participate either. Please consider participating with me this week instead. The week will start Tuesday July 10 and end Tuesday July 17. That'll give you a couple days to figure out what project you're going to do. When you're finished with your project, come back and share the results with me! Don't have a blog? Share your thoughts with me via comments and/or share a picture with me on Facebook!

Here are the rules:
  • Give credit where credit is due. Link your project to the original source.
  • Credit YHL & BP for hosting the challenge.
  • Shut up and commit! Take one week, and only one week, to complete the project of your choice.
  • Come back here (or visit YHL or BP) to share your results.
  • Have fun! :) Projects can be anything you've pinned -- a recipe (MOM), a piece of art, a furniture repurpose, a sewing or knitting project you've been dying to try. The possibilities are endless!
Please join me! It's so much more fun to do things together! :)

Meanwhile, check out other participants' projects @ Young House Love and Bower Power this Tuesday morning.