Friday, September 21, 2012

Pigs Fly

Remember way back in May when I stained the railing and claimed that I was going to paint the balusters?  Probably not since it was so long ago, but this is pretty much where I left you...

I actually started priming the balusters back in May the day we got the new counters.  However, priming and painting those things took forever.  In an hour I was only able to prime or paint one coat on twelve balusters.  Knowing that the balusters would need at least one coat of primer, and one coat of paint was very unmotivated to me.  So painting these balusters took me three full months to complete.  And here is how I did it...

As usual, I started by not sanding, because I was so tired of sanding this railing.  Then, I taped around every edge of every baluster with Frog tape which has special paint keeper outer technology.  I primed each baluster using my favorite Purdy 1.5" brush and Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start All-Purpose Primer making sure to not have any drips.  It was actually moderately difficult getting enough coverage over the shiny baluster poly, but it was totally worth not sanding.

After the primer had dried, no orange came through, which to me meant one coat of primer would be sufficient.   It took me approximately two months to finish priming working on and off.  I'm fairly certain they recommend you paint over primer within 48 hours, however, I had a uncharacteristic momentary episode of procrastination and the balusters sat primed for up to two months.

When motivation finally struck I started the first coat of paint.  I began to apply the same Behr Swiss Coffee in semi gloss that the rest of the white woodwork in the upstairs is covered in.

Seeing the paint on the first baluster gave me my second wind.  I could finally see in real life what I had only been able to imagine for so long.

One month and 66 balusters later, I was done painting.  It was time to remove the Frog tape (which claims it is only affective for a couple weeks).  I was incredibly worried the paint would have leaked under the tape, since that is always what has happened in my past experience with regular old blue painter's tape, however, Frog tape and their super secret technology gave me hope.

When removing my first strip of tape, the paint began peeling off the baluster with the tape.  Not unexpected.  To remedy this, I just used a knife to cut around all four edges of the balusters before removing the rest of the tape.  This method worked wonderfully.  When all of the tape had been removed I stepped back and admired my most amazing accomplishment in my home-ownership history.  I cried.  So ridiculously worth it.

There are no words people.

The very rewarding before, middle, and after:

Now to get rid of whats left of that yellow wall...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Painting the Unpaintable

When talking about our whole dining room shelf debacle I mentioned that I had painted a picture frame white, since I couldn't find a large enough white frame.  I come to you now with a little spray painting tutorial with a few tips I have picked up.

For the carnival art frame, I started with a large black frame whose mat actually had a black inner line on it that also needed to be white.

So I decided to just spray paint the mat as well as the frame.  I figured it would be best to spray the matte anyway so the white of the mat would match the white the frame would soon be. 

I had a few other frames I wanted to paint white, so I laid them all out on a piece of cardboard for painting. 

I first primed the frames with Kilz Original spray primer.  I use this as opposed to using just spray paint plus primer in one because the Kilz has incredible coverage.  That being said, it is also harder to apply.  You have to make sure you hold the can at least 3 feet away from the surface you are spraying and keep the can moving at all times.  The primer can easily build up and cause dripping if you don't do those things. 

You can see I caused some sad dripping myself by not keeping the can moving enough.  It is always better to apply a few light coats rather than trying to get full coverage on the first round of painting.

Make sure you spray all the edges.  The inside edges of the frame can be easily missed in spots, so make sure you check for missed spots before you deem your job finished.

I usually let the paint cure overnight.  If you handle your spray painted item before it is fully cured the paint will scratch very easily.

I was very pleased at how the mat for the frame turned out.  It took the spray paint well and matches the frame perfectly!  So, I decided that I could also paint a mat with regular wall paint.  I thought I would try my theory out on the below mat. 

I was trying to frame a hand drawn, in pencil, circuit diagram of my Electronics project from college which was written on an ordinary piece of printer paper.  Since you are all dying to know, the circuit was for a Cocoa Clock which was an alarm clock which turned on a hot plate ten minutes before the alarm was set to go off.  The hot plate would have a cup of hot cocoa on it hence the name.  Since I have no shame, here is a real life picture of a very youthful me with the actual Cocoa Clock I made.

Thats right, it took two breadboards people, and you can't even see the hot plate behind me.

I digress.  Unfortunately the ordinary white computer paper completely clashed with the mat of the Ikea frame, which ironically clashed with the frame itself.

Constructive Feedback:  Ikea can you please make your mat the same color white as your frame?

Since Ikea has not yet taken my advice, I had about three different versions of white going on when trying to frame this extremely valuable scientific document.  The obviously solution paint the mat a better color.  I opted to paint the mat Silver Sateen to match the wall color I planned to hang the frame on.

I just brushed on some Silver Sateen with a nice 1.5" Purdy brush, making sure to paint the inner angled edges of the mat.

I let the mat dry, which took a surprisingly short 1 hour, and put my awesome circuit diagram on top of it (the circuit was too big to actually fit in the opening of the mat).

It is now a thing of beauty and I don't just mean that flawless circuit diagram. 

Getting Around

After a long absence I bring you all a random display of trio updates.  First off, our pantry finally gets a door!  The last time you saw our pantry, it was a beautiful yet doorless display of food.

Now we have a beautiful six panel door that matches our amazing white cabinets.  Oh look, the door even has trim around it.  Bonus.

It is certainly nice having a less cluttered looking kitchen now that we finally have a complete and super useful pantry.  Just for fun here is a before and after from the very beginning: (apparently I didn't know how to get a good angle on this wall for my before pictures)

In other door news, we painted the entryway closet door at the same time we painted the pantry door, and finally got up to hanging that bifolding beast.  Now all our upstairs doors are painted and up!

In disaster recovery news, we have replaced some of the shelf items tragically lost during our roofing process a couple weeks ago.  We first started with our shelf looking like this:

Then devastation struck and the shelf looked like this:

I went out and bought and repainted a new picture frame for the colorful carnival art, added some books and a relocated milkglass vase on the left side of the shelf, and bought a new white pitcher from Target to replace our broken Martha pitcher. 

I can't say I'm in love with the stack of books on the left, but they are all I have to add height at this point.  Hopefully I can find some more milk glass vases at the thrift store in the near future.

I also promised you all a better picture of the curtains.  Turns out this still isn't that great of a picture, but at least you can see more of the Ikat pattern.  Maybe someday I'll get a good picture.  Ignore the lattice on our deck, not our choice.  Oh, what's that on the left?  Railing spoiler alert.

Thanks for sticking with me during my slow blog weeks!