Monday, November 13, 2017

Small Victories!

GUYS! I still owe you some juicy updates on the Kitchen Drywall and the (finally, fully) FINISHED upstairs bathroom. HOWEVER, my DSLR of 10+ years has recently decided that it's not interested in focusing any more. Which is usually fine because i'm coo with iPhone photos (like, all of today's post), but the bathroom and kitchen photograph SO MUCH BETTER on a manual mode. I'll get over it soon and getcha an update but until then! Thought i'd drop by with a few small upgrades we completed between traveling lately.

FIRST! Outside.


I mean, obviously the house has since been painted, but I wanted to focus on that little red box. Our mail box, it's a super cute old post box that had seen better days. 


Since getting the house painted it sat in our planter boxes for the rest of summer while we debated all 10 million options on what to do with it. There were a bunch of scratches on the box, but nothing offensive. So we debated ordering a new sticker and spray painting it (what color? Red? Green? Yellow?). While we went over color options I tried to find a new 'modern' post sticker and came up short. After considering making my own we both threw in the towel once we found this little mail box at the Pottery Barn:


It matched all the black accents we have out there, and is just so cute. BTW if you are drilling through stucco as we are, be sure to get the right drill bit so it doesn't take you an hour to bore one hole :)


Also, you'll notice (probably not) that the screen door is gone! The door was so old and janky and every time we opened it a curse word came out. So, we ordered a new door and after picking it up from the store we took out the old and promptly destroyed it into 10 pieces (we take all our scrap metal to the metal recycler and omg the door yielded a WHOPPING 96 CENTS! LOL). Only to find that I measured the wrong jamb of the door, and that of course our door isn't 'typical' and that now we'd need to return this door and custom order a new one! So, TBD on when THAT will happen. 

ONTO THE NEXT UPDATE!
This one is inside, so you can take your jacket off now...i'll wait.

Let's talk door hardware. At some point, the previous owners took out all the original doors to the bedrooms and put hollow core doors (WHY!) with some  cheap looking brass handles. I knew I wanted to get new handles for them to mimic the handles on all the closet doors:


But first I had to paint. In my last house I took one entire weekend and painted ALL the trim and doors. It was one of the worst weekends, but it was like ripping a giant bandaid off. I'm taking a different approach on this house...small doses of trim paint. SO! Here is the door, if you didn't know what a door looks like:


And from the inside, sneak peak at some towel hooks we FINALLY installed...


Close up of the door handle, for good measure...


SO, changing out a door knob. FAIRLY straight forward since you are basically taking apart something and then putting it back together with just a better looking item. So, unscrew all the things:



^^Evidence of my very clean painting skillz


Then you put it all back together! The bummer part for me was that the circumference (math!) of the new latch was like 1/16th larger than the old one. So I had to sand that hole down for what felt like an hour to jam it in there. The rest was smooth sailing.





MUUUUUUUCH better.



Friday, October 20, 2017

Stripping Hardware (the right and the COMPLETELY wrong way)

You guys! You're welcome. I did something completely wrong to show you WHY it's wrong. Isn't that SO nice of me? Like, a project that should have taken a week, is now on week 4 just because I love you. What is that project? Stripping hardware!

Let's dive into this telling tale of 4 doors. These doors are the closet doors in our bedrooms. Beautiful, original doors that I love so. The doors have seen better days, riddled with scratches and questionable coloring splotches. In a perfect world, I would strip them and seal in the beautiful dark wood that is under the 3+ coats of poorly painted latex. However, 2 issues here. 1. I don't want to go insane stripping and refinishing doors, at least not at this point in my life. 2. My husband has a thing with mis matched wood coloring (light floors, dark doors is not OK in his book...still not sure how i'm getting away with the light floors and dark trim on the main floor but I'LL TAKE IT!).

SO, we wanted to paint them the same white that all the trim is getting (some day) upstairs. The doors have been off the hinges since we sanded the floors. Since they weigh a million pounds, it made sense to paint them now before re-hanging. As you can see in the image below, the previous painting crew decided to throw caution to the wind and just paint RIGHT over all of the hardware. Slackers.


 My vision was Oil Rubbed Bronze hardware against a beautiful white door. And come hell or high water IT WILL HAPPEN.

So I spent a week painting the doors. One coat of primer 2 coats of paint (my go to combination). As I rounded the corner on the final coat I picked up some Citri-Strip for the hardware. After trying (for all of 10 minutes) to get any of the screws out of the hardware I threw in the towel and had a GENIUS plan to meticulously paint the stripper on the hardware and scrape it off with a brush.

HAHA.

It KINDA worked. Day 1, I picked up a metal brush to help and some paint came off. I felt hopeful. I added another layer of paint stripper on. I did this for three days, it was moving at a snails pace and wasn't looking like my VISION. I started to notice the metal of the hardware wasn't Oil Rubbed Bronze, and one door was even a brassy color (THE HORROR). Also, they were pretty scratched up.

After snail steps with that idea, I bit the bullet and decided to take off the hardware. It took 4 different flat head sizes and the strength of an ox to get some of those stripped screws out (pro tip: put a rubber band around the tip of a screwdriver for stripped heads). But really, it's what I should have done in the first place.


Here's what I was working with. This was one of the handles that hadn't gone through the 3 day Citri-Strip failed method. SO! I tossed them into a crock pot with soapy water and OMG SO EASY WOWWWW.


 I put one of those crock pot bags over, since I still plan on using this bad boy for human food and don't really want chipped paint residue lingering.




THE PAINT PEELED RIGHT OFF. So easy, wish I would have saved myself the time and just powered through in the first round. SO NOW YOU KNOW! Then, I picked up some ORB (oil rubbed bronze) Spray paint and made them look SO AMAZING.



BUT! THE STORY DOESN'T END THERE! So that Citri Strip? That I delicately painted on the hardware? Started to leak onto the paint around the hardware! So everything I wanted white was actually pink! SO GREAT! I sanded these areas down to the BARE WOOD twice. Didn't work. Scrapped it away with paint thinner THEN sanded again. Didn't work. Had a meltdown in the garage. Didn't work.


So, I painted LAYERS of primer. It took about 6 coats before I could no longer see the pink coloring. OMG so fun guys, just hanging out in my spider infested garage watching paint dry.

ANYWAYS. All's well that ends well?

BECAUSE LOOK!


 Better? Yes? Yes!