Sunday, July 29, 2012

Toad Stools

We have made a few updates to the kitchen lately.  Some day this beast might be complete.  The first update is that we finally painted Silver Sateen on the walls to cover up the over-spray from the second round cabinet painting.  The only proof you will be given of this is in the form of today's before shot:

I know, you can barely tell that anything has changed.  But don't be discouraged, that is not the true meaning behind today's long awaited post.  Today we will be painting those cheap target stools.

As you might remember from our checklist, we planned to either paint or buy new stools.  Do to recent life planning, I opted to paint our existing stools.

The stools originated in a light wood color with a shiny finish.  Before painting I hauled them out to a giant piece of nasty cardboard which would protect Titus' plush green grass from the spray paint.

 To paint them I started, as always, by not sanding, because I hate it.  I then sprayed one coat of Kilz spray primer all over the stools.

I actually ran out of primer on the second stool and ended up using some silver paint plus primer spray paint which works just as well for priming.

I let the stools dry completely which took about ten minutes, just like the primer can said it would.

When I decided to paint our existing stools, I considered several colors.  First there was yellow, but then I remembered that most of the accessories in this room (most of which you have not yet seen) are yellow, so that was out.  Then I considered red, but thought that wouldn't really go with the cool tones in the trio.  Next, thought was my all time favorite blue, which would match the light above the sink, and some of the accessories (which you haven't seen) and our color scheme.  However, in the end I decided to go with.... Green!  Which is also goes with our color scheme as you might remember with our plateau. 

After browsing every green spray paint imaginable I went with Rust-Oleum gloss protective enamel in an unnamed color.  Yep, they are apparently so into making paint colors, they don't even take the time to name them.

When spray painting I have found that you get the best results if you apply many very thin layers.  Spray paint has the tendency to bubbly if applied to thick and it never ever levels itself like wall paint.  I applied about four thin layers of green paint to get the coverage I was looking for.

After I applied my last coat of paint, I allowed the stools to cure outside for about 2 hours.  When I went to check on them their was a bug stuck to one of the horizontal dowels, which was neat.  I was able to pry him off and touch that area up.  I then brought them inside to cure for another 22 hours as directed by the can.

When I finally got to bring them upstairs, I was totally in love with their wonderful frog green color.

Mother knows, we needed some more color in this room, and we got it. 

Now for your before and after.

Look you can see the bottom of the clock we hung above the south kitchen window above.  Don't worry, I'll show you some more pictures when I update you on the new accessories we've added.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Shoes

When you walk into our house, the first thing you see are the stairs.  When I first moved into the Brewery three years ago, the stairs were covered in white carpet.  They soon turned black with Jacque's fir, which prompted me to remove the carpet and install oak treads.  That was the very first project Titus and I did together only months after we started dating.  How romantic.

It turns out the stairs were super complicated, because they actually run at an angle from the wall.  The outside edge of the stairs is not parallel to the wall so as you go up the stairs the treads actually get shorter, and the right side is not a 90 degree angle.  This made cutting and installing them super hard which sometimes left gaps on either side of the treads.  To take care of the gaps Titus installed base shoe to the edges of the stairs.

When I installed the treads, I knew in the future I would want to put in some laminate flooring, but didn't know what color at the time, so I just stained the stairs the color of my railing.  That obviously turned out to be a poor honey oak choice.  Which led us to our current before. 

When we decided on the new floor we were going to install, I had to refinish the stairs to match the new laminate.  So Titus removed the base shoe and I sanded and stained the treads to match the newly installed floor.  That all led us to this unfinished state which persisted for about a month.

As you can see the corners weren't really sanded and therefore didn't take any of the new stain.  This will be partially fixed by replacing the base shoe, and partially fixed by applying some Poly Shades to the corners.  This is not the best way to do it, but I just couldn't get the corners sanded well enough, ok people.

In addition to the missing shoes you may have noticed the honey oak wood that is on either side of the stairs.   This will be painted Behr Swiss Coffee to match the future baluster color and future board and batten that will run up the stair wall.

To paint these wood pieced, I started by not sanding, because I hate it.  Then, I used Frog taped along the treads.  I don't usually promote the use of painters tape since it often causes the paint to peal off upon removal, but theses treads were my pride and joy after all that sanding and staining.

 I then used my favorite 1.5" Purdy brush to apply two coats of trusty Ben Fresh Start Primer.  The next day I applied two coats of Behr Swiss Coffee, also with my paint brush.  Imediatly after my last coat of paint was applied I removed the Frog Tape to try and prevent as much paint pealing as possible.  It mostly worked... there were only two spots the paint peeled and it was at the nose of the treads where there was the most tape.  See you can see a spot missing paint right under the nose of the top tread.  Someday I will touch that up.  Why yes, I did prime all those balusters.  So what if it took me a month.

Now that the perpendicular wood pieces were painted, I was more than ready to throw some shoes on the stairs.  So Titus got to work sanding all the pieces for me to stain.

After they were sanded, I wiped the dust off with a damp towel and spread them out on some cardboard for staining.  I still had my random stain mixture left over from staining the treads, so I just shook that up and got down to staining.

I used some throwawayable (that's a word) rags from the Home Depot to soak on the stain.

I let it sit for ten minutes then wiped off the excess.  The shoes ended up being the appropriate color after only one coat of stain which was neat.

After I let them dry for an inappropriately short period of time, I excitedly brought the shoes into the house and told Titus to nail them in.  He jumped at my words and ran out to get his compressor and nail gun and then we had beautiful stairs! 

Except of course for those still slightly ugly corners that need some Poly Shades, and the paint touch up in a couple places.  I also need to apply polyurethane to the shoes which I chose to do after they were nailed in place.  Still a vast improvement people.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aunt Petunia

You have all had the pleasure of viewing the majority of The Brewery's interior, and now you will get the much smaller pleasure of viewing its current exterior.

Yes it is July, and yes those are Christmas lights.  We have actually reached a point where it is too hot to go on the roof to remove them without ruining the shingles.  I know what you are thinking:  "But those shingles already look destroyed"...  They are.  And we just found out we are probably getting a new roof due to the lawsuit out on these shingles.  Yay for free (other than the deductible of course) roofs (hopefully).

Anyway, along with a new roof and some Christmas light removal in the less hot future there are a few other things we would like to add to get more curb appeal.   When I first moved into the Brewery back in 2009 the entire driveway and that rock path to the right of the walkway were lined in hideous grayish green cacti which made Jacque yelp upon contact.  As you can see much improvement has been made over the years including the removal of all cacti and the planting of anything you see in the above picture.  Side note, if you are building a new house, I do not recommend using rock for landscaping.  Plants hate it and so will you.

Our plans for this front of the house are to plant some flowers in the two planters you see on the front step, build a window box for the kitchen window seen on the right, take the Christmas lights down, and hopefully get a new roof.

I started back in June when I bought two hanging petunia planters which I planted in the two planters on the front step.  Those flowers actually added a lot of color to our boring gray house on their own.

Then, Titus went to work building me a windowplanter.  After considereing different building materials, he decided on using wood which he would later paint for protection.

After the box was built he filled all the holes and cracks with caulk, however he also considered using wood filler.

The window box was now ready for some primer and paint.

He used my favorite Benjamin Moore Fresh Start All-Purpose Primer and Behr off the shelf white outdoor paint.

When the box had completely dried it was ready to be attached to the house.  This is the scary part since nobody ever wants to completely ruin the outside of their house.

The planter attachment plan was to use L-Brackets which would attach under the window box.

He first cut slits in the bottom of one of the rows of siding and shoved the brackets up.

Then calculated where the holes were in the bracket and drilled through the top of the siding, through the brackets, and into the house.

Since he had drilled through the siding, the house was no longer protected from moisture, therefore, Titus applied boatloads of caulk around each screw and along the line at which the bracket goes under the siding.

After the caulk was dry, the window box was attached on top of the brackets.  To avoid water from sitting behind the window box, Titus also applied a line of white caulk between the siding and the top of the window box.  Titus also drilled holes in the bottom of the box every foot for drainage.

After the window box was safely in place, we poured some Miracle Grow organic potting soil in (used less than one big bag of potting soil).

When we were at Ace last weekend picking up some Ben Advance paint for our doors (spoiler alert) I bought four six packs of wave petunias for the planter.  The difference the flowers made to the house was much greater than I imaged it would be, and I imaged a pretty awesome difference.

First, look how awesome the flowers look out our kitchen window.  So happy and bright!

And look at how much color the flowers add to our monotone gray house.  They are pretty much the best addition ever. Oh, yes, Titus did remove the Christmas lights for me.  Happy July.

They are just so bright and happy.

The afternoon after I planted the flowers a lady stopped by the the Brewery to ask if our non existent children wanted to join their children's Bible study (super nice gesture) and she actually said we had a super cute house.  First time ever.  I contribute it solely to the addition of the flower box.  Love it.

Big shout out to the best husband ever for making this awesome addition.  You rule Titus.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Peachy unkeen

When you toured the Guest Bedroom last week, I had mentioned that I wanted to paint the matte white and ugly green walls.  Well I did it.  The same weekend I painted the master.... and the same color: Behr Silver Drop.

Just a reminder of how the white and green looked before I painted:

To prepare for painting, I moved all the furniture away from the walls, took down all the random dog pictures and filled their nail holes.  I also removed the random corner poofs from the ceiling.  When I was ready to start painting, I had Titus come in and remove the baseboards, just like when I painted the master since we would need to paint them Swiss Coffee anyway.

After about 2 hours I had thrown up one coat of Silver Drop on the three previously white walls, and two coats on the previously green wall.

After seeing the new color, I just couldn't handle the peach bedding any longer.  As I moved the furniture back in place, I remembered that I actually had an old white down comforter that I used to use on our king bed in the master.  I pulled it out and tested it out for size.  It is definitely big for the bed, but it only touches the ground at the bottom corners, so It will stay for now.

Over the past week, Titus and I sprayed all the baseboards Behr Swiss Coffee to match the rest of the house trim.  After it had dried, Titus used the nail gun to put it back in place.  I followed behind him with some Elmer's wood putty followed by a coat of Swiss Coffee to top off the putty.

Which all together, left us with a much cleaner, and slightly brighter, much less colorful and randomly place art filled room.  As I mentioned before, I will hopefully add a mirror above the dresser or maybe an array of frames.  I'm also hoping to do some DIY art above the bed to add some color.

Oh and my parents will be so happy to hear that I finally reinstalled the blinds which have been missing since I painted the window trim.   They are just some low profile blinds that fold up tiny so you barely see them.  Hopefully I will buy or sew some new colorful curtains for this window sometime during our tenure here at the Brewery, but I'm not making any promises.

Until then, we have a lovely new blank slate for some future color.  And I never have to see that shade of green again.

For your viewing pleasure... befores and afters: